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Custard apple is most commonly known as sitaphal in India. They are also known as chermoyas and are native to some parts of Asia, the West Indies and South America. The health benefits of custard apple are immense and they will be discussed in this article.
The custard apple has a hard exterior with a soft and chewy interior. The inside flesh of the fruit is white in colour, has a creamy texture with black shiny seeds. The fruit comes in various shapes like spherical, heart-shaped or round.
Nutritional Value Of Custard Apple
100 grams of custard apple have 94 calories and 71.50 g of water. They also contain
- 1.70 g protein
- 0.60 g total lipid (fat)
- 25.20 g carbohydrates
- 2.4 g total dietary fibre
- 0.231 g total saturated fats
- 30 mg calcium
- 0.71 mg iron
- 18 mg magnesium
- 21 mg phosphorus
- 382 mg potassium
- 4 mg sodium
- 19.2 mg vitamin C
- 0.080 mg thiamine
- 0.100 mg riboflavin
- 0.500 mg niacin
- 0.221 mg vitamin B6
- 2 µg vitamin A
Health Benefits Of Custard Apple
1. Helps to gain weight
As custard apple is sweet and sugary, it is beneficial for those who are trying to gain weight. Being a calorie-dense fruit, the calories come mainly from sugar. So, if you are planning to gain weight in a healthy way consume custard apple with a dash of honey to put on weight  .
2. Prevents asthma
Custard apple is rich in vitamin B6 which is effective in reducing bronchial inflammation. Vitamin B6 has been shown to decrease the frequency and severity of asthma attacks, according to a study . Another study also showed the potent ability of vitamin B6 in the treatment of asthma  .
3. Improves heart health
One of the many benefits of custard apple is it improves cardiovascular health. These fruits are an excellent source of potassium and magnesium which prevents cardiac diseases, controls blood pressure and relaxes the artery muscles  . In addition, the presence of dietary fibre and vitamin B6 in custard apples have the ability to reduce cholesterol levels and prevent the development of homocysteine which increases the risk of heart disease .
4. Lowers diabetes risk
Many diabetics avoid eating custard apples because of the fear of getting their blood sugar levels raised. Though the fruit is high in sugar content, the glycaemic index of custard apples is low which gets digested, absorbed and metabolised slowly in the bloodstream. This results in the slower rise in blood glucose levels  . However, avoid consuming in excess amounts.
5. Promotes digestion
Custard apples are loaded with dietary fibre which helps in easing bowel movement, thereby relieving constipation  . Dietary fibre also binds with harmful toxins in the digestive tract and eliminates them out of the body, resulting in better bowel movements, digestion and proper functioning of the intestines. Furthermore, stomach ulcers, gastritis and heartburn are also lowered if you have a custard apple daily.
6. Prevents cancer
Another major health benefit of custard apple is it aids in cancer prevention. The fruit is packed full of plant chemicals and antioxidants which can fight against free radicals and protect the cells from further damage. The plant extracts contain beneficial compounds that are particularly effective against cancer cells like breast cancer, prostate cancer, liver cancer, etc. 
7. Treats anaemia
Custard apples are rich in iron which can help treat anaemia, a health condition wherein your body suffers low iron levels. Iron is a component of haemoglobin found in red blood cells which carries oxygen from your lungs and transports it throughout your body. If your body doesn't have sufficient amounts of iron, it will not be able to make oxygen-carrying red blood cells.
8. Lowers arthritis risk
Custard apple contains loads of magnesium which has the potent ability to balance the water distribution in the body. This helps in eliminating the acids from every joint in the body which aids in lowering inflammation and the joint pains associated with arthritis  . Custard apple is also known to reduce the symptoms of rheumatoid arthritis and that's why most doctors recommend this fruit.
9. Good for pregnancy
Custard apple has been proved beneficial for pregnant women as they help manage pregnancy symptoms like mood swings, numbness and morning sickness. The fruit is rich in iron, an essential mineral required during pregnancy. According to the European Journal of Biomedical And Pharmaceutical Sciences, expectant mothers should consume custard apple daily for the proper growth of the baby's body and the development of the foetus in the womb.
10. Boosts immune system
Custard apples are an excellent source of the antioxidant vitamin C which is known for its anti-inflammatory and immune-boosting properties. Consuming this fruit every day will make you resistant to infections and other harmful free radicals. Vitamin C works by scavenging free radicals in the body, thereby preventing illnesses  .
11. Promotes brain health
Vitamin B6 in custard apples helps in proper brain development. This vitamin controls the GABA neuron chemical levels in the brain which reduces stress, tension, depression and irritability and also lowers the risk of developing Parkinson's disease, according to the European Journal of Biomedical And Pharmaceutical Sciences.
12. Keeps skin and hair healthy
Vitamin C in custard apple plays a major role in the development of collagen, a protein which makes up the major portion of scalp and hair. It keeps your hair shiny and reduces fine lines and wrinkles, thus improving the elasticity of the skin  . Eating custard apples every day will help in the regeneration of skin cells which gives the skin a younger look.
How To Consume Custard Apple
- Choose ripe custard apple as they are easier to eat and avoid overripe ones.
- You can consume the fruit as a snack by adding a pinch of rock salt to make it tasty.
- You can either make a custard apple smoothie or a sorbet.
- Adding the flesh of the fruit to muffins and cakes would make it healthier.
- You can also make ice cream out of this fruit by blending it, adding nuts and freezing it.
Note: As the fruit is very cold in nature, avoid consuming in excess amounts and don't eat it while you are sick. The seeds of the custard apple are poisonous, so make sure you don't swallow it.
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