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
"Emissions from pyrotechnic displays are composed of numerous organic compounds as well as metals," a new study reports. Nodar Chernishev / EyeEm / Getty Images
Fireworks have taken a lot of heat recently. In South Dakota, fire experts have said President Trump's plan to hold a fireworks show is dangerous and public health experts have criticized the lack of plans to enforce mask wearing or social distancing. Now, a new study shows that shooting off fireworks at home may expose you and your family to dangerous levels of lead, copper and other toxins.
- No Social Distancing or Mask Requirement at Trump's Mt ... ›
- Trump's Fireworks Show at Mt. Rushmore Is a Dangerous Idea, Fire ... ›
By Ashutosh Pandey
Billions worth of valuable metals such as gold, silver and copper were dumped or burned last year as electronic waste produced globally jumped to a record 53.6 million tons (Mt), or 7.3 kilogram per person, a UN report showed on Thursday.
Environmental and Health Hazard<p>Experts say e-waste, which is now the world's fastest-growing domestic waste stream, poses serious environmental and health risks.</p><p>Simply throwing away electronic items without ensuring they get properly recycled leads to the loss of key materials such as iron, copper and gold, which can otherwise be recovered and used as primary raw materials to make new equipment, thereby reducing greenhouse gas emissions from extraction and refinement of raw materials.</p><p>Refrigerants found in electronic equipment such as fridge and air conditioners also contribute to global warming. A total of 98 Mt of CO2-equivalents, or about 0.3% of global energy-related emissions, were released into the atmosphere in 2019 from discarded refrigerators and ACs that were not recycled properly, the report said.</p><p>E-waste contains several toxic additives or hazardous substances, such as mercury and brominated flame retardants (BFR), and simply burning it or throwing it away could lead to serious health issues. Several studies have linked unregulated recycling of e-waste to adverse birth outcomes like stillbirth and premature birth, damages to the human brain or nervous system and in some cases hearing loss and heart troubles.</p><p>"Informal and improper e-waste recycling is a major emerging hazard silently affecting our health and that of future generations. One in four children are dying from avoidable environmental exposures," said Maria Neira, director of the Environment, Climate Change and Health Department at the World Health Organization. "One in four children could be saved, if we take action to protect their health and ensure a safe environment."</p>
Europe Leads the Way<p>While most of the e-waste was generated in Asia (24.9 Mt) in 2019, Europe led the charts on a per person basis with 16.2 kg per capita, the report said.</p><p>But the continent also recorded the <a href="https://www.dw.com/en/the-eu-declares-war-on-e-waste/a-51108790" target="_blank">highest documented formal e-waste collection and recycling</a> rate at 42.5%, still below its target of 65%. Europe was well ahead of the others on this front. Asia ranked second with 11.7%.</p><p>The authors said while more that 70% of the world's population was covered by some form of e-waste policy or laws, not much was being done toward implementation and enforcement of the regulations to encourage the take-up of a collection and recycling infrastructure due to lack of investment and political motivation.</p><p>"You have to think about new economic systems," said Kühr.</p><p>One approach could be that consumers no longer buy the products, but only the service they offer. The device would remain the property of the maker, who would then have an interest in offering his customers the best service and the necessary equipment. The maker would also be interested in designing his products in such a way that they are easier to repair and easier to recycle, Kühr said.</p>
- Dangerous Chemicals From E-Waste Found in Black Plastics From ... ›
- Electronic Waste Study Finds $65 Billion in Raw Materials ... ›
- Electronic Waste: New EU Rules Target Throwaway Culture ... ›
- COVID-19 Masks Are Polluting Beaches and Oceans - EcoWatch ›
- Plastic Packaging Use Increases During the Coronavirus - EcoWatch ›
- Coronavirus Worsens Thailand's Plastic Waste Crisis - EcoWatch ›
- Coronavirus Plastic Waste Polluting the Environment - EcoWatch ›
Did you know that some snakes can fly?
The south Asian paradise tree snake (Chrysopelea paradisi) can launch itself into the air and glide from one tree branch to another. And when it does, it moves its body in waves in something known as aerial undulation. Scientists have long known how the snakes moved. But they didn't know why. Until now.
The Cube is home to a 23-camera motion capture system. Jake Socha
The snakes wore 11 to 17 infrared-reflective markers, which gave the team high-resolution data while still allowing the animals to move freely. Jake Socha
- 'Murder Hornets' Spotted in U.S. for the First Time - EcoWatch ›
- 5 Incredible Species That Glow in the Dark - EcoWatch ›
- 4 New Walking Shark Species Discovered - EcoWatch ›
The oceans could look much emptier by 2100, according to a new study that found that most fish species would not be able to survive in their current habitat if average global temperatures rise 4.5 degrees Celsius by the end of the century, as The Guardian reported.
- 'Oceans Are Sending Us so Many Warning Signals': New UN ... ›
- Record-Warm Oceans: How Worried Should We Be? - EcoWatch ›
- Fish and Fishermen Already Moving to Survive Climate Change ... ›
- Fish Are Losing Their Sense of Smell - EcoWatch ›
- Global Fisheries Have Declined Due to Ocean Warming ... ›
Independence Day weekend is a busy time for coastal communities as people flock to the beaches to soak up the sun during the summer holiday. This year is different. Some of the country's most popular beach destinations in Florida and California have decided to close their beaches to stop the surge in coronavirus cases.
