Sitaphal For Good Health: 8 Benefits Of Eating Custard Apples
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Some call it sitaphal, other sharifa—but no matter what we call custard apples in various Indian languages doesn’t matter because anybody who has tasted this fruit knows just how amazing its sweet, milky white flavours are. A tropical fruit from the Annonaceae family, custard apple is known for its white, creamy and sweet flesh which is enjoyed fresh or in the form of ice creams, smoothies, custards and many other Indian desserts too. In season during the late monsoon and early winter months in India, this beloved fruit called sitaphal also has plenty of health benefits to provide.  

One of the native, seasonal fruits grown in India, sitaphal comes in many varieties across the country. The regions of Ratnagiri, Sindhudurg and Raigad in Maharashtra make it the leading custard apple-growing state of India followed by Madhya Pradesh and Gujarat. Various districts of Andhra Pradesh, Karnataka and Tamil Nadu are also known for their excelled custard apple crops. Some regions of Uttar Pradesh like Azamgarh and Varanasi are also famous for their delicious custard apples.  

The prime sitaphal season in India falls between September and November, so this is just the time to indulge in this aromatic fruit. Now, if you are wondering if there are any health benefits of eating sitaphal when it’s at its best while in season, the simple answer is yes. Like all seasonal fruits, sitaphal is packed with health benefits suited to your needs during the season-change months of September to November. Here are some such benefits you can gain from eating this fruit. 

Nutrients For Immunity 

Like all fruits, custard apple is loaded with essential vitamins such as vitamin C, vitamin B6 and vitamin A. Vitamin C, which doubles as an antioxidant, and polyphenolic compounds are also present in huge amounts in sitaphal. This apart, the fruit is also loaded with minerals like potassium and magnesium. So, custard apple can boost your immunity during season change and help prevent seasonal infections too. 

Digestion Aid 

Not only is custard apple loaded with soluble dietary fibres which are known to aid digestion but are also packed with antioxidants that may show laxative properties. When combined together, the duo of soluble fibre and antioxidants can help improve digestion, aid bowel movements and prevent constipation apart from promoting a healthy gut environment. 

Heart Health 

Rich in potassium, magnesium and antioxidants, custard apples are known to have beneficiary effects on the heart upon consumption. The high potassium content in the fruit can help regulate blood pressure and counteract the effects of sodium—which in turn can keep hypertension at bay. The antioxidants in sitaphal can also lower the risk of oxidative stress on the heart. 

Weight Management 

Sweet in taste and absolutely delicious, the high nutrient density of custard apples can help induce feelings of fullness, satiety and even contentment. All of these can combine to reduce your risk of overeating and craving fatty, high-calorie sweets for dessert. This in turn can help regulate your appetite and support weight management in the long run.

Anti-Inflammation Benefits 

Thanks to all the antioxidants, vitamins and minerals in custard apple, the fruit has incredible anti-inflammatory benefits. These micronutrients not only prevent free radical damage that affects the cells and causes inflammation, but also aid the prevention of inflammatory bowel and joint diseases. So, eating sitaphal has the potential to prevent artritis as well as some kinds of cancer. 

Bone Health 

Loaded with calcium and magnesium, two micronutrients that are vital for bone health, sitaphal can help you maintain healthy bone density. Apart from building strong bones and teeth, custard apple can also help prevent age-related bone health issues like arthritis, osteoporosis and more. The collagen produced thanks to eating custard apple can also keep your joints healthy. 

Skin Boost 

Everybody knows just how beneficial vitamin C-rich foods are for skin health, and custard apple is one such fruit rich in this micronutrient. As mentioned before, vitamin C not only works as an antioxidant but also improves collagen production. Collagen keeps the skin firm and youghtful. So, eating custard apples can help you prevent signs of premature ageing and skin damage. 

Pregnancy Health 

Did you know that all pregnant women are given supplements for micronutrients like iron and folate? This is because iron aids haemoglobin production and folate or vitamin B9 helps with foetal development. Packed with both these micronutrients, sitaphal is considered to be especially great for pregnant women and their babies.