Exotic Fruit Nutritional Benefits – Amla, Noni, Durian & Mangosteen

Exotic Fruit Nutritional Benefits – Amla, Noni, Durian & Mangosteen

IN this article I will highlight the exotic fruit nutritional benefits besides describing the fruit itself.

IN my opinion, one of the joys of travelling is having the opportunity to wander around the vibrant local markets and discover the local produce of the country you are visiting.

Here are 4 of the exotic fruits I came across during my travels in Asia and the South Pacific. I tried the Noni in Fiji and had the luck to discover Amla in South India, liked the Durian fruit in Sri Lanka and relished the Mangosteen in Thailand.

Possibly the first fruit, the AMLA, is one of the smallest and most potent tropical fruit. The next two, NONI & DURIAN have quite a bizarre shape and look, but they are beneficial to your health.

The last fruit listed is the MANGOSTEEN fruit that is YUMMY delicious, apart from being healthy.

Amla Fruit Health Benefits

Amla, (Emblica Officinalis), also known as Amalaki or Indian gooseberry, due to its shape is a tiny, hard and round green fruit with many nutritional properties.

Primarily native of India and some other South-East Asian countries and parts in the South of Africa, it is one of the most important plants used in Ayurveda, the Indian traditional medicine.

I ate this valuable little fruit on very few occasions when travelling in India as it is hard to come by. Amla fruit has a sour and astringent taste and it is not pleasant to eat but it´s worth the effort due to its good deal of health benefits.

Just by having two Amla fruit or its juice daily is enough vitamin intake. However, if you wish to take more, then make sure to drink lots of water after as too much vitamin C tends to dehydrate you.

Chyawanprash is made from fully ripe amla fruit and is a good dietary supplement to increase your energy

Amla – The Benefits

Amla fruit and juice is very nutritious and among the health benefits;

  • Increases metabolic health
  • Decreases the risk for cancer
  • Antimicrobial
  • Anti-inflammatory
  • Rejuvenates
  • Rich source of vitamin C
  • Enriches hair growth and pigmentation.

Noni Fruit Health Benefits

The Noni (Morinda Citrifolia) fruit also called Indian mulberry is native to the islands of Fiji, Tahiti & The Cook Islands in the Pacific. It grows in abundance in Fiji.

The noni tree is a member of the coffee family and it is a medicinal plant: In Fiji, it is utilised as herbal and traditional medicine. Both the fruit and leaves are good for medicinal purposes. The leaves can be used to make therapeutic tea and also make a good band-aid.

The noni fruit has a pungent and strong odour and bitter taste. For this latter reason it is also known as ´vomit fruit´.

It is an organic fruit and in Fiji, the processing of the noni juice is all carried out naturally, usually, the fruit is picked and put in an airtight container and heated naturally in the sun.

Noni – The Benefits

The noni fruit has many nutrients and thus a good deal of health benefit;

  • Anti-ageing benefits
  • powerful detoxifier
  • Boosts energy
  • Builds the immune system
  • Relieves joint pain
  • Improves skin condition

Durian Fruit Nutritional Benefits

Durian (Durio), also known as the king of fruit, grows in South East Asia, mainly in Malaysia, Indonesia and Thailand. There are many varieties of the Durian fruit.

Durian is big and has a round or oval shape with spiky skin. The fruit inside is golden yellow colour with waxy and sometimes wrinkled skin.

The fruit has a kidney or bean shape and it is pulpy and fleshy, soft and creamy. The taste is sweet with sometimes a bitter flavour. South-East Asians go crazy for it and call it the ice cream fruit as when fresh the flesh tastes of vanilla or custard and the texture is like soft cheese or butter.

The imported Durian we generally find in the west usually has a different taste, sometimes an ugly smell and more bitter taste because it has been frozen and with the Durian, it is common that the taste changes over time. It is best to eat Durian immediately after it has been plucked or a couple of hours later.

Durian – The Benefits

Durian is rich in vitamin C and vitamin B, minerals, carbohydrates and dietary fiber and among the benefits;

  • Reduces wrinkles
  • Delays ageing
  • Increases the energy
  • Natural anti depressant
  • Aids the digestive system
  • Boosts the immune system
  • Improves sleep quality
  • Aphrodisiac

Mangosteen Fruit Health Benefits

Last but not least is the Mangosteen, my favourite of all 4.

Mangosteen (Garcinia Mangostana), also known as the queen of fruit in South East Asia where it is to be found, mainly in Indonesia, Thailand and Malaysia.

