What is Soursop?
The unusually shaped soursop fruit—it looks like an oversized strawberry that crossbred with an apple and grew thorns—is native to Central and South America and is a popular, sweet delicacy there. Soursop tastes like a combination of strawberry, pineapple, and citrus.
Soursop, also known as Graviola, is a tropical fruit that is widely recognized for its unique flavor and potential health benefits. It's native to Central and South America but is also grown in other tropical regions around the world. Here are some nutrition facts and health benefits associated with soursop:
Soursop Nutrition Facts (Per 100 grams of raw soursop):
Calories: Approximately 66
Carbohydrates: About 16.8 grams
Dietary Fiber: Roughly 3.3 grams
Protein: Approximately 1 gram
Fat: Minimal (less than 1 gram)
Vitamin C: Rich source, with about 20.6 mg (34% of the recommended daily intake)
Vitamin B1 (Thiamine): About 0.07 mg (5% of the recommended daily intake)
Vitamin B2 (Riboflavin): Around 0.05 mg (3% of the recommended daily intake)
Vitamin B3 (Niacin): Approximately 0.9 mg (4% of the recommended daily intake)
Vitamin B5 (Pantothenic Acid): Roughly 0.24 mg (2% of the recommended daily intake)
Vitamin B6 (Pyridoxine): About 0.059 mg (3% of the recommended daily intake)
Folate: Approximately 14 mcg (4% of the recommended daily intake)
Minerals: Soursop is a good source of potassium and magnesium, with around 278 mg of potassium (6% of the recommended daily intake) and about 21 mg of magnesium (5% of the recommended daily intake) per 100 grams.
Soursop is a fiber-rich source of carbohydrates and offers plenty of vitamin C and potassium. Like most fruits, it is low in fat, calories, and protein.
Health Benefits of Soursop:
Soursop, also known as Graviola, has been the subject of some research into its potential health benefits, including its potential for cancer prevention, promotion of digestive health, and its anti-inflammatory properties. However, it's important to note that while there is some promising evidence, more research is needed, and soursop should not be considered a sole or guaranteed treatment for any of these conditions. Here's what we know:
Rich in Antioxidants: Soursop is packed with antioxidants, including vitamin C, which helps combat oxidative stress and may reduce the risk of chronic diseases.
Boosts Immune System: The high vitamin C content in soursop can boost your immune system, helping you fight off infections and illnesses.
Potential Cancer-Fighting Properties: Some studies suggest that soursop may contain compounds that have anti-cancer properties. However, more research is needed in this area.
Potential for Cancer Prevention: Some laboratory and animal studies have suggested that certain compounds found in soursop, such as acetogenins, may have anti-cancer properties. These compounds have been studied for their ability to inhibit the growth of cancer cells. However, clinical trials on humans are limited, and more research is required to fully understand soursop's potential role in cancer prevention and treatment. It's essential to consult with a healthcare professional for guidance if you are considering soursop in this context.
May Have Anti-Inflammatory Properties: Soursop has been used traditionally to reduce inflammation, and some research suggests that it may have anti-inflammatory effects.
Fights Inflammation: Soursop has been traditionally used in some cultures for its potential anti-inflammatory properties. While there is limited scientific research on this aspect, some people believe that consuming soursop may help reduce inflammation. More studies are needed to better understand its effects on inflammation.
Aid in Digestion: The dietary fiber in soursop can aid in digestion and help prevent constipation.
Promotes Digestive Health: Soursop contains dietary fiber, which can aid in digestion. Fiber helps regulate bowel movements, prevent constipation, and maintain a healthy digestive system. It also supports the growth of beneficial gut bacteria, which is important for overall gut health.
Allergies: Soursop is generally safe to eat, but some people may be sensitive or allergic to it. Allergic reactions can include symptoms such as itching, rash, or swelling. If you suspect you have an allergy to soursop, it's advisable to avoid it and consult with a healthcare provider.
