Contrary to its name, soursop is known for its sweet flesh, which is sometimes incorporated into desserts, ice creams, sweets and smoothies. It’s distinctive flavour, a combination of pineapple and strawberry has made it a popular treat in Central and South America. But besides its unique taste, soursop is also touted for its many health benefits. It contains numerous phytonutrients, including potassium, vitamin C and dietary fibre. In Africa, soursop was used to treat coughs, skin disease and to reduce pain. Soursop is also rich in vitamin C, B vitamins like niacin, riboflavin and thiamin. Additionally, it is also filled with minerals such as calcium, phosphorus and small amounts of iron. Recently, soursop has been touted for its cancer-fighting properties and for preventing cancer.
Benefits Of Soursop
Soursop consists of numerous phytonutrients that can fight and prevent the development of cells that cause disease. The fruit is also a crucial key ingredient for the prevention of certain kinds of tumours. The phytonutrients found in soursop are rich in antioxidants that improve your overall health. The pulp of the fruit is loaded with nutrients. The rich antioxidant properties regulate free radicals in cells and alleviate inflammation.
Improves Eye Health
Apart from being a great source of antioxidants, soursop is also a good source of vitamin C, E, Zinc and beta-carotene. The properties in soursop have found to lower the risk of eye disease. Antioxidants also play a large role in reducing oxidative stress in the body. Oxidative stress not only contributes to ageing but also causes cataracts.
Soursop works well to soothe inflamed skin and reduce swelling and redness. In addition to the fruit, the roots, barks and leaves of the soursop tree are also said to contain anti-inflammatory properties. Its ability to counteract inflammation in the body can help to relieve arthritis. Soursop also contains analgesic compounds that relieve pain as well.
Treats Fever & Infection
Traditionally, soursop has been used to treat fever and infection. The fruit is said to control and treat the symptoms of fevers and even convulsive seizures. Additionally soursop functions as an astringent issue such as diarrhoea and diseases such as dysentery. The leaves of the soursop tree and the fruit can be used to remedy infections caused by bacteria and parasites. This also includes leishmaniasis, a disease that is transmitted through sand fleas, which upon biting passes parasites to the host.
Boosts The Immune System
Soursop, which is filled with bioactive compounds, is great for strengthening the immune system. The soursop leaf extract has the ability to encourage and stimulate the immune system in the body. Although the soursop fruit is said to offer more micronutrients compared to the pulp of the fruit, it is the pulp that is rich in vitamin A. The ascorbic acid (vitamin C) in the fruit also plays an important role in enhancing the immune system. Soursop, which also contains beta-carotene, a precursor of vitamin A stimulates the immune system.
Soursop has the ability to regulate blood sugar level in the body, keeping it within the healthy range. The extracts of soursop leaves can also function as a natural diabetes remedy. Essentially diabetes prevents the development of diabetes and treats the onset of the disease.
Enhances The Health Of Your Intestines
The antiulcer properties of soursop allow the fruit to suppress and impede oxidative damage in the body. The antioxidant and anti-inflammatory compounds in the fruit are said to boost the health of the gastrointestinal tract.
Side Effects Of Soursop
Although soursop has a number of benefits for the body, there are also some side effects that you should take note of.
The soursop tree, especially the seeds and the bark are considered toxic to our health. They have been said to contain highly poisonous properties such as anonaine, hydrocyanic acid and muricine. All of these compounds are said to cause eye inflammation.
Avoid If You’re Pregnant
If you’re pregnant, avoid soursop as the fruit has the potential to be toxic to both the mother and the baby. This is due to the reaction between the fruit and the cell of the developing fetus, which has the potential to activate the fruit’s toxicity. It is also said that eating soursop while breastfeeding is unsafe.
The potent combination of phytonutrients and antioxidants makes soursop a powerful ingredient that keeps our bodies healthy. And although soursop has the potential to address a number ailments and even reverse the effects of certain health conditions, the fruit can also be harmful if consumed in excess or if you or your partner is pregnant. Moderation is key for any kinds of food, even the ones that are touted for being a superfood. It is also important that you do your own research about fruits and vegetables before going on a binge for better health.