There is a high-antioxidant superfruit that you absolutely must know about. I’m talking about noni, a fruit that’s earned its name as a superfruit due to the phenomenal antioxidants and anti-inflammatory properties noni and, more specifically, noni juice contain. Noni juice is so amazing it’s even been labeled a wonder food. (1)
So what is noni, and what makes it so great? Noni is a small, evergreen tree found in the Pacific Islands, Southeast Asia, Australia and India that often grows among lava flows. Known as a folk remedy for numerous treatments, noni has been used to make dyes for clothing as well as medicine. Even today, the fruit of noni along with the leaves, flowers, stems, bark and roots are used for healing. But because more research is needed, you may not have heard of noni until now.
Better late than never, because this amazing superfruit has been shown to do many amazing things. More specifically, noni is known to help with joint pain and skin conditions, and researchers are investigating it as a possible healing tonic for cancer and chronic conditions, such as cardiovascular disease and diabetes. (2, 3)
It’s often found in combination with grape juice, probably because the grape juice helps hide the unpleasantly bitter taste it possesses, but it can also be found in capsules, tablets and teas. Its popularity as a supplement has developed, mainly due to the flavonoids it contains, which provide noni juice with the benefits I share in this article.
Noni Juice Benefits
1. Packs an Amazing Antioxidant Punch
You’ve probably heard alot about antioxidants. Foods that contain antioxidants are great because they may help prevent disease-causing cell damage. More common antioxidants are anthocyanins, beta-carotene, catechins, coenzyme Q10, flavonoids, lipoic acid, lutein, lycopene, selenium, and vitamins C and E, which can be found in many foods and as dietary supplements.
Noni and grapeseed oil are among two sources where you can find many of these antioxidants. Antioxidants help reduce damage caused to cells due to oxidative stress. This oxidative stress can come from free radicals, which are highly unstable molecules, and naturally form when the body converts food into energy, such as when you exercise. Researchers believe that oxidative stress affects many diseases, such as cancer, cardiovascular diseases, diabetes, Alzheimer’s disease, Parkinson’s disease, cataracts and age-related macular degeneration. (4)
2. Fights Pain Associated with Tumors
The National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health reports that noni, ginkgo biloba, isoflavones, pomegranate, and grapeseed extract may be cancer-fighting foods. In particular, the anticancer properties of anthraquinones make noni the superfruit of interest. (5)
The anthraquinones, which are naturally occurring phenolic compounds, have been found to possibly prevent glucose from entering tumor cells, preventing metastasis, ultimately leading to cell death. This, in turn, is helpful in slowing the growth of cancer cells.
A study reported by Evidence-Based Complementary and Alternative Medicine shared that some products on the shelf that contain noni may lack anthraquinones due to processing and that the anthraquinones are most commonly found in the seeds and leaves. Regardless, it’s important to note that studies are still being conducted regarding anthraquinones and their effects on the body. Though research suggests that these compounds may help reduce pain and fatigue associated with cancer, it does not seem to reduce tumor size. (6, 7)
3. Combats Inflammation and Boosts Immunity
Research published in the Journal of Natural Products shows that a “new fatty acid, a new ascorbic acid derivative, and a new iridoid glycoside, a metabolite important for metabolism” were studied along with 13 compounds found in fermented noni fruit juice. The study showed detoxification benefits due to the enzymes known as quinone reductase. This suggests great anti-inflammatory traits, making noni juice a strong anti-inflammatory food. (8)
For example, these traits can help reduce the effects of arthritis. By adding noni juice into your diet, you may be able to provide the body with much-needed nutrients that can reduce and even help eliminate inflammation found in the body. Additionally, the amino acids found in noni can help boost the immune system. Noni contains 17 amino acids, but the serine, arginine and methionine found in noni are particularly useful in keeping the body strong. It can even help with fitness and athletics.
