Custard apple is a native fruit of South America, West Indies and some parts of Asia, custard apple is also known as Cherimoya. The fruit has a hard exterior cover having white-colored flesh and a creamy texture. A hybrid of the sugar apple (Annona squamosa) and cherimoya (Annona cherimola), custard apple is grown in Australia
Apple Custard pie has various names in various parts of India. Some people call it sharife or shitaphal in Hindi, Sita Phal in Gujarati, sharifa in Punjabi, seethe palam in Telugu, sita pazham in Malayalam, seethe Pazham in tamil ad Sitaphala in Marathi.
What is Custard Apple?
Custard Apple known by many name, is a fruit having a sweet taste with a hard exterior with creamy texture inside. The fruit has got black shiny seeds with pulpy coat and they are not to be consumed and are poisonous. The custard apple pie is high in calories and the presence of natural sweetness makes it a great dessert and a nutritious snack.
Custard Apple is an aromatic fruit containing 28% sugar. Vitamin C, potassium, dietary fibre, thiamine, and magnesium found in high quantities.
Custard Apple is compound and measures up to 3 to 6 inches in diameter. The shape of the fruit depends as it might sometimes be symmetrical, heart-shaped, lopsided or irregular. The fruit may sometimes be round or oblate having a base with deep or shallow depression. Custard apple has thin but tough skin or covering. The colour of the fruit is usually yellow or brownish when it ripens. When the fruit is opened, you get a thick, white-cream layer of custard-like granular flesh that is surrounded by seeds. This sweetish healthy fruit has various health benefits and is also an alternative to dairy products. The fruit contains the same nutrition as provided by the custard apple.
Different types of Custard Apple
All around the world you can find various types of custard apple. Atemoya, Cherimoya, Sweetsop, Soursop, Alligator apple are the various types of custard apples that have distinctive tastes and flavors.
Is Custard Apple Good for Health
Custard Apple fruit is one of the best fruit and good for health. Babies like the taste of this sweetish fruit. Potassium, magnesium and Vitamin C are some of the nutrients found in the fruit. These properties in the fruits help in keeping people fit and healthy. It also helps to keep healthy skin and strong hair.
Importance of Custard Apple
Everyone loves the sweet taste of custard apple and is one of the best ways to get Vitamins A and C. Besides, the fruit is also rich in potassium and magnesium from this fruit. There are varieties of these apples but the taste of each of the fruit is just amazing and superb. It is a highly flavored fruit with various nutrients in them.
How to Eat Custard Apple?
Custard Apple is a fruit that is eaten as-it-is. The fruit is eaten ripe and this can be found by touching a bit on the side and it is softened. When the fruit is opened with hand, you can see various sections of fruit pulp inside. In each of these sections, you can consume the white fruity and pulpy part of it. Discard the seed present in the pulpy. Take a spoon and scoop out the fruit to eat the delicious fruit.
Climatic Condition for Custard Apple
The dry and hot climates are the best blooming season for custard apple and need light soil-grown on the slope of hills. From the seeds, the plants are raised and bear fruit in about three to four years. In April to May, the custard apple tree bears flowers and in August and November, the fruit is borne. Temperature and humidity are the climatic factors limiting commercial production.
Best Soil for Custard Apple
Consider the land and climate before planting custard apples. They grow best in sandy loam soils having a well-structured clay loam soils. To avoid rot and good custard apple tree performance, the feeder roots of the tree should be relatively shallow. It should be one meter of well-drained soil without heavy clay or rock. Planting of the fruit is done during the rainy season.
Water Requirement for Growing Custard Apple
The development of fruit ensures high yield and fruit splitting can be prevented if there is uniform soil moisture throughout the setting of fruit. Proper irrigation is essential for the development of the fruit. The water salinity should not exceed 800 centimeters as the fruit is sensitive to salt in irrigation water.
Harvesting Procedure of Custard Apple
Custard apple tree yields from the third year. In South India, the yield is from August to October and in North India, it is from September to November.
Best Time to Eat Custard Apple
The best time to eat custard apple is in the month of August to October. The fruit is ripened at best during this time of the year. This fruit is easily available in all the fruit markets in the country. Eat this nutritious fruit in the season to get the nutritious value of custard apple.
Benefits of Custard Apple
Continue reading to know the benefits of custard apple:-
Healthy Skin and Hair
Custard Apple contains high levels of vitamin A that are good to maintain healthy hair and skin and better eyesight. Besides, it is a good moisturizer and anti-aging properties. The creamy whitish flesh is used as a balm to treat balms and ulcers. The outer skin of the fruit helps fight against tooth decay and gum pain.
Eating custard apple will help you to gain weight. Add honey to custard apple and consume it regularly. The fruit aids in gaining weight and helps in adding calories healthily needed for the body.
