Soursop also known as graviola, guyabano or guanábana is a prickly, green tropical fruit that can weigh up to 15 pounds and grow about 12 inches long. Its flavor has been described as a mix between strawberry and pineapple, with a hint of sour citrus flavor. The leaves of soursop fruit have amazing medicinal properties which makes them usable as an ingredient in several herbal health care products.
Soursop offers carbohydrates as its main nutrient and they are free of fat, cholesterol and sodium. This prickly fruit is an excellent source of calcium, copper, fiber, iron, magnesium, niacin, phosphorus, potassium, riboflavin, thiamin, and vitamins B1, B3 and C. The leaves are full of several vital compounds including calcium, fructose, fat, protein, vitamins A and B.
Soursop And Cancer
Soursop is said to have super nutrients that are more effective in killing cancerous cells than chemotherapy.
There have been studies that showed that those who took soursop extract had better immune systems. The extract was shown to be helpful in targeting and killing cancer cells in about 12 types of cancer, including prostate, colon, pancreatic, breast, and lung cancer.
The compounds in the extract have been proven to help in slowing down the growth of malignant cells, even better than the strong and commonly used chemotherapeutic agent, Adriamycin.
When patients undergo chemotherapy, all the body systems suffer alongside the malignant cells. The soursop extract’s compound will selectively track and kill only the cancerous cells, and leave the healthy cells alone. There have been studies conducted since 1976 that indicate soursop is indeed a very good killer of cancer cells.
The claims still need to be backed by more studies, according to a lot of experts. There are a lot of people claiming that they have benefited from the extract, but there are still no recorded therapeutic claims from the use of soursop extract.
The Many Health Benefits of Eating Soursop
It is rich with various nutrients and contain certain phytonutrients that are highly beneficial for strengthening the immune system, thus is useful for natural treatment of many ailments.
Anti-aging: Soursop is high in vitamin C and an excellent antioxidant to increase stamina and energy and it also slows down the aging process.
Blood disorders: The tree is rich in iron and teas made from soursop fruit and leaves are excellent for treating anemia and increasing red blood cell count.
Bone health: The phosphorus and calcium present in soursop is good for strong bones and to help prevent osteoporosis.
Cancer: The fatty acids called acetogenins, one in particular called annonacin, as well as other compounds called quinolones, annopentocins and two alkaloids, coreximine and reticuline are said to have the potential to prevent or slow the growth of cancer. A study published in the “Journal of Medicinal Chemistry,” in 1997 reported that compounds from soursop were tested on breast cancer cells in culture and proved to be 250 times more effective in killing the cells than chemotherapy drugs. A laboratory study conducted at Catholic University of Korea determined that soursop compounds target only the cancer cells for destruction and leaves healthy cells untouched.
Heart and nerve health: The vitamin B1 in soursop is able to accelerate metabolism, blood circulation, prevent nerve damage, and restore central nervous system disorders. The vitamin B2 is essential for the body’s energy production, fat storage and to maintain heart muscles.
Immune system: Soursop contains various super phytonutrients that are beneficial for building and strengthening the immune system.
Infections: Due to the antimicrobial properties in this super fruit, it helps clear up fungal infections, bacterial infections and intestinal parasites, that improves gut health and the immune system.
Skin conditions: Soursop leaves can be mashed up and applied on the affected areas twice a day regularly. This can help alleviate the pain caused by eczema and treat it. Soursop leaves mixed with rose water can be beneficial when applied to the skin to help blackheads and other skin conditions.
Sleep: Soursop is often used as a sedative in certain cultures. The leaves can be brewed to make a drink that helps promote sleep. Soursop leaves can be placed inside a pillowcase to enhance sleep quality.
Dark green fruit with plenty of fleshy spines on the surface are the best to consume. Avoid any soursop with bruises or blemishes on the skin.
The pulp of the fruit can be made into fruit nectar, smoothies, fruit drinks, candies, sorbets, and ice cream flavoring.
Soursop leaves can be boiled for natural treatment of various inflammatory conditions like arthritis, gout, back pain, or simply to boost the immune system. Boil 10 leaves in 3 cups of water until about one cup remains, strain and let it cool. Drink this brew every morning for about 3-4 weeks to determine progress in the condition.
Unripe soursop should be stored at room temperature and placed in the refrigerator for up to two days after it has ripened.