What is Cherimoya?
Cherimoya is a pulpy and sweet tropical fruit that is common in the Andean Valley. The fruit is irregularly oval or conical in shape, features leathery dark-green skin with polygonal indentations. It measures about 10-15 cm in length and 10 cm in diameter and weighs about 350 g to 500 g, and in some varieties weighing several pounds. Ripe fruits turn pale green to light brown, and emanate sweet, fragrant aroma that can be appreciated from a distance. Inside it features, creamy pulp with smooth, shiny, black seeds embedded in the flesh. Seeds and skin are inedible. It’s a fleshy, succulent and delicious fruit. It has an appearance of a custard apple that has small seeds inside..
Health Benefits of Cherimoya
Maintains Health of the Skin and Delays Signs of Ageing: Cherimoya fruit has a high content of Vitamin C, which is vital for maintaining the health of the skin. Vitamin C helps in the formation of collagen, a protein, which provides elasticity to the skin. Vitamin C also helps to combat free radicals in the body, providing healthy and flawless skin. Regular consumption of cherimoya can help to delay the signs of ageing like fine lines, blemishes and wrinkles. It also helps to reverse the pigmentation caused due to free radicals.
Boosts Immunity: Cherimoya is rich in vitamin C which plays an important role in improving the immune system function. This nutrient is a powerful natural antioxidant that helps the body develop resistance against infectious agents and eliminates harmful free radicals from the body. Thus, it provides immunity against common diseases like cold and flu as well as prevents infections
Anti-inflammatory Properties: Cherimoya has a high content of vitamin C, a powerful antioxidant that helps to protect the body from damage by inflammatory free radicals.
Cardiovascular Benefits: The well balanced ratio of sodium and potassium in cherimoya helps in the regulation of blood pressure levels and heart rate. Moreover, consumption of cherimoya has proven to reduce bad cholesterol (LDL) and increase good cholesterol (HDL) level in the blood. Hence, it improves blood flow towards the heart, providing protection against heart attack, stroke and hypertension.
Prevents Cancer: The rich antioxidant content in cherimoya provides this fruit with anti-cancer benefits. Cancer cells are formed due to free radicals produced by oxidative stress. These antioxidants neutralize the effect of free radicals. Moreover, cherimoya contains significant amounts of dietary fiber which prevents absorption of cholesterol in the gut and prevents the mucus membrane of the colon from exposure to toxic substances, thus reducing the risk of colon and liver cancers. It also provides protection against breast cancer.
Brain Health: Cherimoya fruit is a good source of B vitamins, particularly vitamin B6 (pyridoxine) which controls the GABA neuro chemical levels in your brain. Adequate GABA levels calm down irritability, depression and headache ailments. Vitamin B6 also protects against Parkinson’s disease as well as relieves stress and tension. 100 grams of cherimoya fruit contains around 0.527 mg or 20 % of daily recommended levels of vitamin B6.
Promotes Healthy Hair: and Treatment of Lice: Just like the skin, vitamin C is also vital for hair health and it prevents damage by free radicals which affect your hair as well. The unripe cherimoya fruit can be dried and powdered. This can be applied on hair for getting rid of lice.
Helps to sleep: Cherimoya has been known to help an individual sleep with its high content of magnesium, which is a mineral that is directly linked to improving the quality, duration, and tranquility of sleep. Cherimoya also helps regulate the metabolism, to help reduce sleep disorders and the occurrence of insomnia
Improves Metabolism: Cherimoya also contains vitamin B6, which is vital for the immune system and metabolism to function properly. It controls levels of GABA neuron chemical to help alleviate depression and stress. Vitamin B6 is also great against Parkinson disease.
Relieves Constipation: A medium-size cherimoya can give 5 grams of dietary fiber, which is around 90% of the suggested amount. Fiber is crucial for maintaining the health of the digestive tract and decreasing blood sugar levels. It also helps relieve constipation by adding bulk to stool.
Detoxifies: Cherimoya also has a lot of polyphenol antioxidants that helps to control the damage caused by free radicals. The peel, flesh and juice of the cherimoya have good amounts of antioxidants too.
Uses of Cherimoya
- The dried flower is used as a flavoring agent for snuffs.
- The seeds are crushed to be used as an insecticide.