Once considered an exotic fruit, soursop is today extremely popular all over the world. When it the last time you have some of it? If you can’t remember, it’s time you have some owing to the fact that it possesses several important benefits on health, that you can stand to take advantage of.
Ready to learn more about this super fruit? Then read on more.
What Is The Soursop?
Known as many things, graviola, guyabano, and guanavana, soursop was originally native to parts of the Americas and Caribbean but today you can now find it cultivated in many tropical areas of the world. It is said to possess a unique creamy texture and flavor that is said to taste like a hybrid between strawberries and apples, with undertones of citrus.
Possessing the binomial name Annona muricata, it is a treasure trove of nutrients and is steadily growing in popularity and being used in alternative medical therapy.
Soursop Nutrition (Per 100g)
Total Carbohydrate 16.8g
Dietary Fiber 3.3g 13%
Protein 1.0g 2%
Vitamin C 20.6mg 34%
Thiamin 0.1mg 5%
Riboflavin 0.1mg 3%
Niacin 0.9mg 4%
Vitamin B6 0.1mg 3%
Folate 14.0mcg 3%
Pantothenic Acid 0.3mg 3%
Calcium 14.0mg 1%
Iron 0.6mg 3%
Magnesium 21.0mg 5%
Phosphorus 27.0mg 3%
Potassium 278mg 8%
Zinc 0.1mg 1%
Copper 0.1mg 4%
11 Amazing Health Benefits of Soursop
1. Supports The Health Of The Eyes
The soursop fruit is loaded with vitamins and minerals, many of which possesses significant antioxidant properties.
Most notably is the amount of vitamin C and Pro-vitamin A beta-carotene it contains, which combined with small amounts of vitamin D and zinc offers significant protection to the eyes.
Your eyes, like any other organ is subjected to the effects of aging, usually manifested by increasing oxidative load. Age-related macular degeneration is an avoidable, yet very common ailment affecting the eyes that reduce vision quality and may eventually lead to blindness if not managed properly.
In addition to this, consumption of soursop of can also help safeguard retina from damage along with the optic nerve, which may be compromised in diabetics or people with blood flow disorders.
2. May Reduce Cancer Risk
There is major hype surrounding the use of soursop as a cure for cancer. In the effort of being as responsible as possible, we cannot advocate this in good faith. There is just not enough scientific proof to indicate that soursop will cure any cancer, though it can definitely help reduce your relative risk. Once again, the wide range of antioxidants it possesses can help safeguard healthy cells from oxidative damage that may ultimately lead to mutations or damage to DNA that then propagates as defective replication of cells.
There is preliminary evidence that extracts made from soursop up may have the potential to kill breast and liver cancers, though these studies need further investigation to determine their efficacy and replicability.
3. Anti-parasitic Actions
In the tropics, infections with sandworms is very common, being transmitted via sand fleas. The larvae then go under the skin, and may cause extreme itching. Consumption of soursop of will not necessarily help kill parasites, but using the leaves of the plant ground into a paste and applied to the area of suspected infection can be very effective in bringing about a cure.
It is important to reapply frequently in order to completely eradicate the presence of larvae, or these may eventually turn to adult fleas and the cycle begins again.
4. May Help Manage Type II Diabetes
Soursop is believed to possess hypoglycemic properties, based on the results of one study conducted in Nigeria. The study compared two groups of people, one administered soursop and the other given placebo. At the end of the study, there were significant differences between the two groups, with the group administered soursop having noticeably lower blood glucose levels.
Soursop extract was believed to help offset damage to the insulin producing cells in the pancreas, and may even help to up regulate insulin sensitivity.
5. Antibacterial Properties
It’s no surprise that in previous times people had to rely on alternative remedies to treat infections, since antibiotics are a recently new discovery, first becoming popularized in the 20th century.
Studies today have confirmed that soursop extract may help with slowing down the replication of bacteria, especially those found in the oral cavity.
It also shows potential against Staphylococcus bacteria that cause skin infections, but it is important to note that the strength of extract used was significantly higher than the amount you would be able to consume from your diet. This means that you should not rely on consumption of the fruit to bring about clearance of a bacterial infection, as you are unlikely to consume enough of it.
6. Supports Respiratory Health
Soursop might not be the first fruit that comes to mind when trying to enhance the health of the respiratory system, but based on its high concentration of vitamin C, it is actually well-suited for this purpose.
Consumption of high amounts of vitamin C are extremely beneficial in people suffering from pre-existing respiratory illnesses such as asthma or COPD, who may experience excessive airway inflammation that causes difficulty breathing.
7. Can Help Manage Gastric Ulcers
Gastric ulcers are extremely painful erosions that occur along the esophagus or within the stomach, as a result of the hydrochloric acid in the stomach acting on sensitive areas or damage to the mucous membranes along these areas.
Gastric ulcers may be caused by many things, such as infection with H. pylori bacteria that have overgrown, or use of several medications. Soursop may help with recovery of gastric ulcers, by reducing the damage caused by the acid and helping to reinforce the integrity of the mucous lining of these walls.
The fruit can be consumed, and extracts made of the leaf may sometimes be added in.
8. Enhances Immune Function
Soursop may boost your immune systems function, attributed to the large amounts of antioxidants it contains.
Vitamin C and vitamin A Pro vitamin can reduce damage to immune cells, and enhance activity of macrophages which detect foreign bodies before they can cause infection.
The fiber content of soursop also acts as nutrition for the probiotic bacteria living in your gastrointestinal tract, which comprise a significant portion of your immune system.
9. Antipyretic Properties
Although the use of soursop to treat fever has been superseded by affordable medication in most parts of the world, sadly it still remains heavily relied on in parts where access to medical treatment is scarce.
Extracts made of the leaf are still used to treat symptoms of malaria and dengue, especially throughout parts of Africa, but luckily it is effective and is also suitable for use in children. The leaves are even said to be able to eradicate larvae of the mosquito that transmits dengue fever, which is why some people make natural repellents of the leaves and spray around their homes.
10. Helps Manage Arthritic Symptoms
Soursop might be helpful in the management of inflammatory joint conditions such as arthritis, since it possesses mild analgesic and potent anti-inflammatory properties. You can benefit from using both the fruit and their leaves, since together the range of alkaloids and other flavonoids it contains is unsurpassed. It is still used in parts of the world where it is native for this purpose to great success.
11. Supports Liver Function
Soursop can help support normal liver function, especially in situations where the liver may be stressed or displays elevated liver enzymes. One such common scenario is jaundice, characterized by the buildup of bilirubin in the body. Soursop assist with the metabolism of this byproduct of red blood cell breakdown, helping to reset elevated liver enzymes, reduce signs of liver inflammation and also promote the excretion of waste.
As you can see, the health benefits of soursop are nothing to scoff at. The fact that it has been used for centuries by natives in the parts where it was originally grown, and the fact that a growing body of scientific evidence is mounting, proves that it is an extremely promising remedy for several of the ailments that plague us today.
You can get a piece of this pie by ensuring that you have some soursop at least every week. Even better yet? Make it into a juice for ultimate convenience.