Soursop is evergreen plant with broad leaves and thorny fruit that is native to Mexico, Cuba, Central America, the Caribbean and Puerto Rico. It is also native to South America, primarily Columbia, Brazil, Peru, Ecuador, Venezuela. Soursop is also grown in all tropical parts of Africa, South East Asia and the Pacific. Limited production occurs as far north as southern Florida and abundant on the island of Mauritius.
Soursop plants are adapted to areas of high humidity and relatively warm winter season. The flavour is a combination of strawberry and pineapple with dash of sour citric flavour contrasting the underlying creamy flavour reminiscent of coconut or banana.
The fruit flesh consists of edible white pulp, fibre, and a core of black seeds. The pulp is also used to make fruit nectar, smoothies, fruit juice drinks, candies, sorbets and ice cream flavours. Soursop and its derivative products are consumed across the world. It is also available in branded food and beverage products in many countries.
Soursop is also a common fruit used for dessert as the only ingredient, or as beverage and for juices mixed with milk. It is also used to make fruit bars and ice cream. However, it is popularly eaten raw when it ripens. Usually the fruits are taken from the tree when they mature and left to ripen in a dark corner. They are eaten when they are fully ripe.
The fruit contains significant amounts of vitamin C, B1 and B2. The Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer lists cancer treatment as one of the purported uses of soursop. Soursop is widely promoted as ‘graviola’ as an alternative cancer treatment, however there is no medical evidence that it is effective. Cancer Research UK also released a statement regards cancer ‘cure’ that included ‘overall, there is no evidence to show that graviola works as a cure for cancer. In laboratory studies, graviola extracts can kill some types of liver and breast cancer cells. In African and South American countries, graviola is used treat infections with viruses or parasites, rheumatism, arthritis, depression, and sickness.
In recent times, amongst the health conscious Soursop has gained immense popularity for its many health benefits. Soursop is a powerful antioxidant to the human body and creates a powerful immune system. It is believed riboflavin content in Soursop helps avoid migraine headaches, enriched iron can eliminate risk of anaemia and juice made from Soursop can help heal infections in liver and urinary tract.
Soursop is also known to clean human body system and leaves a disease free body. It’s consumption also helps develop hard tissues, which is essential for human body and is effective in building strong bone structure. Soursop also helps with relief of leg pains and sprains, arthritis, back and joint pains and rheumatism.