Cherimoya (Annona cherimola) is also known as or chirimoya; it belongs to the species and is native to S. and Central America. Annona cherimola is also called ‘the tree of ice cream’ because of its creamy consistency and a blend of mango, coconut, strawberry, papaya, banana, and pineapple flavors. It is thus commonly utilized in smoothies and ice creams, supplemented into fruit salads, or used as a pie or mousse filling.
This delicious, juicy, and creamy fruit looks like custard apple due to its green outer skin with overlapping scales and custard-like flesh with plenty of black seeds. The main difference is that Cherimoya is much smoother on the exocarp, has significantly more flesh and lesser seeds, and is somewhat sugary in taste. It is among the varieties of custard apple. The endocarp (inner flesh) of the fruit turns brown as it ripens and, therefore, cannot be stored for quite a long period as the sugar in it begins to ferment. Both the skin and seeds are not wholesome as they are extremely toxic. This fruit ranks high amongst the healthy fruits with its very high nutrition, particularly ascorbic (vitamin C) and antioxidants compounds.
Sugar apple (Annona cherimola) is a cone-shaped, green fruit with the skin of scales and with sweet, creamy flesh. Sugar apple is thought to have hailed from the Andes mountain of S. America. It is grown in tropical locations with high altitudes.
Due to its creamy appearance, Cherimoya is well known as “custard apple.” It’s often enjoyed with a spoon and served chilled like custard. It has a very sweet taste typical of other tropical fruits, like pineapple and banana. It is highly high in vitamins, fiber, and minerals; the unique fruit helps boost one’s immunity, fight inflammation, and aid heart and eye health.
However, some parts of the fruit are toxic and may damage one’s nervous system if taken in high amounts.
Health Benefits of Cherimoya.
Cherimoya is high in ascorbic acid, which plays a vital role in improving our immune system functioning. Vitamin C (ascorbic acid) is a strong antioxidant that aids the body in building resistance against pathogenic agents and eliminates deadly free radicals from the body. It thus provides strong immunity against diseases such as cold and flu as well as prevents further infections.
Has a Positive Effect on The Eyes
It is also very rich in lutein, a carotenoid type of antioxidant that helps maintain healthy eyesight, as well as fighting conditions like cataracts and AMD.
3. Vitamin C
A medium-sized single cherimoya contains up to 30 mg of ascorbic acid, providing up to 35 percent of our required daily intake. Vitamin C (ascorbic acid) in Cherimoya is necessary for wound healing and formation of tendons, cartilage, and ligaments. Daily Intake of a cup of Cherimoya builds resistance against pathogenic agents and wipe off harmful free radicals from one’s body.
The balanced ratio of potassium and sodium in cherimoya aids in heart rate and blood pressure level regulation. Also, the consumption of Cherimoya is known to reduce low-density lipoprotein (LDL) or bad cholesterol and raise good cholesterol (HDL) levels in blood circulation. It thus improves blood flow to the heart and proves protection from stroke, heart attack, and hypertension.
5. High In Antioxidants
Cherimoya is fully packed with antioxidants, which act against free radicals in your system. High levels of these free radicals may cause prolonged oxidative stress, which is often associated with severe illnesses, such as heart disease and cancer.
Some compounds in Cherimoya, such as kaurenoic acid, carotenoids, flavonoids, and vitamin C, all have strong antioxidant effects. However, note that you should never try to eat the skin of Cherimoya for the sake of your dear health.
Antioxidants in Cherimoya may be particularly strong. Research proved that foods high in carotenoids may enhance visual strength and reduce the risk of having heart disease and cancers.
May Help Control High Blood Pressure
Cherimoya is also very rich in magnesium and potassium, both of which are beneficial to regulate our blood pressure. Both of the nutrients encourage normal blood vessel dilation, which can, in turn, result in a lowered blood pressure, decreased risk of heart attack, and stroke.
