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NUTRITIONAL COMPOSITION OF AGBALUMO (AFRICAN STAR APPLE) AND THE HEALTH BENEFITS

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It’s about that time of the year when “Agbalumo” is the fruit in season and everyone is excited. Many love it so much that they can take as it whether sour or sweet, others like it sweet but slightly sour.

The fleshy pulp is usually eaten as snack and it has been found to have high contents of ascorbic acid. It is also said to be an excellent source of vitamins and iron.

The African Apple, otherwise known as Agbalumo (Yoruba), “Udara” (Igbo), Alasa (Ghana). Its scientific name is Chrysophyllum albidum and it is usually available around December to April.

It boasts a myriad of health benefits and is thus used as a natural medicine for a number of health issues, ranging from fighting indigestion to acting as a natural anti-toxidant. It acts as a good source  of vitamin C which strongly helps in strengthening the human immune system.

Nutritional Composition of African star apple (Chrysophyllum albidum) Per 100g.

Energy  107.19 (kcal)

Carbohydrates  9.57g

Protein              4g

Fat                     4.93g

Fiber                  4.30g

Ash                    1.87g

Calcium             391mg

Iron                    2.25mg

Magnessium   181.17mg

Phosphorus     218.50mg

Potassium       682.58mg

Sodium            43.33mg

Zinc                 8.25mg

B-Carotene     340.19mcg

Vit B1              1.40mg

Vit B3              1.50mg

Vit B6              1.64mg

Vit C              73.6175mg

Health Benefits of African Star Apple:

  • It helps to boost Immunity:

Unknown to many people, the vitamin C present in African star apple protects against immune system deficiencies, cardiovascular disease, prenatal health problems, eye disease, and even skin wrinkling.

But unlike most mammals, the human body does not have what takes to produce this vitamin and in other to enjoy its benefits, we’re compelled to obtain it from our diet.

It is, therefore, interesting to know that Agbalumo is a wonderful source of vitamin C, 100g gram gives 74mg of vitamin C.

  • Contains Antioxidants:

Antioxidants are substances that removes potentially damaging oxidizing agents in a living organism. It can also be said to those substances that help protect our cells against the effects of free radicals.

Free radicals, on the other hand, are produced whenever the body breaks down food or is exposed to tobacco smoke and radiation.

African star apple contains eleagnine that works against microbes. This eleagnine contains anti-nociceptive, anti-inflammatory and antioxidant. The cotyledons in the seeds have an anti-hyperglycemia property that decreases high sugar level and lowers the blood cholesterol.

  • Good For Pregnant Women:

Aside its nutritive value to health.

African Star apple has a sweet sour taste and is mostly liked by women during pregnancy because it helps in preventing the urge to vomit when experiencing morning sickness.

Therefore it is advisable to consume this fruit during pregnancy because it will be of great help.

  • Strengthens Bones:

Important minerals such as calcium and phosphorus that are important for maintaining strong bones and teeth are contained in African star apples.

Because of its richness in calcium and phosphorus, regular eating of this fruits contributes a lot in strengthening the bones and preventing numerous bone diseases.

  • Prevents Anemia:

It has a content of iron that is necessary for the body to produce hemoglobin and prevent iron deficiency anemia. Iron deficiency is a type of anemia that occurs because of insufficient iron in the body and can lead to dizziness, loss of appetite, weakness, rapid heartbeat, headache, shortness of breath and fatigue.

  • Helps in Weight Loss:

Proper consumption of Africa star apples helps in managing weight loss and maintaining complete body health and beauty.

African Star apple is one of the best fruits for weight loss due to its considerable amount of dietary fibre that improves satiety; making you feel more satisfied even after a long time.

It is an excellent fruit to take when trying to lose weight.

  • Prevents Diabetes:

Another essential benefit of African star apple is that it aids in controlling sugar levels in the blood and this is a good fruit for people suffering from diabetes.

Star apple fiber aids in keeping the blood sugar level under control. It’s richness in antioxidants helps in protecting the body against health problems such as cancer, diabetes and heart problems.

NB: it should be consumed according to the prescription of a Registered Dietitian.

  • Aids in Digestive Health:

The active fiber content which is mainly a carbohydrate in star apples helps to keep the digestive system healthy as well helps to overcome constipation and other digestive problems.

It helps in normalizing bowel movements and also aids to get rid of constipation as well as other problems of the digestive system.

Conclusion

African star apple serves as a source of important daily vitamins recommended for health, amongst other nutrients and anti oxidants which support many important functions of the human body.

Consumption of this fruit when in season will definitely boost health in many ways.

 

Written by Adeniji Ayodeji David

Student, Rare Edge Film & Arts Academy, Ibadan.

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