Custard Apple or Cherimoya is a green colored fruit, which is covered with scales and has a creamy flesh. The creamy inner flesh has a sweet taste that can be eaten directly with a spoon. It has its roots of origin in the South American mountains known by the name of Andes.
Not many people know this, but certain types of custard apples can prove to be toxic for you and even have the potential to damage your nervous system. However, a majority of custard apples have a plethora of benefits that are considered to be the perfect companion for our healthy and fit lives.
8 Benefits of custard apple:
1. Regulates Blood Pressure:
People suffering from high blood pressure have the risk of certain cardiovascular diseases and even stroke. The blood vessels in high blood pressure tend to expand which increases the risk of developing any serious condition.
However, custard apples contain high amounts of potassium and magnesium which help in preventing high blood pressure. Potassium and magnesium help in reducing the size of blood vessels which expand in high blood pressure. Therefore, custard apples keep a blood pressure patient healthy and fit. According to a review, custard apples can help reduce diastolic and systolic blood pressure around 8 and 4mm Hg.
2. Fights off cancer:
Although more research is required in this field, many researchers believe that custard apples have anticancer properties that help in fighting off cancer and also prevent the growth of cancerous cells. Custard apples are rich in certain flavonoids, which are used to fight off toxins from the plants and stimulate the easy function of all the activities. These flavonoids include catechin, epicatechin, and epigallocatechin.
According to one study, the flavonoid epicatechin prevented the growth of cancerous cells located near the bladder and even reduced the spread of it. According to another study, breast cancer cells were prevented from growing and replicating with the help of the flavonoid catechins.
Moreover, certain researches also conclude that people consuming a diet rich in custard apples have a lower risk of developing stomach and colon cancers, than people who do not.
3. Contains antioxidants:
Antioxidants are required in our bodies to fight free radicals because they can cause oxidative stress, which in turn leads to serious diseases such as cancer and heart disease. Custard apples or cherimoya are rich in antioxidants which also help in fighting cancer as mentioned earlier.
It contains flavonoids, vitamin C, carotenoids, and kaurenoic acids which have several benefits. According to a study, it was revealed that a peel and the pulp of a custard apple are beneficial for obliterating oxidative stress. Its carotenoid proportion can also help in improving eye health and strengthen the body to fight certain diseases.
4. Strengthens immunity:
If you are suffering from vitamin C deficiency, you are bound to experience frequent illnesses or weakness especially when there is a sudden change in the season.
You are also more susceptible to developing viral infections such as the common cold. If you have enough vitamin C in your body, your immune system will fight naturally with infections. If not, you are prone to catch it again and again.
However, as mentioned earlier, custard apples contain vitamin C which helps in strengthening the immunity of the individual. This, in turn, helps in reducing your susceptibility to catching any viral infections or diseases.
5. Helps you to elevate your mood:
Depression or low mood levels are often linked with vitamin B6 deficiency. However, depression and other mental issues are also linked with some deeply rooted issues which require immediate professional attention.
But more often than not, people with low vitamin B6 levels are prone to fluctuations in mood than people with high vitamin B6 levels. This is so because vitamin B6 helps in the production of neurotransmitters which also include the ‘feel-good hormones’ such as dopamine.
Custard apples are high in vitamin B6 and other elements that help in the regulation of mood and reduce the mood fluctuations. This could also mean a significant reduction in the symptoms of mood disorder.
6. Promotes good bowel movement:
Fiber-rich foods are required for a good digestive process in our stomach. This is so because soluble fiber helps in carrying forward the stool as it is neither absorbed nor digested in the guts. Moreover, these fibers help in the production of short-chain fatty acids, which escalate the process of digestion.
These short-chain fatty acids, help in preventing the inflammation of your gut walls and even reduce the chances of Crohn’s disease, which is an inflammatory bowel disease, which is marked by diarrhea, fatigue, abdominal cramps, and weight loss.
Custard apples are one of the fiber-rich foods which help you in ameliorating the process of digestion and advocate good bowel movement.
7. Suppresses inflammation:
The flavonoids present in custard apples, catechin, and epicatechin, as mentioned earlier have antioxidative properties that kill all the free radicals. Apart from that, they also help in reducing chronic inflammation which could lead to several chronic illnesses such as cancer. Moreover, cherimoya or custard apple consists of kaurenoic acid, which is an anti-inflammatory compound.
8. Improves eyesight
Carotenoid antioxidant lutein is a prerequisite for maintaining the health of your eyes. If you have high amounts of lutein with you, there is significant reduction in the possibility of you acquiring age-related macular degeneration (AMD), which is associated with the damage of eyes and vision. It can also help you treat poor vision and cataracts.
Therefore, to preserve your eye health, you need to eat lutein-rich foods. One of them is none other than cherimoya or custard apple. The antioxidant lutein present in it helps in preserving your eyes by fighting off the free radicals.
Custard apples can be found in any grocery store or a supermarket. It can be stored in the refrigerator for three days. Next, you can peel off the skin and slice the fruit into different pieces. It tastes delicious and palatable along with salads, yogurt, oatmeal, or even with shakes and smoothies.