It is of a purple colour and the skin is as hard as a rock. On the outside, it also has a nice flower at the bottom and its petals usually specify the number of paps that make up the fruit inside. The fruit is white, soft, delicate, and slightly sour but has a very sweet taste; it´s juicy and pleasant to eat. The taste can somehow be compared to that of the lychee.

Mangosteen – The Benefits

Among the a good deal of health properties we find;

  • Antioxidant
  • Anti-bacterial
  • Antifungal
  • Anti-inflammatory
  • Improves digestion
  • Boosts energy
  • Treats diarrhoea
  • Helps in weight loss


Rich Fruit Are Hard To Resist

In summary, the four different fruit described above NONI, AMLA, DURIAN & MANGOSTEEN are rich in antioxidants and help fight free radicals and delay ageing. They are all abundant in vitamins and minerals and can improve your quality of life by keeping healthy, sleeping better and also reduce extra fat.

Including them in your diet will improve your overall immunity and you will have more energy to deal with the day to day hectic lifestyle.

The only drawback is that these exotic fruits are not readily available in most countries and so we cannot easily obtain them and gain from the numerous health benefits.

Are you lucky enough to have them available in your area? Tell me how you like these exotic fruits if you have tasted any.

Sources & for further information:


20 thoughts on “Exotic Fruit Nutritional Benefits – Amla, Noni, Durian & Mangosteen

  1. That is the problem with this exotic fruits, they are not usually available and that is why I don’t usually take them so often. I must say that you are very lucky to have all this fruits at your disposal due to the fact that you travelled. I heard that Asia holds some of the best and healthy fruits and you are doing a confirmation of that right now. Good post and thanks for the information. Do you think that it is possible to import fruits like this one?

    1. Hello Henderson, thank you for your comment. I wish I had all those fruits available at the market, I will feast on them. Importing fresh fruit is difficult but you can always get them in dried form or in juices, natural tablets, powder etc.

  2. Wow, these are really nice I must admit. The importance of natural products to the health of an individual can not be fully known by man. Everyday we gey to discover that some of these plants we take for granted have some of the biggest benefits to us, like these ones in this post. So far I have come to understand that taking organic foods or substances is better than drugs. I would love to try Durian as I am having problem with my digestive system, but I don’t think I can find it around here. How do I get it?

    1. Hi Chloe, it depends where you live and the kind of stores you can find. Sometimes you can order dry fruit online if you cannot find any fresh ones. There are many natural products you can take for digestive issues, like Manuka honey, I wrote an article about it, also cumin seeds in boiled water, you sieve it and drink the water. Hope you find a solution. Good luck and thank you for writing. 

  3. What a lucky coincidence this is for me at this moment, wow! My hubby traveled to india for a documentary shoot and I’m just browsing through the net just to discover some very rich in nutrient things I can ask him to get for me. Thanks for suggesting all of these fruits. They are indeed rich in both nutrients and antioxidant. That is hard to cone by these days in the US. I’m definitely going to list them for me to get atleast anyones that are available to him there. Thumbs up for this post. Spot on!

    1. Hi Tracy, so glad for you. Just make sure there are no restrictions taking fresh fruit out of the country and importing it into the U.S. Thanks for writing. 

  4. Wow, that was quite a good read that you have done. I love eating fruits and I always ready to try new fruits or new foods to try and see if they are good or not. Most of them I have never heard from so if I get the opportunity to eat one of them and that you gave some information was also really good. I will share this with my family and thanks again.

    1. Hi Barbara, I am basically like you, also trying new things and see how they work on me. Thank you for writing and sharing. I appreciate. 

  5. Hey Marisa

    thank you so much for this piece, I am a tourist and each time I get to travel round the world, one of the things I love doing, is exploring local products.

    I first tasted Amla in 2018 when I visited India and I never like it because it was not pleasant to me at all but when my friend told me about the health benefits of the fruit, my perception about the fruit changed.  Now I have grown to like it and as a matter of fact I take it everyday

    1. Hi Emmanuel, lucky you to have the amla available where you are. I know it doesn’t taste good but I really do not mind. I have studied a little bit of ayurveda and it is like a miracle fruit, it has so many healthy properties. Thanks for for sharing your ideas about the amla fruit. 

  6. As a native Thai, I have to say that I love both fruits. We call durian the king of fruits and mangosteen a queen. The reason behind it was that when you eat durians it gets too hot because of the sulfur content. You can actually balance it by eating mangosteens 🙂 Durians can be an acquire taste so I like them either frozen or deep fried. 

