Matoa is a fruit, scientifically called pometiapinnata. It is mostly found in Indonesia, Malaysia, Singapore, and in other countries in Southeast Asia and the South Pacific. This delicious fruit grows during the monsoon season. It grows best in soil that is dry and layered thickly, with a hefty amount of rainfall to support it. Its tree grows up to a height of about 130 ft.
It’s a well-loved fruit due to its delectable taste, which is quite similar to lychee. It has a soft texture, a soothing aroma,and the ultimate tropical taste that consists of a perfect combination of sweetness and tartness. Like lychees and longan, this fruit also happens to be transparent and almost oval in shape. The Matoa fruit itself stretches up to the width of 3 cm with a height ranging between 4 to 6 cm.
Matoa first emerged from the beautiful island, Papua that is known for its exquisite beauty and growth of exotic plants and fruits. It grows successfully in the island’s lowland areas and is enjoyed thoroughly for its flavorful taste. As its popularity increased over the years, its growth also increased in Indonesia’s various islands and the surrounding regions.
Today it is found even in various parts of Southern China and enjoyed economically due to its increased sale price of around IDR 75 000 per kg. As its growth has increased in different parts of the world,the fruit has become associated with various names, including lamusi, seize, kungkil, and more. Matoa that is found in Papua, is commonly known in the local community as Lengkeng Papua.
Types of Matoa Fruit
The Matoa fruit comes under the umbrella of fruit species such as the taun tree, tava, and lychee. However, this fruit itself has two distinct types,Matoa Coconut and MatoaPapeda, which have their own uniqueness.
1. Matoa Coconut
The chewy and slightly stringy texture characterizes this particular type of Matoa. Its flesh is even drier and thicker than MatoaPapeda. It is considered to have a slightly bigger diameter than MatoaPapeda, ranging between 2.3 cm to about 2.10 cm. This round and translucent fruit type has been said to look similar to acehrambutan. The fruit comes in three different colors (red, green, and yellow), depending upon when and where it is picked from the tree.
2. Matoa Papeda
This type of matoa is stickier and softer in comparison to its counterpart. It is soft to taste, with a slightly squashy and sugary texture and a thin flesh, which is soft to touch. The fruit’s breadth ranges between 1.5 to 1.9 cm; hence it much smaller than Matoa Coconut. It, too, comes in the same three colors, red, yellow, and green,as its other type.
Despite not being as popular as other mainstream fruits, matoahas a substantialnutritional value that everyone should take advantage of. The fruit is extremely rich in both Vitamin C and Vitamin E. It is high in water content as well, which is beneficial for remaining hydrated. Matoais also agood source of minerals as well.
Health Benefits of Matoa
Let us look at some health benefits of Matoa.
Matoa has the power to mitigate anxious thoughts and stress
This fruit is so adequate in reducing stress because it has a huge supply of Vitamin E in its substance, which is an antioxidant that can lessen stress. Other than that, it’s the perfect fruit to snack on because it’s low on calories and therefore does not lead to unwanted weight gain.
Matoahelps prevent or reduce heart diseases
The fruit itself is enriched with huge amounts of Vitamin C, which helps the body control its cholesterol levels, blood pressure, and triglycerides. So, it’s perfect for those individuals who might have heart diseases that run in the family because this can save them from future pain and turmoil.
It is an energy-boosting fruit, which helps increase stamina
Matoa has a massive supply of sugar, which provides a boost of energy. People must have enough energy daily to be able to achieve maximum productivity. Matoacan heighten its consumer’s endurance, which allows them to feel more fresh and active in their lives. This is especially beneficial for those who play sports or just require high stamina.
The fruit protects against unwanted viruses by building immunity
As matoa is a good source of both Vitamin C and Vitamin E, it helps an individual build immunity to fight off unwanted viruses, including Covid 19. Strong immunity even protectsagainst atoms that have become unstable, and if not stopped, can cause various diseases in the body and early aging.
Matoa has the ability to heighten the fertility of both men and women
Vitamin E is incredibly helpful for women who are trying to get pregnant because it increases the production of cervical mucus in the body, allowing the sperm to remain alive for a much longer period. Eating matoawill enable women to improve their Vitamin E count, which improves the fertility within the body up to 30 percent. Other than that, it also protects women during pregnancy from membrane splits.
