What is Sapodilla?
Sapodilla, or Manilkara zapota, is an exotic and rare fruit in the United States. It is, however, quite common in many other parts of the world.
Sapodilla is an evergreen tree and is thought to be native to Mexico, Central America, and the Caribbean. Now, it is cultivated widely in various other parts of th world.(1,2) In the British West Indies, sapodilla is known as naseberry, in Mexico, it is known as chico zapote, in India it is known as Chickoo, and in the Bahamas, it is known by the name dilly.(3)
The sapodilla fruit is round or egg-shaped with brown and rough skin, usually weighing 2.6 to 7.0 ounces. The flesh can be brown, yellow, or reddish-brown and it is easily digestible and made of natural sugars. The fruit usually has 3 to 12 black seeds. However, some fruits might also be seedless. Sapodillas have a sweet taste and are commonly eaten raw and also incorporated into drinks.
Apart from the fruit, various other parts of the sapodilla tree, like the leaves and bark have long been used in traditional medicine for treating different conditions like ulcers, fever, and arthritis.(4) So, Sapodilla has some of the most amazing health benefits for mankind which makes it one of the most-liked fruits in the world.
Let us read further and know about the nutritional facts and various health benefits of sapodilla.
Nutritional Facts Of Sapodilla
Sapodilla is a nutritious fruit with high-calorie content and offers 83 calories per 100 grams. It also contains a lot of dietary fiber. Moreover, the fruit is also a powerhouse of polyphenol compound tannin which possesses anti-inflammatory, antiviral, antibacterial, and astringent properties.
Furthermore, sapodilla is also loaded with vitamin C, which is an essential nutrient required for many vital processes, such as the synthesis of neurotransmitters, collagen production, the functioning of the immune system, and more.(5) Vitamin C is a potent antioxidant that helps in safeguarding the cells against oxidative damage that could otherwise lead to several diseases.(6)
Sapodilla is also a great source of copper, which is the mineral required for the formation of new blood cells, brain development, immune function, and hemoglobin production.(7, 8)
The fruit also contains vitamin A, vitamin C, vitamin B1, and B5, along with folate and minerals like potassium, iron, and copper.
As per the USDA, the Nutritive Value for a 100-gram serving of sapodilla is listed below.
Energy: 83 Kcal
Protein: 0.44 grams
Total Fat: 1.10 grams
Dietary Fiber: 10.9 grams
Folate: 14 Mcg
Niacin: 0.2 mg
Pantothenic Acid: 0.252 mg
Pyridoxine: 0.037 mg
Riboflavin: 0.020 mg
Thiamine: 0.058 mg
Vitamin A: 60IU
Vitamin C: 14.7 mg
Potassium: 193 mg
Sodium: 12 mg
Calcium: 21 mg
Iron: 0.80 mg
Magnesium: 12 mg
Phosphorus: 12 mg
Selenium: 0.6 mcg
Zinc: 0.10 mg
Health Benefits Of Sapodilla
Provides Ample Of Energy
Sapodilla is dense with calories and is made of simple digestible sugars like sucrose and fructose. Consuming the frit offers great energy instantly because it is a natural source of sugar. Sapodilla is a great fruit for pregnant women, children, and sports personalities or exercise enthusiasts since it provides a great level of energy and also uplifts overall health.
Strengthens The Immune System
Being rich in vitamin A, vitamin C, polyphenols, and antioxidant compounds, sapodilla plays a crucial role in building a strong immune system and reducing the risk of diseases. Additionally, sapodilla also protects the body from harmful microbes and treats cough and cold.
Excellent Source Of Fiber
Sapodilla is a great source of fiber, which is essential for heart, and gut health, and also helps in maintaining a healthy body weight. Moreover, fiber also fuels gut bacteria and promotes feelings of fullness, and regulates cholesterol levels and blood sugar.
An earlier study compared the fiber content of 37 fruits sold commonly in Thailand and found that sapodilla had the highest content of fiber.(9)
Adult women below 50 years should consume 25 grams of fiber daily and men below 50 years should consume 38 grams daily. However, most Americans consume only 15 grams of fiber per day.(10)
Consuming sapodilla along with other fiber-rich foods can help you reach daily recommendations of fiber and reduce the risk of specific health conditions, such as heart disease and colon cancer.(11, 12)
Sapodilla Promotes Digestion
Sapodilla also promotes digestion. The plant compound tannins found in the fruit help in neutralizing acid secretion in your intestinal tract. Moreover, the rich content of fiber found in sapodilla adds bulk to the stool, regularizes bowel movement, treats constipation, and also helps in treating other digestive issues. In addition to this, the anti-bacterial, anti-inflammatory, antiviral, and antiparasitic properties of the fruit can calm the irritated gastrointestinal tract and also treat gastritis.
