Monday, December 9, 2013

Health and Nutrition: Benefits of Chikoo

Chikoo is a seasonal fruit of a tropical evergreen tree. Like Guava, Chickoo plant also yields fruit twice a year. It is testy sweet like Guava and mild laxative also. Lush green trees of Chicko may also be planted in your court yard as flowering continues year round. The fruit has a high latex content and does not ripen until picked. In shape some are round and some slightly oval. In English it is called Sapodilla.
Nutritional and Health
Ripe Chikoo is rich in dietary fiber (5.6 g/100g), which makes it a good bulk laxative. The fiber content helps relieve constipation episodes and helps protect the mucous membrane of the colon from cancer causing toxins by firmly binding to them.
The fruit is rich in antioxidant poly-phenolic compound tannin. Tannins are a complex family of naturally occurring polyphenols that neutralize acids by precipitating proteins. Research studies found that tannins have shown to have potential anti-inflammatory, antiviral, anti-bacterial, and anti-parasitic effects. Hence, these compounds have many useful medicinal applications such as anti-diarrheal, hemostatic (stops bleeding) and as a remedy for hemorrhoids.
Furthermore, the anti-inflammatory effect of tannins help limit conditions like erosive gastritis, reflux-esophagitis, enteritis, and irritating bowel disorders. Some other fruits that are rich in tannins include pomegranate, persimmon, grapes etc.
Sapote contains good amount of antioxidant vitamins like vitamin C (24.5% of recommended daily intake per 100 g of fruit) and vitamin A. Vitamin A is essential for vision. It is also required for maintaining healthy mucus membranes and skin. Consumption of natural fruits rich in vitamin A has been known to protect from lung and oral cavity cancers. So also, consumption of foods rich in vitamin C helps body develop resistance against infectious agents and scavenge harmful free radicals.
Fresh ripen sapodilla are good source of minerals like potassium, copper, iron and vitamins like folate, niacin and pantothenic acid. These compounds are essential for optimal health as they involve in various metabolic processes in the body as cofactors for the enzymes.
Choosing the right Chikoo
Chikoos freshly picked and sold will not be riped in most casses. In those cases, ensure the Chikoo you buy is free from tiny holes( The fruits might contain worms or small insects). The oval or round chikoos should weigh for its size. Make sure the mud coloured skin is bright and thick and free from wrinkles.
Ripening the chikoo
Put the chikoo in a bag of rice and it will ripe in two days.
How to eat chikoo
The fruit has two to three black big seeds in the center.
1. You could peel out the skin and eat the fruit watching out for the seeds.
2. Unlike the orange, try opening the fruit longitudinally into two halves, then remove the seeds and sccop the fleshy pulp with a spoon.
Here you go, this cheap yummy delicious fruit is all yours!!
Chikoo name in different languages:

India, and Bangladesh : Chikoo or Sapota)
Malaysia, South Asia and Pakistan : Chiku or Ciku
Philippines : Tsiko
Indonesia : Sawu
Vietnam : hng xiêm
Sri Lanka : Sapodilla or Rata-mi Lamoot
Thailand : Lamoot
Venezuela : Níspero
Bahamas : Sugardilly
Rest of the West Indies : Naseberry
Brazil : Sapot

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