| | |

Soursop 101: Everything You Need to Know About This Exotic Fruit

soursop fruit

The soursop is an exotic fruit found in tropical regions. It is very much enjoyed for its taste and its great nutritional value. Soursop is very popular in Haiti and is used in many ways. Its health properties are very much known and appreciated as it provides a wealth of health benefits for many ailments.

Soursop, also known as corosol, graviola, or guanabana, is a tropical fruit native to the Americas and the Caribbean. It is a large, heart-shaped fruit with a spiky green rind and white, pulpy flesh. The flesh of the soursop is sweet and sour, with a flavor that has been described as a combination of pineapple, strawberry, and banana.

Soursop can be eaten fresh, juiced, or blended into smoothies and other beverages. It is also used to make a variety of desserts, such as ice cream, sorbet, and mousse.

what is soursop
Photo Credit: Canva

Here are some of the potential health benefits of soursop:

Soursop is a good source of vitamins and minerals, including vitamin C, potassium, and magnesium. It is also a good source of antioxidants, which can help to protect the body against cell damage.

  • Boosts the immune system: Soursop is a good source of vitamin C, an essential nutrient for a healthy immune system. Vitamin C helps the body produce white blood cells that fight off infection.
  • Improves digestion: Soursop is a good source of dietary fiber, which helps to keep the digestive system healthy. Fiber helps to add bulk to stool and prevent constipation.
  • Reduces inflammation: Soursop contains compounds that have anti-inflammatory properties. These compounds may help reduce inflammation throughout the body, improving overall health and well-being.
  • Protects against cancer: Some studies have shown that soursop may have anti-cancer properties. However, more research is needed to confirm these findings.

It is important to note that pregnant or breastfeeding women should not consume soursop. Soursop seeds may also be toxic, so removing them before eating the fruit or drinking the juice is essential.

Additional health benefits of Soursop

The vitamins

Soursop contains large quantities of Vitamins B1 and B2, calcium, magnesium, phosphorus, and potassium. Soursop fruit is rich in vitamin C and contains minerals, fiber, protein, iron, and other lipids. The benefits of soursop are multiple and are used primarily in traditional medicine. All plant parts are used: fruits, roots, bark, seeds, and even leaves.

Cancer

It is worth knowing the benefits as they are very medically and scientifically important. Soursop is best known for its effects on cancer treatment and against its development. Many studies have proven that soursop is a very effective anti-cancer plant. It helps fight against different types of cancers by attacking cancerous cells and sparing healthy cells. According to research, the tree’s leaves can destroy cancer cells like chemotherapy, but more effectively and without side effects such as hair loss or weight loss.

Therefore, it is used by people suffering from prostate, breast, ovarian, skin, intestinal, liver, and lung cancers.

soursop fruit
Photo Credit: Canva

Cholesterol

The leaves of soursop aid in lowering cholesterol levels. The leaves are sometimes used to promote weight loss. Hot beverages (tea, for example) are a powerful appetite suppressant. Because of its fiber content, it also helps with constipation.

Anti-Inflammatory

The leaves of the soursop are filled with antioxidant properties. Soursop leaves may have given great hope when applied topically. They are widely used in Peru, Jamaica, and Haiti. It is also said that it has been very effective against eczema.

Joint Pain and Insomnia

Soursop leaves are very soothing; when used as a tea, they help lower your stress level. It is also helpful for soothing itching and joint pain.

How do you consume soursop and its leaves?

The soursop leaves can be consumed fresh if you have an organically maintained tree. It is also possible to obtain dry leaves. It is easy to find essential oil from soursop leaves.

The soursop can be found in fruit juices, soft drinks, fresh or frozen pulp in clafoutis, pies, cream, sorbets, and even tea bags or capsules.

How to store

To store soursop, follow these steps:

  1. Inspect the fruit. Look for a soursop that is firm with a spiky green rind. Avoid fruit that is soft or has any bruises or blemishes.
  2. Wash the fruit. Wash the soursop thoroughly under running water to remove any dirt or debris.
  3. Store the fruit. Unripe soursop can be stored at room temperature for a few days. Once the fruit is ripe, it should be stored in the refrigerator for up to 2 days.

If you need to store soursop for longer than 2 days, you can freeze it. To freeze soursop, simply wash and peel the fruit, remove the seeds, and cut it into cubes or slices. Place the soursop in a freezer-safe bag or container and freeze for up to 6 months.

To use frozen soursop, simply thaw it in the refrigerator or at room temperature. Frozen soursop can be eaten fresh, juiced, or blended into smoothies and other beverages.

Here are some additional tips for storing soursop:

  • Keep soursop away from direct sunlight and heat.
  • Do not store soursop in the freezer door, as this is the warmest part of the freezer.
  • If you store soursop in the refrigerator, place it in a crisper drawer.
  • If you are freezing soursop, label the bag or container with the date so that you know how long it has been in the freezer.

