20 Little Known Fruits and Vegetables You May Want to Try

The FDA recommends five servings of fruits and vegetables a day for better health. That’s a lot of servings, and it seems that you eventually run out of choices or get tired of eating the same ones every day. Here is a compiled list of 20 fruits and vegetables that are not widely known about and pack a powerful nutritional punch. Think about trying a new one every now and then, and maybe you will find a new favorite.



Celeriac originated in the Mediterranean and is most prevalent in Eastern and Northern Europe. Its peak season is from September to April, but it is typically available year-round.

Because of its odd shaped, rough, knobby, appearance Celeriac is referred to as the “ugly duckling” of vegetables.

Celeriac is a nutrient-dense root vegetable that belongs to the carrot plant family. It can easily be incorporated into your diet in place of potatoes or other root vegetables. It is closely related to celery, parsley, and parsnips.

Celeriac is commonly used raw in salads and coleslaw due to its crunchiness. However, it takes on a sweeter taste when cooked and can be prepared as a potato would be: mashed, roasted, baked, or boiled.

Rich in potassium and vitamin K, celeriac packs a “heart-healthy” punch. Potassium has been shown to lower blood pressure by neutralizing the adverse effects of salt, and Vitamin K has been linked with decreasing calcium build up in the blood, which leads to hardening and narrowing of the blood vessels. Other health benefits include bone-strengthening, anti-inflammatory, and cancer-fighting properties.

Serving Size 3.5 ounces

  • Calories: 42
  • Carbs: 9.2 grams
  • Protein: 1.5 grams
  • Fat: 0.3 grams
  • Fiber: 1.8 grams
  • Vitamin B6: 8% RDI (Recommended Daily Intake)
  • Vitamin K: 51% RDI  
  • Vitamin C: 13% RDI
  • Phosphorus: 12% RDI
  • Potassium: 9% RDI
  • Manganese: 8% RDI

Daikon Radish

The daikon radish is a winter radish and is native to China and Japan. It is known for its medicinal properties and widely used for cooking in Asia and India.

There are many varieties of daikon radish, which accounts for the numerous shapes and colors. The word daikon means “big root.”

Daikon Radishes are as beautiful as they are nutritionally dense. These radishes can be white, red, green, or purple, and they grow in cylindrical, elongated, and spherical shapes.

Daikon radishes boast anti-bacterial and anti-viral properties that can fight infection and bacteria that invade the lungs, causing a buildup of mucus. Daikon also has enzymes that act as a natural decongestant, making them a great addition to the diet during cold and flu season. 

Drinking daikon radish juice is also known for relieving and preventing migraine headaches, aiding in digestion, fighting certain types of cancer, and promoting healthy skin and hair by increasing blood circulation to the face and scalp.

Daikon radishes can be:

  • Added to smoothies
  • Roasted, baked, boiled or steamed
  • Used in slaw
  • Used in any recipe that calls for radishes

Serving Size: 12 ounces

  • Calories: 61
  • Carbs: 14 grams
  • Protein: 2 grams
  • Fiber: 5 grams
  • Vitamin C: 124% of RDI (Recommended Daily Intake)
  • Folate (B9): 24% of RDI
  • Calcium: 9% of RDI
  • Magnesium: 14% of RDI
  • Potassium: 22% of RDI
  • Copper: 19% of RDI

Dragon Carrot

Believe it or not, the very first carrots grown were not orange. They were purple and white. Dragon carrots are purple and are known as Eastern carrots (Orange carrots are known as Western carrots). Dragon carrots were introduced as a food crop in the Peruvian Empire and the Iranian Plateau in the 10th century AD.

No matter what their color, carrots are packed with fiber, potassium, vitamin C, manganese, vitamin A and certain B vitamins. However, specific nutritional characteristics are unique to purple fruits and vegetables. They are rich in anthocyanins, which is unique to the Polyphenol family of antioxidants.

These antioxidants play an essential role in reducing oxidative stress, which is when there are more free radicals than antioxidants in our blood. Oxidative stress has been linked to several health conditions, including cancer, mental decline, heart disease, and aging.

