|Custard Apple Quick Facts|
|Scientific Name:||Annona squamosa|
|Origin||Origin is uncertain, probably indigenous to the Antilles or South Mexico.|
|Colors||Greenish-yellow (or pinkish- purple in a purplish cultivar) when ripe|
|Shapes||Sub globose, heart shaped, ovate or conical, 5–10 cm (2.0–3.9 in) in diameter and 6–10 cm (2.4–3.9 in) long,|
|Flesh colors||Creamy white|
|Taste||Sweet and slightly tangy|
|Major nutrients||Vitamin C (100.89%)
Vitamin B6 (38.46%)
Total dietary Fiber (28.95%)
|Health benefits||Better Hair Growth, Natural Antidote for Morning Sickness, Prevents Premature Labor, For A Better Immune System, Remedy for Diarrhea and Dysentery, Stronger Digestive System, Delays Ageing and Keeps Skin Youthful, Protects Anemia, Helps to Gain Weight, Remedy for Inflammatory Diseases, Lower the Risk of Arthritis, Better Brain Health, Fighting Fatigue, Good Eyesight, For Better Cardiovascular Health, Natural Anti-cancerous Properties|
|More facts about Custard Apple|
Custard apple is a small, fast growing, and semi-deciduous evergreen tree, briefly deciduous in California from February through April. The tree can reach 3–8 m or more, but is fairly easily restrained with a short trunk, broad, open crown and irregularly spreading branches. It is found growing in a tropical or sub-tropical climate with summer temperatures and tolerates a wide variety of soils. It has performed well on sand, oolitic limestone, heavy loam with good drainage and in rich, well-drained, deep rocky soils. But it prefers friable, sandy loams. Growth is in one long flush, beginning in April. The roots commence as taproot, but the slow-growing root system is rather weak, superficial, and ungreedy. Young plants need staking.
The attractive leaves are single and alternate, 2 to 8 inches long and up to 4 inches wide. They are dark green on top and velvety green on the bottom, with prominent veins. New growth is recurved, like a fiddle-neck. Axillary buds are hidden beneath fleshy leaf petioles. Lamina narrowly elliptic to oblong or lanceolate, 5–17 × 2.5–6 cm, base broadly cuneate to rounded, apex acute to obtuse.
Fragrant flowers are borne solitary or in groups of 2 or 3 on short, hairy stalks along the branches. They appear with new growth flushes, continuing as new growth proceeds and on old wood until midsummer. The flowers are made up of three fleshy, greenish-brown, oblong, downy outer petals and three smaller, pinkish inner petals. They are perfect but dichogamous, lasting about two days, and opening in two stages, first as female flowers for approximately 36 hours and later as male flowers. The flower has a declining receptivity to pollen during the female stage and is unlikely to be pollinated by its own pollen in the male stage.
The compound fruit is sub globose, heart shaped, ovate or conical, 5–10 cm (2.0–3.9 in) in diameter and 6–10 cm (2.4–3.9 in) long, weighing on the average 100–240 g (3.5–8.5 oz.), but the largest fruits may reach 5 pounds in weight. Fruit is normally greenish-yellow (or pinkish- purple in a purplish cultivar) when ripe. The skin is thin but tough, may be smooth with fingerprint-like markings or covered with conical or rounded protuberances. The sweet, juicy, creamy white colored flesh is melting, sub acid and very fragrant. The fruit is of a primitive form with spirally arranged carpels, resembling a raspberry. Each segment of flesh surrounds blackish or dark brown seed, ellipsoid to obovoid, 1–1.4 cm, shiny and smooth. The fruit size is generally proportional to the number of seeds within. They ripen from October to May.
Custard apple is said to have originated from West Indies, but the fruit was carried through Central America to southern Mexico. For a long time, the custard apple was grown and naturalized in countries like Peru and Brazil. Proof suggests that these fruits have been grown in the Bahamas, Bermuda and southern Florida. This fruit rapidly spread across tropical Africa around the 17th century and was grown in South Africa as a dooryard fruit tree. In India, the custard apple was prevalent in parts of Kolkata. Eventually, it gained popularity on the east coast of Malaya, south-east Asia and the Philippines. 80 years ago, custard apples were found in abundance in Guam, a region off the western Pacific Ocean.
Apart from their sweet and slightly tangy, custard apple is a good source of nutrients, vitamins and minerals. Consuming 250 gram of custard apple offers 90.8 mg of Vitamin c, 1.5 mg of Selenium, 59.1 g of Carbohydrate, 0.5 mg of Vitamin B6, 11 g of Total dietary Fiber, 0.215 mg of Copper, 0.275 mg of Vitamin B1, 0.282 mg of Vitamin B2, 1.5 mg of Iron and 2.208 mg of Vitamin B3. Moreover many Amino acids 0.025 g of Tryptophan, 0.138 g of Lysine and 0.018 g of Methionine are also found in 250 gram of custard apple.
