Health benefits of White Sapote

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White Sapote Quick Facts
Name: White Sapote
Scientific Name: Casimiroa edulis
Origin Eastern Mexico and Central America south to Costa Rica
Colors Green to golden yellow when ripe
Shapes Round, oval or ovoid drupe 5–10 cm in diameter
Flesh colors Creamy-white in green-skin varieties or a beige-yellow in yellow-skin varieties
Taste Range in flavor from bland to banana-like to peach to pear to vanilla flan
Health benefits healthier skin, Works as an energizer, reduce premenstrual symptoms, anti-inflammatory, Oxygenates the brain, Improves the immune system, Optimize cardiovascular health, Improves digestion, Cure diarrhea, Prevent anemia, For bone and teeth health, Prevent cough, Promotes weight loss, Maintain eye health
White Sapote scientifically known as Casimiroa edulis is an evergreen tree with spreading, often drooping branches and is a species of tropical fruiting tree in the Rue family (Rutaceae). The plant is native to eastern Mexico and Central America south to Costa Rica. It is distributed throughout tropical highland and subtropical areas of Latin America, the Caribbean, and the Mediterranean region, India, Southeast Asia, New Zealand, South Africa, Australia, and New Zealand. Casimiroa, White sapote, Matasano, Mexican apple and Zapote are some of the popular common names of the plant and known as cochitzapotl in the Nahuatl language. The genus is named for an Otomi Indian, Casimiro Gómez, from the town of Cardonal in Hidalgo, Mexico, who fought and died in Mexico’s war of independence.The edible fruits are greatly appreciated and are commonly consumed. The tree is often cultivated as a fruit crop in warm temperate, subtropical and higher elevations of the tropics, and is also often grown as an ornamental.

White Sapote Facts

Name White Sapote
Scientific Name Casimiroa edulis
Native Eastern Mexico and Central America south to Costa Rica. It is distributed throughout tropical highland and subtropical areas of Latin America, the Caribbean, the Mediterranean region, India, Southeast Asia, New Zealand, South Africa, Australia, and New Zealand
Common Names Casimiroa, White sapote, Matasano, Mexican apple, Zapote
Name in Other Languages Arabic: Sabuta bayda (سابوتا بيضاء)
Brazil: Sapoti
Chinese: Xiang rou guo (香肉果)
Dutch: Witte zapote
English: Casimiroa, Mexican apple, White sapote
French: Pomme mexicaine, Sapote blanche, sapotier blanc
German: Cochilsapote, Weiße Sapote, Sapotebaum, Weisser, weißer Sapotebaum
Japanese: Howaitosapote (ホワイトサポテ)
Malayalam: Veḷḷa sappēāṭṭa  (വെള്ള സപ്പോട്ട)
Persian: سیب مکزیکی
Polish: Kazimira jadalna
Portuguese: Sapoti, Sapota-branca, sapote-branco
Russian: Belaya sapota  (Белая сапота)
Spanish: Cacchique, Chapote, Cochitzápotl, Matasaño, Pera mexicana, Zapote blanco, Zapote dormilón, matazano, sapote blanco
Swedish: Vit sapote, Swedishvit sapote
Thai: Lamud k̄hāw  (ละมุดขาว)
Turkish: Beyaz sapot
Ukrainian: Kazymyroa yistivna (Казимироа їстівна)
Plant Growth Habit Medium to very large evergreen tree
Growing Climates Subtropical deciduous woodlands, low forests, dryish highland forests
Soil Well-adapted to most well-drained soils from sands, to clays, to limestone-based soils
Plant Size Up to 30 to 60 ft (9-18 m) in height
Root Shallow and aggressive root system
Bark Bright green when young, ash-grey on mature branches
Branches Somewhat brittle and young trees should be protected from wind. Older branches become stronger but should not be climbed. The trunk and branches are prone to sunscald if not shaded by leaves
Leaf Glossy, bright green, alternately, palmately compound, hand-shaped leaves with three to five leaflets. The leaflets are 6–13 cm long and 2.5–5 cm broad with an entire margin, and the leaf petiole 10–15 cm long
Flowering season January- February
Flower Small, inconspicuous and greenish-yellow, 4- or 5-parted, and born in terminal and axillary panicles. They are 3/8 inch (1 cm) in diameter with 5 sepals, petals, and stamens
Fruit Shape & Size Green to golden yellow when ripe
Fruit Color Round, oval or ovoid drupe 5–10 cm in diameter
Flesh Color Green to golden yellow when ripe
Fruit Skin Thin, green to golden in color, covered with fine hairs. The skin is soft but otherwise inedible
Flesh Pulp can be creamy-white in green-skin varieties or a beige-yellow in yellow-skin varieties and has a smooth texture similar to ripe avocado
Seed Oblong to elliptic shaped, between 1 and 6 hard white seeds, about 2.5-5 cm long and 1.25-2.5 cm thick
Varieties
  • Coleman
  • Dade
  • Gillespie
  • Golden or Max Golden
  • Harvey
  • Maechtlen
  • Maltby or Nancy Maltby
  • Parroquia
  • Pike
  • Suebelle or Hubbell
  • Wilson
  • Yellow
Propagation By seed or vegetatively
Taste Range in flavor from bland to banana-like to peach to pear to vanilla flan
Plant Parts Used Leaves, bark
Health Benefits
  • Healthier skin
  • Works as an energizer
  • Reduce premenstrual symptoms
  • Anti-inflammatory
  • Oxygenates the brain
  • Improves the immune system
  • Optimize cardiovascular health
  • Improves digestion
  • Cure diarrhea
  • Prevent anemia
  • For bone and teeth health
  • Prevent cough
  • Promotes weight loss
  • Maintain eye health