Purple dragon carrots are very versatile and can be added to your diet in a variety of dishes. They can be:

  • Used in soups and stews
  • Grated for slaw
  • Dehydrated for chips
  • Diced for use in stir fry or other dishes
  • Roasted as a side dish
  • Used in smoothies

Serving Size: 1 medium carrot

  • Calories: 25
  • Carbs: 6 grams 
  • Protein: < 1gram
  • Fat: 0.1gram
  • Fiber: 2 grams
  • Vitamin B6: 6% of RDI (Recommended Daily Intake)
  • Vitamin C: 10% of RDI
  • Phosphorus: 5% of RDI
  • Potassium: 6.5% of RDI
  • Manganese 6% of RDI


Fiddleheads are small but mighty. Just one-half cup of fiddlehead provides 80% of the recommended daily intake of vitamin A and 50% of the RDI of vitamin C. These little gems are also a good source of vitamin B2, vitamin B3, copper, phosphorus, potassium, and manganese.

Fiddleheads grow from late April to mid-May in New England and along the coast of Canada. Fiddleheads are actually young curled fronds of a Fiddlehead fern.

Harvesters called “fiddleheaders” go out in early Spring and forage for them. They take care to only harvest two or three coils from each fiddlehead patch as taking more than that could kill the entire patch.  

Cleaning them involves removing the papery brown covering from each one and washing them thoroughly as they are known to carry food bourn illnesses. It is a very labor-intensive job. 

Cooked in lightly salted water for about 10 minutes and served with a bit of melted butter or vinegar, they make for a tasty side dish. They can also be cooked longer to soften and spread on toast. Fiddleheads are also a delicious addition to any salad.

Serving Size: ½ Cup

  • Calories: 40
  • Carbs: 6 grams
  • Protein: 5 grams
  • Fat: 0
  • Fiber: 25 grams
  • Vitamin A: 80% of RDI (Recommended Daily Intake)
  • Vitamin C: 50 % of RDI
  • Calcium: 4% of RDI
  • Iron: 8% of RDI


Grown in winter months, kohlrabi originated in Northern Europe. However, it was not introduced in the United States until 1800.

Known as a German turnip, kohlrabi is a cruciferous vegetable and is related to cabbage, broccoli, and cauliflower. Its bulb can be purple pale green or white on the outside, but they are all white-yellow inside.

Its taste and texture are similar to broccoli stems or cabbage, but its flavor is slightly sweeter. A single cup of kohlrabi provides almost 100% of the RDI of vitamin C.

After trimming away the outer layer with a sharp vegetable peeler, the inner flesh can be sliced, peeled, chopped, grated, or spiralized for use in slaws and salads or cooked by boiling, roasting or pureeing for soups.

Serving Size: 1 Cup

  • Calories: 36
  • Carbs: 8 grams
  • Fiber: 5 grams
  • Protein: 2 grams
  • Vitamin C: 93% of RDI (Recommended Daily Intake)
  • Vitamin B6:12% of RDI
  • Potassium: 10% of RDI
  • Magnesium: 6% of RDI
  • Manganese: 8% of RDI
  • Folate: 5% of RDI

Marsh Samphire

Marsh samphire is a halophyte plant, which means that it is saltwater tolerant. It is a green leaf succulent that grows spontaneously in salty environments in many parts of the United Kingdom. It is found in marshy areas among shorelines, mudflats, estuaries, and tidal creeks.

This plant has a high capacity for storing minerals, which gives it its high nutritional value.

Samphire has a distinct texture and taste; it is satisfyingly crisp and salty. It is delicious raw but can also be steamed and paired with fish and seafood dishes.

Due to its salt content, it is used medicinally as a diuretic that is effective in preventing arterial hypertension. It is also rich in vitamins, minerals, but also boasts anti-inflammatory, anti-tumor and anti-diabetic properties. 

When samphire is dried and crushed, it is the perfect dietary replacement for salt for this with restricted salt diets.

Serving Size: 100g

  • Calories: 45
  • Fat: 0.7 grams
  • Carbs: 9.1 grams
  • Fiber: 0.5 grams
  • Protein: 3.1 grams
  • Potassium: 50 mg
  • Iron: 12% of RDI

Romanesco Broccoli

Romanesco broccoli is native to Eastern Mediterranean and was imported to Italy in the 16th century. From there, it migrated to Germany and then to France. In the United States, it is referred to as both Romanesco broccoli and Romanesco cauliflower interchangeably.

