Who on earth wouldn’t appreciate indulging in custard Apple When is it the fruit of the season? Also known as Sitaphal or Sharifa in India, used for centuries in folklore healing and Ayurvedic medicine, the health benefits of custard apple are now being proven in various research studies. The fruit, root, leaves, bark and flesh of the custard apple are all used for their therapeutic properties.
There are many varieties of custard apples available. Some typical varieties are Annona squamosa (Citaphal), Bull Heart Fruit (Ramphal), Cherimoya (Lakshmanphal) and Soursop (Hanumanphal).
an instant energy supplier
The caloric content of a custard apple is twice that of an apple, which makes it an excellent energy supplement. It is rich in potassium, which helps in relieving muscle weakness and improves blood circulation.
good for heart health
Custard apple contains a balanced ratio of sodium and potassium which helps in regulating and controlling the fluctuations of blood pressure in the body. A small custard apple provides about 10 percent of the RDA (recommended dietary allowance) for magnesium, which relaxes the heart muscle and reduces the risk of stroke.
A middle bite for diabetics
Custard apples are extremely sweet unlike dragon fruit, and may not be the best choice for diabetics. It has a medium glycemic index of 54 but a glycemic load of 10.2. Given its many benefits, it works in diabetics if they are taken in moderate or limited dosages. Custard apples are rich in polyphenolic antioxidants. These increase excessive insulin production and glucose absorption, thereby keeping diabetes under control. Nutritionists recommend eating the fruit in small pieces and adding it to oatmeal, yogurt and smoothies instead of eating it separately. The fruit increases the muscle mass of glucose, thereby increasing its peripheral use. Since 20 mg of vitamin C is present in 100 grams of custard apple, it affects insulin production and helps in lowering blood sugar. Also, magnesium, potassium and iron indirectly affect insulin production and thus control blood sugar. The rich fibers cause slow digestion, build satiety, reduce snack cravings and keep sugar levels low.
Reduces stomach discomfort
A custard apple prevents ulcers, stomach problems and acidity due to its anti-inflammatory properties. Just 100 grams of the fruit contains 2.5 times more fiber than an apple and half the vitamin C of an orange. Plus, its high magnesium helps maintain good bowel movements.
helps fight depression
Custard apples are high in antioxidants, which protect our body from the harmful effects of free radicals, reduce oxidative stress and prevent diseases such as. cancer and coronary heart disease. Recent research on custard fruit leaves suggests that they may have anti-inflammatory, anti-tumor, anti-obesity, antioxidant, antiviral and anti-microbial properties. The fruit provides B complex vitamins. Contains thiamine, riboflavin, niacin, vitamin B6. These B complex vitamins regulate neuron chemical levels of the brain’s GABA (gamma-aminobutyric acid), which control our emotions, including depression and stress. Thus, vitamin B also helps to calm you down. Everyone enjoys the fruit, but it can be messy and dangerous, especially for young children because inadvertently eating the seeds can lead to suffocation. Therefore, it is better to use a masher to remove the seeds.
The perfect choice for vegetarians
If you have lactose intolerance or are a vegetarian, this delicious fruit is your best friend. And shakes for dairy-based creams, condensed milk, caramel sauce and cream cheese can be a wonderful plant-based alternative to ice cream, cheese cakes as well as some Indian desserts.
Custard apples are easily available in India and are mostly found in unorganized markets. It is a challenging product due to the short shelf life, lack of processing technologies and post-harvest losses due to lack of value addition. But this fruit can be dried and preserved in a stable condition, which reduces the water capacity. This makes it available all year round for making delicious food products or for use as flavoring agents.