Nance is a topical fruit from the Byronisma crahe treolia tree. This tree is a slow-growing large shrub, approximately 33 feet tall that grows well on sandy and rocky soil. It is known to tolerate extended droughts, so that’s probably another reason it’s so common in Guanacaste Costa Rica. In Guanacaste, it can be picked around the month of June for a period of about 4 to 6 weeks.
Nance fruit is a small ball shaped berry with a diameter of 1 to 2 cm. The fruits grow in clusters and turn orange or yellow when they are ripe. These fruits are sweet or sour in flavour, depending upon the cultivar.
The bark of Nance tree is used for various medicinal purposes both internally and externally. It is used to treat diarrhoea, rashes, wounds and pulmonary diseases. In Central America, a cup of a leaf tea taken three times per day is believed to help alleviate rheumatism, aching bones, anaemia and common fatigue.
These fruits are often conserved in the bottle so that they can be preserved for months. The fruit is often used to prepare jams and jellies, and carbonated beverages and can also be used as a stuffing for meats.
Costa Ricans traditionally collect the fruit and conserve it in a bottle of Guaro. A national alcoholic beverage very popular with the Ticos. The mix creates a delicious blend called Liquor de Nance.
Health benefits of Nance fruit:
- Nance has a high content of Vitamin C. A healthy dose of Vitamin C protects our body from infections which results in healthy bones and teeth. It also improves our body’s ability to repair wounds and keeps us immune from bacteria, viruses and infection. Not only is it a well-known component of our immune system, it is also necessary for collagen, the main structural protein found in connective tissue.
- Nance contains a significant amount of Protein in it. Protein is indispensable for the growth and development of our body. Thus incorporating Nance in our diet promotes healthy metabolic and physiological processes. Nance helps to boost our nervous and immunity system.
- Calcium in Nance along with Vitamin K helps to strengthen the bones and prevent arthritis. Vitamin K also helps blood clotting as it helps to turn on the proteins and calcium that allow the blood to clot. Thus it prevents bleeding nose, bleeding gums and so on.
- Nance is also rich in thiamine. Thiamine helps in the production of neurotransmitter which relays messages between the nerves and the muscles to ensure proper cardiac function. Hence eating Nance helps to prevent irregular cardiac function.
- Riboflavin present in Nance helps in the production of energy by assisting in the metabolism of fats, carbohydrates and proteins. Nance also helps in the formation of red blood cells and antibodies in humans.
- Folate in Nance helps to reduce depression and reduces the risk of depression and dementia. Folate is also necessary for proper functioning of brains. Nance helps to keep the brain young and improves memory.
- Regular consumption of Nance helps to ward off ageing and overall body deterioration. Nance contains a significant amount of Beta carotene which converts to vitamin A which has anti-aging effectiveness of its own. The combined anti-aging effect of both together is even greater.