Continuing our series of delicious and healthy unique fresh produce that can be found in Borneo’s rainforests, we introduce another unique fruit in this issue. The soursop is a fruit of the Annona muricata broadleaf, evergreen tree. It is known by several names, graviola being the most ubiquitous. In Bahasa Malaysia soursop is called “Durian Belanda”, whilst in Sabah, it is referred to as lampun.
It is mainly found in South America and is cultivated in South-East Asia. The tree that the fruit grows from can reach up to 30 metres tall. The dark green fruit is prickly and grows 10cm-30cm wide, 15cm tall, and weighs up to 1.5kg. The leaves are oblong and grow 8cm-16cm in length and 3cm-7cm wide. The black seeds found inside the fruit are indigestible and contain neurotoxins harmful to humans. The white flesh is juicy and fibrous with a distinctive sharp sweet and sour taste, described by some as eating a pineapple and banana together.
So what makes this fruit so versatile? Let’s have a deeper look!
Treats infections and common ailments
Soursop is considered an all-around useful panacea, as it can help with recovery from general ailments. Soursop strengthens the immune system to help you recover quicker through antioxidants. Simply eating the fruit out of hand or drinking soursop tea can get you fighting fit again in no time!
Reduce Eye Disease
Soursop contains antioxidants that reduce oxidative stress,. Which directly contributes towards cataracts. Cataracts are the leading cause of blindness in the world, which the elderly are particularly vulnerable to contract. This fruit is great to keep those eyes focused and your vision sharp!
Helps Manage Diabetes
Soursop is also useful in managing diabetes. Previous research has showed it can lower glucose levels! A cup of soursop tea a day keeps the blood glucose levels at bay!
Soursop is often used in Africa to treat rheumatism and joint pain. This is due to the anti-inflammatory properties of the fruit. Just grind the fruit into a paste, apply to the affected areas, et voila! Pain-relief!
Improves gastrointestinal health
Soursop is very rich in vitamin C and for many years was considered as a natural remedy for scurvy and dysentery. Vitamin C helps to remove excess toxins and salt. It’s also been found to soothe irritation in the colon. Great as an all-around detox tool!
Lower Stress Levels
Stressful situations lead to an increase of cortisol and adrenaline and if not managed effectively, leaves us feeling anxious and on edge. Which can lead to insomnia, high blood pressure, and other mental health problems. Soursop tea contains antidepressant properties which negate high cortisol levels – the perfect wind down brew to help you not worry and be happy!
Make Skin and Hair Beautiful
Let’s not forget soursop’s cosmetic benefits! The antimicrobial properties are great as a cleanser by minimising chances of infection. The fruit’s leaves act as an anti-irritant for babies in case of rashes. Furthermore, soursop ground paste helps to eliminate dandruff and itchy scalp! For clearer skin that is wrinkle-free, just rub some paste onto the desired areas!
Soursop is most famous for its anticancer properties and is a popular alternative for conventional cancer treatment. Good for preventative action, and delicious as well!
So here’s our list of why soursop is a great fruit to add to your diet overall. Many studies indicate the cosmetic and health benefits from drinking tea or eating the fruit has. Have a try and reap the rewards! Who knows, maybe it’ll sneak its way into your regular diet!
The pulp and fibre of soursop are normally included in the making of soft drinks, ice creams, cheesecakes, milkshakes, candies, custards, and soups. The unique taste lends itself to some interesting culinary desserts! Our suggestion for an easy treat is soursop smoothie. Just blend the flesh of a soursop, 1 cup of fresh coconut fresh pineapple, leaves of any leafy greens (e.g. spinach), and half a thumb of ginger. Sweet, tangy, and refreshing!