Health Benefits of Nance Fruit

The tropical nance fruit grows in the Caribbean and Central and Latin America on the Byrsonima crassifolia tree. Nance fruit looks similar in shape to cherries, but the resemblance ends there. Nance fruit is golden or yellow-orange with a white, oily pulp and a distinctive flavor that can range from sweet to acidic. The fruit has one large pit or stone that contains about two to three seeds.

Nance fruit is rich in vitamin C, dietary fiber, and other vitamins and minerals, which may promote digestive and skin health, and more. Additionally, the leaves are used to make tea, and the bark may also contain health benefits.

Health Benefits

Nance fruit can be eaten raw, turned into juice, or used in desserts. The high vitamin C in nance fruit may help reduce blood levels of lead when incorporated with other nutritional approaches, such as eating iron, vitamin C, and calcium-rich foods. The high amounts of vitamin C may also boost the immune system to help protect you from infections.

In addition, nance fruit’s health benefits include:

Supports Digestive Health

Nance fruit is rich in digestive fiber, which can support your digestive system. Dietary fiber aids digestion, adds bulk to your stool, and promotes healthy gut bacteria. Foods high in dietary fiber that add bulk can also help increase feelings of satiety, which may help people feel full faster and reduce caloric intake. 

Reduces Risk of Cardiovascular Disease

Nance fruit contains nutrients known to help reduce cardiovascular disease and stroke, although there isn’t research that specifically used nance fruit. That said, research has suggested that eating white-fleshed fruit daily may decrease the risk of stroke. Foods high in fiber, like nance fruit, may also help reduce cholesterol levels and blood pressure, which reduces the chance of cardiovascular disease. 

Supports Skin Health

Vitamin C has been found to help support skin health by supporting collagen production and protecting against sun damage. While there isn’t specific research using nance fruit, the high levels of vitamin C found in this fruit make it potentially useful for skin health. Nance fruit also contains vitamins A and E. These vitamins, especially when eaten in fruits and vegetables, may help nourish and maintain more youthful-looking skin.

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Nutrition

Nance fruit is rich in vitamin C, dietary fiber, and other antioxidants, which help reduce the risk of serious health conditions like cancer, stroke and heart disease

It’s also a good source of:

Nutrients per Serving

One cup (112 grams) of nance fruit without the pits contains:

Portion Sizes

Eating one cup of nance fruit provides over 100% of the daily value of vitamin C suggested each day. It’s unlikely that too much dietary vitamin C can be harmful, but if you were to combine vitamin C rich foods with substantial amounts of of vitamin C supplements, you may experience:

  • Diarrhea
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Heartburn
  • Abdominal cramps
  • Headache
  • Insomnia

How to Prepare Nance Fruit

Nance fruit is easy to find fresh in Latin and Central America, as well as the Caribbean. However, it can be harder to find in the United States. Nance fruit may be available in specialty grocery stores in the frozen food section or preserved in syrup. The preserved version of nance fruit will contain additional sugar, so be mindful of your portion sizes.

Nance fruit can be eaten raw, but you’ll need to remove the pit. It’s also commonly used in desserts because of its sweet taste. Here are some ways to use nance fruit in recipes:

  • Add frozen or fresh nance fruit to smoothies
  • Add chopped fresh nance fruit to salads
  • Incorporate into marmalades or jellies
  • Add sliced fresh nance fruit to chicken dishes
  • Incorporate chopped nance fruit, fresh or thawed, as part of a fruit cobbler   
WebMD Medical Reference Reviewed by Dan Brennan, MD on November 17, 2020

Sources

SOURCES:

Dermato-endocrinology: “Discovering the link between nutrition and skin aging.”

Fruitipedia: “NANCE_Byrsonima crassifolia.”

Horticultural Science: “Fruit Quality Indices in Eight Nance [Byrsonima crassifolia (L.) H.B.K.] Selections.”

Nutrients: “Fiber and prebiotics: mechanisms and health benefits.”

Nutrients: “The roles of vitamin C in skin health”

Nutrients: “Vitamin C and immune function.”

Nutrition Bulletin: “Dietary fibre and satiety.”

Mayo Clinic: “Is it possible to take too much vitamin C?”

Stroke: “Colors of fruit and vegetables and 10-year incidence of stroke.”

The Journal of Pediatrics: “The “Lead Diet”: can dietary approaches prevent or treat lead exposure?”

The Lancet: “Carbohydrate quality and human health: a series of systematic reviews and meta-analyses.”

United States Department of Agriculture: “Nance, frozen, unsweetened.”

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