Sapodilla (Sapota) nutrition facts:
Sapodilla or sapota (সফেদা) is another popular delicious tropical fruit in line with mango, banana, and jackfruit. Its calorie-rich soft, easily digestible pulp composes of simple sugars like fructose and sucrose that when eaten replenishes energy and revitalizes the body instantly. Indeed, it is a vital source of vitamins, minerals and health benefiting anti-oxidant, tannins.
Sapota is a tropical evergreen fruit-bearing tree belongs to the family of Sapotaceae in the genus: Manilkara. Scientific name: Manilkara zapota.
Originated in the central American rain forests, probably in Mexico and Belize, today it has spread all over the tropical belt and is being grown as a major commercial crop in India, Sri Lanka, Indonesia and Malaysia. The tree grows very fast and is wind and drought resistant suitable for dry arid regions with scanty rains. However, irrigation during summer season results in good fruit yield.
Each fruit is a berry, round or oval, measures about 10 cm in diameter, and weigh about 150 g. A tree bears as many as 2000 fruits/year. Sapota fruit is brown in color with sandy “kiwifruit like” outer surface but without the fuzziness. Internally, the pulp in unripe fruits is white with sticky latex called as saponin. Latex content gradually disappears as the fruit ripens, and its flesh turns brown. The fruit is sweet with smooth or grainy texture and light musky flavor. It contains 3-10 black, smooth, shiny “biconvex/bean” shaped, inedible seeds located at its center.
Health Benefits Of Sapodilla/Sapota/সফেদা:
1. Good for the Eyes: Sapota contains a high amount of Vitamin A. According to research, Vitamin A helps in improving vision even during old age. Thus, in order to get or maintain good vision, you must try eating sapota fruit.
2. Source of Energy: Sapota is rich in glucose which provides instant energy to the body. Athletes require loads of energy and hence, are recommended to eat sapota fruit.
3. Anti-inflammatory Agent: The high content of tannins makes sapota or chikoo an important anti-inflammatory agent. In other words, it helps in improving the condition of the digestive tract through prevention of diseases like esophagitis, enteritis, irritable bowel syndrome and gastritis. It also reduces inflammation by reducing any swelling and pain.
4. Prevention of Certain Cancers: The Vitamins A and B help in maintaining the health of the mucus lining of the body and the texture of the skin. The antioxidants, dietary fiber and nutrients found in sapota provide protection against cancer and tightly bind the carcinogens (toxins) to protect the mucus membrane of the colon. Vitamin A provides protection from lung and oral cavity cancers.
5. Healthy Bones: Additional amounts of calcium, phosphorus and iron are required by bones to increase their endurance. Being rich in calcium, iron and phosphorus, sapota fruit greatly helps in enhancing and strengthening the bones.
6. Relief from Constipation: Sapota fruit provides a high amount of dietary fiber (5.6/100g). Thus, it is regarded as an excellent bulk laxative. The fiber content provides relief from constipation. It supports the colons’ membrane and makes it resistant to infections.
7. Benefits during Pregnancy: Having a high dose of carbohydrates and essential nutrients, sapota is extremely beneficial for pregnant and lactating mothers. It helps in reducing weakness and other symptoms of pregnancy such as nausea and dizziness.
8. Haemostatic Properties: The sapota herb is known for its haemostatic properties i.e. stopping blood loss. Thus, this herb is beneficial in reducing bleeding in case of piles and injuries. The ground seeds can be applied as a paste for alleviating stings and insect bites.
9. Anti-viral and Anti-bacterial Properties: Due to the presence of polyphenolic antioxidants, sapota is found to have several anti-viral, anti-parasitic and anti-bacterial properties. The antioxidants prevent bacteria from entering into the human body. Vitamin C destroys the harmful free radicals whereas potassium, iron and folate, niacin and pantothenic acid facilitate proper functioning of the digestive system.
