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Cherimoya: Harms, Benefits and Nutrients


Cherimoya or Annona cherimola is a round green fruit with a unique scaly outer skin.

It has a creamy texture and an exotic tropical taste. Some compare the flavor of the cream to banana, mango, papaya, or coconut. But others say it tastes like strawberries.

Sometimes this fruit is called the "pearl of the Andes" because it was cherished by the Incas, and was often reserved only for kings. The fruit is now commonly grown in Central America.

Cherimoya is closely related to soursop (Annona muricata) and the two are often confused.

If you can find cream at your local market, it can be a tasty and healthy addition to your diet.

Fruits are virtually fat-free and provide vitamin C and vitamin B6.

Nutrients of cherimoya

The following information is provided by the USDA for one serving (100 grams) of fresh cream (s):

  • Calories: 75
  • Fat: 0.7 grams
  • Sodium: 7 mg
  • Carbs: 17.7 grams
  • Sugars: 13 g
  • Fiber: 3 grams
  • Protein: 1.6 grams

SeeSoybeans: Nutrients, Health Benefits and Side Effects

Health benefits of cherimoya

1. May help preserve memory

The vitamin B6 in custard fruit may help you maintain memory as you get older.

Some limited studies have indicated that older adults with higher blood levels of vitamin B6 have better memory.

But the supplements don't seem to offer any benefit (s).

You'll get this nutrient from kermoya and it's also found in foods like bananas, meat, fish, legumes, and potatoes (s).

2. May reduce the risk of developing cataracts

The vitamin C in chyme helps reduce the risk of developing cataracts, a condition characterized by blurry vision.

The National Institutes of Health reports that some studies show that people who get more vitamin C from foods are less likely to develop this condition.

But they also note that the relationship is not clear and that more research is needed (s).

3. May promote overall eye health

Cream (Cherimoya) has been studied for its bioactive compounds, most notably a carotenoid called lutein known for its anti-inflammatory properties (s).

There is no RDA for lutein but several studies looking at the role of lutein in eye health have included supplementation of 10 milligrams per day.

According to at least one study, levels may be as high as 129 to 232 micrograms per 100 grams (s).

USDA data for chermoya, however, shows that a 100-gram serving will provide only about 6 mcg.

The American Optometric Association suggests consuming foods with more lutein to reduce the risk of chronic eye diseases, such as age-related macular degeneration (s).

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4. May reduce cell damage

Many of the health benefits of custard apple are attributed to the antioxidants that the fruit provides.

Antioxidants help protect the body's cells from damage caused by free radicals.

Specifically, scientific evidence suggests that overproduction of reactive oxygen species (ROS) may lead to certain chronic diseases such as cancer, cardiovascular disease, and neurodegeneration. 

Antioxidants in food help reduce the harmful effects of reactive oxygen species.

However, the topic is hotly debated because too little ROS activity may have undesirable health consequences.

The researchers advised that more studies are needed to fully understand the role that antioxidants play in maintaining optimal health (s).

5. May help treat leukemia

Preliminary studies indicate that the seeds of the custard fruit may provide some benefits in the treatment of blood cancer, leukemia. 

The acetogenins in the seeds are toxic to humans, but they may also provide anti-cancer properties by stopping the proliferation of specific cell lineages.

But at this point, research into this potential benefit is still in its early stages (s).

6. May treat allergies

Reports of an allergy to custard apple are limited.

But there is some evidence that those with a latex allergy may experience a reaction when eating certain fruits, including cream.

Cross-reactions between latex and plant foods (mainly fruits) have been widely reported.

The most common foods are chestnuts, avocados and bananas (s).

At least one case of a severe allergic reaction (anaphylaxis) to custard fruit has been reported (s).

See20 Healthiest Fruits on the World With Pictures

Negative effects of cherimoya

Cherimoya is not known to interact with any medications or supplements.

However, you should avoid consuming the seeds (s).

Many types of custard apple have seeds that can cause harm (s).

It is widely known that the seeds of the custard fruit are poisonous (s).

Varieties of cherimoya

A related fruit is called “soursop”, sometimes called the Brazilian cream, but it is a different fruit. Both fruits are part of the custard apple famil.

How to store cherimoya

Cherimoyas ripen when left at room temperature.

They can be refrigerated to ripen for up to two days.

Storing them for a longer time may cause a faint taste.

Try to eat them within a day or two of being ripe for the best flavor.

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