The best of EcoWatch, right in your inbox. Sign up for our email newsletter!
Although some people are happy eating the same fruits every day, you may want a bit more variety.
Interestingly, thousands of fruits grow around the globe, some of which you may have never heard of.
Here are 17 unique and nutritious fruits to try.
Rambutans are the reddish fruits of the Nephelium lappaceum tree, which is native to Southeast Asia.
Their grape-like, gelatinous flesh tastes sweet, yet slightly tart.
Rambutans are particularly rich in vitamin C, providing 40% of the Daily Value (DV) per 3.5-ounce (100-gram) serving. This water-soluble vitamin boasts powerful antioxidant and immune-boosting properties (2).
Pawpaws (Asimina triloba) are the largest edible fruit native to the United States. Historically, they've been essential to several Native American nations and provided sustenance for early European explorers and settlers (3).
Pawpaws can grow up to 6 inches (15 cm) long. They have a greenish-yellow hue when ripe and a sweet, somewhat tropical taste (4).
Its delicate flesh and short shelf life limit its availability. Nonetheless, you can get pawpaws from specialty growers or farmers markets in the United States when they're in season.
3. Kiwano (Horned Melon)
Kiwano (Cucumis metuliferus), also known as horned melon or jelly melon, is the delectable fruit from a vine native to Africa. It belongs to the same family as cucumbers and melons.
Its vivid, orange skin is covered in small spikes, while its flesh is jelly-like and vibrant green or yellow. Although the seeds are edible, some people prefer to eat only the flesh.
Kiwano is a good source of many nutrients, particularly vitamin C and magnesium. Plus, animal research suggests it may help lower blood sugar levels, which may be helpful for people with diabetes (6, 7Trusted Source).
Loquats are the small, highly nutritious fruits of the Eriobotrya japonica tree. They're yellow, orange, or reddish, depending on the variety.
Loquats are particularly rich in carotenoids — plant pigments with powerful health-promoting properties. For example, eating a carotenoid-rich diet may help protect against heart disease and certain types of cancer (8Trusted Source, 9Trusted Source).
These sweet, citrusy fruits can be eaten raw or incorporated into both sweet and savory dishes. Loquats can be found at some specialty grocery stores.
Not to be confused with the candies of the same name, jujubes — also known as Chinese dates or red dates — are nutrient-dense fruits native to Southeast Asia.
Though jujubes can be eaten fresh, they're more commonly eaten dried because they take on a sweet, candy-like taste and chewy texture.
6. Star Fruit
Star fruit, also called carambola, is a tropical fruit with a star-like shape. Its unique shape and bright color make it a popular add-in for fruit salads and cheese plates.
Yellow when ripe, this fruit has a juicy texture and slightly tart taste. Star fruit is a convenient, portable snack choice because the entire fruit is edible.
Carambola is low in calories, containing only 38 per large fruit (124 grams), but it also offers plenty of fiber, vitamin C, potassium, and copper. In particular, its rich supply of insoluble fiber promotes healthy bowel movements and overall digestive health (12, 13Trusted Source).
7. Black Sapote
Black sapote (Diospyros nigra)is closely related to persimmons. Often called "chocolate pudding fruit," black sapote has dark brown, custard-like pulp that's somewhat reminiscent of chocolate pudding.
Native to Mexico, the Caribbean, and Central America, black sapote isn't frequently sold in stores but can be purchased online from specialty growers when in season.
Its flesh has a banana-like aroma and sweet flavor when ripe. Unripe jackfruit is often used as a vegan meat replacement due to its mild taste and meaty texture.
What's more, it's an excellent source of many nutrients, including vitamin C, several B vitamins, magnesium, potassium, and antioxidants. Some research even suggests that it may help lower your blood sugar (15Trusted Source).
Cherimoya, or custard apple, is a unique fruit prized for its sweet, creamy flesh. It's native to South America but grown in tropical regions worldwide.
The creamy flesh of these green, heart-shaped fruits is commonly scooped out with a spoon.
