The Soursop (Annona muricata) is a broadleaf, flowering, evergreen tree native to Mexico, Cuba, Central America, the Caribbean and northern South America: Colombia, Brazil, Peru, and Venezuela. Soursop is also native to sub-Saharan African countries that lie within the tropics. Today, it is also grown in some areas of Southeast Asia. It was most likely brought from Mexico to the Philippines by way of the Manila-Acapulco galleon trade. It is in the same genus as the chirimoya and the same family as the pawpaw.
Its flavor has been described as a combination of strawberry and pineapple with sour citrus flavor notes contrasting with an underlying creamy flavor reminiscent of coconut or banana.
The flesh of the fruit consists of an edible, white pulp and a core of indigestible, black seeds. The species is the only member of its genus that is suitable for processing and preservation. The sweet pulp is used to make juice, as well as candies, sorbets, and ice cream flavorings.
In Mexico and Colombia, it is a common fruit, often used for dessert as the only ingredient, or as an agua fresca beverage; in Colombia, it is a fruit for juices, mixed with milk. Ice cream and fruit bars made of soursop are also very popular. The seeds are normally left in the preparation, and removed while consuming.
In Indonesia, dodol sirsak, a sweetmeat, is made by boiling soursop pulp in water and adding sugar until the mixture hardens. Soursop is also a common ingredient for making fresh fruit juices that are sold by street food vendors. In the Philippines, it is called guyabano, obviously derived from the Spanish guanabana, and is eaten ripe, or used to make juices, smoothies, or ice cream. Sometimes, they use the leaf in tenderizing meat. In Vietnam, this fruit is called mãng cầu Xiêm in the south, or mãng cầu in the north, and is used to make smoothies, or eaten as is. In Cambodia, this fruit is called tearb barung, literally "western custard-apple fruit." In Malaysia, it is known in Malay as durian belanda and in East Malaysia, specifically among the Dusun people of Sabah, it is locally known as lampun. Popularly, it is eaten raw when it ripens. Usually the fruits are taken from the tree when they mature and left to ripen in a dark corner, whereby they will be eaten when they are fully ripe. It has a white flower with a very pleasing scent, especially in the morning.
HEALTH BENEFITS:1. Boosts good cholesterol levels (Niacin-10%) - Soursop is a good source of niacin, a vitamin which studies show has significant benefits on levels of HDL, the good cholesterol.
2. Prevents constipation (Fiber-30% DV) - the solution to problems in bowel movement.
3. Keeps bones healthy (Copper-10% DV) - It is loaded with the trace mineral copper.
4. Helps prevent anemia (Iron-8% DV) - It can provide iron which prevents the common blood disorder anemia – a condition in which the blood lacks enough healthy red blood cells. RBC is responsible for the distribution of oxygen to the body tissues, giving the body energy.
5. Helps prevent migraines (Riboflavin-7% DV) - It has riboflavin. Several studies have shown that high riboflavin intake helps prevent migraines.
6. Prevents pregnancy complications (Folate-8% DV) - This spiky fruit contains folate. Studies have proven that folate intake during pregnancy prevents deficiency in pregnant women. A lack of this mineral during pregnancy may contribute to birth defects and pregnancy loss.
7. Prevents leg cramps (Potassium-18% DV) - It contains half the potassium in bananas. Lack of potassium, together with magnesium, calcium and sodium (also known as electrolytes) in the body can cause muscle weakness and cramping.
8. Prevents UTI (Vitamin C-77% DV) - Soursop is an excellent source of vitamin C, a nutrient which increases the acidity level of urine, resulting in decreased number of harmful bacteria that may be present in the urinary tract. Other high vitamin C fruits include guava, kiwifruit, papaya and strawberries.
These are just some of the health benefits of the soursop. There are many more...
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