Prevention of Asthma
High source of vitamin B6, custard apple, reduces the bronchial inflammation and prevents asthmatic attacks.
Custard apple is highly beneficial for the development of the nervous system, brain, and immune system of the fetus. The risk of miscarriage during pregnancy and the extent of labor pain during childbirth reduce with the intake of custard apple regularly. Even breast milk is produced during pregnancy if custard apple is consumed regularly. The presence of Vitamin A and C are beneficial for the mother and the child. For the development of the baby, you get potassium and magnesium from the fruit. Hence, the fruit is good for both the mother and the baby. Since ages, the benefits of this fruit have been passed on from grandmothers to their daughters.
Prevention against Heart Attacks
Custard-apple contains magnesium content that protects the heart from cardiac attack and helps in the relaxation of muscles. Vitamin B6 also helps in the prevention of homocysteine collection that reduces the risk of heart disease.
Excellent for Diabetes
Consumption of custard apple is very effective for the diabetic person as it contains a high amount of dietary fiber that slows down the absorption of sugar. The fruit also reduces the risk of developing type-2 diabetes.
Prevents Premature Graying
When the copper in the body is not enough, it leads to premature greying of hair. Custard apple is rich in copper and helps in building melanin levels. The melanin level in the body gives the color needed for the hair, eyes, and skin.
Helps in Digestion
Custard apple assists in digestion, ease bowel movement and relieves from constipation as they are highly rich in copper and dietary fiber. People even dry the pulp of custard apple and make a powder of it. This powder is then consumed with water which treats diarrhea. Copper and dietary fibers are the chief features of the fruit.
Controls Blood Pressure
Custard apples help to control the level of blood pressure as they are highly rich in potassium and magnesium. Consume this fruit daily to control fluctuating blood pressure levels. Besides the fruit is also helpful in fighting muscle weakness.
The cholesterol levels lower with the consumption of custard apple as they are high in niacin and dietary fiber. Eating of custard apple daily keeps you healthy if you are highly prone to high levels of cholesterol. Cholesterol is reduced as the niacin present in the fruit makes the triglyceride level to go down.
Custard apples are rich in iron sources and help in treating anemia. It acts as a coolant and a stimulant and is a rich source of iron. Besides, it also has haematinic and expectorant properties that give benefit to people suffering from anemia.
The presence of certain compounds in custard apple helps in preventing cancer. The two compounds, Alkaloids and acetogenin help in preventing cancer cells and do not hurt the healthy cells in the body.
Custard Apple is highly beneficial for keeping the eyesight in check. It also reduces the strain on the lens of the eyes. You should eat custard apple regularly to improve your vision. When the fruit is available in the season, eat it to improve your eyesight and make a difference to your health. The presence of various nutrients in the fruit keeps your eyes healthy.
Custard Apple has calcium, and these are highly beneficial for bone health. Eating of the fruit regularly relieves you from arthritis. Besides, it also reduces the degeneration of bone pain associated with arthritic pain.
Custard apple is good for those who have low immunity level. Include the custard apple in your diet as it is rich in various nutrients. You can thus naturally treat your immunity disorders. Consuming custard apple will help in building up your immunity levels.
Increases Brain Health
Lead a hectic life without any tensions and problems by eating custard apple. This also helps in boosting the health of your brain. By eating it regularly, you will get all the nutrients and the bloodstream absorbs them. Thus, the brain grows and stays young. Besides, it also minimizes the neurological problems. Regularly consuming the fruit gives positive and beneficial on your body.
Custard-apple contains enzymes and antioxidants and they help in removing and preventing the lice infection on the scalp. Keep your scalp free of problems by applying the paste of fruit once in a while to strengthen the scalp and keeping it healthy. All sorts of infestation or lice are prevented on a healthy scalp.
Side Effects of Custard Apple
Custard apple is high in cholesterol and possesses various cancer benefits. Eating too much of the fruit is also not good for health. Some of the side effects of the fruit are –
- Gaining weight by eating too much of the fruit.
- The overdose of custard apple increases iron and the complications associated with it.
- Rich in potassium and hence can interfere if you have medical issues. Thus eating may lead to other complications.
- Keep in mind all the factors before consuming the fruit.
People from all over the world love the fruit and hence is loved by all. Regularly consuming the fruit gives you many additional benefits. The fruit is highly rich in nutrients needed for the body. You can deal with many of your health problems including skin and hair problems by eating custard apple. The paste of custard apple on your hair and skin gives you strong and shiny hair and clear skin.
The factors like type of soil, water source, and other orchard management practices depend largely on the yield of the fruit. Custard apple does not need much investment and care.