Health benefits of sapodilla include good supply of vitamins, minerals and antioxidants, possesses antimicrobial properties, provides a cure for cough and cold and helps cure diarrhea and dysentery.
Sapodilla is an exceptionally sweet fruit which is liked by children and adults alike. This fruit is known by different names around the world. In Asian countries, it is popularly known as “Mispel” in Virgin Islands, Dutch Caribbean, “Zapote” in Honduras, El Salvador and Cuba. Chicosapote in Mexico, Hawaii, California and Florida. In India, it is known by the name Chiku in North India and Sapota in South India. Sapathilla in Sri Lanka, Sabudheli in Maldives, Saos or Sawo in Indonesia and Lamoot In Thailand.
This round fruit comes from a large evergreen tropical tree. This tree indigenous to Central and South America. The Spanish were thought to the second group of people after the native Americans to have come across this fruit. After the American conquest by the Spanish, the Spaniards brought this fruit over to Europe and during the beginning of the 17th and 18th centuries, sapodilla was introduced to Asian countries such as China, India, Thailand, Malaysia, Cambodia, Indonesia, Bangladesh.
Nutrition in Sapodilla
According to the National Nutrient Database from the United States Department of Agriculture, the nutrition found in Sapodilla include
|Nutrition||Value per 100 g||Nutrition||Value per 100 g|
|Water||78 g||Energy||83 kcal|
|Protein||0.44 g||Total Lipid||1.1 g|
|Carbohydrate||19.96 g||Fiber||5.3 g|
|Calcium||21 mg||Iron||0.80 mg|
|Magnesium||12 mg||Phosphorous||12 mg|
|Potassium||193 mg||Sodium||12 mg|
|Copper||0.086 mg||Zinc||0.10 mg|
|Selenium||0.6 ug||Vitamin C||14.7 mg|
|Riboflavin||0.020 mg||Niacin||0.2 mg|
|Vitamin B-6||0.037 mg||Folate||14 ug|
|Vitamin A||60 IU|
Can Sapodilla be given to babies?
Yes, you can give sapodilla to your baby. Sapodilla is a sweet fruit that can be introduced into your baby’s diet, between the ages of 6-8 months. It is also a safe to introduce sapodilla to infants because unlike some exotic fruits, it does not cause allergic reactions.
Health benefits of sapodilla for babies
Here are some of the health benefits of introducing sapodilla in babies’ diet.
Good source of vitamins: Sapodilla fruit is full of vitamins which are ideal for infants and toddlers. Vitamins such as vitamin C, A, B complex vitamins are found in sapodilla. These vitamins are vital for babies and toddlers as they aid in physical and mental growth in the child. Vitamin C is good for the immune system, vitamin A is good for developing good eyesight. B complex vitamins, on the other hand are useful in taking care of various functions in the body including brain development, metabolism of lipids, hemoglobin production, enabling cell division, production of red blood cells, etc.
Supply of minerals: The minerals found in sapodilla include calcium, iron, magnesium, phosphorous, potassium, copper, selenium, zinc, etc. Each of these minerals also play an important role in facilitating various functions in the body ranging from hemoglobin formation with iron and copper, electrolytes with potassium and sodium, calcium and phosphorous in bone growth, magnesium on the other hand, takes care of chemical reactions in the body.
Supplies antioxidants: One of the benefits of sapodilla is that, just like many other fruits, it is also a good source of antioxidants. These antioxidants are important in all of our diets, especially in infant diets. The amount of free radicals that are produced during metabolism can be countered very effectively by some vitamins and particularly by antioxidants. By giving sapodilla to your baby, you not only ensure good supply of vitamins and minerals but also good supply of antioxidants that protect your baby from the inside. (Isabelle, et al, 2010).
Antimicrobial properties: Apart from being a good source of vitamins, minerals and antioxidants, some of the biochemicals found in sapodilla also provide antimicrobial properties. These properties have been carefully studied. Various bacterial species which generally cause diseases in humans have been tested against sapodilla biochemicals and they have yielded good results. (Nair, Chanda, 2008).
Cure for diarrhea and dysentery: Raw and unripe sapodilla is believed to be a good cure for diarrhea and dysentery. Tannins present in sapodilla tree bark can cure diarrhea or dysentery when boiled in water and given as decoction. (Windward Community College).
Cure for cough and cold: Sapodilla fruit can be very helpful in curing cough and cold. The expectorant properties found in sapodilla can relieve from the congestion and clogging that are associated with phlegm and mucous formation.
Measures to be taken while giving sapodilla fruit to your babies
Here are some of the measures that can be given to your babies while giving sapodilla fruit.
Ripe sapodilla: Sapodilla, as a fruit is very good for your child. Usually, the unripe fruit is very hard. Avoid unripe fruit as it would be very difficult to digest. So, wait for the fruit to ripen. Ripened sapodilla fruit would be soft and it can be crushed if pressed hard. This is the right stage to eat the fruit. Also make sure that it is not wet or oozing any liquid, as it could be spoiled. Go for something which is dry on the outside and can be easily crushed. If you think that bring ripened fruit all at once is no good as they ripen and spoil. Instead, select half of fully ripened fruits and the rest unripe fruits that you can store.
How to handle sapodilla: Peel off the outer layers first and then take out the seeds. The seeds are right at the center of the fruit and they need to be removed. These seeds are big enough for your baby to cause choking. So, remember this always to peel and deseed it.
Crush the fruit: Also make sure to crush the fruit pulp before giving it to your baby. Though the fruit is soft, yet there can be issues when a baby eats the fruit. So, do crush it and make a puree out of it.