- The U.S. Isn't in a Second Wave of Coronavirus – The First Wave ... ›
- COVID-19 Masks Are Polluting Beaches and Oceans - EcoWatch ›
- No Social Distancing or Mask Requirement at Trump's Mt ... ›
- Trump's Fireworks Show at Mt. Rushmore Is a Dangerous Idea, Fire ... ›
For some combat veterans, the Fourth of July is not a time to celebrate the independence of the country they love. Instead, the holiday is a terrifying ordeal. That's because the noise of fireworks – loud, sudden, and reminiscent of war – rocks their nervous system. Daily fireworks in many U.S. cities in recent weeks have no doubt been interfering with the sleep and peace of mind of thousands of veterans.
What Is PTSD?<p><a href="https://theconversation.com/veterans-refugees-and-victims-of-war-crimes-are-all-vulnerable-to-ptsd-130144" target="_blank">PTSD</a> can occur when someone is exposed to extreme exposure traumatic experience. Typically, the trauma involves a threat of death, serious injury, or sexual violence. Along with war veterans, it happens to refugees; to victims of gun violence, rape and other physical assaults; and to survivors of car accidents and natural disasters like earthquakes or tornadoes.</p><p>PTSD can also happen by witnessing trauma or its aftermath, often the case with <a href="https://www.psychiatry.org/patients-families/ptsd/what-is-ptsd" target="_blank">first responders</a> and <a href="https://www.psychologytoday.com/us/blog/the-many-faces-anxiety-and-trauma/202006/invisible-wounds-the-frontline-heroes" target="_blank">front-line workers</a>.</p><p>All this adds up to tens of millions of Americans. Up to 30% of combat veterans and first responders, and 8% of civilians, <a href="https://www.ptsd.va.gov/professional/treat/essentials/epidemiology.asp" target="_blank">fulfill the diagnostic criteria for PTSD</a>. And that criteria is not easily met: symptoms of PTSD include nightmares, flashbacks, intrusive trauma memories, difficulty sleeping, avoidance of reminders of trauma, negative emotions, and what we call "hyperarousal symptoms."</p>
Fireworks Can Trigger Flashbacks<p>Hyperarousal, a core component of PTSD, occurs when a person is hyper-alert to any sign of threat – constantly on edge, easily startled and continuously screening the environment.</p><p>Imagine, for instance, stepping down the stairs in the dark after hearing a noise; you're worried an intruder might be downstairs. Then a totally unpredictable loud sound explodes right outside your window.</p><p>For people with PTSD, that sound – reminiscent of gunfire, a thunderstorm or a car crash – <a href="https://theconversation.com/veterans-refugees-and-victims-of-war-crimes-are-all-vulnerable-to-ptsd-130144" target="_blank">can cause</a> a panic attack or trigger flashbacks, a sensory experience that makes it seem as if the old trauma is happening here and now. Flashbacks can be so severe that combat veterans may suddenly drop to the ground, the same way they would when an explosion took place in combat. Later, the experience can trigger nightmares, insomnia or worsening of other PTSD symptoms.</p><p>Those of us who set off fireworks need to ask ourselves: Are those few minutes of fun worth the hours, days, or weeks of torment that will begin for some of our friends and neighbors – including many who put their lives on the line to protect us?</p>
Who Else Is Affected?<p>Millions of others, though not diagnosed with PTSD, may similarly be affected by fireworks. <a href="https://adaa.org/about-adaa/press-room/facts-statistics" target="_blank">One in five Americans</a> have an anxiety disorder, many with symptoms of hyperarousal. Also impacted are those with autism or developmental disabilities; they find it difficult to cope with the noise, or just the drastic change from life routines. Then there are people who have to work, holiday or not: nurses, physicians and first responders, who have to be up at 4 a.m. for a 30-hour shift.</p><h3>How to Reduce the Negative Impact</h3><p>There are ways to reduce how fireworks affect others:</p><ul><li>For those with PTSD, the unexpected nature of fireworks is probably the worst part. So at least make it as predictable as possible. Do it in designated areas during designated times. Don't explode one, for instance, two hours after the designated time window. And avoid setting them off <a href="https://www.theguardian.com/society/2018/jul/04/fireworks-ptsd-fourth-of-july-veterans-shooting-survivors" target="_blank">on the 3rd</a>. People are less prepared then.</li><li>If you're aware that a veteran or trauma survivor lives in the neighborhood, move the noise as far as possible from their home and give them prior warning. Consider putting a sign in your front yard noting the time you'll set the fireworks.</li><li>Remember, it doesn't have to be super loud to make it fun. Consider using <a href="https://thehill.com/opinion/energy-environment/504964-its-time-for-silent-fireworks" target="_blank">silent fireworks</a>. And you don't have to be the one who lights the fireworks. Simply enjoy watching while your city or township does it safely.</li></ul>
- 4 Ways Acupuncture Helps Restore Balance to the Body - EcoWatch ›
- Why Can't Veterans Get Medical Marijiuana for PTSD When People ... ›