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Friday, September 16, 2011

How beneficial is The Custard Apple ?

This unique looking fruit has become quite a common sight in most gardens today. Undoubtedly, they grew well in tropical country because it needs plenty of sunshine and sufficient water to sustain growth. The flesh is always sweet in taste but sometimes, it could be slight sourish too. Of course, the possible reason could be due to the infertile soil that they grew upon. The fruit gets its name as Custard Apple because of its shape which appears like a heart, or otherwise similar to the shape of an apple. It appears to have a rough skin but its thin. If the fruit is over-ripened, the whole fruit may break apart due to the weight of its flesh.

I remember a few healthy plants that were grown in our backyard during my school days. It bears fruits continuously throughout the year and our greatest enemy was the naughty birds that will fight with us for the sweet fruit. They have a better sense of smell and every time before we can pluck them, we are  bound to see holes appearing on the side of the fruits because they are been eaten by those notorious birds first.

Nutritional Value of Custard Apple (Based on per 100 gm)
  • Thiamine (B1) - 0.05 to 0.08 mg
  • Vitamin A -1 mg       
  • Riboflavin (B2) - 0.08 to 0.1 mg
  • Natural Sugar - 14 to 18 gm           
  • Niacin (B3) - 0.5 to 0.8 mg
  • Carbohydrate - 23.71 gm    
  • Iron - 0.7mg
  • Total Acidity - 0.4 mg           
  • Energy - 76 to 96 cal (310 to 420 kJ)
  • Protein - 1 to 4.3 gm            
  • Zinc - 0.2 to 2.7mg
  • Magnesium - 32 to 88 mg  
  • Copper - 2.4mg
  • Potassium - 250 to 578 mg            
  • Sodium - 4 to 14 mg
  • Calcium - 17 to 22 mg         
  • Vitamin C - 22 to 43 mg
  • Fibre - 1 to 3.2 g       
  • Total Soluble Solids (Brix) - 22.3%

Benefits of Eating Custard Apple 
  • it has an abundant content of Vitamin C, which is an anti-oxidant and
    helps in neutralizing free radicals.
  • it also contains reasonable amount of Vitamin A, which is good for
    the hair, eyes and skin.
  • it contains magnesium, which is important to relax all muscles and
    protecting the heart against diseases.
  • it also contains Potassium, Copper and Vitamin B6.
  • it is a rich source of dietary fiber, which helps in digestion.
  • it contains low fat levels and good for maintaining optimum health.
  • the flesh of the fruit can be used for local application on ulcers,
    abscesses and boils.
  • in the olden days, such unripe fruit can be dried, crushed and
    used for treating diarrhea and dysentery.
  • this fruit can also serve as an expectorant, stimulant, coolant and
    haematinic and is even useful in treating anemia.

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