Shweta Mukundan and Arunaksharan Narayanankutty* Pages 279 - 289 ( 11 )
Background: Plants are the primary source of various types of edible products, of which fruits form a major class. Several fruits are being used all over the world for edible as well as medicinal purposes. Based on the place of origin and preferred climatic conditions, fruits are being classified broadly to temperate and tropical fruits. Kerala, a southern state in India, which is also known as “god’s own country” because of its peculiar climatic and geographical conditions, have been using a wide variety of fruits traditionally.
Objective: The present review attempts to provide a summary of traditionally used fruits in Kerala and a brief outline of their bioactive components emphasizing its health promoting effects.
Method: The data were collected from PubMed and Google scholar that are available till date.
Results: Compared to the other parts of India, tropical fruits are produced in Kerala. This includes jackfruit, mango, papaya, banana, guava etc. They are used widely for edible purposes as well as in traditional and folk medicine. Most of these fruits are sources of several bioactive compounds including phenolics, flavonoids, anthocyanin etc. Studies have reported a wide array of health benefits including lipid lowering, hypoglycemic and anticancer effects.
Conclusion: The tropical fruits contain a variety of bioactive compounds with promising health promoting activities. However, there are many more to be explored for their applications, hence the review recommends extensive research in the area of tropical fruits.
Tropical fruits, Kerala, chronic diseases, antioxidants, cardiovascular diseases, bioactive compounds.
Zoological Survey of India, Western Ghat Regional Centre, Calicut, Kerala, Department of Biochemistry, Amala Cancer Research Centre, Thrissur, Kerala