Plant Description

White Sapote is a medium to very large evergreen tree with upright to spreading growth habit, often drooping branches and a broad leafy crown. The plant can grow up to 30 to 60 ft. (9-18 m) in height. The plant is found growing in subtropical deciduous woodlands, low forests and dryish highland forests. The plant is well-adapted to most well-drained soils from sands, to clays, to limestone-based soils. It is deciduous under drought and other stress. The tree casts a dense shade. Growth is rapid, in flushes. It is densely branching, drooping at maturity. Young trees tend toward a single, limber stem for first 2 years often requiring staking. White sapotes have a shallow and aggressive root system and other fibrous roots that are wandering and greedy like citrus.

Branches are somewhat brittle and young trees should be protected from wind. Older branches become stronger but should not be climbed. The trunk and branches are prone to sunscald if not shaded by leaves. Bark is bright green when young and ash-grey on mature branches.

Leaves

White sapote has glossy, bright green, alternately, palmately compound, hand-shaped leaves with three to five leaflets. The leaflets are 6–13 cm long and 2.5–5 cm broad with an entire margin, and the leaf petiole 10–15 cm long. New growth is usually reddish, becoming dark green with age, pale green beneath. Stress such as either prolonged cold or abnormal heat, will cause defoliation and a subsequent new growth flush. Leaves will burn in hot winds, which may also scar the fruit or cause it to drop.

Flowers

The odorless flowers are small, inconspicuous and greenish-yellow, 4- or 5-parted, and born in terminal and axillary panicles. They are 3/8 inch (1 cm) in diameter with 5 sepals, petals, and stamens. The flower of the white sapote is usually hidden in the foliage of the tree. They are hermaphrodite and occasionally unisexual because of aborted stigmas. They follow growth flush and often rebloom again several months later. The flowers are attractive to bees, hoverflies and ants. The pollination tendencies or requirements of various cultivars have not yet been fully determined. Flowering normally takes place in between January and February.

Fruit

Fertile flowers are followed by round, oval or ovoid drupe 5–10 cm in diameter, with a thin, inedible and bitter skin turning from green to golden yellow when ripe, and an edible pulp, which can range in flavor from bland to banana-like to peach to pear to vanilla flan. The pulp can be creamy-white in green-skin varieties or a beige-yellow in yellow-skin varieties and has a smooth texture similar to ripe avocado. The fruits consist of 5-7 short lived seeds that resemble a greatly enlarged orange seeds that are said to have narcotic properties. They range in size from 1 – 2 inches in length. The fruits also usually contain several aborted, thin, papery seeds. White sapotes bear within 10 years from seed, or 2 – 8 years from graft. White sapote fruit ripens six to nine months from bloom. Some cultivars are alternate bearing. Fruits are excellent when eaten ripe. Unripe fruits have a bitter taste, and flesh very near the skin can sometimes have a bitter taste. Usually the flesh is scooped out with a spoon and eaten raw.

