Sapodilla, also known as Manilkara zapota and Chikoo, Chickoo, or Sapota, is an evergreen tree that bears fruit in the tropical and subtropical regions in the world, including Mexico, Central America, and some parts of the Caribbean. This underrated fruit provides a multitude of benefits to different industries—its milky latex derived from the tree trunk is vital to the chewing gum industry, being known as the age-old chewing gum of the Aztecs. Beautiful carved lintels using sapodilla wood, some existing for almost 1,000 years, are still sighted in several Mayan ruins. This fruit has got a lot of benefits for your health as well. Make sure to read further to learn more interesting facts about Sapodilla.
The sapodilla tree is a medium-sized, slow-growing tree. Its reddish wood is durable, and it bears long, glossy, and light green leaves. Flowers are small, almost inconspicuous, which bear fruits that are spheroid to ovoid in shape, with the brown surface, and around 5 to 10 cm in diameter.
Sapodilla is commonly referred to as Chikoo, and you may already have seen it in the market and in groceries. Its color doesn’t stand out as much as other fruits, but you will be surprised at the amount of health benefits that this unassuming fruit can provide you.
From a distance, it may look like a potato or kiwi because of its mud-brown and oval shape. But beneath its rather simple look lies a sweet, malty taste that leaves a mild pear-like flavor. A sapodilla’s flesh is yellowish-brown with hints of orange when ripe. Its texture is soft, pulpy, and slightly gritty. Its amazing aroma can be compared to cooked squash.
Aside from eating it as is, you can also add some creativity to eating sapodillas. For instance, if the weather’s too hot or you have just finished a tiring workout, you can make a quick sapodilla shake and drink it to your heart’s content!
Health benefits of Sapodilla
The wonders of Sapodilla don’t stop on its sweetness and tantalizing aroma. It holds a variety of benefits, which include the following:
Packed with Vitamins A and C
Sapodilla contains these two essential vitamins to keep your eyesight at its best. Adults will surely enjoy this benefit more, as they are more prone to eye problems. As for Vitamin C, it is much known for its ability to boost immunity, fight free radicals, and keep skin in good condition.
Keep your gut on track with sapodilla. It contains nutrients that help prevent irritable bowel syndrome (IBS). Sapodilla contains dietary fibers, which makes it a great laxative for people who have constipation problems. Likewise, its fiber content helps support the colon’s membrane, making it resistant to diseases.
Promotes bone health
Good news for those who have bone problems—sapodilla can help boost your bone health! This fruit contains phosphorus, iron, and calcium—all the essential nutrients to keep your bones at their best! Sapodilla is also a great source of minerals like magnesium, potassium, copper, selenium, and folates, which are all essential for facilitating proper bone growth.
Acts as an anti-inflammatory agent
Sapodilla contains high levels of tannins, which are substances that help calm down inflammation. These substances help improve the digestive tract’s defense against diseases like enteritis, esophagitis, IBS, and gastritis. It also helps reduce swelling and pain.
Boosts your beauty
Since sapodillas contain high amounts of antioxidants (Vitamins A, C, and E), it helps remove toxins from your body, promoting healthy-looking skin and hair. Do not use sapodillas topically—eat it instead, as it helps promote collagen production and prevents the appearance of signs of premature aging. Sapodilla contains polyphenols and flavonoids, all of which help make your skin plumper and healthier.
Helps control blood pressure
Thanks to their magnesium content—sapodillas can help keep the blood vessels at work, and their potassium content can help regulate blood pressure and circulation. People with anemia can definitely gain a lot from eating sapodillas regularly!
Helps control weight
On a diet? You will never go wrong with sapodillas. This can help get rid of your body of water retention, which greatly contributes to weight gain. It also helps regularize metabolism, which speeds up your weight loss game.