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Sugar Apple

Sugar Apple
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Sugar-apple is the fruit of Annona squamosa, the most widely grown species of Annona and a native of the tropical Americas and West Indies.

A type of tropical fruit, that is sweet and custard-like in texture. It is green, round and pine like but with a soft outer covering. Heart shaped fruit with a green exterior and white creamy flesh which is a curious combination of sweet flavor and grainy texture. The fruit is picked before it is ripe. The seed is black with a sheen, not to be consumed. This fruit also comes in a variety of bright red flesh, purplish red flesh and pinkish flesh.

The fruit is round to conical, 5–10 cm in diameter and 6–10 cm long, and weighing 100–240 g, with a thick rind composed of knobby segments. The color is typically pale green to blue-green, with a deep pink blush in certain varieties, and typically has a bloom. It is unique among Annona fruits in being segmented, and the segments tend to separate when ripe, exposing the interior.

The flesh is fragrant and sweet, creamy white to light yellow, and resembles and tastes like custard. It is found adhering to 13–16 mm long seeds to form individual segments arranged in a single layer around the conical core. It is soft, slightly grainy, and slippery. The hard, shiny seeds may number 20-38 or more per fruit, and have a brown to black coat, although varieties exist that are almost seedless.

There are also new varieties being developed in Taiwan. The atemoya or "pineapple sugar-apple", a hybrid between the Sugar Apple and the Cherimoya, is popular in Taiwan, although it was first developed in the USA in 1908. The fruit is similar in sweetness to the sugar apple but has a very different taste. Like the name suggests, it tastes like pineapple. The arrangement of seeds is in spaced rows, with the fruit's flesh filling most of the fruit and making grooves for the seeds, instead of the flesh only occurring around the seeds.

Custard apple has an edible flesh which is a little tart. The leaves of the custard apple tree are used to make a dye.

Good custard apple is firm and free from blemishes.

Uses of Sugar-apple

Consumed raw as a fruit, it can also be used in a pulp form as baby food. It is a very popular flavor for souffles and mousses. Drinks and smoothies are another way custard apple is used along with syrups, jams and marmalade. Custard apple sauce also pairs well with various meats.

Nutritional Value 

High in calories, the fruit is rich in minerals like iron and calcium. It aids the treatment of anemia, diarrhea and dysentery. It is packed with anti-oxidants like vitamin c.

Nutritional Value:

Sugar-apple is high in calories, an excellent source of vitamin C and manganese, a good source of thiamine and vitamin B6, and provides vitamin B2, B3 B5, B9, iron, magnesium, phosphorus and potassium in fair quantities.

Asthma: Sugar apple is known to prevent asthma and also cure it to an extent. Helps prevent asthma (Vitamin C – 151%)

Vitamin C: Sugar Apples are a good source of Vitamin C that provides the body with healthy anti-oxidants to prevent unnecessary oxidation reactions.

Digestion: The fibre content in the fruit helps to improve digestion and prevents the body against type 2 diabetes.

Sugar Absorption: It is known to slow down sugar absorption this maintaining the body balance. Helps control sugar levels (Fiber – 44%)

Heart diseases: Vitamin B6 present in Sugar apples prevents homocystein collection. This minimizes the chances of heart diseases. Keeps the heart healthy (Vitamin B6 – 25%)

Amino acids: As discussed Sugar applies reduces sugar absorption. Sugar if present in plenty intervenes with transfer of amino acids to muscles. 

Blood pressure: The fruit also is capable of lowering the blood pressure levels due to the presence of potassium. Further, sodium is regulated keeping the blood pressure in check. Lowers blood pressure levels (Potassium – 18%)

Helps the body produce energy (Thiamin – 18%), Maintains supply of other B vitamins in the body (Riboflavin -17%), Helps maintain thyroid health (Copper – 11%)

Growth: The supply of Vitamin B ensures the growth and development of the body which is essential at all stages in life. Keeps bones strong (Magnesium – 13%)

Cholesterol: The fruit is recommended for lowering cholesterol levels as it contains niacin which helps in increasing the good cholesterol in body. Helps lower cholesterol levels (Niacin – 11%)

Pregnancy: Sugar apple is also used to cure pregnancy related problems with the folate content helping conceive a baby easily. Help prevent pregnancy problems (Folate – 9%)

Read More at Wikipedia
Recipe using Custard Apple see Here.

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