4. Helps Reduce Cholesterol
A study was conducted of cigarette smokers, which as we know are at particularly high risk for over the top cholesterol levels. The study, which was reported in the Scientific World Journal, gave noni juice to heavy smokers daily for 30 days. The findings revealed much lower cholesterol levels and triglycerides after consuming noni and, therefore, less inflammation in the body. (9)
It’s no secret that cigarette smokers cause a great deal of cell damage within their bodies. In fact, it’s reported that cigarette smoking is a major cause of cardiovascular disease and the reason for one in three deaths related to cardiovascular disease. It raises triglycerides, lowers the “good” HDL cholesterol, causes blood clots — which are known to block blood flow to the heart and brain — and can cause an increase in the buildup of plaque within the body, specifically fat, cholesterol and calcium in the blood vessels. Noni can help reduce cholesterol levels, but of course, quitting smoking altogether is the best course of action. (10)
5. Provides Cellular Repair
Noni may be perfect for cellular repair. It contains colorless alkaloids, and alkaloids are critical in maintaining a healthy balance in the body. Studies show that the body actually produces an alkaloid called xeronine, which activates enzymes.
According to Dr. Ralph Heinicke, a biochemist, xeronine is a must-have for our bodies. Where it gets tricky is that as soon as xeronine is found in the body, the protein in our bodies consumes it right away, leaving us with little, if any, for cellular repair needs. (11)
How does the noni fruit fit into all of this? Noni contains only small amounts of xeronine, but the juice contains proxeronine. Proxeronine is a special colloid that prompts the release of xeronine in the intestinal tract once it comes in contact with a specific enzyme that’s found in noni juice. This can significantly enhance cellular function.
6. Prevents Parasitic Disease
Noni juice just may help prevent parasitic disease. Leishmaniasis is a parasitic disease typically found in tropical areas and southern Europe from sand flies, which are much smaller than the average mosquito we know today. This has become more important due to drug resistance and some complications caused by possible combined HIV infection. Noni has a rich chemical composition the has been shown to fight the parasites with the phenolic and aromatic compounds it contains, making it a possible treatment against leishmaniasis.
Noni Juice Nutrition
One tablespoon of noni juice contains about: (12)
- 3.5 calories
- 0.9 gram carbohydrates
- 1.5 milligrams vitamin C (2 percent DV)
- 300 micrograms zinc (2 percent DV)
- 170 micrograms niacin (<1 percent DV)
- 0.12 microgramsfolate (<1 percent DV)
- 2 milligrams calcium (<1 percent DV)
- 800 micrograms magnesium (<1 percent DV)
- 35 micrograms iron (<1 percent DV)
- 10 milligrams potassium (<1 percent DV)
Noni also provides fatty acids, amino acids (serine, arginine and methionin), and powerful antioxidants, such as anthocyanins, beta-carotene, catechins, coenzyme Q10, flavonoids, lipoic acid, lutein, lycopene and selenium.
History of Noni Juice
The noni plant is actually a member of the coffee family, and the fruit presents itself as bumpy and yellowish-white in color. Belonging to a tree in the coffee family, Rubiaceae, noni goes by the scientific name Morinda citrifolia. Like many other fruits, the noni fruit is squeezed into a juice and sold as such, but you can also get it as a juice concentrate, a powder, and it can even be found in beverages blended with other ingredients and juices.
Noni goes beyond the juice department, of course. It can be purchased as a fruit leather made from the dehydrated pulp and crushed leaves and can be found in natural medicines and cosmetics. Pushing the noni fruit a little further, noni oil is produced from pressed seeds and used topically in many products, including shampoos. Noni products are sold all over the world, but they’re most popular in North America, Mexico, Asia and Australia. (13)
Have you ever heard of a canoe plant? Canoe plants are typically taken from Polynesia, by boat, and transplanted to other Pacific Islands. More specifically, canoe plants help pinpoint those plants that were brought to Hawaii about 1,700 years ago by Polynesian explorers. Noni is one of these plants. (14)
The tradition of noni was to use the fruits as food and for intestinal issues. The leaves, however, were applied to wounds and injuries that cause swelling and arthritis, often as a poultice. Some common names of noni are morinda, Indian mulberry, hog apple and canary wood. Its Latin name, however, is Morinda citrifolia.
