5 South Asian Superfoods You Haven't Heard About

I love fruit, and I love learning about new and exciting and different fruit to me. This post sent to me by a reader is getting me so intrigued, also to learn about the fruit, and to find out about their medicinal uses. If only I could get my hands on them locally!

Hundreds of natural health remedies exist throughout the world. Every region and culture has used their knowledge of the plants around them to develop medicinal strategies. While some have fallen out of use with the advent of modern medicine, others continue to have incredible health benefits.

Because natural medicine is experiencing a revival, new superfoods are being introduced on the market. Regions with diverse, tropical ecosystems have proven to have the biggest variety of these kinds of holistic foods. Some of the most popular represent an Asian heritage. Read on for the run down on these strange, foreign delicacies and to learn how they can help you.


The seeds of the Haritaki tree appear as small, hard, and almond shaped. Instead of eating them whole, they are ground up into a powder to be eaten in pill or mixed into a drink. As part of the Ayurvedic medicinal tradition in India and Southeast Asia, they have been used to promote healing for hundreds of years. The nutty seed has a high volume of vitamin C and anti-inflammatory antioxidants. This makes it an ideal treatment for a huge variety of ailments.

From topical to internal issues, haritaki is used to treat skin ailments and allergies, alleviate memory loss and aging, and regulate weight and the digestive system. You can purchase haritaki for your own use at haritaki.org.

Gac Fruit

This prickly orange superfruit can be rare to find outside of Asia. It is a staple of health and beauty routines throughout its native area. Antioxidants found in high concentration in the fruit have been found to fight premature skin aging, prevent heart disease, treat atherosclerosis, and keep breast and prostate cancers at bay.

Gac fruit has 10 times as many beta-carotenes as carrots, antioxidants such as carotenoids and polyphenols, and Vitamins A, C & E. It's no wonder this miracle fruit has been hailed as a 'fruit from heaven' by its devoted users in Asia.

Wood Apples

Sometimes known as elephant apples or monkey fruit, a wood apple gets its name from the hard "wooden" shell surrounding its brown pulp. As another Ayurvedic favorite, this food has wide-reaching array of benefits put to work treating health conditions. Some of the main conditions it can help are indigestion, ear aches, scurvy, diabetes, and even snakebites.

Wood apples offer high levels of tannins, fiber, protein, calcium, iron, and phosphorous that keep kidneys, livers, blood and the respiratory system healthy as well.


This fruit is easily mistaken for a potato from afar. On the inside, it has stringy beige flesh that tastes like a grape to many. The langsat is the most well-rounded superfuit on this list. Every part of the plant can be used for specific health benefits. The bitter seeds are strong enough to kill malaria with a compound that destroys this disease during its growth cycle. The skin of a langsat can be rubbed against your own skin to help relieve rashes, itching, or acne. The fruit itself hosts high levels of anti-pathogens, which boost your immune system.


This funky sweet and sour fruit looks like a cross between a plum and an apple from the outside. The fruity flesh on the inside contrasts the skin with a stark white pit. Apart from relieving diarrhea, dysentery, urinary tract infections, and menstrual pain, the superfruit can also promote healthy skin, slow aging, and promote weight loss.

Some of the nutrients housed in this popular food include anti-inflammatory and anti-carcinogenic xanthones, several antioxidants, A, B, and C vitamins, and minerals such as potassium and zinc.

See my disclaimer.

Penniless Parenting

Mommy, wife, writer, baker, chef, crafter, sewer, teacher, babysitter, cleaning lady, penny pincher, frugal gal


  1. Wow. Thank you for the details on these superb fruits. Thank you for the resources as well. Very nice work.


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