Nutrient deficiencies caused as a result of malnutrition have been reported as part of the leading public health problems, which call for longstanding viable intervention plan that could possibly fix this menace. To a larger extent, food-based method especially in terms of balanced dietary intake has been supported to be an effective means of boosting the accumulation and absorption of essential nutrients and vitamins that are vital for the healthy functioning of the human body.
Apart from serving as a means of combating hunger, food consumption is an integral means of maintaining a healthy body. However, there appears to be lack of knowledge on some essential foods, how to consume them, the nutritional benefits of such foods and the possible health implications of neglecting to consume such foods. A remarkable proportion of fruits all over the world have equally been reported very important to human health and one of such fruits is the soursop, which is botanically referred to as Annona muricata.
Soursop belongs to the family of Annonaceae and the genus of Annona. Several studies have been carried out over the past years regarding the impacts of this fruit on human health. Interestingly, soursop has been recorded as among the list of valuable fruits that are highly beneficial to human health. Both the soursop drink and pulp have been reported to contain reasonable amounts of vitamins, minerals and nutrients that are health promoting. Both the leaves, stems and barks are equally medicinal in nature. Soursop is originally from the Caribbean islands of Hispaniola, West Indies, Cuba, Mexico, South and Central America and Puerto Rico before spreading to other parts of the world such as Africa (Congo, Nigeria, Cameroon).
Soursop is also known as guyabano, mtomoko, guanavana, coração de boi, shawshopu, anona, thorny custard apple, ekitafeeli, evo, mullatha, tomoko, mãng cầu Xiêm, kowosòl, adunu, tearb barung, sorsaka, graviolo, aluguntugui, guanábana, graviola, durian salat, corossol, lampun, Brazilian pawpaw, durian benggala, nangka londa, nangka blanda, zuurzak or sirsak. Soursop is notable for its white fibrous pulp and tiny seeds that are intertwined in-between the pulp. The pulp is very creamy, distinctively stringy, sour and tasty. Soursop fruit is oval in shape while the leaves are lanceolate in shape as well as glossy in appearance. The fruit is distinguished by its greenish sparse curved spines. While the pulp is the edible part of this fruit, the seeds are considered inedible and are usually discarded.
15 Amazing Benefits of Soursop (Graviola)
1. Anti-cancer Properties
Soursop contains annonacin, which is a neurotoxin that is classified as acetogenin. Studies reveal that the presence of annonacin in soursop makes this fruit effective for inhibiting the growth of cancer cells when compared with chemotherapy and Adriamycin. Regular consumption of soursop is therefore highly essential for preventing the onset of cancer attacks.
2. Anti-viral Properties
Annona muricata extract is anti-viral in nature thus can be used for treating viral infections such as herpes. Genital herpes is a type of infection caused by the herpes simplex virus (HSV). This virus causes painful blisters on the genitals and it can affect any mucous membrane (moist lining) like the ones present in the mouth (cold sores).
3. Boosts the Energy Level
The presence of fructose in soursop makes this fruit an excellent source of energy. Fructose is a monosaccharide (simple sugar) that acts as a building block of complex carbohydrates.
4. Boosts the Immune System
Soursop fruit is an excellent source of natural products such as annonacin, acetogenins, muricapentocin, gentisic acid, annocatacin, anonol, annocatalin, linoleic acid, annohexocin, gigantetronin, caclourine, annomuricin and anomurine, which are all essential for boosting the immune system thereby helping to fight against disease causing agents.
5. Anti-oxidizing Properties
Soursop is an excellent source of vitamin C thus acts as a great antioxidant for promoting good health and slowing down the ageing process.
6. Prevents Osteoporosis
Soursop is a rich source of calcium and phosphorus, which are essential for maintaining strong bones and for preventing osteoporosis.
7. Aids Digestion
Soursop is an excellent source of dietary fibre thus very good for facilitating easy digestion of food.
8. Culinary Purposes
The white pulp of the soursop fruit can be used for preparing smoothies, syrups, soft drinks, beverages, sherbets, candies, ice creams and juices. Soursop leaves can be used for tenderizing meat.
9. Nutritional Values of Soursop
Soursop is an excellent source of calcium, vitamin C, vitamin B1, vitamin B2, sodium, protein, potassium, pectin, glucose, fructose and dietary fibre, which are essential for promoting good health.
10. Maintains Healthy Heart
Soursop contains vitamin B1 and B2 that are essential for facilitating blood circulation thereby contributing to the maintenance of a healthy heart.
11. Treatment of Gastrointestinal Problems
Soursop fruit and leaves can be used for treating gastrointestinal diseases such as stomach pains, diarrhoea.
12. Antibacterial Properties
Soursop contains phytochemicals that are antibacterial in nature thus have been proven effective for treating bacterial infections such as fever, cold etc.
13. Wound Healing Properties
The bark and stem of the soursop can be used for preparing herbal medicines for treating wounds and cuts.
14. Treatment of Haemorrhoids
Soursop is an essential fruit for treating haemorrhoids.
15. Other Uses of Soursop
Studies reveal that the soursop fruit juice is an excellent juice for tackling hematuria (blood in the urine), rheumatism, depression, urethritis (urinary tract infection), arthritis, kidney problems and liver disease.
Having read through this post, it will be highly appreciated if you leave your opinion or ask related questions in the comment section. Every opinion counts!!!
This post is for enlightenment purposes only and should not be used as a replacement for professional diagnostic and treatments. Remember to always consult your healthcare provider before making any health-related decisions or for counselling, guidance and treatment about a specific medical condition.
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