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Start Eating Brazilian Fruits for Good Health: The Science Behind 2023’s New Food Trend

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Here’s Why Everyone’s Adding Brazilian Fruits to Their Diet

A newly published study in the Foods journal highlights the beneficial effects of Brazilian native fruits and their by-products on human gut microbiota. This review underscores the fruits’ potential in curbing non-communicable chronic diseases (NCDs) based on current scientific evidence.

Leading causes of death worldwide, such as obesity, hypertension, and diabetes, often result from lifestyle choices, including unhealthy eating habits, lack of physical activity, and smoking. The correlation between NCDs and disruptions in gut microbiota is becoming increasingly evident in scientific circles.

Diets rich in plant-derived antioxidants and anti-inflammatory agents are crucial in preventing NCDs. Brazilian fruits, sourced from varied ecosystems, are packed with bioactive ingredients. Their derivatives, which include beneficial elements like phenolics, offer immense health advantages.

Further studies are essential to decipher the specific ways in which the compounds in Brazilian fruits and their by-products shape gut health and, consequently, influence the progression of NCDs.

Unraveling the Microbiota-NCD Connection

Diseases like obesity, cardiovascular issues, diabetes, and cancer have their roots in genetic, environmental, and behavioral components, exacerbated by diets high in sugars and fats.

Conditions such as obesity result in prolonged inflammation and cardiovascular complications. Dyslipidemia affects lipid metabolism and increases cardiac disease risks, while continuous high sugar levels in diabetes harm endothelial cells. A common thread linking these diseases is an imbalance in gut microbiota, which affects both gut health and overall well-being.

Microbial Fluctuations and Health Repercussions

Changes in gut microbes can upset the natural balance, leading to both local and systemic ailments. In conditions like diabetes and obesity, we often notice different gut microbial profiles.

Nutrition, Probiotics, and Well-being

Diet plays a pivotal role in NCD management. Probiotics and nutrients from food can reshape gut flora favorably. Healthy diets produce short-chain fatty acids (SCFAs), which play vital roles in maintaining overall health.

Exploring Brazilian Fruits for Health

Brazilian fruits, including açaí, acerola, guava, jabuticaba, baru, buriti, juçara, and passion fruit, are teeming with health-promoting ingredients.

These bioactive ingredients have potential health benefits like inflammation reduction, antioxidant activities, improved insulin responsiveness, and managing lipid imbalances. Containing essential dietary fibers, these fruits aid digestion, improve bowel movements, and reduce overall food consumption. Their rich phenolic compound content lends anti-inflammatory, antimicrobial, and antioxidant attributes, fostering a healthy gut environment.

Owing to their nutrient content, these native fruits can help in both preventing and alleviating symptoms of numerous NCDs.

Brazilian Fruits’ Role in Gut Health and Warding off Chronic Diseases

Açaí:

Hailing from the Amazon, Açaí has anthocyanins that play a role in colonic fermentation. This process can modify particular bacterial populations and yield organic acids. Açaí’s phenolic elements are powerful antioxidants that protect DNA. Studies indicate that extracts rich in açaí anthocyanins can help address obesity challenges in mice, and trials with overweight humans consuming açaí have shown markers of decreased oxidative stress.

Acerola:

This Brazilian tropical delight aids in the growth of probiotics. Investigations reveal that when acerola remnants are fermented, they bolster the growth of specific probiotics and induce carbohydrate processing. This activity drops pH levels and boosts the generation of numerous organic acids. The fermentation also tweaks the gut bacteria makeup, paving the way for health-boosting metabolites. Acerola’s components, including dietary fibers and compounds like myricetin and catechin, have a positive effect on gut health.

Guava:

Originating from America and popular in Brazil, guava supports probiotic growth and produces healthy metabolites. Studies with guava supplements in rats indicate enhanced colon function and metabolic improvements. Guava leaves have shown potential in diabetes treatment in mice research. With compounds like polysaccharides, guava addresses various health issues, highlighting its value for gut health.

Jabuticaba:

During its processing, this Brazilian gem gives a by-product that, when fermented, nurtures gut-friendly microbes. This enhances beneficial bacterial varieties and modifies the phenolic content. When mice on high-fat diets were fed jabuticaba components, they experienced weight and glucose improvements. Furthermore, integrating this fruit’s extract into yogurt has shown to combat inflammation and support digestive health, hinting at its potential in cancer prevention.

Baru:

Native to the Cerrado region, Baru offers by-products such as its pulp. Research indicates its pulp acts as a nourishing source for specific probiotics and alters the pH and acid content. Lab-based fermentation tests reveal that the pulp fosters the growth of gut-friendly bacteria. Its fiber-rich nature and phenolic content contribute to these benefits. Additionally, the oil from baru nuts has therapeutic attributes, demonstrated in its anti-clotting effects in rats and antioxidant enhancement in overweight women.

Buriti:

Esteemed in various parts of Brazil, the oil from Buriti pulp, especially when mixed with fermented milk, has shown intriguing results concerning young adults’ gut health. Results highlight an increase in beneficial bacterial counts and suggest health advantages. The pulp is fiber-rich and loaded with phenolic compounds. Furthermore, its oil can combat oxidative harm, as seen in rat studies.

Jucara:

Endemic to Brazil’s Atlantic Rainforest, Jucara’s fermentation boosts specific beneficial bacterial numbers. The fruit’s phenolic content potentially steers this bacterial balance. Consuming Jucara has been linked to health perks, such as weight reduction and better glucose management. Recent studies associate Jucara pulp consumption with enriched gut bacterial content in overweight individuals.

Passion Fruit:

Blending Passion fruit with fermented milk leads to an upsurge in bacterial populations and acid contents. Its soluble fibers, when assessed in colitis-affected mice, resulted in decreased weight loss, reduced inflammation, and revitalized digestive health.

The findings of the study were published in the journal Foods.

Image Credit: Shutterstock

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