Is it possible for a fruit to have the characteristics of an animal? I guess there’s dragon fruit, but it doesn’t look like a dragon at all. Another fruit with a distinctive appearance is salak, also known as the snake fruit. You might be able to guess why. It has a snake-skin like skin, but don’t let it deceive you. This scary-looking fruit has a lot of amazing health benefits. If you want to learn more, keep reading!
What is Salak?
The name itself (salak) is the name of the type of palm tree it grows from, which is native to the areas of Indonesia and other parts of the South Pacific. The salak tree is cultivated for the fruit it bears, which is found clustered at the base. Recognizable by its unique red colour and scaly exterior, the snake fruit is the size of a fig and looks a bit like a garlic clove when peeled.
The fruit mostly grows in regions around Malaysia, Sumatra, Java and Indonesia, but these days it’s also cultivated in Queensland. Although there are about 30 different varieties, only two are grown by farmers: Salak Bali and Salak Pondoh. Salak can be eaten fresh, made into a wine, canned, pickled or candied. While the seeds are edible, the fruit is mostly prized for its flesh, which has a unique flavour.
Nutritional Facts of Salak
Salak doesn’t just have a pleasant taste, it’s also a good source of various nutrients. Below is the nutritional value in 100 grams of the fruit:
|Nutrients||Amount||% Daily Value|
|Total Carbohydrates||0 gram||0%|
|Total fat||0.4 grams||0%|
|Vitamin D 0%||Phosphorus 1.8%||Iron 21.7$|
|Vitamin B2 0.2 milligrams||Calcium 3.8%||Vitamin C 14%|
*Note: The % Daily Value is based on a 2000-calorie diet. These can be lower or higher, depending on your needs.
As the table shows, this fruit is rich in nutrients, so it shouldn’t be a surprise that it offers a lot of health benefits too.
Health Benefits of Salak
Here are some of the most astounding health benefits of salak:
- Helps treat diabetes: the rich fiber content of the fruit is essential for regulating blood sugar. This is important for those who are diabetic. While there is a significant amount of carbohydrates in the fruit the fiber counteracts their effects, thus preventing a spike in blood sugar and easing the strain on the pancreas.
- Helps protect vision: the beta-carotene content helps protect the eyes, lower the risk of macular degeneration and slow the progression of cataracts as you age.
- Helps improve heart health: salak is oozing in potassium, which helps lower blood pressure, reducing tension in the blood vessels and arteries.
- Helps with weight loss: the dietary fiber in the fruit helps you feel more full, which prevents overeating or snacking.
- Helps boost energy: studies show that the fruit is helpful in increasing stamina and stimulating the metabolism, which may help provide a solid energy boost.
- Helps improve memory: the active ingredients and minerals in salak increase blood flow to the brain, which can help boost cognition and improve memory, all while eliminating oxidative stress and reducing the risk of various nerve conditions.