One of the major reasons for male infertility is sperm DNA damage, which can be prevented by consuming matoa, as it helps strengthen sperm quality through its high Vitamin E content. It also helps increase the sperm mobility of men as well.
Matoa has the right nutrients and minerals that help heal dysentery
Dysentery is defined as an “intestinal inflammation,” which can cause stomach pains up to two to seven days, along with dehydration. As matoa is a hydrating fruit, consuming it while suffering from dysentery can cure the disease rather quickly. That’s why in various villages in Indonesia, it has been used and considered as a successful remedy to combat this disease. They prefer to consume matoa, rather than eating medicines.
Matoa helps eradicate harmful toxins from the human body
Matoa helps rid the body of harmful toxins that can cause harm to the body function. The removal of extra toxins allows the kidney to distribute the required toxins successfully in the body.
Role in Disease Prevention
Antioxidants fight cancer-causing agents in the human body. This fruit has antioxidants encapsulated in its body, which helps prevent cancer. The antioxidants are further activated in the body through Vitamin C and E that is provided by matoa. The source of Vitamin C in the fruit provides the body with the power to defeat all the unwanted diseases that could otherwise bedetrimental to health. Other vegetables that contain antioxidants include cauliflowers.
Other than preventing cancer, this fruit prevents chronic diseasesdue toa high amount of antioxidants. People at high risk of diabetes or heart strokes, especially because it runs in their family, should increase their intake of matoa for extra protection. Matoa is even ideal for fighting against respiratory infections and evenreduces kidney stone issues. Matoa leaves can be vital if one wants to avoid any problems related to gallstones in the body.
The Beauty Benefits of Matoa
Like the other exotic and tropical fruits, Matoa also possesses nutrients that provide various beauty benefits. First, Vitamin E in the fruit allows all the skin cells to rebuild and restore, especially if they have been damaged due to ache reasons. The fruit helps keep the skin healthy and fresh through its rich source of nutrients.
Matoagives confidence to individuals who suffer from insecurity due to their damaged skin because it provides the nourishment which helps retain hydration in the skin, thus preventingacne. Matoa also prevents loose and wrinkly skin as it gives the skin elasticity and makes it look toned and young; therefore, it is the perfect solution to early aging skin. Consuming this fruit frequently is comparatively better than putting chemically induced creams that have adverse effects. Another helpful plant for your skin is aloe.
Some Side Effects of Matoa
Despite having various benefits, Matoa also has some side effects that should be avoided to safeguard one against any harm. Since matoa isn’t a mainstream fruit that is available worldwide, it hasn’t been researched enough. So there is little to know about its adverse effects if there are any. Some of the side effects include:
- One can be allergic to matoa, especially if they already suffer allergies from fruits like lychee and longan. Since this fruit isn’t readily available, nor has it been commercialized, one should consume it with some caution.
- Unawareness regarding exotic fruits sometimes can lead to certain accidents, including consuming fruits that might look like matoa but are not matoa.
- Other than the Papua region, matoa isn’t found locally in supermarkets and grocery stores; therefore, its prices can be comparatively higher than other fruits like mangoes, strawberries, bananas, etc.
Interesting Facts about Matoa
- The taste of matoa fruit is quite similar to other exotic fruits belonging to the same family, including lychee, longana, and rambutan.
- The matoa fruit tree is highly accommodating because its wood can be used to make different kinds of furniture and other varying tools. Other than that, its stems can also be utilized for the formation of paper.
- The matoa tree usually provides fruits once a year. Its flowering time is around October to September.
- According to Papua’s local citizens, a 100 cm tall matoa free tree can produce up to 200 kilograms of matoa fruit. Then it is sold to the buyers, who usually prefer their fruit to be vibrant red because of its heightened beauty.
- The fruit has a lot of glucose content, and consuming it too much can make you dizzyand faint and give you the feeling of being hungover.
- Matoa can be consumed in several ways, including eating it raw or as a pulp or syrup. Its seeds can be dried and used for tea.
- The fruit can be preserved and stored for several weeks at room temperature.
- The fruit is considered to be sustainable, hence why it has been planted heavily all around Indonesia, due to the encouragement by their President Megawati.
It is a good idea to keep on experimenting with food, as there are so many new and exotic things in the market. Start from the delicious fruit matoa that will surely remind you of the glorious tropical islands and provide your body with healthy nutrients.