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Exotic Fruit Market offers Chikoo fruits grown in the USA. Chikoo is a popular tropical fruit composes of soft, easily digestible pulp made of simple sugars like fructose and sucrose.
Chikoo thought to have originated in the Central American rain forests, probably in Mexico and Belize. Chikoo fruit has a brown, sandy outer surface but without the fuzziness. Unripe fruits possess white, hard, inedible pulp that secretes sticky latex containing toxic substance saponin. This milky latex gradually disappears, and its white flesh turns brown as the fruit ripe. Once ripen, it becomes soft, acquires a sweet taste and smooth or grainy texture with slight musky flavor. It contains about 3-10 black, smooth, shiny bean shaped, inedible seeds, located at its center.
Botanically, each sapodilla fruit is a berry; round or oval measures about 10 cm in diameter and weigh about 150 g. Chikoo is a tropical evergreen, fruit-bearing tree belongs to the family of Chikooceae, in the genus: Manilkara. Scientific name: Manilkara zapota.
Chikoo is one of the high-calorie fruits; 100 g provides 83 calories (almost same as that of calories in sweet potato, and banana). Additionally, it is an excellent source of dietary fiber (5.6 g/100g), which makes it a good bulk laxative. This fiber content helps relieve constipation episodes and help protect mucosa of the colon from cancer-causing toxins.
Chikoo fruit is rich in antioxidant polyphenolic compound tannin. Tannins are a composite family of naturally occurring polyphenols. Research studies suggest that tannins possess astringent properties, and shown to have potential anti-inflammatory, antiviral, antibacterial, and anti-parasitic effects. Hence, these compounds may found useful applications in traditional medicines as antidiarrheal, hemostatic (stops bleeding) and as a remedy for hemorrhoids.
Furthermore, the anti-inflammatory effect of tannins helps limit conditions like erosive gastritis, reflux esophagitis, enteritis, and irritating bowel disorders.
Chikoo contains a good amount of antioxidant vitamins like vitamin-C (24.5% of recommended daily intake per 100 g of fruit), and vitamin A. Vitamin-A is essential for vision. It also required for maintaining healthy mucosa and skin. Consumption of natural fruits rich in vitamin-A has been known to offer protection from lung and oral cavity cancers. So also, consumption of foods containing vitamin-C helps the body develop resistance to combat infectious agents and help scavenge harmful free radicals from the human body
Fresh ripe Chikoo is a good source of minerals like potassium, copper, iron and vitamins like folate, niacin and pantothenic acid. These compounds are essential for optimal health as they involve in various metabolic processes in the body as cofactors for the enzymes.
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