Chiku or sapota is a tropical fruit-bearing tree native to South Mexico and Central America. The tree belongs to the Sapotaceae family. The sapota tree is cultivated for its fruits and is popular in Southeast Asia. The fruits are either oval or round in shape. It features brown exterior and dark peach-colored flesh that’s very sweet when ripe. Because chiku tree contains high level of latex, the fruits take a while to ripen.
Just like any tropical fruit, chiku is very nutrition-dense. It’s loaded with essential vitamins and minerals as well as antioxidants. Below are the other amazing health benefits of the chiku fruit:
Full of Fiber
Fiber is a compound that binds with fat and eliminates toxin buildup in the gut. It’s instrumental in weight loss and in maintaining healthy digestive tract. Unfortunately, most Americans do not meet their daily dietary allowance of fiber. Eating chiku helps take care of that. Chiku is packed with fiber so it’s very filling. It’s a natural laxative too. The fiber in chiku assists the excretory system to get rid of harmful compounds in the digestive tract and colon. Adding chiku to your diet purifies the system while also helping you lose weight!
Chiku fruits contain high levels of tannins. Tannins protect the body from oxidative stress. What’s more, tannins work to neutralize stomach acids. It helps minimize the chances of erosive gastritis, reflux esophagitis, and gastric disorders. Tannins contain powerful anti-viral, anti-bacterial, anti-inflammatory, and anti-parasitic properties that cut down the risk of infections and even cancer.
If there’s one thing chiku fruits are known for, it’s their nutritional value. Chiku is high in essential minerals like potassium, niacin, folate, iron, and pantothenic acids. Pantothenic acids assist in maintaining normal metabolic processes. It’s also a rich source of vitamin A, C, and E as well as complex B vitamins. These vitamins help keep the body healthy and nourish the skin and hair.
Vitamin E, in particular, doesn’t just keep the skin youthful and glowing. It also cuts the risk of developing cardiovascular diseases. Vitamin C helps strengthen the immune system, promotes better bone and oral health, and prevents gout and cataract.
Thins Out and Expels Mucus
In Southeast Asia, chiku is traditionally used to prevent cough and congestion. The natural compounds in the fruit thins out the mucus, making it easy to expel. Juts a serving of chiku per day helps protect the body from common cold and flu. The fruit is traditionally used as a cough remedy too.
Who Will Benefit From Eating Chiku Fruits?
There are many ways to prepare chiku fruit. You can add fresh chiku fruits to smoothies. Chiku skin is also boiled and drank as tea to relieve respiratory problems in children. Lactating mothers are recommended to eat more chiku to help assist in the fetus’ brain development. It also helps overcome morning sickness and dizziness. The diuretic compounds in chiku seeds may treat various kidney and bladder disorders.