Nance fruit is a fruit native to the tropical America region. It is cultivated in late summer until early fall, and these fruits are very small ranging from 1 to 2 cm. The raw nance fruits are green in colour and once they ripen they become yellow and red in colour. They taste sweet and give out an aroma. There is increased consumption of nance fruit due to its versatility, as it can be used as fresh fruit, refreshments and alcoholic beverages, jellies and syrup, and also for preparing ice cream and cakes
Benefits of nance
1. Assists healthy eyes – Nance fruits can help improve the eyesight because they are packed full of vitamin E, vitamin C and vitamin A. Vitamin E guards against unstable molecules, which target the healthy tissues of the eyes. Vitamin C contributes to healthy blood vessels in the eyes and it can combat the development of cataracts. Vitamin A protects the cornea from harmful blue light.
2. Prevents diabetes – The seeds of the nance fruit have been used in the treatment of diabetes, a serious metabolic disorder that affects the retina, kidney and the nervous system. According to the findings of a study, the seed extract of the nance fruit has a positive effect on diabetes. It decreases high blood glucose and lipid levels, increases insulin sensitivity index and regulates antioxidant enzyme activity.
3. Lowers depression – Nance fruits have been used in traditional medicine for the treatment of some mental illnesses. According to a study, the methanolic extract of nance fruit contain flavonoids like quercetin, rutin and hesperidin which are known to have antidepressant effects. This will help reduce the risk of dementia, depression and other mental diseases.
4. Prevents heart disease – Phenolic compounds, which are natural antioxidants, are present in the nance fruit. These compounds are known to play a preventive role in the development of heart disease. The fruits also contain vitamin C which keeps the heart healthy by lowering blood cholesterol levels and preventing blood clotting in the heart arteries.
5. Suppresses cancer cells – Another benefit of nance fruit is that it prevents the development of cancer cells because it contains phenolic compounds. These compounds scavenge free radicals and destroy them and also contribute to the apoptosis of cancer cells. Consume nance fruits to inhibit the growth of cancer cells.
6. Reduces arthritis risk – The seed extract of nance fruits has shown positive effects in the treatment of rheumatoid arthritis, thanks to its anti-inflammatory properties. Consumption of these fruits will reduce the inflammation and swelling in the joints and has a much more beneficial effect than non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs.
7. Aids in wound healing and infections – The phenolic compounds in nance fruits can help in the wound healing process and ward off infections. The fruit exhibits antidermatophyte activity that can treat skin infections like dermatophytosis. In addition, the fruits contain a good amount of vitamin C that aids in boosting the immune system by protecting it from germs that cause internal and external infections.
8. Repairs skin cells – Solar ultraviolet radiation exposure, particularly UVB rays (280-320 nm), can lead to skin lesions, photo-carcinogenesis and ageing of the skin. The high antioxidant activity of nance fruit extract has been shown to protect the skin from the harmful UVB rays.
Adding nance to your diet
Nancecan be used for making jellies, jams and as meat stuffing or to make ice cream, sherbets and juices. You can also consume it raw or add it into soups and desserts.
Nance can be consumed anytime of the day but the best time is morning.
Word of caution
If you are allergic to nance fruit, avoid consuming it. Also, excessive consumption of nance fruits should be avoided.
Recipe for Pesada de Nance
6 cups nance fruit (without seeds)
3 ml water
100 g cornstarch
4 tbsp sugar
½ cup pineapple chunks/juice, lime or passion fruit juice
Blend the nance fruits along with water. Strain the mixture. Add pineapple juice, lime or passion fruit juice. Heat a pan, add the fruit mixture, sugar and cornstarch. Stir it for 10 minutes till the mixture thickens up. Pour it into a bowl and top it with feta cheese or fruits. Enjoy it cold.