Pitanga is rich in antioxidants which help to prevent the free radicals that are the major cause for inflammation and diseases. Fruits are rich in phosphorus, Vitamin C, riboflavin, iron and niacin.
Pitanga Berries or cherry is a tropical fruit known in various local names like Surinam cherry, French cherry, and more. It has been characterized by its bright red/orange color and has a sweet-sour taste.
What Is Pitanga?
Also known as Surinam cherry (despite not being related to cherries at all), pitanga is a large shrub that produces lots of small red fruits. The fruits have a very distinct shape which kind of reminds me of a pumpkin.
Pitanga is native to Surinam and Brazil’s rain forests. Because the plant is hardy, resistant to pests and grows easily, it has also been introduced in places like South Africa, Jamaica, Java, Florida, Haiwaii, and throughout South and Central America.
Unless you travel to one of the places pitanga grows, it’s unlikely that you’ll be able to find it fresh anywhere. The fruits are really delicate and start to go bad quickly, so it can’t be shipped internationally. However, it is sometimes possible to find pitanga products, especially ones made out of pitanga seed oil for skin and hair.
Nutritional ValueThe serving size of 173 grams of raw Surinam Cherry provides 157.1 g of moisture, 57 calories, 1.38 g of protein, 0.69 g of total fat, 0.86 g of ash and 12.96 g of carbohydrate. The same amount provides 50.56% of Vitamin C, 18.57% of Vitamin A, 9.97% of Carbohydrate, 5.31% of Vitamin B2 and 5% of Magnesium.
Health BenefitsPitanga fruit, leaves and bark have been used for centuries in Brazil medicinally. It is well-known with locals who recommend it for treating ailments ranging from colds and flu to high blood pressure. More recently, scientists became more interested in pitanga. Starting around 2000, you can see the number of studies on pitanga health benefits increasing almost every year.
Skin and HairEssential oil from pitanga leaves is found in many beauty products. It is applied to skin to prevent wrinkles and to hair to rejuvenate it. While there is little scientific evidence that pitanga gets rid of wrinkles, the high levels of antioxidants and hydroxy acids in pitanga could help tighten skin. Sesquiterpenes compounds in pitanga help calm the skin and repair cellular damage. Much like aguaje and mongongo oil, the antioxidants and anti-microbial properties of pitanga oil also could help treat acne.
Improves the Immune System
Pitanga berries or cherries contain antioxidants rich in essential vitamins, which are important in fortifying the immune system to fight against highly reactive free radicals that may damage body cells, thereby destroying some cancerous elements.
It is rich in vitamin C, which is an essential nutrient for strong immunity.
It helps in increasing the defensive mechanisms of the body, thereby preventing diseases.
Pitanga berries also help increase the production of antibodies and fight against the diseases that lead to microbes.
Improves Gastrointestinal Health
These fruits act as astringents that can dry up secretion. That is to say that they are used in the treatment of diarrhea and other gastrointestinal diseases.
The antiseptic and astringent properties of pitanga berries will help in dealing with gastrointestinal upsets if consumed regularly. The barks of the plant are used for the treatment of gastrointestinal health.
Improves the Lungs
Regular consumption of pitanga berries helps in the proper functioning of the pulmonary (lungs) and prevents the lungs from contracting certain diseases or infections.
The anti-inflammatory property that is found in it is used in treating lung inflammation.
Studies have shown that this fruit helps in improving lung function and can even go a long way in treating chronic obstructive pulmonary diseases. Therefore you should consume this fruit regularly for a healthy lung.
Energy Giving Food
Vitamin B complex present in the fruits provides the body with the amount of energy required for the body’s organ functions. It is also essential to work with certain enzymes and prevent deficiency associated with lack of vitamin B complex.
Vitamin B complex is essential to our health; it aids a lot in boosting energy levels. They are also necessary for the normal functioning of the nervous system. Therefore consuming this fruit will provide the body with vitamin B complex.
