Categories: Fruits

6 Benefits of huaya fruit

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lbobvalla

Discover the 6 benefits of huaya fruit.

We explain how you can use this tropical fruit for your benefit.

6 Benefits of Huaya fruit

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Huaya is a peculiar fruit, native to the tropical zone near the Orinoco River, found in Colombia and Venezuela.

Its tree can reach a height of about 20 meters and, as it grows relatively easily in tropical and subtropical climates, it has spread throughout the rest of Central America and some Caribbean islands.

Perhaps you do not know it by this name, since it is known in different ways depending on the region in which we are. Some popular examples are “mamoncillo” or quenepa, in the US it is known as “Spanish lime”, despite not being a lime, nor from Spain. Its scientific name is Melicoccus Bijugatus.

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What is huaya?

This plant from the Sapindaceae family, to which lychees also belong, has traditionally been used as a natural remedy by local populations that had access to it.

Not only do their fruits have health benefits, but the seeds, leaves, and bark of these trees are also used to obtain medicines for different minor ailments.

The fruit of the huaya is similar to the lychee in terms of shape. It also has a fine rough shell, in this case, green.

It contains a sweet and orange or yellowish pulp, which is very acidic if it has not yet matured well. This pulp is tightly bound to a large seed in the center of the fruit, so it is usually consumed by slurping the flesh of the fruit until the seed is exposed.

The amount of pulp is relatively small in each fruit, but it can also be boiled to separate it from the seeds and make drinks or jams that taste sweet but not cloying. You can even eat the seed if it is roasted and crushed to mix it with honey.

Also, recently this fruit has drawn the attention of the scientific world.

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Due to its low economic value, it had gone unnoticed by the majority of the world’s population, but recent years have brought an increase in its consumption accompanied by research on its nutritional benefits and possible medicinal uses.

In this article, we will talk about some of the benefits of consuming huaya, both its value as an edible fruit and some of its therapeutic uses, as described by the local populations that consume them regularly.

Benefits of Huaya fruit

On a nutritional level, huaya surprises us with some unusual nutrients for fruits. The components that this fruit presents make it provide us with certain health benefits for the simple fact of consuming it, but it also has medicinal uses separate from its consumption for food.

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1. Benefits of huaya for weight loss

In a serving of about 100 grams of huaya pulp, we will find only 58 calories. Its low amount of carbohydrates and zero fat make it a perfect fruit to add to our diet when we look for sweet, tasty alternatives that do not contain a high amount of sugar.

In addition, the difficulty of its consumption (you have to entertain yourself for a while with each fruit) produces a satiating effect, which calms our hunger more than other foods that are much easier to consume.

2. Good supply of vitamins A and C

Huaya contains a high amount of vitamin A and vitamin C. Both have antioxidant properties, which help us reduce inflammatory processes and even reduce our risk of suffering from diseases influenced by inflammation, such as some types of cancer.

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Vitamin A is essential for our eye health, in addition to improving the health of our skin and mucous membranes. Vitamin C helps us better assimilate nutrients such as iron or calcium, necessary for our bone health and to avoid anemic processes. In addition, good levels of vitamin C translate into a better function of the immune system. We do not lack reasons to consume this fruit!

3. Source of iron, phosphorus, and calcium

The levels of phosphorus and calcium in this fruit are high, which helps enormously to maintain good general health, especially concerning the nervous system and our bones and teeth.

In addition, it has the advantage of containing iron well above the levels of other fruits, which helps us fight against anemia and low blood pressure. In addition to its high levels of vitamin C, this fruit provides us with a large number of essential nutrients while facilitating their absorption and use.

4. Benefits of huaya for sleep

The essential amino acid tryptophan is used by our body to generate neurotransmitters such as serotonin. The consumption of tryptophan is related to an improvement in depressive symptoms and a stabilization of emotional changes, especially those related to hormonal peaks, such as those that occur in pregnancy or during menstrual cycles.

In addition, it has been seen that tryptophan notably improves the quality of sleep, helping us to fall asleep more easily and our rest to be more restful. Luckily, huaya is loaded with a huge amount of tryptophan, so its regular consumption can provide us with all the benefits associated with this very useful amino acid.

5. Rich in antioxidants

In addition to its high content of vitamins A and C, which have antioxidant properties in themselves, huaya also contains several phenolic compounds with powerful antioxidant action.

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Good levels of antioxidants in the diet can regulate inflammatory processes in the body while protecting us from the harmful effects of reactive oxygen species (ROS).

The benefits of antioxidants are somewhat controversial, but it is believed that they play an important role in reducing cell aging and that they could serve to prevent the appearance of cancer cells, whose genesis is related to oxidative stress in our body. In addition, antioxidants decrease the risk of cardiovascular diseases.

6. Benefits of huaya for digestion

On a medicinal level, huaya is mainly used to regulate digestion. Its roasted seeds can be consumed and mixed with honey to stop diarrhea, an effect that drinks made from the bark of this tree also have.

In addition, its leaves are prepared as an infusion or suppository (depending on the region) to help remedy chronic constipation.

More research is required about the medicinal properties of huaya, but the populations that live with this fruit have used these methods for many generations throughout a wide territory, which gives some credibility to the effectiveness of these remedies.

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