Different Varieties

There are a numerous white sapote varieties, and a number of varieties are available in the U.S. and Florida. Commonly available varieties include ‘Reinikie’, ‘Dade’, ‘Pike’, ‘Suebelle’, ‘Smathers’, ‘Homestead’, and ‘Golden’. Listed below are some of the popular varieties

Coleman

It was one of the first named varieties in California. Fruit is oblate, somewhat lobed, furrowed at apex; to 3 in (7.5 cm) wide. Skin is yellow-green; flesh of good flavor (22% sugar) but resinous; seeds small. Fruit ripens from late fall to summer. Tree somewhat dwarf and leaflets are small and tend to twist. The plant is difficult to propagate.

Dade

It is grown at the Agricultural Research and Education Center, Homestead, Florida from a seed of a selected fruit of a local seedling tree. It was planted in 1935 and fruited in 1939. It is round with skin golden-yellow tinged with green. There are 4 to 5 seeds. The fruit ripens in June-July. The tree is low-growing and spreading, with smooth leaflets.

Gillespie

It is originated in California. Fruit is round, 3 in (7.5 cm) wide. Skin is light-green with russet cheek, fairly tough and rough. Flesh is white, of very good flavor. Tree is prolific bearer.

Golden or Max Golden

It is woolly-leaved; fruit is conical, depressed at apex up to 4 1/2 in (11.25 cm) wide. Skin is yellow-green, fairly tough. Flesh has strong flavor, somewhat bitter and few seeds.

Harvey

It is originated in California and is round shaped and 3 1/2 in (9 cm) wide. Skin is smooth, yellow-green with bright orange cheek. Flesh is cream-colored to pale-yellow; not of the best flavor. Tree is a prolific bearer.

Maechtlen

It is named for the parent, an old tree on property owned by the Maechtlen family in Covina, California. The plant is propagated by budding and sold by nurserymen in the 1940’s.

Maltby or Nancy Maltby

It is originated in California and is round, faintly furrowed, blunt-pointed at apex, base slightly tapered; large; skin yellow-green, smooth, of good flavor but slightly bitter. Tree bears well.

Parroquia

It is originated in California and is oval shaped, 2 1/2 in (6.25 cm) wide, 3 in (7.5 cm) long. Skin is yellow-green, smooth and thin. Flesh is ivory of very good flavor. It is a fairly prolific bearer.

Pike

It is originated in California and is rounded or oblate, slightly 5-lobed; to 4 in (10 cm) wide. Skin is green, very fragile; flesh white to yellowish, of rich, non-bitter, flavor. The tree bears regularly and heavily in California and South Africa.

‘Suebelle’ or ‘Hubbell

It is originated in California and is round and medium to small. Skin is green or yellowish-green; of excellent flavor (22% sugar). Tree is precocious and blooms and fruits all year. It is widely planted in California.

Wilson

It is originated in California; round to oblate; medium to large; skin smooth, medium thick; flesh of high quality and excellent flavor. Fruit ripens in fall and winter or more or less all year. Tree bears heavily and has been rather widely planted in California.

Yellow

It is originated in California; oval with pointed apex, furrowed. Skin is bright-yellow and fairly tough; flesh is firm. Fruit keeps well. Tree bears regularly and heavily in California.

Varieties in Florida

Variety Origin Fruit weight (oz./grams) Peel color Pulp color Comments
Blumenthal California 5–6/148–160

 

 

pale yellow

 

 

creamy white

 

 

fair-good
Denzler California

 

 

11–13/375–390

 

 

yellow

 

 

yellow

 

 

good flavor
Golden (Max Golden)

 

 

California

 

 

4–5/118–148

 

 

yellow-green

 

 

creamy white

 

 

strong flavor, some bitterness
Homestead

 

 

Florida

 

 

6–7/200g

 

 

yellow-green

 

 

creamy white

 

 

Good flavor, non-bitter flavor
McDill

 

 

California

 

 

12–16/355–454

 

 

greenish-yellow

 

 

creamy white

 

 

good flavor
Reinekie (Reineke Commerical)

 

 

California

 

 

7–8/200–235

 

 

golden yellow

 

 

yellow

 

 

good flavor
Smathers

 

 

Florida

 

 

8–9/250–275

 

 

greenish-yellow

 

 

yellow

 

 

fair flavor

 

Health benefits of White Sapote 

Listed below are some of the popular health benefits of White Sapote Fruits

1. Maintain eye health

As we all know that deficiency of vitamin A is the main cause of eye problems and poor eye sight. To solve this, white sapote fruits offer sufficient amount of vitamin A contents that helps in maintaining our eye health and improve eye sight.

