Probably everyone has tasted green tea with the soursop fruit, but the beneficial properties and contraindications of this miracle fruit are not known to everyone. After all, some of us have seen this exotic fruit only in pictures.
In European regions, it is brewed as a tea. In Asian countries, it is used as a base for refreshments. What is soursop? We found the answer.
Where does soursop fruit come from?
Before talking about where it is grown, you need to know what is soursop. Soursop is a fruit tree that retains its foliage all year round. Due to its external appeal and high utility, it is quite popular in those countries where there are conditions for its growth. The following factors can characterise this plant:
- Area. The list of territories where soursop grows is quite extensive and includes the Bahamas and Bermuda Islands, India, Sri Lanka, Australia, Southern China, as well as the Pacific Islands, the Amazon rainforest and territories between Southern Mexico, Peru, and Argentina. Its homeland is West India.
- Growing conditions. The plant is heat-loving. Therefore, it is distributed only in a tropical climate.
- Crown. The height of the tree reaches 9 meters. The foliage is smooth and shiny; the top is dark green; the bottom is light green and has a pleasant aroma. The leaves reach 15 cm lengthways and have an elongated shape. Flowers appear both on the branches and the trunk. The diameter of the fragrant green-yellow flowers is 4.5 cm.
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- Fruit. The maximum size of the soursop fruit is 35 cm lengthways and 15 cm breadthways. Its weight is 7 kg. Unripe soursop fruits have a dark green peel which over time acquires a yellowish tint The plant has an exotic and unusual appearance. The creamy white flesh is dense enough but visually resembles cotton wool. It has a combined taste; it tastes like lemon, pineapple and strawberry. Despite the nutritional value and usefulness of the pulp, each plant contains poisonous seeds of black colour.
- Harvesting. Soursops are plucked at the stage when the colour has already changed to yellow but the skin has not softened. This is done to avoid damage to the fruit when falling from a tree. The period from June to September is the most favourable for its growth..
- Storage conditions. 3-4 day after harvesting, the fruit ripens. It should then be placed in the refrigerator for storage for 1 week. Under other circumstances, soursop quickly deteriorates. Due to the short shelf life and tenderness of the fruit, sour apple is not exported to other countries.
This plant is more than strange. It is hard to imagine a tree as tall as a two-storey house, with large fruits up to 35 cm in length and weighing up to 7 kg. The tree blooms several times a year, exuding fragrance everywhere, comparable to ylang-ylang and vanilla. What are the gastronomic and medicinal properties of soursop?
What are soursop health benefits?
The useful properties of soursop are numerous. Describing them in a couple of words is difficult. For more detailed information, we will pay attention to each organ system in the human body that is beneficially affected by this fruit:
- The intestinal microflora is improved by the consumption of the fruit. Toxins are eliminated and digestion is accelerated.
- The plant has a positive effect not only on digestion but on weight loss because it normalises the gallbladder and liver functioning.
- Do you have rheumatoid arthritis or gout? This incredible gift of nature can reduce the inflammation and pain. You just need to eat it regularly and in the proper dose. In this case, a positive effect is achieved due to the ability of this fruit to remove uric acid. It also reduces muscle weakness because the body receives the necessary macro- and microelements, and the intensity of the development of degenerative diseases of the spine decreases.
- Ascorbic acid found in the fruit improves the functioning of the immune system, so the body becomes more resistant to viral and bacterial infections.
- Adding ripe pulp of soursop to your diet leads to a decrease in blood pressure. Furthermore, the replenishment of potassium and magnesium in the body protects the heart from a stroke.
- The iron contained in the fruit is necessary for the normal production of blood cells, and this, in turn, is the prevention of anaemia.
- The health benefits of soursop are also in antifungal effects. This is relevant not only in the presence of fungal infections on the skin and nails but also in the defeat of the mucous membranes. The wound healing property is used to treat ulcers, boils, and abscesses. Its antioxidants, when applied externally, improve the protective functions of the skin and slow down ageing.
- Ascorbic acid and riboflavin in soursop improve vision. They increase the resistance of the eyes to age-related changes and the influence of free radicals.
- The contained vitamins B play an important role in the normalisation of the conductivity of nerve fibres.
- It promotes recovery from asthma (a disease that affects respiratory function).
- The plant interferes with the reproduction of cancer cells.
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- It lowers blood sugar levels and is therefore recommended for people with diabetes.
- It has a beneficial effect on the health of the liver and restores its function.
- It helps to get rid of tumours as it prevents the increased reproduction of cells, because of which tumours increase.
- This fruit is an excellent natural insect repellent because it scares off mosquitoes.
- Soursop helps to get rid of parasites, both lice and worms.
- Soursop leaves promote sound sleep and help to cure stress.
- It is a helper in the treatment of malaria: the fruit alleviates the symptoms of this disease, such as headache, muscle pain, and high fever.
- It is recommended for nursing mothers: it stimulates the release of milk.
