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Noni and the Wonderful Benefits of This Super Fruit

By Katelin Mccaig Subscribe to RSS | February 28th 2012 | Views:
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With the advent of green and healthy living, people are becoming more conscious of their well-being. People are resorting to organic options for maintaining their health holistically, consuming more sustainable food sources such as vegetables, fruits, and herbs. One of these nutritious foods is the noni fruit.

The Indian mulberry—popularly known as the noni—originated in Australasian and Southeast Asian countries. The noni tree grows in shady forests as well as rocky and sandy shores. It grows up to 9 meters and reaches maturity in about 18 months. In addition, it yields around 8 kilograms of fruit every month throughout the year. It is tolerant of saline soils and adaptive to dry weather conditions. The noni fruit has a pungent odor and turns yellow to slightly off-white when ripe. The Polynesians consider the noni to be a staple food that can either be eaten raw or cooked.

Presently, the noni fruit has a number of uses. Usually the fruit is dried and pulverized to be mixed with water to make noni juice. Traditional Polynesian healers have documented around 40 medicinal uses for the entire tree which may include various combinations of its different parts like the bark or the roots. Its unripe fruit, leaves, and roots are traditionally used in Polynesian culture in treating menstrual cramps, bowel irregularities, diabetes, liver diseases, and urinary tract infections.

Topically, it has been traditionally used for burns, cuts and wounds, abscesses, and as a shampoo for head lice. It can also be used as an anti-inflammatory topical solution which aids in acne reduction and moisture retention because of its rich linoleic acid content. It is also used to treat gum and mouth infections, ulcers, asthma, nausea, and certain heart conditions.

Noni fruit powder contains carbohydrates and dietary fibers. The main nutrients of the noni fruit (from which noni powder is derived) include niacin, iron, and potassium. Vitamin A, calcium, and sodium are also present. These macronutrients are sparsely evident in the fruit pulp which has been studied for bioactivity.

Noni powder is rich in vitamin C, and it aids in strengthening the immune system. Glycosides and other constituents derived from the fruit have shown antioxidant effects, protecting the cell membranes from the damage caused by free radicals. It also contains alkaloids that play a role in the biochemical communication of cells in the body, triggering dormant enzymes, thus improving healthy cellular function.

Noni powder is also used as a dietary supplement. It is usually taken in beverage form before meals. Noni fruit tastes bitter when fresh and is usually prepared with coconut water to dilute its unpleasant taste.

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