Have you ever heard about the tropical fruit Soursop? Yes! The prickly tropical fruit is an excellent addition to your diet since it offers several health benefits. The appearance and taste of Soursop is similar to custard apple and cherimoya. However, this fruit has tiny shiny seeds covered with white and sweet pulpy flesh. Soursop is also known as Graviola, Guanabana and in India, it is known as Lakshman phal. We can also get many health benefits from soursop fruit and soursop leaves. Along with Soursop benefits, it is an excellent addition to sweet foods, beverages, ice cream, giving them a creamy texture.
This article has discussed the benefits of Soursop fruit and leaves, its nutritional profile, and its side effects. Read on!
What is Soursop?:
Soursop (Lakshman Phal) is the fruit of Annona muricata, a type of tree native to America’s tropical regions and India, also known as Graviola, Guanabana (1). This prickly fruit’s flesh is juicy and soft, whose colour is dark green when raw, and as it ripens, it turns slightly light green. Typically, Soursop is cut in half, scooping out the flesh and eaten raw.
Nutritional Value of Soursop:
Nutritional benefits of soursop per 100 gram serving:
- 66 calories.
- One gram protein.
- 16.8 grams carbs.
- 3.3 grams fibre.
- 34% RDI of Vitamin C.
- 8% RDI of Potassium.
- 5% RDI of Magnesium.
- 5% RDI of Thiamine.
- It also contains trace amounts of iron, folate, riboflavin and niacin.
Top 10+ Health Benefits of Soursop Fruit and Leaves:
1. Soursop Rich in Vitamin C:
Vitamin C is an antioxidant known to boost your body’s immune health. Soursop is a rich source of Vitamin C that helps improve your body’s ability to defend against pathogens by strengthening your immune system. It also protects your skin and cells from environmental oxidative damage by promoting the destruction of free radicals.
2. Soursop High in Antioxidants:
The high content of antioxidants in Soursop provides many benefits to our body. Antioxidants are compounds that protect our bodies from any damage caused by free radicals by neutralizing these harmful compounds.
According to some research, the uses of Graviola include reducing the risk of heart disease, diabetes, cancer come from the role played by antioxidant properties (2).In addition, the antioxidant properties of Soursop are found to be effective in protecting your body from free radical damage, according to a test-tube study (3).
According to another test-tube study, Graviola also has plant compounds such as luteolin, quercetin and tangeretin that act as antioxidants (4). However, more research is needed to show the benefits of antioxidants in Soursop for humans.
3. Graviola Help to Reduce Inflammation:
Soursop’s health benefits include its anti-inflammatory properties in juice and leaves. According to a Brazilian study, Soursop leaves and juice administration improves inflammation caused by snakebite (5). However, more research is needed in this aspect because some Graviola components might slightly aggravate the ill effects.
The anti-inflammatory properties of the roots, barks and leaves of the Soursop tree is emphasized in the research conducted in South America and tropical Africa (6).
You will get relief from arthritis by treating inflammation using Graviola. It is also known for its analgesic and anti-inflammatory effects (7).
4. Soursop Strengthens Your Immune System:
According to a Korean study, the bioactive compounds of Soursop help enhance immunity. In this study, the edema in rat paws caused by the weak immune system has been reduced with oral intake of Soursop leaf extracts (8). It can be efficient in treating immunocompromised patients with the potential of Graviola leaves in stimulating immunity. You can also improve the overall lifestyle quality by including Graviola in your diet.
Soursop fruit juice has a lot of micronutrients compared to the pulp. But compared to juice, the Graviola pulp has more vitamin A. In addition, the ascorbic acid (Vitamin C) present in Sourcop boosts and strengthens your immune system. So even with Beta-carotene, the precursor of vitamin A, immune system enhancement is possible.
5. Protect Your Skin and Cells from Environmental Oxidative Damage:
Soursop benefits include the high amounts of Vitamin C that help boost immune health as an antioxidant. This vitamin helps your body defend itself against pathogens. It also helps protect your skin against environmental oxidative damage by promoting the destruction of free radicals.
6. Graviola Promotes Digestive Health:
You can get about 83% of the daily recommended allowance of fibre from one whole Soursop fruit. In addition, soursop extract benefits include promoting healthy digestive health because of its fibre content (9). This fruit also eliminates excess sodium from the body by cleansing the gastrointestinal tract by acting as a diuretic.
7. Soursop Benefits Cancer:
Graviola extracts were found to kill specific breast and liver cancer cells, though there haven’t been any direct human studies. Soursop’s benefits include treating cancer and many types of diseases (10). Though the probabilities are promising, there is a need for tests on humans.
