Native to southern Ecuador and northern Peru, where it still grows uncultivated, the cherimoya is a tropical fruit that was carried to other parts of the world many centuries ago. Today, it is a popular fruit on nearly every continent, from Australia to Hawaii, China to Egypt.
Appearance and Flavor
The cherimoya fruit is sometimes heart-shaped. It is about the size of a large grapefruit, with creamy white, sweet, very slightly tart flesh. It has a green outer skin, and an abundance of large, black seeds. Neither the skin nor the seeds are edible for they are toxic when crushed. Visually, the fruit resembles a cross between an artichoke and a strawberry while the flavor resembles a lovely blend of pineapple and banana.
How To Eat Cherimoya
Firm cherimoya fruits should be refrigerated to slow down the ripening process and taken out three to four days before eating. They can be easily broken or cut to expose the pleasant fragrance and luscious, custard-like flavored flesh. They are usually eaten like an apple or cut in half lengthwise and peeled. Sometimes the flesh can be scooped out directly with a spoon.
Cherimoya can be cut easily into cubes that can be pureed and used as a mousse or pie filling. Some people even add a few drops of lime or lemon juice and dilute the mixture with ice water for a refreshing, cooling beverage. Seeded, they can be added to fruit salads, sherbets, or smoothies, and fermented to produce a delicious alcoholic beverage.
The following are the popular health benefits of the cherimoya fruit.
Health Benefits Of Cherimoya
[vs slide=”1″ slide_title=”Vitamin C”]
1. Vitamin C
A medium-sized cherimoya fruit contains about 11 to 12 milligrams of Vitamin C, which is helpful in healing wounds and aids in the formation of cartilage, tendons, and ligaments.1 2 Consumption of one cup of cherimoya daily helps the body develop resistance against infectious agents and hunts down harmful free radicals in the body.
[vs slide=”2″ slide_title=”Cardiovascular Health”]
2. Cardiovascular Health
Vitamin C in cherimoya stops free radicals from attacking the lipids, thus boosting cardiovascular health. It reduces bad cholesterol (LDL or Low-Density Lipoproteins) and increases good cholesterol (HDL or High-Density Lipoproteins) levels in the blood, which promotes healthy blood flow to the heart, and reduces the risk of heart diseases.3 The well-balanced sodium and potassium ratio in cherimoya regulates and controls the heart rate and blood pressure. It also counters the adverse influences of sodium. The fiber content in cherimoya prevents the gut from absorbing cholesterol.
[vs slide=”3″ slide_title=”Vitamin B6″]
3. Vitamin B6
Cherimoya is a rich source of Vitamin B6 which is required for the proper functioning of our metabolism and immune system. It regulates the gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA) neuron chemical levels to help fight stress and depression.4 Vitamin B6 also prevents Parkinson’s disease.5
[vs slide=”4″ slide_title=”Rich Source OF Fiber”]
4. Rich Source Of Fiber
One medium cherimoya contains a colossal amount of dietary fiber – about 5 grams to be exact, which amounts to about 90% of the recommended amount. Fiber is essential for keeping the digestive tract healthy, for lowering blood sugar levels, and also to lower the risk of heart diseases.6 It also adds bulk to the stool and hence, is a good cure for constipation.
[vs slide=”5″ slide_title=”Antioxidants”]
Cherimoya contains several polyphenol antioxidants, which prevents damage caused to the cells by harmful free radicals. The flesh, juice, and peel, all have significant amounts of antioxidants in them.7
Skin Benefits Of Cherimoya
[vs slide=”6″ slide_title=”Maintains Overall Skin Health”]
1. Maintains Overall Skin Health
Cherimoya is known to have a high content of Vitamin C, which is essential for promoting and maintaining the health of the skin. Vitamin C aids in the formation of collagen, a protein, which is vital for providing elasticity to the skin, without which the skin will sag and show wrinkles.8 Vitamin C is also responsible for fighting free radicals in the body, thus providing flawless skin that glows with health.
