Custard apple is a fruit of the tree Annona Squamosa which is originally a native of the tropical Americas and West Indies. In India this fruit is commonly known as ‘Sitaphal’.
Lot of research has been done on the variants of Custard apples, yet few of us know about these amazing fruits.
Custard apple is a store house of important vitamins and minerals which play important roles in various bodily functions.
- Anti-oxidant vitamins-Vitamin A and Vitamin C which are extremely essential in fighting free radicals and preventing infections and diseases. Vitamin A is beneficial for healthy hair, skin and eyes too. Also, Vitamin C enhances the uptake of dietary iron in the body.
- Iron-Fruits generally do not contain significant amounts of Iron but Custard apple is one fruit which is a fairly good source of Iron. As it is enriched with Vitamin C as well as Iron, it exerts a dual positive effect in increasing hemoglobin levels and preventing Iron deficiency anemia.
- Potassium-Maintains smooth functioning of muscles and joints and helps fight muscle weakness.
- Magnesium-Maintains acid base balance in the body.
- Copper-Essential for normal and healthy growth of the body. It reduces the symptoms of arthritis and also helps provide relief from constipation.
Is it recommended for diabetics and those on on a weight loss diet?
Custard apple is a calorically dense fruit by nature providing somewhere between 95-110 kcals per 100 g which is almost double that of an orange, peach and apple. These calories come mainly from sugar. Therefore, this fruit is not popular among diabetics and those on active weight loss regimes.
However, various scientific researches have proved some interesting results.
- Studies say that this delicious fruit possesses anti-obese and anti-diabetic properties. It promotes adipolysis (digestion of fats) in the human body and prevents adipogenesis (development of fat cells).
- Additionally, it is a fairly good source of dietary fiber which plays an important role in weight loss.
- Though Custard apple has high sugar content, the glycemic index of Custard apple is low (54) and the glycemic load moderate (10.2) (parameters which indicate the effect of a particular food on the blood sugar levels) so the net effect on blood sugar levels is actually not that high.
So the good news is that Custard apple need not be avoided by this population. They can enjoy it too but portion control must be kept in mind. 80-100 gms of the fruit (i.e half of a medium sized custard apple) eaten at one time will not cause a spike in the blood sugar levels or a pile on of calories leading to weight gain. However, it is recommended to consult your personal Nutritionist/ Dietitian before you make any additions/ subtractions to your current diet.
Come on, treat yourself to this yummy seasonal fruit today!