- Soursop is an excellent remedy for spasms and involuntary muscle contractions.
- The plant accelerates recovery from gastritis, and it promotes healing of wounds and ulcers.
Special attention should be paid to the fact that the substances that are part of soursop are capable of giving the body strength. In general, this plant is used to treat many diseases.
What vitamins can we get from soursop?
The composition of the pulp is quite diverse, and the percentage of nutrients available in the fruit allows it to be considered valuable for human health.
100 g of the pulp of the fruit contains about 50 kilocalories. It includes the following amount of useful substances:
- Proteins — 0.9-0.95 g;
- Fats — 0.4-0.45 g;
- Carbohydrates — 9.8-10 g;
- Dietary fiber — 0.11-0.13 g;
- Ash — 0.07-0.08 g;
- Water — 84-85 g.
- Ascorbic acid (Vit. C) — 11-11.5 mg;
- Nicotinic acid (Vit. PP) — 0.11-0.12 mg;
- Choline — 2.1-2.2 mg;
- Pantothenic acid (Vit. B5) — 0.07-0.075 mg;
- Vitamins B9, B6, B2 — less than 0.01 mg.
- Potassium — 25-27 mg;
- Sodium — 8-8.5 mg;
- Calcium — 7-7.3 mg;
- Magnesium — 3-3.2 mg;
- Phosphorus — 1.9-2.1 mg;
- Iron — 0.35-0.38 mg;
- Zinc — 0.018-0.021 mg;
- Selenium, manganese, copper — less than 0.01 mg.
Some people compare it with a sour lemonade with a hint of strawberry, others — with pineapple, strawberries and citrus. That is why in Latin America and nearby countries, soursop fruits are used to make juices, ice cream and other desserts.
Is soursop fruit safe to eat?
Appearances are always deceptive; If you saw the thorny green fruit, you might not even consider it to be edible. But it has a unique taste and unusual appearance. It can be compared with the medium melon, but this plant is covered with huge soft spikes.
The unripe guanabana or soursop has a rich green colour and firm pulp, but as it matures, it turns yellow and become so soft that it damages by falling. For this reason, such fruits are collected and sold still immature. Inexperienced tourists taste the fruit immediately after purchase and are disappointed since the unripe plant has a taste like raw pumpkin. However, it is worth giving it time to ripen at room temperature, as it turns yellow and acquires its unique flavour. To make sure that the fruit is ripe, press it with your finger. If the surface is soft, you can eat it.
Guanabana can be stored for 2-3 days in the refrigerator or at room temperature, its yellowed skin can turn black, as it does with a ripe banana, but the pulp does not lose its taste and beneficial properties very quickly. The inner part of the fruit is divided into several dozen segments, each of which contains a seed, similar to persimmon seeds. The seeds are considered poisonous and are usually removed.
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Soursop is usually cut in half and eaten with spoons like a grapefruit or cut into slices like a watermelon. If you try ripe soursop at least once, you will not forget its unmatched taste. Reviews about guanabana, and more precisely about the taste of this fruit, are somewhat different.
Soursop is used in cooking or producing medicines. It is also used to make juice, extract, or you can simply eat the pulp. We will describe the most popular ways to consume it:
- Juice. The juiciness of the fruit allows you to extract from the fruit a large amount of liquid that you can drink. Mixing fresh juice with milk and sugar, you can get a delicious and healthy thirst-quenching drink.
- The pulp. It is also consumed as a separate dish. Add it tot desserts such as ice cream, sherbet, cakes, jams, jellies. Dried pieces of this fruit can be used as a tea. Tea with soursop is not only very tasty but also quite healthy.
- Extract. This raw product is used to flavour tea.
It can be concluded that eating soursop is not only useful but necessary. Keep reading, and you will find out what else this gift of nature is capable of.
What are the side effects of soursop?
As enticing as its health benefits are, soursop can also bring harm. The negative impact of the fruit is manifested in the case of abuse of the pulp. In particular, one of the consequences can be the development of Parkinson's disease, the destruction of the normal intestinal microflora. It can also lead to blindness if it strikes the eyes. Consuming its seeds in culinary dishes leads to intoxication.
At the first opportunity to try fresh fruit, you should not start with a large portion. It is better to try a small amount to avoid an allergic reaction.
Soursop fruit has a pleasant taste and perfectly quenches thirst. The fruit is rich in minerals and vitamins, but there are some severe contraindications to its use. The main rule of interaction with exotic fruit is moderation of consumption. However, guanabana have one incredible property for sure — they have a delicately sweet taste. Mature soursop pulp is used in the preparation of delicious desserts and flavoured tea. It is worth trying this fantastic fruit.
DISCLAIMER: This article is intended for general informational purposes only and does not address individual circumstances. It is not a substitute for professional advice or help and should not be relied on to make decisions of any kind. Any action you take upon the information presented in this article is strictly at your own risk and responsibility!
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