Health benefits of Custard Apple
Custard apple is one of the nutritious and healthy fruit. There are several advantages of consuming custard apple. The health benefits of custard apple have been proven in various research studies, folklore remedies and Ayurvedic medicine. The roots, leaves, bark and flesh of custard apple fruit are all used for their medicinal benefits. Listed below are some of the popular health benefits of custard apple
1. Natural Anti-cancerous Properties
Bark of custard apple consists of astringent properties and tannins, which is used for making herbal supplements. These supplements help in the treatment of numerous types of cancer and tumors. Apart from that fruit contains compounds like acetogenin and alkaloids that help to reduce the risk of cancer and renal failure. It acts against cancer cells, without adversely affecting healthy cells. Antioxidants like asimicin and bullatacin are also found to have anti-cancer and anti-helminthes properties. These antioxidants counteract the effects of free radicals, avoiding cancer. It also contains significant fiber, which protects the colon membrane by warding off toxic substance from the gut, decreasing the risk of liver and colon risk. It also offers protection from breast cancer.
2. For Better Cardiovascular Health
Custard apple consists of well-balanced ratio of sodium and potassium which helps to regulates and controls blood pressure fluctuations in the body. High levels of magnesium in custard apple unwinds the smooth muscles of the heart and calms the jerks and cramps, thus preventing heart attack and stroke. Niacin and fiber in custard apple lowers bad cholesterol and increases good cholesterol in the body. It also prevents the absorption of cholesterol in the gut. Custard apple also prevents the free radicals from attacking lipid, promoting heart health.
3. Good Eyesight
Custard apple consists of good amount of riboflavin and vitamin C content which is suggested to aid in fighting free-radical destruction brought on to the cells. These may also assist in supporting outstanding eye-sight.
4. Fighting Fatigue
Fatigue is the result of a number of ailments as well as diseases. In such cases, an individual generally finds they abruptly require more rest as well as sleep. Custard apple is really an abundant energy source. It will help to fight exhaustion as well as a weakness. And also the existence of potassium will help in eliminating muscle weakness.
5. Better Brain Health
Custard apple is a wonderful source of B complex vitamins, which controls the GABA neuron chemical levels in the brain. This helps to calm down stress, tension, irritability and depression. It also protects from Parkinson’s disease. 100 grams of custard apple contain 0.6 grams of vitamin B6, amounting to about 20% of the daily recommended value.
6. Lower the Risk of Arthritis
High amount of magnesium in custard apple equalizes the water balance in the body and eliminates acids from the joint, decreasing the symptoms of rheumatism and arthritis. Regular consumption of custard apple helps to fight muscle weakness. Custard apple also contains a decent amount of calcium, which is vital for bone health.
7. Remedy for Inflammatory Diseases
Custard apple is a wonderful source of magnesium, which actually helps in maintaining the water level and eliminating acids from the joints. Custard apple is used in the treatment of rheumatoid arthritis and gout. Custard apple fruit help to reduce the pain related with auto-inflammatory conditions. The leaves of custard apple also possess anti-inflammatory properties.
8. Helps to Gain Weight
Custard apple is considered an ideal snack or dessert for those who are wishing to put on some weight. A calorie-laden fruit, the sugars contained in it make peps up the metabolic rate, therefore, motivating the appetite levels. The more your appetite is, the better the food intake will be. This, in turn, helps you gain weight.
9. Protects Anemia
Anemia is really a situation as opposed to an illness by itself which results because of a disorder within the body. The condition signifies less than regular amounts of red blood cells or even hemoglobin within the body. Red blood cells utilize hemoglobin (a protein) to transport oxygen round the body, which in turn in turn functions its numerous tasks. Lower amounts of hemoglobin as well as RBCs result in the blood flow inadequate quantities of Oxygen towards the tissues, therefore pushing the heart as well as lungs to operate harder to pump extra oxygen to where it really is required.
Custard apple can serve as an expectorant, catalyst, coolant as well as haematinic and is also even beneficial in dealing with anemia.