Cherimoya is loaded with fiber, vitamin C, several B vitamins, magnesium, potassium, and manganese. This nutrient-dense fruit also provides antioxidants that may protect against cellular damage (16, 17Trusted Source).
Soursop (Annona muricata) is an oval-shaped fruit covered with tiny spines. It can reach upwards of 15 pounds (6.8 kg) and takes on a yellow-green hue when ripe. It has a distinctly sweet-and-sour flavor (18).
Though cultivated in tropical regions, soursop can be purchased online through specialty fruit distributors.
11. Husk Cherries
Husk cherries, also known as golden berries, Cape gooseberries, Inca berries, or Peruvian groundcherries, are small, yellow fruits with a sweet, grape-like flavor.
Wrapped in an inedible papery husk, they resemble tomatillos and are often used to make jams, sauces, and desserts. They can also be eaten raw as a tasty, low-calorie snack.
They're packed with compounds like vitamin C, numerous B vitamins, and beta carotene — a potent carotenoid antioxidant (20Trusted Source).
Husk cherries are grown in many parts of the world and may be available at your local specialty grocery store or farmers market.
Manilkara zapota is an evergreen tree native to Mexico, the Caribbean, and Central America that produces fruits known as sapodillas.
The fruit is egg-shaped with brown, rough skin. Sapodillas are prized for their exceptional sweetness, with the flesh usually eaten raw straight from the rind. Depending on the variety, sapodillas are either smooth or granular.
Cloudberries (Rubus chamaemorus) grow wild in cool, temperate regions like Canada, Eastern Russia, and the Northeastern United States. They're sought by foragers due to their unique sweet and tart taste.
These yellow-orange berries are an excellent source of vitamin C, providing 176% of the DV per 3.5-ounce (100-gram) serving. What's more, they're high in ellagic acid, an antioxidant that may improve metabolic health and combat cancer (23, 24Trusted Source, 25Trusted Source, 26Trusted Source).
As cloudberries aren't typically cultivated, they're difficult to find. Yet, products made from cloudberries, such as jams and preserves, can be purchased online.
14. Longan Fruit
Related to rambutan and lychee, longan fruit (Dimocarpus longan) is native to Southern Asia. Also known as dragon's eye, its gelatinous, translucent flesh encases a black seed and resembles an eyeball when shelled.
This fruit is enjoyable fresh or cooked but often preserved by canning or drying.
Longan fruits are high in vitamin C and polyphenol antioxidants. Due to their anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties, they're used in traditional Chinese medicine to improve appetite, reduce fever, and fight parasitic infections (27Trusted Source).
15. Beach Plums
each plums (Prunus maritima Marsh.) are a wild plum that grows along the eastern coastline of the United States. The plants thrive in sandy soil and are salt-tolerant, which is why they appear near coastal dunes and beaches (28).
Similar to a cherry in size and shape, this fruit ranges from blue to blackish-purple.
Beach plums are sweet when ripe and commonly used in desserts or made into jams, jellies, and preserves. Like other wild plums, they're low in calories but a good source of several nutrients, including provitamin A and vitamin C (29).
16. Prickly Pear
Prickly pear (Opuntia), also called nopal, is a cactus native to Mexico and the Southwestern United States.
Its fruits vary from bitter to incredibly sweet. The skin is covered in sharp hairs and must be peeled before eating.
These fruits can be enjoyed fresh but are also made into juice and syrup. You can shop for raw nopal or prickly pear syrup at natural food stores or online.
17. Japanese Persimmons
Though many types of persimmons exist, the Japanese persimmon (Diospyros kaki) is the most widely cultivated. These range in color from orange to brownish-red and have soft, sweet flesh when ripe.
Persimmons are sold in specialty grocery stores when in season.
The Bottom Line
Rambutans, black sapote, star fruits, sapodillas, and beach plums are just a few of the thousands of unique, nutritious fruits grown around the world.
Their distinctive flavors and wealth of nutrients may benefit your health in an assortment of ways.
Try out some of the interesting fruits on this list to add variety to your snacks and meals.
