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Health benefits of cherimoya

  • Very sweet and pleasant flavor annonas contain an impressive list of essential nutrients, vitamins, anti-oxidants and minerals.

  • The fruit has calories equivalent to that of mangoes. 100 g of fresh fruit pulp provide about 75 calories. It is however, contain no saturated fats or cholesterol; but rich in dietary fiber (3 g per100 g) that helps prevent absorption of cholesterol in the gut. The dietary fibers also help protect the mucous membrane of the colon from exposure to toxic substances by binding cancer causing chemicals in the colon.

  • Cherimoya contains several poly-phenolic antioxidants. Among them, the most prominent in annona family fruits are Annonaceous acetogenins. Acetogenin compounds such as asimicin, bullatacinare...etc are powerful cytotoxins and have been found to have anti-cancer, anti-malarial, and anti-helminthes properties.

  • It is very good in vitamin-C. Vitamin C is a powerful natural antioxidant. Consumption of fruits rich in vitamin C helps body develop resistance against infectious agents and scavenge harmful, pro-inflammatory free radicals from the body.

  • In addition, cherimoya fruit is a good source of B-complex vitamins, especially vitamin B-6 (pyridoxine). 100 g fresh fruit provides 0.257 mg or 20% of daily-recommended levels. Pyridoxine help keep up GABA neuro chemical in the brain. High GABA levels calms down nervous irritability, tension, and headache ailments.

  • Further, it has well balanced sodium-potassium ratio. A good potassium level in the body helps control heart rate and blood pressure; thus counters the bad influences of sodium. It also contain more minerals weight per weight than many common fruits like apples, rich in copper, magnesium, iron and manganese.

See the table below for in depth analysis of nutrients:

Cherimoya fruit (Annona cherimola), Fresh,
Nutritive value per 100 g,
(Source: USDA National Nutrient data base)
Energy 75 Kcal 4%
Carbohydrates 17.71 g 13.5%
Protein 1.57 g 3%
Total Fat 0.68 g 3%
Cholesterol 0 mg 0%
Dietary Fiber 3 g 8%

Folates 23 µg 6%
Niacin 0.644 mg 4%
Pantothenic acid 0.345 mg 7%
Pyridoxine 0.257 mg 20%
Riboflavin 0.131 mg 10%
Thiamin 0.101 mg 8%
Vitamin A 5 IU <1%
Vitamin C 12.6 mg 21%
Vitamin E 0.27 mg 2%

Sodium 7 mg 0.5%
Potassium 287 mg 6%

Calcium 10 mg 1%
Copper 0.069 mg 8%
Iron 0.27 mg 3%
Magnesium 17 mg 4%
Manganese 0.093 mg 4%
Phosphorus 26 mg 4%
Zinc 0.16 mg 1%

Carotene-ß 2 µg --
Crypto-xanthin-ß 1 µg --
Lutein-zeaxanthin 6 µg --

Selection and Storage

In its natural habitat, cherimoya season last from November until May. Usually, the fruit is handpicked by clipping on reaching maturity. In the markets, buy fresh, firm, medium-sized, uniform fruits featuring greenish-yellow color and full for their size. Ripe fruits just yield to gentle pressure.

Avoid those with broken skin, surface blemishes and overly-ripen ones as they stay poorly.

Once at home, place mature fruits at room temperature in fruit basket until them ripe. Cherimoya has very short shelf life. Ripe fruits deteriorate early at room temperature. As in bananas, whole cherimoya cannot either be stored in the refrigerator for long period as they sustain chilling injury to skin and pulp. However, juiced or pureed fruits may be kept in the refrigerator for several weeks.

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