Soursop is a fruit that grows in tropical areas, such as South America, the Caribbean and parts of Africa and it’s also known as Graviola or custard apple. It has green skin and looks slightly like a spiky mango with white flesh and brown seeds.
In this article:
Top 11 Health Benefits of Soursop
Soursop comes with a huge variety of benefits, such as the following:
Helps Manage Diabetes
The soursop leaf aqueous extract was found to inhibit (and even prevent) the hepatic oxidative damage caused in diabetes patients and also regulates blood sugar levels.
Rich in Antioxidants
Soursop is high in antioxidants, which help prevent cell damage and could lower the risk of chronic diseases.
The anti-parasitic characteristics of soursop have made it a popular treatment in several rural areas of Latin and South America, especially in areas where parasitic infections are common. Brewing a tea from the leaves of the fruit, you can keep your gastrointestinal system is running efficiently.
It is Anti-Inflammatory
The anti-inflammatory properties found in soursop can quickly speed healing in affected areas, while also soothing pain and improving flexibility, such as in joint pain (arthritis, etc).
Relieves Respiratory Distress
Soursop’s anti-inflammatory properties can help clear out airways, relieve congestion and soothe any irritation. Acting partially as an expectorant, soursop is a reliable way to remove phlegm and mucus, where various pathogens survive.
Good for Your Immune System
In addition to its antioxidant properties, studies show that soursop contains potent antibacterial properties too. Soursop is also rich in vitamin C and that strengthens and boosts the immune system. Beta-carotene also contributes to an enhanced immune system.
There are certain anti-inflammatory and soothing properties of soursop that make it very good if you are suffering from excessive stress and anxiety. The stress hormones in the body can be detrimental and can disturb your natural metabolic cycle, as well as your sleep schedule. Drinking soursop tea can help you relax and sleep better.
Has Anti-Cancer Properties
The most interesting benefit of soursop is related to its antioxidant property, which comes from acetogenins, quinolones, and alkaloids, these have been directly linked to cancer prevention and a reduction in the size of tumors in animal studies. The acetogenins present in them make them so interesting in how they can cut off blood flow to non-normal cellular growths, and have already been positively associated with reducing the chances of breast, pancreatic, prostate and lung cancers.
Good for the Skin
Powders made from the seeds of soursop can help prevent wrinkles and lines and improving the appearance of age spots and blemishes. Topically applying this to the affected areas regularly and feel your skin glow. It additionally protects your skin from bacterial and microbial infections.
Ulcers are painful sores that develop in the stomach lining, esophagus or small intestine. Graviola showed antiulcer abilities. It helped protect the stomach’s mucous lining and it also helped prevent free radical damage to the digestive tract.
Good for the Eyes
Soursop is rich in vitamins C and E and beta-carotene which has been found to decrease the risk of eye disease. These antioxidants greatly reduce oxidative stress, which can cause cataracts and age-related macular degeneration.
Side Effects of Soursop
Graviola may cause nerve damage and movement problems, especially used long-term. It may also cause serious neuropathy that leads to Parkinson-like symptoms, such as tremblings or stiff muscles. If someone has Parkinson’s disease, Graviola may worsen their symptoms.
Graviola may be toxic to the kidneys or liver with recurring use.
Word of Caution when Consuming Soursop
People with the following issues are recommended to consult a physician or a doctor before consuming soursop:
- Are taking blood pressure medication
- Are taking diabetes medication
- If you have a liver or kidney disease
- If you are undergoing any nuclear imaging studies performed
- If you have a low platelet count
How can I Prepare and Eat Soursop?
Anything from juices to ice creams and sorbets, soursop is a popular ingredient found throughout South America and can be enjoyed in a variety of different ways. The fruit can be added to smoothies, made into teas or even used to help sweeten baked goods.
However, because it has a strong, naturally sweet flavor, soursop is most often enjoyed raw.