Bignay – The tiny, but nutritious fruits
“Small, but terrible” — this is one of the most used quotation describing someone or something that comes amazing despite of the small packages. This is also used to emphasize that size doesn’t matter. It’s always the performance.
Speaking of small packages, Bignay is an edible fruit almost the size of the bullet of a pellet gun toy. The unripe fruit is green that will turn into red, which is in between ripe and unripe. Then, it will turn into ripe black fruit. The ripe fruit can be easily picked on a way that the wind can remove them from the stems.
Bignay is acrid (mapakla) when green, sour when red and a little sweet when ripe. The only thing I hate about bignay is the huge, hard seed inside every fruit.
This is quite abundant in the Philippines that it was dubbed as one of the “invasive species.” But, some people still don’t know it’s existence.
When I was a kid, this was one of my fruit trips as this will come quite cheap. I can buy a whole plastic (local ice pack) for only P1.00. My P1.00 can fill-up a whole bowl that will keep me sipping and chewing all through out the day. For a kid who loves sour fruit, nothing beats that moment.
Recently, Bignay just made headlines due to a research revealing that this is a one heck of a fruit. The small berry is packed with vitamins and minerals that can nourish a body and go through the day.
According to the Purdue.edu, a 100 grams has lots moisture for rehydration. It is also rich in Protein, Calcium, Phosphorus, Iron, Thiamine, Riboflavin and Niacin.
A health and lifestyle program from a local TV station quoted an expert saying that Bignay juice is a great help for people who are suffering from coronary heart disease, a very good cleanser of man and animal’s digestive tract and urinary system.
With scientific name, Antidesma bunius, bignay is also a very good anti-oxidant that will make you look younger and feel younger. This will fight the free radicals in the body that destroy cells and DNA.
Here in the Philippines, the young leaves of the tree is cooked and eaten with rice. The leaves is good in fighting infection like Syphilis and good in cleaning wounds. The bark is also good in fighting parasites and some insects.
What’s great is that someone invented the Bignay Tea, that tastes really good. The taste captured the world and is now being exported from east to west on a way that a bignay farm was built around Batangas. The venture gave many locals a livelihood and tax for the government. As far as my knowledge is concerned, the farms are in Nasugbo and Lipa, Batangas.
Now, I can say bignay is one heck of a small fruit.