The Powerful Benefits Of Sugar Apples
Sugar apples are fruits that are bursting with flavor and overflowing with health benefits.
The sugar apple is a creamy, sweet and delicious fruit that is native to the West Indies, South America and many areas in Asia. It is also known as anón, because it comes from the annona squamosa tree. It has also been called sweetsop, soursop, custard apple and graviola.
The sugar apple is milky and lets you know when it’s ripe. The fruit becomes easy to pull apart without a knife and is just as easy to enjoy. Their seeds are quite large, hard and black and they typically have between 20 to 38 seeds per fruit.
A ripe sugar apple is usually broken open and the flesh segments are enjoyed while the hard seeds are separated in the mouth and spat out. In other parts of the world, the flesh is pressed through a sieve to eliminate the seeds and is then added to ice cream or blended with milk to make a cool beverage. It is never cooked.
But other than being an exotic delicacy, this amazing superfood has been used medicinally all over the world for a variety of reasons.
Here are a few of the amazing benefits of sugar apples:
1. Improving Skin, Hair And Eye Health
Sugar apples are an amazing source of vitamin A and are a powerful antioxidant responsible for keeping your hair shiny, your skin young and your eyes strong. The creamy flesh is applied onto the skin to help treat conditions such as boils and in India, the leaves are crushed and applied on ulcers and wounds.
2. Great For Improving Breathing
Vitamin B6 is present in sugar apples, which is known to help relieve inflammation of the bronchial tubes. Because of this, frequently eating the fruit can help prevent asthma attacks.
3. Reduces Risk Of A Heart Attack
Because sugar apples contain magnesium, it helps lower the risk of heart attacks. Magnesium helps relax the cardiac muscles, keeping them from overworking and wearing down. In fact, low magnesium has been found to be one of the best predictors of heart disease. 100g of custard apple flesh supplies almost 10% of your daily magnesium needs.
4. Helps Regulate Blood Pressure
Potassium, another heart-healthy mineral, is abundant in sugar apples. The American Heart Association recommends a diet that includes natural sources of potassium as it is important in controlling blood pressure, because potassium lessens the effects of sodium. The recommended daily intake of potassium for an average adult is about 4,700 milligrams per day. One sugar apple contains up to 578 mg of potassium.
5. Aids In Digestion
Sugar apple is rich in copper and dietary fiber, which helps assist digestion, ease bowel movement and relieve constipation. Sun dried custard apple pulp can be crushed into powder and drinking the powder with water can help alleviate diarrhea.
6. Improves Cholesterol Levels
Niacin is a very effective natural ingredient that helps to lower bad cholesterol in the body. Niacin, also known as nicotinic acid or B3, helps to reduce LDL-cholesterol levels by 10%-20%, reduces triglycerides by 20%-50% and raises HDL-cholesterol (good cholesterol) by 15%-35%. 100g of sugar apple contains up to 0.8mg of niacin.
7. Provides Energy
Sugar apples contain vitamin B1 (or thiamin), an important vitamin in metabolism. B1 helps convert food into energy, so by eating a sugar apple, you’re encouraging your body to become an energy powerhouse.
8. Helps Fight Off Stress And Infection
Starting to feel like you’re coming down with something? Eat a sugar apple. 100g of flesh will provide over 110% of the recommended daily allowance of vitamin C. Even a small custard apple weighs around 250g, meaning there is no need for supplements to obtain your vitamin C intake if eaten daily.
Vitamin C is also an antioxidant and helps protect the body as antioxidants help to neutralize unstable substances known as free radicals that can damage cells in the body.
So, what are you waiting for? Sugar apples are in season anytime from mid-August to late February, depending on your area. Check out your local farmer’s market to see if they carry this delicious and nutritious fruit.
By Angelique Johnson, Fitlife.tv