The custard apple has the botanical name Annona reticulate. It is a tropical fruit that is rich in benefits. Among the health benefits of custard apple is preventing cancer, diabetes and others. Apart from being called the custard apple, it also has many other names such as sweetsop, sugar apple, atis, seetaphal, and is also known as cherimoya.
The benefits of custard apple fruit cannot be separated from its rich nutrition. Among the nutrients found in custard apples are iron, phosphorus, calcium, protein and carbohydrates. In addition, it is reported that custard apple also contains compounds such as antioxan, anti-inflammatory and analgesic.
Custard Apple Variety
In general, these plants are of two types, namely pinks mammoth and African pride. Other less visible varieties are Mahaboobnagar, Balanagar, Barbados seedling, Arka sahan, Kakarlapahad, British Guinea, Washington and local Saharanpur.
The seeds of the custard apple fruit are known to have anti-tumor properties which are said to contain pharmacological activities. Several animal studies on custard apple seeds explain that these fruit seeds contain active compounds that can cure leukemia, liver cancer, prostate cancer, cervical cancer and pancreatic cancer.
While the leaves also have benefits such as in agriculture, they are used as an insecticide, anthelmintic and are good for healing bleeding wounds such as abrasions and scratches. Meanwhile, raw and dried custard apple is used as an antidysenteric. The bark of the custard apple plant is useful as an antidysenteric, astringent, and vermifuge.
While the bark of the roots, leaves, branches, is a source of isoquinoline alkaloids. Meanwhile, flour from custard apple seeds is useful in killing powder lice.
In general we already know the health benefits of custard apple, now we look more specifically at what are the health benefits of a plant with the botanical name “Annona reticulate.”
Custard Apple Health Benefits
1. Benefits for cancer
Custard apple contains compounds called acetogenins. This compound has been tested on about 60 types of cancer including breast cancer, prostate cancer and colon cancer.
Even eating custard apple cannot cure cancer, it can prevent its spread or prevent cancer cells from forming.
2. Custard apple benefits for diabetes
Custard apple is a fruit with a very low glycemic index. So even though it is rich in sugar, it is still good for diabetes. Apart from that, it has antioxidant activity and is great for diabetic patients.
In an animal study, it was found that custard apple was found to mimic insulin activity and stimulate insulin production as well. Apart from that, it helps the absorption of glucose by the muscles thereby stabilizing the blood sugar concentration. Apart from fruit, custard apple leaves also have many benefits for lowering blood sugar levels.
Leaf and custard apple fruit extracts contain antioxidants that are good for managing diabetes.
3. Maintain the heart health
Research says that the custard apple contains magnesium which is good for blood health, so it is good for the heart and prevents heart attacks and relaxes the heart muscle.
Custard also contains vitamin B6 which is useful in preventing the buildup of homo-cysteine. The buildup of these substances is harmful to the heart and can even cause damage to the heart.
Please note that the custard apple is a fruit that contains a balanced ratio of sodium and potassium, this will keep the heart and control heart health still functioning normally.
4. Batter Digestion
The next health benefit of custard apple is to improve digestion. Apple custard fruit is a source of fiber which is quite important for digestive health. Fiber functions to regulate bowel movements and facilitate waste disposal so that constipation does not occur.
Thus, eating custard fruit is good at preventing various digestive problems.
The next health benefit is as an anti-infection. Annona fruit has been shown to be a fruit that is rich in anti-microbial properties, this is due to several compounds such as Ent-kauranes, essential oils, Benzylisoquinolines alkaloids and Acetogenins.
Apart from being antimicrobial, custard apple is also reported to have anti-candida albicans and proteus etc. So, eating custard apple fruit in the right amount can prevent various infections.
6. Anti HIV properties
Anti HIV properties are the most important thing in custard fruit. This fruit turned out to contain a compound 16,17-dihydroxy-entkauran-19-oic acid, this shows strong activity in attacking HIV replication in H9 lymphocyte cells.
Eating custard fruit is useful for helping HIV treatment, as shown in several studies.
7. Benefits of custard apple for malaria
Custard apple has been used to treat malaria. but what is used for this treatment is apple custard bark. In the skin there are three aporphine alkaloids, the structure of the compounds identified are N-Nitrosoxylopine, Roemerolidine and Duguevalline. All three are anti-malarial which has chloroquine sensitive strain activity and a chloroquine resistant strain of Plasmodium falciparum.
So, the benefits of custard apple for malaria are due to the presence of specific alkaloids in this plant.
8. Benefits for eyesight
Custard apple is also beneficial for vision health. Custard contains beta-carotene with a combination of several other nutrients related to the eye such as antioxidants, vitamin C, and riboflavin where these compounds actively attack free radicals in cells, reduce macular degeneration, and are useful in slowing down cataracts.
So, eating custard apple regularly can repair eye damage or improve vision health.
9. Custard Apple benefits for arthritis
Custard apple contains magnesium which is useful in stabilizing the water content in the body. The balance of fluids in the body can erode the acids in the joints and this also reduces rheumatic problems and arthritis.
Custard apple has benefits in fighting muscle weakness and lowering the risk of arthritis.
10. Increase immunity
Custard apple contains vitamin C which acts as an anti-inflammatory and as an immunity booster. Consuming apple custard regularly and including it in your daily menu will provide good endurance.
11. Good for hair health
To get healthy hair, we need good blood flow to the hair roots. Consuming iron-rich custard apple will produce more red blood cells thus providing an adequate supply to the hair roots. This will promote better hair growth.
The content of vitamin C and minerals in custard apple provides benefits for hair health.
12. Helps gain weight
Custard apple contains fiber and calories, this will increase the body’s metabolism and ultimately increase your weight.
Eating custard apple regularly will provide a supply of calories which is useful for gaining weight.
Apple custard fruit is safe for consumption by most people.
Warnings & precautions
Custard apple seeds are poisonous and the sap can cause irritation if it gets in the eyes.
People who have high blood pressure are good at consuming custard apple because it can lower blood pressure. However, if you are taking medication for high blood pressure, then don’t eat custard because it can worsen your condition.
Consuming custard apple fruit should be in medium amounts, if in excess it can cause several stomach problems such as diarrhea, constipation, gas blockage and others because this fruit is rich in fiber.