Why is the Delicious Custard Apple so Good for Your Health?
Custard Apple is a tropical fruit which is native to most places with a tropical climate. Hence it is obvious that it grows abundantly in India. This fruit is usually in great demand in Europe and the North America. It gains its worldwide popularity as an exotic fruit due to its delicious flavour and nutritious super powers. It is one of those foods which is loaded with many different nutrients and have a lot of health advantages.
In India, Custard Apple is known by many names. The most common ones are Sitaphal, Sharifa, and Ataphal. One fruit usually weighs around 250gm and is conical or heart shaped. It has a green outer covering which is bumpy in appearance. The inner flesh is white and creamy with seeds scattered inside. Although it is rich in a lot of nutrients, it comes with a high calorie count of 250 kCal but its glycemic index is moderate. Read about the glycemic index diet.
Nutrition Facts of 100gms of Custard Apple:
Water: 75.0 g
Fat: 0.6 g
Sugar: 15 gm
Dietary fiber: 3.5 g
Carbohydrate: 23.71 gm
Protein: 1 to 4.3 gm
Iron: 0.7 mg
Calcium: 20 mg
Health benefits of Custard Apple
- Boosts the immunity: Being an excellent source of Vitamin C which helps in building immunity and acts as an anti- inflammatory agent so helps in auto immune diseases like rheumatoid arthritis, ankylosing spondylitis. One serving of custard apple in your diet also helps eliminate free radicals in the body which act as precursors to various infectious diseases.
- Re-energizes: Custard Apple being rich in carbohydrates provides instant energy upon consumption. It also fights fatigue and eliminates muscle weakness.
- Makes the heart healthier: Custard apple has fine balance of sodium and potassium which helps control blood pressure fluctuations in the body. Its high levels of magnesium relaxes the muscles of the heart and naturally calms jerks and cramps, thereby preventing heart attacks. Niacin and fiber prevents the absorption of cholesterol by the body. Read about diet tips for a healthier heart.
- A better digestive system: It is unusually helpful in treating digestion related ailments. It removes toxins from the body and ensures a proper bowel movement. It prevents acidity, ulcer, gastritis and heart burn. An unripe custard apple when dried and crushed can be used to treat diarrhoea and dysentery. The dietary fiber in custard apple helps relieve constipation as well.
- Anti- cancerous properties: Custard apple contains cancer preventing compounds like acetogenin and alkaloids which act against cancer cells without affecting the healthy cells. It is also full of anti- oxidants which further wards off the cancer risk from the body.
- A happier brain: Being rich in B complex vitamins which help in fighting depression and stress. It is important to eat a diet which is rich in Vitamin B6 because a deficiency can cause skin problems, an extremely sore tongue, convulsions, depressions, and depression. The older a person gets the greater the chances of a Vitamin B6 deficiency.
- A rich iron source: It helps prevent or cure anaemia being an excellent source of iron. Read about iron’s role in developing a good metabolism.
- Stronger bones and joints: Magnesium in custard apples balances the water content in the body and rids the joints of acids, reducing symptoms of rheumatism and arthritis. It also strengthens bones having a moderate amount of calcium in it. Learn how to lose weight with Rheumatoid Arthritis.
- Boon for the skin and hair: It has good quantities of vitamin A and C, which helps in attaining glowing and healthy hair and skin. They also have low levels of fat, which is good for health. It is believed that a paste made with the creamy flesh of the fruit can be used as a balm to treat boils, abscesses and ulcer.
- Custard apple is an excellent source of copper. It is a trace mineral which helps the body to form haemoglobin. Pregnant women need 1000 micrograms of copper each day for proper development of the foetus. Low levels of copper in the body can lead to premature birth in the child. Consuming custard apple during pregnancy is very healthy. Read about pregnancy diet.
Trivia: In Thailand custard apples and hand grenades have the same common name due to their similarity in shapes. Whereas in China they are referred to as Buddha’s head fruit as according to the chinese they resemble the Buddha’s head.
How to eat custard apple?
Custard apples are usually a little soft and squishy in its ripe form. Avoid picking out an over-ripe one as they are usually a little brownish in colour. In case you end up buying an unripe one, just leave it at room temperature for a few days and it will ripen on its own. Consume a ripe fruit within three days. Here is a simple recipe involving custard apple
Healthy Custard Apple Smoothie Recipe
Preparation: 5 min
- 1/2 ripe custard apple
- 1 cup skimmed milk or low fat yogurt
- 2 teaspoons lime juice
- Halve the custard apple, remove the seeds and spoon out the flesh.
- Place the custard apple flesh, milk/curd and lime juice in a blender and blend until smooth.
- Chill for 30 minutes, give it a stir and then serve.
An important thing to keep in mind is that although custard apples are a great source of various nutrients but they should be consumed in moderation as each fruit contains a lot of calories.
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