Sapota is a delicious tropical fruit that belongs to the Sapotaceae family that goes with the scientific name Manilkara zapota. It is a native to Mexico, Central America and the Caribbean island. Sapota is clad by other names such as chickoo, chikoo, lamoot, sapodilla, sapodilla plum, nose berry and sapoti. In India, it is widely grown in Karnataka, Gujarat, Maharashtra, West Bengal, Andhra Pradesh and Tamil Nadu.
Chickoo has a grainy texture and a mildly musky flavour. The soft fleshy fruit is scooped out to make smoothies, jams and delectable desserts.
Sapota is high on calories providing 83 calories per 100 grams. A good source of dietary fibre, the pulp of this fruit functions as an excellent laxative. It is loaded with a rich array of vitamins A, C, niacin, folate and pantothenic acid and minerals iron, potassium and copper. The host of plant compound tannins in sapota possesses strong antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, antiviral, antibacterial and antiparasitic effects. The plethora of essential nutrients in sapota promotes overall health and well-being.
Health Benefits Of Sapota
The natural plant compound tannins in sapota contain polyphenol which neutralizes acid secretion in the gut. The powerful antiparasitic, antiviral, anti-inflammatory and anti-bacterial properties soothe the irritated tummy, treat gastritis and other bowel disorders. Furthermore, being rich in fibre aids digestion and works as an excellent laxative providing relief from constipation and lowers infections of the gut.
2. Stronger Bones
The umpteen amount of minerals calcium, phosphorus, copper and iron present in sapota help to strengthen the bone. Regular intake of chikoo can greatly improve bone quality. Lack of copper in the diet can increase the risk of osteoporosis, the presence of copper in sapota is pivotal for the health of bones, promotes muscle and tissue strength.
Sapota comes with a whopping amount of vitamins C, A and antioxidants that play a crucial role in triggering the immune system, scavenge free radicals, promotes skin health and lowers risk of chronic diseases. In addition, it also shields the body from virus, bacteria and parasite attacks.
4. Boost Energy
Sapota being rich in fructose and sucrose provides you with an instant source of energy. An ideal fruit to be taken during the workout, it replenishes the body with a quick source of natural energy. Moreover, it is also the right choice of fruit for growing children and pregnant women to meet their increasing demand for nutrients to lead a healthy life.
Sapota is a great fruit for enhancing skin health and beauty. The abundance of vitamins A, C, E and K in sapota keep the skin hydrated and rejuvenates skin cells. The rich array of polyphenols, flavonoids and antioxidants makes the skin wrinkle-free, improves the complexion, slow down ageing and glow naturally. The milky sap obtained from sapota is also beneficial in clearing warts and fungal growth on the skin.
Sapota enriched with antioxidants is one of the best fruits which can lower the risk of various forms of cancer. The goodness of vitamins A and B aids in maintaining the mucus lining healthy and lowers the risk of lung and oral cancers. Being super-rich in dietary fibre facilitates to keep the gut healthy and protects the body from colon cancer.
7.Controls Blood Pressure
Sapota is a highly recommended fruit for controlling high blood pressure. As it is loaded with an ample amount of potassium, it aids in lowering sodium levels, promotes blood circulation and regulates the blood pressure.
How To Select And Store Sapota?
Sapota is available all-round the year in the markets. Mature fruit looks brown and it is easily separated from the stem without draining of latex. To make sure the fruit is mature scratch the fruit to find out whether the skin is green or not beneath the scurf.
Buy sapota with smooth, intact skin without any cuts, bruises or wrinkles. The ripen fruit yields to gentle thumb pressure. Mature unripe fruits should be kept at room temperature for 7 to 10 days to ripen, while firm, ripe chickoos can kept well in the refrigerator for a few days at home.
How To Serve Sapota?
Wash the sandy scruff before eating in running cold water.
Fresh sapota fruit can be consumed once it turns soft.
Cut the fruit into two halves and then scoop the flesh using a spoon and discard the seeds.
As it’s enormously dominating in flavour and taste, sapota is best relished by itself.
Other Ways To Serve This Delicious Fruit Include:
Fresh chickoo is a great add-on to fruit salads.
Sapota milkshake or smoothie is a favourite energy-boosting drink.
Sapota can also be made into delightful halwa, kheer or barfis
It is also used in making ice-creams, jams, jellies, cakes, pie and other desserts.
Raw sapota fruit contains a high amount of latex and tannins which taste extremely bitter. Hence eating unripe fruits may result in mouth ulcers, itchy sensation in the throat and breathing difficulty, particularly in children.