It is a hybrid of cauliflower and broccoli, from the edible flower species of plants. It can be used in recipes that call for either broccoli or cauliflower. Due to their smaller and more delicate size, they require less time to cook.

Romanesco broccoli is chartreuse green and color and has a delicate, nutty flavor. It contains many antioxidants that help strengthen the liver against toxic substances and has been shown to slow tumor growth in bladder, breast, prostate, ovarian, and colon cancers.

In Italy, there are entire recipes that are dedicated to Romanesco broccoli; however, in the United States, it is prepared and eaten much the same as broccoli and cauliflower.

Serving Size: 1 Cup

  • Calories: 40
  • Fat: 0.1 grams
  • Carbs: 7.8 grams
  • Fiber: 4.1 grams
  • Protein: 3.8 grams
  • Calcium: 3.1% of RDI (Recommended Daily Intake)
  • Vitamin A: 3.6% of RDI
  • Vitamin C: 150% of RDI
  • Potassium: 10 of RDI


If you can imagine a root vegetable that tastes like a saltwater mollusk, that would be the “salsify.” Proving once again that there is something out there for everyone. 

There are two species of this plant, the Scorzonera (black oyster plant) and the common white salsify. Both have similar growth characteristics and are in the same family as carrots, parsnips, and celery.

Depending on when the seeds are sown, they can be harvested in Spring or Winter; however, like parsnips, they require adequate exposure to winter frost for good crop production.

Salsify is an excellent source of dietary fiber and Inulin, which acts as a prebiotic to help absorb minerals, regulate blood sugar levels, control obesity, and ease constipation.

According to studies done at the University of Newcastle Upon Tyne, the polyacetylene antioxidants found in salsify possess anti-inflammatory, antifungal, and anticancer properties that offer protection from colon cancer and acute lymphocytic leukemia (ALL).

Due to an oozing of sticky latex that results from peeling, which can stain clothes and hands, use gloves and a cloth to clean peeled root surfaces.

Salsify can be:

  • Prepared raw for salads and coleslaw
  • Roasted, boiled or steamed like asparagus
  • Sliced or cubed for stews, soups, and stir-fry

Black salsify is considered a delicacy in some traditional Italian dish

Serving Size: 1Cup Sliced

  • Calories: 109
  • Fat: 0.3
  • Sodium: 26.6 mg
  • Potassium: 505.4 mg
  • Carbs: 24.7 grams
  • Fiber: 4.4 grams
  • Protein: 4.4 grams
  • Vitamin C: 18% of RDI (Recommended Daily Intake)
  • Magnesium: 30.6% of RDI
  • Thiamine: 0.1% of RDI
  • Manganese: 18% of RDI
  • Selenium: 2% of RDI
  • Riboflavin: 18% of RDI
  • Folate: 9% of RDI
  • Niacin 4% of RDI
  • Riboflavin: 18% of RDI
  • Copper: 6%% of RDI

Tiger Nuts

Don’t let the name fool you; tiger nuts are not nuts at all. They are tubers that are in the same family as sweet potatoes.

Their first use dates back to Neolithic Egypt with it’s farming spreading to North Africa and the Iberian Peninsula. The Spanish have been using tiger nuts to make the popular, creamy beverage Horchata since the 18th century.

Tiger nuts are harvested from the yellow nutsedge plant; they taste like a combination of almonds and pecans. They are a popular staple in the Vegan and Paleo diets as they are gluten and dairy-free.

Research shows that these fiber-packed nut-like tubers can improve heart health by lowering bad cholesterol (LDL).

Tiger nuts are also rich in antioxidants and can be eaten raw, roasted, soaked or boiled. Tiger nuts have also used to make flour, tiger nut oil, or tiger nut milk.

A word of caution, one ounce of tiger nuts contains 10 grams of fiber, so introduce them slowly into your diet if you have gastrointestinal sensitivity.

Serving Size: 20 nuts

  • Calories: 150
  • Fiber: 8 grams
  • Sugars: 7 grams
  • Carbs: 18 grams
  • Protein: 2 gram
  • Fat: 7 grams
  • Iron: 10% of RDI (Recommended Daily Intake)
  • Phosphorus: 8% of RDI
  • Magnesium: 8% of RDI
  • Potassium: 9% of RDI
  • Calcium: 2% of RDI
  • Manganese: 8% of RDI
  • Thiamin: 15% of RDI
  • Copper: 4% or RDI


The name tomatillo means “little tomato,” in Spanish. The tomatillo was thought to have been domesticated around 800 B.C. by the Aztecs in central Mexico; they were an important food source to the early Mayans.

