Agbalumo, also known as the African Star Apple, is a fruit that is widely enjoyed across Nigeria. It is popular not just for its enticing sweetness but also for its many health benefits. This tropical fruit, native to West Africa, ripens during the dry harmattan season, and is usually available from December to April every year.
The botanical name for African star apple or agbalumo is Gambeya africana. It is also one known as Chrysophyllum africanum.
The fruit, also called Udara in the Igbo parts of the country, has a distinctive golden hue on the outer skin and is soft on the inside with big seeds. Its sweet and tangy flavour profile makes it a delightful snack, but its benefits extend beyond mere taste.
Research suggests that Agbalumo may contribute to heart health by helping regulate blood pressure and cholesterol levels. Bursting with vitamins A and C, it acts as a potent antioxidant, fortifying the body’s defense against free radicals. Additionally, its fiber content aids digestion and promotes a healthy gut.
In this blog post, we would explore some of the nutritional value and health benefits of the agbalumo fruit and why you should consider eating it, if you do not already.
Nutritional Value Of Agbalumo
African star apples or agbalumo are rich in water, antioxidants, vitamins, minerals, and dietary fiber. They provide essential nutrients such as protein, fat, carbohydrates, potassium, calcium, phosphorus, zinc, iron, vitamin C, and beta-carotene, which forms vitamin A. This makes them a valuable addition to a balanced diet, promoting overall health and well-being.
Lastly, one piece of agbalumo contains approximately 60-65 calories.
Health Benefits of Agbalumo
Here are the amazing health benefits of agbalumo or African star apple:
1. Antioxidant and anti-inflammatory powerhouse
Agbalumo is rich in antioxidants, particularly vitamins A and C, which help combat oxidative stress, supporting the body’s defense against cellular damage. This helps to protect your body, especially your organs, from toxins.
In addition to antioxidants, agbalumo is also rich in anti-inflammatory compounds like flavonoids and alkaloids, which help to reduce inflammation in the body, protecting the body from serious health conditions.
2. Heart health support
Studies suggest that the fruit may contribute to heart health. The low sodium and high potassium content shows that the fruit could provide effective in lowering high blood pressure levels. It is also rich in glycosides, which is a class of antioxidants that protect the heart from diseases.
3. Promotes digestive wellness
Packed with dietary fiber, Agbalumo promotes digestive health by supporting regular bowel movements and fostering a healthy gut environment. The high fibre content in Agbalumo also makes a person feel full for a long time.
This makes it a very good fruit for people looking to lose weight, as eating agbalumo during the day will reduce cravings for more food.
4. Immune system boost
The abundance of vitamin C in Agbalumo is known to strengthen the immune system, playing a vital role in warding off infections and illnesses.
The antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties in agbalumo all serve to protect the body from illnesses, which in turn strengthens the body’s immune system, giving it greater resistance to diseases and allowing it to fight back better.
5. Improves brain function
Another observed benefit of agbalumo is that it improves the function of the brain. This is because the fruit contains antioxidant properties that halt the damage done by lipopolysaccharides, which is a class of substances that impair memory function.
By taking action on the effects of lipopolysaccharides, this could improve brain function and strengthen memory function.
6. Manages diabetes
Another health benefit of agbalumo is that it can be used to manage diabetes. The high-fibre content in the fruit is very necessary for lowering blood sugar levels.
The fruit also lowers enzymes that increase blood sugar levels by breaking down carbohydrates. All of this suggests that the fruit can be helpful to people with diabetes. But caution should be applied when eating the fruit.
7. Great for weight loss and weight management
Another interesting health benefit of agbalumo are that they are beneficial for weight loss and management. They are low in calories and high in fiber, which can help control weight and prevent obesity. Moreover, their high fiber content can contribute to a feeling of fullness and reduced appetite, supporting weight loss efforts as recommended by doctors.
These are some of the immense benefits of agbalumo. As you can see, all of these listed benefits play an important role in keeping the body healthy and also prove effective against chronic conditions. So next time you are out shopping for fruits, remember to always get some African star apple, especially when it is in season.
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