Soursop: Top 5 Health Benefits

Do you enjoy eating strawberries and like the tropical taste of pineapples? Assuredly you’ve eaten strawberries and pineapples as part of a fruit salad! It has been said that when you consume soursop, you are eating the wonders of both pineapples and strawberries simultaneously, albeit with a somewhat bitter (I supposed that’s why it is called Sour..sop), citrusy taste. There seems to be no exact concrete origin of soursop, but the fruit, scientifically named Annona muricata (also known as Sasalapa and Graviola), has historically been found in the regions of the Americas and the Caribbean. Curious? Read on for these Top 5 Health Benefits of Soursop!

1. Immune System Booster

Soursop is dense in vitamin C, which helps the body foster healthy white blood cells. 100g (equating roughly to 3.5 ounce) contains over 30% of the Recommended Daily Allowance (RDA).

2. Source of Fibre

Do you suffer from indigestion? Well soursop is a great source of fibre and has diuretic properties that enable the body to get rid of excessive sodium.

3. Excellent Detox 

The diuretic properties of soursop serve as a cleanser for the body by not only removing the saturation of sodium (which helps detoxify the gastrointestinal tract), but also easing pain and complications of the colon and stomach as a result of its anti-inflammatory content which contributes to irradiating parasites in the gut.

4. Low in Fat

Soursop is quite high in sugar (at 14g per 100g), but animal studies have shown it may help regulate sugar levels, though further human studies are needed. Considering the sugar content, soursop is extremely low in fat and also conveniently, offers a two-to-one balance of unsaturated fats (the good stuff) to saturated fats.

5. Contains a Range of Antioxidants

Not only is soursop an excellent source of antioxidants, the various antioxidant compounds give the fruit extra potential to fight free radicals. The phytonutrients along with saponins, alkaloids, flavonoids, lactones and phenols to name but a few can effectively combat disease-provoking cells.

Some studies, such as a 2016 report by Syed Najmuddin SU, Hamid M et al. published in the BMC Complement Altern Medicine (2016 Aug 24;16(1):31) suggest that soursop was effective in treating breast cancer and was sufficient enough to reduce the size of a tumour by irradiating cancer cells and fostering enhanced immune system function. It is worth bearing in mind however, that large quantities of soursop extract were given in the studies so much more research is still required.

Some say they also get the taste of apples when they eat soursop. My first memory of soursop was when visiting Florida as a child. I marvelled at the taste and on visits when I was older, I would regularly consume the fruit in smoothies. Whilst in Jamaica, I would witness my grandmother slice the fruit in half and carve out the white flesh, which reminded me of the inside of a coconut, though the thickness and creamy texture is probably more reminiscent of mashed bananas. Why not try the soft pulp in a smoothie, or as a delicious desert?

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David Myles

David Myles is an educational researcher as well as a health and fitness advocate. A former vegan, he encourages a diet that is at least 70% plant-based. David regularly engages in exercise routines, preferring to use his own in-house gym. Weather permitting, David enjoys outdoor exercise and is particularly fond of athletics (100 and 200 meter running). Health psychology and how food can enhance cognitive brain function and performance is also high on the list of his keen interests.

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