As you begin your journey to optimal health, you will naturally want to eat the best food possible. The Made in Oasis Alkaline Nutritional Guide gives you a list of recommended foods, all of which are plant-based. In this article, we review the fruits listed on the Guide and examine why they were selected.
Fruit is generally considered very good for you. It is high in vitamins, minerals, and natural compounds that are important for health. The fruit on this list is useful for cleansing and healing your body, which is why we also recommend eating fruit in the morning and switching to whole grains and vegetables later in the day. Eating these foods in the morning allows your body to start to cleanse itself, and the vegetables (which will we will cover in a later article) will help your body begin the building and repair process.
Apples are rich in fiber and polyphenols and provide Vitamin C and K, plus potassium. This dietary fiber is good for weight loss since it helps you feel full longer. Apples have also been studied for their links to cardiovascular health. (1)
High in potassium, Vitamin B6, Copper, Magnesium, and Manganese, bananas are rich in nutrients. However, bananas have gone through a lot of specialized cultivation through the years to prevent disease. In the alkaline diet, we recommend eating fruits that are as close to their original form as possible, so look for the smallest bananas you can find, preferably burro bananas or other heirloom breeds of this fruit.
Berries, Cherries, and Currants
The Made in Oasis Nutrition Guide endorses all berries, except for cranberries, which are particularly acidic. Berries, cherries, and currants are high in Vitamin C, Manganese, and Vitamin K1. These fruits also contain powerful anti-inflammatory polyphenols called anthocyanins, which are responsible for their vivid red, blue, and purple colors. (2)
Cantaloupes and Melons
Cantaloupes have more Beta-carotene than any other orange fruit. Beta-carotene converts into Vitamin A, which is essential for a healthy immune system, healthy red blood cells, and eye health.
Dates and Figs
Dates and figs are excellent sources of antioxidants, which guard your cells against free radicles. They contain flavonoids, carotenoids, and phenolic acid. These antioxidants reduce inflammation, help lower the risk of cancer, and promote heart health. (3)
Grapes (seeded) and Raisins
Did you know that grapes have over 1,600 beneficial plant compounds? That's a lot of nutrition in one tiny fruit! One of these compounds, resveratrol, has been studied extensively for cardiovascular benefits and its ability to protect against some kinds of cancers, Alzheimer's disease, and urinary bladder dysfunction. (4)
Seeded Limes and Oranges
Both limes and oranges are high in Vitamin C, which shortens the length of common colds. Vitamin C has also been studied in controlled trials for benefiting pneumonia and tetanus patients. (5) Note: the nutrition guide recommends Seville Oranges.
Like many of the fruits on this list, mangoes are high in fiber and antioxidants. Also, mangoes may help in digestive health. In randomized controlled trials, mangos helped improve symptoms of constipation and lowered biomarkers of intestinal inflammation. (6)
Papayas contain lycopene, which has been researched for its ability to reduce the risk of cancer. And while many fruits contain antioxidants, one study showed that of 14 antioxidant-rich fruits and vegetables, only papaya had anti-cancer effects on breast cancer cells. (7) In addition, papaya might be beneficial for those who are in cancer treatment. (8)
Peaches, Plums, and Prunes
Peaches, plums, and cherries are all in the same family of stone fruits, or drupes. Prunes are dried plums. All of these fruits contain healthy fiber, vitamins, and plant compounds. Plus, peaches contain ceramides that are good for your skin. (9) Plums and prunes have been studied for their ability to reduce cholesterol and high blood pressure.
Red skinned pears contain anthocyanins, the same heart-healthy compound found in berries. Green skinned pears contain lutein and zeaxanthin, which helps prevent age-related macular degeneration. (10) To get the maximum benefits, eat pears with the skin on.
An article from the Mayo Clinic discusses that prickly pear cactus may be useful in treating diabetes, high cholesterol, and hangovers. While alcohol is not allowed on the Alkaline Diet, the prickly pear's anti-inflammatory effects can still help anyone dealing with inflammation-related issues. (11)
Soft Jelly Coconuts
It takes a full year for a coconut to fully ripen and mature. When a coconut is 8-10 months old, it will still be green and contain a mix of coconut water and soft jelly meat. Coconut water is excellent for rehydration, so it can be a good choice after exercise or hot weather. Green coconuts also contain zinc, manganese, copper, and selenium, which are essential for your immune system.
