In North America, apples have a very distinct look. But have you ever thought of apples in other countries? The custard apple or Annona reticulata Linn is light green with a bumpy skin. It can be found all over India, Bangladesh, and Pakistan. However, this fruit is originally from the West Indies and South America. It’s called custard apple because it tastes like sweet custard and cooked apple. Together, these flavors are delicate and pleasant. Another name for the custard apple is bullock’s heart. It’s widely used in ayurveda, thanks to its powerful medicinal properties. Even the roots, leaves, and seeds hold amazing health advantages. Here are 7 health benefits of custard apples.
1. Lowers Diabetes Risk
The benefits of custard apple for diabetes are noteworthy. It can lower blood glucose levels and, therefore, your diabetes risk. And if you already have diabetes? The antihyperglycemic (blood glucose-lowering) effect will prevent it from getting even worse.1
2. Lowers Risk Of Heart Disease
Custard apples have phytochemicals like tannins and flavonoids.2 Sound familiar? These healthy compounds are found in tea!
Tannin or tannic acid is linked to reduced lipid levels and blood pressure.3 And flavonoids have a strong history of lowering heart disease risk.4 So if you’d like to protect your heart, eat more custard apples.
3. Heals Wounds
Topically, custard apple seed has benefits for wound healing. Its extract speeds up skin cell regrowth and makes room for a smoother recovery. In one study researchers mixed custard apple seed extract (10 g) with grape seed extract (3 g), ghee (4 g), honey (2 g), and neem oil (2 g) to heal wounds.5
Consider using custard apple extracts for minor injuries. Its ability to relieve pain and heal wounds will come in handy. Plus, the anti-bacterial effects will limit the chances of infection.
4. Relieves Pain
Not just wound healing, a surprising benefit of custard apple is pain relief. It’s caused by Kaur-16-en-19-oic acid, a compound that has anti-inflammatory abilities.6 The effects are even comparable to standard drugs typically used for analgesic effects.7
5. Fights Bacteria
Health benefits of custard apple include its effect on harmful bacteria. According to a study in the Beni-Suef University Journal of Basic and Applied Sciences, extracts of custard apple can kill strains like Escherichia coli, Salmonella typhi, and Staphylococcus aureus, the bacteria responsible for causing diarrhea, typhoid, and pneumonia (among other infections), respectively.8 The effects are so remarkable that it could serve as a natural antibiotic.
6. Cures Acne
Acne is often caused by bacterial buildup in the pores. However, the strong anti-microbial properties of custard apple may help your skin. It’ll clear out bacteria, making breakouts less likely. The wound-healing potential of custard apple will also treat existing breakouts.
7. Prevents Cancer
The health benefits of custard apple include cancer prevention. It’s full of plant chemicals that are also antioxidants, which can fight free radicals and protect cells from damage caused by the free radicals. In fact, a study in Nutrition and Cancer found that custard apple leaf extract is toxic to breast cancer cells. It kills the cells by disrupting the function of the cells’ mitochondria – the organelle responsible for a cell’s respiration and energy.9
Eating custard apples during pregnancy is safe. Its high levels of antioxidants, phytochemicals, and vitamins will actually help your baby thrive. However, if you want to take a supplement or extract, check with your doctor first. These remedies are more potent than whole fruits but may not have the wholesome effect the whole fruit has.
|↑1||Rahman, Sk Mizanur, Md Rashedul Islam, Shahnaz Rahman, Tamim Mosaiab, Rasheda Ahmed, Fatema Khatun, Dilruba Nasrin, Nusratun Nahar, Shamima Ahsan, and Mohammed Rahmatullah. “Antihyperglycemic studies with methanol extract of Annona reticulata L.(Annonaceae) and Carissa carandas L.(Apocynaceae) leaves in Swiss albino mice.” Advances in Natural and Applied Sciences 5, no. 2 (2011): 218-223.|
|↑2, ↑7||Chavan, Machindra J., Pravin S. Wakte, and Devanand B. Shinde. “Analgesic and anti-inflammatory activities of the sesquiterpene fraction from Annona reticulata L. bark.” Natural product research 26, no. 16 (2012): 1515-1518.|
|↑3||Chung, King-Thom, Tit Yee Wong, Cheng-I. Wei, Yao-Wen Huang, and Yuan Lin. “Tannins and human health: a review.” Critical reviews in food science and nutrition 38, no. 6 (1998): 421-464.|
|↑4||Egert, Sarah, and Gerald Rimbach. “Which sources of flavonoids: complex diets or dietary supplements?.” Advances in Nutrition: An International Review Journal 2, no. 1 (2011): 8-14.|
|↑5||Jamkhande, Prasad G., and Amruta S. Wattamwar. “Annona reticulata Linn.(Bullock’s heart): Plant profile, phytochemistry and pharmacological properties.” Journal of traditional and complementary medicine 5, no. 3 (2015): 144-152.|
|↑6||Chavan, Machindra J., Dinesh R. Kolhe, Pravin S. Wakte, and Devanand B. Shinde. “Analgesic and Antiinflammatory Activity of Kaur‐16‐en‐19‐oic acid from Annona reticulata L. Bark.” Phytotherapy Research 26, no. 2 (2012): 273-276.|
|↑8||Jamkhande, Prasad G., Amruta S. Wattamwar, Sanjay S. Pekamwar, and Prakash G. Chandak. “Antioxidant, antimicrobial activity and in silico PASS prediction of Annona reticulata Linn. root extract.” Beni-Suef University Journal of Basic and Applied Sciences 3, no. 2 (2014): 140-148.|
|↑9||Roham, Pratiksha H., Kiran R. Kharat, Priyanka Mungde, Mahadev A. Jadhav, and Surinder J. Makhija. “Induction of Mitochondria Mediated Apoptosis in Human Breast CaRoham, Pratiksha H., Kiran R. Kharat, Priyanka Mungde, Mahadev A. Jadhav, and Surinder J. Makhija. “Induction of Mitochondria Mediated Apoptosis in Human Breast Cancer Cells (T-47D) by Annona reticulata L. Leaves Methanolic Extracts.” Nutrition and cancer 68, no. 2 (2016): 305-311.ncer Cells (T-47D) by Annona reticulata L. Leaves Methanolic Extracts.” Nutrition and cancer 68, no. 2 (2016): 305-311.|