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The guyabano is a white-fleshed fruit with a spiky skin, native to many tropical countries such as Malaysia, Mexico, Venezuela, and our very own Philippines. Also known as the pawpaw fruit in Brazil, or the soursop fruit in other countries, it’s recently experiencing a Renaissance of sorts in the healthy eating market because of its many medicinal uses and benefits for our bodies. With a sweet-sour taste that reminds people of a mix between a pineapple and lemon, a ripe guyabano is delicious even on its own as a refreshing dessert, but it also lends itself to iterations in juices, teas, smoothies and even as a delicious marinade for proteins such as chicken.
Several studies done by Purdue University or published in the Journal of Medicinal Chemistry have pointed to the fact that guyabano extract actually inhibits the growth of adriamycin resistant human mammary adenocarcinoma cells—also known as multidrug resistant cancer cells. While these tests were done in a test tube, it certainly wouldn’t hurt to eat something that shows so much promise that scientists are planning to conduct chemotherapy using its active compounds!
Not only does Vitamin C boost one’s immune system as a highly-effective antioxidant—helping you fight off everything from the average cold to a terrible case of the flu—it also helps prevent urinary tract infection by lowering the bacterial count in your urinary tract. Vitamin C also helps your body absorb iron—preventing anemia!
Guyabano also has plenty of folate, which is an essential B vitamin which will help prevent birth defects and other complications that may be experienced during pregnancy. It also prevents water retention—a common problem amongst pregnant women. It’s also said to increase a mother’s milk production after childbirth.
Because guyabano is full of calcium—not to mention the fact that it has copper, which helps absorb calcium—you will strengthen your bones and help prevent osteoporosis. This also has the added bonus of helping speed up the healing process should you ever find yourself in an accident where you broke a bone. Strong bones are necessary to help reduce back pain, and increasing your calcium intake will prevent future loss of bone density.
A traditional medicinal use for guyabano is for helping with headaches and migraines, as well as to reduce fevers. This is probably down to the riboflavin in guyabano, which is known for helping with such pains. Either way, guyabano tea has certainly helped kids in various Filipino households get better when they’re feeling unwell.
Guyabano is also rich in fiber, which explains why it was such an effective treatment against diarrhea, constipation and inflammation of one’s bowels even before modern medicine came up with anything. Eat the fruit, or drink the juice—both are good for your digestion. As a bonus, if you crush the seeds, they’re known to treat nausea and vomiting, keeping your stomach steady.
This is especially good to know if you’re worried you picked up something from unclean drinking water or improperly-cooked food! Guyabano fruit and juice are used to help the body purge out worms and other parasites. The seeds can also be crushed to use against internal as well as external parasites.
The guyabano is also full of other B vitamins which will boost, lowered energy levels and put some pep in your step, not to mention thiamine, which is necessary in processing glucose and transforming it for our body’s use as energy.
If your pain is due to cramping muscles, guyabano is full of potassium, which will prevent that. It’s also great for your lumbar health. Guyabano also reduces inflammation—as evidenced by how much it helps when you have a fever—and this will alleviate the pain that comes with arthritis, joint problems and rheumatism.
Phosphorus is a mineral that changes protein, fat and carbs into energy, helps us keep our bones and teeth strong, and allows for the proper development of connective tissue. It’s also necessary to maintaining the body’s pH balance, making it necessary for homeostasis.
So if you’re thinking of making a breakfast smoothie or want to slice up some fruit for a healthy dessert, maybe you should consider adding this nutritious fruit to your diet! These ten benefits are just some of the many ways it can improve your bodily functions and help with various ailments. It’s delicious, nutritious and readily available—go for it!