Soursop is a famous fruit due to its exquisite flavour and amazing health benefits.
It’s also incredibly nutrient-dense, with plenty of fibre and vitamin C for a small amount of calories.
This article will discuss some of the health advantages of soursop as well as how to incorporate it into your diet.
What Is Soursop?
Soursop, also known as graviola, is the fruit of Annona muricata, a tree native to the Americas’ tropical regions (1Trusted Source).
This prickly green fruit has a creamy texture and a rich flavour similar to pineapple or strawberry.
Soursop is commonly consumed raw by splitting the fruit in half and scooping out the flesh. Fruits vary in size and can be fairly huge, therefore it is advisable to cut it into several portions.
A normal serving of this fruit is low in calories while being high in fibre and vitamin C. A 3.5-ounce (100-gram) portion of raw soursop provides the following nutrients:
- Calories: 66
- Protein: 1 gram
- Carbs: 16.8 grams
- Fiber: 3.3 grams
- Vitamin C: 34% of the RDI
- Potassium: 8% of the RDI
- Magnesium: 5% of the RDI
- Thiamine: 5% of the RDI
Soursop also has a trace of niacin, riboflavin, folate, and iron.
Surprisingly, several parts of the fruit, including the leaves, fruit, and stems, are used medicinally. It can also be used in cooking and applied to the skin.
In recent years, research has also revealed a number of health benefits for soursop.
Some animal and test-tube studies have even discovered that it may assist with everything from reducing inflammation to decreasing cancer growth.
Summary Soursop is a fruit that is used in both medicinal and cookery. It contains little calories but a lot of fibre and vitamin C. According to some research, it may potentially offer health benefits.
It’s High in Antioxidants
Many of the stated advantages of soursop are attributed to its strong antioxidant content.
Antioxidants are molecules that aid in the neutralisation of dangerous compounds known as free radicals, which can cause cell damage.
According to some study, antioxidants may play a role in lowering the risk of numerous diseases, including heart disease, cancer, and diabetes.
One test-tube study looked at the antioxidant capabilities of soursop and discovered that it might successfully protect against free radical damage.
Another test-tube study looked at the antioxidants in soursop extract and found that it helped prevent cell damage. It also included antioxidant-rich plant components such as luteolin, quercetin, and tangeretin.
More research is needed to discover whether the antioxidants present in soursop are beneficial to people.
Summary According to animal research, soursop is abundant in antioxidants, which may help prevent cell damage and lessen the risk of chronic disease.
It May Help Kill Cancer Cells
Although most research is now limited to test-tube trials, several investigations have discovered that soursop may be useful in the elimination of cancer cells.
Soursop extract was used in one test-tube investigation to treat breast cancer cells. Surprisingly, it was able to reduce tumour size, kill cancer cells, and boost immune system activity (8Trusted Source).
Another test-tube study looked at the effects of soursop extract on leukaemia cells, which was found to inhibit cancer cell proliferation and development (9Trusted Source).
Keep in mind that these are test-tube trials involving a high dose of soursop extract. More research is needed to determine how consuming the fruit may effect cancer in humans.
Summary Some research suggests that soursop can help slow the growth of cancer cells in test tubes. More research is required to assess the effect on humans.
It Can Help Fight Bacteria
Soursop may have antibacterial qualities in addition to antioxidant properties, according to certain studies.
In one test-tube investigation, different doses of soursop extract were employed on different types of bacteria known to cause oral illnesses.
Soursop was found to be effective against a variety of bacteria, including ones that cause gingivitis, tooth decay, and yeast infections.
Another test-tube investigation found that soursop extract was effective against the germs that cause cholera and Staphylococcus infections.
Despite these encouraging findings, keep in mind that these are test-tube studies employing a highly concentrated extract. It is significantly more than you would normally get from your diet.
More research is needed to assess this fruit’s possible antibacterial properties in people.
Summary Although additional research is needed, test-tube experiments reveal that soursop has antibacterial characteristics and may be useful against some kinds of bacteria that cause disease.
It Could Reduce Inflammation
According to some animal studies, soursop and its components may be able to help reduce inflammation.
Although inflammation is a normal immunological response to injury, there is growing evidence that persistent inflammation may contribute to disease.
In one study, rats were given soursop extract, which was found to reduce edoema and inflammation.
Another study discovered that soursop extract lowered edoema in mice by up to 37%.
Though research is currently limited to animal trials, this could be particularly useful in the treatment of inflammatory illnesses such as arthritis.
With instance, one animal study discovered that soursop extract reduced the levels of several inflammatory markers implicated in arthritis.
However, further research is needed to assess this fruit’s anti-inflammatory capabilities.
Summary Soursop extract has been shown in animal experiments to reduce inflammation and may be effective in the treatment of certain inflammatory illnesses.
It May Help Stabilize Blood Sugar Levels
In animal tests, soursop has been proven to help manage blood sugar levels.
Diabetic rats were given soursop extract for two weeks in one study. Blood sugar levels in those who received the extract were five times lower than in the control group.
Another study found that giving diabetic rats soursop extract decreased blood sugar levels by up to 75%.
However, in these animal experiments, a concentrated dose of soursop extract is used, which is greater than what you might get from your diet.
Although further human study is needed, these findings imply that soursop may be useful for diabetics when combined with a nutritious diet and an active lifestyle.
Summary Soursop extract has been shown in animal experiments to drastically lower blood sugar levels.
How to Eat Soursop
Soursop is a common component found throughout South America and can be enjoyed in a variety of ways, from juices to ice creams and sorbets.
The meat can be added to smoothies, drinks, and even used to sweeten baked products.
Soursop, on the other hand, is most commonly consumed raw due to its strong, naturally sweet flavour.
When choosing fruit, choose soft fruits or allow it to soften for a few days before eating. Then cut it lengthwise, scrape off the flesh from the rind, and serve.
Remember that the seeds of the soursop should be avoided since they contain annonacin, a neurotoxic that has been linked to the development of Parkinson’s disease.
Summary Soursop can be included into juices, smoothies, drinks, and desserts. It can also be eaten raw, but the seeds should be removed first.
The Bottom Line
Soursop extract has been used in test tubes and animal tests, and the results have been positive in terms of the fruit’s potential health benefits.
Still, keep in mind that these studies are looking at the effects of a concentrated dose of soursop extract, which is considerably higher than the amount you’d get from a single serving.
Soursop, on the other hand, is delicious, flexible, and can be a healthy addition to your diet.
This fruit may have some significant health benefits when combined with a balanced diet and a healthy lifestyle.