Soursop or Graviola leaves benefits to include 80% cell inhibition, according to an Indian study conducted on various cell lines. On the other hand, the inhibition of harmful compounds in cancer cells comes from the acetogenins in Graviola (11).
There is an indication of potential success in curing the lethal disease with the help of Soursop extracts that inhibit the survival and metabolism of pancreatic cancer cells (12). The unique ability of acetogenins is that they don’t harm the healthy cells while selectively destroying the cancer cells (13).
8. Lowers Your Blood Pressure:
If you wish to treat hypertension, Soursop has been an optimal solution. According to a Nigerian study, the benefits of Soursop in treating hypertension is attributed to the antioxidant potential of phenols in the fruit (14). Furthermore, according to Indonesian research, Soursop helps lower blood pressure levels in human adults with nutrients in Graviola.
9. Helps Fight Bacteria:
Soursop can be beneficial in dealing with diseases caused by parasites and bacteria transmitted through sand fleas and bites, one of those being leishmaniasis. You can also treat a wide range of infections with the help of Soursop leaves (15).
10. Soursop Benefits Diabetes:
Soursop is good for diabetes because of its anti-diabetic properties, according to a Nigerian study (16). In addition, you will be able to inhibit the hepatic oxidative damage caused in diabetes patients with the help of the soursop leaf aqueous extract (17).
11. Soursop Leaf Tea for Weight Loss:
Graviola leaf tea can be beneficial for weight loss because it optimizes the body’s metabolism since it contains a high combination of B vitamins. In addition, this process helps you stay active by helping you with exercise. Graviola encourages the burning of additional fat with the help of dietary acids such as linoleic acid.
Additionally, the Soursop leaf extracts help reduce body weight in obese mice over 12 weeks, according to a study (18). Furthermore, while ingesting Graviola extracts, these overweight mice also experienced healthier cholesterol levels.
Soursop Side Effects:
Here are some of the side effects associated with the excess consumption of Soursop:
- The Soursop tree’s bark and seeds contain potentially poisonous compounds such as muricine, hydrocyanic acid and anonaine that are considered toxic and can cause inflammation to the eyes.
- The developing fetus’s high energy cells might trigger the toxic activity of Graviola. Therefore pregnant women are advised against consuming this fruit.
- Some people involved in an experiment had a drastic weight loss with the consumption of Soursop. So, if you have any issue with body weight, consult your doctor before consuming this fruit.
- Consumption of Graviola might result in the development of Parkinson’s disease, as per a French study (19).
How to Eat Soursop (Lakshman Phal)?
Here are some of the easy and quick Soursop recipes you can try to reap the benefits of this fruit.
1. Soursop Smoothie:
- One cup of Soursop pulp.
- ½ cup of plain yoghurt.
- Three tbsp of sweetened condensed milk.
- Eight ice cubes.
- Place all the ingredients into a blender jar.
- Blend the contents thoroughly, forming a smooth mixture.
- Serve immediately.
2. Soursop Juice:
- Soursop – 16oz.
- One cup of milk.
- Two tbsp of sugar.
- One cup of water.
- Two tbsp of mint leaves.
- Two cups of ice.
- Take Soursop, peel it and eliminate the core.
- Remove the seeds and use a fork to pull the pulp apart.
- Add all the ingredients into a blender and blend them into a smooth paste.
- Add water to liquify the mixture.
- Strain to separate the pulp to get the juice into a glass.
- Add mint leaves and ice to the liquid and serve fresh.
3. How to Make Soursop Leaves Tea:
- Two soursop leaves.
- One cup of milk (optional).
- Sugar as per taste.
- Take a bowl of water and boil them.
- Add the two soursop leaves to the boiling water.
- Let it steep for about two minutes.
- Add sugar as per your taste.
- Adding milk is optional.
Although Soursop is a superfood, it is not a miracle cure giving instant results. However, it is a good source of nutrients, and it is also a tasty tropical fruit. So give the sweet, creamy fruit a try to reap all the Soursop benefits to your body. Don’t forget to let us know if you found this article helpful!
Disclaimer: The information provided in this article is based on pure research and not a replacement for medical advice. It is best to seek advice from a medical professional regarding your health.
1. How to select Soursop?
Ans: When looking to purchase a Soursop, keep the following things in mind.
- Choose a fruit whose skin is dark green.
- Make sure its surface has numerous fleshy spines.
- Avoid fruits whose skin has bruises or blemishes.
2. How to store Graviola?
Ans: Storing Graviola is pretty simple. First, let the fruit ripe at room temperature and then refrigerate the fruit for about two days.
3. Is it safe to consume Soursop?
Ans: Soursop is a delicious and nutritious fruit usually safe to consume by anyone. But it is best not to eat the seeds because they are toxic. Also, while pregnant, it is best to avoid Soursop leaf tea.