Black sapote is a species of persimmon with a unique texture and flavor. These qualities earned it the nicknames chocolate pudding fruit and the black soapapple. Beyond its interesting characteristics, the black sapote also provides health benefits ranging from fighting off infections to encouraging weight loss.
Black sapote is particularly rich in vitamin C, which possesses many benefits for overall health. Most notably, eating a diet with plenty of vitamin C can lower the risk of many types of cancer, including colon, lung, and breast cancers. Vitamin C is also vital for the healing process and the formation of cartilage, muscle, blood vessels, and collagen.
Free radicals form when the body breaks down food or is exposed to dangers like tobacco smoke and radiation. These molecules play a role in disease development, including Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s, ulcers, and inflammatory conditions. Along with vitamin C, black sapote contains a variety of other antioxidants that help protect the cells from these harmful molecules.
In addition to vitamin C, many other nutrients within black sapote fruit protect against cancer. One of the most prevalent is beta-carotene, a carotenoid that may reduce lung cancer rates if it comes from a natural source, like black sapote. Studies show that calcium, which black sapote contains in good amounts, may also help prevent certain cancers.
Some nutritionists believe that black sapote can help with weight loss and management. The fruit contains catechins that offer a bounty of benefits. Specific to weight loss, they promote fat oxidation or the burning of fat for energy. Black sapote also contains complex carbohydrates that provide a long-term feeling of fullness due to taking longer to digest. Since caloric deficit (eating fewer calories than you burn) is the only way to lose fat, feeling full for longer may help some people consume less.
Many of the black sapote fruit’s nutrients are beneficial to eye health. People with high levels of vitamin C in their diets have a lower risk of developing cataracts and age-related macular degeneration. Beta-carotene is also known as provitamin A, a slightly less active form of traditional vitamin A. Among its other perks, vitamin A is critical for vision and can slow the development of many eye conditions.
The various nutrients in black sapote promote gut health through a variety of methods. Black sapote provides fiber, which normalizes bowel movements and helps prevent hemorrhoids and many colon diseases. The catechins in the fruit inhibit the activation of harmful bacteria in the gut while simultaneously allowing healthy bacteria to flourish.
Black sapote is great for increasing calcium and phosphorus in your diet. These two minerals make up the main structural component in bones and tooth enamel. Because of this, receiving enough phosphorus and calcium staves off conditions involving the loss of mineral density, like osteoporosis.
Phosphorus also ensures that hormones, especially those necessary for reproductive health, remain in balance. The mineral does this by interacting with the endocrine glands, regulating the creation and secretion of the hormones. When a person feels stress, their body releases harmful molecules that can interfere with hormonal balance. Beta carotene and vitamin C can neutralize these molecules, helping lower stress levels and regain proper hormone levels.
People who wish to improve their cardiovascular health may consider introducing black sapote into their diets. The fruit contains iron, which can prevent and manage anemia by improving hemoglobin production. Studies show that catechins have beneficial effects on the cardiovascular system, including reducing bad cholesterol (LDL) levels and promoting blood vessel expansion. Fiber can also reduce LDL levels.
Despite the vast range of benefits that black sapote provides, there is a slight amount of risk when adding it to a diet. Unripe black sapote fruits are slightly toxic and taste bitter. People in certain countries use unripe black sapote as poison for small animals and fish. While it is unlikely to cause major harm to humans in small amounts, the risk is still present.
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