19 Tropical Fruits and Their Nutritional Benefits

Tropical fruits grow in the hot areas around the Equator.

Among the various fruit varieties, tropical fruits are excellent for hydration due to their high water content.

They are also typically rich in essential vitamins and minerals.

This article provides a list of common tropical fruits, complete with pictures and their key nutritional benefits.

For each fruit, the top five vitamins and minerals found in the highest concentrations per serving will be presented.

The percent daily values (% DV) are calculated based on the FDA’s recommended daily values.

Various tropical fruits facing upward on a flat surface.

1) Banana

A peeled banana fruit.

The firm and sometimes mushy texture of a banana is quite different from most tropical fruits. This can be attributed to the banana’s comparatively lower water content, which is 75% water by weight (1).

A medium 118-gram banana provides three grams of fiber and high levels of the following nutrients (1):

  • Vitamin B6: 25% of the daily value (% DV)
  • Manganese: 14% of the daily value
  • Vitamin C: 11% DV
  • Copper: 10% DV
  • Potassium: 9% DV

For more on bananas, see this complete nutritional guide.

2) Breadfruit

Whole and half pieces of breadfruit.

While not as common in the Western world, breadfruit is extremely popular in tropical regions.

It is also one of the largest fruit, with one fruit weighing up to six kilograms in weight (2).

Breadfruit has a water content of 71%, 10.8 grams of fiber, and a 220-gram cup serving offers high levels of the following nutrients (3):

  • Vitamin C: 71% DV
  • Potassium: 23% DV
  • Copper: 20% DV
  • Thiamin (vitamin B1): 20% DV
  • Magnesium: 13% DV

3) Cherimoya

A whole and half cherimoya fruit.

Cherimoya has a unique appearance and people sometimes refer to it as ‘custard apple.’

A 235-gram cherimoya fruit has a water content of 79%, three grams of fiber, and it provides high levels of the following vitamins and minerals (4):

  • Vitamin B6: 36% DV
  • Vitamin C: 33% DV
  • Riboflavin (B2): 24% DV
  • Thiamin (B1): 20% DV
  • Copper: 18% DV

4) Dragon fruit

A whole dragon fruit next to sliced pieces.

Dragon fruit is another popular tropical fruit characterized by its distinctive appearance.

With an outer purple and green skin enclosing a white flesh dotted with little seeds, it certainly has a unique look.

Dragon fruit has a high water content of 90%, but it isn’t quite as nutrient-rich as many other types of tropical fruit.

In this regard, a 75-gram dragon fruit supplies 0.8 grams of fiber and it is highest in the following micronutrients (5):

  • Copper: 7% DV
  • Vitamin C: 4% DV
  • Potassium: 2% DV
  • Magnesium: 1% DV
  • Folate: 1% DV

5) Durian

Durian fruit cut in half showing the inner flesh.

Durian is another large tropical fruit, growing up to around three kilograms.

Compared to most tropical fruits, it has a comparatively lower water content of only 65% by weight.

A 243-gram cup of durian supplies more than nine grams of fiber and a rich source of vitamins and minerals. It has high levels of these following essential nutrients (6):

  • Copper: 56% DV
  • Thiamin (B1): 76% DV
  • Vitamin C: 53% DV
  • Riboflavin (B2): 37% DV
  • Manganese: 34% DV

6) Guava

A whole guava and two halves.

Guava is a refreshing tropical fruit with a water content of 81% and a taste that is partly sweet and part sour.

A 55-gram guava fruit provides three grams of fiber and a good source of the vitamins and minerals listed below (7):

  • Vitamin C: 139% DV
  • Copper: 14% DV
  • Folate: 7% DV
  • Potassium: 5% DV
  • Niacin (B3): 4% DV

As indicated above, guava is among the best dietary sources of vitamin C.

7) Jackfruit

A ripe jackfruit sliced in half.

Alongside breadfruit and durian, jackfruit is yet another large tropical fruit that can reach an incredible 50 kilograms in weight.

Jackfruit also has one of the lowest water contents among tropical fruit, and it instead has a chewy texture.

A 165-gram cup of sliced jackfruit provides 2.5 grams of fiber and it offers high levels of these nutrients (8):

  • Vitamin B6: 32% DV
  • Vitamin C: 25% DV
  • Potassium: 16% DV
  • Thiamin (B1): 14% DV
  • Magnesium: 11% DV

8) Longan Fruit

A pile of whole longan fruits with one peeled.

Longan has a similar appearance and texture to lychee but posseses a sweeter taste, making it a popular tropical fruit in Southeast Asia.

This little fruit also provides a good range of vitamins and minerals, particularly the ones below. Per 100 grams longan offers 1.1 grams of fiber and the following nutrients (9):

  • Vitamin C: 93% DV
  • Copper: 19% DV
  • Riboflavin (B2): 11% DV
  • Potassium: 6% DV
  • Manganese: 2.3% DV

9) Lychee

A whole lychee next to a peeled lychee showing its inner white flesh.

Aside from its skin color, lychee has a similar shape and appearance to longan, right down to its slightly translucent white flesh.

It has similar nutritional benefits too, with 100 grams of lychee providing 1.3 grams of fiber and the following nutrients at moderately high levels (10):

  • Vitamin C: 79% DV
  • Copper: 16% DV
  • Vitamin B6: 6% DV
  • Riboflavin (B2): 5% DV
  • Potassium: 4% DV

10) Mamey Sapote

Half of a mamey sapote fruit.

