African star apple has been one of my favourite fruits. It is one of those fruits that you can’t stop consuming. Some consume a lot of it without knowing the health benefits.
To give a brief description, African star apple is popularly known as ‘Agbalumo’ by the Yourbas, ‘Udara’ by the Igbos, and ‘Agwaluma’ by the Hausas. It is scientifically called Chrysophyllum albidium of the family Sapotaceae. It is a tropical plant that grows abundantly in Nigeria. It is a sweet fruit that gives you a star shape when you cut it into two.
This fruit is rich with fibre and natural antioxidants. The fibre lowers the blood sugar level and prevent diabetes. While, the natural antioxidant is good for the breaking down of carbohydrates and other body nutrients.
Health Benefits of Agbalumo
- It is used in folk medicine.
- It is good for pregnant women.
- It contains natural antioxidants.
- It helps to reduce weight.
- It is rich in vitamin C.
The milky juice that comes out of it when squeezed or sucked has a lot of health benefits. These include:
1. It is used in folk medicine
According to researchers, the extracts of the seed and roots have anti-inflammatory, antidiarrheal, and anti-hemorrhoidal qualities. These traits determines their utilisation in herbal treatments and home remedies of certain disease
In traditional medicine, the sweet and sour taste of Agbalumo serves as a remedy for common health problems like indigestion, constipation, toothache, sore throat, etc. Health traditionalists believe that the bark of the tree can be used to treat malaria and yellow fever whereas, the leaves are used to treat stomach aches, diarrhoea, and wounds.
2. It is good for pregnant women
Pregnant women are not left out. Some nutritionist believes that it can reduce constipation, sore throat, and aids digestion, which are some problems of pregnant women.
The fruit is a good source of calcium providing 10% of the amount needed by the body of a pregnant wom
Agbalumo has an acidic taste that prevents the urge of vomiting during pregnancy. However, they should consult their doctors on ante-natal diets.
3. It contains natural antioxidants
This fruit contains natural antioxidants that help to prevent damage to the body by free radicals (these are unstable molecules that are produced in the body by your own metabolism). Their production increases due to stress or injury. The antioxidants also reduce the blood sugar level and prevent diabetes.
However, Agbalumo helps the body with a better chance of tackling any possibility of heart diseases and cancer; owing to its antioxidant properties.
4. It helps to reduce weight
The fruit is a natural treatment for weight loss. Studies have shown that Agbalumo contains 67 calories, which is good for anyone trying to lose weight, as they get fewer calorie intake in the process of consuming it. This is applicable to those counting their calories.
5. It is rich in vitamin C
Agbalumo contains more vitamin C than any other fruits. It is rich in calcium, potassium, phosphorus, iron, magnesium, tannins, flavonoids, and terpenoids.
It contains high vitamin C content. In fact, 100mg of the fruit gives about 25mg of vitamin C. This vitamin helps to protect the body against immune deficiencies, eye diseases, prenatal health problems, cardiovascular diseases, and even skin wrinkling. It also helps in preventing any gum disease thereby, maintaining the health of your gum.
With this information, I hope I encourage you to take more of Agbalumo, with the 5 health benefits I have highlighted already. Despite the health benefits, experts believe that the leaves might be toxic when taken in excess.