Noni juice is sometimes referred to as “a gift from Pele,” as it comes from areas where lava flows. It’s believed by ancient Hawaiians that Kilauea was the home of Pele, known as the goddess of volcanoes and a “goddess of fire, lightning, dance, and violence.” However, locals truly appreciate every eruption, seeing it as a gift from Pele. Not only does Pele provide noni, but each eruption creates about 40 acres of new land each year. (15)
Noni has become a pretty big moneymaker, representing a $3 billion industry. A plant pathologist, Scot Nelson, from the University of Hawai’i at Manoa’s College of Tropical Agriculture and Human Resources, claims at around $1 per fluid ounce, noni is responsible for “one of the world’s highest profit-margins for juice beverages.” In addition to the juice, noni has become a popular supplement, mostly found dried and in powder. To achieve this, a patent reports that it starts from picking the fruit from the tree to a lengthy process of drying the leaves and eventually grinding them into a fine powder. (16)
How to Consume Noni Juice and Noni Juice Recipes
Noni may remind you of a mango in size and color, but it doesn’t contain the sweetness that the mango holds. The noni fruit is bitter to the tongue and really more known as a healing tonic than a refreshing juice beverage.
Noni is sometimes consumed as a supplement in powder form or capsules, and it’s often consumed as a healing tonic by drinking the juice. You can juice it at home if you have a juicer, or you can purchase noni juice at a specialty grocery store or online. If you decide to juice your own, it takes about six noni fruits to yield eight ounces of juice. By adding some fresh lemon juice or grape juice, you can create a more pleasant taste. You can also add chopped noni to your smoothie, morning yogurt or oatmeal, or cook it in your vegetables sautéed and serve it over rice.
I want to remind you to make sure your doctor is OK with you consuming noni. While it has some amazing health benefits that the Polynesians clearly know lots about, it’s best to make sure.
If you have the go-ahead, try this noni juice recipe to start:
Polynesian Superfruit Shake
- ¼ cup noni fruit, chopped or ¼ cup of noni juice
- 1 ripe banana
- ½ cup fresh pineapple
- ¼ cup fresh mango
- Juice of ¼ lemon
- Handful of kale or spinach
- 1 scoop protein powder made from bone broth
- ½ cup almond milk
- 1 tablespoon raw local honey
- Place all ingredients into a high-powered blender and blend until smooth.
- You can add a few ice cubes if you prefer it chilled or use frozen bananas for a thicker shake.
Here are a couple more noni juice recipes to try:
Noni Juice Precautions
Noni contains potassium and not be a good choice for anyone suffering with kidney problems. Because research is needed, there are many claims that are unsupported by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration. Some reports indicate that it may cause liver problems and should be avoided is you have liver disease. Make sure to discuss it with your health care provider.
Though there have been reports of toxicity concerns of noni, it’s been concluded that noni juice probably won’t cause complications due to toxicity. Regardless, it’s best to check with your doctor, especially if you’re pregnant, breast-feeding or experiencing any health complications.
Final Thoughts on Noni Juice
- Noni is known to help with joint pain and skin conditions, and researchers are investigating it as a possible healing tonic for cancer and chronic conditions, such as cardiovascular disease and diabetes.
- It’s often found in combination with grape juice, probably because the grape juice helps hide the unpleasantly bitter taste it possesses, but it can also be found in capsules, tablets and teas.
- Noni may remind you of a mango in size and color, but it doesn’t contain the sweetness that the mango holds. The noni fruit is bitter to the tongue and really more known as a healing tonic than a refreshing juice beverage.
- Noni goes beyond the juice department, of course. It can be purchased as a fruit leather made from the dehydrated pulp and crushed leaves and can be found in natural medicines and cosmetics.
- Noni juice has been shown to pack an amazing antioxidant punch, fight pain associated with tumors, combat inflammation, boost immunity, help reduce cholesterol, provide cellular repair and prevent parasitic disease.
Read Next: Top 15 Anti-Inflammatory Foods
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