Indigenous to the jungles of Brazil, the jaboticaba tree is popular for its sweet black fruit. The tree grows to a height of 12 to 45 feet and bears a large number of spherical-shaped jaboticaba fruits. In Brazil, the jaboticaba fruit is commonly used for making wine, jellies, and jams. Following are some interesting facts about the jaboticaba fruit:
Did You Know?The jaboticaba tree is painfully slow-growing and may take 4 to 10 years to bear fruits.
Appearance and Size
Take a handful of Jaboticaba fruits, and you will feel as if that you are holding purple-black colored grapes. These plum-sized fruits have a diameter that ranges between 1.5 cm and 4 cm.
What makes Jaboticaba different from other trees, is the location of the fruit on the tree. Unlike other fruits that are seen hanging from the branches, the jaboticaba fruits are seen sticking to the trunk and the branches of the tree. Simply put, they remain attached to the trunk, thereby giving a distinctive appearance to the fruit-bearing tree. This unusual appearance of the Jaboticaba tree is often wrongly perceived as some sort of disease.
Jaboticaba fruits perish easily, as they have a very short shelf life; just 3 to 4 days post harvest. Due to their highly perishable nature, they need to be sold quickly in the market. As they do not remain fresh for long, they have to be consumed within a few days. This extreme short shelf life also means that it is very difficult to find the fruits in places that are far from the areas of production.
Jaboticaba Fruit Seeds
Depending on the size of the fruit, it may hold anywhere between 1 to 4 seeds. The entire fruit is edible, but the seeds can be slightly bitter as they contain tannin. However, due to the presence of bitter compounds, some say that, the seeds are somewhat less edible. So, it is better to swallow or avoid the seeds as chewing may leave a bitter taste in the mouth.
100 g edible part of jaboticaba fruit has the following nutrients:
fruits (100 g)
|Vitamin C||22.7 mg|
Quite a few 'recognized anticancer compounds' have been detected in the fruit. Few studies suggest that regularly consumption of jaboticaba may protect the health from cancer. Preliminary research also indicates that water extracts of jaboticaba seeds may act as chemopreventive agents―they can restrict and delay carcinogenesis. The fruit and its extracts do hold good future prospects as a treatment for cancer.
Jaboticaba Decoction - High Medicinal Value
Jaboticaba tea is said to have therapeutic properties, which can be helpful to treat a wide range of medical conditions. Prepared from the dried skin of jaboticaba fruits, the decoction is said to be highly beneficial to the health. Gargling with this decoction can help clear sore throat and relieve inflammation of tonsils. Traditionally, the decoction has also been a remedy for diarrhea and respiratory problems such as asthma and hemoptysis.
Assists During Pregnancy
Increased iron intake during pregnancy is essential for healthy growth of the developing fetus. Taking the jaboticaba fruit or its juice is helpful in this regard as they are good sources of iron.
High Antioxidant Capacity
The dark-colored fruit, particularly the skin of the fruit, is found to be a good source of phenolic compounds, such as resorcinol, flavonoids, and coumarins, that are known for their high antioxidant activity. In fact phenolic constituents, like anthocyanins, are found to be present only in the skin. Moreover, these compounds have shown potent anti-inflammatory activities. Thus, regular intake of jaboticaba fruits may be helpful to treat as well as prevent a wide range of inflammatory conditions.
Eating jaboticaba fruits or its extracts is an easy way to protect the body against harmful infections. This is because the fruit is an excellent source of vitamin C, the nutrient that plays a key role in strengthening the immune system. Just 100 g of jaboticaba fruit contains around 22.7 mg of vitamin C. So having a handful of jaboticaba fruits daily can work wonders to enhance immunity and improve overall health.
Disclaimer: The information provided in this article is solely for educating the reader. It is not intended to be a substitute for the advice of a medical expert.