Am sure you have heard of apples before and even eaten them but what about Custard Apple? This is not a case of adding fruit to your custard, Lol!
The fruits are completely different and have many health benefits.
Annona reticulata fruit
What Are Custard Apples?
They are juicy and creamy fruit with white pulp that contain up to 40 black seeds. The exterior is rough, knobby, and grayish-green.
It is origin to West Indies and parts of South America, scientifically known as Annona reticulata. It is also called sugar apple or sweetsop and closely related to the soursop, and various citrus fruits,
This anon fruit grows from different ovaries that merge into one fruit, which is slightly larger than a sweetsop and has a rough exterior.
Please Read: How to Make Egg Rolls in Nigeria from Scratch
Custard Apple is vaguely heart-shaped and has a range of cultivars, which means that it can be in different colors, including maroon, brown, green, or yellow.
Anon fruit can be consumed just by itself or in the form of shakes, smoothies, pie, deserts, and ice cream.
It can also be used to prepare special recipes
Read Also: Healthy Life Happy Life with Bitter Kola
More so, this Atis fruit is an exceptional substitute for dairy products, making it perfect for those who are allergic to dairy products as it provides the same nutrition.
The leaves are regularly used for medicinal purposes owing to their quick curative capability.
They could also be applied directly on to the skin or could be used as a combination with other ingredients.
How to Eat Sugar Apple
It should always be eaten ripe, that can easily be detected by its soft texture when pressed gently.
The best way of eating this delicious fruit is to split open the fruit, scoop a spoonful of sugar apple pulp into the mouth.
Then, enjoy the fleshy segments while separating the hard seeds in the mouth and spitting them out. The fruit tastes best when eaten chilled.
Apart from being an exotic delicacy, Annona reticulata seed has been used medicinally all over the world for a variety of reasons.
Custard Apple Benefits
The benefits are many and they include:
- Ideal for consumption during pregnancy
The fruit is one of the chosen foods that pregnant women can eat. It contains folate (folic acid) that is highly useful for women during their time of conception.
It helps in reducing the risk of neural tube defects.
Apart from taking capsules to maintain their folic acid levels, pregnant women can also eat sugar apple along with other nutritious fruits.
Nursing mothers are also encouraged to regularly eat sugar apple as it facilitates milk production.
However, avoid over consumption and consult a doctor if you think it is not suiting your digestive system well.
- Heart Health
Annona reticulata belongs to the class of foods used to maintain a healthy heart.
It is a good source of Vitamin B6 which, along with Vitamin B9 and B12 helps in controlling the homocysteine (an amino acid) levels in our blood.
The high amount of magnesium in sweetsop helps to disentangle the muscles of the heart thus lessening the possibilities of stroke or coronary heart disease.
- Prevents Asthma
Annona reticulata contain valuable vitamins and minerals that are helpful in alleviating an asthma attack.
Whereas Vitamin B6 reduces the chances of the bronchial tubes to be inflamed, Vitamin C aids to lower the histamine levels thus reducing inflammation and wheezing.
Magnesium, at the same time, helps in relaxing the muscle cells.
- Blood Pressure Management
Potassium assists in reducing blood pressure by balancing the adverse effects of salt in our body.
The suggested value of potassium every day is 4700 milligrams where sugar apple fruit contains 5% of the daily value.
Daily consumption of sweet apples along with other foods rich in potassium may help in keeping your blood pressure under control as well as maintaining a healthy lifestyle.
- Promotes Healthy Bones
Annona reticulata contains 2% and 6% of the daily value of calcium and magnesium respectively.
Both of which are vital for strengthening and maintaining your bone health, reducing chances of osteoporosis and bone-related complications.
- Controls the Cholesterol Level
Vitamin B3 or niacin plays a vital role in increasing the levels of good cholesterol (HDL) by 15-35% while reducing triglycerides and LDL-cholesterol levels by 20-50% and 10-20% respectively.
Sweetsop provides you with 6% of the daily value of Niacin.
If you are already on medications for cholesterol, desist from eating a lot of cholesterol-controlling foods as they may interfere with the working of the medication.
- Good for The Eyes
This amazing fruit is a rich source of vitamin A, vitamin C, and riboflavin which helps to prevent eye problems.
The antioxidant properties of Vitamin A help in protecting the retina and cornea cells from free radicals, thus contributing to better eyesight.
- Sugar Apple for Diabetes
It is very rich in dietary fiber which has been found effective in minimizing the onset of type-2 diabetes.
Dietary fiber plays an important role in reducing the absorption of sugar in our body, also minimizing the risk of type 2 diabetes.
Two of these fruits when included in your diet will help in meeting up with half of your daily dietary fibers.
- Better Digestion
It helps in proper digestion because of its high constituent of copper and dietary fiber.
Annona reticulata fruit also helps to get rid of unwanted toxins from the intestines thereby aiding easy bowel movement.
The presence of copper and dietary fibers in the fruit aids in proper digestion, relieves constipation as well as regularizes bowel movements.
- Energy Booster
It is an energy powerhouse because it is an important fruit for fighting fatigue, tiredness, and weakness of the body.
- For Thyroid
it contains copper that helps to trigger the thyroid, and also in protecting our body from undue thyroxine in the blood.
Since Annona reticulata contains a rich amount of copper, it can be considered as one of the foods to be eaten for regulating the thyroid.
- Cancer Prevention
The fruit contains alkaloids and acetogenin that are effective for preventing the growth of tumor cells and reducing the risk of cancer.
Custard apple tree bark contains tannins and astringents that have been proven effective for treating and inhibiting tumor cells and cancer.
- Healthy Weight Gain
Sugar in the fruit helps to boost the body’s metabolic process thereby increasing one’s appetite. In a nutshell, individuals aiming to add healthy weight can eat more sweetsop.
The pulp contains no sodium, they are high in carbohydrates and rich in calcium, vitamin C and phosphorus, and with a sugar content of about 50-50 (glucose and sucrose).
Custard apples are also considered as good tonic in Ayurveda. It enriches the blood and is known to increase muscular strength.
- Custard Apple Seeds contain an alkaloid, neutral resin, fixed oil and irritant poison which kill lice.
- The mashed, ripe fruit, mixed with salt, is applied on tumors. Unripe fruit is also taken in for diarrhea and dysentery. A decoction of the unripe fruit is used as a wound wash.
- Sugar apple pulp juice is taken to expel intestinal worms. Crushed fresh leaves can be placed near nostril of persons having fainting fits.
- A decoction of the leaves is good to cure diabetes, clarify urine, used in baths to alleviate rheumatic pain, aid digestive problem, and to treat colds.
- The seed powder, when mixed with coconut oil and apply on the scalp helps to get rid of lice.
- The bark of the tree decoction is used to stop diarrhea.
- The leaves are burnt and used as a mosquito repellant.