Easy on the stomach and delightful on the tongue, many of us know this sweet, grainy, brown berry as chikoo. It has long, flat black seeds and grainy brown pulp. Unripe it’s green and full of latex. As it ripens, its color changes from green to brown outside and from white to brown inside. Unusual fact about chikoo is that is in season twice a year; January- February and then May- July. Its sweet and musky flavor makes it favorite of all.
Health Benefits Of Chikoo
Chikoo has numerous healthy, skin and hair benefits. It is full of simple sugars, fiber, vitamin and tannins. People mostly consume it raw or in milk shakes and smoothies.
Chikoo for Eyes
High vitamin A content makes chikoo great for eyes. Often childhood blindness occurs due to vitamin A deficiency in children living under poverty line. It can be easily prevented by taking fruits rich in vitamin A. Taking fruits rich in vitamin A during adulthood helps delay loss of vision in old age. It is also great for children in growing age who are suffering from short sightedness.
Chikoo Provides Instant Energy
Being rich in simple sugars such as fructose and sucrose, chikoo gives instant energy to your body. This makes chikoo perfect for breakfast, mid-meal snack and serves as a quick bite during any sports match for athletes including marathon runners.
Tannins in chikoo give it anti inflammatory properties. It helps reduce pain, swelling and inflammation in many inflammatory diseases. This includes inflammatory diseases of the gut such as enteritis, esophagitis; inflammation in bone joints such as arthritis.
Chikoo Is Rich In Calcium
Chikoo has significant amount of calcium, phosphorus and iron. Calcium and phosphorus are required for external structure of the bone. Both these minerals increase strength and endurance of bones. Iron on the other hand is important for internal structure of the bone and is associated with consumption of calcium, production of collagen and blood.
Chikoo’s Benefits During Pregnancy
Rich in carbohydrates, chikoo provides immense energy to pregnant and lactating females. Its musky flavor helps with nausea and dizziness and sugars provide energy which helps with fatigue and weakness.
Being rich in fiber, it helps with constipation. Having chikoo helps in easy defecation both for pregnant females and other adults. It also makes the lining of the gut resistant to infections absorbing toxins from bacteria.
Chikoo also help in treating piles and other injuries by preventing blood loss. Ground seeds of the fruit can be applied as a paste for alleviating stings and insect bites.
For Heart and Blood Vessels
Minerals found in chikoo are great for heart. Magnesium helps blood vessels relax that reduces blood pressure. This leads to healthy circulation. Folate and iron in chikoo directly promote production of new blood cells. Potassium balances for sodium and regulates blood pressure.
Make sure chikoos you pick are ripe. Slightly put pressure on the fruit by your thumb, its softness proves that the fruit is ripe. The color around the apex of the fruit also indicates whether it has ripened; greenish appearance shows that the fruit has not ripened fully. It is important to have ripened fruit as raw chikoo is extremely bitter and can prove to be harmful due to high content of latex and tannins if consumed unripe. It can cause mouth sores, irritate mucosa in throat and cause itching sensation and may make it difficult to breathe.