Soursop is known by lots of names. Graviola, guyabano, custard apple, guanabana are few of the names given to the soursop. It thrives in tropical regions like South and Central America , Carribean and Africa. Outside these parts of the world, it is considered an exotic treat.
The fruit is used often to produce juices, ice creams and beverages. Its taste is said to be a mixture of citrus fruits, strawberry and pineapples, it is indeed a treat. Apart from its taste and what its parts could be used to make, its health benefits are simply mind blowing. It possesses a high antioxidant property as a result of its vitamin C content. It is also able to induce healing.
Some of the nutrients contained in the fruit include : phosphorus, iron, vitamins, calcium.
It is as a result of these minerals that soursop can potentially combat against cancer, help reduce eye infections and diseases and also treat other infections.
Before we dive into the health benefits of soursop, let’s have some fun learning
Fun Facts about Soursop
1. The soursop will only survive in an environment with high humidity and warmth. In cold environments,its leaves and branches could get damaged. It will also dry up in cold climates.
2. Soursop’s flavour is said to be a combination of the flavour of citrus fruits, strawberries and appl with a texture that is creamy.
3. The pulp of the fruit is sometimes used in the production of ice cream, fruit juices, fruit nectar, candies and sorbets
4. Soursop is commonly used for dessert in countries like Ethiopia, Mexico, Venezuela and Colombia as an “agua fresca” beverage or as the only ingredient
5. Soursop is used to produce juices in Venezuela and Colombia. It is often mixed with milk too
6. Nae champion is a thick smoothie made from the pulp of soursop, cane sugar and milk in Cuba.
7. A sweet meat known as “dodol sirsak” is made from the pulp of soursop in Indonesia by having it boiled in water and mixingbwith sugar till the mixture gets hardened.
8. In Vietnam, soursop is used to make smoothies or just eaten. It is called “mang cau” in the north and in the south, it is known as “mang cau Xiem ”
9. The people of Cambodia call the soursop “tearb barung”, this is translated as “Western custard apple fruit”
10. Soursop has anti-parasitic properties that are used in South America and Latino rural areas, especially in those areas with high incidence parasitic infections.
11. Soursop is able to speed up healing , sooth pain and enhance flexibility as a result of its anti-inflammatory compounds.
Benefits Of Soursop
Potentially Fights Against Cancer
There are no direct human studies on this, these experiments have been done with test tubes. According to these studies however,breast cancer cells and liver cancer cells. In another study conducted in India,the fruit showed 80% inhibition of cancer cell growth.
It has also showed promise in inhibiting the metabolism and thriving of pancreatic cancer cells.
The soursop is able to achieve this feat as a result of the presence of acetogenins in the fruit . Acetogenin is unique in its execution because it is able to separate the cancer cells from the healthy cells and thus can destroy the cancer cells without harming the normal cells.
Great For The Eyes
The antioxidant property of the soursop is able to decrease the oxidative load as a result of combating against free radicals which could cause damage. Vitamins A, C and E, along with Zinc and carotenoid compounds are responsible for keeping the eye healthy. This is achieved by slowing down cataract development or muscular degeneration, as a result, your optical health cab be preserved longer.
Enhances Gastric Health and Health of the Digestive Tract
Ulcer development could be reduced with the help of soursop. The fruit strengthens the mucus linings of the stomach such that its structural integrity us improved. As a consequence, it is much more difficult for the stomach acid to erode the linings.
As a result of soursop’s antioxidative property, it is able to reduce the effects of oxidation on the digestive organs thus is able to counter bowel diseases and other diseases of the digestive system like Crohn’s disease.
H. pylori ,a bacteria that plagues the stomach and causes ulcers and eventually cancer in some cases is inhibited by the soursop too.
Possesses Anti-inflammatory and Antimicrobial Properties
The leaf extracts of soursop has been found to possess antibacterial and anti-inflammatory characteristics. According to studies, it has the potential to be used as treatment against infections of the root canals. Sodium hypochlorite is a chemical used in irrigating the root canal to protect against infections. The soursop proves to be a much better option of protection as the chemical used in irrigation could have very disastrous effects on the health. This has been confirmed by several published studies. According to these studies, soursop is better ,more effective,not to mention very cost effective.
As a result of the antioxidant properties of the soursop fruit, the body is protected from danger of diseases,infections and organ damage. This function however does little to help the body’s Immunity. The presence of vitamin C causes a stimulation in lymphocyte and T-cell production. These cells are important as they’re a major part of the immune system and often the body’s first line is defense. With increased amounts of the white blood cells, the immune system is able to fight for itself and keep the body protected from pathogens.
Acts as a Pain Reliever
We have seen how instrumental the soursop is in relieving inflammation,beyond that, it is able to tone down the pain stimuli. A notion states that how much pain you can be relieved from is equivalent to how much soursop you consume. Since it has not been confirmed how much soursop is too much, it’s safer we stick to taking them in moderation.
This fruit is especially ideal for people suffering from arthritis as they both go through pain and inflammation. Soursop handles both and is sure t bring relief to such persons.
Good for Skin and Hair
According to a U.S. report,extracts gotten from the leaves of soursop could protect the skin from papilloma. Papilloma is a skin disease in which tumours break out on the skin.
In the ancient times, the leaves of soursop was used to soothe a baby’s skin. Even though this practice is almost extinct, it goes to show how effective soursop leaves are to the skin.
It is also said to work good on the hair. Itches and dandruff could be remedied and the hair strands strengthened.