All About Soursop
Soursop: The Vitamin Packed, Antioxidant Rich, Superfruit
1. May Help Fight Cancer
Research published in Food & Function reports that bioactive components of graviola leaf extracts may have a positive cancer-fighting effect due to the free radical scavenging abilities and antioxidant enzymes it contains, thus helping eliminate cancer cells. It’s believed that the graviola leaves kill cancer cells by blocking ATP production. ATP, aka adenosine triphosphate, is a usable form of energy for cells. This energy is contained within a chemical bond that, if released, can be used to foster other activity within the cells.
However, the graviola leaf extract can help block this activity, which may reduce the impact of the cancer cells by breaking them down until they fall apart. This is known as apoptosis or programmed cell death. Additionally, scientists at the Tepic Institute of Technology (Instituto Tecnológico de Tepic – ITT) in Mexico discovered acetogenins in the soursop fruit, which hold chemotherapeutic properties.
2. Filled with Beneficial Antioxidants that May Help Reduce Eye Disease
Many of the health benefits from graviola, or soursop, are thought to be derived from its antioxidant properties. Studies show that the phytonutrients that are found in the fruit are high in antioxidant compounds, including alkaloids, saponins, terpenoids, flavonoids, coumarins, lactones, anthraquinones, tannins, cardiac glycosides, phenols and phytosterols. This is quite a group that can help fight disease-causing cells and even tumors.
Additional studies have reported that antioxidants may help with eye disease. The Age-Related Eye Disease Study led by the National Eye Institute found antioxidants to be useful, especially when consumed as a cocktail of vitamin C, vitamin E, beta-carotene and zinc. This combination actually lowered the risk of the development age-related macular degeneration by 25 percent by those who already had the disease.
3. Exhibits Anti-Inflammatory and Antimicrobial Properties
Extracts from graviola leaves have shown anti-inflammatory properties in addition to its antimicrobial characteristics, making soursop a versatile anti-inflammatory food. Studies indicate that soursop may be a natural anti-infection treatment for root canals. Often dangerous chemicals, such as sodium hypochlorite, which is actually a form of bleach, are used to irrigate the root canal to prevent infection. However, the dangers of these chemicals can pose health hazards. A study published in the Journal of Contemporary Dental Practice shows that the use of graviola to irrigate the root canal is very effective, making it a great, much healthier option.
4. Potentially Kills Pancreatic Cancer Cells
Graviola extract has shown an ability to help kill numerous types of cancer cells, specifically pancreatic cancer cells. A study conducted by the University of Nebraska Medical Center found that the extract can greatly reduce pancreatic cancer. Because cancer cells have more glucose, cell growth is typically enhanced as well as tumor growth. However, in this study, cells that were treated with graviola extract decreased their glucose uptake when compared to untreated cells. This decrease can make it difficult for the bad cells to live and multiply, which is a good thing.
5. Treats Infections
Graviola is often used to treat infections caused by bacteria and parasites, including leishmaniasis, which is a disease that’s transmitted through the bite of sand fleas. It’s also been used to treat herpes, coughs and vomiting. Bacterial and viral infections can cause coughing, sneezing, fever and more symptoms, and while these symptoms may be frustrating, they’re effective since they’re part of the method that the body uses to trigger the immune system to get to work ridding the body of any infection. Graviola and graviola tea may be able to efficiently fight the infection and get you back on your feet.
Soursop is usually found in South America and often the basis for beverages, ice creams and other popular sweet foods. It’s known to have a few other names, such as graviola, custard apple, paw paw, guyabano and guanabana in Spanish-speaking countries. Additionally, it has superfruit-healing properties as a high-antioxidant food due to its vitamin C, B vitamins, calcium, phosphorous and even some iron that it contains. These vitamins and minerals are why soursop benefits include potentially helping reduce eye disease, treat infections and potentially even fight cancer, among others.
How to Prepare Soursop and Soursop Recipes
Soursop is used in many foods, such as soursop soft drinks, ice creams, cheesecakes, milkshakes, candies and custards; in soups; and even roasted or fried like vegetables. It’s recommended that you avoid eating the seeds due to possible neurotoxins — however, the raw flesh of the fruit is a wonderful way to experience to true essence of the soursop.
Traditionally, soursop can be cut into segments and eaten raw. Make sure to choose one that’s very soft. If it’s green, simply allow it to ripen on the countertop or in the fridge similar to ripening an avocado or mango. To cut it, use a knife and cut through it longways. Inside, you will find a custard-like, cream-colored flesh. To eat it, just use a spoon and scoop it out. It has a sour and sweet taste similar to the combination of a banana-pineapple flavor and emits a tropical fruit-like scent that’s a bit musky.
If you’re looking for soursop recipes, try this one to start:
Soursop Matcha and Cinnamon Milkshake
- 1 Tsp Soursop Matcha Powder
- 1/2 cup coconut water
- ½ cup almond milk
- 1 medium frozen banana
- 1/8 teaspoon nutmeg
- ⅛ teaspoon cinnamon
- 1 teaspoon vanilla flavoring
- In a blender, place the soursop, coconut water and almond milk. Blend until smooth.
- Then add the remaining ingredients and blend until smooth.
- For a thicker shake, use less liquid ingredients. For a thinner shake, add more almond milk.
- Once you have the shake at your desired consistency, pour into a glass, sprinkle the top with cinnamon.
- Add a cinnamon stick for a nice touch.