Sapodilla, mainly known as Chikoo in the Indian sub continent, is a member of the Sapotaceae family in Central America. In Mexico, sapodilla is grown commercially for making chewing gum. The consumption of sapodilla is recommended in herbal medicine as it has an uncountable number of medicinal uses.
The sapodilla fruit is brown in color. It has a kiwi fruit-like texture but the outer surface is without any fuzziness. The pulp of the fruit is unripe with sticky latex called saponin. As Sapodilla ripens later on, the white latex gradually disappears. Sapodilla contains three to five black, smooth, shiny, bean-shaped inedible seeds located at the center of the fruit. The taste of Sapodilla is nice and it can be compared to some extent to pears.
Types of Sapodilla or Sapota:
1. Brown Sugar:
This member of the Sapodilla family was introduced in 1948. This version is granular, fairly sweet, luscious and very aromatic. Its structure is quite tiny. The length of this fruit is up to 2-2.5 inches. Its skin is mild and brown. The texture is slightly granular. However, its quality is excellent.
Prolific was introduced in 1951. This Sapodilla is spherical, conical in shape and has brown skin. The internal part has a pinkish color. It has quite an aromatic fragrance and is fairly sweet to taste. The length of this fruit is 2.5-3.5 inches and the width too is similar. Its skin is scruffy brown, but becomes smooth at the stage of maturation. The quality of this Sapodilla is rated as good.
The Russel variety has been available since the year 1935. It is a big spherical fruit. The length of this Sapodilla is three to five inches. It has a similar aromatic fragrance like its other family members. The texture of this fruit is granular and it is rich in taste. The fruit is big and circular – about three to five inches in diameter and in length as well. The skin of this fruit is scruffy brown along with gray spots. The internal part is pink in color. The texture is fairly granular. It is rich in flavor too.
This particular variety of sapodilla is oval in form. Its color is light brown. It is very small in size compared to its fellow family members. This variety ripens earlier than the others but still maintains its great taste.
Let’s look at the Sapodilla fruit benefits:
Sapodilla Health Benefits:
1. The Sapodilla fruit is high in fiber content. This makes the sapodilla fruit very good for digestion. It is also used in the treatment of constipation.
2. Sapodilla is able to prevent the occurrence of colon cancer.
3. Sapodilla fruit has tannin substances. In fact, tannins have several beneficial applications medicinally. They act as remedies for hemorrhoids and diarrhea.
4. Sapodilla contains important vitamins like Vitamin A and Vitamin C. Vitamin A helps to ensure proper vision and helps to maintain healthy skin and mucus membranes. Sapodilla offers protection from oral cavities and lung cancer. Similarly, Vitamin C helps the body to develop a resistance against pathogens and to destroy free radicals.
5. Consumption of sapodilla mixture with a pinch of salt is a recommended home therapy for the cure of constipation.
6. The leaves of the sapodilla fruit can also be used as a medicine for inflammatory diseases. The leaves work as an oral anti-inflammatory agent. Take clean sapodilla fruit leaves and then boil them for about ten minutes. This boiled water which contains the extracts of Sapodilla can be used as medicine. It can be used for gargling as well.
7. Fiber is a key part of good nutrition as it benefits the body in several ways. Sapodilla gives 5.6 grams per 100 grams of dietary fiber, thus making it an excellent laxative. The fiber extract of Sapodilla also helps to protect the mucous membranes present in the colon from cancer-inducing toxins through binding firmly to them.
8. The biggest qualities of Sapodilla are its haemostatic qualities. This fruit is extremely valuable in stopping the loss of blood. It helps in decreasing blood loss in piles, injuries and in many other medical terminologies.
9. The consumption of Sapodilla fruit benefits in reducing the level of infections. It helps in lessening viral diseases in addition to bacterial infections within the body. It also decreases inflammation caused by swelling and helps to ease pain.
10. Chikoo or Sapodilla is an excellent source of minerals such as potassium, copper and iron. In addition to these minerals, Chikoo also consists of foliate and niacin acid. These vitamins and minerals help in making the body powerful and energetic.
11. Sapodilla or chikoo is a natural sedative. It is used to relax the nerves and also to relieve stress. It is often suggested as a part of the diet of those struggling with insomnia and panic disorders. It is one of the best natural anti-depressants prescribed by medical practitioners for disorders like MDD (major depressive disorder), Unipolar Disorder, etc.
12. Sapodilla has high natural latex that is commonly used by dentists to fill up the tooth cavities.
13. Sapodilla also helps in the treatment of cold and cough. Consumption of this fruit helps to remove nose blockage and also in case of persistent coughs.
14. The simple sugars like fructose and sucrose that are the main ingredients of this fruit rejuvenate the body with natural energy.