2. Promotes weight loss

White sapote has a high contribution of fiber not only soluble, but also insoluble. The first of them creates a feeling of satiety by consuming fewer calories, while the second helps to decrease the speed with which the stomach expels digested food.

3. Prevent cough

White sapote fruit consists of essential sapodilla that helps in making mucus and sputum in the respiratory cavity. This component helps you to prevent and curing coughs. All you have to do is cut the fruit, remove the seeds and the outer covering and eat the soft flesh of white sapote.

4. For bone and teeth health

To treat bone and teeth problems use the natural white sapote fruit. Sapote fruit is rich in essential elements such as calcium and phosphorous which helps in maintaining bone and teeth health. Young and toddler kids will require a lot of these fruits to maintain the health of their teeth and bone growth.

5. Prevent anemia

Sapote fruits are rich in iron and folic acid that relieves a person from anemic conditions and its effects. The available is an important component of hemoglobin which is the substance that carries oxygen from your lungs to transport it throughout the body. Therefore iron helps your body in making enough oxygen-carrying red blood cells in the process preventing anemia.

6. Curing diarrhea

Diarrhea can occur anytime and anywhere. When we eat less clean or hot food can cause diarrhea. One of way to cure it is consuming Sapote fruit. Just take Sapote fruit, then peel it and consume it. Your diarrhea will gradually recover.

7. Improves digestion

White sapote is suitable to optimize the digestive processes carried out by the body, since when consumed raw it is a great source that provides dietary fiber.

8. Optimize cardiovascular health

Due to its soluble fiber content, the consumption of white fruit helps control cholesterol levels, thus decreasing the risk of developing cardiovascular disorders.

9. Improves the immune system

As it has a high content of vitamin C, the consumption of this fruit helps fight and eliminate free radicals and, on certain occasions, triggers the immune response, which is actually the result of inflammation in the affected area.

10. Oxygenates the brain

Several research indicate that the contribution of vitamin B3 offered by the white sapote helps to prevent the development of Alzheimer’s, as well as some other age-related brain disorders, which cause cognitive deterioration.

11. Acts as an anti-inflammatory

White Sapote has a powerful anti-inflammatory effect, which allows combating numerous discomfort conditions, such as: reflux-esophagitis, erosive gastritis, irritating bowel disorders and enteritis, etc.

12. Helps reduce premenstrual symptoms

White sapote fruit is very good for reducing pain and even the level of blood lost during the menstrual cycle, as it helps to naturally balance hormones, regulating the cycle.

13. Works as an energizer

Ingestion of White sapote fruit offers a significant contribution of energy, which is very appropriate for the body. It should be mentioned that by consuming only one serving (about 100g) of white sapote, it is likely to get around 80 calories, since it has a high amount of carbohydrates.

14. Helps to have healthier skin

Due to its high iron content, consuming this fruit allows to offer the skin a much healthier and more radiant appearance in a natural way. Similarly it has high contents of vitamin E that serves to revitalize the skin and make it fresh. It also helps in making skin wrinkles disappear.

Traditional uses and benefits of White Sapote

  • Different plant parts are used as sedative or as treatment for diabetes, arthritis, rheumatism, and putrid sores.
  • They have been used as sedatives, soporifics and tranquilizers.
  • Leaf decoction is taken as a treatment for diabetes in Costa Rica.
  • Eating the fruit produces drowsiness and it is extensively claimed in Mexico and Central America that consumption of the fruit relieves the pains of arthritis and rheumatism.
  • Fruit is also supposedly vermifugal.
  • Crushed and roasted seeds are effective in healing putrid sores.
  • Several recent in vitro studies have shown that zapotin – found in the seeds have potential anti-carcinogenic effects against isolated colon cancer cells.
  • Bark, leaves and seed consists of casimirosine, a glucoside, which is used to lower blood pressure and in larger amounts as a sedative and also to soothe rheumatic pains.
  • Consuming the fruit can also prevent cough, as well as treat it.
  • Decoction of the leaves and seeds is taken as tea to treat hypertension, anxiety, insomnia, and cramps.
  • Leaves have an anti-inflammatory action and are used to make a tea against diarrhea.
  • Externally, the leaves are applied to contusions and wounds, due to their anti-inflammatory activity.
  • Decoction made with the leafy stems of the plant is used as a genital wash for women who have just birthed a baby.
  • External application of the powder obtained from the ground seeds is used to treat skin ulcers and infections.
  • Tea made from the seeds is taken for insomnia, but only in moderation, due to its potential toxicity.
  • Leaves are applied externally as a poultice on the abdominal region for gall bladder problems.

