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Soursop belongs to the family of Annonaceae and the genus of Annona. Several studies have been carried out over the past years regarding the impacts of this fruit on human health. Interestingly, soursop has been recorded as among the list of valuable fruits that are highly beneficial to human health. Both the soursop drink and pulp have been reported to contain reasonable amounts of vitamins, minerals and nutrients that are health promoting. Both the leaves, stems and barks are equally medicinal in nature. Soursop is originally from the Caribbean islands of Hispaniola, West Indies, Cuba, Mexico, South and Central America and Puerto Rico before spreading to other parts of the world such as Africa (Congo, Nigeria, Cameroon).

Soursop is also known as guyabano,shawashop, mtomoko, guanavana, coração de boi, shawshopu, anona, thorny custard apple, ekitafeeli, evo, mullatha, tomoko, mãng cầu Xiêm, kowosòl, adunu, tearb barung, sorsaka, graviolo, aluguntugui, guanábana, graviola, durian salat, corossol, lampun, Brazilian pawpaw, durian benggala, nangka londa, nangka blanda, zuurzak or sirsak. Soursop is notable for its white fibrous pulp and tiny seeds that are intertwined in-between the pulp.

The pulp is very creamy, distinctively stringy, sour and tasty. Soursop fruit is oval in shape while the leaves are lanceolate in shape as well as glossy in appearance. The fruit is distinguished by its greenish sparse curved spines. While the pulp is the edible part of this fruit, the seeds are considered inedible and are usually discarded, according to Africa Update Newspaper.

Anti-cancer Properties

Soursop (shawashop) contains annonacin, which is a neurotoxin that is classified as acetogenin. Studies reveal that the presence of annonacin in soursop makes this fruit effective for inhibiting the growth of cancer cells when compared with chemotherapy and Adriamycin. Regular consumption of soursop is therefore highly essential for preventing the onset of cancer attacks.

 Anti-viral Properties

Annona muricata extract is anti-viral in nature thus can be used for treating viral infections such as herpes. Genital herpes is a type of infection caused by the herpes simplex virus (HSV). This virus causes painful blisters on the genitals and it can affect any mucous membrane (moist lining) like the ones present in the mouth (cold sores).

Boosts the Energy Level

The presence of fructose in shawashop makes this fruit an excellent source of energy. Fructose is a monosaccharide (simple sugar) that acts as a building block of complex carbohydrates.

Boosts the Immune System

Soursop fruit is an excellent source of natural products such as annonacin, acetogenins, muricapentocin, gentisic acid, annocatacin, anonol, annocatalin, linoleic acid, annohexocin, gigantetronin, caclourine, annomuricin and anomurine, which are all essential for boosting the immune system thereby helping to fight against disease causing agents.

Anti-oxidizing Properties

shawashop is an excellent source of vitamin C thus acts as a great antioxidant for promoting good health and slowing down the aging process.

Prevents Osteoporosis

Soursop is a rich source of calcium and phosphorus, which are essential for maintaining strong bones and for preventing osteoporosis.

Aids Digestion

Soursop is an excellent source of dietary fiber thus very good for facilitating easy digestion of food.

Culinary Purposes

The white pulp of the soursop fruit can be used for preparing smoothies, syrups, soft drinks, beverages, sherbets, candies, ice creams and juices. Soursop leaves can be used for tenderizing meat.

Nutritional Values of Soursop

Soursop is an excellent source of calcium, vitamin C, vitamin B1, vitamin B2, sodium, protein, potassium, pectin, glucose, fructose and dietary fiber, which are essential for promoting good health.

Maintains Healthy Heart

Soursop contains vitamin B1 and B2 that are essential for facilitating blood circulation thereby contributing to the maintenance of a healthy heart.

Treatment of Gastrointestinal Problems

Soursop fruit and leaves can be used for treating gastrointestinal diseases such as stomach pains, diarrhea.

Antibacterial Properties

Soursop contains phytochemicals that are antibacterial in nature thus have been proven effective for treating bacterial infections such as fever, cold etc.

Wound Healing Properties

The bark and stem of the soursop can be used for preparing herbal medicines for treating wounds and cuts.

Treatment of Hemorrhoids

Soursop is an essential fruit for treating hemorrhoids.

Other Uses of Soursop

Studies reveal that the soursop fruit juice is an excellent juice for tackling hematuria (blood in the urine), rheumatism, depression, urethritis (urinary tract infection), arthritis, kidney problems and liver disease.


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