When we started the Yantza-Farm in Ecuador, back in 2016 (History) it was degraded pasture on a steep hill with 3 mandarin trees and 1 banana trunk. Five years later, 2021 a quick status update of all the tropical superfoods we have been – harvesting now 🙂 and eating.
As you may know we have a year-round growing season. The tropical fruit production differs most from the micro climate where the plant is growing. This can vary strongly 50 or 100 meters away. Sunlight. Humidity, Water, Etc. Important information is that most of those tropical fruits due like the Neotropical climate here which is humid. And because of that it’s much more challenging to grow vegetables in this climate. But we get all of those tropical fruits.
Health Benefits of Organic Tropical Fruits and Vegetables
If you are like us and focus and the health benefits from the food you eat, always double check if they are organic. Most are not managed organically even if they have a organic certificate… It’s a complex word. For many business comes before health. Which is absolutely stupid one way or another if you think about it. Only real food which is organic brings the health benefits. The altered / improved / growing fast – bigger foods are not recomendable for obvious health risk reasons. How do you know if its organic? One way to check is that if there is no taste its most likely not organic. Real food has real taste.
Salak “Snake Fruit”
The Salak palm produces a delicious fruit, eaten out of hand, with a taste similar to apple and lemon like. Its sweeter than honey, sour like a pineapple and incredibly juicy. Its flesh is slightly acidic, giving your tongue a citrus like tingle. There are usually 3 Seeds per fruit. The Health Benefits of the Salak fruit consist of nutrition just like Protein, Beta-Carotene, Vitamin-C, Dietary fiber, Iron, Calcium, Phosphorus and Carbohydrates which are great for overall health. Salak or Snake Fruit contains lots of Beta-Carotene which is a powerful antioxidant and works well to prevent cardiovascular disease, strokes, and even cancer. Additionally it contains 5 times more Beta-Carotene than that found in watermelon, mangos, and 3 times more than found in guava.
Pitahaya – Yellow Dragon Fruit
Pitahaya is a producing cactus of the genus Hylocereus, originally native to central and northern South America. Nutrient content of raw Pitahaya shows that a 100 gram amount of Pitahaya contains 268 calories, 82% carbohydrates, 4% protein, and 11% of the Daily Value each for vitamin C and calcium (table). Health benefits of dragon fruit are plentiful, with high concentrations of vitamins, minerals and antioxidants.
Bananas (Guineo, Plantain, Banana)
Did you know that the Banana plant is the largest herbaceous flowering plant? Bananas help overcome depression due to high levels of tryptophan, which is converted into serotonin – the happy-mood brain neurotransmitter.
Jackfruit is the largest vegetable fruit in the world. It can reach up to 100 kilos weight. Although it’s usual weight is between 30 and 35 kilos. Jackfruit bark is green or yellow and pointed. Although it smells like a rotten onion when ripe and ready to eat, the pulp inside smells and tastes much better – like a cross between pineapple and banana. You can also eat the seeds. the amount of calcium that can be found in the jackfruit is similar to that of milk, but precisely because this fruit also has a high vitamin C intake, we are helping our body to assimilate that calcium much better. And we have the guarantee that both contributions come from a natural power source.
The Borojo is a small, tropical rainforest tree. It is one of the few of the family Rubiaceae that has edible fruit. It grows in areas of high humidity and temperature. Keep in mind this tree grows in a lot of shade. The medium sized borojo fruit weighs between 700 to 1000 grams. The diameter of the fruit can reach 7 to 12 cm. It is green when young and turns brown when ripe. Additional to all the other health benefits the borojo fruit content of vitamin B1 plays a role as carbohydrate metabolism, fat metabolism, nucleic acids, protein. Also plays a role in maintaining the function of the heart and nerves to always be in good condition.
Giant Soursop Fruit
The Soursop fruit is probably one of the most enigmatic tropical fruits when referring to the taste of the soursop blended fruit juice. It’s my clear favorite tropical fruit juice. The Soursop has also various anti cancer properties. Soursop extracts from the leaf, fruit, and seed have been tested in laboratories for their anticancer effects for the past 40 years. Much of the research on the health benefits of soursop has been carried out by institutions independent of much of the pharmaceutical industry. Some studies show these extracts to be active against breast, lung, colon, prostate, pancreas, liver, and skin cancer cell lines.