Helps in Weight Loss
These fruits are enriched with important compounds that can help to clear the accumulation of excess fat in the body and flattens the tummy.
Even when consumed in much quantity, they don’t contribute to weight gain because fewer calories content. It improves weight loss because it’s low in calories.
It is an excellent fruit for people who want to lose or maintain their weight and be consumed adequately.
Maintains Blood Pressure Levels
Studies have proven that Pinaga has been discovered to have antihypertensive properties. It can reduce high blood pressure and helps maintain a normal and adequate blood flow to the kidney.
Antihypertensive properties contained in this fruit aids in treating high blood pressure and helps in preventing the complications of high blood pressure such as heart attack, heart failure, myocardial infarction, and stroke.
Consuming this fruit regularly will help in maintaining blood pressure levels.
Rich in Antioxidants
Pitanga cherries are rich in antioxidants such as lycopene, beta-cryptoxanthin, gamma-carotene, and rubixanthin that prevent certain diseases and perform different health beneficial functions in the human body.
Its antioxidant power also helps slow down the signs of early aging and aids in fighting against the actions of free radicals in the body.
Consuming this fruit consistently will aid in preventing the free radicals, which are the major cause of inflammation and diseases in the body system.
The antioxidants present in this fruit aids in fighting against free radicals, which play a vital role in preventing cancer. Vitamin C that is contained in it also helps greatly in reducing the chances of cancer.
Studies have proved that regular intake of foods rich in vitamin C helps in reducing the chances of lungs, throat, mouth, rectum, esophagus, vocal cords, and stomach cancer.
Therefore, it is advisable to consume this fruit consistently because it will help prevent cancer due to its rich vitamin C and antioxidant properties.
Treats Sleeping Disorders
Regular consumption of this fruit helps treat sleep disorders, insomnia, and related sicknesses effectively by eating a good quantity of it daily. It is just a natural way of dealing with a sleepless night.
Studies have shown that Pitanga is known to be one of the natural food that contains melatonin.
Melatonin is a hormone in the brain that is produced by the pineal gland. It is responsible for regulating sleep and the wake cycle. Therefore consuming this fruit regularly will improve your sleeping pattern.
MIMI (Multi ion mask insert)
- Can be worn with any facemask and provides additional heavy-duty protection.
- Adult & Youth Sizes Available
Where is it Grown?
The fruit is native to Argentina, Paraguay, Brazil, Uruguay, and other South American countries in the tropical areas and India and Nigeria.
Pitanga Berries are actually fruits that most Nigerians are not conversant with; it is a tree fruit that grows up to 25 feet tall or more.
Pitanga Berries are commonly called cherries in some parts of Nigeria, where they are seen. They are red and rich in vitamin C and other nutrients such as proteins, fat, carbohydrates, vitamin C, calcium, phosphorous, iron, thiamine, niacin, and riboflavin.
Health Benefits of Pitanga Leaves
The leaf of Pitanga has some medicinal value. The leaf of pitanga cherries gives great tea. Its tea is essential to our health, just like the fruit; we can use it to maintain blood pressure levels and other health conditions.
The pitanga leaf can be used for skin and hair. The leaf is known for its dermatological effect. Its astringent action helps to balance the oil in the skin and the scalp. It also serves as an antibacterial.
Pitanga leaf oil also has an effective astringent that helps in normalizing excessive sebum production on the scalp.
It is used to remedy fever, stomach diseases, hypertension, malaria, rheumatism, gout, and menstrual disorders. It also helps in digestion due to its alkaline properties.
The leaves are also precious to people suffering from heart diseases, and they are known to be one of the natural ways of treating high blood pressure.
The Bottom Line
Pitanga fruits are quite nutritious and beneficial, serving food and cosmetics purposes.
The oil is used in most hair and skin products such as skin lotions, shampoos, conditioners, and so on because of the antiseptic and anti-fungal properties present in it, which helps treat skin blemishes, reduces lines on the skin, and lots more.