Exotic berries are gaining attention for their unique tastes and health benefits. Check out 3 of these fruit sensations from afar.
Goji berries: Harvested for 6000 years in the Tibetan Himalayas and Mongolian subtropics, goji fruit is now sweeping the Western world. Long attributed to enhanced immune and liver function, fertility, and circulation, goji is also thought to improve eyesight and prevent vision disorders like age-related macular degeneration, thanks to its high concentration of carotenoids.
Acai berries: Direct from the Amazon, this dark-purple fruit is rich in both fiber and protein. The berries are saturated in anthocyanins — antioxidants that color the berry and help fight off free radicals. Some research suggests their antioxidant strength is one of the highest of all food sources. Look for wild-harvested berries that were immediately frozen to retain their nutritional integrity.
Miracle fruit: Formally called Synsepalum dulcificum, this small, almond-shaped berry has become an international phenomenon. The pulp contains a sugary protein that clings to taste buds, altering their flavor reception. Acidic and bitter foods burst with sweetness when eaten after the miracle berry. Researchers think the fruit may help cancer patients recover appetites during chemotherapy and give individuals with diabetes a natural alternative to artificial sweeteners. In Japan, super healthy entrées containing unappetizing ingredients are served up with the fruit to help transform foul flavors into mouth-watering morsels.