Soursop is a fruit native to Central America, in the Antilles region. In Brazil, it grows spontaneously in the Amazon rainforest and is cultivated mainly in the North and Northeast regions – Bahia has already led the ranking of the world’s largest producers of soursop. The plant is also cultivated in some regions of Asia and Africa.
Although soursop is a small to medium-sized tree, the fruits are large and can weigh up to eight kilograms. The fruits can be oval or heart-shaped. The bark is green and covered with a kind of thorn; the pulp is white, with a creamy texture and with black seeds.
Those who have space in the backyard can venture into planting the plant: the ideal climate for cultivation is tropical, with temperatures ranging from 20 to 30 degrees. When treating the plant, special attention must be paid to pruning and fertilization. The harvest is done once a year.
Aromatic, bittersweet and with a citrus touch, soursop is highly appreciated in Brazil, consumed in natura and used in the preparation of juices, ice creams and other desserts. In addition to the fruit pulp, soursop leaves are also used for consumption, in the form of tea.
Because it is rich in vitamins, minerals and other nutrients, soursop is highly beneficial for health and a great ally in the treatment and prevention of a number of diseases.
benefits of soursop
“Graviola can be recommended for people with high blood pressure and for those who suffer from constipation”, points out Bruna Lyrio, nutritionist at Clínica Tostes, in Rio de Janeiro.
The reason for this is that the fruit is rich in calcium, magnesium and potassium, which help control blood pressure; and has fibers, which help in the proper functioning of the intestine. In addition, soursop contains vitamins C and B complex, iron, zinc, manganese, copper, sodium, phosphorus and antioxidant properties.
Consumption of the fruit can also contribute to fighting insomnia, health and beauty of the skin, prevention of diabetes, strengthening bones and preventing problems in the intestinal tract, such as gastritis and ulcers.
Its benefits in the action against cancer are widely commented and studied. The components of soursop help to prevent the development of cancer cells and therefore, the fruit can act in the prevention of cancer.
Soursop can also collaborate with the weight loss process, since it has a low calorie content and is rich in fiber, which makes the feeling of a satiated body last longer. The fruit is also a good ally in the practice of physical exercises: “the soursop juice can also be a good electrolyte replenisher in the post-workout, due to the good amount of potassium”, says the nutritionist.
Even with all the benefits, soursop has some contraindications – especially since the excess of some of its components can be harmful for certain groups of people.
“As soursop is rich in potassium, it is contraindicated for people with kidney diseases, as this group needs to control the amount of potassium ingested so that there is no renal overload”, warns Bruna. In the same way, as the fruit helps in the control of arterial hypertension, those who suffer from low blood pressure should avoid consumption, as there is a risk of pressure drop.
Consumption is also contraindicated for people with mouth sores, canker sores or mumps, as the fruit is quite acidic; and for pregnant or breastfeeding women.
forms of consumption
Soursop can be consumed in different ways: in addition to the fruit itself, the leaves of the tree are also used in the form of tea and there is still a concentrated form in the form of a capsule.
The simplest form of consumption is fresh fruit. Refreshing and bittersweet, the soursop fruit is usually eaten without the skin and seeds. The pulp is also used as an ingredient for juices, candies and other recipes.
“It is important to know how to choose the fruit and also to check if it may have the soursop bug, a pest that affects fruits of any size and age. The bug pierces the skin and penetrates the pulp causing hardening and blackening of the affected part, leaving the fruit rotten”, explains Bruna. To choose a good fruit, the nutritionist’s tip is to give preference to those that are soft and avoid fruits with a black or cracked skin.
Soursop tea is made from the infusion of soursop leaves. Just like the fruits, soursop leaves are very beneficial to health, rich in B and C vitamins, bioactives and carbohydrates.
This form of consumption is indicated in the treatment of high cholesterol, arthritis, rheumatism, flu, asthma, hypertension, digestive system problems, excess phlegm, worms, inflammation, among others. Consumption is contraindicated for pregnant women and women who are breastfeeding.
In regions where the fruit is not so easily found, you can enjoy the benefits of soursop through its consumption in capsules. The capsules are also not recommended for children under three years of age, pregnant or breastfeeding women and people with hypotension. The most recommended thing is that this form of consumption is accompanied by a professional indication. The product can be found at health food stores.
4 delicious recipes with soursop
1. Soursop mousse: this recipe takes a few hours to prepare, but the result promises to be worth the wait. For the mousse you need cream, condensed milk, colorless gelatin and soursop. To complement the dessert, the syrup is plum.
2. Soursop juice: it is very simple to make soursop juice, just separate the pulp from the pits and beat it with water and sugar or sweetener. Those who like more full-bodied juices can also try the recipe with milk.
3. Soursop jelly: the soursop jelly recipe combines, in addition to soursop pulp (which can be frozen), apple and lemon juice. To hit the jelly point, the tip is to put some of the mixture on a cold saucer.
4. Tilapia insalata with soursop mayonnaise: who said soursop can only be used in sweet dishes? In this recipe you learn how to prepare a soursop mayonnaise to accompany a fish salad. Yield is one plate.
In sweet or savory recipes, in teas, capsules or even just consuming the fruit in natura – enjoy the properties of soursop and adopt the fruit as an ally for your health!
The information contained on this page is for informational purposes only. They do not replace the advice and follow-up of doctors, nutritionists, psychologists, physical education professionals and other specialists.
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