Soursop offers a variety of health benefits that give you many reasons to add it to your regular diet. It is also known as Graviola or Guyabano, which is both full of flavor and very delicious.
It is rich in nutrients such as fiber and vitamin C, it has few calories, and gives a great feeling of satiety.
Read on to discover the many health benefits of soursop and how you can add this tropical fruit to your daily diet.
What is Soursop?
Soursop is a fruit that is sourced from the Graviola or Annona muricata tree which grows in the tropical regions of Latin America and the Caribbean.
It’s a thorny green fruit with a soft inner texture, a delicious flavor, and is sometimes known as the custard apple, guanabana, guyabano, and the Brazilian pawpaw.
This tropical fruit is often eaten raw. All you need to do is to cut the fruit in half and consume the fleshy part around the seeds.
While the taste is enough to make this fruit popular, it is also rich in vitamin B, vitamin C, and some powerful antioxidants.
The soursop juice is commonly used topically, and ground seeds are also a popular natural remedy. The pulverized seeds and leaves can also be used to make a powerful tea which also offers several health benefits.
Here are some impressive health benefits of soursop that you need to know about.
1. Soursop Is Very Nutritious
Soursop is a delicious fruit that’s filled with nutrients.
It has fiber, proteins, and sugar.
You can get vitamins B1, B2, B3, B5, B6, B9, and C when you eat raw soursop.
You’ll also get calcium, iron, magnesium, phosphorus, potassium, sodium, and zinc.
2. Helps With Your Sleep
For many years, people have been using soursop to relieve stress.
There are claims that it has soothing properties that are ideal in reducing your anxiety and stress levels.
Anxiety and stress are common causes of having a hard time sleeping well.
Next time, you should try drinking a warm soursop tea before going to sleep.
3. Soursop Fights Inflammations
In Brazil, researchers experimented with animal samples and discovered the powerful anti-inflammatory effects of soursop.
If you are suffering from inflammation or joint pain, including conditions like arthritis or gout, applying a decoction from the soursop leaves on the affected area can help ease the condition.
The anti-inflammatory properties of soursop can speed up the healing process while also easing pain and enhancing flexibility.
In an animal study conducted on rats, researchers noticed decreased swelling and alleviate inflammations on the test subjects after treating with soursop extracts.
If you need more details on this study, you can check “Mechanisms of Analgesic and Anti-Inflammatory Properties of Annona muricata Linn. (Annonaceae) Fruit Extract in Rodents.”
4. Is Good For Your Skin
Since soursop has antibacterial properties, it helps you fight skin infections.
The seeds of this fruit are ground into a powder and used as an ingredient for a skin astringent.
It’s supposed to reduce blemishes, lines, spots, and wrinkles on your skin.
5. Soursop Can Help Fight Bacteria
Some studies show that soursop may have significant antibacterial properties.
In a study concerning oral health, soursop extracts have been observed to effectively stop strains of bacteria that cause gingivitis, tooth decay, and yeast infection.
You can read more of this on “Anti-microbial Efficacy of Soursop Leaf Extract (Annona muricata) on Oral Pathogens.”
There are also other studies that soursop extracts work too against bacteria that cause cholera and Staphylococcus infections.
However, please bear in mind that the studies are mostly conducted on test-tubes.
6. Has Analgesic Qualities
Soursop has qualities that help relieve pain.
It’s been used to treat arthritis pain, back pain, and gout pain.
The leaves ofo soursop are most commonly used for this effect. You just need to boil the leaves and drink them as tea.
7. Soursop Is Rich in Antioxidants
Soursop is high in powerful antioxidants that help to fight harmful free radicals in the human body.
Free radicals are reactive and unstable compounds that are known to cause cell damage and are associated with various diseases, including diabetes, cancer, and heart disease.
A recent study that was done discovered that the antioxidant properties of soursop effectively prevented cell damage caused by free radicals.
Another study done to determine the antioxidant content of soursop found that soursop protects the body against free radicals.
The same study found that soursop contains the plant compounds luteolin, tangeretin, and quercetin which acted as antioxidants in the experiment.
8. May Help Reduce Blood Pressure Levels
In folkloric medicine, soursop is used to treat hypertension.
