What is a custard apple, also known as soursop fruit. How do you eat one? And what are its health benefits. But first, let’s take a look at…
The Origins of The Soursop Fruit
If you head out to the grocery store or farmer’s market, you may have a tough time finding the custard apple (Annona squamosa). One reason why is that it has tons of different names! 1,2 This vitamin-rich fruit, which grows in Southeast Asia, Mexico, South America, and Australia, has different names not just by the region, but by country. English names for the custard apple include soursop fruit, sugar apple, cherimoya, and atemoya.
Eating a custard apple isn’t as simple as picking it off the tree and biting into it.3 You can cut or pull the fruit in half to scoop out the flesh of the fruit, though note that the area closer to the skin can be a bit bitter. When a custard apple is ripe, it has a sweet, aromatic taste, and a juicy texture. Many liken the creamy taste to custard, thus, the “custard apple” moniker. Custard apples make great components for purees, milkshakes, and even ice cream.
Are Custard Apples Good for You?
Custard Apples are high in a wide variety of vitamins, minerals, and other nutrients, including vitamin C, thiamine, potassium, magnesium, and dietary fiber. 4,5 But that’s just the beginning…
Vitamin C is an incredibly powerful antioxidant, which means it can help combat cellular damage from free radicals. Some studies have proven the strong antioxidant content of custard apples, could have a variety of practical applications when it comes to various wellness concerns, from healthy aging to cognitive decline.6,7
Potassium has long been linked with lowering blood pressure, something that can help overall heart health by decreasing the risk for various diseases. And interestingly enough, as many as 98 percent of U.S. diets are potassium-deficient.8
Now, much of the spotlight when it comes to fruit and potassium content is stolen by the banana. Studies have shown that consuming two bananas a day can help lower blood pressure, thanks to its potassium content.
But if you’re looking for another way to get your daily allowance of potassium, custard apples are a potential alternative – they’re a very high-potassium fruit.
Full of Fiber
The other major health component that bears mentioning here with respect to the custard apple’s nutritional value is dietary fiber. Fiber helps speed the passage of foods through the intestines for smooth, efficient digestion. 9 However, fiber has much more to offer. Studies show that getting an appropriate level of dietary fiber is linked to a variety of health benefits, including lower the risk certain major illnesses.
When eaten in moderation, custard apples could be a healthy addition to your diet. It’s important to remember, that they’re a high-calorie fruit, so you should exercise portion control when enjoying custard apples.
I suggest treating them like a dessert – and remember, a little goes a long (but healthy!) way.
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