Sapota (Manilkara zapota) is a slow-growing tropical evergreen renowned for its delicious egg-shaped russet brown fruit with a soft, grainy sweet flesh inside. Often eaten raw, it’s also made into a juice or added to desserts and baking goods. At most times, however, not many of us are wary of the incredible healthy perks of the fruits we’re consuming. With that, here are the health benefits of sapota juice and fruit that you should know, backing up why you should eat more of them when they’re in season.
1. Source of Energy
Sapota is high in natural sugars like fructose, sucrose, and glucose, which give the body a lot of energy. Being also a good source of other vitamins and minerals like magnesium and potassium, eat one sapota fruit or drink a glass of sapota juice before you leave home for that much-needed energy boost on a tiring, busy day.
2. Boosts Digestion and Promotes Proper Bowel Movement
Boasting a high amount of dietary fiber, sapota aids the digestive system and helps in proper bowel movement. It’s an excellent bulk laxative that fixes constipation, supports the membrane in the colon, and makes it less vulnerable to infections.
3. Rich in Antioxidants
Sapota is a storehouse of antioxidants like polyphenols, flavonoids, and ascorbic acid. All of which are great for skin health as they have moisturizing properties, help make the skin appear plumper, and reduce wrinkles. They also aid in eradicating free radicals that speed up the aging process. Thus, helping you achieve a younger-looking, healthy and glowing skin.
Eat sapota at the right ripened stage, as it is when it’s brimmed with great levels of antioxidants, ranging from 600-1200 milligrams per 100 grams.
4. Anti-Cancer Properties
Another benefit of the sapota’s high dose of antioxidants is its anti-cancer properties. With high levels of vitamin A and B, it helps reduce the risk for different types of cancers, such as oral and lung cancer, by aiding in the maintenance of the body’s mucus linings. Meanwhile, the dietary fiber present in the sapota fruit regulates proper bowel movement, which is a key step in preventing colon cancer.
5. Reduces Inflammation
Sapota is also rich in tannins, which are water-soluble polyphenols found in many plant foods. Among the many benefits of this anti-inflammatory agent is that it helps reduce swelling and pain in the digestive tract, keeping you away from enteritis, gastritis, and irritable bowel syndrome.
Sapota also does wonders in providing relief against conditions like arthritis and joint pain. It is also good in combating or managing obesity, diabetes, heart diseases, and cancer where inflammation is also associated. Consuming sapota and other inflammation-fighting foods helps maintain optimum overall health.
6. Helps Treat Cold and Cough
Sapota fruit also contains compounds that help treat colds and coughs. This compound works by decongesting and removing mucus and phlegm from the nasal passage and respiratory tract to keep chronic colds and coughs away.
7. Anti-diarrheal properties
In folk medicine, a decoction made of unripe sapota fruit is given to people suffering from diarrhea. The presence of flavonoids and saponins in the fruit aids in stopping diarrhea by influencing peristalsis of the gut and promoting intestinal absorption.
8. Reduces Blood Pressure
Sapota fruit contains magnesium and potassium, two minerals vital for normal blood pressure. Magnesium is essential as it’s required in both the physical and chemical aspects of the body’s circulatory system. It helps dilate or widen the blood vessels, keeping them up and running and making it easier for the blood to travel around.
On the other hand, potassium is needed to remove sodium from the body and release it through urine. The more potassium you get from the food you eat, the more sodium is eliminated from your body. As sodium is closely associated with high blood pressure, potassium helps reduce it by eradicating the culprit. In fact, managing hypertension involves curbing your salt intake as it contains sodium.
With that, consuming sapota fruit or juice that’s high in magnesium and potassium contributes to lowering blood pressure and keeping it at manageable levels.
9. Good for Bone Health
A true powerhouse of nutrients, sapota is also a good source of iron, phosphorus, and calcium, which the body requires for strengthening and enhancing the bones and increasing their endurance. Copper is also present in the fruit. It’s an element vital for the growth of the muscles, connective tissues, and bones. By having enough copper, you decrease the chances of muscle weakness, low strength, bone breakage, weak joints, bone loss, and osteoporosis. Sapota also contains folates, zinc, and selenium, which the body all needs for facilitating its functions including optimum bone growth.
10. Beauty Benefits
If you want to keep your skin and hair healthy, eating sapota fruit and drinking sapota juice is your best bet. Sapota contains the essential nutrients that help eliminate the toxins from the body, which is great for the skin and hair.
Sapota also encourages collagen production, which makes skin elastic, keeps it hydrated, and makes it firm for a more beautiful you. Moreover, collagen also helps in hair growth, hair follicle regeneration, reducing gray hairs, and a healthy scalp.
11. Boost immunity
With all the vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants present in the fruit, another main benefit of consuming sapota is that it helps boost your immune system. It combats harmful toxins in the body and has antiviral and antibacterial properties. Both aid in protecting the body from detrimental microbes. Thus, lowering your risks of acquiring diseases or developing certain medical conditions.
12. Anti-diabetic properties
Brimming with antioxidant compounds like terpenes, glycosides, polyphenols, and flavonoids, sapota fruit also possesses anti-diabetic properties. All these compounds have been linked to lowering levels of glycemia and controlling lipid levels in the body.
13. Best for Moms-To-Be
For pregnant women, sapota contains the vital nutrients and carbohydrates needed during pregnancy. It also helps in dealing with dizziness, morning sickness, weakness, stomach disorders, and other symptoms linked to pregnancy.
Sapota fruit and juice are abundant with vitamins and minerals that uplift overall health. That’s why you should miss adding and making this delicious fruit a staple in your diet. Don’t fret, as there are many more ways to consume it aside from eating it raw. You can incorporate it into syrups, cake batters, chutneys, custards, and jams, or turn them into a smoothie. Go ahead and experiment with sapota and enjoy all the amazing health benefits it offers.