This study, “Distribution of Phenolic Contents, Antidiabetic Potentials, Antihypertensive Properties, and Antioxidative Effects of Soursop,” backs up the statement above.
9. Soursop May Help Manage Blood Sugar Levels
Different studies suggest that soursop extracts may help people with diabetes manage their blood sugar levels.
Studies like “Anti hyperglycemic activities of Annona muricata (Linn)” will tell you that soursop extracts given to diabetic rats showed five times lower blood sugar levels compared to the untreated rats.
In another study, “Antidiabetic and antioxidant effects of Annona muricata (Annonaceae),” it showed diabetic rats that consumed soursop extracts have reduced blood sugar levels by up to 75%.
10. Helps to Control Parasites
In certain regions where soursop is commonly used, the inhabitants are vulnerable to parasitic infections. These regions are mainly undeveloped rural areas.
Even in developed regions, parasitic infections can affect immigrants and travelers with weak immune systems. Common conditions include trichomoniasis, cryptosporidiosis, and giardiasis.
Usually, the treatment for these parasitic conditions involves the use of soursop tea. The tea is usually brewed using the soursop leaves.
Simply add two large leaves of soursop to water and allow them to boil for around 10 minutes. Serve the brew without the leaves.
This soursop tea is flavorful and helps to cleanse the gut and ensure the optimal functioning of the gastrointestinal system.
11. Soursop Helps Keep Your Eyes Healthy
Soursop contains nutrients that make sure your eyes are healthy.
Vitamins A, C, E, zinc, and other carotenoids preserve the health of your eyes.
They can delay macular degeneration. This means it can slow down or even prevent the development of cataracts while maintaining optimal eye function longer.
12. Boosts the Immune System
In Korea, studies have shown that consumption of soursop can boost the immune system. This is because of the bioactive compound present in the fruit.
The soursop fruit juice has been found to offer higher quantities of macronutrients than the pulp. However, the pulp contains more amounts of vitamin A than the fruit juice.
Soursop is also high in Vitamin C, which boosts and strengthens the immune system. The presence of beta-carotene also helps to support the immune system.
13. Soursop Promotes A Healthy Digestive System
Eating soursop regularly can help you decrease the development of stomach ulcers and even strengthen the mucus linings in your digestive system’s organs.
Traditionally, the extracts of the leaves of soursop are used to kill intestinal parasites. It can deal with both the adult worms as well as its larvae.
To add more, it’s rich in fiber that can promote digestion and smoother bowel movement. This can prevent constipation, diarrhea, gas, and indigestion.
14. May Help Fight Cancer
Soursop is can be one of the best fruits for cancer patients due to its powerful anti-cancer properties.
There are published studies that have shown that the bioactive compounds in soursop leaf extracts can have great cancer-fighting effects.
This is because of the free radical fighting abilities and the various antioxidants that help to eliminate cancerous cells.
However, more research needs to be done to determine whether the cancer-fighting properties of Graviola apply to the general population.
Another amazing food that may help prevent cancer is turmeric.
You may have already read about it from our other posts. You can learn more about turmeric health benefits here.
15. Soursop Helps Relieve Some Respiratory Problems
Soursop is a mild expectorant.
It helps reduce mucus secretions and relieve throat irritation.
Since this fruit has antimicrobial qualities, it can speed up your recovery from coughs and sore throats.
Soursop is becoming more and more popular nowadays. While it is still new in many parts of the world, it has been successfully used as an herbal remedy for centuries in Central and South America.
The fruit has proven to be a wonderful ingredient to strengthen your immune system, prevent disease, and boost your overall health. It has also been known to help treat a wide range of health conditions.
The nutrients in soursop and its delicious flavor make this fruit truly irresistible. I particularly like soursop’s taste and will eat it if it’s available. The soursop health benefits are a very welcome addition.
Do you also have soursop in your diet?
My favorite health benefit of soursop is that it has anti-inflammatory properties that are useful in my fight against arthritis.
What’s your favorite on the list?
Soursop is a delicious common fruit but please seek advice first from your doctor or medical professional if it’s good for you.
Don’t forget to share this article with someone you think will benefit from knowing more about the health benefits of soursop.