In Mexico and Guatemala, salsa verde is made by combining tomatillos and spicy peppers. Salsa verde is a green sauce that is used as a condiment to top many dishes and used as a dip for chips. You just may find it on top of your enchilada the next time you order one at a Mexican restaurant.

Tomatillos are a source of phytochemicals called withanolides. These plant compounds have been found to cause apoptosis or cell death in colon cancer patients.

Withanolides are also known for their anti-inflammatory properties. In Western medicine, research on withanolides demonstrate clinical benefits in the alleviation of symptoms of both osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis.

Tomatillos contain lutein and zeaxanthin, which are antioxidants that concentrate in the retina and protect against environmental damage. Their vitamin and mineral concentration is also known for slowing the progression of age-related macular degeneration.

Tomatillos can be eaten whole as they do not have seeds or a core. They cannot be used in recipes that call for tomato, as they are distinctly different.

Serving Size: ½ cup

  • Calories: 20
  • Fat: 0.5
  • Carbs: 4 grams
  • Fiber: 1 gram
  • Sugars 3 grams
  • Protein 1 gram
  • Vitamin A: 2% of RDI (Recommended Daily Intake)
  • Vitamin C: 15% of RDI
  • Iron: 2% of RDI



This small, sweet, citrus-like fruit is pack with powerful plant compounds. Loquats have a sweet, tart taste with a hint of citrus. Fully ripened loquats are best as immature fruit can have a sour taste.

Loquats grow in subtropical climates and are indigenous to Southeastern China and Japan. Chinese immigrants are thought to have transported the loquat to Hawaii.

Loquats are a great source of carotenoids and antioxidants, which have been proven to enhance the immune system, reduce inflammation, and protect against heart and eye diseases. Potassium, magnesium, carotenoids, and phenolic compounds can all be found in the loquat, making them a nutritious fruit to add to your diet.

Loquats are versatile and can be eaten raw with meat and cheese, used to make jams and jellies, baked into pies, tossed into fruit salads, stewed, or juiced for cocktails.

Serving Size: 1 cup cubed

  • Calories: 70
  • Carbs: 18 grams
  • Protein: 1 gram
  • Fiber: 3 grams
  • Vitamin A: 46% of RDI (Recommended Daily Intake)
  • Vitamin B6: 7% of RDI
  • Folate (vitamin B9): 5% of RDI
  • Magnesium: 5% of RDI
  • Potassium: 11% of RDI
  • Manganese: 11% of RDI


At first glance, the rambutan might resemble a sea urchin or something from outer space. It’s hairy, green and red outer casing make it an ominous-looking fruit. However, if you can get past its menacing exterior, the reward will be well worth it.

Rambutan is native to Southeast Asia and thrives in tropical climates. It grows on trees that can grow to up to eighty feet tall. 

It is related to the lychee and the logan fruit. All of these fruits have a sweet, creamy white flesh inside.

Rambutan is very high in vitamin C; in fact, eating just 5-6 of them will provide 50% of the recommended daily intake of vitamin C. Due to its high fiber content, it is also known to aid in digestion.

Its sweet and creamy taste, make it a satisfying snack once the outer skin and inner seed are removed. Although some people prefer to eat the whole fruit, it has not been proven that the skin and seed are safe for consumption.

Common uses for rambutan:

  • In tropical fruit salad
  • Juiced
  • As a garnish for mixed drinks
  • In cereal
  • On ice cream
  • In smoothies

Serving Size: 100 grams

  • Calories: 68
  • Fat: 0
  • Potassium: 179.7 mg
  • Sodium: 6.3 mg
  • Carbs: 16 grams
  • Fiber: 3 grams
  • Sugar: 13 grams
  • Vitamin C: 68.5% of RDI (Recommended Daily Intake)
  • Iron: 2.7% of RDI
  • Riboflavin: 3.5% of RDI
  • Phosphorous: 1.7% of RDI
  • Zinc: 1.4% of RDI
  • Manganese: 9.5% of RDI
  • Calcium: 0.8% of RDI
  • Thiamin: 1.3% of RDI
  • Niacin: 3.9% of RDI
  • Magnesium: 4.4% of RDI
  • Copper: 9% of RDI


The kiwano is yet another exotic fruit that resembles a sea urchin. It has a thick rind that is covered in spikes. It more resembles something out of a science fiction movie that the highly nutritious fruit that it is.

