Guanabana fruit, which is otherwise known as soursop, graviola, prickly custard apple, Brazilian paw paw, etc, is produced by a small evergreen tree, that belongs to the family Annonaceae (also known as Moraceae) and genus Annona. The tree (Annona Muricata) is fast growing and bushy and has smooth, glossy leaves that are pointed at both ends. The pale yellow flowers of this tree may be produced anywhere, like, the trunk or on the branches. This tree is said to be native to Mexico, northern regions of South America, Caribbean Islands, some African and South-East Asian countries. In short, this tree can be grown in almost all tropical regions across the globe.
What is Guanabana Fruit
Now you know that guanabana fruit or soursop is a tropical fruit, which is related to custard apple, pawpaw, sugar apple, etc. Usually, the green-colored fruit with soft spines are irregular or slightly oval or curved in shape. An average guanabana fruit can weigh up to 3 kilograms. The skin is leathery, tender and inedible with a slight bitter taste. As the fruit gets ripe, the dark green skin transforms to a light shade. The cream-colored edible pulp of this compound fruit is granular in nature and is studded with large black seeds. The pulp is arranged in segments over the soft pith. While, a single seed is found inside each segment, most of the closely packed segments may not contain seeds at all. The pulp of guanabana fruit smells slightly like pineapple, but, has a more acidic flavor. The taste of this fruit is described as a combination of pineapple, strawberry and citrus fruits with the creamy flavor of banana of coconut. The pulp of the fruit is used to prepare guanabana juice, sorbets, candies, ice cream flavorings, etc. In fact, it is the only fruit of the genus Annona, that is used for preservation and processing.
Guanabana Fruit Benefits
Guanabana fruit is very rich in carbohydrates, especially, fructose. Apart from that, B vitamins, vitamin C, calcium, dietary fiber, etc. are also present in it in moderate amounts. The guanabana tree is believed to be having various health benefits and different parts, like, the leaves, flowers, fruits and roots have been used in the traditional medicine of different regions. For example, in some regions, an infusion of guanabana leaves is used for treating insomnia. The juice of the ripe fruit is said to have diuretic properties and is used as a herbal remedy for haematuria and urethritis. It is also believed to possess antibacterial and anti fungal properties and is beneficial in fighting such infections. A decoction made of crushed immature fruits are used in some regions as a remedy for dysentery. In case of chigger bites, the flesh of acidic guanabana is applied over the area as poultice and it is retained for three to four days, so as to expel the chiggers and to expedite the healing process. It is also said that guanabana fruit has the ability to control the growth of cancer cells and eliminate them from the body. According to some studies, the chemicals in guanabana targets cancer cells specifically and do not affect the healthy cells. Researches regrading guanabana fruit and cancer are still underway. Read more on graviola tree and graviola extract.
Now, you know more about guanabana fruit, its nutritional value and health benefits. Fresh guanabana fruits are found to be available in the tropical areas, where they grow.