Reposted with permission from our media associate Healthline.
EcoWatch Daily Newsletter
'How Dare You Put Our Lives at Risk': Pennsylvania Democrat Brian Sims Rips GOP Members for 'Coverup' of Positive COVID-19 Tests
Brian Sims, a Democratic representative in the Pennsylvania legislature, ranted in a Facebook Live video that went viral about the hypocrisy of Republican lawmakers who are pushing to reopen the state even though one of their members had a positive COVID-19 test.
- Partisan Differences in Social Distancing during the Coronavirus ... ›
- COVID-19 Is Turning Into a Partisan Battle, Too: The Politics Daily ... ›
- Coronavirus in US: Partisanship is the strongest predictor of public ... ›
- Pennsylvania Republicans Want Prosecutors To Investigate State ... ›
- Philly Democrat Brian Sims sparks firestorm after posting videos of ... ›
In another reversal of Obama-era regulations, the Trump administration is having the National Park Service rescind a 2015 order that protected bears and wolves within protected lands.
- Wildlife Advocates Celebrate: Romania Bans Trophy Hunting ... ›
- Father and Son Charged With Killing Mother Bear and 'Shrieking ... ›
- Trump Admin. Wants to Reinstate 'Cruel' Hunting Tactics in Alaska ... ›
By Linda Lacina
World Health Organization officials today announced the launch of the WHO Foundation, a legally separate body that will help expand the agency's donor base and allow it to take donations from the general public.
<iframe width="100%" height="150" scrolling="no" class="rm-shortcode twitter-embed-1265660879669886976" id="twitter-embed-1265660879669886976" lazy-loadable="true" src="/res/community/twitter_embed/?iframe_id=twitter-embed-1265660879669886976&created_ts=1590592043.0&screen_name=WHO&text=Media+briefing+on+%23COVID19+with+%40DrTedros+https%3A%2F%2Ft.co%2Fj5ZoeBdBvO&id=1265660879669886976&name=World+Health+Organization+%28WHO%29" frameborder="0" data-rm-shortcode-id="16f209220db97fa1572877a1700956f5"></iframe>
Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation
By Nicholas Joyce
The coronavirus has resulted in stress, anxiety and fear – symptoms that might motivate a person to see a therapist. Because of social distancing, however, in-person sessions are less possible. For many, this has raised the prospect of online therapy. For clients in need of warmth and reassurance, could this work? Studies and my experience suggests it does.
Telehealth Versus Traditional Therapy<p><a href="https://www.cigna.com/hcpemails/telehealth/telehealth-flyer.pdf" target="_blank">Private insurance companies</a> like Cigna and Aetna, have come around; they now provide coverage for what they see as a "legitimate" service. And <a href="https://www.prnewswire.com/news-releases/american-wells-2019-consumer-survey-finds-majority-of-consumers-open-to-telehealth-adoption-continues-to-grow-300906438.html" target="_blank">surveys show</a> consumers are receptive to telehealth counseling: no driving to an appointment, no searching for a parking space, no worries about childcare while they're away, no need to switch providers if they move, and no problem if the specialist happens to be far away.</p><p>Online therapy opens doors for clients who wouldn't otherwise seek help, <a href="https://www.worldcat.org/title/empirical-examination-of-the-influence-of-personality-gender-role-conflict-and-self-stigma-on-attitudes-and-intentions-to-seek-online-counseling-in-college-students/oclc/941976505" target="_blank">particularly patients</a> who feel stigmatized by therapy or intimidated by a stranger sitting across the room from them. Often, <a href="https://doi.org/10.1089/1094931041291295" target="_blank">people open up</a> more easily in telehealth sessions. Firsthand accounts have detailed <a href="https://www.romper.com/p/i-tried-online-therapy-for-a-month-this-is-what-happened-13630" target="_blank">positive experiences from consumers</a>.</p>
