True fruit lovers will often not discriminate when it comes to the kind of fruits they buy and ultimately eat. This is because all fruits are nourishing, unique in their taste and shape and definitely healthy. However not all fruits are created equal and they can be divided in a myriad categories, if we really wanted to. But for starters it’s safe to say there are at least two categories available that will usually split people into two different camps: sour fruits and sweet fruits.
Sour fruits have an entirely different composition that gives them that powerful and distinguishable taste among all the fruits. Of course, sourness can also be an indicator of fruits that have gone bad or that are in the process of going bad. This is why it’s best to know which fruits are sour by nature, so you don’t have any unpleasant surprises when you actually begin consuming them. In the same line of thought, not all sour fruits are created equal either – some of them are mildly sour, while others are so sour they will make your lips pucker. So what are the most sour fruits? Let’s see what the most sour fruits out there are and what makes each of them unique, in terms of health benefits and uses. Read the list of sour fruits we’ve prepared below, see which one you’ve tasted so far and which one sparks your interest the most:
Lemons and limes are in the same category, since they share many similarities between them. They are both small, round-oval in shape and they share most of their health benefits.
Both lemons and limes are powerful antioxidant fruits and boast an impressive amount of vitamins and minerals, making them powerful aids for the immune system. They will also keep you looking and feeling young, since it’s these exact antioxidants that help fight the body’s natural cellular aging process.
Both of these fruit types are acidic and sour, but their colors differ. Lemons are typically a bright yellow, while limes are green. Another important difference between them is that although both are sour in nature, lemons tend to lean towards the sweeter palate, while limes have a hint of bitterness to them. Having said this, limes are actually the most sour fruit in the world.
Due to their strong taste, both lemons and limes can be found in foods and drinks. They’re both quite versatile and there are many ways to benefit from what they have to bring to the table in terms of taste and nutrition:
- Regardless of what part of the fruit you use, both lemons and limes can turn things around taste-wise when it comes to either cocktails, deserts, salads or non-alcoholic beverages.
- We’re talking about squeezed lemon or lime juice which is just as often encountered as using the rind or peel in a wide variety of prepared goods in the kitchen. Juices from both fruits can be used to flavor salad dressings, marinades or sauces.
- What’s interesting is that the high acidity they contain makes both limes and lemons great fruits when it comes to killing bacteria, which is why you can find many surface cleaners and bleaches that will have such extracts.
- Lemons and limes are also great in aromatherapy, since they can enhance a person’s mental state.
Guava is another fruit that rightfully earned its place in this list describing the most sour fruits out there. There are several species of the guava fruit and depending on which one you choose, you can get it in either a round or oval shape. It’s about 4-12 cm (1.6 to 4.7 in) long and it’s edible in its entirety.
In fact, the rind of a guava fruit is, in fact, even richer in vitamin C than an entire orange. The seeds are completely edible as well, even though some of them may be a bit tougher.
Guava is truly a superfruit as it is packed with vitamins and minerals. The most important mentions here are vitamin C, which makes guava a notable antioxidant fruit, manganese, a mineral that helps the body better absorb other crucial nutrients from the food we eat and folate, which helps promote fertility, among other tremendous health benefits.
In fact, guava contains about the same amount of potassium a banana does and this mineral really helps regulate blood pressure levels.
- You’ll find that guavas are often used in teas that are very effective with abdominal pains and watery stools.
- Guava is also excellent in jams or fruit pastes, which can be eaten as such or can be folded into pastries or added to meat and toasts.
- Raw guava is also great in its raw form as an addition to several recipes. You can either add it to salads or blend it into a delicious smoothie.
3. Tart Cherries
Although similar in many aspects to regular cherries, tart cherries are pretty unique in themselves. Let’s look at what makes them unique and so popular across the world.
There are a myriad health benefits offered by these fruits, making them truly special. They improve the quality and length of your sleep – for this, Montmorency cherries are the most effective.
Tart cherries are also great in helping the body recover after intense physical exercise. Muscle soreness is considerably alleviated when drinking Montmorency cherry juice. The state of your gut is extremely important to your overall well-being and it’s the same Montmorency cherries that promote crucial gut health.
Tart cherries are great at improving cholesterol and lowering triglycerides, which in turn will improve your heart’s health.
- You’ll often find these cherries in baked desserts such as pies, tarts and cakes.
- Tart cherries also make an excellent ingredient for cooling and nutritious juices.
- Jams are also a great way to fully benefit from the wonders of tart cherries.
Gooseberries are easily distinguishable among other fruits out there, since they are small and weigh around 3-6 grams each. Their colors can vary greatly – you can either find them in green, pink, yellow-white, dark purple or red. Depending on their type, you can either find them on the sweeter side or touching the more sour range.
Gooseberries are another type of antioxidant superfruits, since they boast antioxidants such as anthocyanins, flavonols, organic and aromatic acids. They may also help control blood sugar levels, while also promoting heart health. Additionally, gooseberries may also have anticancer effects, as one study shows Antioxidant and anticancer properties of berries.
- Their particular taste makes gooseberries a great addition to baked desserts such as cakes, pies and tarts.
- Gooseberry compotes, jams and chutneys are also delicious and easy to prepare.
- You can also lightly grill gooseberries, which will reduce their tartness, as experts chefs say.
- Another way to enjoy your gooseberries is to add them as garnish to main dishes – they will improve the taste, add a bit of variety and make for a creative-looking addition.
Cranberries have also made it on the sour fruit examples list and they are very popular fruits all across the world. They’re small, round, hard and red, you can easily recognize them anywhere. Their taste is somewhere between bitter and sour.
- Cranberries are extremely high in antioxidants, which makes them very potent for the human immune system.
