Kampala — If you have come across a heart shaped fruit with an unusually scaly rind or outer layer, you must know it is the custard apple with a scientific name "Annoma cherimola"
While some people disregard its sweetness and health value given its appearance, the fruit has several benefits including protection from various medical conditions.
The fruit grows on a small deciduous tree, about 10 meters in height and is known by different names worldwide commonly referred to as 'Kistaffeli' in central Uganda.
At an unripe stage, custard apples showcase a pale green colour and when it is perfectly ripe, brown patches develop on its skin. Beneath the thin covering, a thick, cream-white layer of custard like, granular, flesh is present, which surrounds seeds.
According to Dr. Faizal Bulamu of Bulamu Medical Center, Custard apples contain anti-oxidants like Vitamin C, which helps to fight free radicals in the body. It is also high in potassium and magnesium that protects our heart from cardiac disease.
"Not only that, it also controls our blood pressure. Custard apples contain Vitamin A, which keeps your skin and hair healthy. This fruit is also known to be great for eyes, and cures indigestion problems," noted Bulamu. "The high amount of magnesium in custard apples maintains water balance in the body."
Custard apples are packed with iron and are the simplest and fastest cure for treating anemia.
For extremely underweight individuals, custard apples are an ideal way to put on a few kilos.
It's important to include this fruit in your diet, as the copper content helps to cure constipation, and helps to treat diarrhea and dysentery.