Nipa mangrove palm – a rare fruit
Nipa mangrove palm and its fruits. Nutritional composition and beneficial properties of rare fruits. How is nipa fruit eaten? Interesting facts.
Nipa mangrove palm (Nypa fruticans) is a plant in the branches that rare fruits mature, interesting, tasty, and healthy. Other names – bushy nipa, bog palm. Nipa is widely used in construction, and cooking, especially in the production of beverages, vinegar, sugar, and salt, as well as in medicine and in the manufacture of various household appliances. Fruits are a rare type of fruit, they are mainly eaten raw, and used to make refreshing drinks and fresh and canned desserts. A more detailed description of their composition, useful properties, and uses in this article.
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Description of nipa mangrove palm
Nipa palm is a very interesting plant. It grows in marshy areas or along rivers with calm waters in the territories of Northern Australia and South Asia. The largest areas of mangrove palms are in Singapore, Vietnam, Malaysia, and the Philippines. Discovered fossils with parts of this plant date from 70 million years ago.
The ground part of a mangrove palm has very long and sweeping leaves, often reaching a length of 7-9 m. At the same time, the stem is horizontal and is almost always located underground. Its diameter sometimes reaches 70 cm. It is very strong and thanks to this it protects the earth from erosion. With the help of these plants, they strengthen the banks and prevent landslides.
Flowering appears on the stem, which usually reaches 1 m in length. Male and female flowers look different: the former resembles a long top, which, when ripe, takes on a golden hue, and the latter resemble cones and become chestnut-shaped fruits, forming spherical clusters up to 25 cm in diameter.
There is a seed inside each fruit. It is he who is eaten at the stage of immaturity. He is often called Attap. And this name adds to the name list of rare fruits because their new application takes place mainly in the territories within the growing area.
Seed nipa palm is very similar in appearance to translucent milky candy. Gel-like consistency, special aroma. By the way, the mangrove palm not only grows in the area of freshwater, but it also tolerates salt water very well and the amount of salt in the lagoon affects the taste of juice and fruit. In general, this rare tropical fruit is sweet, but in places with salt water, the fruits are smaller and not so sweet, watery, and more transparent in color.
As they mature, the seeds become more transparent, ivory, and harder. As such, they are not edible and are used to make buttons. Basically, nipa fruits are tree nuts, but they are classified as fruits.
In addition to using the seeds themselves for food, sugar juice is also used for processing into food extracted from male flowers. It is a raw material for alcoholic and non-alcoholic beverages, vinegar, and sugar.
Composition and caloric content of mangrove palm fruit
At present, there is little accurate data on the nutritional content of mangroves. One of the works in a study of the chemical composition of the world’s rare fruits was carried out in Nigeria at the University of Calabar. Thus, the presence of certain vitamins and minerals in seeds and juice was confirmed and their estimated content was also determined. It is interesting to note that the seeds are characterized by a high ability to provide energy to the body but the fat content is negligible.
The caloric content of nipa palm fruit per 100 g is 150 kcal, of which:
- Protein – 1, 27 g;
- Fat – 0.95 g;
- Carbohydrates – 51, 08 g;
- Fiber – 2.5 g;
- Minerals – 2, 7 g.
Macro and microorganisms:
- Sodium – 11.6 mg;
- Potassium – 128.5 mg;
- Calcium – 5 mg;
- Magnesium – 11.3 mg;
- Iron – 10.6 mg;
- Copper – 0.6 mg;
- Zinc – 7.6 mg
The young fruits of the nipa mangrove palm contain tannins, polyphenols, and flavonoids, as well as yeasts.
Vitamins include representatives of the B group and vitamin A.
The composition contains traces of hydroxy acid – a toxic substance. However, the content is so small that this substance does not affect health and well-being.
The juice extracted from the blooming flowers contains:
- Sugar (fructose, maltose, glucose, raffinose) – 15-17%;
- Protein – 0.23%;
- Fat – 0.02%;
- Vitamin B12 – 0.02%;
- Vitamin C – 0.06%.
In addition, thiamine, riboflavin, pyridoxine, as well as minerals are present in smaller amounts in the juice of rare nipa fruits.
Benefits of Nipa Mangrove Fruit
The spacious composition of nutrients justifies the presence of properties that are important for maintaining the health of the fruit of the palm tree. They are useful not only fresh but also canned.
Features of one of the rarest fruits in the world:
- Restoration of normal gastrointestinal function;
- Standardization of pH;
- Renewal of fluid supply in the body;
- Promote immunity in the fight against viral diseases;
- Bactericidal effect;
- Renewal of energy reserves;
- Antioxidant effect;
- Liver cell recovery, the damage caused by diabetes;
- Maintain a balance of blood clotting and hydration.