10. Delays Ageing and Keeps Skin Youthful
Regular consumption of custard apple thickens and stimulates the collagen to reduce wrinkles and fine lines. It increases the deposition of collagen and slows its breakdown, improving the elasticity of the skin. It also increases hydration in and around the cells. Vitamin C in custard apple fights free radicals in the body, providing a healthy, flawless and glowing skin. It encourages a healthy cell membrane. The antioxidants in custard apple neutralize free radicals, hastening the process of regeneration. It helps to delay the signs of ageing like age spots and blemishes. The antioxidants fight the harsh rays of the sun, protecting from sun damage. Consumption of custard apple helps in the regeneration of skin cells and contributes in making the skin youthful.
11. Stronger Digestive System
This wonderful fruit is very effective for treating indigestion. It flushes out the toxins from the intestine, helping in proper functioning of the bowels. It also avoids stomach related diseases like heartburn, ulcer, gastritis and acidity. Custard apple in its unripe form is further dried and crushed to treat diarrhea and dysentery. One medium sized custard apple consists of 6 grams of dietary fiber, amounting to almost 90% of the recommended amount. Fiber adds bulk to the stools, relieving constipation.
12. Remedy for Diarrhea and Dysentery
Unripe custard apple fruit has anti-dysenteric and anti-diarrheic properties. The unripe fruit is dried and crushed for the treatment of diarrhea and dysentery. Seeds are also used in the treatment of diarrhea and dysentery. Bark decoction is also used as a remedy for diarrhea and dysentery. A decoction of the leaves, bark and green fruits of custard apple is prepared by boiling in one liter of water for 5 minutes. This decoction is effective as a home remedy in the treatment of severe cases of diarrhea and dysentery.
13. For A Better Immune System
Custard apples are excellent sources of the natural antioxidant Vitamin C. This vitamin is famous for its distinctive anti-inflammatory and immune boosting properties. Just one serving of this creamy fruit in your daily diet will provides better resistance against infectious agents. It searches harmful free radicals in the body, avoiding the start of several illnesses and diseases.
14. Prevents Premature Labor
Custard apple is an excellent source of copper. It is a trace mineral that helps the body to form hemoglobin. Pregnant women require 1000 micrograms of copper each day for proper development of the fetus. Low levels of copper in the body can lead to premature birth in the child. Consuming custard apple during pregnancy is very healthy.
15. Natural Antidote for Morning Sickness
Custard apple also cures morning sickness in pregnant women. It fights nausea, numbness, food cravings and mood swings during pregnancy. Custard apple is supposed to be a good alternative to milk. Therefore, it is a perfect choice for pregnant women who are allergic to dairy products.
16. Better Hair Growth
It inhibits scalp inflammation, avoiding hair fall. It also facilitates the absorption of nutrients, providing nutrition to the hair. The high amount of iron in custard apple recovers blood circulation in the scalp, stimulating the follicles to promote hair growth.
How to Eat
- Pulp of the ripe fruit is consumed fresh or utilized as a flavoring for ice-cream, sherbets, shakes or made into juice and refreshing drinks.
- Ripe sugar apple is usually broken open and the fleshy carpel segments enjoyed while the hard seeds are separated in the mouth and spat out.
- Flesh is pressed through a sieve to eliminate the seeds and is then added to ice cream or blended with milk to make a cool beverage in Malaysia.
- Fruit is fermented to prepare a kind of cider in West Indies.
Other Traditional uses and benefits of Custard apple
- Various parts of A. squamosa tree have been used in traditional folkloric medicine.
- Crushed leaves are sniffed to overcome hysteria and fainting spells; they are also applied on ulcers and wounds and a leaf decoction is taken in cases of dysentery in India.
- A decoction of the leaves alone or with those of other plants is imbibed either as an emmenagogue, febrifuge, tonic, cold remedy, digestive, or to clarify the urine throughout tropical America.
- Leaf decoction is also used in baths to alleviate rheumatic pain.
- Leaves are applied as a poultice to children with dyspepsia in Philippines.
- A boiled decoction of the leaves is used to induce or hastens menstrual flow and used to treat dysentery, colds and fever.
- Crushed leaves are inhaled for dizziness and fainting.
- Leaf decoction is used for bathing to ease rheumatic pain.
- Bruised leaves, with salt, make a good cataplasm to induce suppuration.
- Leaves are used as an anthelmintic.
- The green, very astringent fruit is employed against diarrhea in El Salvador.
- In the Philippines, infected insect bites are cured by applying the juice from an unripe fruit.
- In India, the crushed ripe fruit, mixed with salt, is applied as a maturant to malignant tumors to hasten suppuration.
- Bark is considered a powerful astringent and a decoction is given as a tonic and to arrest diarrhea.
- The root, because of its strong purgative action, is used as a drastic treatment for dysentery and other ailments.