The kiwano is native to Central and Southern regions of Africa and is rich in electrolytes such as magnesium, potassium, and sodium. These important minerals, coupled with the fact that kiwano is 88% water, makes it the perfect fruit to keep you hydrated on a hot day. 

Kiwano has a seeded, green gelatinous inside that tastes like a sweeter version of its cousin the cucumber. However, the more it ripens, you begin to taste a hint of banana.

The best way to enjoy this fruit is to simply slice it open, add a hint of salt or sugar to enhance the flavor and eat it right out of the skin, seeds and all. Kiwano has a rich mineral content, including magnesium and zinc, are important in maintaining mental health and are thought to improve mood.

Other health benefits of kiwano include:

  • Bone health support
  • Skin health
  • Heart health
  • Immunity support

Serving Size: 1 fruit

  • Calories: 92
  • Carbs: 16 grams
  • Protein: 3.7 grams
  • Fat: 2.6 grams
  • Vitamin B6: 7% of RDI (Recommended Daily Intake)
  • Vitamin E: 278% of RDI
  • Iron: 13% of RDI
  • Phosphorus: 8% of RDI
  • Vitamin C: 18% of RDI
  • Magnesium: 21% of RDI
  • Zinc: 7% of RDI
  • Potassium: 8% of RDI
  • Calcium: 3% of RDI


Mangosteen is a tropical sweet and sour flavored fruit that is originally from Southeast Asia but can be found in other tropical regions throughout the world.

European explorers had difficulty transporting the fragile fruit, so it wasn’t introduced to England until 1789. However, they weren’t productively farmed until fifty years later.

Early descriptions of this exotic fruit’s flavor are “like that of a fine nectarine with a dash of strawberry and a hint of pineapple.”

Many studies have been done on the mangosteen’s anticancer benefits with positive results. One study focused on the role that mangosteen plays in slowing the growth of colorectal tumors. Another study cited the potential of the fruit’s slowing the growth of prostate cancer cells.

Mangosteen is high in fiber with no saturated fats or cholesterol. They are a good source of potassium for health, a good source of B vitamins such as thiamin, niacin, and folate, which help metabolize carbohydrates, protein, and fats.

Note: Mangosteen should be consumed in moderation as it contains fructose, which may be harmful to your health if eaten in excess.

Mangosteen segments can be used in salads, used in smoothies, or enjoyed just as they are.

Serving Size: 1 cup

  • Calories: 143
  • Carbs: 35 grams
  • Fiber: 3.5 grams
  • Fat: 1 gram
  • Protein: 1 gram.
  • Vitamin C: 9% of RDI (Recommended Daily Intake)
  • Vitamin B9 (folate): 15% of RDI
  • Vitamin B1 (thiamine): 7% of RDI


Durian is known as the “king of fruits” It is one of the most nutritious fruits in the world. Perhaps this is why people can put up with its stinky smell. Durian also has the distinction of being one of the worlds most smelly fruit.

Some people love the smell, and other people hate it. A study on the aromatic compounds in durian found forty-four active compounds, including some that contribute to scents of skunk, caramel, rotten egg, fruit, and soup seasoning.

Whether or not you like the fruit will depend on which smells are the most prominent to you. Durian has actually been banned from some hotels and public transport systems in Southeast Asia due to its pungent smell.

Why is all this worth mentioning? Because this fruit is so nutritionally dense that eating just one cup provides you with the following nutrients:

  • Calories: 357
  • Fat: 13 grams
  • Carbs: 66 grams
  • Fiber: 9 grams
  • Protein: 4 grams
  • Vitamin C: 80% of RDI (Recommended Daily Intake)
  • Thiamine: 61% of RDI
  • Manganese: 39% of RDI
  • Vitamin B6: 38% of RDI
  • Potassium: 30% of RDI
  • Riboflavin: 29% of RDI
  • Copper: 25% of RDI
  • Folate: 22% of RDI
  • Magnesium: 18% of RDI
  • Niacin: 13% of RDI

Studies show that durian offers the following health benefits:

  • It may neutralize cancer-causing free radicals in the blood.
  • It helps reduce cholesterol levels and reduces the risk of hardening of the arteries.
  • The rind has antibacterial and anti-yeast properties.
  • There are less frequent incidence of fruit-related sugar spikes due to its low glycemic index.

