By Blossom Chigozie
Oh! how I love the juicy, milky, sweet and tart taste of this wonderful seasonal fruits and millions of Nigerians will agree with me on this fact. This is one of the fruits we have always craved for even before its season and when its season arrives, some individuals doesn’t care if its sour or sweet as long as it Udara/Agbalumo, its perfect, lols….
Agbalumo is a seasonal fruit, occurring around December through April. It’s English name is African Star Apple even though some still call it African Cherry but in Nigeria, its popularly known as Agbalumo in Yoruba, Udara in Igbo and Chiwo in Hausa. Udara (African Star Apple) fruit is very popular in West Africa, its botanical name is Chrysophyllum albidum.
As a lover of this special and healthy fruit, I long to eat as much as I can during its season, and also wish, I could still get to enjoy some when out of season…. if not for the awesome taste, but also for its nutritional benefits.
I practically decided to talk about this fruit because of what happened few days ago concerning my health, okay! I had a mouth sore and the pains were so excruciating but because of my love for Agbalumo, I couldn’t resist them, I pounced on them and devoured them. I wanted to stop because the acidic juice was causing me more pains but I managed to finish them, I woke up the next day, feeling better, NO PAIN, NO SORES since that day…
This occurrence prompted me to research on this tropical fruit and you will be amazed at what I discovered. I realized that the fact that the fruits are very vital to the human body, its barks, leaves and roots are awesome healers as the fruits too.
Below are the things you should know about these fruits;
1. Udara/Agbalumo (Star Apples) have high Vitamin C content, in fact more than the levels found in oranges or guava and this is very helpful in curing colds and preventing scurvy, helps protect the body against immune system deficiencies, cardiovascular disease, prenatal health problems, eye disease, and even skin wrinkling. It is also helpful in maintaining the healthiness of your gum, preventing sprue and gum disease. Per 100g of this fruit, you can get 25g of Vitamin C.
2. Star apples are a rich source of calcium, very helpful for strong bones and teeths with each serving providing up to 10% of the recommended daily allowance (RDA).
3. Star apples are also rich in iron (a mineral the body needs daily).
4. Studies have shown that a serving of Agbalumo contains about 67 calories; therefore, making it a good option for people who wants to watch their weight. Since the fruits are high in fiber, it reduces your appetite and prevents you from eating too much. So, to shade those unhealthy fats, start eating Agbalumo today! LOL…….
5. These fruits are natural anti-oxidant removing potential damaging oxidizing agents in a living body.
6. The sweet and sour taste acts as a natural remedy for common sicknesses like as toothache and throat sore, constipation and indigestion.
7. Herbally, the bark of Agbalumo tree is used to treat yellow fever and malaria, while the leaves contain cotyledons which are useful for treating wounds, stomach ache, and diarrhea.
8. For those with heart related issues, Udara have the chances of lowering cholesterol and blood sugar. Its advisable to snack on them daily.
9. Udara is very helpful in terms of digestion as it prevents constipation and bloating in human system.
10. You have no idea how 80% of pregnant women deals with these fruits on a daily basis! Their love for Udara is amazing! But nutritionally its vitality to the mother and child is awesome. The acidic taste help to prevent the urge to vomit and the above-mentioned benefits are also added to the mother and foetus.
These amazing fruits are out there and are very affordable….. Go out, get and snack on them! Health is Wealth….. Stay Safe!
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