Health & Immunity

Unlocking the Power of Cocona: Everything You Need to Know

COCONA, Superfruit, Amazon rainforest, fruit from tree, fruit

There’s a new superfruit in town folks, and it goes by the name of Cocona. While it may be lesser known compared to other superfruits in the market, this shining jewel of the Amazon is not only delicious, but has a high nutrient profile that will leave you singing its praises long after you’ve finished your first juice. Keep reading to learn more about this superfruit and how to incorporate it into your diet.

So, What Is Cocona, and Where Does Cocona Come From?

Cocona are small to medium sized fruit that are oval in shape, and ripen to a beautiful yellow-orange color. It’s size is similar to that of an avocado, and when it is fully ripe, it takes on a somewhat wrinkly appearance. It’s known locally by a number of pseudonyms including Orinoco Apple, Peach Tomato, Topiro, Orinoko Apple and Turkey Berry. However, its botanical name, Solanum sessiliflorum, hints at its origins in the nightshade family of plants, which includes tomatoes, potatoes, and eggplants. While those veggies might not sound so…tropical…the cocona actually is. The fruit grows on herbaceous plants in the Amazon, and at best are considered distant relatives of the aforementioned trio of veggies.

COCONA, Superfruit, Amazon rainforest, fruit from tree, fruit
Solanum sessiliflorum or Cocona is a fruit that grows in tropical areas, mainly in the Peruvian Amazon

The cocona fruit comes from the Western part of the Amazonian rainforest, which stretches from Brazil, to Peru, Ecuador, Columbia, and Venezuela. They are similar in appearance and closely related to the naranjilla fruit, which is also enjoyed widely in Latin America. It’s understood that the cocona was first cultivated by natives in the Amazon for thousands of years, and was later discovered by Spanish colonists in 1760. It is found fresh in many local Latin American markets today, and its juices are now being exported to the European market.

What Makes IT a Superfruit?

So why has this fruit earned the label “superfruit,” you might ask? The cocona is rich in an abundance of minerals including magnesium, phosphorus, and manganese as well as iron, vitamin B5, and loads of fiber. It’s low in fat and calories, so is an excellent addition to any weight loss program. Superfruits are any fruits that are densely packed with nutrients, and cocona surely fits that bill.

How Can Cocona Help My Health?

Because of its high fiber and water content cocona is an excellent fruit for anyone suffering from digestive troubles. In fact, it performs this duty so well that the indigenous people that ate cocona actually used it as a diuretic. The additional fiber also helps you stay full for longer, which is another great reason to add it to your weight loss program. It’s also high in calcium, so for those who are older and at risk of developing osteoporosis, cocona fruit can be an excellent addition to your diet.

The high iron content in cocona can help those who suffer from anemia, or for those who might have excluded sources of iron from their diet (vegetarians or vegans) to help re-up on the mineral. Furthermore, being rich in vitamin B makes it a great fit for those who suffer from fatigue, as vitamin B from food sources is known to help stabilize energy levels. Basically, what’s not to love?

So Then, What Does IT Taste Like?

Knowing its health benefits is nice and all, but you’re probably wondering by now what this superfruit actually tastes like. Like its distant relative the tomato, the cocona has a slightly fruity, slightly sour taste with some light acidic notes. The firm, light yellow flesh that takes up most of the fruit’s body encases a jelly-like pulp filled with small seeds that can also be eaten. It’s smell is also reminiscent of the tomato — fresh, and slightly sour.

How Can I Consume Cocona?

There are an abundance of ways to eat this delicious superfruit. Locals eat it fresh, in smoothies, in stews, salads, jams, sauces, and really any other way you could imagine. It works well in sweet and savory dishes including meat, fish, and even desserts, and is well balanced by sweet fruits such as the exotic buriti fruit, mango and passionfruit, as well as herbs and chile peppers for the more savory fare.

If you like it sweet, juice is a popular way to explore the flavor of the cocona as well, and juice blended with buriti, another Amazonian fruit, is a particularly good flavor profile that gives it a surprising twist. You can also mix the juice into a delicious cocktail for a highly nutritious nightcap.

Where Can I Buy IT?

Lima, Peru – Nov 17, 2019: Fresh Cocona, an Amazonian fruit, on sale in Lima’s central market

If taking a trip to the Amazon is a bit of a stretch right now (we feel you), the next easiest way to get your hands on some delicious cocona is to shop online. AMARUMAYU superfruit juices are one of the primary sellers of cocona juice in the U.S., and you can shop their products on Amazon (the site, not the jungle). Their cocona superfruit juice is blended with the buriti fruit, which is grown in Peru in the Pacaya Samiria National Reserve. AMARUMAYU works directly with the indigenous tribes in the reserve who guard the buriti like a national treasure. They’ve also made a commitment to help preserve biodiversity in the area, as well as helping to prevent deforestation. It’s super important to protect the viability of the land this precious fruit is grown on for future generations, and AMARAYU is doing exactly that. It’s a win-win for all!

Cocona Nutrient Profile

Cocona fruit is not as well-studied as some other fruits, but it does contain several beneficial nutrients. Here’s a glimpse into the nutritional profile of Cocona:

  • Vitamin C: Cocona is known for its relatively high vitamin C content, which is important for immune health and acts as an antioxidant in the body.
  • Calcium: Cocona contains a notable amount of calcium, which plays a vital role in maintaining strong bones and teeth, as well as supporting proper muscle and nerve function.
  • Iron: Cocona also provides iron, an essential mineral for the production of red blood cells and oxygen transportation throughout the body.
  • Magnesium: Cocona is a source of magnesium, which is involved in various processes in the body, including nerve function, muscle contraction, and maintaining heart health.
  • Phosphorus: Cocona contains phosphorus, a mineral that is essential for the formation and maintenance of healthy bones and teeth, as well as energy production and cellular function.

It’s important to note that the nutrient content of Cocona may vary depending on factors such as the variety, ripeness, and growing conditions. While Cocona may not be as widely recognized as other fruits in terms of its nutritional profile, it still offers some beneficial nutrients to support overall health and well-being.

All in all, the cocona fruit is an excellent addition to any healthy diet, as it packs a strong nutritional punch. If you are looking for an added boost of iron, some extra fiber, and a boost in micronutrients, cocona should be your new go to. You can mix its juice into smoothie bowls, cocktails, sauces, and more for an exciting twist. You can also sleep well knowing that the source of your juice is dedicated to supporting the reforestation of the Amazon and is committed to sustainability.

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