- They are excellent in preventing and treating urinary tract infections (UTIs).
- Cranberries also play an important role in decreasing blood pressure and preventing certain types of cancer.
- The powerful combination between vitamin C, vitamin K1, vitamin E, manganese and copper makes these small fruits truly crucial in maintaining and supporting immune system health.
- There are plenty of cranberry recipes out there, but some of the most popular include tarts, cakes, muffins, cheesecakes, brownies and pies – the dessert possibilities are really endless.
- Cranberries can also be added to salads or to granolas.
- Cranberry juice also makes for a refreshing and very nutritious drink.
- These fruits are also terrific when turned into sauces that can be later added to main dishes.
- Cranberries are also food when dried up or used in their powdered form.
Tamarind is a more exotic appearance on this list of sour fruits, since it’s a tropical fruit and the tree produces bean-like pods filled with seeds, clothed in a fibrous pulp. When the fruit is young, the pulp is green and sour and gradually sweetens as the fruit matures.
- Tamarind is very rich in antioxidants such as polyphenols, making this fruit crucial in maintaining a healthy immune system. The antioxidants it contains may also boost heart health.
- This fruit has a rich combination of minerals and vitamins that’s enough to keep any immune system sturdy and healthy. We’re talking about calcium, iron, magnesium, potassium, phosphorus, vitamins B1, B2 and B3. There are also traces of selenium, copper, vitamins C and K, folate and vitamin B – truly one of nature’s superfruits.
- Tamarind may also have antiviral, antifungal and antibacterial effects. As antibiotic resistance is increasing nowadays, scientists have started looking at plants such as tamarind to help successfully fight bacteria.
- As it is very high in sugar, diabetics may need to consult a physician before consuming tamarind.
- The simplest way to eat tamarind is to eat the fruit straight from the pods.
- Tamarind is great as chutney – it will make for an aromatic and useful spice to be added to your regular dishes.
- You can prepare tamarind paste from the pods and use it in your cooking process. Making tamarind syrup is also a valid option and it will greatly add to your flavorful meals.
7. Green Mango
Green mango is another type of sour fruit that easily deserves its place on this list. It’s in fact an unripe mango and it’s frequently used as a replacement for lime in Thai dishes. When picking one, make sure to choose the hardest one. Depending on cultivar, your green mango may vary in shape and size.
- Treats digestive problems, as it effectively stimulates the secretion of digestive juices – green mango treats constipation, acidity, heartburn, nausea and morning sickness.
- Green mango also promotes liver health and treats several liver-related ailments. Its rich B6 vitamin-composition also promotes heart health.
- Its powerful combo of fiber, protein, vitamins and minerals makes green mango a tremendous superfruit that can easily boost your immune system when eaten regularly.
- A glass of freshly squeezed green mango is great at protecting your body from the sizzling heat, while also preventing dehydration. It does this by correcting any possible mineral imbalance in the body.
- Green mangoes are great in fruit salads, especially when combined with sweeter fruits.
- Raw mangoes also make for a great chutney that can later be added to main dishes.
- Green mangoes also make the perfect ingredient for refreshing and nutritious drinks, especially in the summertime when they also help fight dehydration.
8. Green Apples
Green apples are some of the world’s most popular fruits and they’re beloved by children and adults just as much. They are very similar to the more classic red apples, but they are more sour in taste.
- Green apples are great at increasing the body’s metabolism due to their high-fiber content. It’s the same fiber content that will help optimize the digestive process and clear it from toxic elements.
- Their low-fat content ensures better blood flow in the body, which in turn can prevent a wide variety of heart conditions.
- Green apples also boast a good amount of vitamin K, which makes them great aids in better healing blood clots.
- These apples are also very rich in antioxidants, which means eating them regularly will keep you looking and feeling fresh throughout the years.
- Green apples are extremely versatile and can be used in a wide variety of ways. They have just enough sweetness to be excellent in baked goods such as cobblers, pies, tarts – the sky is really the limit.
- They can also easily be used raw as an addition to your morning muesli or to lush salads.
- You can also use your green apples to turn them into refreshing drinks and even cider.
- Green apples also do well as sauces, jams and chutneys.
- These apples also have good applicability externally in skin and hair treatments.
9. Star Fruit
Star fruit or carambola as it is otherwise known is another tropical fruit that made it on the list of the most sour fruits out there. The cross-section of this fruit closely resembles a star, making it one of the most distinguishable fruits in the world. This fruit is popular throughout the Caribbean, the South Pacific, Southeast Asia and the Caribbean.
- The star fruit is not only aesthetically pleasing, but also incredibly healthy. Carambola has a powerful combination of minerals and vitamins such as magnesium, folate, potassium, copper, vitamin C, vitamin B5, protein and fiber.
- Carambola is a great source of antioxidants, which makes it a great aid in fighting free radicals and their harmful aging effects on the human body.
- Although more studies are needed, information shows this fruit may hold significant promise in preventing liver cancer or at least in reducing fatty liver risk.
- Due to their interesting and fun appearance, star fruit makes for a great drink garnish. It will do just fine on the rim of your cocktail, while also livening up any party.
- You can bake star fruits and turn them into chips – children will love them.
- You can easily use the star fruit in its raw form and add it to salads.
- Lightly cook the carambola and add to any dish you may plan for the day.
These are only nine of the most sour fruits out there and the list can, of course, go on. These sour fruits are not only popular, but also extremely healthy and versatile, in that they can be used in a myriad of ways both in food and drinks. Some of them are just too sour to be consumed raw, as many people will find, and others offer just enough zing to make things interesting and tickle the palate.
What’s your experience with sour fruits? How have you integrated them in your regular diet? Share in the section below, so more of our readers can become accustomed to the benefits of sour fruits.