What is quenepa and why is it great for your gut?
Quenepas are also known as Spanish limes, though they don’t taste similar to one another. Native to South America, Quenepas are a sweet and sour tasting exocitc fruit that is round in shape and grows in clusters. Its skin is thick and leathery and is greenish to yellowish when it is ripe and ready to eat. The best way to eat this fruit is by popping it into your mouth and sucking the pulp from the seed inside. These small fruits can be used to make beverages, desserts, and jellies.
As far as the nutritional benefits, they are a good source of vitamins A and C, as well as calcium, phosphorus, and fiber. These vitamins are great for helping to boost our immune system and helping to fight off bad bacteria in our gut. In addition, Quenepas also contain tryptophan, which helps produce serotonin. Research suggests that tryptophan may also influence the gut-brain-axis which may influence both mood and GI activity.
Quenepas are also a good source of phenolic compounds, which act as important antioxidants. Antioxidants help to protect our body against free radicals and help with decreasing systemic inflammation. A study found flavonoids present in quenepa extract taken from the peel of the fruit; did you know that the peel is where most of the nutritional value is found? In addition, the fruit pulp has been used to help treat digestive issues such as IBD symptoms and hypertension in the Caribbean. As if all these great nutritional benefits didn’t shock you, they are also a great source of fiber as 1/2 cup of Quenepa contains 2.6 grams. If you ever doubted trying new fruits because of their name or infrequent encounters, consider this fruits nutritional profile and give it a try, your #goodgut won’t be disappointed!
Ways to eat it
Fresh, just peel back the skin and suck on the quenepa until you reach the seed. For extra flavor add chili powder, salt, and lime
Can be made into jams or into desserts
Recipe: Quenepa Fruit Salad
Ingredients (Makes 4 Servings):
4 fresh quenepas, washed
1/2 cup strawberries, diced
1/4 cup blueberries
1/2 cup cantaloup, diced
1/2 cup watermelon, diced
1/2 cup vegan yogurt (optional)
1 tsp fresh mint, finely chopped
Remove the seed from the quenepa.
Dice up the quenepa.
In a large bowl, add all the fruits.
Add the yogurt and mix well.
Serve with fresh mint on top!
Heal with each meal!
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