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Wednesday, February 11, 2015

Have A Fruitful Day- African Star Apple (Agbalumo/ Udara)

African Star apple (Agbalumo)
The white star apple is a dark yellowish fruit with semi-circle seeds, a popular seasonal fruit normally consumed with it flesh in the West Africa region.Botanically called chrysophyllum albidum, the fruit is mostly cultivated in the rural areas and is very common during the months of December to April. The fruit is mostly found in african countries like Nigeria, Cameroon, Cote d’ Ivorie, Uganda and Niger Republic. 

However here in Nigeria the white star apple is popularly referred to as Agbalumo and Udara by the Yoruba's and Igbo respectively.This wonderful fruit is picked by africans on their way to the farm, during the era of our forefathers. But nowadays you get it from the marketplace as it has become a source of income to the people mostly living in the rural areas.During white star apple season you will see both adult and children savouring the great taste of this indigenous fruit.

But have you ever care to know the health benefit of the white star apple. anyway incase you don't know, the fruit is highly nutritional and can help alot in many ways

1. The bark of the tree according to researcher was used traditionally to treat yellow fever and malaria, while the leaf treated wounds, stomachache, and diarrhea

2. The agbalumo/udara is a natural remedy for toothache, constipation, sore throat, and much more. Also in some parts of Nigeria the seeds are used to treat vaginal and skin infections

3. White star apple had been suggested to contain more vitamin C than orange and guava, the friut is also rich in potassium, phosphorous, magnesium, tannins, flavonoids, terpenoids, and phytochemicals.

4. When the udara/agbalumo is consumed for its flesh, it can help lower blood sugar and cholesterol prevent and treat heart diseases. 

5. The fruit is known to have anti-oxidant properties that help fight cancer and treatment of diabetes.

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.

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.

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.

Basic Nutrition
1-cup serving of fresh star apple contains 67 calories. Eating star apple as a snack is a good choice as the calories are low and it provides no fat; however, this may not be enough calories to ease hunger pains and boost energy levels, as between-meal snack are meant to do. The Diet Channel notes that 100 to 200 calories per snack is best; consider eating an oz. of cheese or a tsp. of peanut butter to boost the number of calories into this range. One serving of star apple also has 15 g of carbohydrates, or 11.5 percent of the 130 g suggested for daily consumption by the Institute of Medicine.


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