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Elixirs: Fruit

Be fruitful. Why? Because more new hybrids are appearing and more good news is emerging about the health and beauty benefits.

The newest exotic fruits on the market, Thai coconuts are harvested young so there's more milk to sip (Melissa's; 800-588-0151). Baby sugarloaf pineapples are so tender that the core is edible (Frieda's; 800-421-9477). Pango mangos have a peachy flavor and a long shelf life (Frieda's). Feijoas taste like a cross between guava, pineapple and strawberry (Melissa's). Golden sunrise papayas have the firm texture of mangos as well as the flavor of cantaloupes (Frieda's).

Berry Healthy
A few more reasons to get a daily dose of fruit:

  • Researchers suspect that resveratrol, a chemical in the skin of red grapes (and therefore in red wine and red-grape juice), might explain why the French have low heart-disease rates. Leroy Creasy of Cornell University is studying which wines contain the most resveratrol. Preliminary findings suggest that grapes grown in humid regions, especially Pinot Noir from New York State, are the most potent.

  • Researchers at Tufts University have found that blueberries seem to protect lab animals from age-related loss of memory and motor coordination. Future tests may involve humans and determine whether the effects are lasting.

  • A recent study published in the Journal of the National Cancer Institute found that eating an apple a day may promote lung health.

 

Going To Seed
The pomegranate-seed extract in Murad's Daily Defense Waterproof Sunblock boosts the SPF rating. An antioxidant in the extract is being studied as an anticarcinogen ($25 for 4.2 ounces; 888-99-MURAD). Lancôme's Vinéfit SPF 15 Complete Energizing Moisturizer contains the seeds, skin and pulp of grapes to hydrate and revitalize the complexion ($37.50 for 1.7 ounces; 800-LANCOME).

Spa Solution
The Breakers,
Palm Beach, Florida (800-833-3141).
Citrus oils are a main ingredient in the pore-stimulating tropical citrus wrap.

L.A. Vie L'Orange,
West Hollywood, California (310-289-2501).
During a "walk on the beach" pedicure, your feet dangle in a bath of orange slices and rose petals, then are scrubbed with orange peel, a natural exfoliant.

The Golden Door,
Las Croabas, Puerto Rico (800-468-8365).
The antioxidant pineapple polish uses another exfoliant, pineapple, which has anti-inflammatory compounds.

Canyon Ranch,
Tucson, Arizona (800-742-9000).
Melon seeds rub away dry skin in a treatment called the oriental body gommage.

Haven,
New York City (212-343-3515). The Drench facial hydrates skin with raspberries.

Rain-Forest Forager
For Paul Alan Cox, director of the National Tropical Botanical Garden in Hawaii and Florida, a day at the office means trekking through rain forests around the world to find and preserve endangered plants. He also seeks out vegetation with medicinal benefits, like acerola, a West Indian shrub whose cherrylike fruit contains more vitamin C than any other known food. Hoping that commerce can further conservation, Cox has joined with the cosmetics company Nu Skin to create Epoch, a skin-care line that uses rare fruits and plants. Leaf Clean Hand Wash, for example, is a soap-free cleanser made with dried sapindus berries, which the ancient Mayans used, as do some present-day Guatamalans--crushing them with rocks to produce lather. Another Nu Skin product Cox helped develop, Ava Puhi Moni Shampoo, is made with the extract from the bulb like flowers of the Ava puhi plant, blossoms that generations of Polynesians have used to wash their hair (800-487-1500).

Fruit & Creams
Clarins Energizing Morning Cream contains extracts of kiwi, peach, papaya, pineapple and orange to protect skin ($48.50 for 1.7 ounces; 800-431-9644). Papaya enzymes in Yves Saint Laurent's soap-free Pure Cleansing Mousse work as a gentle exfoliator ($30 for five ounces; at department stores). Chanel Estompe Taches Anti-Dark Spot Serum uses blackberry extract to diminish the appearance of unsightly age spots on the skin ($55 for one ounce; 800-550-0005).

Published September 2000
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