Health experts and nutritionists often recommend enjoying seasonal fruits and vegetables to get maximum benefits of nutritional values of these seasonal delights. One such fruit which is in season right now is custard apple, also known as Sitaphal in Hindi. The green cone-shaped fruit is soft, creamy, and sweet with a hard rind. Sitaphal is widely grown in Maharashtra. The fruit is full of many nutrients as it is rich in antioxidants, Vitamin A, Vitamin C, iron, potassium, magnesium, and copper.
Custard apples are known to be a storehouse of important vitamins and minerals required for crucial body functions. As per healthify.com, per 100 grams of fresh custard apple contains:
Calories – 94
Proteins – 2.1 gms
Dietary Fiber – 4.4 gms
Total Fat – 0.0 gms
Carbohydrates – 23.6 gms
Here are some amazing health benefits of Sitaphal or custard apple:
Improves Cardiovascular Health
It contains a well-balanced ratio of potassium and sodium that helps in the effective management of blood pressure fluctuations in the body. The high magnesium content relaxes the heart muscles and prevents stroke and heart attack.
With aging, weak eyesight and other eye problems are common. Custard apple is rich in vitamin C and riboflavin, two essential nutrients for eye health.
Increase natural anti-cancerous properties
Custard apples are rich in flavonoids which help to cure several types of tumors and cancers. It contains alkaloids and acetogenin that can prevent renal failure and cancer. Its bioactive molecules prevent obesity and diabetes.
Lowers the risk of arthritis
Custard apples are high in magnesium which helps in equalizing the water balance in the body and reducing the symptoms of arthritis and rheumatism. It also contains calcium which is crucial for bone health. It also prevents muscle weakness.
Improves brain health
Sitaphal contains a high amount of Vitamin B complex, which controls the brain’s GABA (gamma-aminobutyric acid) neuron chemical levels.
GABA controls different emotions such as depression, irritability, tension, and stress. Consuming vitamin B complex helps you relax and effectively control stress and depression.
Prevents skin aging
Eating custard apples promotes collagen production in the body. Collagen is a type of protein that gives the skin its elasticity, plumpness, and smoothness. With increase age, collagen production gets low.
This results in wrinkly and loose skin. The production of collagen helps in reducing the fine lines, wrinkles and improves the elasticity of the skin. The antioxidants delays blemishes and age spots, which keep the skin looking youthful.
Other health benefits of Sitaphal or custard apple:
Helps to fight fatigue
Treatment for inflammatory diseases
Helps in weight loss and better digestion
How to consume Sitaphal or custard apple?
Cut it into half, scoop out the pulp with a spoon and eat it.
Add lemon juice on the top for some additional tangy flavor.
Add it in combination with other fruits or a fruit salad.