The flavor of durian is compared to taking a bite of caramel, almonds, garlic, and cheese all at the same time. Both the custard-like flesh and seeds are edible; however, the seeds should be cooked before consuming.

Uses for durian include:

  • Juicing
  • Boiling or roasting seeds
  • Soups
  • Candy, ice cream and desserts
  • As a side dish

Note: Avoid drinking alcohol while eating durian as its Sulphur like compounds may prevent alcohol from being broken down, causing excess levels to build up in your blood and become toxic.

Goji Berries

There are eight essential amino acids, and goji berries contain all of them. They also provide ten percent of the recommended intake of protein in a one-ounce serving. Now that is a power-packed berry.

They make a great snack, as they are a complex carbohydrate, which causes the blood sugar to rise at a slower rate reducing the incidence of “sugar crash.”

Native to China, goji berries have been harvested for medicinal use for centuries.

First, a few words of caution about goji berries: they can interact with some prescription medications such as blood thinners. Pregnant women should avoid them as a precaution due to their blood-thinning properties. And, due to the fact that they contain about three times the recommended, daily amount of vitamin A, they should be eaten in moderation to avoid vitamin A toxicity.

That being said, goji berries have a plethora of health benefits. Research has shown that goji berries can increase the effectiveness of the flu shot.

They are a low sugar, low-calorie option to eat with yogurt or on salads in place of other dried fruits.

Goji berries contain a high level of the antioxidant zeazanthin. Studies have shown that this antioxidant protects skin and eye cells.

One study made a comparison of a group that drank goji berry juice for fourteen days with a group that did not. The group that drank the goji berry juice reported:

  • Increased energy
  • Increased athletic performance
  • Improved quality of sleep
  • Improved ability to focus
  • Calmness
  • A sense of overall well being

Some other positive effects of goji berries include

  • Increased life expectancy
  • Lower heart health risks
  • Lower blood pressure
  • Reduced arthritis pain

Goji berries can be purchased dried at most local super markets. You use them just as you would raisins or other fresh berries.

Serving Size: ¼ cup

  • Calories: 70
  • Sugar: 12 grams
  • Protein: 9 grams
  • Fiber: 6 grams
  • Fat: 0 grams
  • Vitamin A: 150% of RDI (Recommended Daily Intake)
  • Copper: 84% of RDI
  • Selenium: 75% of RDI
  • Vitamin B2: (riboflavin): 63% of RDI
  • Iron: 42% of RDI
  • Vitamin C: 27% of RDI

Star Fruit

Star fruit is native to Sri Lanka and the Moluccas (also known as the Spice Islands), an archipelago in Indonesia. Star fruit is also grown in Hawaii and Florida today.

As the name suggests, star fruit is shaped like a five-point star. It is greenish-yellow in color and has a juicy sweet and sour taste.

Star fruit boasts a hearty source of plant compounds, including quercetin, gallic acid and epicatechin. Studies have shown that this combination of compounds has been effective in reducing fatty liver risk and cholesterol in mice as well as preventing liver cancer and reducing inflammation.

Note: People with kidney problems should avoid eating star fruit in excess due to high levels of oxalate, which can have adversely affect the kidneys.

As with grapefruit, star fruit can interfere with some prescription medications, so speak with your doctor before adding them to your diet on a regular basis.

Star fruit can be:

  • Washed, sliced, seeded and enjoyed
  • Added to salads
  • Used in pies and puddings
  • Used in Asian or Indian style food
  • Cooked with seafood or shellfish dishes
  • Used for jams and jellies
  • Juiced

Serving Size: 1 medium sized fruit

  • Fiber: 3 grams
  • Protein: 1 gram
  • Vitamin C: 52% of RDI
  • Vitamin B5: 4% of RDI
  • Folate: 3% of RDI
  • Copper: 6% of RDI
  • Potassium: 3% of RDI
  • Magnesium: 2% of RDI

Dragon Fruit

Native to Central America, dragon fruit is one of the most profitable crops in Vietnam. 

