How good and healthy is the forgotten fruit

I'm not endangered only some animal species. Several fruits also run this risk. Like theapricot from Scillato, in the Sicilian park of the Madonie, or the monnato fig from Prignano, in Cilento, which we find this season and are part of the 39 presidents of Slow Food, the non-profit association committed to supporting small local productions that risk disappearing.

But there are also several others, classified under the name of "minor fruits", such as jujubes, strawberry trees or carnelians, which they grow spontaneously in the Mediterranean scrub or in the woods of our peninsula. Or that they are grown on a family level in the terraces and gardens.


To all these products Casola Valsenio, a municipality in the province of Ravenna, dedicates every year, the second and third weekend of October (13-14 and 20-21), the Feast of Forgotten Fruits, which offers various gastronomic events (info: proloco-casolavalsenio.blogspot).

 «The consumption of these fruits is reduced because it is rustic species which, maturing in specific periods of the year, cover a small seasonality e it is not convenient to cultivate them intensivelyHe explains Nicoletta Bocchino, nutrition biologist in Brindisi. «Yet they must be rediscovered and safeguarded for their important properties. First for the great richness of vitamin C, a nutritional characteristic that almost all of them have in common and that makes them great for strengthening defenses».

With the help of our expert let's discover the different varieties, with its properties for the well-being of the organism.


(67 CAL. PER 100 G)

All the "minor" fruits are present above all in the South of the country. Carnelian is an exception, which instead it is found in the northern areas. Contains antioxidants, such as flavonoids and anthocyanins, ed it is rich in fiber and minerals, such as iron, zinc, potassium and manganese.

"She has one strong protective action against free radicals and regulates blood cholesterol », emphasizes the nutritionist. «Furthermore, it acts on the cardiovascular system. And is a cure-all for hemorrhoids: prepare a decoction with a few tablespoons of its bark and apply it on the area, the sense of relief will be immediate ".

Carnelian is also a liver detoxifier and promotes the functioning of the gastrointestinal system. In particular, due to its high content of astringent tannins, it is indicated against diarrhea


(55-57 CAL. PER 100 G)

È the apple richest in vitamin C (14 mg in a hectogram). In addition, it contains vitamins B1, B2, B3, B5 and B6, folate (useful in pregnancy to prevent spina bifida) and fibers that they promote digestion and a sense of satiety. It is also a concentrated antioxidants which modulate the immune system, such as procyanidins and tannins.

"Because of the latter, however, if eaten raw "allappa", that is, it gives that feeling of binding the teeth », warns our expert. «With cooking, however, the tannins are“ released ”and you no longer feel their sour taste in your mouth". In doing so, however, the precious vitamin C is also lost.


(76 CAL. PER 100 G)

The fruits of this bushy plant, typical of the Mediterranean scrub, are one good source of vitamin E, which is very useful against free radicals. They also contain pectin, a fiber that regulates intestinal activity. In addition, they have a diuretic action and lower blood pressure.


(200 CAL. PER 100 G)

It is a pod with seeds inside, produced from a Mediterranean plant (the carob tree) which is protected in Puglia. Carob contains antioxidants, vitamins E and K and mineral salts. And it is more protein than other fruits and richer in fiber.

«For this last characteristic its flour is used for counteract the absorption of cholesterol», Dr. Bocchino points out. "Another advantage of this endangered fruit: it is very good, its flavor is similar to that of cocoa». 


(78-80 CAL. PER 100 G)

In addition to fiber, vitamins A, B1, B3 and B6 and minerals, it is source of "good" fatty acids, in particular of linoleic acid, of the Omega 6 family. A curiosity: it is customary to say "I'm in jujube broth" to indicate great contentment. This saying derives from the fact that once upon a time it was used with jujubes prepare a low alcohol liqueur, but with such a sweet and pleasant taste that it gave great pleasure to those who drank it.

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