A fruit from a Melicoccus genius and soapberry family known as quenepas is a berry that can be eaten just like any other fruit. However, the secret lies in its nutrients and potential to provide innumerable health benefits.
The fruit of a quenepa is a round drupe, approximately 2-4 cm in diameter, with a thin, brittle, green peel. The fruits are mildly laxative and have a wine-like, bittersweet taste.
It looks similar to a small lime and it is commonly called ” Spanish Lime”. They are very rich in calcium, phosphorus, and other nutrients. Because the seed is slippery, it can pose a danger to your health.
Quenepas are rich in nutrition that makes them beneficial for overall health. Quenepa fruits are low in fats and calories, making them one of the best nutritional fruits available in the market today. The nutritional content of quenepas according to proactive health include:
- Protein: 1 gram
- Carbohydrates: 13.5-19.2 grams
- Fibres: 0.07-2.60 grams
- Calcium: 15 grams
- Phosphorus: 23.9 milligrams
The uses are many but some of the possible side effects are listed below:
- alcoholic beverages
- soft drinks
- strong yellow dye
- substitute for cassava
- to cure parasites
- pest deterrents
- ornamental purpose
- trees can be used for construction, carpentry, and cabinetmaking purpose
Health Benefits of Quenepas
Quenepas is known by many names all over the world. However, this doesn’t alter the incredible nutritional value and health benefits that it offers, such as the ability to lower blood sugar, improve digestion and strengthen bones.
1. Lower blood pressure
The fruits are rich in potassium, an element that helps lower blood pressure. They are a rich source of antioxidants that helps in cleaning the arteries of all harmful substances and minerals that may cause hypertension.
Quenepas is rich in phenolic compounds that have been linked to a healthy heart and lower cholesterol. Phenolic compounds can benefit your overall heart health by lowering your blood pressure, preventing blockage, and significantly reducing your risk for heart attacks and strokes.
2. Source of dietary fibers
Another health benefit of quenepas fruit is its contribution to dietary fibers. Fiber gives you the energy you need every day.
Eating quenepas regularly can help you reduce your carbohydrate intake, which is a major contributor to fat gain.
3. Boost immunity
Quenepas is also known to increase your immunity. The tryptophan that makes up the amino acid is what provides your body with the needed vitamins to fight off illnesses.
You can always find tryptophan in quenepas and other protein-rich foods. It is used to treat mental disorders, boost your immune system, and prevent depression.
4. Increase bone strength
Calcium is the main factor for bone strength and development. Quenepas contains about 15 grams which is a moderate source of calcium.
Quenepas can improve your bone strength and as you become older. It is therefore important to ensure that calcium is ingested regularly. This can help prevent osteoporosis and help intake of other nutrients in the gut.
5. Promotes digestion
The fiber content in quenepas can improve digestion by bulking up stool and stimulating peristaltic movement.
This can not only ease the symptoms of constipation but also improve the efficiency of nutrient intake.
6. Control hormonal effects
Quenepas contains about 23.9 milligrams of phosphorus, which is a crucial mineral in human health.
Eating quenepas regularly can benefit hormonal function and balance, resulting in effects all over the body, from growth and development to menstruation.
7. Promote weight loss
Quenepas is ideal for those on a diet due to its low-calorie count, and lack of fat.
This tropical fruit’s dietary fiber will make you feel fuller and reduce the likelihood of snacking between meals.
8. Stabilizes your mood
The tryptophan found in quenepas helps prevent depression since it has been associated with a good level of serotonin, an important substance needed for human health.
Serotonin is responsible for regulating mood, appetite, sleep, and sleeping patterns as well as emotions. Another mineral that quenches your appetite is magnesium.
This mineral is used to balance your nervous system and helps make you feel calm and more relaxed. These minerals and vitamins that are present in the fruit can help reduce the effects of stress and anxiety which are known to affect your physical and mental health.
9. Rich in antioxidants
Aside from these nutrients, quenepas can also provide you with plenty of antioxidants. Free radicals are not good for your health because they damage cells and cause damage to DNA and cellular proteins.
Antioxidants combat these free radicals and stop them from causing too much damage to your cells and body. You can benefit from antioxidants by taking this fruit regularly.
This will not only help you fight health problems but will also strengthen your immune system so that you can fight off all types of diseases and illnesses.
10. Aids sleep
The tryptophan compound found in quenepas has a positive effect on the human body. Because it stimulates serotonin production, tryptophan has a reputation for inducing sleep.
This “good feeling” neurotransmitter can dispel anxiety and worry, clearing the mind and leading to restful, undisturbed, rejuvenating sleep.
What do quenepas taste like?
You might be curious about the taste of quenepas if you haven’t tried it yet. Quenepas have sweet, juicy, and sour tastes. They taste similar to lychee.
How to eat quenepas fruit?
Quenepas can be eaten raw or used as an ingredient. If you like to try it raw, remember that this fruit has a slippery seed inside that you should avoid eating. These simple tips will help you avoid possible choking.
- wash the skin of fruits
- crack the shell
- avoid eating whole quenepa fruit at once
- suck it until the flesh is gone
- spit the seed out
- slippery seed can cause a choking hazard
- avoid giving it to kids and pets
Quenepas are small green fruits with a yellow pulp and large slippery seeds. They are a tropical fruit that is native to South America. They were introduced to Central America and to the Caribbean, where they have been thriving.
It can be eaten raw or as part of a recipe. This fruit have several health benefits, including the ability to lower blood pressure, boost the immunity system, and support digestion. You might also consider adding them to your diet if calories are a concern.