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» 01 Feb 2010

No trip to Mauritius would be complete without a taste of some of the delicious and unique fruits that thrive on the island. Often, tourists shy away from trying foods that are not easily recognized or may be strange to the taste buds but to truly experience the culture, one must step outside of the comfort zone and give new things a try. More than just being fruits, mangoes, lychee, and guavas contain numerous health benefits.
Read more about each and find out how native Mauritians usually enjoy these unusual foods. Perhaps it will tempt you enough to try something different.

Mangoes - A Delicious Source of Vitamins and Minerals With a tough skin varying in tone from bright green to yellow, a mango shows its maturity by giving off a sweet smell. Peeling back the skin reveals an oblong expanse of vibrant yellow-orange surrounding a hard pit. A common way to eat them is to cut the fruit in half to remove the pit, then score the flesh and bite it straight off the skin. Mango juice is another way to enjoy this deliciously sweet fruit. In the summertime, a tall, frosty glass of iced mango juice is one of the most refreshing beverages; it also gives a boost to flagging energy levels. The sweetness of mangoes is the perfect foil to the spice of chilies so it is a natural ingredient in salsa - great on fish!

If this doesn't convince you to try a luscious mango, consider its health benefits. Mangoes are a rich source of vitamins A, B, and C, calcium, iron, potassium, and phosphorus. These nutrients are beneficial in combating constipation, heart disease, anemia, stress, and - according to some - even cancer. It is thought that mangoes are able to remove toxins from the body, invigorate nerve tissues, and also serves as an aphrodisiac.

Now aren't you ready to enjoy a tall glass of juice from this nutrient-rich fruit? Get Healthy With Lychee Surprisingly, ripe, brilliant red lychee berries grow on evergreen trees. The exterior is a rough rind that, when removed, reveals a translucent white, moist fruit within. Originating in China, the lychee is most often used as a teasweetener or in a thick, sweet syrup over the traditional Chinese dessert of almond jelly. It can also be drunk as a juice - try adding lychee juice to another fruit drink to get accustomed to the unusual flavor.

More than its uniquely sweet flavor, eating the lychee will do much for your health. It is rich in vitamin C (more than found in oranges), beta carotene (with levels higher than in carrots), calcium, phosphorus, folic acid, potassium, unsaturated fatty acids, and bioflavonoids, proven to be beneficial in fighting cancer. According to those who tout its many benefits, lcyhee fruits can be used to increase energy, aid digestive health (due to its diuretic properties), prevent the formation of blood clots, reduce the risk of stroke, and thwart cell damage. Some believe drinking lychee juice relieves a cough and blood-shot eyes, as well. For such a small, innocuous-looking fruit, the lychee really packs a punch.

Guava: the Super Fruit A ripe guava ranges in color from red to green to yellow and the shape is round or oval, depending on the type - there are both apple and strawberry guavas in addition to other varieties. The faintly "lemon rind" smell of the peel reveals a pulp that ranges from a delicate off-white to pink-red. Instead of a pit, you will find a collection of dark seeds in the middle of the fruit. A guavas is great eaten raw by itself or in a salad, but the high level of pectin in the fruit makes it the perfect choice for jams, jellies, or candies, too. Sweet guavas,reminiscent of the taste of pears and strawberries, make a wonderful juice while the more sour versions lend themselves well to a sprinkle of salt, pepper, and/or cayenne.A refreshing summer drink is a mixture of guava juice and carbonated water. It is no wonder that guavas are often referred to as "super fruit" when you consider all of the vitamins and minerals they contain in abundance.These include: vitamins A, B, and C, calcium, phosphorous, folic acid,
potassium, fiber, lycopene, and protein. Wow, that's quite a list! What do all those nutrients do for the human body? For one they provide astringent and antiseptic qualities that are ideal for treating various ailments and diseases by killing fungi and bacteria. Guavas are also used to control blood pressure and cholesterol, reduce the risk of cancer, aid kidney functioning, control diabetes, prevent constipation, treat bleeding in the nose, gums, or internal organs, and help infertility and menstrual problems.

External application of the pulp soothes and renews the skin while chewing the leaves of the guava plantcures toothaches.The incredible guava is indeed a super fruit! Mauritius in the summertime simply would not be the same without a taste of one or all of these delicious and healthy fruits that thrive in a tropical environment. Once you get past their unique looks and flavor, you are sure to enjoy both the taste and benefits of mangoes, lychee, and guava fruits.

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