Exotic fruits may have extra immune boosting benefits

CINCINNATI (WKRC) - Fighting the flu isn't easy when everyone around seems to be sick.

But maybe instead of starting with what's in the pharmacy people may want to start with what's in the produce aisle. Usually when Angelica Johnson goes grocery shopping with her son Aven who is six, she admits it's a bit of a challenge because he’s a bit of a picky eater. So imagine her surprise when he recently tried sumo oranges.

He said to her, “”I'm glad this other country brought these oranges to America.”

Angelica told Local 12, “At first I kind of paused and I said, ‘What did you say? And he said, ‘I'm glad you brought these oranges to America.’ I said, ‘Wow this is great!’”

It's great because as Brandon Egan with the Oakley Kroger shared with Local 12, they came from Japan. And if people like mandarin oranges that are sweet, sumo oranges are like one of those, “on steroids.”

It's not the only exotic fruit coming soon to a grocery store near you, people can now get pomellos, which are a sweeter version of a grapefruit, and blood or power oranges, which are red inside instead of orange.

Egan shared on the blood oranges, “It's got lycopene in it, which is found in tomatoes. Lycopene is a great antioxidant.”

Or people can find an apple that tastes like a grape! They’re called grapples.

During flu season these may be especially important as people try to boost immunity for cold and flu season. So not only should people get more total fruits and vegetables, but a few of the newer ones might have some additional nutritional value as well.

Egan shared, “These are Meyer lemons, they are basically a clementine mandarin version of a lemon so they are a sweeter version of a lemon.”

Much of the body benefits from them comes from what's called phytochemicals in the fruits. Natural compounds in the colors, flavors and textures to boost the body. The good part is it's not just Aven who's loving the foods, it's just about everyone who tries them.

So from one mom, to moms everywhere frustrated with a picky eater, keep tasting!

The fruits are a little more expensive. The pomellos were about $2 each and the sumo oranges were 79 cents each. But some were on sale in the citrus season.

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