Sapodilla Can Prevent Cancer
The antioxidants found in the fruit combats oxidative stress, prevents tumor formation, and reduces the risk of various forms of cancer. Moreover, sapodilla is rich in vitamins A and B and this helps in keeping the mucus lining healthy and also prevents lung and oral cancers.
Extracts of the sapodilla fruit have been shown to have antitumor activity in older rodent studies.(13) However, it remains doubtful if the fruit has similar effects on humans
It Benefits Bone Health
Sapodilla helps in improving bone health. It is packed with a lot of minerals like calcium, phosphorous, magnesium, copper, selenium, and iron, all of which help in strengthening the bone, preventing joint pains, and also reducing the risk of osteoporosis. The richness of copper found in the fruit is essential for maintaining healthy bones, muscles, and connective tissues. So, if you are above 30 years and dealing with joint issues, then consume sapodilla quite often.
It Can Treat Anemia
Anemia is a common health issue seen in women caused due to iron deficiency. In such women, their bodies are unable to make hemoglobin, the RBCs that transport oxygen and nutrients to different cells of the body. Sapodilla fruit is rich in iron and copper and helps to improve the levels of iron and treat anemic conditions.
Eye Health Benefits Of Sapodilla
Sapodilla contains a dense amount of Vitamin A and holds a crucial role in maintaining good vision and overall eye health. It improves vision by uplifting the health of the cornea or the outer covering of the eye.
It Uplifts Mood And Treats Stress Issues
Stress is now one of the common issues these days. Sapodilla is an excellent fruit that is heaped with essential nutrients, especially vitamin that promotes immune health, soothes the nervous system, uplifts the mood, and enhances total well-being.
Regulates Blood Pressure
Sapodilla can control high blood pressure. The fruit contains an ample amount of potassium, which is a key mineral that helps to lower the levels of sodium, relax muscles, improve the circulation of blood, and maintain healthy blood pressure.
Good For Heart Health
The fruit is great for heart health. It contains potassium, which is a mineral that is required for the proper functioning of the nervous system, regulation of blood pressure, and more. Getting too little potassium in the diet can harm your health in various ways, like increasing the risk of heart disease and stroke.(14, 15)
Apart from this, some rodent studies have suggested that sapodilla fruit can have cholesterol-lowering and blood sugar-lowering effects. One study found that treating rodents with the juice of sapodilla for 50 days reduced blood fat and blood sugar levels quite significantly.(6)
Sapodilla Helps In Improving Arthritis
Sapodilla contains a rich amount of copper and exhibits anti-inflammatory properties that reduce joint pain and stiffness. It also strengthens bones, and muscles, and also repairs connective tissues. Individuals suffering from arthritis can help in improving their condition by consuming sapodilla regularly.
Good For Pregnant Women
Being loaded with Vitamins A, B6, C, and folate, and also being an excellent source of simple carbohydrates, sapodilla is an incredible fruit for pregnant women and also for those who are in their lactating phase. It replenishes energy levels. Being high in electrolytes, like potassium help in managing dizziness and morning sickness.
Reduces Inflammation And Pain
The fruit is known for its goodness of tannins and various other potent anti-inflammatory agents. This helps in lowering inflammation and also helps to ease pain and swelling.
Controls Body Weight
One of the most amazing benefits of sapodilla is that it helps in weight management. This fruit works to rid your body of water retention. Moreover, it regularizes the body’s metabolism and helps you if you are trying to lose weight.
Skin Health Benefits
The fruit comprises various skin-friendly nutrients that help in improving skin health and enhancing beauty. There is a rich presence of vitamins A, B, and C helps in rejuvenating new skin cells. Flavonoids, polyphenols, and antioxidants prevent the skin cells from being damaged, fade away wrinkles, slow down aging, and enhance skin complexion.
Sapodilla fruit extracts contain phenolic compounds, namely quercetin and gallic acid, both of which are known for their significant antioxidant activities.(17) The antioxidants delay early signs of aging like the appearance of wrinkles and fine lines.
Hair Health Benefits
Sapodilla contains essential nutrients that are needed for improving hair health. Oil extracted from the seeds of sapodilla benefits moisturizing and softening the hair. The oil can also alleviate itchy skin issues like seborrheic dermatitis and enhances the healthy growth of hair.
Sapodilla is a wonderful fruit that is dense with all essential minerals and vitamins and is beneficial for overall well-being. You can add this fruit to your daily diet and keep uplifting your mental and physical health. Add this to your desserts, smoothies, and milkshakes, or eat the fruit as it is.