Welcome to our first article of the year as we take you through the latest fruit in town………
Popularly known as Agbalumo is a tasty local cherry with its succulent fleshy pulp and sweet seeds is a fruit most liked by many. You do not want to eat this fruit when it is not in season. Before it ripens, the juice is still yet tangy and will produce an unpleasant ‘slapping’ sensation if eaten. It is best to wait for the fruit to drop from its tree, and if lucky enough you could be the first one to snatch it off the ground. Some of us say you could dance around the tree and sing for one to drop for you, perhaps?
Agbalumo also known as “white star apple” or African cherry is dark yellowish fruit with semi-circle seeds, a popular seasonal fruit normally consumed with its flesh because of its sweetness. It is botanically called “chrysophyllum albidum,” mostly cultivated in the rural areas and is very common during the months of December to April. Its a forest fruit tree described by the Scottish botanist George Don. It is commonly found throughout tropical Africa.
Amongst the eastern and southern parts of Nigeria, it is called “Udara” & called Agbalumo in Yoruba of Nigeria
The fruit is mostly found in African countries like Nigeria, Cameroon, Cote d’ Ivorie, Uganda and the Niger Republic.
This wonderful fruit is picked by Africans on their way to the farm, during the era of our forefathers. But nowadays you get it from the marketplace as it has become a source of income to the people mostly living in the rural areas. During “white star apple” season you will see both adult and children savouring the great taste of this indigenous fruit.
Unfortunately, unlike most fruits, you cannot really tell from its physical state if the fruits is ripe or not. One thing you could do though is to take a litmus paper to the market and squeeze a little juice on it, to determine its acidity.
The African star apple has some wonderful health benefits. Of course, it is already popular across Africa for its sweet-sour taste and gummy skin. But apart from that do you know its benefits? We have listed some of the wonderful health benefits of the juicy fruit:
Health benefits of the African star apple
- Agbalumo/Udara is a natural remedy for toothache, constipation, sore throat, and much more. Also in some parts of Nigeria.
- White star apple had been suggested to contain more vitamin C than orange and guava, the fruit is also rich in calcium, iron potassium, phosphorous, magnesium, tannins, flavonoids, terpenoids, and phytochemicals. As many people know, the benefits of vitamin C include protection against immune system deficiencies, cardiovascular disease, prenatal health problems, eye disease and even ageing of the skin. The Agbalumo is a wonderful source of vitamin C, with 25 mg of vitamin C per 100 gram of fruit.
- Star fruit contains many beneficial plant compounds. Animal studies show that these may reduce inflammation, cholesterol, and the risk of fatty liver. Still, humans research is lacking.
- It is not a coincidence that Agbalumo is liked by some pregnant women. As a matter of fact, the acidic taste of Agbalumo help prevents the urge to vomit when experiencing morning sickness.
- Herbal practitioners are also known to use the bark of the tree to treat yellow fever and malaria, while the leaves are useful for treating wounds, stomach ache, and diarrhoea.
For people with kidney problems, eating star fruit regularly may lead to kidney damage as well as star fruit toxicity, which may cause neurological problems — such as confusion, seizures, and even death.
Did we leave anything out? Let us know what else you know about the white star using the comment box below.
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