The scientific name of cherimoya is Annona cherimola. It is a sweet tropical fruit that is native to the valleys of southern Ecuador and northern Peru. Nowadays, Spain is the largest producer of cherimoya. The cherimoya belongs to the same family as pawpaw fruit and sugar apple. The meaning of cherimoya is cold seeds. In traditional medicine, the cherimoya was used to treat several health issues. The cherimoya looks like a green pinecone, which is usually heart-shaped. When you open cherimoya, it has white and juicy flesh and inedible black seeds.
Different parts of cherimoya have an interesting phytochemical profile, with a high content of alkaloids and polyphenols. This fruit is consumed for its sweet flavor. It has many health benefits for all people. The leaves of cherimoya are a source of bioactive compounds, which is a reason why they are used in traditional medicine preparation.
Also, they are used in folk teas for the treatment of eye diseases, digestive complaints, skin issues, and heart problems. You should not consume cherimoya in high amounts. The flesh of cherimoya is safe in normal amounts, but the cherimoya seeds and peel have higher amounts of annonacin, which is a toxin that is present in some fruits in the Annona species. Here are some health benefits of cherimoya:
Health benefits of cherimoya
- Boosts heart health: The cherimoya has many different compounds which can help to promote heart health. These components include dietary fiber, magnesium, and potassium which are micronutrients and antioxidants like carotenoids. There are some studies in which are shown that potassium intake can help to reduce high blood pressure in people with hypertension. Also, it is associated with a 24% lower risk of stroke.
- Provides Vitamin B6: This fruit is rich in Vitamin B6. This vitamin can help to maintain healthy blood vessels, it can support brain function. It can reduce blood pressure and regulate sleep cycles. In some studies are shown that Vitamin B6 deficiency can cause problems with memory function and cognitive health. It is very important to maintain normal Vitamin B6 levels, so you will stay in good mood and you will have the ability to focus.
- Supports eye health: The cherimoya has the carotenoid called lutein, so it can help to support eye health. Lutein is rich in anti-inflammatory properties. It is known to improve or prevent age-related macular disease, which is the cause of vision impairment and blindness. Also, lutein can help to reduce light sensitivity, glare, and fatigue. It can help to strengthen eye tissue and it can help the vision to be more acute.
- Promotes immune system health: The cherimoya has high amounts of Vitamin C. This nutrient is linked to immune function. In one cherimoya fruit, there is about 60% of your daily value of Vitamin C. This makes cherimoya an excellent way to consume antioxidants and anti-inflammatory compounds. When you consume enough Vitamin C, then your body will fight against infections and many different diseases. Many studies are shown that Vitamin C deficiency can lead to impaired immunity and higher susceptibility to infections.
- Fights inflammation: The cherimoya has several anti-inflammatory compounds, such as kaurenoic acid. In one study rats were treated with kaurenoic acid. They have shown improved symptoms of colitis, including inflammatory cell infiltration and mucosal damage. Also, custard apples have anti-inflammatory carotenoids and flavonoids which can help to promote overall health and reduce the risk of chronic disease.
- Rich in fiber: The cherimoya is rich in soluble fiber. It can aid in digestive issues and it can make you feel full longer. Soluble fiber will add bulk to the stool and this can help it to move through your digestive tract. There are a lot of studies in which are shown that dietary fiber is a key component in healthy eating. Also, the fiber found in cherimoya is fermentable and it can help positively change the gastrointestinal tract flora.