Tropical fruit native to hot areas of the American continent and very common in Brazil, especially in Bahia, the soursop (fruit of the plant Annona Muricata L.) brings more than just a possibility of juice on the lunch table. Consumption can be natural and also in the form of teas, ice cream and shakes.
With fruits most of the year, the benefits of soursop, whether in the bark, in the fruit, in the seeds, in the roots or in the leaves, are the most diverse, including for the treatment of diseases.
According to nutritionist Ivelise Rodrigues*, the fruit can help, for example, in the fight against cystitis, a inflammation in the bladder. Diabetic patients or constant headaches may also benefit.
Also known as pine cone, guanabana or guanabano, soursop is a plant that measures five to eight meters and has a rounded crown, with large, dark green and shiny barks.
Benefits of soursop
The soursop has anticancer and antioxidant properties, thus, helping to control toxic components that enter the body.
In addition, nutritionist Ivelise Rodrigues lists antimicrobial, anti-inflammatory, antispasmodic, antidepressant and anxiolytic actions.
“All these benefits are due to the presence of several bioactive compounds present in the various parts of the plant, such as acetogenins, alkaloids, flavonoids and sterols”, comments Ivelise.
What is it for:
- frequent headaches
- parasitic infections
- liver diseases
- gastrointestinal diseases
- Treatment of some types of cancer
Vitamins and Nutrients
Besides being rich in water (80% of the composition), soursop has several nutrients in its properties, such as Vitamins A and C, B1, B2 B3 and B9, in addition to zinc, potassium, magnesium, iron, copper, phosphorus and calcium.
Clinical nutrition professional Ivelise Rodrigues points out that the vitamins and components of the fruit “are essential for the proper functioning of the human body”.
How to eat?
The nutrition professional indicates that the best soursop consumption to obtain the benefits of the food is natural. For this, she says that one should always choose the ripest and softest fruits, avoiding darkened, cracked or dried out.
Furthermore, it is possible to consume the fruit in the form of juices, ice cream and shakes. Ivelise comments that the bioactive compounds from soursop can be used in capsules, as a form of food supplementation, but this should only be done with the guidance of a nutritionist or doctor.
Does soursop help fight cancer?
According to Ivelise Rodrigues, studies in vitro and in vivo proved the effectiveness of soursop in combating some types of cancer.
The substances present in the leaf, stem and fruit help in cancer cell death, preventing proliferation and multiplication.
The nutritionist warns, however, that the consumption of soursop is not part of the main treatment of cancer, but a complementary therapy.
Types of cancer that can be treated:
- pancreatic cancer
- Lung cancer
- Prostate cancer
- Breast cancer
- hematologic cancers
The fight against diabetes through the consumption of the fruit is recognized through studies carried out in rats, where the protection of pancreatic cells was observed.
There is no well-documented research on the effects on the human body, according to the nutritionist.
“What is known is that the fruit is widely used by popular medicine, and it is important to emphasize that one should not adhere to any treatment for chronic diseases without medical supervision”, points out Ivelise Rodrigues.
Soursop helps you lose weight?
Along with a balanced diet, soursop can help with slimming process. Its antioxidant action prevents the action of toxic compounds in the body.
The high water content in the fruit provides hydration, one of the important points when trying to lose weight.
Ivelise, however, pays attention to the fact that no single food has the power to lose weight or gain weight.
The fruit is considered “gastroprotective”, being indicated for the preventive treatment of patients with gastritis. Consumption conserves the mucus in the stomach wall, in addition to increasing the activity of antioxidants, preventing damage to the gastric wall.
Soursop juice has a good source of essential nutrients for the human body, in addition to being a great anti-inflammatory agent.
The drink also helps to regulate intestinal transit and reduce blood pressure.
How to make the juice?
The juice must be made using the white part of the fruit (pulp), traditionally known as
be very soft. The lumps must be removed.
For two glasses of juice:
- 1 cup of fruit pulp tea (without the pits)
- 500ml of water
- ice if you wish
Preparation: Add all ingredients in a blender and blend initially in pulsar mode and then for 2 minutes in normal blender mode. As it is a sweet fruit, it is not necessary to add sugar
How to plant soursop?
To plant a soursop plant, it is necessary to separate and prepare the seeds.
Seeds must be fully submerged in water and kept soak for 24 hours, to fortify the seeds and the plants to grow stronger, according to nutritionist Ivelise Rodrigues.
After this process, planting can be started.
- Dig a space, not too deep (around 5cm), and place a seed of
- Cover with earth.
- Remember: the land for planting can be added with fertilizer composed of nutrients, such as
- NPK, which helps in the nutrition of the new plant that will be born.
Soursop leaf tea
Soursop leaf tea is used to prevent and treat various diseases, including: arthritis, diabetes, gastrointestinal problems such as diarrhea and high blood pressure.
Ivelise Rodrigues warns that patients undergoing chemotherapy treatment should avoid drink soursop tea, as there is a risk that the treatment will be impaired.
How to make tea:
- 10 grams of dried soursop leaves
- 1 liter of hot water
How to prepare: place the soursop leaves in boiling water for about 10 minutes. Then strain and consume when warm, after meals. It is recommended to consume 2-3 times a day.
Does soursop leaf lose weight?
Alone, soursop leaf tea has no slimming power, but it can help retain body fluids. This retention can give a false impression of weight loss.
Therefore, it is necessary to combine consumption with a well balanced diet.
The consumption of both soursop and tea from its leaf and seeds it shouldn’t be too much. According to nutritionist Ivelise Rodrigues, the fruit has some toxins that can affect brain activity, and can even cause intoxication.
“The indication and dosage of any and all tea must be recommended by a specialist in the area”, he alerts.
Can pregnant women take it?
the soursop is contraindicated for pregnant women, because in addition to reducing blood pressure, it relaxes the smooth muscles. This can encourage uterine relaxation and cause miscarriage.
Can dogs eat?
There are no studies that confirm the safety of soursop consumption by dogs. The indication is avoid or consult a trusted veterinarian for your pet.
*Ivelise Rodrigues Cunha is a graduate in Nutrition from the University of Fortaleza (UNIFOR) and is a postgraduate in Clinical Functional Nutrition from the Functional Nutrition Center – VP. Works in clinics with Clinical Nutrition. Instagram: @ivelisenutri