Sitaphal, Among Healthiest Of Fruits And A ‘Super Food’ For Diet-Conscious Individuals
Custard apple or sitaphal is a seasonal fruit which is known by various names across the world, of which sugar apple and cherimoya are the most prevalent.
Among the healthiest of fruits, it is spherical-conical in shape, pale green through blue-green in colour and segmented on the inside. The flesh of the fruit is sweet, creamy white in colour, fragrant and tastes like custard.
A new variety atemoya or ‘pineapple sugar-apple,’ a hybrid, is popular in Taiwan. The fruit is similar in sweetness to sugar-apple but tastes like pineapple.
Custard apple is popular among nutritionists due to its high nutrition and antioxidant content. The fruit is a good source of energy and has carbohydrate content of 23.64g per 100g. It is rich in vitamin C (36.6 mg per 100g) and carotenoids, which fight against the free radicals that may cause various diseases in our body. This can also help to reduce signs of ageing as well as pigmentation.
According to United States Department of Agriculture (USDA), 100g of the fruit contains around 12% of vitamin B6 (pyridoxine) which plays an important role in the creation of neurotransmitters, including serotonin and dopamine, which help regulate your mood and may help in reducing risk of depression related to vitamin B6 deficiency. It also contains healthy amount of other B vitamins such as B1 (thiamine), B2 (riboflavin), B3 (niacin) and B9 (folate).
Sugar apple is free of cholesterol, has fat content of only 0.29g per 100g of the fruit and has good amount of dietary fibres (4.4g per 100g). This helps in making it the ‘super food’ for diet-conscious individuals and aids in weight loss.
Among minerals, it is rich in potassium followed by calcium, magnesium and phosphorus. It is also low in sodium, which makes it beneficial for people suffering from high blood pressure.
Cherimoya is a good source of carotenoid antioxidant lutein, which helps in maintaining healthy vision and may proof beneficial in preventing cataract. It also boasts flavonoid antioxidants which have powerful anti-inflammatory properties.
So, in this pandemic situation where internal immunity is becoming the most important preventive measure against COVID-19, custard apple should be included in the diet and everyone should reap the benefits of this fruit.