10 Exotic fruits and their benefits

Add more variety and a healthier touch to your diet with these fruits

exotic fruits

A healthy diet has to include fruits as they are a valuable source of nutrients necessary for the body well-being. However, eating the same things every day can quickly leave one fed up and more prone to give up on a salutary diet. Instead of quitting, give your diet a new boost of flavor and nutrients and try out these exotic fruits!

10 exotic fruits you should be trying out

Give your diet a spin and add new flavors and nutrients to it with these exotic fruits. Some might look and taste funny at first, but that’s part of the adventure.

Longan Fruit

Longan Fruit exotic fruits

The longan fruit is closely related to the lychee fruit. It is native to Southern Asia and widely popular in China due to its perceived benefits.

It is rich in antioxidants and vitamin C, with 1 ounce providing 40% of the recommended daily intake (RDI) of this. The same portion only represents 17 calories and 4g of carbs, and no fat.

To date, no research was conducted to assess its health benefits, but it is believed it helps to improve memory, increases energy and reduces fatigue, stress and depression.


exotic fruits lychee

Lychees and the longan fruits are very similar in looks and nutrition wise. The first has a slightly lower content of vitamin C, with 1oz providing 33% of the RD, though. It also doesn’t contain any fat and provides only 18 calories and 5g of carbs.

Unlike the longan fruit, lychees contain traces of other minerals, albeit in very small quantities. It provides, nonetheless, 7% of copper, 4% of phosphorus and 4 % of potassium.

It is also a good source of B-complex vitamins, such as niacin, thiamin and folates. The latter is particularly important to the female well-being as women have more probabilities of developing a deficiency of this acid.

Passion fruit

passion fruit exotic fruits

Native from South America, this exotic food has become a popular flavoring but the fruit itself lacks the same degree of attention. And wrongly so.

It is a rich source of vitamins A and c, fiber, folic acid, niacin, calcium, iron, potassium and, according to a 2011 compendium about nuts and seeds, it also contains an antifungal protein.


Mangosteen exotic fruits

The soft, garlic-like look of the pulp of this fruit contrasts with the hard thickness of its peel, but this is a sweet fruit packed with fiber and antioxidants.

It has already presented some promising results health-wise due to its anti-inflammatory properties, but research is currently insufficient, particularly when it comes to assessing its toxicity.

Kiwano fruit

Kiwano exotic foods

Also known as the horned melon, the kiwano is sure to get everyone’s attention with its spiky peel, but its interior is no less impressive due to its bright green juices.

Despite its name, its flavor is very similar to cucumber with a slight dash of lime.

It doesn’t stand out as a special source of any nutrient, but it has a good and varied overall nutritious content, including interesting values of vitamins A, E and C, calcium, zinc, and several antioxidants.


exotic fruits kumquat

Don’t be fooled by their cute small size. Kumquats might resemble tiny oranges but they have almost the same content of vitamin C than their bigger counterparts. It is also an interesting source of magnesium, calcium and potassium.

As for their flavor, it’s not everyone’s cup of tea. They are juicy, but can be quite bitter also.


Rambutan exotic fruits

With a weird and hairy peel, rambutan is one of the many exotic fruits whose looks don’t match the flavor. For all its impressive shape and texture, the rambutan just tastes similar to a grape, with a slight mixture of sweet and sour.

It has, however, a high content of vitamin C, fiber, antioxidants, iron and water, but it still remains low-calorie.

Star fruit / carambola

Carambola exotic fruits

The carambola didn’t get the star in its name out of the blue. Besides the distinctive shape it gets when cut in slices, it is also crunchy as a cucumber, but sweet as a blend of plums and apples. Smaller varieties might have a more sour taste, though.

Unlike most exotic fruits it doesn’t need to be peeled, which makes much more practical.

Overall, it is an interesting source of several nutrients, including fiber, vitamins B5 and C, folate and copper. However, its most impressive feature is its content in plant-based antioxidants, which have so far shown promising results treating inflammations and lowering cholesterol, albeit it only in preliminary, non-human studies.


exotic fruits durian

Exotic fruits are normally associated with bright colors and unusual shapes, but then there is the Durian. Shape-wise, it is certainly strange with its spiky peel. However, it’s worldwide fame is due to another big detail: its pungent smell.

To put it simply, its odor is similar to the one of a rotten body mixed with onions and a dash of sweat.

If you manage to hold your breath and give it a try, you might be surprised as it is one of those exotic fruits that people simply love or hate. There is no middle ground.

It also has an impressive content in variety and quantity of minerals and vitamins that give it anti-inflammatory properties, according to a 2015 study, It is also a rich source of tryptophan, an amino acid that induces sleep. This fruit is, however, also rich in sugars and fats, so consumption is moderation is advisable.


plantains exotic fruits

No, the picture is not wrong. These are one of the most regular looking exotic fruits out there because they are really similar to bananas.

They are harder and bitter, though, and should be cooked. You can also eat raw plantains, but only with its peel is slightly blackish, already indicating that it is fully ripe and beginning to decompose.

Plantains have basically the same nutritional content of bananas, but in higher quantities. This means that it is a good source of vitamins A and C, and, more importantly, potassium.

Be more like a kid!

Don’t be afraid to try out new things no matter how weird they look or smell! You can surprise yourself and maybe find your new favorite fruit of all time on this list!

If your curiosity has been sparked, check out the video below to see the different reactions of children to tasting durian, pitaya, mangosteen, rambutan and kiwano. You can be sure that you won’t find a better description of each flavor anywhere else.