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Six health benefits of African cherry

It is that time of the year when African cherry – the fruit popularly known as agbalumo among the Yoruba and udara to the Igbo – floods the market. Botanically called Chrysophyllum albidum, African cherry or white star apple, belongs to the Sapotaceae family.

Found throughout tropical Africa, the fruit has many health benefits. Below are some of them.

  1. Source of Vitamins

According to research, the fleshy pulp of the African cherry that is especially eaten as snack has been found to have higher contents of ascorbic acid than oranges and guava. The fruit itself is reported to be an excellent source of vitamins, irons and flavours. Hence, the fruit adds to the balanced diet of an individual.

  1. Reduces cramps in ladies

African cherry also serves as a good source of calcium that offers strength to the human body. The calcium embedded in the fruit can lessen symptoms of premenstrual syndrome, such as cramping and abdominal bloating.

  1. Acts as anti-bacterial

A study by researchers at the Forest Research Institute, Ibadan, Oyo State, showed that star apple leaves exhibit strong antibacterial activity against common bacteria isolates. The result from the study suggests that “water and methanolic extracts from the leaves of Chrysophyllum albidum (African Cherry) contain active agent(s) that fight off bacteria in the body”.

  1. Helps you lose weight

According to Nurse Rita, eating a serving of star apple contributes 3g of fibre to the recommended daily intake of 25 to 38g. These fibres provide 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.

  1. Treats diseases

A study by researchers at the Department of Biological Sciences, College of Science and Technology, Covenant University, Ogun State in Nigeria showed that the African cherry can be used in treating various diseases. “The bark is used for the treatment of yellow fever and malaria, while the leaf is used as an emollient and for the treatment of skin eruption, stomach ache and diarrhoea. The cotyledons from the seeds of Chrysophyllum albidum are also used as ointments in the treatment of vaginal and dermatological infections in Western Nigeria,” the research suggests.

  1. Remedy for sore throat

African Cherry can also serve as a home remedy for treating sore throat, toothaches and constipation. Because of its high nutrients in vitamins and anti-bacteria properties, it provides soothing relieve to affected areas in an individual.

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