Contrary to its rather unappealing name, soursop is a sweet, delicious fruity treat. It's hard to describe the flavor to someone who has never tried it. Some people say it's kind of like a cross between an apple and strawberry with citrus undertones, but that description really doesn't do the flavor justice.
The fruit grows on a tree. It is green and spiky with white juicy flesh and black seeds. It's not uncommon to see soursop weighing 10-15 pounds! However it does come in smaller sizes of 1 to 2 lbs per fruit.
But what is soursop good for?
We're so glad you asked! This fruit has a range of impressive health benefits. Let's take a look at a few.
1. Die, Cancer, Die!
Does the cure for cancer grow on a tree? It's possible. There is some evidence that some powerful warriors against cancer are lurking in soursop trees.
These warriors are called annonaceous acetogenins (AGE). The fruit contains some of these metabolites, but the richest source is the leaves. So, for the most effective dose, you can boil the leaves in water to create a tea rich in AGE.
To date, the research on its cancer-fighting properties is still mostly in test tubes. However, what researchers have found is quite impressive.
This study tested the effect of soursop extract on breast cancer cells. Researchers found that tumors shrink, the cancer cells die, and it has an immune system boosting effect.
Another study looked at the effects of soursop effect on leukemia cells. They found interesting data indicating that it stopped the growth of the cancer cells.
2. Kill the Invaders
Cancer cells aren't the only thing that soursop can kill. AGE has proven quite effective at killing parasites as well. In fact, drinking the tea made from the leaves has long been a traditional remedy for parasites in Latin America where the fruit grows abundantly.
You don't have to take tradition's word for it either. Check out this study that found that soursop does, indeed, have an anti-parasitic effect.
3. Eyes Like An Eagle
The soursop fruit is rich in antioxidants, which have been found to have a profound effect on the human body. Antioxidants have a lot of positive effects but let's take a look at what they can do for your eyes.
Carotenoids, zinc, and vitamins A, C, and E all have a strong effect on your eyes. They help fight off macular degeneration and slow cataract development. Munch on some soursop for breakfast or have a smoothie for better eyesight.
4. Anti-Inflammatory Properties
Chronic inflammation is an underlying cause in a variety of diseases. This includes everything from arthritis to heart disease to diabetes to cancer.
It makes sense, then, that reducing the amount of chronic inflammation in your body can reduce your risk of developing or help to treat many diseases.
Animal studies have shown the powerful anti-inflammatory effect that soursop has. Further research is necessary to understand the effect on humans, but the results are promising.
5. Diabetic Delight
Speaking of diabetes, soursop can treat more than just inflammation as a contributing factor to diabetes. It can also help regulate blood sugar and even stimulate the pancreas to create more cells that produce insulin.
Also, as every diabetic knows, the liver sustains more oxidative damage as a result of the disease. The healthy dose of antioxidants that we mentioned earlier helps to repair this damage as well.
All the way around, soursop tea is an excellent drink for diabetics to take advantage of.
6. Liver Health
As we just mentioned, soursop helps to repair oxidative damage in the liver. But that's not all it does.
You can think of your liver as the waste treatment facility of the body. The liver filters out and breaks down toxins, passing them on to be discarded through feces and urine.
But, as with every process in the body, things can go wrong. In particular, bilirubin is a by-product produced by the liver as it breaks down old red blood cells.
Sometimes bilirubin can begin to build up. This can be due to a medication or some other problem. When this happens, jaundice can set in. This problem is characterized by yellow skin and eyes and is dangerous if left unchecked.
Soursop helps the body get rid of that bilirubin and get things going smoothly again. This will effectively reverse jaundice.
7. Immunity Boost
We've already established that soursop is chock full of antioxidants. Antioxidants are an effective defense mechanism against many of the dangers your body faces each day.
Many of these antioxidants, like vitamin C, take things one step further. They stimulate your body to produce more T cells and lymphocytes. These types of cells are the body's best defense against infection and disease. You can never have too many white blood cells on duty, keeping your body healthy and strong.
So What Is Soursop Good For? A Lot!
So, what is soursop good for? Well, it is full of excellent benefits for your body. From fighting cancer to managing diabetes, the plant is effective at helping your body fight disease.
The only trouble is that soursop requires a tropical climate to thrive. It also doesn't have a long shelf life so you won't find grocers stocking the fresh fruit. You may be able to find the frozen pulp but with the downside that it may have added sugars.
If you're looking for soursop to help your body fight disease, you want a pure form of the fruit without extra sugar or preservatives.
Get your soursop directly from the source in the Caribbean. We'll pick it and you'll have it in your hands two days later. The only way to get fresher soursop is to take a trip to the tropics!