Fruit

Health Benefits

Babaco is a fruit that tastes a bit like a strawberry mixed with pineapple. It has a relatively low sugar content compared to other fruits, resulting in a flavour that is sweet, yet tangy. Babaco can be a great digestive aid, as it has substantial amounts of protein digesting enzymes, such as papain, which can help wounds heal faster and maintain healthy gums, and is a natural treatment for tooth cavities. Babaco also contains fat digesting enzymes and water, which helps to keep the body hydrated.

Other nutrients in babaco include:

Vitamins

  • B complex - boost energy, metabolism, and brain function, reduce stress and support healthy skin
  • Beta carotene - an antioxidant and a precursor to vitamin A
  • Vitamin C – a strong antioxidant; helps form collagen (an important protein for maintaining healthy cells and blood vessels ad helping wounds heal); boosts immunity and energy levels

Minerals

  • Calcium - Improves fat digestion and bone metabolism; regulates heartbeat; supports healthy bones and teeth
  • Iron – needed for healthy red blood cells, growth, high energy levels and a healthy complexion
  • Magnesium - Helps maintain a healthy heart, blood vessels and circulation; supports joint health; relaxes tight muscles; helps reduce stress
  • Phosphorus - Promotes gum, tooth, bone & joint health and healthy heart, kidney & nervous system function; helps reduce stress
  • Potassium – keeps our cells to be responsive and helps maintain healthy blood pressure, skin and nervous system function
  • Sodium – works with potassium to keep cells responsive and help regulate fluid and pH balance in the body

History

The babaco is native to the highlands of Ecuador, near the Equator. In terms of climate, mountainous regions near the Equator are similar to subtropical areas closer to sea level. Therefore, foods such as babaco that grow well in a mountainous tropical climate also tend to do well in subtropical regions.

Babaco was first grown commercially in Ecuador and Columbia. It was introduced to New Zealand in the 1970s and was being actively cultivated here by 1973. Since that time, babaco has been successfully grown in other subtropical climates around the world.