- Paste of the seed powder or crushed seeds with coconut oil are applied on the scalp to rid it of lice in Thailand but must be kept away from the eyes as it is a powerful irritant to the conjunctiva and can cause blindness.
- Decoction of the seeds is used as an enema for the children with dyspepsia.
- Crushed seeds in a paste with water is used as an abortifacient and applied to the uteri in pregnant women.
- Bark of the tree is used in treatment of toothache.
- Paste of the flesh of custard apple is beneficial to treat boils, abscesses and ulcers.
- Decoction made of custard apple leaves promote healthy blood flow during menstruation.
- Decoction can also be used to relieve dysentery, cold and fever.
- Juice of unripe custard apple is useful for treating insect bites.
- Paste made of custard apple leaves applied to the wound not only helps in healing, but also destroys the worms infested around the wounds.
- Add the decoction of custard apple leaves to your bath water to alleviate rheumatic pains.
- Sniffing crushed leaves of the custard apple plant prevents fainting spells and dizziness. Add a few drops of the decoction in the nose can bring an unconscious person back to consciousness.
- Unripe fruits, seeds, roots and leaves have vermicidal and insecticidal properties.
- Powdered seeds and also pounded dried fruits served as fish poison and insecticides in India.
- Heat-extracted oil from the seeds has been employed against agricultural pests.
- Leaves are rubbed on floors and put in hen’s nests to repel lice in Mexico.
- Custard apple seeds and leaf parts contains toxic alkaloids, and therefore, should not consumed.
- Do not chew seeds inside the mouth as this releases toxins.
- Custard apple is very cold in nature, so do not consume it in excess amounts as it can make one sick.
- Seeds of custard apple fruit are poisonous. Do not consume it.
- Since these fleshy, creamy fruits are rich in sugar, diabetes patients are advised to not consume custard apple in high amounts.
Types of Custard Apple
1. Pinks Mammoth
Pinks Mammoth would be the favored industrial custard apple selection, even though it requires more time to come back into manufacturing as well as the tree is pretty huge. The fruit can also be huge and it has outstanding taste having a scrumptious as well as fairly sweet melting flavor that makes it the more popular of the 2 types. It really is considered to be the bigger of the custard apples and may generate fruit weighing just as much as 3 kg! Pinks Mammoth is renowned for possessing much less seeds as compared to an African Pride. Whenever ripe, it is advisable to break apart rather than chopping it open, as the center is gentle as well as succulent.
2. African Pride
African Pride custard apple is really a smaller sized tree, bearing smaller sized fruit that has several seeds. It’s got much more of a heart shape having a moderate thick skin, that makes it simpler to slice open whenever ready to consume. It creates fruit at a younger age as well as the taste is fairly great. In between 500g to 800g each fruit, this particular variety has to be cut and it’s also the most effective variety to be utilized in recipe preparing.
3. Late Gold
Late Gold is a magnificent golden bronze custard apple with a soft skin. This variety of custard apple is quite rare and is typically available in Northern Rivers.
Geffner is an Israeli variety of the custard apple with an exceptionally amazing taste.
5. Hilary White
Hilary White has a comparatively smooth skin and is average in size. It tastes same like the other varieties of custard apple.
How to Buy Custard Apple
- Hold a custard apple in your hand and press it mildly. It must feel firm but not hard, as these are still unripe. Soft and spongy custard apples are considered over ripe and are unfit for consumption.
- Observe the color of the fruit; it should be brownish green or brown but definitely not black.
- Avoid smaller custard apples as they are usually immature. Instead of buying them in bunches, it is advisable to buy single fruits.
Custard Apple Storage Tips
- It is suggested to consume custard apples soon after buying. Meanwhile, wrap them in a plastic bag and place them at room temperature.
- If you have bought a ripe custard apple then you can speed up its ripening process by placing it in a brown paper bag, along with a banana.
- Place the fruits in a refrigerator if you want to store them for longer periods of time.
Ways to Eat Custard Apple
The Sugar Apple (Anon) is only able to be consumed whenever ripe, that’s when it really is gentle enough to open the fruit with only a mild poke of the finger.
• On its own:
Consume Custard apple like a fresh fruit. Separate the fruit in 2 sections. Using a little spoon, consume the scrumptious gentle flesh. There are several smooth seeds; simply spit them out.
• Mashed as well as seeds eliminated for kids.
Eliminate the seeds through the custard apple. Combine together with un-seeded dates. Include a couple of spoons of honey as well as combine again along with low-fat milk. You’ve got a scrumptious healthy smoothie to begin your entire day after having a great run!
• custards and/or deserts