Sapota or chikoo is a very fleshy, sweet and delicious fruit, known by different names like sapodilla plum, chikoo, dapota, noseberry and so on. Its scientific name is manilkara zapota. The physical features of the fruit look like the kiwi fruit of New Zealand. It is found in oval and round shapes and sizes vary from big, small to medium. Oval shape is supposed to be best in its properties. This extremely delicious fruit contains a wide variety of nutrients in it. The pulp of the fruit has grainy texture with sweet malty flavour. It has big black seeds at the centre which can be removed easily. This fruit is full of nutrients beneficial to our health. It is highly perishable and sensitive to cold storage.
Boosts energy: Abundant quantities of fructose and sucrose in chikoo make the fruit deliciously sweet to taste and gives instant energy.
Curbs constipation: The content of high fiber in sapota gives relief from constipation and by supporting the colon’s membrane makes it resistant to infections. It contain good amount of fiber that acts as a good remedy to curb constipation. It helps in protecting the mucous membrane of the colon from cancer causing toxins. Anti-inflammatory effects helps in problems like gastritis and bowel disorders.
Mental health: Sapota plays an important role in improving the mental health because of its effective sedative properties. It calms down the nerves and ease stress. It is proved as the most beneficial fruit for the person suffering from the depression, insomnia or anxiety.
Eye health: Sapota contains Vitamin A which helps in improving the vision even for the elderly people. Diuretic: It acts as diuretic and helps in removing the waste material from the body by frequent urination. Prevent water retention in the body.
Inflammation: Anti-inflammatory properties of sapota prevents gastritis and irritable bowel syndrome. The anti-inflammatory effects of tannin help limit conditions like erosive gastritis, reflux-esophagatis, enteritis and irritating bowel disorders.
Protects from infections: Sapota is a rich anti-oxidant poly-phenolic compound tannin. Tannins have shown to have potential anti-viral, anti-bacterial and anti-parasitic effects. They have many useful medicinal applications such as anti-diarrheal, haemostatic and anti-hemorrhoidal remedies. Hence this fruit protects our internal organs from infections and activate the performance of the intestines.
Skin care: Sapota helps in the glow of your skin. Vitamin E in sapota moisturizes the skin while the antioxidants in sapota help in eradicating free radicals that are responsible for enhancing the aging process. Thus it acts as an anti-aging agent. It effectively reduces the wrinkles.
Protects from cancers: The anti-oxidants, dietary fiber and nutrients found in sapota provide protection against cancer and tightly bind the carcinogens to protect the mucus membrane of the colon. Vitamin A also provides protection against lung and oral cavity cancers.
Cough and cold: Consumption of sapota helps to keep congestion and chronic coughs at bay. Since it is an expectorant, it helps in removal of mucous and phlegm.
Bone health: Calcium, phosphorus and iron present in sapota
makes your bones healthy and enhance the endurance power of the bones. Eating this delicious and healthy seasonal fruit will develop body resistance to fight against many infectious diseases throughout the year. ■
By Nibhanapudi Suguna