Custard apple is synonymous with the chilly weather in India, being extensively used in desserts, such as kheers, milkshakes and ice creams, for its intense sugary flavour. Moreover, this delightful winter fruit offers some fabulous wellness incentives such as renewing skin texture, boosting vitality and managing diabetes.
Locally known as “Sitaphal” in Hindi and Telugu, “Sharifa” in Punjabi and “Seethapazham” in Malayalam, the custard apple is also called sugar apple, cherimoya or sweetsop. The scientific names for the different varieties of this tasty fruit are Annona squamosa, Annona cherimola and Annona reticulate.
The custard apple tree grows up to a height of 5 to 9 feet, carrying huge green leaves and yellow flowers shaped like a trumpet. The fruits are either green or brown in colour and oblong in shape. When completely ripened, the flesh of the custard apple fruit has many black seeds, with a fragrant and sweet-tasting pulp.
Custard apples supply carbs for instant vigour. They are low in unhealthy or saturated fats and packed with beneficial dietary fibers. In addition, this exotic fruit comprises umpteen valuable nutrients and antioxidants like vitamin C, vitamin A, the B vitamins, iron, calcium, magnesium, phosphorus, zinc, copper, carotenoids and flavonoids. Also Check Out: 5 Foods Super-Rich In Iron That Are Essential For Overall Health-Infographics
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Native to countries in South America and Asia, the custard apple tree holds the unique trait of being drought-resistant, sprouting even in extreme climates and rocky soils. This, coupled with its inherent nourishing components and innumerable advantages for well-being, make it a forerunner for tackling malnutrition and mineral deficiencies.
Read on, to discover the awesome wellness rewards of adding the luscious custard apple fruit to the diet.
Custard Apple Health Benefits:
Provides Ample Energy
With a high calorific value, custard apple provides the simple sugars glucose and fructose, for sustaining the body’s energy requirements. Also, being rich in iron, it eliminates lethargy and cures anaemia.
Treats Skin Infections
Custard apples are a treasure trove of skin-enriching elements, namely vitamin B5, vitamin C, vitamin A, zinc and copper. These work in synergy, to effectively heal acne, abscesses, allergies and other skin ailments.
Possesses Anti-Cancer Properties
Various scientific studies have proved that the acetogenin compounds in custard apple display cancer-reversing qualities. Including custard apples to the daily diet, thus, efficiently mends tumours and inflammation.
Controls Diabetes Symptoms
Apart from being a low glycemic index fruit, custard apples are bestowed with polyphenolic antioxidants. These vastly elevate insulin production and glucose absorption, thereby keeping diabetes in check.
Enhances Brain Activity
Custard apples are naturally endowed with vitamin B6, which stimulates the brain. It is hence useful for proper nerve signalling, increasing concentration, alleviating depression and uplifting moods. Also Read: Brain Foods That Help You Concentrate
Improves Heart Function
Comprising noteworthy levels of healthy unsaturated fats and omega-6 fatty acids, custard apples work wonders in reinforcing the cardiac system. Furthermore, these flavoursome fruits also relieve hypertension.
Augments Immune System
Blessed with abundant reserves of the powerful antioxidant vitamin C, custard apples flush out toxins and free radicals from within the body, besides shielding it from harmful external microbes and diseases.
Improves Eye Health
Sitaphal or custard apple is packed with generous amounts of vitamin A, as well as carotenoid antioxidants of lutein and zeaxanthin. These enrich blood circulation to the optic nerve and visual organelles, enhancing eyesight and reducing the chances of acquiring age-related macular degeneration (AMD), glaucoma and cataracts in old age.
Ensures Smooth Digestion
Rich in B vitamins, custard apples stimulate metabolism and guarantee the optimal conversion of food to energy. Moreover, the vast reserves of dietary fibers in this succulent winter bounty satisfy the appetite, prevent untimely and unhealthy cravings, as well as enable the unhindered passage of nutrients and uplift digestion processes.
Since custard apples are calorie-loaded fruits, they are useful for weight loss and energy metabolism only when eaten in moderation, Consuming too many of these fruits all at once can result in surplus body fat and unhealthy weight gain. Moreover, the skin and mainly the seeds of Sitaphal contain toxic compounds that can lead to grave complications of redness, allergies in the skin and damage to the eyes. Hence, the outer covering, as well as the seeds, must be carefully removed before consuming the tasty pulp of the custard apple, to avoid any side effects and reap its wonderful benefits for overall health.
Custard apples, aside from their frequent use in traditional Indian sweets and custards, are also prized for their impressive nutritional profile. Encompassing calories, sugars and good fats, as well as several essential vitamins, minerals and antioxidants, they are excellent for strengthening the heart, rejuvenating the skin and bolstering immunity. Incorporate these succulent fruits in your diet today, to procure the marvellous profits they impart, for overall health.