Sapota or chikoo is a winter favourite in India. The sapota tree is an evergreen plant and bears fruit towards its fourth year. It is known for its distinct smell and flavour. The fruit’s texture is creamy and soft. It can be eaten raw or made into marmalade, milkshakes, jelly, smoothies, ice cream and fruit bars. Essential oil named as sapayul oil extracted from its seed is used in cosmetics. But the actual reason for it being famous is its abundant nutritional properties. The fruit is an excellent source of various vitamins and minerals that are highly beneficial for our body’s metabolism.
According to USDA, 100gm of the fruit contains around 32.1 g of carbohydrate, 5.4 g dietary fibre, 1.45g protein. It also contains 23 mg vitamin C, 2.11 mg vitamin E, 1.43mg B6 and a healthy amount of thiamine ( B1), riboflavin (B2), niacin (B3), B5 and folate (B9). The mineral content of the fruit is also quite varied with 18 mg of calcium, 26mg of phosphorus, 454 mg of potassium, iron, magnesium, manganese and zinc.
The above nutritional content can be linked to various benefits that the fruit can provide us with. As it is rich in carbohydrates and very low in fats it can serve as a healthy source of energy for our body. It can serve as a filling fruit for diet-conscious individuals and help in the weight loss regime.
Sapota is rich in vitamin C and Vitamin E, which act as antioxidants for our body. Both these vitamins are a boon for skin health and have anti-ageing properties. Further, the presence of antioxidants like ascorbic acid, polyphenols, and flavonoids add to its skin benefits. As vitamin C is highly essential for increasing immunity against cold and flu-related diseases, sapota can serve as an immunity-building fruit during this pandemic period.
We all know that fibre-rich foods help in digestion and sapota has a high amount of dietary fibre which makes it an excellent bulk laxative. According to the International Journal of Food Science and Nutrition, the high content of tannins in sapota acts as an anti-inflammatory agent and can help in improving the digestive tract by reducing gastritis and irritable bowel syndrome.
This superfruit is rich in calcium, phosphorus and iron which are very important for the maintenance of bones and also help in increasing their strength. Also, regular intake may result in a decrease of swelling in various joints of the body. It has a low amount of sodium and higher amount of potassium which makes it beneficial for people suffering from high blood pressure and heart conditions.