10. Anti-diarrheal: Sapota is regarded as an anti-diarrheal due to its purgative properties. A decoction made by boiling this fruit in water can cure diarrhea. It also helps in the alleviation of piles and dysentery.
11. Mental Health: Being a potent sedative, sapota fruit helps to calm the nerves and alleviate stress. Thus, it is advisable for individuals suffering from insomnia, anxiety and depression.
12. Cold and Cough: Sapota fruit is effective in keeping congestion and chronic coughs at bay by removing the phlegm and mucus from the nasal passage and respiratory tract. Thus, it helps in the alleviation of cold and coughs.
13. Kidney Stones: The crushed seeds of this fruit act as a diuretic, thus helping to expel bladder and kidney stones. It provides protection against kidney diseases as well.
14. Aids in Weight Loss: Sapota fruit indirectly helps in weight loss and prevents obesity by regulating the secretion of gastric enzymes, thereby regulating metabolism.
15. As a Detoxifying Agent: Sapota acts as a diuretic and thus helps in removing waste materials from the body through frequent urination. It prevents edemas or water retention by maintaining the water concentration within the body.
16. Tooth Cavities: The high latex content of sapota fruit can be used as a crude filling for tooth cavities.
17. Other Health Benefits: Magnesium contained in sapota is beneficial for blood and blood vessels whereas potassium helps in regulating blood pressure and promoting healthy circulation. Folate and iron prevent anemia. Sapota helps in strengthening the intestines and in improving their performance. In short, eating sapota or chikoo fruit helps in developing body resistance against many infectious diseases.
For best results, the sapota fruit should be eaten ripe. But you can also choose to have the sapota juice if you please. Raw sapota fruits are extremely bitter due to high content of tannin and latex, and can cause mouth ulcers, itching sensation in the throat and difficulty in breathing.
Hair Benefits of Sapodilla/Sapota/Chikoo:
As we all know, proper supply of nutrients to our body and proper absorption of these nutrients is inevitable for maintaining good hair health. Hair problems are a result of exposure to harmful chemicals, unhealthy lifestyle and inadequacy of certain essential nutrients in our diet. Being loaded with essential nutrients, sapota has enough to contribute towards healthy hair. The benefits of sapota for hair are as follows.
18. Oil extracted from sapota seeds helps in moisturizing and softening your hair, thus making it more manageable. It imparts sheen and is considered excellent for curly hair. It gets absorbed easily without leaving a greasy residue.
19. The sapota seed oil nourishes the scalp by alleviating irritated skin conditions and promotes healthy hair growth. This oil is considered to be effective in treating hair-fall caused by seborrheic dermatitis.
20. The seeds of sapota can be grounded to make a paste and mixed with castor oil. This mixture should be applied on scalp and washed off the next day. This makes your hair smooth and the problem of dandruff can also be controlled.
Skin Benefits of Sapodilla/Sapota/Chikoo:
The wide array of vitamins, minerals and antioxidants found in the sapota fruit makes it an amazing choice for healthy and glowing skin. Thus, this article will be incomplete without talking about the skin benefits of this tasty fruit.
21. Sapota fruit helps to make your skin glowing, thus reducing your requirement of skin care products to enhance your natural skin texture and complexion. The Vitamin E in this fruit moisturizes your skin, thus giving you healthy and beautiful skin. Hence, eating sapota fruit is good for the skin.
22. Sapota fruit is rich in antioxidants. Therefore, it acts as an anti-ageing agent by eradicating free radicals in the body which are responsible for enhancing the ageing process. It is also effective in reducing wrinkles.
23. The seed kernel oil of sapota is used as a skin ointment. The residue of this seed, after the extraction of oil, can be applied as a poultice on painful skin afflictions.
24. The milky sap of the sapota plant can be used to remove warts and fungal growth on the skin.
25. The combination of Vitamin A and C beautifies the skin by imparting it with a healthy glow.
Sapodilla is a healthy fruit with many health benefits. Including fruit in a diet is highly beneficial. Healthy diet can keep you away from mostly every disease. So reap its benefits.