Overcoming Prejudices About Online Counseling<p>Now COVID-19 is forcing most traditional psychotherapists to adapt their practice to <a href="https://www.psychologytoday.com/intl/blog/expressive-trauma-integration/202003/covid-19-etherapy-in-times-isolation" target="_blank">online counseling</a>. After experiencing the medium, they are <a href="https://www.wecounsel.com/blog/why-every-therapist-in-private-practice-needs-a-telehealth-option/" target="_blank">overcoming their prejudices</a>. Many will convert some or all of their caseloads to telehealth after the pandemic ends. Most of our clients seem to be good with it: responding to a satisfaction survey, 85% of USF students strongly or somewhat agreed their telehealth experience was comparable to an in-person visit.</p><p>All this allows a continuity of care for clients that before was impossible; there is, however, a caveat. Because of the coronavirus, some of my clients at USF who live out-of-state have moved back home. That means, legally, I can no longer serve them. Even though they are still USF students, my license is valid only in Florida.</p><p>For telehealth to work effectively, our national system of licensing and regulation law needs to adapt. Although the federal government temporarily halted HIPAA regulations to promote telehealth during this time, not all states are allowing out-of-state practice. The coronavirus may not be here forever, but spring break and Christmas holidays always will. We need seamless telehealth across state lines.</p>
- How to Deal With Cabin Fever - EcoWatch ›
- 75,000 American Deaths Predicted From Overdose and Suicide ... ›
As many parts of the planet continue to open their doors after pandemic closures, a new pest is expected to make its way into the world. After spending more than a decade underground, millions of cicadas are expected to emerge in regions of the southeastern U.S.
Kevin Frayer / Stringer / Getty Images
By Jessica Corbett
Even after the world's largest economies adopted the landmark Paris agreement to tackle the climate crisis in late 2015, governments continued to pour $77 billion a year in public finance into propping up the fossil fuel industry, according to a report released Wednesday.
<iframe width="100%" height="150" scrolling="no" class="rm-shortcode twitter-embed-1265623289118015492" id="twitter-embed-1265623289118015492" lazy-loadable="true" src="/res/community/twitter_embed/?iframe_id=twitter-embed-1265623289118015492&created_ts=1590583080.0&screen_name=envirodefence&text=New+research+from+%40PriceofOil+%26amp%3B+%40foe_us+shows+Canada+has+the+2nd+highest+public+finance+for+fossil+fuels+in+the+G20%E2%80%A6+https%3A%2F%2Ft.co%2FCC21WVmLhZ&id=1265623289118015492&name=EnvironmentalDefence" frameborder="0" data-rm-shortcode-id="3a8dab253abb0ab96502809508dffa35"></iframe>
<iframe width="100%" height="150" scrolling="no" class="rm-shortcode twitter-embed-1265668484349992961" id="twitter-embed-1265668484349992961" lazy-loadable="true" src="/res/community/twitter_embed/?iframe_id=twitter-embed-1265668484349992961&created_ts=1590593856.0&screen_name=PriceofOil&text=%F0%9F%93%96New+Report%F0%9F%93%96%3A+As+%23G20+governments+spend+historic+levels+of+public+finance+on+%23COVID19+stimulus%2C+our+new+report+w%2F%E2%80%A6+https%3A%2F%2Ft.co%2Fbw8awZru86&id=1265668484349992961&name=Oil+Change+International" frameborder="0" data-rm-shortcode-id="4c26ee7a9cd92203449579ca4aa553e7"></iframe>
- Fossil Fuel Firms With Ties to Trump Administration Get Small ... ›
- Taxpayers Charged $7 Billion a Year to Subsidize Fossil Fuels on ... ›
- Government Subsidizes Fossil Fuel Industry With $20+ Billion in ... ›
Twenty-three states and Washington, DC launched a suit Wednesday to stop the Trump administration rollback of Obama-era fuel efficiency standards for cars and light trucks.
- Trump Dismantles Environmental Protections Under Cover of ... ›
- Trump Admin Goes After States for Protecting the Environment ... ›
- Justice Department Drops Investigation Against Four Automakers ... ›
- Trump Expected to Announce Weakened Fuel Efficiency Rules ... ›