Sapodilla, sapota, chikoo, chico, naseberry, or nispero(1). All these words can easily confuse you but it is just a fruit belonging to an evergreen tree native to southern Mexico, Central America, and the Caribbean. This fruit was first introduced to the Philippines during the Spanish colonization, now it is grown in large quantities in countries like India, Pakistan, Thailand, Malaysia, Indonesia, Vietnam, and Cambodia. India is the largest cultivator of this fruit.
Chikoo is a tropical fruit that belongs to the Sapotaceae family, the scientific name of this family is, Manilkara zapota. You can easily identify this fruit due to its natural brown pulpy appearance when this fruit is unripe it’s hard due to its large content of latex but as it gets ripe it softens. This fruit can only be grown on evergreen trees that thrive in hot and warm areas. The produce of fruit happens twice a year.
Now a day chikoo might not be popular fruit but it is still being used as a popular ingredient in many desserts, smoothies, and shakes. Even though chikoo is loaded with various health benefits but due to its calories content, it falls in the same category as mango, jack-fruit, and orange. So in a nutshell, it’s a tasty and healthy fruit that is sweet and also high in calories.
The following nutritional value is for a 100-gram serving (2).
- Calories – 83 kcal of energy
- Carbohdrates – 20 grams (Dietary fiber – 5.3 grams)
- Fat – 1.1 grams
- Protein – 0.9 grams
It provides you with various vitamins such as vitamin A, vitamin C that will help you build your skin health and improve your immunity. It also contains a good amount of minerals such as magnesium, phosphorous, zinc, copper, iron, and calcium.
Health benefits of chikoo
If you’re someone who is trying to lose weight or is on a calories deficit diet then chikoo should be avoided or should be eaten in control or you can eat other fruits that are low in calories and enjoy their health benefits. Also, we hardly know the benefits of the food/fruit we eat so this can also change that. So without any further ado let’s get started with the benefits of these fruits.
- Improved digestion
We all know and many studies and research have proven that fiber-rich food helps in your digestion and also improves your bowel movement. When you eat food that is high in fiber it increases the weight and size of your stool and it’s easier to pass which decreases your chance of suffering from constipation. It also helps in supporting your colon’s membrane and protects it from infections.
2. Anti-inflammatory agent
The high content of tannin also known as poly-phenolic compound makes chikoo a good anti-inflammatory agent. An anti-inflammatory agent means A drug or substance that reduces inflammation (redness, swelling, and pain) in the body. Anti-inflammatory agents block certain substances in the body that cause inflammation (3).
It helps in improving health conditions of the digestive tract by preventing some diseases like esophagitis, enteritis, irritable bowel syndrome, and gastritis. It also reduces any inflammation by reducing any swelling and pain that has been caused.
3. Bone health
This fruit has good content on minerals such as calcium, phosphorous, and iron these are some of the essential minerals that are required by our body to increase the endurance of bones. Being rich in all these minerals makes this fruit a good choice for strengthening and improving bone health. Connecting tissues, muscles, and the growth of bone for all these copper is an essential mineral. Having low copper efficiency can lead to various bone health problems such as osteoporosis, muscle weakness, low strength, breakage, and weak joints.
Early consumption of chikoo can help you eliminate the future use of supplements fr your bone also some studies have shown that minerals like copper and zinc can slow down the loss of bone in older women.
4. Cancer benefits
It contains a high dose of antioxidants that have shown to be effective in lowering the risk of some types of cancers. It has a good amount of vitamin A and vitamin B that helps in the maintenance of several mucus lining in the body. This will help you reduce the chance of you suffering from lung or oral cancer. Chikoo is rich in dietary fiber that will lead you to improve bowel movement and the improved bowel movement will reduce the risk of colon cancer.
5. Skin and Hair
Regular consumption of sapota or chikoo will help you remove toxins from your body that in turn will improve your skin and hair health. As you grow old you’re bound to have wrinkles but this fruit helps with the production of collagen that will help you prevent the growth of the wrinkles. Collagen is also responsible for skin elasticity or stretchiness. It is also rich in antioxidants that can also act as an anti-aging component by eradicating free radicals that are responsible for the aging process thus slowing down the aging process.
The oil that is extracted from the seeds of chikoo helps in moisturizing and softening your hair. It is good for a person that has curly hairs and has a hard time managing them. The oil from sapota seeds will also make itchy skin conditions such as seborrheic dermatitis and will promote healthy hair growth.
6. Energy source
Its high in calories and rich in glucose making it a good source of energy, so after a workout or after a heavy workload this fruit can help you refill your energy. So having a chikoo after a good workout session can help you recover your energy but if you’re trying to lose weight you shouldn’t eat chikoo to recover your energy because it is high in calories and it will void all your efforts instead you can eat a homemade chocolate bar or have a glass of homemade health drinks or have a bowl of muesli. It can be a good health choice for children that need to recover energy while overall improving their health.
Vitamin C and antioxidants help your build immunity and when it comes to these properties chikoo is a great fruit to get them. Polyphenols that are found in chikoo can help you battle detrimental toxins and also help you lower the risk of diseases. It also has antibacterial and anti-viral properties that act as a safe wall that will protect your body from harmful microbes (dangerous germs and viruses). Vitamins C helps in destroying the free radicals and potassium, iron, and folate helps in the proper functioning of the digestive system.
8. For mothers to be
Chikoo/sapota is safe to be eaten during pregnancy and it is also good for the mothers to eat and also for the baby. Due to its high content of numerous nutrients such as minerals, vitamins, and antioxidants, this fruit can be a good source to fulfill these nutrient requirements. It also helps in reducing weakness and other symptoms such as nausea and dizziness with the help of carbohydrates and electrolysis present in them.
9. Good for cold & coughs
In some studies, it has been proved that chikoo can help with the prevention of congestion, and cough by eliminating phlegm and mucus from the respiratory tract and nasal tube. So it is also used to cure the symptoms of cough and cold.
10. Eye health
As we age our eye health starts to decline and visit with eye doctor gets frequent to avoid that sapota/Chiku fruit can help because it is rich in vitamin A that aids in keeping our eye in a good health. It also helps with the formation of the visual sensory cell at an early age also even in old age this fruit can help improve their eye health.
Chikoo/sapota is packed with essential nutrients and vitamins so whenever it’s winter this fruit should not be overlooked it can be eaten as it is or can be the main ingredient for smoothies, milkshakes, and desserts. However, overconsumption of this fruit can cause intestinal difficulties, inflammation, and irritation in the throat.
Chikoo is high in glycemic index so people suffering from diabetes should avoid it other than that consume it in moderate quantities to get the most out of it.