Soursop, also referred to as guanábana, graviola, or guyabano, is a prickly, heart-shaped green fruit. It typically grows in tropical regions, including South America, Mexico, the Caribbean, and more. It has a flavor similar to a mix between pineapple and strawberry, with a hint of sour citrus flavor.
As this fruit ripens, its flesh becomes slightly soft and its skin becomes light green. The white pulpy flesh of the fruit has a sweet, acidic taste and possesses small shiny black inedible seeds.
Nutritional Value of Soursop:
This fruit contains carbohydrates that are free of sodium, cholesterol, and fat. It is also abundant in vitamin C, vitamin B1 and B3, thiamin, riboflavin, potassium, phosphorus, niacin, magnesium, iron, fiber, copper, and calcium. Its leaves are rich in a few essential compounds, such as protein, fat, fructose, vitamin A, B vitamins, and calcium.
Soursop May Help Prevent or Fight Several Types of Cancer
Soursop extract has been found to slow the spread of cancerous cells or make conventional cancer treatments work better.
Many studies have proven that soursop extract can dramatically boost the immune system. In addition, the extract has also been found to target and destroy cancer cells in 12 cancer types, such as lung, breast, pancreatic, colon, and prostate.
The extract contains powerful compounds that have been found to help slow down malignant cell growth more effectively than Adriamycin (the potent and commonly used chemotherapeutic drug.)
The fatty acids known as acetogenins, including annopentocins, quinolones, annonacin; and 2 alkaloids, reticuline and coreximine present in soursop may help prevent or slow cancer cell growth. Specifically, in 1997, the Journal of Medicinal Chemistry published a study showing that these compounds can help in the treatment of breast cancer. The results showed that they were 250 times more effective at destroying cancer cells compared to certain chemotherapy drugs.
It is a well-known fact that chemotherapy attacks not only the malignant cells, but all the body systems alongside the malignant cells. On the other hand, a lab study done at Catholic University of Korea found that the soursop extract can selectively target and destroy only the cancerous cells, thus leaving the healthy ones untouched.
Although a number of people have benefited from the use of the extract, more comprehensive studies in humans should be done for the years to come.
Other Health Benefits of Soursop
Soursop possesses many health-promoting nutrients and phytonutrients that help boost the immune system, thus making it an excellent natural remedy for a wide range of health issues.
– Boosts Your Immune System: The phytonutrients found in the fruit can help build and boost your immune system.
– Improves Bone Health: The fruit is an excellent source of calcium and phosphorus that are beneficial for strong bones. These 2 minerals present in the fruit can also help reduce your risk of developing osteoporosis.
– Helps Fight Sleep Disorders: The sedative properties of soursop leaves can fight sleep problems and promote restorative sleep. You should use several soursop leaves to make tea that can help you fall asleep quickly. Also, you can place a few soursop leaves inside a pillowcase in order to improve your sleep quality.
– Treats Blood Disorders: You can prepare tea by using soursop leaves and fruit to increase your red blood cell count and treat anemia because soursop is packed with iron.
– Has Rejuvenating Properties: Soursop abounds in vitamin C, which works as a potent antioxidant that can boost energy, elevate stamina, and slow down the aging process.
– Helps Fight Infections: The strong antimicrobial properties of soursop can help fight bacterial infections, fungal infections, and intestinal parasites, thus enhancing your gut health.
– Lowers Your Risk of Nerve and Heart Problems: Soursop is high in vitamin B1 that can speed up your metabolism, prevent nerve damage, boost blood circulation, and fight central nervous system disorders. Moreover, the high amount of vitamin B2 in the fruit can regulate fat storage, boost your energy, and keep your heart muscles healthy.
– Treats Skin Conditions: You should mash up a few leaves of soursop and then apply it on the affected skin area 2 times daily on a regular basis. It can help relieve the pain related to eczema as well as treat it. Furthermore, you should mix several soursop leaves with some rose water and then apply it on the affected skin area to eliminate blackheads and treat many other skin problems.
Always opt for dark green soursop with many fleshy spines on the surface. You should not purchase a fruit with blemishes and bruises on the skin.
You can boil the soursop leaves and use the remedy to treat many inflammatory conditions, such as gout, arthritis, back pain, or simply to strengthen your immune system. All you need to do is boil about 10 leaves in 3 cups of water. You should boil it until 1 cup remains, and then strain it. Allow it to cool and consume it each morning for about 1 month.
You can use the pulp to make fruit beverages, smoothies, sorbets, fruit nectar, ice cream flavoring, and candies.
You should keep unripe soursop at room temperature and store it in the refrigerator for about 2 days after it has fully ripened.