Native to tropical regions of the world, particularly Mexico, Cuba, Central America and Caribbean. It is one of the first fruit trees that was carried from America to the Old World Tropics where it has become widely distributed from China to Australia and Africa. It is now common in the markets of Southeast Asia.
Soursop is a small flowering evergreen tree. In Brazil, it is called graviola and guanabana in Spain. It only grows in tropical climates and is extremely sensitive to frost. It yields 12 to 24 fruits per tree throughout the year.
Its scientific name is Anona muricata, an exotic fruit which can be oval, round or heart shaped. The size ranges from 4 to 12 inches long and 6 inches wide and can weigh between 10 to 15 pounds. It has a greenish-yellow skin color with elongated spines all over. The interior of the fruit is white in color with some black seeds encased by fibrous tissue. It has a clean and refreshing taste can be described as a combination of pineapple and vanilla with a mild hint of citrus with an underlying creamy flavor similar to that of a banana. The sour flavor actually comes from organic acids, mainly citric, malic and isocitric acids. It can be eaten straight from its skin or can be made into an ice cream or juice.
The nutrients it holds includes fructose, carbohydrates and various vitamins the most dominant of which is vitamin C that boost the immune system and slow the aging process. It is rich in fiber to help maintain proper digestion. With a balance content of sodium and potassium, it effectively prevents hypertension.
Soursop is an amazing medicinal tree where the fruits, leaves, stems and seeds can be used to treat a variety of ailments. Eating the fruit can help get rid of all kinds of intestinal parasites and amoeba.
The Leaves of this plant are the most useful part. It contains squamosin, bullacatin and asimicin compounds belonging to Acetoginin class which are naturally occurring substance found in plants that adversely affects insects that eat them (antifeedant). Considered as miraculous natural cancer cell killer, Soursop tea made of leaves and stems were found to effectively attack and destroy cancer cells. It selectively attacks cancer cells only without side effects like hair loss, nausea and weight loss. It can also treat gout, back pain, skin disorders and in getting rid of head lice.
Eating soursop fruit and taking supplements is considered safe as long as in moderation and within the limit of the prescribed dosage. For pregnant and breastfeeding women, it is advised to stay away from this fruit. The same goes to people with Parkinson’s disease and other disorder that affects body movement. Before taking soursop as a medication, consulting your doctors first is the best thing to do.
When making a soursop smoothie, choose one that is a little soft when pressed, and the meat is lightly yellow and add nuts to give it a nutty texture.
Photo by: http://www.colombiaexotic.ca/resources/guanabana.jpg