Sapota, also known as sapodilla or chikoo is a fruit as sweet as its name. You might mistake it for a potato or a kiwi at first. The fruit offers a plethora of nutritional and medicinal benefits.
Let us look at the health benefits of chikoo, and know why you should be eating it every day.
1. Good For Vision
Sapota is a storehouse of vitamins, vitamin A being one of them. You may want to choose sapota over an apple if you are looking for vitamin A rich fruits—the vitamin A content of sapota is 7 micrograms as compared to 3 micrograms for the apple.
2. Aids The Digestive Process
Fiber-rich foods like sapota help in relieving constipation by making the intestinal waste bulky and soft.
3. Packed With Energy
Sapota juice contains an abundance of sugars, fructose, and sucrose along with other nutrients like proteins, ascorbic acid, phenolics, carotenoids, and minerals. Drinking sapota juice rejuvenates you as the sugar boosts your energy levels.
Recipe For Sapota Milkshake
Here is how to make yourself a refreshing glass of sapota juice or milkshake.
- Remove the potato-brown skin of the fruit. Cut it into slices, and remove the seeds.
- Put the slices in the juicer or mixer, and add milk to it. Add sugar to the mixture, if you feel the fruit isn’t too sweet.
- Enhance the flavor by adding a drop of vanilla essence to the mixture and blend it. You can even replace it with vanilla ice-cream.
- Fill up a glass with the refreshing drink. Add a few ice cubes, and serve chilled and fresh.
Note: If you find your lips sticky after having the milkshake, the sapota you used may not be ripe. It is the latex in the unripe sapota that settles on the lips after drinking the shake. Washing it with gentle soap and water can help.
4. Inhibits Tumor Progression And Destroys Cancer Cells
The fruit has not only surprised researchers with its excellent nutritional values, it also possesses anti-cancer properties. Extracted samples from sapota were tested on different types of cancer cells and were found to have a direct impact on the growth and functioning of these cells—in some samples more than 80% cell death was observed.
The efficacy of the fruit in suppressing the cells associated with colon cancer has been well known. Experts recommend making sapota a part of your daily diet.
5. Delays Degeneration Caused By Aging
Our body ages due to the natural oxidation process, which is caused by free-radicle damage. Sapota is one of the many fruits that contains antioxidants. Substances such as ascorbic acid, phenolics, and carotenoids (phytochemicals) impart it with antioxidative properties. A combination of sapota and amla has been given a heads-up by scientists when it comes to fighting the process of aging.
6. Good For Kidney Health
When you think of kidney ailments, the first thing that strikes you would be kidney stones. Here is what Sapota has to offer—sapota seed extract dissolves kidney and bladder stones because of its diuretic property.
Note: A compound called hydrogen cyanide present in sapota seeds makes it toxic. The seeds must not be ingested directly. We suggest you consult a known herbalist for extracting sapota kernel seed oil to make use of its healing properties.
7. Effective In Treating Diarrhea And Dysentery
Suffering from diarrhea or dysentery? Eating sapota may prove helpful. It contains chemical compounds called tannins (present only in unripe fruits), which is responsible for the antidiarrheal effects. Tannins are known to help in electrolyte absorption and increase intestinal water absorption, preventing dehydration and loss of nutrients.
8. Skin And Hair Benefits
Sapota seed oil extract is used in hair and skin ointments. Collagen is responsible for the elasticity of the skin. However, internal factors like aging while external factors like exposure to UV radiation have degenerative effects on the skin like pigmentation and loss of elasticity, leading to wrinkles. Apart from their antioxidative property, which slows down the effects of aging, sapota possesses anti-collagenase effects—it prevents the collagen present in skin from breaking down, thus retaining the elasticity of the skin. Due to the goodness of sapota seed kernel oil, it has found its way in cosmetics, soaps, and perfumes. What more, the extract is also known to prevent hair fall.
How To Make Your Own Sapota Face Scrub
Chikoo or sapota pulp can be directly applied on the skin. Here is how you can quickly make a face pack with sapota. All you will need is 2 ripened sapota fruits, 1 tablespoon of honey, 1 tablespoon of sugar, a bowl and a spoon.
- Cut the fruits into small pieces, and mash the pulp properly.
- Add a spoon of honey, and mix it with the mashed paste.
- Directly add the sugar granules to the paste and your face pack is ready.
How To Apply
- Apply the paste on a clean face. Wash your face beforehand if necessary.
- Let the mask stay on your paste for 5-10 minutes. Enjoy the smell, probably lick it if you feel like.
- When you feel the pack has dried to some extent, gently scrub with a few drops of water.
- Take your own time scrubbing—maybe 3-4 minutes. Your nose, chin, and forehead might need more attention.
- Finally, clean your face with lukewarm water, and slowly, remove the pack.
- Pat your skin dry with a clean towel.
9. Other Benefits
- Sapota is a natural anti-inflammatory. It can effectively provide relief against irritable bowel movement caused due to inflammation of the gut lining.
- Because of its rich fiber content, it is also known to lower cholesterol levels.
- Symptoms of cough and cold like excessive phlegm production and whooping cough can be treated with sapota leaf extracts in the form of an edible herbal tea.
- Although sapota seeds are poisonous, their extract is a sedative, which is used to treat anxiety and depression.
- Sapota leaf extracts offer health benefits in the form of their antimicrobial, antibacterial and analgesic properties.
- Root extracts of sapota tree are known to possess antidiabetic properties.
Caution: Sapota seeds and leaves are toxic if ingested. However, their extracts have medicinal qualities. We suggest you consult a herbalist as the proper method of extraction is complex and can be carried out only by experts.
How To Find The Best Quality Of Sapota
A ripened sapota is round, caramel brown in color, without any wrinkles or bruises on the exterior. You may find that the fruit available in the market is brown and hard. But, it ripens over the weeks to become soft and pulpy. While buying them, make sure the fruit is brown and not green. Slightly scratch the upper skin to ensure it’s not green underneath.
How To Know If The Fruit Is Spoilt
An unripe sapota will taste bitter, while an overripe sapota is watery and smells as if fermented. A sour taste will confirm that the fruit is spoilt. Sapotas can last a week without refrigeration—the duration extends to 2 weeks if the fruits are refrigerated. However, it is good to eat them fresh as refreigerating the sapotas can decrease their quality.