Manilkara zapota, commonly known as the sapodilla, is a long-lived, evergreen tree native to southern Mexico, Central America and the Caribbean. An example natural occurrence is in coastal Yucatán in the Petenes mangroves ecoregion, where it is a subdominant plant species. It was introduced to the Philippines during Spanish colonization. It is grown in huge quantities in India, Thailand, Malaysia, Cambodia, Indonesia, Bangladesh and Mexico.
The name "zapota" ultimately derives from the Nahuatl word tzapotl ['t?sapot??] by way of the Spanish zapote.
Its calorie-rich soft, easily digestible pulp composes of simple sugars like fructose and sucrose that when eaten replenishes energy and revitalizes the body instantly. Indeed, it is a vital source of vitamins, minerals and health benefiting anti-oxidant, tannins.
Sapota is a tropical evergreen fruit-bearing tree belongs to the family of Sapotaceae in the genus: Manilkara. Scientific name: Manilkara zapota.
Each fruit is a berry, round or oval, measures about 10 cm in diameter, and weigh about 150 g. A tree bears as many as 2000 fruits/year.
Sapodilla is rich calories, 100 g provides 83 calories. In addition, it is a very good source of dietary fiber, which makes it an excellent bulk laxative. The fiber content helps relieve constipation episodes and help protect the mucous membrane of the colon from cancer-causing toxins by firmly binding to them.
The fruit is rich in antioxidant poly-phenolic compound tannin. Tannins are a complex family of naturally-occurring polyphenols that neutralize acids by precipitating proteins. Research studies found that tannins have shown to have potential anti-inflammatory, antiviral, anti-bacterial, and anti-parasitic effects. Hence, these compounds have many useful medicinal applications such as anti-diarrheal, hemostatic and as a remedy for hemorrhoids.
Furthermore, the anti-inflammatory effect of tannins helps limit conditions like erosive gastritis, reflux-esophagitis, enteritis, and irritating bowel disorders. Some other fruits that are rich in tannins includ pomegranate, persimmon, grapes...etc.
Sapote contains a good amount of antioxidant vitamins like vitamin C and vitamin A. Vitamin A is essential for vision. It is also required for maintaining healthy mucus membranes and skin. Consumption of natural fruits rich in vitamin A has been known to protect from lung and oral cavity cancers. So also, consumption of foods containing in vitamin C helps the body develop resistance against infectious agents and scavenge harmful free radicals.Fresh ripen sapodilla is a good source of minerals like potassium, copper, iron and vitamins like folate, niacin and pantothenic acid. These compounds are essential for optimal health as they involve in various metabolic processes in the body as cofactors for the enzymes.
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