9 Exotic Fruits That are Loaded With Health Benefits and Taste

Add some of these healthy fruits to your diet.

Special Collections: WHAT'S ON YOUR PLATE
Healthy exotic fruit salad

(Kolpakova Svetlana / Shutterstock.com)

What’s in your fruit bowl? Apples, pears, and bananas? Maybe it's time to try something new like the exotic fruits that are in your market. Don’t let  their unusual colors, shapes, or spines scare you off. It's important from a nutrition standpoint to shake things up a bit and add more color to your menu.

If you don’t know where to start, just check out these nine exotic fruits that are loaded with health benefits and taste. From tiny tart salaks to giant jackfruit and everything in between, there is something for even the pickiest eaters in your family.

Horned Melons

Kiwano or horned melons are an extremely ugly fruit. according to The Health Journals: “It’s got a face only a mother could love.” But once you get past its strange looks – the inside is lime green and gelatinous – and dig in, the melon is sweet and full of health benefits. Horned melons are full of vitamins K A,C and E, potassium, iron, magnesium, antioxidants that protect against cellular damage, and are a fantastic source of hydration.

Originally from central and southern Africa, these melons are now grown in the US and other countries around the world. Horned melons are in season in the spring and early summer and you can add them to smoothies, use in a fruit salad, or in salsa.

Horned melons have a host of health benefits.

(j.chizhe / Shutterstock.com)

Sapodilla

This teardrop-shaped brown fruit is often called the candy of the fruit world because of its sweet toffee-like taste according to The Healthy. Native to Mexico, Central America, and the Caribbean, Sapodilla or Sapota, is also grown in Asia. Although it is a higher calorie fruit, its chock full of antioxidants, vitamins C and A, iron, folate and niacin. it’s almost like taking a multivitamin with every bite. Naturally sweeten oatmeal or yogurt by topping them with diced sapodilla.

Add this exotic fruit to your diet.

(AKF Production / Shutterstock.com)

Dragon Fruit

While this fiercely named exotic fruit – which is a member of the cactus family – has a spiny pink exterior, the inside is very mild tasting. This low-calorie fruit is high in vitamin C, calcium, and fiber, making it a very healthy part of anyone’s diet. Dragon fruit are available June through September. You can snack on this exotic fruit, add it to a salad, or put it in a smoothie.

Dragon fruit are full of health benefits.

(Chokchai Daoruang / Shutterstock.com)

Salak

This small tart and chewy fruit packs quite a punch of health benefits according to The Healthy. Full of beta-carotene, iron, fiber, vitamin C, potassium, and protein, it is a fantastic fruit for vegetarians and vegans. Salak is also good brain food because the compounds in it are good for memory and may enhance cognitive function. You can snack on the berries or add them to salads.

Salak is a healthy fruit.

(Joko SL / Shutterstock.com)

Pomelo

This largest member of the citrus family resembles a grapefruit in appearance, taste, and nutritional value, only sweeter, according to verywellfit. Filled with vitamins C, A and folate, fiber, and potassium, one cup only has 72 calories. While Pomelo, which come in yellow and red varieties, are a winter fruit from Southeast Asia, they are grown in California year-round. Eat it fresh or use it in any recipe that calls for grapefruits.

Pomelos are a tropical fruit with great benefits.

(pondpony / Shutterstock.com)

Rose Apple

William Shakespeare wrote: “A rose by any other name would smell as sweet,” could very well apply to the rose apple and it would taste just as sweet too according to The Healthy. This exotic Asian apple is a crisp refreshing fruit with a pear-like texture that is high in fiber, calcium, and potassium. Eat it like any other apple as a snack, in a fruit salad, or as a cereal or yogurt topper.

Rose apples are a healthy exotic fruit.

(girl-think-position / Shutterstock.com)

Lychee

This delicious and thirst-quenching fruit has gone out of Chinese and Vietnamese restaurants into mainstream markets. Lychees are available fresh in the spring and summer and canned all-year long. This fruit is high in vitamin C and B-complex, potassium,  and polyphenols that help speed up your metabolism. Peel before eating raw or add to fruit salads.

Lychee are an exotic Asian fruit that is now widely available.

(mama_mia / Shutterstock.com)

 Mangosteen

This exotic tropical fruit has a thick royal purple skin and white segmented flesh and grows on trees in Southeast Asia. This sweet fruit that can be eaten by itself, according to verywellfit, is full of antioxidants, calcium, magnesium, and fiber. You can find it fresh in specialty markets or canned. Mangosteen makes a delicious snack or dessert.

Woman holding Mangosteen, a tropical fruit  with health benefits.

(alex.zvar93 / Shutterstock.com)

Special Collection