Culinary Uses

  • Fruit can be consumed raw or cooked.
  • Eating the fruit has long been known to produce drowsiness.
  • Some reports say that the seed is toxic if eaten raw, whilst others say that it can be roasted and eaten like nuts.
  • White sapotes are best eaten uncooked.
  • Cooking makes them limp and less flavorful.
  • Sapotes can be eaten alone or combined with other fresh fruits in salads for added interest.
  • Puree peeled, seeded sapote and mix with orange juice or milk and a few drops of vanilla to make a refreshing drink.
  • They can be frozen whole, or the pulp can be sliced, chopped or blended before freezing, and can be used like ice cream when desired.
  • Delicious milk shake can be made by blending fresh soft or frozen pulp with enough cold milk to give a thick milk shake.
  • Pulp can be used as a flavoring for dairy products such as milkshakes and ice-cream.

Store White Sapote

White sapote is comparatively perishable, which means that you need to be careful with it once you get it home. If you bought it unripe, you can still leave it a couple of days more on the counter to ripen. Check if it’s ripe by pressing your thumb on its flesh – if it yields, it means it’s ripe and ready to be eaten.

Leave it unwashed and store it in the refrigerator for an additional 3 to 5 days. If you’ve already cut it, it’s important to know that it will quickly lose its freshness and will turn brown. It’s best if you wrap it in cling foil and store it in the refrigerator.

However it’s important to remember that white sapote does not freeze or can well, so it’s best that you don’t attempt this at all. Simply eat it as soon as you can and enjoy it in all its freshness.

Other Facts

  • Seed is said to be fatally toxic if eaten raw by humans or animals.
  • Extractions from the kernels are attractive and lethal bait for American cockroaches, having the advantage of killing on the spot rather than at some distance after ingestion of the poison.
  • Wood is yellow, fine-grained, compact, moderately dense and heavy, medium strong and resistant, but not durable for long.
  • It is occasionally used in carpentry and for domestic furniture.
  • Trees can flower and produce fruit at more than one time of the year.
  • Mature tree can produce more than 100 kilos of fruit a year.
  • In home gardens the tree is also valued as an ornamental.

Precautions

  • Seed is said to be fatally toxic if eaten raw by humans or animals.
  • Seed is poisonous if ingested.
  • Fruits may cause drowsiness.
  • Fruit is nutritious and edible, but should be consumed in moderation.
  • Seeds can be toxic, avoid ingesting them in any quantity.
  • Avoid ingesting preparations made from the leaves, bark or seeds during pregnancy and lactation.
  • People who are currently taking anti-hypertensive or anticoagulant (blood thinners) medications should first consult with a healthcare provider before taking any products made from this plant.

References:

https://www.itis.gov/servlet/SingleRpt/SingleRpt?search_topic=TSN&search_value=506385#null

https://npgsweb.ars-grin.gov/gringlobal/taxon/taxonomydetail?id=9292

https://pfaf.org/user/Plant.aspx?LatinName=Casimiroa+edulis

http://tropical.theferns.info/viewtropical.php?id=Casimiroa+edulis

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/White_sapote

https://www.cabi.org/isc/datasheet/16652

https://plants.usda.gov/core/profile?symbol=CAED6

https://growables.com/information/TropicalFruit/SapoteWhite.htm

https://gd.eppo.int/taxon/CSJED

http://www.theplantlist.org/tpl/record/kew-2702485

https://uses.plantnet-project.org/en/Casimiroa_edulis_(PROSEA)

https://www.utep.edu/herbal-safety/herbal-facts/herbal%20facts%20sheet/white-zapote.html

https://www.hort.purdue.edu/newcrop/morton/white_sapote.html

https://www.flowersofindia.net/catalog/slides/White%20Sapote.html

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