An Apple a Day? Says Who?

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An apple a day keeps the doctor away.”

Oh, yeah…who says so? The phrase may date back to 1866 when the proverb’s original form was “Eat an apple on going to bed, and you’ll keep the doctor from earning his bread,” but eating a varied selection of fruits each day is best.

Indonesia certainly offers that desired variety and the small island of Bali just eight degrees south of the equator has the rich volcanic soil, fertile plains and village plantations to produce the best. Here are eight of the dozens abundantly available and justly praised for their nutritional values along with sometimes unusual textures, colors, shapes, sizes and tastes.

 Mango…

…is recognized for its fragrance and sweetness. Plump and juicy when ripe, they’re most commonly eaten unadorned as a snack or in a desert, including ice cream. Green (unripe) mangoes are enjoyed for their sharp, sour flavor and cooked to make pickles and chutneys. High in Vitamins A, B6, C, and E, fiber, potassium and copper.

 Jackfruit…

 …can be cooked as a vegetable, often in coconut milk, and its large, nutty seeds can be boiled in salted water, but mostly the fleshy yellow segments found in markets are consumed as a snack. One of the rare fruits rich in B-complex vitamins, with potassium, manganese, and iron. 

Coconut

…is used in countless ways and often in Bali is offered with other fruit as a gift to the gods. Its water is sterile and has food value, along with its white meat, jelly-like when young, hard and grated when more mature and found in deserts. Recently, many doctors began calling it a “super-food,” praising it for its curative and restorative powers.

Mangosteen..

…challenges the unrelated mango for sweetness and most often is eaten as a snack or juiced. Recommended as a good source of Vitamin C and a variety of minerals.

 Banana…

…is a fruit native to this region and it is unlike the larger, blander and less fragrant usually grown in the West. Smaller and sweeter, Indonesia’s “desert” bananas usually are eaten raw, while other species may be cooked, often serving as a vegetable in curries or grilled or deep-fried on the street. High in calorie density, fiber and simple sugars; easily digestible.

 Lychee…

…usually are eaten fresh, although hotel chefs sometimes stuff them with savory fillings. Central Bali is one of the few places in Indonesia where they’re grown. Known for their dietary fiber, B-complex and C vitamins, minerals and antioxidants.

Passion fruit…

…come in two colors in Indonesia, purple and the more commonly seen yellow, but both offer a surprising combination of sour and sweet. Eaten with a spoon or sucked up like an oyster from its had shell, it’s another rich in antioxidants, minerals, vitamins and fiber.

 Durian…

…is the fruit you can’t take home on some airlines or even to your hotel room, because of its pungent odor. Looking like a misshapen football covered with spikes, often it’s merely opened by the street vendor, its sticky flesh then eaten with the fingers. The large seed is edible after boiling. A very rich source of potassium, high in fiber and essential amino acids.

Finally, as for the apple, while it may not be identified as a tropical fruit, it is grown in scattered Indonesian highlands and its high fiber count makes it excellent for cleaning the teeth. Juiced, all that fiber goes away.

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BIMC Hospital Nusa Dua
The first hospital in Indonesia with accreditation from Australian Council on Healthcare Standard International  (ACHSI)

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