Custard Apple-Benefits And Nutritional Facts

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Custard apple, also known as sugar-apple, is a tropical fruit that is native to South America but is widely cultivated in many parts of the world. The fruit is known for its creamy, sweet, and aromatic flesh that is typically eaten fresh or made into juice, shakes, or preserves.

What is Custard Apple and its History?

Custard apple, also scientifically known as Annona squamosa, belongs to the Annonaceae family of plants. It is believed to have originated in the West Indies and is now widely grown in India, South Asia, Southeast Asia, and the Pacific region.

The fruit has been part of traditional medicine in many cultures for centuries. The pulp, leaves, seeds, and bark of the custard apple tree have been used to treat a wide range of ailments, including fever, cough, diarrhea, dysentery, and skin infections, among others.

Aside from its medicinal properties, custard apple is also a popular fruit for consumption. It has a sweet and creamy flavor, with a texture similar to that of a ripe avocado. The fruit is commonly eaten fresh, but it can also be used in desserts, smoothies, and other culinary creations. In some cultures, the seeds are roasted and eaten as a snack.

Nutritional Profile of Custard Apple

Custard apple is a rich source of nutrients, including vitamin C, vitamin B6, potassium, magnesium, fiber, and antioxidants. A 100-gram serving of custard apple provides about 75 calories, 2.1 grams of protein, 18.3 grams of carbs, and 3.3 grams of dietary fiber. It also contains small amounts of iron, calcium, and phosphorus.

In addition to its nutritional value, custard apple has been used in traditional medicine for its potential health benefits. Some studies suggest that custard apple may have anti-inflammatory and anti-cancer properties, as well as the ability to lower blood pressure and improve heart health.

However, it is important to note that custard apple seeds and leaves contain toxic compounds and should not be consumed. It is recommended to only eat the flesh of the fruit and discard the seeds and skin.

Health Benefits of Custard Apple

The health benefits of custard apple are numerous and diverse. Its nutritional profile makes it an excellent addition to a healthy and balanced diet. Here are some of the ways in which custard apple can improve your health:

Custard Apple for Weight Loss

Custard apple is low in calories and high in fiber, which makes it an ideal fruit for weight loss. Eating custard apple can help you feel full quickly, prolong satiety, and reduce the overall energy intake. This can lead to a gradual and sustainable weight loss without feeling too hungry or deprived.

Custard Apple for Heart Health

Custard apple is high in potassium, which is a mineral that helps regulate blood pressure and reduce the risk of heart disease. Potassium can counteract the effects of sodium in the body, which can cause blood pressure to rise. Eating custard apple regularly can help maintain healthy blood pressure levels and reduce the risk of stroke, heart attack and other cardiovascular diseases.

Custard Apple for Digestive Health

Custard apple is rich in fiber, which helps promote digestive health by keeping the bowel movements regular and preventing constipation. The fiber in custard apple can also feed the beneficial gut bacteria, which can improve the overall gut health and reduce the risk of colon cancer and other intestinal disorders.

Custard Apple for Skin and Hair Health

Custard apple is rich in vitamin C, which is a powerful antioxidant that can protect the skin from oxidative damage caused by UV radiation, pollution, and other environmental stressors. Vitamin C is also essential for the production of collagen, a protein that keeps the skin firm and elastic.

Anti-inflammatory Properties of Custard Apple

Custard apple contains various anti-inflammatory compounds, such as acetogenins, alkaloids, flavonoids, and tannins, which can help reduce inflammation in the body. Chronic inflammation is a risk factor for many chronic diseases, such as cancer, diabetes, arthritis, and Alzheimer’s disease.

Immune-Boosting Properties of Custard Apple

Custard apple is high in vitamin C, which is also a potent immune booster. Vitamin C helps the body produce white blood cells, which are responsible for fighting infections and diseases. Eating custard apple regularly during cold and flu season can help prevent and alleviate symptoms of common illnesses.

Custard Apple for Bone Health

Custard apple is a good source of calcium, which is essential for strong bones and teeth. Calcium also plays a role in muscle function, nerve transmission, and blood clotting. Eating custard apple regularly can help prevent osteoporosis, a condition that weakens the bones and increases the risk of fractures.

Custard Apple for Brain Health

Custard apple contains various nutrients that are beneficial for brain health, such as vitamin B6, magnesium, and potassium. These nutrients can help improve cognitive function, memory, and mood. Custard apple also contains antioxidants that can protect the brain from oxidative stress and reduce the risk of neurodegenerative diseases, such as Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s.

