Soursop: Nutrition, Health Benefits, and Side Effects

January 25, 2023 12:03 pm44 commentsViews: 50

The soursop fruit was originated in South and Central America and is a very sweet and popular delicacy. It visually looks similar to an oversized strawberry that was bred with a few grew thorns and an apple. The taste of soursop is also quite similar to that of citrus, pineapple, and strawberry combined.

This popular fruit is part of the custard apple family and is derived from the Annona muricata broadleaf evergreen. It has gained massive popularity in the recent past due to the vast amount of health benefits associated with soursop leaves and its other counterpart foods.

So, what is soursop good for, and what are its benefits? Today, we will be listing some of the major health benefits of soursop, along with its nutrition facts and adverse effects.

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Now, without wasting much time, let’s get to it.

Soursop Nutrition Facts

According to the USDA, one cup (225g) of soursop pulp contains the following nutritional qualities:

  • Potassium: 626mg
  • Vitamin C: 46.4mg
  • Protein: 2.3g
  • Sugars: 30.5g
  • Fiber: 7.4g
  • Carbohydrates: 37.9g
  • Sodium: 31.5mg
  • Fat: 0.7g
  • Calories: 148

Carbs

As seen above, one cup soursop has about 38 grams of carbohydrates. The primary source of these carb components is the naturally-occurring sugars. Soursop contains over 7 grams of fiber in each serving. Soursop’s glycemic index is also low.

Fats

There is a very low amount of fat in soursop, less than 1 gram in a serving.

Protein

Just like all the fruits in general, soursop is not a great source of protein.  As mentioned above, one serving of soursop pulp only contains about 2.3 grams of protein, which is obviously not much.

You will have to couple the consumption of soursop with other foods that are very rich in protein like legumes, lean meats, or salmon.

Vitamin and Minerals

Soursop is abundant in essential micronutrients. As per USDA, the recommended intake of vitamin C must be maintained at about 90 mg per day in order to keep your immune system strong.

Consumption of a single cup of soursop can provide you over 46 mg of that. It is also a great source of potassium (626 mg in one serving), which plays a great role in rapid workout recovery and pressure regulation.

Now, on to the main topic, what is Soursop good for?

Health Benefits of Soursop

Soursop, also referred to as guanabana or Graviola, is known for providing a large range of health benefits.  Moreover, soursop leaves tea benefits people suffering from any kind of bacterial and viral infections.   

The tea referred above is also widely used for the treatment of sexually transmitted diseases like herpes. More scientific backing and evidence is surely required to categorize soursop as a proven treatment remedy for both herpes and viral/bacterial infections.

Apart from these, other health benefits of soursop include;

Enhances Digestion

As mentioned in the nutrition segment, soursop is rich in fiber content, which aids in promoting better digestive health.  The juice that is made up of soursop is also highly efficient in acting as a diuretic and cleansing the gastrointestinal tract by eliminating extra sodium from the body.

Pro Tip – You can couple the consumption of soursop tea with buttermilk products and papaya seeds as it can enhance the effectiveness of this particular health benefit.

May aid in cancer prevention

As a study conducted in 2018, various extracts from the soursop fruit, along with the tree’s leaves, roots, and bark, were found to be capable of eradicating cancer and other non-malignant diseases.

We would say, though, more extensive human research is called for in this regard. Moreover, suppose we go by the professionals of Cancer Treatment Centers of America.

In that case, caution must be exercised while using soursop for cancer treatment, as it is found to be associated with various unsubstantiated claims.

Reduces Inflammation

Just like many other vegetables and fruits, soursop is a major source of antioxidants, which are responsible for repairing damaged cells in our body and combat inflammation. There are other fruits you can consume for raising those antioxidants levels in your body.

Allergies

As a general rule of thumb, foods that contain any amount of protein can be allergenic, but, to date, there are no soursop allergy cases that have been reported in the medical literature.

Adverse Effects

Despite the various health benefits of soursop leaves tea or the fruit in general, you must completely avoid its consumption if you have any of the following issues:

  • You are suffering from kidney disease.
  • You have liver disease.
  • You are currently undergoing treatment for hypertension, involving a lot of drugs. It has been identified that various negative effects can occur to the body if Graviola is consumed with those drugs.
  • You are suffering from diabetes.  As per the relevant tests conducted on laboratory animals, soursop was found to have a blood-sugar-lowering effect.

Some other studies that were conducted on lab animals show that soursop compounds can cause myeloneuropathy, which has similar symptoms to Parkinson’s disease, and movement disorders.

Varieties of Soursop

In some places, both “sour” Graviola and “sweet” Graviola (less acidic) are produced. The less famous, sweet version is commonly consumed raw.

Moreover, as mentioned several times in the article, Soursop tea, brewed from the tree’s leaves, can also be consumed. The taste of soursop tea is delicious. There are various benefits of soursop leaves tea, including a reduction in stress and relaxation of the body.

Food Safety and Storage

The unripened whole soursop fruit can be sustainably kept at room temperature.  And the Ripened one can be kept for at least two days without consumption in a refrigerator.

How to consume

The fruit is tropical and is only common in areas of South and Central America. You can occasionally find frozen soursop in some grocery stores in North America.

If you do get soursop fruit, you can consume it simply as you would consume any other raw fruit. You can, however, mix up soursop into smoothies, syrups, and other desserts like candies, ice creams, and sweet beverages.

On the off chance that despite the non-availability of soursop fruit in your region, you still want to taste the raw fruit, you can go for cherimoya. It is a very popular alternative to the fruit under discussion in the states.

Apart from tasting similarly, and a few common nutritional components, cherimoya does not provide any major health benefits of soursop fruit like its cancer-fighting potential and anti-inflammatory properties.

Conclusion

There are other foods that you can consume to get those health benefits, though. Do check out our health section for recommendations regarding various healthy foods that you can consume as an alternative to soursop.

So, did you find the fruit interesting enough to add to your daily diet? Do let us know using the comments section down below.      

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