Top 5 Must Try Exotic Fruits Found in the Philippines

The Philippines is home to many exotic fruits. Some of the variants are unique to the Philippines.

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Aratiles or Kerson Fruit (Muntingia Calabura)

Also known as  Strawberry Tree, Panama berry, Jamaican cherry, Bajelly tree and Singapore cherry

This amazing berry fruit is found on a very fast-growing tree, which is similar to that of a cherry. This fruit grows essentially in Asia and Latin America.

Like many other “unknown fruits”, researchers and nutritionists found amazing health preventatives and curatives benefits loaded into this little berry. Not to mention the important uses of its leaves and flowers.

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1.) Kerson fruit has antibacterial properties.

We all know that people tend to rely on antibiotics that medical science produces – but what most people don’t know is that some fruits and vegetables are natural antibiotics and can fight staph, intestinal bacteria, sepsis and diphtheria, like Kerson Fruit.

2.) An abundant source of Vitamin C

Research shows that 100 grams of Kerson Fruit are equal to 150mgs of Vitamin C. 

3.) A potential cure for Diabetes

Having to constantly monitor your blood sugar levels and take medication can be very tedious, but with the regular intake of Kerson Fruit, diabetics can help lower injection doses and blood sugar levels. 

In the Philippines, Doctors advise Diabetic patients to drink juiced Kerson Fruits every day to aid their disease.

4.) Strong Antioxidant

Kerson Fruit has a total of 24 different flavonoids and phenolic compounds that can prevent cancer and other diseases.

5.) Anti-Inflammatory Benefits

In the Philippines, Kerson Fruit is known to reduce inflammation in the form of swelling of joints and tissues and fevers. 

Filipinos boil the leaves and dump them onto swollen areas with a cloth. 

6.) Other Important Nutrients

The fruit itself contains fibre, protein, calcium, iron, phosphorus and B-vitamins.

Knowing the nutritional benefit of this fruit drove it to become a staple in other parts of the world. 

In some countries, like the Philippines, people eat the fruit raw, make jams and jellies, and even use it for baking. 

While most countries, like the US, buy Kerson Fruit online in liquid form since it’s quite harder to find. 

To try it for yourself, you can buy fresh fruit from an Asian or a Latin supermarket, or find it online in a health supplements shop. 


In the Philippines, there is also an abundance of a fruit they like to call, “Lanzones”, labelled as the “highly seasonal and highly-priced fruit.”  Source: Bar Digest Research and Development

This sweet, delicious, round oval berry grows on tropical fruiting trees of the Mahogany family. South-East Asian countries love its distinct sweet and tangy flavour.

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  • Firstly, lanzones or Langsat carries 57 calories per 100g of edible portion. It has a good amount of dietary fibre, vitamins and antioxidants with no saturated fats. 
  • Secondly, the skin and the seeds of Lanzones have the highest total flavonoids (213.45 mg) among tropical fruits. Source: Nutrition and You
  • Lanzones is rich in fibre, as a result, it benefits your digestion and your cardiovascular system because it is rich in fibre.
    Vitamin B3 can get rid of bad cholesterol in your body and Vitamin B2 is responsible for helping our bodies process carbohydrates.

These exotic fruits can be eaten fresh, and can also be canned. Seedless sections can be dried like raisins, which is often done in the Philippines. 

One island in the Philippines called Camiguin Island celebrates their Lanzones fruit harvest through a festival around October. 

It is certain that once people taste its grapefruit flavour, they won’t surely get enough of it! 

Santol – Sentul or Cotton Fruit

How to describe the taste? Citrus + Milky + Sweet + Floral.

In the Philippines, it’s grated rind is cooked in coconut milk. The fruit is also used in some Thai curries.

This is more of a bucket list item to tick.

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Balimbing – Also known as Carambola or Star Fruit

When cut in cross-section, it resembles a star. The entire fruit is edible, usually raw. The flesh is crunchy, firm, and extremely juicy and taste like green apples.

The fruit is very rich in vitamin c.

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Atis – Also known as Sugar Apple or Sweet-sop

Check out this article about Sugar Apple vs Custard Apple

The flesh of this fruit is white (slightly yellowish) and tastes like custard. It’s very sweet.

A good source of thiamine and vitamin B6, and provides vitamin B2, B3 B5, B9, iron, magnesium, phosphorus and potassium.

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If you want to know about Philippines’ Travel Guide for Vegans, click here.


About the Author is a blog for anyone who strives for a healthy and happy life. We share 100% plant-based (and often healthy and oil-free) recipes and give you the best tips on finding vegan local food whilst travelling and living a plant-based lifestyle focusing on good health and spiritual wellbeing.

We like to consume food, products and services that don’t harm our bodies, animals, or the planet. Use as little as possible and recycle everything.

Each individual’s dietary needs are unique. Please seek advice from a professional nutritionist or your doctor.

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