15. Folic acid contained in this fruit is used in the formation of red blood cells and also help in the development of the fetus during pregnancy. It also helps to prevent the formation of homocysteine which is harmful for health.
Sapodilla is a good fruit for a growing baby’s health. Let’s know how Sapodilla benefits baby’s health:
You can introduce your baby to this fruit, between the ages of 6-8 months as it has a sweet and rich texture. It is safe to introduce sapodilla to infants because it does not cause allergic reactions. Here are some of the health benefits of introducing sapodilla in your baby’s diet:
Vitamins: The Sapodilla fruit is full of vitamins which are ideal for infants and toddlers. Vitamins C, A and B are complex vitamins that are found in sapodilla. These vitamins are essentials for babies and toddlers as they help in the physical and mental growth of the child.
Vitamin C is good for developing a strong immune system, whereas Vitamin A is good for developing good eyesight. Vitamin B, again, is helpful in taking care of various functions in the body including brain development, metabolism of lipids, hemoglobin production, enabling cell division and production of red blood cells.
Minerals: Several minerals found in sapodilla including calcium, iron, phosphorous, magnesium, potassium, copper, selenium and zinc play an important role in the facilitation of various functions in the human body. These include hemoglobin formation with the help of iron and copper, electrolytes with the help of potassium and sodium; calcium and phosphorous help in bone growth and magnesium helps in ensuring the chemical reactions in the body.
Antioxidants: One of the important sapodilla benefits is that it is a good source of antioxidants. These play an important role especially in the diet of infants. By giving sapodilla to your baby, you will not only ensure that your baby gets a good amount of vitamins and minerals but also that he/she gets a good amount of antioxidants that will provide protection from inside.
Antimicrobial properties: Sapodilla also has antimicrobial properties. It is a home cure for diarrhea and dysentery in infants and toddlers. Rather than giving them high medication we can use raw and unripe Sapodilla to cure diarrhea and dysentery. Tannins present in the Sapodilla tree bark can cure diarrhea or dysentery when boiled in water and given as a medication.
Cure for cough and cold: The Sapodilla fruit can be very helpful in curing cough and cold in infants. The expectorant properties found in sapodilla can provide relief from congestion and clogging that are co-related with phlegm and mucous formation.
Some precautionary measures should be taken while feeding Sapodilla to your little one.
Sapodilla, as a fruit is very good for your child. Avoid the unripe fruit as it will be very difficult for your baby to swallow and digest. Ripened sapodilla fruit is soft and can be crushed if pressed gently. This is the right stage to include the fruit in your baby’s diet. Also, remember to keep Sapodilla in a dry and cool place.
How to handle sapodilla: Peel off the outer skin first and then remove the seeds because they are big enough for your baby to cause choking.
Crush the fruit: Crush the fruit pulp before giving it to your baby. Though the fruit is soft, yet there can be issues when your baby eats the fruit. So, crush it, make a puree of it and let your baby enjoy this delicacy.
Last but not the least; here I am presenting a sweet and healthy recipe for all the kids out there:
Chikoo Choconut Milkshake:
This is a protein drink, an excellent combination of ingredients that melts your taste buds. A protein drink should be part of our day to day diet as it is required by our brain to work efficiently. This energy drink consists of chikoo, soyamilk and nuts. Chikoo provides carbohydrates (glucose) to the brain cells; on the other hand soya milk and cashew nuts provide protein required for good health and healthy function of the brain cells.
Preparation Time: 10 min
Makes 4 glasses
- 1 1/2 cups milk
- 1 1/2 cups chocolate flavored soya milk
- 2 cups chopped chikoo
- 4 tbsp sugar
- 1/2 cup roasted and finely chopped cashew nuts (kaju).
- 1/2 cup crushed ice.
- Combine all the ingredients together and blend in a mixer till smooth.
- Divide into 4 equal portions and pour each into 4 individual glasses. Serve chilled.
Sapodilla Nutrition Value Per Glass
|338 calories||9.2 gm||38.8 gm||14.6 gm|
Nutritional Values of Sapodilla:
Sapodilla (Manilkara zapota), fresh
Nutritive value per 100 g.
(Source: USDA National Nutrient data base)
|Principle||Nutrient Value||Percentage of RDA|
|Total Fat||1.10 g||3.5%|
|Dietary Fiber||5.3 g||14%|
|Pantothenic acid||0.252 mg||5%|
|Vitamin A||60 IU||2%|
|Vitamin C||14.7 mg||24.5%|
Raw sapodilla fruits have a high content of latex and tannins, and are too bitter in taste. Eating unripe sapodilla fruit can cause mouth ulcers, itchy sensation in the throat, and difficulty in breathing. Make it a point not to give it to children in an unripe state. The fruit should be fully matured. (Medical disclaimer).
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