If you don’t know what aratilis is, you’re not alone. However, if you are familiar with it, then you probably had an interesting childhood that included eating this fruit. The aratilis or Muntingia calabura is a flowering plant that grows in a few parts of the world, including Mexico and the Philippines. Aratilis is the Filipino name, but in other places this is called Jamaica cherry, strawberry tree, and saresa among many other alternative names.
In the places where this fruit grows, it is usually eaten raw, but there are also some that sell this to the market to process the fruits into jams. The leaves are also useful, especially for those who love to drink tea. In Brazil, the fruits are used to attract fish, so the trees can be seen along the river banks. In Indonesia as well as in the Philippines, the fruit is eaten by children with no need to sell them for profit.
If you or your children love to get this fruit and eat it, you will be glad to know that it actually contains a number of benefits for the health:
1. Eating aratilis fruits can actually help the body in fighting bacteria. The body has its natural way of getting rid of bacteria and other foreign bodies. However, there are times when it also needs help from other sources, including the food you eat. Aratilis is one of those that you can turn to. With the antibacterial properties contained in each fruit, you can compare the tiny pieces to standard antibiotics.
2. Aratilis also has flavanone compounds. According to a study, eating foods that are rich in flavanone can help in the development and proper functioning of the brain. Regular consumption of aratilis, along with other foods that have the mentioned compound, can provide cognitive benefits, particularly in adults who already have mild cognitive impairment as well as those with neurodegenerative disease.
3. Aratilis fruits are also known for their anti-inflammatory properties, which are effective in reducing swelling. There are many anti-inflammatory drugs, but most of the natural inflammation fighters are as effective as these drugs.
4. The fruit also has cytotoxic flavonoids, which are great for fighting cancer. Aside from the fruits, you can even use the leaves and the stems of the tree to prevent you from developing certain cancers.
Although there is not much information and research surrounding the health benefits of aratilis, this fruit is as healthy as the other popular fruits. Consume as regularly as you can to gain the benefits mentioned above.