The Breadfruit is packed with nutrients, which lower cholesterol, fight infections, promote youthful skin and healthy hair. The seeds of the Breadfruit are also a great food. They are rich in riboflavin, iron, niacin, thiamin, iron and phosphorus. Contain minerals like potassium, copper, iron, magnesium, calcium, zinc, manganese, selenium and phosphorus. Are low in saturated fats, cholesterol and sodium. Like other tropical fruits, breadfruit also contains high amounts of calories.
The Membrillo fruit has varios mid sized seed in the center of the fruit. Edible is the flesh and the skin. Ideally we consume it with bananas blended with some water. Very tasty. It is a very nutritious fruit that also has a very low calorie density. Great source of dietary fiber, antioxidants, vitamins and minerals.
The real challenge with a Mango Tree in tropical humid climate is that when there is too much rainfall the flowers do not get pollinated and therefore you will have no fruits.
Cacao (Theobroma Cacao)
Chocolate comes from Theobroma cacao, the scientific name for the cacao tree. A small tree native to the Amazon Basin, the cacao tree grows throughout the tropics. Cacao is considered a “super food” due to the high density of essential nutrients, very few side effects and proven health benefits. Raw cacao is full of antioxidants called flavanols. Eating foods rich in flavanols has a variety of health benefits for your body. Heart Protection, Improved Digestive Health, Less Stress, Improved Cognitive Function and Lower Risk of Diabetes
Guayusa (Amazonic Tea)
Guayusa Tea is also called a Superfood because it contains an amazing amount of powerful antioxidants. Only raw cacao powder has more antioxidants than Guayusa tea. In fact Guayusa contains more antioxidants than acai berries, goji berries, black berries, blue berries, and even kale. And Guayusa Tea even has 50% more antioxidants than green tea and is full of polyphenols, flavonoids, and saponins. These compounds in guayusa offer a range of holistic health benefits from calming the nervous system to cardiovascular health.
The avocado is an evergreen, tropical tree with green, pear-shaped, nutrient-dense fruit. While they aren’t sweet, avocados are a satisfying and versatile food with a creamy, buttery texture. And they have a rich flavor from the high-fat content. Avocados offer an abundance of fiber, potassium (more than a banana!), and vitamins B6 and C. They’re also rich in folate, which can boost your mood!
It is one of the healthiest and tastiest spices on earth. It is chock full of bioactive compounds and nutrients that make it worthy of adding to your diet on a daily basis. It has a long history of use in different forms in alternative and traditional medicine. It has been used to fight digestive troubles, nausea, and even the common cold and flu. Ginger is a true superfood!
Sacha Inchi -Nut (Plukenetia volubilis)
Known as great brainfood, sacha inchi, sacha peanut, mountain peanut, Inca nut or Inca-peanut, is a perennial plant in the family Euphorbiaceae, having small trichomes on its leaves. It’s native to tropical South America. The reason that sacha inchi seeds have been labeled as a superfood is their rich supply of healthy nutrients. They are very high in protein (27%) and have an oil content somewhere between 35 and 60%. The oil is very rich in fatty acids. Between 45 and 53% of the fat content is omega-3 linolenic acid while omega-6 acid accounts for between 34 and 39% of the fat content. The seeds also contain a smaller amount of omega-9 fatty acid. As well as being high in essential fatty acids, the seeds contain vitamin E, vitamin A carotenoids and are a great source of fiber. For vegetarians, they represent a great way of getting more fatty acids into your diet. Very few plant based foods come close to the levels supplied by sacha inchi seeds.
Once you tried it. You know it’s the best lemon for lemon water.
Peach Palm, which is scientifically known as Bactris gasipaes, is actually a palm tree that bears a fruit that is considered a drupe and contains a single seed. The fruits are smaller in size than peaches and plums, and they range in color from yellow to red, depending on the variety of the peach palm. These palm trees are native to South and Central America and are not a widely exported crop, although they can often be found in exotic import markets. Peach palms contain significant levels of fiber, carbohydrates, vitamin C, vitamin E, vitamin A, vitamin B, and vitamin K, as well as potassium, calcium, iron, magnesium, phosphorous, and zinc.
Uva Amazonica (Pourouma cecropiifolia)
Pourouma cecropiifolia is a fruit tree species that occurs in the Amazon rainforest, from Western to Central Amazonia.
Rollinia Deliciosa is an amazing fruit that tastes like lemon meringue pie. It’s in the custard-apple family, and is native to South America. It’s got soft but spiky nubs and custardy, bright and sweet jelly like flesh. Rollinia has a more protein in it than almost any other kind of fruits. It is also an excellent source of calcium, phosphorous, iron and vitamin C.
We are still patently – waiting for the Durian, Starfruit and Mangosteen to produce fruit as well as a few others.