Dragon fruit has vibrant red skin with white flesh that has tiny black seeds in its pulp.  The taste of dragon fruit is compared to a cross between a kiwi and a pear or watermelon. Its skin is easy to cut through, and the fruit can be extracted much like an avocado.

Dragon fruit can be cut up, frozen, or blended. It is eaten raw most of the time due to its tropical, sweet taste.

Dragon fruit is high in iron; unlike most fruits and the fact that it is also high in Vitamin C, the body is better able to absorb the iron.

Dragon fruit is also a good source of fiber at 7 grams per cup of fruit. This makes it a good snack choice as fiber makes you feel full faster and aids in digestion.

Dragon fruit has been linked to decreased cancer risk and boosting the immune system.

Served with cod, tuna or mahi-mahi, it makes a nice side dish, or it can be chopped finely and made into a salsa to top the fish. Dragon fruit can also be used in a tropical fruit salad.

Serving Size: 3.5 ounces

  • Calories: 60
  • Protein: 1.2 grams
  • Fat: 0 grams
  • Carbs: 13 grams
  • Fiber 3 grams
  • Vitamin C 3% of RDI (Recommended Daily Intake)
  • Iron 4% of RDI
  • Magnesium: 10% of RDI

Passion Fruit

Passion fruit grows on a clinging vine with beautiful flowers. It is native to Brazil, Paraguay, and parts of Argentina.

Passion fruit is a good source of many vitamins and minerals, and its outer peel is used to make an extract that is effective in managing adults with asthma.

Passion fruit is tasty to eat right out of the skin, or you can scoop out seeded pulp and strain it to enjoy it as a juice. To make passion fruit nectar, cut the entire fruit in half, simmer, strain, and sweeten. Passion fruit coulis can be made much the same way except remove the skin first then boil the fruit pulp with sugar for up to 5 minutes.  Fruit coulis can be used to top ice cream, oatmeal, or cheesecake.

No matter how you choose to use it, passion fruit is a healthy addition to your day that is a sweet or savory treat.

Serving Size: 1 fruit

  • Calories: 17
  • Fiber: 2 grams
  • Vitamin C: 9% of RDI (Recommended Daily Intake)
  • Vitamin A: 8% of RDI
  • Iron: 2% of RDI
  • Potassium: 2% of RDI


Jackfruit is the largest fruit in the world, with some fruit reaching up to eighty pounds.

s jackfruit is native to Southern India, it grows best in tropical climates. Due to its higher protein content than other fruits, it is a major source of calories and carbohydrates for people in developing countries.

In vegetarian diets, jackfruit is used as a meat substitute due to its meat-like texture.

Both the jackfruits pods and seeds are safe for consumption. Not only is it higher in carbohydrates and calories than most fruits jackfruit provides some of almost every daily, recommended vitamin and mineral. Due to its fiber content, jackfruit has a low glycemic index, and studies have shown that it significantly lowered blood sugar levels of adults who consumed jackfruit extract.

Antioxidants play an important role in reducing oxidative stress, and inflammation and jackfruit contain three pivotal antioxidants: vitamin C, carotenoids, and flavanones.

Jackfruit can be used in sweet or savory dishes with unripe fruit being more appropriate for savory dishes. It can be used in soups or curries or added to yogurt or oatmeal.

Jackfruit seed can be boiled or roasted and can also be used to make hummus.

Serving Size: 1 cup sliced

  • Calories: 155
  • Carbs: 40 grams
  • Fiber: 3 grams
  • Protein: 3 grams
  • Vitamin A: 10% of RDI (Recommended Daily Intake)
  • Vitamin C: 18% of RDI
  • Riboflavin: 11% of RDI
  • Magnesium: 15% or RDI
  • Potassium: 14% of RDI
  • Copper: 15% of RDI
  • Manganese: 16% of RDI

Well, there you have them, twenty rare fruits and vegetables that can be added to your diet to improve nutritional intake and promote well being. While all of these fruits and vegetables are excellent sources of vitamins and minerals, it is important that you always check with your doctor prior to adding anything new to your diet.

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