With almost all of the world's 32 climates, Peru is known for its diverse flora. It is home to a wide variety of fruits, many of which are a source of nutrition for local communities. In a joint effort, Peruvian and Brazilian researchers took a closer look at the benefits of eating Peruvian fruits from the Andes and Amazon.
Researchers thoroughly reviewed the existing body of evidence on antioxidant, antimicrobial, anti-inflammatory, and antiproliferative properties of Peruvian fruits, including in vivo and clinical trials. All of the studies were conducted between 2005 and 2020.
The review included a significant collection of fruits from various regions of Peru, like:
The findings of this study were published in the 2021 edition of the Food Reviews International journal.
Most of the fruits that grow in the Andean and Amazon regions of Peru have strong antioxidant properties thanks to their flavonoid-like compounds, such as anthocyanidins or flavanols.
Antimicrobial properties (specifically against bacteria and fungi) have been found in guava, chili peppers, and passionfruit.
Antiproliferative activities (that is, an ability to suppress cell growth, including the growth of tumor cells) were demonstrated in pricly pear (tuna fruit), soursop, guava, lucuma, goldenberry, chili pepper, and passion fruit.
Additionally, anti-inflammatory actions were shown in prickly pear, passionfruit, soursop, goldenberry, and chili pepper.
What Does this Mean?
Thanks to its rich biodiversity, Peru is home to numerous fruits with therapeutic potential.
Researchers point out that making Peruvian fruits more accessible around the world would help turn them into effective functional foods, thus helping to treat and prevent a number of health conditions.
More studies are needed to further explore the use of Peruvian fruits for health improvement purposes.
- Food Reviews International, Antioxidant, Antiproliferative, and Immunomodulatory Activities in Peruvian Fruits, 2021
- Bernes. N.E.L.M. (2003). La Geografía Peruana o la Larga Historia de una Ciencia Fundamental y Marginada. Enciclopedia Temática del Perú: La Ecogeografia. Retrieved September 23, 2021 from https://ciga.pucp.edu.pe/publicaciones/la-geografia-peruana-o-la-larga-historia-de-una-ciencia-fundamental-y-marginada-enciclopedia-tematica-del-peru-la-ecogeografia/