Know these 10 superfruits

PHOTO: Know these 10 superfruits

Superfruits have sparked a worldwide following, bolstered by claims promoting benefits such as anti-ageing, detoxification, energy enhancement and immunity boosts.

As common fruits such as apples and oranges are less likely to excite consumers, superfruits are more likely to be exotic or relatively new to consumers. These include noni, pomegranate and seabuckthorn.

However, there is no definitive list of superfruits and new fruits are regularly put forward, usually backed by persuasive advertising.

Dietitians and nutritionists tend to reject the term superfruits as there is no scientific criteria that would allow consumers to objectively assess the potential health benefits of fruits in the category.

Ms Anna Jacob, nutritionist and dietitian at NutriVentures, said: 'The term superfruits has been coined to bring attention to a few fruits that are being intensely researched for their nutritional benefits.'

Ms Jacob said that fresh fruits in general are good sources of vitamins, minerals and fibre. Most fruits are also naturally fat-free, cholesterol-free and low in sodium.

But there is something else health-conscious individuals around the world are after: antioxidants.

Antioxidants are molecules that fight free radicals, cell-damaging chemicals that are produced during normal human functions such as digestion and breathing.

However, people must remember that superfruits are not the only good source of antioxidants.

Ms Lim Su Lin, chief dietitian at the National University Hospital, said: 'Many other foods also contain antioxidants such as soya, red wine, tea, nuts, seeds, fish, shellfish, eggs, red meat and garlic.

'I would strongly encourage people to eat a variety of fruits in their diet and not just concentrate on one or two fruits. This is because we can obtain different nutrients from different fruits. Some useful nutrients may not even have been discovered by scientists yet.'

Here is a list of 10 "superfruits".

This article was first published in Mind Your Body, The Straits Times, on July 9, 2008.