Besides being high in fiber, vitamins, and other nutrients, soursop also has antimicrobial qualities. It has been used to kill multiple types of bacteria, including that that causes tooth decay, gingivitis, and yeast infections. (12) Researchers are also studying soursop for its anti-inflammatory properties, and animal studies have shown that it decreases inflammation and swelling significantly. (13)
Tamarinds are rich in minerals, calcium, phosphorus, magnesium, and potassium. They also have some of the highest protein levels of any fruit. Tamarind has been used in traditional medicine for many disorders, including gastrointestinal disorders, jaundice, dysentery. Research in 2010 confirmed that the pulp from this plant has antimicrobial, anti-fungal, and antibacterial properties. (14) It is also a source of essential amino acids and phytochemicals. (15)
Eating a wide variety of these fruits is good for your long-term well being. Try to aim for a "rainbow" of colors rather than just sticking to one or two kinds of fruit. As always, strive for the most natural fruit you can get, look for organic produce and non-GMO. Select foods that are as close to their original form as possible, so look for heirloom varieties when you can. If you have a local farmer's market, this is the perfect place to find produce that your body will love. If not, many health food stores will carry fruit that will benefit your new lifestyle.
1) Koutsos, Athanasios, et al. "Apples and Cardiovascular Health--is the Gut Microbiota a Core Consideration?" PubMed, Nutrients, pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/26016654/.
(2) Joseph, Shama V., et al. "Berries: Anti-inflammatory Effects in Humans." PubMed, Journal of Agricultural Food Chemistry, pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/24512603/.
(3) Vinson, Joe A., et al. "Dried Fruits: Excellent in Vitro and in Vivo Antioxidants." PubMed, pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/15670984/.
(4) Pezzuto, John M. "Grapes and Human Health: a Perspective." PubMed, Journal of Agricultural Food Chemistry, pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/18662007/.
(5) Hemila, Harri. "Vitamin C and Infections." PubMed, Nutrients, pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/28353648/.
(6) Venancio, Vinicius P., et al. "Polyphenol-rich Mango (Mangifera Indica L.) Ameliorate Functional Constipation Symptoms in Humans Beyond Equivalent Amount of Fiber." PubMed, Molecular Nutrition and Food Research, pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/29733520/.
(7) Garcia-Solis, Pablo, et al. "Screening of Antiproliferative Effect of Aqueous Extracts of Plant Foods Consumed in México on the Breast Cancer Cell Line MCF-7." PubMed, International Journal of Food Science and Nutrition, pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/19468947/.
(8) Gajowik, Aneta, and Malgorzata Dobrzynska. "Lycopene - Antioxidant with Radioprotective and Anticancer Properties. A Review - PubMed." PubMed, Roczniki Państwowego Zakładu Higieny, pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/25526570/.
(9) Koikeda, Takashi. "Effects of Peach (Prunus Persica)-Derived Glucosylceramide on the Human Skin." PubMed Central (PMC), Current Medical Chemistry, www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5740493/.
(10) Bernstein, Paul S., et al. "Lutein, Zeaxanthin, and Meso-Zeaxanthin: The Basic and Clinical Science Underlying Carotenoid-based Nutritional Interventions Against Ocular Disease." PubMed Central (PMC), Progress in Retinal and Eye Research, www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4698241/.
(11) Zeratsky RD LD, Katherine. "Does Prickly Pear Cactus Have Health Benefits?" Mayo Clinic, 5 Dec. 2018, www.mayoclinic.org/healthy-lifestyle/consumer-hea...
(12) Mithun Pai, BH, et al. "Anti-microbial Efficacy of Soursop Leaf Extract (Annona Muricata) on Oral Pathogens: An In-vitro Study." PubMed Central (PMC), Journal of Clinical and Diagnostic Research, www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5198446/.
(13) Vieira de Sousa, Orlando, et al. "Antinociceptive and Anti-Inflammatory Activities of the Ethanol Extract of Annona Muricata L. Leaves in Animal Models." PubMed Central (PMC), International Journal of Molecular Sciences, www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2885094/.
(14) Adeola, AA. "Comparative analyses of phytochemicals and antimicrobial properties of extracts of wild Tamarindus indica pulps." Academic Journals, African Journal of Microbiology Research, academicjournals.org/article/article1380541535_Adeola%20et%20al.pdf.
(15) Kuru, Pinar. "Tamarindus Indica and Its Health Related Effects." ScienceDirect.com, Asian Pacific Journal of Tropical Biomedicine Volume 4, Issue 9, September 2014, Pages 676-681, www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S222116...