Why everybody loves African Cherry (Agbalumo, Udara)
By Rita Chioma
Hurray, Cherry, popularly called Agbalumo, Udara, and Otien in some parts of Nigeria is back to town. The African cherry fruit has lots of health benefits that will surprise anyone!
The exotic fruit has a chew-able edible skin that ranges in color from green to orange, depending on the stage of ripeness.
The tender, sweet inner flesh is off-white with seeds making the inner to look like a star-shaped fruit. This obviously shows where it got the nickname ‘star apple’.
Here are some benefits of African Cherry:
Vitamins and Minerals
Star apples serve as a good source of calcium, with each serving providing you with 10 percent of the amount you require each day. The calcium lends strength to your bones and teeth, and it may also lessen symptoms of premenstrual syndrome, such as cramping and abdominal bloating.
This fruit also contains 5 percent of the daily recommended value per serving of vitamin C and vitamin A. Additionally, one serving of star apples serves up 2 percent of the iron, a mineral vital for oxygenating your body, that you need every day.
Helps Diabetic conditions
Star apples may have particular benefits for diabetics. Research published in the September 2009 edition of the “African Journal of Pharmacy and Pharmacology” indicates that the leaves of this fruit may reduce glucose levels in diabetic rabbits, the same function that insulin serves. Take note, however, that consuming star apple leaves appears to have a toxic affect when eaten in large quantities. More research is needed to determine the effectiveness of star apple leaves to control diabetes in humans.
The star apple is a folk remedy in several countries, although no research exists to confirm these uses. The seeds of this fruit may be useful to reduce fevers and treat diarrhea. Some people also eat this fruit to reduce the inflammation associated with laryngitis and pneumonia. Other uses, including treatment for hypertension, tooth abscesses, heart problems, intestinal issues and cancer exist, but do not eat star apple for any medical condition without first consulting your physician.
Helps You Lose Weight
Eating a serving of star apple contributes 3 g of fiber to the recommended daily intake of 25 to 38 g. Fiber provides bulk to your diet, a factor that can make your stomach feel fuller for longer. This can keep you from eating too much, and it may help you lose weight. This nutrient can also help protect you from diabetes and some forms of cancer.