Cherimoya, also called custard apple, is a tropical fruit with a custard-like texture. You can scoop out the flesh and eat it with a spoon, make it into a juice or mix it into fruit salads, ice creams, smoothies or other desserts. These delicious fruits are nutritious, providing fiber, antioxidants and essential vitamins and minerals, all of which are beneficial to your health.
Eating a cup of cherimoya fruit will provide you with 20 milligrams of vitamin C, or 33 percent of the daily value; 0.4 milligrams of vitamin B-6, or 21 percent of the DV; and 0.2 milligrams of riboflavin, or 12 percent of the DV. Vitamin C is important for healing wounds and making the collagen necessary for forming your blood vessels, skin, cartilage, tendons and ligaments. You need vitamin B-6 to form red blood cells and to keep your metabolism and immune system functioning properly. Riboflavin is necessary for healthy vision and nervous system function.
While cherimoya contain small amounts of all of the essential minerals, they are a particularly good source of potassium. Each cup of cherimoya contains 459 milligrams of this mineral, which is 13 percent of the DV. Potassium is important for keeping your blood pressure levels normal and for keeping your heart, muscles and digestive system working correctly.
Where cherimoya really stand out is their high fiber content. Each cup of this fruit contains a whopping 4.8 grams of dietary fiber. This is 19 percent of the DV of 25 grams. Fiber is important for keeping your digestive tract healthy, lowering your blood sugar and cholesterol levels and filling you up so you are less likely to overeat.
Antioxidants help limit damage to your cells by free radicals, thus lowering your risk for heart disease, cancer and arthritis. Cherimoya flesh, juice and peel all have an antioxidant effect due to the antioxidants, including flavonoids and polyphenols, that they contain. The juice and the inedible peel show more of an antioxidant effect than the flesh, according to an article published in "Food Research International" in August 2011.
- Food Research International: The Antioxidant Properties of the Cherimoya (Annona Cherimola) Fruit
- Journal of Food Composition and Analysis: Radical Scavenging, Antioxidant and Metal Chelating Activities of Annona Cherimola Mill. (Cherimoya) Peel and Pulp in Relation to Their Total Phenolic and Total Flavonoid Contents
- USDA Nutrient Data Laboratory: Cherimoya, Raw
- Purdue University: Cherimoya
- Fine Cooking: Cherimoyas
- U.S. Food and Drug Administration: 14. Appendix F: Calculate the Percent Daily Value for the Appropriate Nutrients
Based in Massachusetts, Jessica Bruso has been writing since 2008. She holds a master of science degree in food policy and applied nutrition and a bachelor of arts degree in international relations, both from Tufts University.