When we see or hear the word apple, a shiny red apple comes to mind. However, many other fruits can be called a type of apple.
Custard apples are included in this. In some areas, they are known as cherimoya. They are not related to apples in any way.
The fact is, they don’t even taste like apples. They are a tropical fruit, native to South America and West Africa.
They grow on evergreen or in some species, semi deciduous trees. Several are used as food, some as medicine and one variety is used like cork.
There is a reason why this fruit, which does not resemble an apple physically, is called a custard apple. That is the consistency of the edible portion. Its texture is a lot like eating a custard; sort of smooth and creamy. (1) (2)
Does the custard apple help reduce weight?
The answer to that question is that it depends. If you are on a low carb diet, this fruit is not going to fit into it very well. It has seven point one carbs, and would not be the ideal fruit for this type of diet.
That said, it has many weight loss benefits per calorie. One of them is the vitamins in custard apples.
It is chock full of them. Vitamins A, C, D, E and K are in it, as well as some of the B vitamins. Custard apples also have quite a few minerals.
Weight loss, when not on a low carb diet, is a balancing act. If you think of calories like a bank account and your body as the bank, it gets a little easier. Every action you do withdraws calories from the bank. Everything you ingest adds them.
The idea behind most weight loss plans, at least those that are usually recommended by doctors, is that there is a small deficit each day in how many calories you take in. For most people, the ideal deficit is about five hundred calories per day.
Here is where the custard apple can play a large role in weight loss. It has a great deal of fiber, which slows digestion and helps you feel full longer.
It has a small amount of fat, which also helps. That allows some satisfaction that might otherwise be missing.
Calorie deficits often mean nutrition deficits. While you can take supplements for this purpose, it is always best to get your nutrition from food.
Is custard apple high in sugar?
It may seem surprising, seeing how many calories are in this fruit, but the answer is no. The amount of actual sugar in this fruit is barely detected; it can’t even be read. The calories come from other carbohydrates, fat and protein.
What is the benefit of custard apple?
Antioxidants: For those searching for natural foods to add to their healthy diet, the custard apple should be high on the list. Most of the vitamins in the fruit are antioxidants. Oxygen is necessary for all organs, but it is delivered via the lungs and blood stream.
When it is loose in the body, it becomes a free radical, and it can damage every organ in the body. Antioxidants get rid of these free radicals, protecting our organs from that damage.
Aside from helping with the free radicals, vitamin B6 is one that helps with mood. If you are irritable, depressed or anxious, a custard apple may help reduce those feelings. This is especially true for the elderly. Studies show a low B6 level can lead to depression.
Vision: Eye health is another concern for many of us. With all of the staring at screens we do nowadays, our children need glasses at a younger age. Part of maintaining eye health is found in foods we eat.
Custard apples have a lot of lutein, a carotenoid known for promoting eye health.This is also good for problems that affect the elderly.
Age related macular degeneration and cataracts blind many older people unless they are treated properly. Those who have a higher blood level of lutein have a greatly reduced risk of these two problems.
Blood pressure: High blood pressure is a silent problem that has deadly consequences. Adequate potassium and magnesium intake can help ward off this disease. That protects the heart, brain and kidneys primarily, but it helps all of the body in other ways.
Digestion: Fiber is important for a lot of reasons. It slows down digestion, moves things through the digestive tract and helps to remove toxins from the body. Custard apples have over seven grams of fiber in one serving.
Fiber also helps the gut flora and fauna to stay in balance. We have both good and bad stuff in our digestive tract. The good stuff cuts down on the bad stuff (mostly candida). Eating plenty of fiber is important to gut health.
Anticancer: This is something scientists think may help prevent cancer. Custard apples contain flavonoids. The particular kinds in them are catechins and related chemicals. You may have heard that green tea may help prevent cancer. Green tea has the same things.
This is a tricky benefit to write about because so many people shy away from talking about things that may help prevent cancer. However, it is better to eat something healthy that could help rather than something unhealthy that won’t.
Anti-inflammatory: When people think of anti-inflammatory medications, they usually think about injuries or things like arthritis. However, there is also an internal inflammatory response.
This can harm organs and could be the cause of many serious illnesses.In both test tube and animal studies, the catechins and related chemicals mentioned above reduced this inflammatory response.
