Have you ever heard of the complex, flavorful, nutrient-rich soursop fruit? Soursop, also called graviola, has a slew of amazing health benefits.
It provides relief to irritated skin. It can treat eczema, slow aging, and combat head lice. Even cancer patients have utilized it for its many cancer-fighting characteristics.
And not only that, but it tastes great, too!
Some say it tastes like a combination of a strawberry and an apple. It has a slight sour note from the citric acid. And it has the smooth, creamy texture of a banana.
In other words, it's a fruit salad dish blended into one spikey, crazy-awesome looking fruit.
Soursop is best known for its wonderful nutrients, antioxidants, and feel-good effects. What is soursop really good for, exactly? We answer that question here.
First: What Is the Soursop Fruit?
If you've never heard of soursop, you may be wondering, "what is this silly-named thing?"
You may have heard it getting called something else. Soursop commonly goes by other names, such as graviola, guanabana, and guyabano. Any of these names are correct as they all relate to the same tree and fruit, just in different regions r languages.
Soursop thrives in the humidity. This makes sense when you know where it comes from. Soursop originates from rainforests in Southeast Asia and South America.
Graviola is a tree - also known as Annona Muricata. Many parts of the Graviola tree get eaten or used for their health benefits. The fruit, bark, leaves, and roots all serve a purpose.
Even more than its flavor, Graviola is best known for its cancer-fighting properties. It's said to reduce pain, improve immune systems, and increase relaxation - at the very least.
So let's dive into the good stuff.
Second: What Health Benefits Does It Have?
Soursop is best known for being more than a flavorful fruit. It has many health benefits, perhaps the most important dealing with cancer.
In what ways does soursop fight cancer?
- Graviola extract reduces the growth of cancer cells.
- It can destroy breast cancer cells.
- It contains 100+ acetogenins, which are anti-tumor chemicals.
- It helps prevent metastasis, or cancer growing in a second location in the body.
- It is effective in helping relieve symptoms of many types of cancer.
But that's not all this super fruit can do.
Soursop has many antioxidants which fight against free radicals. Free radicals in the body cause inflammation and irritation. Soursop works to fight these free radicals and reduce inflammation in the body.
In this way, they are good for cell health - whether you're dealing with cancer or not. In fact, they can even thwart a variety of other ailments and diseases.
One major inflammation they work to tame? Arthritis. Soursop leaves, ingested as a tea or otherwise, can reduce arthritis symptoms.
Because of its anti-inflammatory properties, it is often used to treat pain.
What about your liver? Soursop promotes liver health. It protects your liver from chemical damage and flushing out bilirubin, which is a symptom of jaundice.
What if you suffer from diabetes? Will soursop increase your blood sugar levels?
No. In fact, it's the opposite.
Soursop blocks enzymes that increase blood sugar levels, keeping your body in check. High blood pressure is also decreased by certain properties of soursop.
Talk about an all-around healer!
Third: How Do You Eat It?
So, how can you add soursop into your diet without growing bored?
You're in luck because the entirety of the soursop tree can get used in your diet. From the bark to the leaves, to the fruit itself, there are many ways to eat, drink, and mix it in.
Soursop pulp. Juice. Supplements.
The options are many!
One of the easiest and most obvious ways of ingesting soursop is through the fruit itself. We've already described its deliciously sweet, slightly tangy flavor. Pluck it from the tree (or more likely - buy it in stores) and eat it as is.
But if you want to mix it up, that's possible, too. Often, soursop leaves get used to make tea. Two to three soursop leaves per cup should offer the intended health benefits.
Steep your leaves in boiling water for four to five minutes, or until the water gets tinted a light green. Soursop tea should taste like green tea, but with a smoother, sweet backbone (like vanilla). This version of soursop is caffeine-free and almost calorie-free.
If you don't exactly love the flower of raw soursop or its leaves, you can add it to shakes. Here are a few options to consider blending next time you're in a hurry:
- Strawberry and soursop - after all, it tastes a bit like strawberry already.
- Soursop and coconut - to complement the texture of soursop.
- Mango and soursop
- Kale and soursop, or Green soursop
This part is easy. Buy soursop fruit and blend it into whatever you're already used to making. This way you can reap the health benefits without having to taste the slightly tart flavor.
But, we recommend trying it raw, first. After all, how can strawberry plus apple equal gross?
The Soursop Fruit: It Can't Hurt
If nothing else, try soursop fruit for its slew of health benefits. Chances are, you'll wind up with a yummy meal. And since you can blend it, add it to shakes, or eat it raw, the options are aplenty.
Do you like the sound of the soursop fruit? Think you could benefit from its nutrients? Want to add some more to your diet?
Then check out some of our easy soursop recipes here.