Health benefits of pequi does include its ability to help lower one’s total cholesterol, reduce inflammation in one’s body, decrease blood pressure, improve digestion, strengthen vision, treat certain skin conditions, and boost one’s hair health.
What is Pequi?
Pequi is a fruit that people do hear about but rarely see. Pequis are like normal as apples and oranges. In fact, when fully ripe, a pequi is of the same size as an orange, although the color of a pequi does shift from purple to dark green to light green as it matures over its 5-6 month growth period.
It is also referred to as a “souari nut”, as the nuts of this fruit are often eaten in the same way as many people do eat roasted peanuts. Its scientific name of this fascinating little fruit is Caryocar brasiliense. The yellow edible pulp has a strange taste like it is a mixture of citrus fruit as well as cheese. It does not have too much pulp per fruit. The sharp spines on the inner seed can easily stick into one’s gums. One must be careful when scraping the pulp off to eat.
It is considered to be one of the most dangerous fruits to eat. The inner seed resembles a Brazil nut and is indeed often roasted like a peanut as a local snack. The pulp does mix very well in chicken and other protein dishes and has a nice flavor.
1. Regulates Heart Health
It has lots of monounsaturated fatty acids, which are also found in olives and nuts, which are beneficial organic compounds that do help decrease cholesterol levels in one’s blood and also protects the heart. Oleic, linoleic, as well as stearic acid, are found in pequi, which does have an oxidization effect in one’s body, meaning that less cholesterol builds up on the artery walls as well as blood vessels, thus protecting one’s cardiovascular systems from atherosclerosis, heart attacks, strokes, and coronary heart disease.
2. Lowers Blood Pressure
It is a mixture of vitamins and minerals, which include potassium, as well as the anti-inflammatory effects of the natural acids that are found in the fruit. It can help to relieve the stress on the blood vessels and also relax them, thus increasing blood flow tips to avoid hypertension and easing pressure on the heart. Inflammation can indeed cause blood vessels to tighten up, which can also further exacerbate heart issues like cholesterol clogging.
3. Reduces Joint and Muscle Pain
Pequi does help reduce general inflammation of joints as well as muscles that one does experience with high levels of anti-inflammatory compounds in pequi. It is useful for those suffering from arthritis and other inflammatory conditions.
4. Improves Vision
Vitamin A is indeed found in high quantities in pequi. Beta-carotene is one of the derivatives of vitamin A. The carotenoid content in it is high, and these act as antioxidants, specifically in the ocular cells. This does mean that by eating pequi and other carotenoid-rich foods, one can improve one’s vision by preventing macular degeneration and cataracts that are indeed often caused by free radicals.
5. Skin and Hair Care
Pequi essential oil is an extract from nuts/seeds inside the mesocarp of the pequi fruit. This essential oil is often included in traditional shampoos and also moisturizers in Brazil, but it is starting to gain much ground on the international market as well. It has a high content of tocopherol and vitamin A in pequi do mean that the skin and hair are indeed protected due to the antioxidant properties of these compounds. Consuming pequi can keep one’s skin from showing blemishes, improve scar healing, add a rich glow to one’s skin, and also prevent signs of premature aging. It has also traditionally been made use of treating eczema as well as skin lesions.
6. Aids Digestion
Fiber is also available in pequi and helps improve one’s digestive health by adding bulk to one’s stool and thus reducing the occurrence of constipation, bloating, cramping, and diarrhea. Fiber also does help to eliminate excess “bad” cholesterol from one’s system, thus further improving one’s heart health.
7. Nutritional Value of Pequi
Pequis are good sources of fiber, as well as vitamin A, carotenoids, as well as beneficial monounsaturated fatty acids, that also include linoleic and oleic acids. Also, palmitic and stearic acids can be found in it, which are indeed powerful organic compounds that have a number of positive effects on human health.