It is theorized that it will do the same for people. More studies need to be done to be sure of this, but anything that helps is a good thing.
Immune system: Until the advent of Covid-19, most people only thought about the immune system during flu season. However, with this new threat almost all of us are thinking about it.
How can we boost this important system?
Vitamin C is commonly known to help boost this system and there is a lot of it in custard apples. Some studies have suggested that dietary intake of this vitamin can even shorten the duration of the common cold.
Please note the important word in that paragraph… dietary. Supplements containing Vitamin C may not have the same results. This is because the supplement has less available nutrition than actually eating something that has the nutrient. (5) (6) (7) (8)
How should I eat the custard apple?
Raw, uncooked: This is the best way to consume most fruits and vegetables. You’ll get the greatest number of nutrients when it is eaten like this. However, only eat the flesh. Avoid the seeds and the peel.
Dessert: In India and other countries, custard apples are used in mousses, soufflés and other desserts. It has a slightly sweet flavor with a bit of a tang. It can also be used in smoothies.
Why can’t I eat the seeds and peel?
Normally a lot of the nutrients are in the peels of the fruits and vegetables we eat. However, there is a toxin in the seeds and peels of the custard apple.
The toxin is called annonacin and it can cause problems with the brain and nervous system.
There is a small amount in the flesh of the fruit as well. It is recommended that people with Parkinson’s disease avoid this fruit altogether. It is also recommended that those at risk for it avoid the fruit, as it could trigger the condition.
The seeds of this fruit have also been used in traditional medicine in India and other countries. Most of the time it is used to treat head lice and as a skin exfoliator. While there is a great deal of debate about the safety of this use, studies indicate a problem.
It doesn’t happen to everyone who uses the seeds thusly, but at least six people have developed an eye illness from the seeds coming into contact with the eyes. What is really scary is that the standard treatment for the eye injury actually makes it worse.
Instead of treating this problem with steroids, doctors need to treat it with antibiotics and lubricants. However, the best thing to do is not to get it in the eyes. If there is another way to handle the problems it traditionally treats, it would be better to stick to those.
There is another health concern; if you are allergic to latex, you may be allergic to custard apples and eggplant. They contain a natural latex that can and has triggered oral allergies. There are many plants that do, so make sure before consuming.
The information in this article is carefully worded because the USFDA does not approve of saying that the custard apple is able to do anything.
The studies notwithstanding, until they can prove it to themselves, they won’t.
That means that this article is for your information only. You can check the resources for more information, but keep in mind that is only that. However, each study has been seen.
Adding a new fruit or vegetable to the diet can be a tricky thing. It’s hard to know if you are going to be allergic to it or not. At first, it is best to try a small amount on your skin and watch for a reaction. If none occurs, than eat a small amount.
You can increase the amount you eat up to a full serving, but as with most things it is best to avoid overconsumption. The idea is all things in moderation, and that includes custard apples.
Older readers should consult their doctor and pharmacist before eating custard apples. It can interfere with some blood pressure medications. As mentioned, it can also exacerbate Parkinson’s disease and possibly other nerve or brain problems.
If you take supplements, you may run into problems… especially if you eat more than one serving per day. This fruit has a lot of iron and potassium. While they are needed, going overboard with them can cause serious health concerns, including stomach ulcers.
While fiber is a necessity, too much fiber can cause problems. With over seven grams in one serving, it is best not to take this with a fiber supplement unless ordered by your doctor and agreed to by the pharmacist.
These problems are part of why it is strongly recommended that you consult both of these people before trying the first bite. There may be other medications or supplements that you need to avoid mixing with this fruit.
Children who are old enough for solid foods can try custard apples. It is considered a good baby food, although again, check with the pediatrician.
Also watch out for any sensitivity to it. Use the same method with the child as recommended for you.
There are a few keto recipes for the use of this fruit. If you are on the keto diet, make sure to read all of the nutrition information before adding it. You may have to tweak your carbs in other areas in order to remain in ketosis.
The keto diet is not recommended for everyone. It should be strongly medically supervised in order to avoid serious health complications. Your doctor will warn you of the possible side effects of this diet, which include a greater risk for heart disease.
You will also be asked to take blood tests every three months instead of six months or a year.
This will help monitor the changes the diet is making to your body. There may come a time when you have to choose a different weight loss diet in order to stay healthy.