While not as commonly known in the Western world, mamey sapote is a popular tropical fruit in Central America and the Caribbean.

It has an outer appearance somewhat like a potato, with an inner flesh containing a large stone, reminiscent of an avocado.

A 175-gram cup of mamey sapote boasts 9.5 grams of fiber and the following vitamins and minerals at high levels (11):

  • Vitamin B6: 74% DV
  • Vitamin C: 45% DV
  • Copper: 41% DV
  • Vitamin E: 24.6% DV
  • Potassium: 17% DV

For a comprehensive nutritional guide to mamey sapote, please refer to the following article:

Mamey Sapote Nutrition: A Tropical Fruit Full of Nutrients

11) Mango

A whole mango next to a sliced mango.

Mangos are among the most globally popular of tropical fruit, possessing a sweet taste and a soft, juice texture.

They are also very nutrient-rich, with a 165-gram cup of mango pieces offering 2.6 grams of fiber and the following vitamins and minerals (12):

  • Vitamin C: 67% DV
  • Copper: 20% DV
  • Folate: 18% DV
  • Vitamin B6: 12%
  • Vitamin E: 10% DV

12) Mangosteen

A whole mangosteen next to two halves of the fruit.

Mangosteen is a popular, but expensive, tropical fruit with a unique white flesh.

However, it has a relatively modest provision of vitamins and minerals.

100 grams of this small fruit provides 0.9 grams of fiber and the nutrients listed below (13):

  • Folate: 8% DV
  • Manganese: 5% DV
  • Thiamin (B1): 4%
  • Magnesium: 3%
  • Vitamin C: 3% DV

13) Orange

A whole orange next to pieces of orange.

Oranges are tropical fruits that come in all shapes and sizes, as shown in this guide to the different types of oranges.

With a water content of 87%, oranges are one of the most refreshing fruits.

All oranges provide a rich source of vitamin C and several other essential nutrients. A 131-gram medium-sized orange offers 3.1 grams of fiber and these vitamins and minerals (14):

  • Vitamin C: 77% DV
  • Folate: 10% DV
  • Thiamin (B1): 10% DV
  • Potassium: 5% DV
  • Calcium: 4% DV

14) Papaya

Papaya fruit cut open showing its inner flesh.

With a slightly sweet taste and a soft, smooth texture, papaya is an increasingly widespread (and popular) tropical fruit.

A 145-gram cup of papaya pieces offers 2.5 grams of fiber and high levels of the following micronutrients (15):

  • Vitamin C: 98% DV
  • Copper: 78% DV
  • Folate: 13% DV
  • Vitamin A: 8%
  • Magnesium: 7% DV

See this guide to the nutritional benefits of papaya for more information.

15) Passionfruit

Whole passionfruit next to half a passionfruit showing its inner flesh.

Passionfruit is one of the best tropical fruits for dividing opinions.

The sweet and very tart taste of passionfruit divides people between those who love the fruit and those who would rather avoid it. Additionally, the fruit has a unique slimy, yellow texture that people also seem to love or hate.

A 100 grams of passionfruit provides 10.4 grams of fiber and good amounts of these vitamins and minerals (16):

  • Copper: 10% DV
  • Riboflavin (B2): 10% DV
  • Niacin (B3): 9% DV
  • Vitamin A: 7% DV
  • Potassium: 7% DV

16) Pineapple

A pineapple sliced into pieces.

Pineapple is a common yellow fruit and a globally popular tropical fruit.

With a water content of 86%, it is extremely hydrating and it provides an excellent source of vitamins and minerals.

Each 165-gram cup of pineapple offers 2.3 grams of fiber and the following nutrients in high amounts (17):

  • Vitamin C: 88% DV
  • Manganese: 67% DV
  • Copper: 20% DV
  • Thiamin (B1): 11% DV
  • Vitamin B6: 11% DV

17) Plantain

A large ripe plantain.

Plantains are a large-sized tropical fruit that are typically cooked before eating.

Although they look like bananas, plantains are much bigger and contain more starch.

In addition to their starchy carbohydrate content, plantains are very rich in vitamins and minerals.

A 148-gram cup of sliced plantain offers 2.5 grams of fiber and these micronutrients (18):

  • Vitamin C: 30% DV
  • Vitamin B6: 21% DV
  • Potassium: 15% DV
  • Magnesium: 13% DV
  • Manganese: 9% DV

18) Rambutan

Whole rambutan next to half a rambutan.

Rambutan is one of the smallest tropical fruits with an inner flesh that looks similar to longan and lychee.

However, their outer skin has a unique prickly appearance.

Rambutan is highest in the following nutrients per 100 grams (19):

  • Vitamin C: 87% DV
  • Riboflavin (B2): 5% DV
  • Zinc: 5% DV
  • Niacin (B3): 4% DV
  • Magnesium: 2% DV

19) Star fruit

A whole star fruit next to a slice of the fruit.

Star fruit certainly has a tropical appearance about it.

Once fully ripe, the fruit has a bright yellow color and the shape of a five-pointed star.

With a water content of over 91%, starfruit offers a hydrating sweet and sour taste.

A 91-gram medium starfruit provides 2.6 grams of fiber and the following nutrients (20).

  • Vitamin C: 35% DV
  • Copper: 13% DV
  • Pantothenic acid (B5): 7% DV
  • Potassium: 3% DV
  • Folate: 3% DV

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Michael Joseph, MSc

Michael works as a nutrition educator in a community setting and holds a Master's Degree in Clinical Nutrition. He believes in providing reliable and objective nutritional information to allow informed decisions.