Olympic village puts Brazil's fruit diversity on display - FreshFruitPortal.com

Olympic village puts Brazil's fruit diversity on display

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Olympic village puts Brazil's fruit diversity on display

A cornucopia of fruits and nutrients will be on offer to Olympic and Paralympic athletes in Rio de Janeiro, showcasing the exotic crops native to the country's rainforests.

The mix will include 40 different tropical fruit, many of which will be unfamiliar to non-Brazilians.

"We have been able to put together a very rich menu," said Flávia Albuquerque, food and beverage manager at the Olympic and Paralympic Village.

"We will offer 40 tropical fruits... what other country in the world could offer that?"

Every day during the Olympic Games, between 45,000 and 60,000 meals will be served. The food will be served at differently themed 'islands', such as world flavours, Asian, Italian, halal, kosher and a special section that will offer the best of Brazilian food.

"I believe athletes will love our cuisine," said Albuquerque.

"Brazilian food is perfect to attend to an athlete's needs."

Here are just some of the fruits that will be on offer, accompanied by briefs from the event organizers:

Acerola

Hugely popular in the juice bars of Rio, where it is often mixed with fresh orange juice to produce an atomic vitamin C hit. Acerola is probably the most potent antioxidant known to man: it contains 100 times more vitamin C than oranges, giving it powerful anti-cancer properties.

Cupuaçu

This fruit, which comes from a tropical rainforest tree in the Amazon, is very rich in proteins, calcium, phosphorous, vitamin A, vitamin B1, vitamin B2 and vitamin C. It protects the body from many health problems like degenerative diseases, diabetes, hypertension or cancer.

Carambola (star fruit)

This fruit, which looks like a star when sliced horizontally, is a huge source of vitamins. It has vitamin C, vitamin A and vitamins of the B group like thiamin, niacin, riboflavin, vitamin B and folic acid. That adds up to a bunch of essential minerals like calcium, magnesium, potassium, zinc, copper, phosphorous and iron. Due to its antioxidant capabilities it helps against ageing and lowers cholesterol, while its high potassium levels are good for the heart. (Patients with chronic kidney disease are advised not to eat this fruit.)

Siriguela

Siriguela is in the cashew family and is a very popular fruit in the northeast of Brazil. It has antioxidant qualities and is very rich in fibres and carbohydrates, as well as important nutrients like calcium, phosphorus, potassium, vitamin B1 and vitamin C.

Jabuticaba

A natural detox food, Jabuticaba is a berry the size of a small plum. It is recommended for asthma sufferers and has anti-inflammatory proprieties due to being rich in antioxidants, which also increases its anti-carcinogenic and anti-aging properties.

Soursop (Graviola)

Graviola is green and looks a bit like an avocado. It can be used in cooking or sauces and its medical benefits include boosting the immune system, regularising bowel movements, increasing energy, and preventing osteoporosis and heart disease.

Sugar apple (Atemoya)

This fruit, a native of the American tropics, is an excellent source of vitamin B1, vitamin B2, vitamin C, calcium, iron and potassium, among other vitamins and minerals. As it has a lot of carbohydrates, it provides a quick energy source option for athletes. It is also good for the digestive system.

Açaí

Another fruit that is hugely popular in Rio, açaí is native to the Amazon region. Nowadays you can find it everywhere, usually served sweetened and chilled, often with granola. It is very rich in vitamins and is a good and quick source of energy. It is used in juices, drinks and in weight loss products.

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