7. High in Fiber
One sizeable Cherimoya provides an amazing 5 g of dietary fiber (amounting to almost 90 percent of the daily recommended amount). Fiber is vital for keeping our digestive tract healthy and blood sugar level regulation. It also adds bulkiness to our stool, thus relieving constipation.
8. Against Cancer
Cherimoya for cancer treatments proved to be highly beneficial. It works against cancer cells without negatively affecting healthy cells. The stems and leaves of Cherimoya are high in acetogenins, which aids in cancer treatments. It interferes with enzyme activities to prevent cancer development. The high levels of fiber in it protect the colon mucous membrane from harsh exposure to toxic substances through binding cancer-causing substances in the colon. It also contains strong antioxidants like bullatacin and antimycin, which are both believed to have anti-helminths and anti-cancer properties.
9. May Help Boost Your Mood
Cherimoya is a brilliant and excellent source of pyridoxine (vitamin B6). A cup (160 grams) of cherimoya fruit contains beyond 30 percent of the required daily intake (RDI).
Pyridoxine plays a vital role in the synthesis of neurotransmitters, such as dopamine and serotonin, which help control your mood.
Unreasonably reduction in levels of this nutrient may add a lot to mood disorders. Reduced blood levels of pyridoxine are often linked to depression, especially in adults. A study on 251 adults proved that vitamin B6 (pyridoxine) deficiency multiplies one’s chances of having depression.
By boosting the levels of this amazing vitamin in your body through frequent intake of Cherimoya, you may reduce your risk of having vitamin B6 deficiency-linked depression.
Aids Normal Digestion
A cup of this fruit offers about 5 grams of dietary fiber, which is very helpful to add bulkiness to one’s stool and helps it move properly through our tract, resulting in better digestion. This results in optimal digestive health. Besides, fiber from Cherimoya helps feed the good bacteria in our gut.
11. Brain Health
Cherimoya is a good pack full of B vitamins, especially pyridoxine (vitamin B6), which helps to control GABA (gamma-Aminobutyric acid) neurochemical concentrations in your brain. Adequate GABA amount suppresses depression, irritability, and headaches. Pyridoxine also combats Parkinson’s disease as well as reduces tension and stress. 100 g of cherimoya fruit has up to 20 percent of daily required levels or 0.527 mg pyridoxine.
12. May Prevent High Blood Pressure
Cherimoya is high in beneficial nutrients such as magnesium and potassium that help to regulate blood pressure.
Notably, a cup (about 160 grams) of this fruit boasts about 10 percent of the potassium and about 6 percent or more of the magnesium.
Both magnesium and potassium promote blood vessels dilation, which in turn aids to lower blood pressure. High blood pressure often raises one’s risk of stroke and heart disease.
A review suggested that consumption of the required daily intake for potassium (4,700 mg) can lower diastolic and systolic blood pressure by up to 4 and 8 mm Hg, respectively.
Another review proved people with the lowest intake had an 8 percent higher risk of high blood pressure compared to those with the highest magnesium intake.
Protection from Osteoporosis
Cherimoya is fruit high in calcium, which is essential for bone health, so it helps to prevent osteoporosis.
13. Maintains Health of the Skin
Cherimoya fruit has a reasonably high level of Vitamin C, which is very essential for maintaining normal and healthy skin. Vitamin C is pivotal in collagen formation, a protein that offers elasticity to our skin. Ascorbic acid (vitamin C) also aids in combating harmful free radicals in one’s body, thus providing healthy, fresh, and flawless skin.
14. Promotes Hair Growth
Cherimoya is a very nutritious fruit, which can be highly beneficial to the hair in diverse ways. It has hair-friendly nutrients like zinc, magnesium, iron, and ascorbic acid, which promote healthy hair growth.
Helps Combat Inflammation
Cherimoya fruit is also known to be rich in several anti-inflammatory compounds, which of course, help fight many dangerous illnesses such as cancer and heart disease.
16. Treats Hair Nits and Lice
Unripe cherimoya powder may get rid of hair lice on your hair. Just mix the powder with water, then apply it on your scalp an hour before shampooing to deal with hair lice and nits.