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  • Writer's pictureShruti GOCHHWAL

All You Should Know About Custard Apple (Sitaphal) | Custard Apple Benefits

Sitaphal is a common name in Indian households. As a child you might have heard your parents coaxing you to consume this vegetable due to its numerous benefits. But have you wondered what exactly it is called in English? Sitaphal translates as custard apple in english. This delicious tasting fruit is consumed as a vegetable in India. There are various sitaphal recipes that you can find all over the internet. Do you know why as a child your parents were hell bent on making you consume this vegetable as a regular part of your daily meals? It is because a custard apple comes packed with a plethora of nutrients that promote health and vitality. 

Custard apple tree belongs to the Annonaceae family. The tree is characterised by its large, sprawling, and droopy leaves. This tree blooms with light yellow flowers that are shaped like a trumpet. If you go near them during late afternoon hours you can also get a whiff of their pungent aroma in the air. However, not everyone of these flowers bear fruits. Only a small number of these flowers will set custard apples. It takes around 20-25 weeks to mature into a full-fledged fruit. Let us explore this fruit in greater detail.

What Are the Nutritional Qualities of Custard Apple

Custard apple nutrition

Custard apple nutrition, Credit: Canva

Custard apples boom with all the essential vitamins and minerals. Owing to its great nutritional content, there are many benefits of custard apple which you can avail by making it a part of your daily diet. We will come around to its advantages a little later. First let us check out what this fruit contains.

The nutritional profile of a 100 gram is quite impressive. It is as follows.

  1. Total number of calories: 94 

  2. Protein: 2.1 grams

  3. Fat: 0 grams

  4. Dietary fiber: 4.4 grams

  5. Carbohydrates: 23.6 grams

As you can see, custard apple is a low calorie food item and contains no fat in it. After seeing its nutritional profile, there is no need to ask the question, is custard apple good for weight loss? It can be made a part of the diet of anyone who is trying to shed excess weight off their body. Moreover, the amount of carbohydrates present in it are sufficient to give you energy and make you feel full if you consume it as a snack in between meals. Its time for you to become aware of all its health benefits.

What Are the Benefits of Eating Custard Apple?

This plant-based food item has a number of health benefits for people of all age groups. Some of the major health benefits include:

  1. Promotes heart health

  2. Good for your eyes

  3. Promotes brain health

  4. Helps fight inflammatory diseases

  5. Great for your skin

  6. Good for pregnant women

Promotes Heart Health

Custard apple heart benefits

hands of people, Credit: Canva

Custard apple falls in the category of one of those rare fruits that have a good and balanced ratio of sodium and potassium. Their combination is effective in helping you regulate and control your fluctuating blood pressure. Moreover, it has a high magnesium content. Magnesium relaxes the muscles of your heart. Consequently, preventing you from the threat of a heart attack or a stroke. Due to fiber and niacin present in it you will also benefit from an increase in the amount of good cholesterol in your body which is so essential for maintaining the optimal health of your heart.

Good for Your Eyes

Custard apple for sharp eyesight

A spectacle, Credit: Canva

Vitamin C and riboflavin are two crucial micronutrients that you need for maintaining the health of your eyes. Fortunately, both these nutrients are present in high quantities in custard apple. The importance of maintaining your eye health becomes even greater in this stage when we are almost always glued to the screens of our computers, laptops, TVs, and computers. By eating custard apple frequently, you will ensure that your eyes remain in the pink of their health.

Promotes Brain Health

brain health

An illustration of the brain, Credit: Canva

Your brain is the smartest organ in your body which helps you to make effective decisions and function optimally. Did you know that by making custard apple a part of your daily meals you can significantly improve the quality of your cognitive health? It is because custard apples have abundant levels of B complex vitamins. They are proven to control the gamma – aminobutyric acid in your brain. These vitamins are essential for helping your brain to control its emotions and help you stay calm and stress free. Custard apples, according to studies, can also protect you against Prkinson’s disease, which is a common brain disorder.

Helps Fight Inflammatory Diseases

Anti-inflammatory food

Woman feeling pain, Credit: Canva

Inflammatory disorders like rheumatoid arthritis, and gout are very common in people these days. Inflammation is even a major source of many life threatening diseases like cancer. To minimize the levels of inflammation in your body you need to consume more fruits and vegetables. Custard apple is always recommended by doctors for people who are prone to or are experiencing inflammatory diseases. It gives you a burst of antioxidants that can minimize the levels of inflammation in your body. You will thus be saved from becoming a victim of common inflammatory ailments.

Great For Your Skin

healthy skin with custard apple

A smiling woman, Credit: Canva

As you age, the levels of collagen or the protein in your body decreases. Collagen is responsible for maintaining and promoting the elasticity and plumpness of your skin. You might have noticed many people with sagging skin and lots of wrinkles around their eyes. That is because they have low levels of collagen in their bodies. Custard apple has compounds that halt the process of collagen breakdown. Hence, the elasticity of your skin is enhanced and maintained. Moreover, the huge amount of antioxidants in it prevents your skin from developing blemishes and age spots.

Good for Pregnant Women

Custard apple benefits in pregnancy

A pregnant woman, Credit: Canva

Pregnant women should eat 100 grams of custard apple if they want to prevent themselves from premature delivery, morning sickness, and promote a healthy development of their foetus. The mineral copper which is found abundantly in it helps in the foetus to grow healthily. Also, custard apple during pregnancy helps fight off stress and helps in detoxification of the body. It also helps expect ladies to stay away from constipation issues that are really discomforting.

How Do You Eat a Custard Apple?

Custard apple dish

A plate of custard apple dish, Credit: Canva

You should only consume custard apples when they are ripe. It needs to be cut in half after which you should scoop out its soft white flesh. Always remember to eat a moist custard apple that gives off a sweet aroma. Smelling the sweet scent of a raw sitaphal may prompt one to wonder, what does custard apple taste like? Ironically, neither do they taste like custard, nor do they taste like an apple. They are sweet and creamy and can even serve as a dessert after your meals.

Now that you know all the miraculous health benefits of custard apple, you should not hesitate to make it a part of your diet. There are various ways by which you can eat it. Chose the one that you prefer the most and avail all its goodness.

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