Cherimoyas are just one of those fruits that few people can afford to consume every day. A dessert fruit and popular in Chile and Peru, two of the biggest producing countries in the world, cherimoyas are only just beginning to make an entrance on the world market. And although you couldn’t tell by appearance alone, the fruit is one of the most incredibly tasting, and quite healthy too.
The Healthy Cherimoya
Because healthy starts with nutritional, here are the nutrition facts for one cherimoya fruit of approximately 312 grams.
Cherimoya packs 231 calories per one fruit serving, 5.1 grams protein, 55.2 grams carbohydrates, 1.9 grams fat and 248 grams water. It also contains a number of vitamins and minerals, offering a significant amount of folate, vitamin C, potassium, magnesium and phosphorus.
Vitamin C 35.9 mg
Thiamin 0.3 mg
Riboflavin 0.4 mg
Niacin 1.8 mg
Vitamin B6 0.7 mg
Folate 56.2 mcg
Pantothenic acid 0.7 mg
Calcium 25.0 mg
Iron 0.9 mg
Magnesium 49.9 mg
Phosphorus 81.1 mg
Potassium 839 mg
Sodium 12.5 mg
Zinc 0.6 mg
Copper 0.2 mg
Manganese 0.3 mg
Cherimoya fruits are cholesterol free and contain no saturated fats. They are high in fiber and offer a significant amount of cytotoxins, which are substances that can help fight cancer and human parasites. Other health benefits of consuming cherimoya include:
- Good cholesterol levels: Sources of soluble dietary fiber, cherimoyas balance cholesterol in the body. The fruits are very good cholesterol-lowering agents, helping with lower absorption of cholesterol in the gut.
- Annihilates effects of potentially toxic agents: In addition, containing a good amount of the fiber, the fruit acts like a barrier for toxic substances, preventing toxic agents from affecting the colon mucosa.
- Heals wounds: Cherimoyas contain approximately 35 percent daily recommended value of vitamin C and are thus good for increasing the body’s resistance against infections, in addition helping with healing of wounds.
- Heart health: The vitamin C content along with the sodium and potassium compounds in cherimoya support proper blood flow in the heart and increase the level of good cholesterol in the blood, protecting the heart and reducing the risk of heart attacks.
- Boosts the immune system: Cherimoya also contains vitamin B, one of the most important nutrients that boost the immune system and have positive effects on the nervous system, reducing stress levels and helping with depression.
- Fights cancer: Various compounds in cherimoya fruits help fight cancer and prevent cancer cells from developing in the body. These include acetogenic – cancer-fighting bacteria, fiber – which is present in about 90 percent of the daily recommended intake per one medium-sized fruit, plus the antioxidants asimicin and bullatacin, all with anti-cancer properties.
- Healthy skin and hair: The high amount of vitamin C in cherimoya presents more than just one benefit. Cherimoya helps maintain healthy, glowing skin and supports hair growth through nutrients such as magnesium, zinc and iron. The fruit is also known to help maintain color of hair and prevent premature graying.
How to Choose and Store Cherimoyas
Fragile and perishable fruits, cherimoyas must be selected carefully. It’s best to choose ripe fruits but not overripe. You will recognize the latter by their dark stains and extremely soft flesh. Overripe cherimoyas are likely fermented, which should bring about a sour smell to them, making it easier to pick the right fruit.
While the best cherimoyas will give to gentle pressure when you squeeze the fruit in your hand, it shouldn’t be so soft that it bruises with the gentlest squeeze. Because both small and larger cherimoyas contain about the same amount of seeds, you’d want to select the bigger fruits for more flesh.
Cherimoyas are best kept at room temperature because they are tropical fruits that don’t respond very well to refrigeration.