Heart Health: The potassium in soursop may help regulate blood pressure, reducing the risk of cardiovascular diseases.
Weight Management: Its low-fat and high-fiber content can be beneficial for those trying to manage their weight.Bone Health: Soursop contains minerals like calcium and magnesium, which are important for maintaining healthy bones.
Skin Health: Some people use soursop topically as it may have properties that benefit skin health.
In summary, while soursop does have potential health benefits, including its possible role in cancer prevention, promotion of digestive health, and anti-inflammatory properties, further research is needed to confirm these effects and determine appropriate dosages and safety guidelines. If you are considering soursop for its potential health benefits, it's crucial to consult with a healthcare professional for personalized guidance, especially if you have specific health concerns or conditions.
You should avoid consuming soursop or drinking the fruit in a tea if any of the following apply to you:
You have diabetes, as graviola has blood sugar-lowering effect in laboratory animals.
You are taking drugs to reduce hypertension, as graviola is shown to have additive effects when taken with drugs for this health issue.9
You have liver disease.
You have kidney disease.10Cancer Research UK. Graviola (soursop).
Studies in laboratory animals have shown that compounds in graviola cause movement disorders and myeloneuropathy, a disease with symptoms similar to Parkinson’s Disease.
It's important to note that while soursop has potential health benefits, it should be consumed in moderation as part of a balanced diet. Some people may be sensitive to the fruit, and excessive consumption can lead to digestive issues. Additionally, consult with a healthcare professional if you have any specific health concerns or are considering soursop as a part of your diet, especially if you are taking medications or have existing health conditions.
Kim GT, Tran NK, Choi EH, et al. Immunomodulatory efficacy of standardized Annona muricata (graviola) leaf extract via activation of mitogen-activated protein kinase pathways in RAW 264.7 macrophages. Evid Based Complement Alternat Med. 2016;2016:2905127. doi:10.1155/2016/2905127
Qazi AK, Siddiqui, JA, Jahan R, et al. Emerging therapeutic potential of graviola and its constituents in cancers. Carcinogenesis. 2018;39(4):522-533. doi:10.1093/carcin/bgy024
Cancer Treatment Centers of America. Experts warn against using soursop to fight cancer.
Ioannis P, Anastasis S, Andreas Y. Graviola: A systematic review on its anticancer properties. Am J Cancer Prev. 2015;3(6):128-131. doi:10.12691/ajcp-3-6-5.
Chan WJ, McLachlan AJ, Hanrahan JR, Harnett JE. The safety and tolerability of Annona muricata leaf extract: A systematic review. J Pharm Pharmacol. 2020;72(1):1-16. doi:10.1111/jphp.13182
Zamudio-Cuevas Y, Díaz-Sobac R, Vázquez-Luna A, et al. The antioxidant activity of soursop decreases the expression of a member of the NADPH oxidase family. Food Funct. 2014;5(2):303-9. doi:10.1039/c3fo60135h
Cancer Research UK. Graviola (soursop).
Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center. Graviola.
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About The Author:
Dr. Nikki LeToya White MSEd-TL, Ph.D. RHN is the founder, director, and full-time board-certified trauma-informed nutritionist, folk herbalist, and wellness consultant at Spiced Life Conversation Art Wellness Studio and Botanica. She created Spiced Life Conversation, LLC Art Wellness Studio, and Botanica to provide the Metro Atlanta area with counseling and coaching services where clients are carefully matched with the right program for healing abandonment and childhood emotional neglect trauma that cause codependency, emotional eating, financial stress, and imposter syndrome as it relates to the fear of success and being abandon. We help you begin your emotional healing journey with ease. Recently, we have expanded to include an online membership site so we now provide support to people living all over the world. All of our recovery coaches provide at least one evidence-based treatment to assist in your recovery. Dr. White is a big proponent of self-care and helping people live a fulfilling life! She has been in full remission with both codependency and emotional binge eating disorder since 2016. In living a life in recovery from sugar addiction. I love my low-sugar balanced lifestyle.
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