African Star Apple or Sherry (agbalumo in Yoruba, udara in Igbo) is a popular seasonal fruit normally consumed (with its flesh) in Nigeria. Agbalumo is mostly cultivated in the rural areas of the country and fully in season from January to April. Naturally, its advisable to let the fruit fall to the ground before harvesting but it is common practice for people to pluck it from the tree even when it has not ripened fully. This is one of the major reasons for its sour taste and slapping sensation when it is consumed. However when the fully ripe agbalumo is consumed, it is sweet, lush and sensitizes the taste buds of the eater. To crown it up, it is highly nutritious. This post is dedicated to readers who eat agbalumo but do not know its nutritional potency.
Health Benefits of Udara/Agbalumo (African cherry/Star Apple)
- High Vitamin C Content
Vitamin C, also known as ascorbic acid, is a water-soluble vitamin. Unlike most mammals and other animals, humans do not have the ability to make ascorbic acid and must obtain vitamin C from their diet. Agbalumo presents a good source for vitamin C , 100g gram gives 25mg of vitamin C.
- Natural Anti-Oxidant
Antioxidants are substances that may protect your cells against the effects of free radicals — molecules produced when your body breaks down food or is exposed to tobacco smoke and radiation. What this means is that by consumption of agbalumo you give your body a better chance of fighting and avoiding heart disease, cancer etc.
- Low Calorie fruit.
A serving of agbalumo contains just 67 calories. This fruit is very good for those who want to loose weight because you consume more and get less calories intake. It is also a good snacking fruit which can be used to stop hunger pangs.
- Natural Remedy
The agbalumo/udara is a natural remedy for toothache, constipation, sore throat, and much more. Also the bark of the tree according to research was used traditionally to treat yellow fever and malaria, while the leaf treated wounds, stomach ache, and diarrhea. In some parts of Nigeria the seeds are used to treat vaginal and skin infections.
- Prevents Heart Disease
Frequent consumption of the fruit can help lower blood sugar and cholesterol thereby preventing or managing heart diseases.it is a very good recommendation for patient with heart problems.
As with all fruits and food, moderation is key. Do not consume Agbalumo excessively because it could lead to heartburn. Before including it in your diet, ensure you contact your physician.