With proper storage, soursop can be enjoyed fresh for several days, or frozen for up to 6 months.

Too much of a good thing leads to bad things.

We all have heard that expression. While soursop has many great health benefits, it should be used with caution. Studies have shown that it can potentially cause symptoms similar to Parkinson’s Disease when used in excess. Studies have also shown that it may interact with diabetes and high blood pressure medications.

Soursop seeds contain toxic compounds and may cause harmful side effects. Eating the seeds is not recommended.

soursop leaves
Photo Credit: Canva

A few recipes using soursop leaves

The following recipes were taken from www.Blune.fr, a website describing the benefits of the soursop fruit and leaves.

Full Disclosure: The information on this website and this article has not been evaluated by the FDA and is not intended to diagnose, treat, prevent, or cure any disease.

  1. As a preventive measure, let 10 fresh and clean soursop leaves infuse for 10 minutes in a bottle containing 1 Liter of very hot water. Drink 4 times a day. Repeat for 7 days, every two months.
  2. As a potential cure, boil 4 to 15 fresh and close leaves in 1 ½ Liter of water. Let the water boil for 20 minutes before straining, and pour it into a bottle. Serve 30 minutes before each meal of the day. 
  3. For topical application, use essential oil or organic soursop leaf poultices. Clean as many leaves as needed. Crush the leaves and apply to the affected areas twice a day.
  4. The soursop tea serves as a stomach dressing when added with a little honey.
  5. Against rheumatism: boil a few soursop leaves and apply them as a poultice to ease the pain. 
  6. The consumption of soursop leaf tea is supposed to have powerful effects against urinary tract infections. 
  7. In case of burns, you can apply a poultice of soursop leaves on the concerned skin part. Thanks to its anti-inflammatory effects, the pain will disappear. In addition, your skin will be gradually restored.

Benefits of commercial soursop juice

Commercial soursop juice offers many of the same health benefits as fresh soursop fruit.

It is important to note that commercial soursop juice may contain added sugar and other ingredients. It is also important to read the label carefully and choose a juice that is low in added sugar and other unhealthy ingredients.

If you are interested in trying commercial soursop juice, it is best to purchase it from a reputable source. Soursop juice can be found in some grocery stores, as well as in online retailers.

Here are some tips for choosing and consuming commercial soursop juice:

  • Choose a juice that is low in added sugar and other unhealthy ingredients.
  • Choose a juice that has been filtered to remove the seeds.
  • Consume soursop juice in moderation. One cup of soursop juice per day is a good starting point.
  • If you are pregnant or breastfeeding or have any underlying health conditions, talk to your doctor before consuming soursop juice.

Although soursop is a good source of vitamins and minerals, including vitamin C, potassium, and magnesium, the commercial version may not have full health benefits and should not be consumed by pregnant or breastfeeding women as it may be toxic, so it is crucial to choose a juice that has been filtered to remove the seeds.

How to use Soursop?

Here are some ways to enjoy it:

Fresh:

  • Eat it raw: Choose a ripe soursop that yields slightly to pressure. Cut it in half and scoop out the creamy flesh, discarding the black seeds.
  • Add it to desserts: The flesh can be added to fruit salads, yogurt parfaits, or used as a topping for ice cream or cakes.

Drinks:

  • Juices and smoothies: Soursop blends well with other fruits like pineapple, mango, or banana for a refreshing drink.
  • Tea: Dried soursop leaves can be steeped in hot water to make a tea with potential health benefits, but research is limited and its safety is not fully established.
soursop juice
soursop juice

Other uses:

  • Baked goods: The pulp can be used in cakes, breads, or muffins for a unique flavor.
  • Ice cream and sorbets: Soursop adds a delicious tropical twist to frozen treats.

Important precautions:

  • Avoid the seeds: Soursop seeds contain annonacin, a neurotoxin that can be harmful in large amounts. Always discard the seeds before consuming the flesh.
  • Limited scientific evidence: While soursop is used traditionally for various ailments, scientific evidence supporting these uses is limited.
  • Potential drug interactions: Soursop may interact with certain medications, so it’s important to consult with your doctor before consuming it, especially if you have any underlying health conditions or are taking medication.

Enjoy soursop responsibly and consult a healthcare professional if you have any questions or concerns.

Good to know:

Too much soursop consumption can cause digestive disorders such as diarrhea or, on the contrary, constipation.

The exotic fruit is not recommended for people prone to blood circulation disorders and pregnant or breastfeeding women.

If you are interested in trying Soursop, it is best to purchase it from a reputable source. Soursop can be found in some grocery stores, as well as in online retailers.

Sources

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.