    I never tried Noni before is it worse than durian? 

    I am blessed that I live in NYC so I do have them available and I also go back to visit My family every year in Thailand. However, I have to say that the one in NYC, they don’t taste that great because of all the radiation (agriculture laws to prevent the insects). So, if I really crave durian or Mangosteen, I will just have it for a taste and wait to binge eating  In Thailand.

    You are absolutely right about all the benefits 🙂 I look super young for my age which shall remain a secret. 

    1. Hi Nuttanee, thank you for mentioning how you eat the two fruits together. I read about it when I was writing the article. The durian has many varieties and the one I tried was actually sweet and tasty. So the noni compared to this was yuck! But I do tend to trust the locals and since they spoke highly of it I ate it and was also drinking lots of noni juice when in Fiji. You are lucky to go to Thailand often, Thai food is on my no 1 list and including the fruit of course. And yes you all look much younger than your age, and that is due to the food you eat, i assume. 

  7. Plant products have proven to be much better than when it comes to treating our health problems than taking drugs and drugs could cause some side effects to our health. Reading through this post have given me a better knowledge of how these plants work and I would love that these products be made into some kind of supplements, so that it can be easily accessed by more people far and wide who may be I need of it. Best regards.

    1. Hi Dane, thank you for writing. I do believe in organic products and hardly take any drugs myself. I avoid them as much as I possibly can as I know it takes years for the body to eliminate them from the system, so drugs do more harm than good after all. There are many products that incorporate the exotic fruits. In ayurveda for example they manufacture products in the form of juice, capsules, powder etc from the amla fruit. Cheers!

  8. I am familiar with these fruits. While they are considered exotic, they are really common in South East Asia. You have provided a good summary of the nutritional benefits which most people are unaware of. Noni and mangosteen have been extracted to be made into nutritional supplements but durian lesser so. However, it is a very popular fruit when in season and there are people who live to eat this fruit annually. It is also a practice to east durian and mangosteen together so you have a balanced Ying and Yang factor. It is believe durian is heat and Mangosteen cool. I am less familiar with Amla but it is being made into a juice. Very interesting to read about the health benefits.

    1. Hi Stanley, many thanks for your views. We call these fruit exotic because they come from tropical lands and favourable climate. I am not sure if South East Asians would consider their fruit exotic at all, as it is so common to them. Unfortunately not many scientific studies have been carried out on the nutritional benefits of exotic fruit, however when you travel the locals do confirm how they extract and make good use of the fruit, the plant, the leaves etc…

  9. Good afternoon Marisa,

    You are so right in saying that one of the joys of traveling is to immerse oneself into the smells and tastes of a foreign culture. I have traveled myself quite a bit and have always eaten the local foods of these new places. I did not always know what I was eating but nearly always I was surprised by delicious and new flavors.

    I remember when I was small and lived in Holland, as my Father was born in Indonesia, I knew the Durian but found the smell rather unpleasant.

    I live in the south of Spain and walking over the Malaga food market one can get a lot of exotic fruits. You must be prepared to pay quite a high price. Living on my organic farm I am blessed with a lot of fruits like oranges, lemons, grapefruits, and mandarins. There are also some avocado trees, plums, figs, nectarines, and peaches.

    Over the years I have changed my diet quite a bit. The closer I eat to nature the better I feel.

    Regards, Taetske

    1. Hi Taetske, good evening to you. Many thanks for writing and sharing your experience. You are lucky enough to live on an organic farm. In Ayurveda it is also believed that eating fresh local fruit in season, whatever that may be is also very healthy, i.e. though the exotic fruit i mentioned have a lot of health benefit, eating the fruit you find in your own market is also beneficial. Keep eating healthy. best regards. 

  10. Oh my goodness, what an informative article!

    Thank you.

    I always get annoyed and feel my time wasted when I see articles that give scanty advice. My mind always wants to understand the reason why and how things work before I can take any information.

    I really like how you have explained these fruits are beneficial to your health.

    I have been thinking of late about how to increase my metabolism and I couldn’t have come across your article at a better time! I read every word and enjoyed it. Usually I just scheme through articles looking for real value.

    You article had value in every sentence for me and I am really grateful. Thank you.

    1. Hello, thank you so much. I really appreciate your nice comments. Right now I am also into amplifying my immune system as autumn and winter are around the corner and I have to fight hard against the cold that I hate. I am starting off with Chyawanprash, Manuka honey and Kefir, all very effective. Wish you luck!

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