Noni Fruit And Your Health
Noni fruit may well be the most-publicized of all herbal plants native to Southeast Asia, and for good reason. Since its introduction to the American market more than a decade ago, it has seen an explosion of uses. It has been tied to the treatment of many common diseases, such as digestive problems, and the management of cholesterol levels, among others. It is commercially touted to contain a diverse variety of phytochemicals and micronutrients.
Noni is a Polynesian name for Morinda citrifolia, a tropical plant species that belongs to the same family as coffee. It is widely distributed in the tropical and subtropical regions of Asia and Australia, but can be found in dense populations along sandy coasts. It also thrives well in volcanic regions and clearings with limestone sediments. It grows up to 9 meters in height, with large, dark green leaves. Pacific islanders extensive utilize the roots and leaves for medicinal purposes and the fruit is usually avoided due to its pungent smell and bitter taste.
That being said, noni fruit is a staple food among some indigenous peoples of Polynesia, Micronesia, and Melanesia while often consumed as a famine food in all of Oceania. It is eaten either raw or cooked. It is often added to taro and flavored with curry or sugar cane. As it is one of the widely used herbal remedies found in the region, noni plants are considered a cure-all by locals. Of course, the discovery of active ingredients and bioactive compounds in the plant spurred its popularity in the West.
Noni as An Antioxidant
Contains Many Bioactive Compounds
The commercial value of noni fruit is largely attributable to its nutrient content. It contains significant fractions of carbohydrate, fiber, and protein. Plus, it bears fruits throughout the year, explaining why it is a reliable staple food. The vitamin and mineral content of the extracted juice is often compared to that of the orange juice. Far superior micronutrient content is present in the pulp, which includes significant amounts of vitamin A, vitamin C, B vitamins, sodium, potassium, and calcium.
Helps Inflammation-induced Diseases
Noni fruit contains a unique combination of phytochemicals, such as iridoids, scopoletin, beta-sitosterol, and damnacanthal. These organic compounds are believed to have an influence on intermediaries of inflammation that leads to complications of diabetes, cardiovascular diseases, arthritis, and most age-related diseases. The same organic compounds are under investigation for their anti-tumor activities in vitro. In addition, the phytosterols it contains have been associated with lowering cholesterol levels.
Displays Potent Antioxidant Properties
Noni fruit is one of the few plants with varied antioxidant content in the form of flavonoids, catechins or flavonols, and lignans. These groups of plant-based organic compounds are polyphenolic in nature, which makes them the best known of all antioxidants. Most plants contain only one group of antioxidants in high quantities, with the exception of noni fruit. This is the reason why it is widely marketed as an anti-aging product, especially in the treatment of many skin conditions.