African cherry, a fleshy fruit which is known as Agbalumo among the Yorubas and Udara among the Igbos, is stuffed with many nutrients needed by the body. It is also called star apples, based on the configuration of the seeds inside the fleshy fruit.
It is known among the English man as African Star Apple Fruit and its scientific name is Chrysophyllum africanum or Chrysophyllum albidum. As a child, we used the seeds for very interesting games. The fruit is found throughout tropical Africa, and blooms between December and April in Nigeria.
Important Health Benefits of African Cherry
Below are the amazing health benefits of African cherry.
1) Weight loss
The fibre content of African cherry provides bulk to your diet, making your stomach feel fuller for longer.
This can help reduce your food intake and subsequently aid weight loss.
This nutrient can also help protect you from diabetes and some forms of cancer.
2) Reduces pre-menstrual syndrome
The fruit contains a generous amount of calcium which gives energy to the body.
The calcium present in the fruit helps to allay cramps and abdominal bloating.
3) Home remedy for sore throat
The high content of vitamins and anti-bacteria properties in the fruit helps in the treatment of sore throat, toothaches and constipation.
However, do not use African cherry for medicinal purposes without first consulting your physician.
4) Prevents vomiting and spitting in pregnant women
African cherry has a sour-like taste that holds the mouth, hits the palate and stops one from throwing up or spitting.
It has been argued as some of the reasons many pregnant women crave it.
Matthew Felix, a consultant nutritionist, says it reduces constipation, sore throat and aids digestion, which are also common problems of pregnant women.
“It contains more vitamin C than many other fruits; it is rich in calcium, iron potassium, phosphorous, magnesium, tannins, flavonoids, terpenoids, and phytochemicals,” Felix said.
“Also, it has antioxidant properties that help to fight many deadly diseases. It can also help lower blood sugar and treats heart disease.”
5) Contains Vitamin C
African star apple contains more Vitamin C/ascorbic acid than Orange. This vitamin helps prevent scurvy, a mouth gum disease.
6) Helps in Lowering Blood Sugar Level
A research by scientist in Covenant University reveals that Agbalumo could lower blood sugar and cholesterol, and could be useful in preventing and treating heart diseases.
7) Remedy for Yellow Fever Cough
The different plant parts like the roots, barks and leaves are used for healing cough, yellow fever, high blood pressure and much more.
Facts About African Cherry
In some parts of Nigeria, the seed is used to treat skin infections.
It is believed that consuming the fruit can help fight cancer and diabetes.
It could serve as a natural source of Anti-Oxidant booster to remove free radicals from oxidative stress disorders.
Antioxidants are vital for good health as they protect our cells from damage caused by oxidants, or free radicals.
Cherries contain antioxidants known as anthocyanins and cyanidin which may have anti-inflammatory effects and initial research has shown that these antioxidants could be beneficial in inflammatory conditions such as arthritis, although more research is needed to replicate these results in human studies.
How Much of it Should i Take?
There’s no clinical evidence to guide dosage of the cherry.
It’s important to note that many studies that suggested health benefits of cherry consumption used amounts which might be considered to be a high dose, for instance, cherries are high in fiber and eating too much of it a day may lead to G/I issues, (gastrointestinal, referring collectively to the stomach and the small and large intestine)
Herbal extracts from the popular fruit, African Cherry, also known as African star apple, may lead to male infertility, new studies have shown.
Like many supplements, the side effects of black cherry juice and concentrate are poorly understood.
Consuming large amounts of cherry juice may lead to indigestion and diarrhea, and the calories and sugar may be a problem for some people.
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