[vs slide=”7″ slide_title=”Delays Signs Of Ageing”]
2. Delays Signs Of Ageing
Regular consumption of cherimoya which is a rich source of collagen, can help delay the signs of ageing like fine lines, blemishes, and wrinkles. It also helps fight skin darkening by reversing pigmentation caused by free radicals.9
Hair Benefits Of Cherimoya
[vs slide=”8″ slide_title=”Promotes Hair Growth”]
1. Promotes Hair Growth
Cherimoya is a highly nutritious fruit which contains a range of hair-friendly nutrients like magnesium, zinc, iron, and Vitamin C, which assists in hair growth.10
[vs slide=”9″ slide_title=”Treats Hair Lice And Nits”]
2. Treats Hair Lice And Nits
Unripe cherimoya fruit powder, mixed with water and applied to the scalp for an hour before shampooing can help fight hair lice.11
[vs slide=”10″ slide_title=”Collagen Formation”]
3. Collagen Formation
The high levels of vitamin C in cherimoya helps in collagen formation, which makes up a major portion of our hair and scalp.
[vs slide=”11″ slide_title=”Turns Hair Lustrous And Shiny”]
4. Turns Hair Lustrous And Shiny
Cherimoya seed oil is the best cure for hair that is frizzy and dry. It hydrates the scalp to make hair lustrous, shiny, and extremely manageable.
[vs slide=”12″ slide_title=”Prevents Premature Hair Graying”]
5. Prevents Premature Hair Graying
Cherimoya is a good source of the highly beneficial copper enzyme, which helps to maintain the color of hair, thus preventing premature graying.12
Does Cherimoya Fight Cancer?
The leaves and stems of cherimoya are acetogenic, which is believed to be effective in the treatment of cancer. It also interferes with the action of enzymes, preventing cancer development. It is also stated that the high fiber content in cherimoya binds cancer-causing chemicals in the colon, thus preventing the mucous membrane of the colon from being exposed to toxic substances. The cherimoya fruit is also an excellent source of strong antioxidants like asimicin and bullatacin, which are found to have anti-cancer and anti-helminthes properties.
|↑1, ↑10||Love, Ken, Richard Bowen, and Kent Fleming. Twelve fruits with potential value-added and culinary uses. University of Hawaii, 2007.|
|↑2||Telang, Pumori Saokar. “Vitamin C in dermatology.” Indian dermatology online journal 4, no. 2 (2013): 143.|
|↑3||Moser, Melissa A., and Ock K. Chun. “Vitamin C and Heart Health: A Review Based on Findings from Epidemiologic Studies.” International Journal of Molecular Sciences 17, no. 8 (2016): 1328.|
|↑4||Vitamin B6 (Pyridoxine). University of Maryland Medical Center.|
|↑5||Shen, Liang. “Associations between B Vitamins and Parkinson’s Disease.” Nutrients 7, no. 9 (2015): 7197-7208.|
|↑6||The Nutrition Source. Harvard Chan Home.|
|↑7||Pandey, Kanti Bhooshan, and Syed Ibrahim Rizvi. “Plant polyphenols as dietary antioxidants in human health and disease.” Oxidative medicine and cellular longevity 2, no. 5 (2009): 270-278.|
|↑8, ↑9||Ganceviciene, Ruta, Aikaterini I. Liakou, Athanasios Theodoridis, Evgenia Makrantonaki, and Christos C. Zouboulis. “Skin anti-aging strategies.” Dermato-endocrinology 4, no. 3 (2012): 308-319.|
|↑11||Tiangda, C. H., W. Gritsanapan, N. Sookvanichsilp, and A. Limchalearn. “Anti-headlice activity of a preparation of Annona squamosa seed extract.” The Southeast Asian journal of tropical medicine and public health 31 (1999): 174-177.|
|↑12||Bhat, Ramesh M., Rashmi Sharma, Anita C. Pinto, Sukumar Dandekeri, and Jacintha Martis. “Epidemiological and investigative study of premature graying of hair in higher secondary and pre-university school children.” International journal of trichology 5, no. 1 (2013): 17.|
|↑13||Can graviola (soursop) cure cancer? Cancer Research UK.|
|↑14||Damle, S. G. “Cancer: Forbidden cures?.” Contemporary clinical dentistry 6, no. 1 (2015): 3.|