In addition, the fruit of the nipa mangrove palm, one of the rarest fruits, is beneficial for women’s health. They facilitate menstruation and are a source of valuable substances during pregnancy. During pregnancy, they also reduce the stress on the urinary system and prevent various infectious diseases of the kidneys and bladder, as well as prevent the accumulation of fluid in the body and protect it from edema.
Contraindications and damage nip palm fruit
The fruits of nipa palms are non-toxic and are generally safe for people of all ages. However, the risk of negative body reactions remains if there is a tendency for allergies and there are also diseases of the pancreas and a violation of the microflora in the gastrointestinal tract. Therefore, the introduction of exotic fruits should start with a minimum dose, so that you can monitor the reaction to new foods.
Sweet palm fruit should be discontinued if there is an individual intolerance to at least one of the substances contained in them. It is also worth taking responsibility if there is an increased sensitivity to hydroxy acid.
Overeating can cause abdominal pain, dizziness, and weakness. In this case, it is better to see a doctor.
How is the fruit of the nipa mangrove eaten?
Fresh mangrove seeds are not stored for a long time and removal in the form of flowering is extremely useless. You can taste the young seeds in Singapore, Vietnam, and other countries where this bog palm grows.
The flowering usually consists of 25-30 fruits. They must be separated from the head – for this purpose you can use a hammer or a strong large knife. Next, chop each fruit in the middle, remove the jelly-like seeds and rinse. It can be consumed fresh. So your body will get a lot of nutrients.
Use for rare nipa palm fruit:
- Ice cream … The easiest option for a refreshing dessert is to make ice cream with a small piece of ice cream, sugar syrup, and jelly-like mangrove seeds. The number of ingredients is random and depends on the choice. You can also add the fruit to the finished ice cream to enhance the taste and give an interesting tropical taste.
- Fruit salad … Ingredients: sweet corn – 80 g, jackfruit – 100 g, fruit jelly – 100 g, pinch seeds – 100 g. Chop the fruit with a cube-shaped knife, and add the corn and fruit jelly. We use it chilled.
- Tea … Ingredients: unripe bog palm seeds (8-10 pcs.), Longan (150 g), lotus seeds (20 g), porcini mushrooms (20 g), sugar (to taste). First, marinate the seeds with sugar. Longman blanches. Soak the mushrooms in clean water, and then boil until soft. Combine the ingredients in a container and pour boiling water. Let it brew for 10 minutes. If desired, we filter and use it hot or cooled.
- Jam … Ingredients: mangrove seeds (500 g), sugar (500 g), and lemon juice (100 ml). Put the peeled seeds in a fireproof container and cover them with sugar. Let stand for 20 minutes to dissolve. Then we set the maximum temperature and after 5-10 minutes we lower it to a minimum. We boil until the syrup begins to thicken. At this point, pour in the lemon juice and stir. We get a little more preparedness and a balcony. Such jam can be poured into glass jars and stored for several months.
In America, rare fruits collected from the nipa palm tree appear in canned form. Their taste is unusual but very sweet, as they are cooked in sugar syrup. Such delicacies can well become an independent dish or a complement to various fruit desserts and cakes. If desired, you can even add them to meatballs and sauces and give the dishes a touch of exotic.
Canned seeds can be ordered online or purchased at major supermarkets.
Interesting facts about the mangrove palm and its fruit
If there is no external threat, which usually comes from people who use the plant for their own purposes, the nipa mangrove palm grows well and does not require human assistance in cultivation. Its seeds can germinate, are on the mother stalk, and then they are carried by water flow and strengthen easily in the soil and increase the growing area. Due to its widespread use in the economy and food industry in some areas of Singapore, the smelter is on the verge of destruction because its protection is not legalized there. In the event of a further reduction in area, these rare exotic fruits may become even more bizarre even in Asian countries.
An interesting fact is that fruits and juices have a fairly high sugar content. Thanks to this, the ingredients are used in the preparation of various drinks. Some growers rent out large areas in the Philippines where mangrove palms are grown for the purpose of collecting juice and producing 95-degree alcohol further. Its cost is minimal so companies benefit immensely. A continuous harvest from one plant can last 60-90 days. At the same time, one tree produces about 43 liters and from one hectare the yield is 30,000 liters of juice, which after fermentation and distillation will give 1500 liters.
It is interesting that from the time the juice accumulates, it is enough to store the ingredients for 10 hours at a temperature of 5-6 degrees to get wine.
Palm juice in Malaysia produces large quantities of sugar for export. The yield from one hectare is more than 20 tons.
Nipa mangrove palm produces a rare fruit that both humans and animals can eat. So on some Indonesian islands, juices and fruits are used as supplementary feed for pigs to add fluid and give the meat a sweet taste.
Due to its widespread use in everyday life and in the food industry, the nipa mangrove pole is highly valued in Asia. In addition, it can also be used as an ornamental plant, because its soprano leaves and elegant spherical fruit clusters are very attractive.