The African cherry, popularly called Udara (Udala) by the Ibos, and Agbalumo by the Yorubas, is a seasonal fruit that dominates the streets at the onset of harmattan in Nigeria. Cherry has a chewable-edible skin that is green when unripe and orange-red colour when ripe. Its taste is sweet and sour at the same time with three to five big seeds inside.
Here are a 5 out of the countless benefits of African Cherry:
1. Helps Diabetic conditions
Star apples may have particular benefits for diabetics. Research published in the September 2009 edition of the “African Journal of Pharmacy and Pharmacology” indicates that the leaves of this fruit may reduce glucose levels in diabetic rabbits, the same function that insulin serves. Take note, however, that consuming star apple leaves appears to have a toxic affect when eaten in large quantities. More research is needed to determine the effectiveness of star apple leaves to control diabetes in humans.
2. Vitamins and Minerals
Star apples serve as a good source of calcium, with each serving providing you with 10 percent of the amount you require each day. The calcium lends strength to your bones and teeth, and it may also lessen symptoms of premenstrual syndrome, such as cramping and abdominal bloating. This fruit also contains 5 percent of the daily recommended value per serving of vitamin C and vitamin A. Additionally, one serving of star apples serves up 2 percent of the iron, a mineral vital for oxygenating your body, that you need every day.
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3. Medicinal Uses
The star apple is a folk remedy in several countries, although no research exists to confirm these uses. The seeds of this fruit may be useful to reduce fevers and treat diarrhoea. Some people also eat this fruit to reduce the inflammation associated with laryngitis and pneumonia. Other uses, including treatment for hypertension, tooth abscesses, heart problems, intestinal issues and cancer exist, but do not eat star apple for any medical condition without first consulting your physician.
4. Helps You Lose Weight
Eating a serving of star apple contributes 3 g of fibre to the recommended daily intake of 25 to 38 g. Fibre provides bulk to your diet, a factor that can make your stomach feel fuller for longer. This can keep you from eating too much, and it may help you lose weight. This nutrient can also help protect you from diabetes and some forms of cancer.
5. All-Round Basic Nutrition
1-cup serving of fresh star apple contains 67 calories. Eating star apple as a snack is a good choice as the calories are low and it provides no fat; however, this may not be enough calories to ease hunger pains and boost energy levels, as between-meal snack are meant to do. The Diet Channel notes that 100 to 200 calories per snack is best; consider eating an oz. of cheese or a tsp. of peanut butter to boost the number of calories into this range. One serving of star apple also has 15 g of carbohydrates, or 11.5 percent of the 130 g suggested for daily consumption by the Institute of Medicine.
See video on how to make Alasa/Agbalumo/Udara Mocktail/Cocktail.
Finally, Fresh ripe cherries are best enjoyed cold when rinsed with cold water. It can be eaten as a whole, in¬cluding the skin to get the maxi¬mum benefit. The skin can also be chewed and transformed to gum.
If you have ever chewed the skin as gum, please share your comments