How to Incorporate Custard Apple into your Diet?

Custard apple is a versatile fruit that can be eaten fresh or used in various recipes. Here are some ways to incorporate custard apple into your diet:

  • Eat it fresh as a snack or dessert.
  • Make custard apple juice or smoothies.
  • Use custard apple pulp in cakes, pies, and puddings.
  • Make custard apple ice cream, sorbet, or sherbet.
  • Add custard apple slices to fruit salads or breakfast bowls.

Additionally, custard apple can also be used as a substitute for cream in some recipes. You can blend the pulp with milk or coconut milk to create a creamy texture that can be used in curries, soups, and sauces. Custard apple is also a great source of fiber, vitamin C, and potassium, making it a healthy addition to your diet.

Tips to Select and Store the Best Quality Custard Apples

When buying custard apples, look for fruits that are ripe but still firm, with a greenish-yellow color. Avoid fruits with bruises, cracks, or soft spots, which can indicate spoilage.

To store custard apples, keep them at room temperature until they are ripe, and then refrigerate them to slow down the ripening process. Custard apples can last up to a week when stored properly.

Another important factor to consider when selecting custard apples is their weight. Choose fruits that feel heavy for their size, as this indicates that they are juicy and ripe. Additionally, you can gently press the skin of the fruit to check for ripeness. If the skin gives slightly, it is ready to eat.

When preparing custard apples, it is important to remove the seeds and skin before consuming. The flesh of the fruit can be scooped out with a spoon or blended into a smoothie. Custard apples are a good source of vitamin C, potassium, and dietary fiber, making them a healthy addition to your diet.

Delicious Recipes using Custard Apples

Here are some mouth-watering recipes using custard apples:

Custard Apple Smoothie


  • 1 ripe custard apple, seeded and pulp extracted
  • 1 cup of milk or non-dairy milk
  • 1 banana, peeled and sliced
  • 1 tablespoon of honey or maple syrup (optional)


  1. Blend all the ingredients in a blender until smooth and creamy.
  2. Pour the smoothie into a glass and serve chilled.

Custard Apple Ice Cream


  • 1 ripe custard apple, seeded and pulp extracted
  • 2 cups of heavy cream
  • 1 can of sweetened condensed milk
  • 1 teaspoon of vanilla extract


  1. In a large bowl, whisk the heavy cream until it forms stiff peaks.
  2. In another bowl, blend the custard apple pulp, condensed milk, and vanilla extract until smooth.
  3. Gently fold the custard apple mixture into the whipped cream until well combined.
  4. Pour the ice cream mixture into a container with a lid and freeze for at least 6 hours or overnight.
  5. Scoop the ice cream into bowls and serve with your favorite toppings.

Custard apples are a great source of vitamin C, potassium, and dietary fiber. They are also low in calories and fat, making them a healthy addition to your diet. In addition to being delicious, custard apples can also provide numerous health benefits, such as improving digestion, boosting immunity, and reducing inflammation. So, next time you’re looking for a healthy and tasty treat, try one of these custard apple recipes!

Potential Side Effects of Consuming Custard Apples in Excess

While custard apple is generally safe to eat in moderation, consuming it in excessive amounts may cause certain side effects, such as:

  • Diarrhea or abdominal cramps due to its high fiber content
  • Weight gain or blood sugar spikes due to its sugar content
  • Overconsumption of custard apple seeds can cause nausea, vomiting, and dizziness due to their toxic compounds.

It is advisable to consult with a healthcare professional before adding custard apple to your diet, particularly if you have a pre-existing medical condition or are taking any medications.

In conclusion, custard apple is a delicious and nutritious fruit that has many health benefits. It is rich in vitamins, minerals, fiber, and antioxidants that can improve digestion, heart health, immune function, and skin and hair health. With its creamy texture and sweet flavor, custard apple can be enjoyed in various ways, from smoothies and ice cream to pies and cakes. Just remember to consume it in moderation and consult with a doctor if you have any concerns.

Another potential side effect of consuming custard apples in excess is that it may lead to an allergic reaction in some individuals. Symptoms of an allergic reaction may include itching, swelling, hives, and difficulty breathing. If you experience any of these symptoms after consuming custard apple, seek medical attention immediately.

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