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What Is Jaboticaba?
A Unique Fruit Find In Jamaica

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What Is Jaboticaba?What Is Jaboticaba?

by Venesha Johnson | Associate Writer

Is Jamaica one of the most fruitful countries? I don’t know for sure, but based on experience and how often we discover unique fruits here, I can only assume that we are. One such fruit is the rare gem, Jaboticaba.

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Just the other day Wellesley interviewed natural food and health enthusiast, Sir Thomas, a caucasian Rastafari man who has been living in Jamaica for over 30 years. It’s Sir Thomas who introduced us to Jaboticaba.

A little History

Jaboticaba, also known as the Brazilian Grape, is a fascinating fruit with a wealth of health benefits. Jabuticaba is a tropical evergreen shrub or slow-growing tree that reaches a height of about 5-13 meters. The fruit has a hard outer skin with a sweet and soft pulp inside, containing four large seeds. Its unique growth pattern and striking appearance have earned it various names, including Guapuru, Yabutica, Jaboticaba, Yvapuru, Taanumox, and Jabuticaba.

It’s native to the coastal forests and hilly regions of southern Brazil and unlike most fruits, this one blossoms directly from the bark and trunk instead of stems which creates a fascinating sight when in full bloom. Because of its nutrient-rich profile and diverse potential health effects, Jaboticaba, which belongs to the Myrtaceae family, has captured the interest of health enthusiasts and researchers.

One of the key features of jabuticaba is its high content of antioxidants, particularly anthocyanins, which are responsible for its deep purple colour. In fact, in a cup-to-cup comparison, jabuticaba contains more anthocyanins than blackberries, cherries, cranberries, raspberries, and strawberries, with only 20% fewer than blueberries. Additionally, jabuticaba is a natural source of resveratrol, a compound found in red wine that has been linked to various health benefits.

The Health Benefits of Jaboticaba

Being such a nutrient-dense fruit, you can only imagine the range of health benefits it can also provide. Let’s look at a few:

  1. Antioxidant and Anti-Inflammatory Effects - Jabuticaba's high antioxidant content helps combat oxidative stress and inflammation. Anthocyanins and other beneficial compounds can reduce the risk of chronic diseases, including cardiovascular disease, diabetes, and certain cancers. The anti-inflammatory properties may also help manage conditions like asthma, hepatitis, inflammatory bowel disease, arthritis, glomerulonephritis, and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD).

  2. Heart Health - The anthocyanins and polyphenols in jabuticaba may contribute to better heart health by lowering blood pressure, relaxing blood vessels, and improving circulation. These effects can help reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease by managing cholesterol levels and promoting better lipid profiles.

  3. Skin and Hair Health - Jabuticaba's antioxidants and plant compounds make it beneficial for skin and hair health. The fruit's anti-ageing properties can help delay the appearance of dark spots, wrinkles, and fine lines. Its extract is used in skincare products to promote collagen synthesis and improve skin elasticity. Additionally, jabuticaba's nutrients support hair growth and strengthen hair follicles, making it a natural remedy for hair loss.

  4. Respiratory Health - Jabuticaba has been shown to positively impact respiratory function, aiding the management of asthma symptoms and clearing obstructed bronchi and nasal passages. Regular consumption of this fruit may improve the quality of life for those with respiratory issues.

  5. Digestive Health - The dietary fibre in jabuticaba supports digestion and helps maintain a healthy gut microbiome. It can also help regulate bowel movements and combat diarrhoea, thanks to its astringent properties. The fruit's detoxifying effects contribute to overall digestive health.

  6. Bone Health - Jabuticaba contains essential minerals like calcium, potassium, and magnesium, which support bone mineral density and promote strong bones and teeth. This can reduce the risk of fractures and conditions like osteoporosis.

How To Eat Jaboticaba

Like most fruits, Jaboticaba can be enjoyed in various ways. It can be eaten raw, but having too much of its hard outer skin may lead to constipation, so it is advised to pop it, eat the insides and discard the skin and seeds.

If you prefer a sweeter taste, you can use it to make jams, jellies, juices, and even wine. Also, bear in mind, that having the fruit with its skin ensures you get the full benefits of its anthocyanins and other nutrients.

While visually striking, Jaboticaba has much more to offer; it's a nutritional powerhouse with a range of health benefits. Its antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties, heart health effects, support for respiratory health, and positive impact on skin, hair, digestion, and bone health make it a valuable addition to anyone’s balanced diet. So if you ever run into this fruit, definitely give it a try.

Check out the video below as Wellesley chats it up with Sir Thomas, not only talking about it but also giving this unique fruit a first try.

Watch Video! What Is Jaboticaba?

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Return to Jamaican Fruits from What Is Jaboticaba?
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References & Sources For What Is Jaboticaba?

  1. Jabuticaba : 9 fantastic health incentives of this exotic fruit (no date) Netmeds. Available at: (Accessed: 11 May 2024).
  2. Jodi Matsuo, P.D. (2023) Jaboticaba: A backyard superfood, Ka Wai Ola. Available at:,microbial%20and%20anti%2Dobesity%20effects (Accessed: 11 May 2024).
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