Acai, araçá and bacuri are examples of the variety of tropical fruits that the Amazon region offers in its forests. Even with the abundance, some of these fruits are little consumed by the local population.
This fact worries researchers from the Federal University of Pará (UFPA), since regional fruits are rich in vitamins and have the power to reduce risks of cardiovascular disease and even some cancers. See the benefit of some tropical fruits:
Rich in nutritional properties, the acai berry stands out for its considerable anthocyanin and vitamin E content, antioxidant structures that fight free radicals, thus reducing oxidative stress.
Epidemiological studies have shown that consumption of fruits rich in anthocyanins decreases the risk of cardiovascular disease, inflammatory process and various types of cancer. Acai has a high content of unsaturated fatty acids, considered as ‘good’ fat. Despite the nutritional properties, the fruit should not be consumed too much because it is caloric.
In addition to acai, many other tropical fruits are rich in nutrients, such as bacuri, which has good levels of dietary fiber to aid digestion, and vitamin B2, which aids in the production of energy for the body.
Buriti, on the other hand, stands out for its high beta-carotene content, an important element for cell differentiation, avoiding the risk of several diseases, such as macular degeneration and atherosclerosis. Due to its antioxidant capacity, it prevents premature aging and helps in increasing the body’s resistance.
Peach palm is an essential element for the growth, development, maintenance of epithelial tissues, reproduction, the immune system and, in particular, for the functioning of the visual cycle in photoreceptor regeneration. Besides them, can also be identified in the pupae, the tocopherols, or vitamin E. The fruit also has bactericidal, fungicidal and anti-inflammatory action. Studies show that it has action in lowering blood cholesterol.
According to the World Health Organization, each person should consume about 100 kg of fruits per year, a figure that, in Brazil, reaches only 62 kg per inhabitant. For Professor Luiza Meller, from the Faculty of Food Engineering at UFPA, and student Carolina Bezerra, from the PhD of the Graduate Program in Food Science and Technology, the consumption of tropical fruits in the Northern region is also very low.
The researchers found in the population the deficiency of various minerals and vitamins found in fruits of the region. Fruits have several vitamins that bring a number of benefits to humans, whether for the body, such as skin, hair or for the prevention of some diseases.