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By Festus Ohalete
Soursop also known as Graviola is an evergreen fruit that is rich in several compounds, it contains beneficial antioxidants and minerals such as calcium, phosphorus and a small amount of iron that add values to human health.
The contribution of soursop fruit to human health are not limited to cancer treatment, energy boosting and bone health maintenance.
Below are some of the health benefits of soursop
Helps in Cancer Treatment
An impressive benefit of Soursop fruit is that it helps in cancer treatment; studies have shown that the extracts from Soursop have proven a solution to breast and liver cancer cells.
Soursop contains a quite impressive amount of acetogenins which is an anti-cancer agent which have proved to have a therapeutic effect on cancer treatment but it comes with a limitation as it has a neurotoxicity effect.
Which means that in as much as it can help in the treatment of cancer, it might also lead to the damage of the brain cells or nervous systems as a result of the exposing the body to toxins (either natural or man-made).
Normalizes Blood Pressure
One of the natural anti-oxidants contained in Soursop is phenols which has a lot of benefits to the human health. In many parts of the world, this fruit is used in the normalizing of the blood pressure in order to reduce hypertension.
And the phenol content of the fruits is said to be a major factor that contributes to this effects, and not only that, it can as well reduce inflammation.
Has Anti-Inflammatory Properties
Soursop fruits are rich in anti-inflammatory properties and antioxidants that help to suppress oxidative damages and promotes gastric health and is also said to contain anti-ulcer properties.
Many studies which have been conducted on the anti-inflammatory properties of this fruit have yielded positive results, as it has a great impact of bites, and injuries which could lead to inflammation/swelling.
In this case, it is not just the fruits that can help alleviate inflammation but also the soursop leaves as well as the roots, juice and bark. Due to this effect, it can be used to reduce pains and swelling caused by arthritis, rheumatism bites and other, as well as function as an analgesic.
Induces Better Sleep
Tryptophan present in Soursop functions as aromatherapy that the body needs to make niacin and serotonin in other to produce better sleep.
This is good for those who have sleeping disorders like insomnia, not having enough sleep and others, as a daily intake of this fruit will help in bringing your nearer and nearer to a better sleep.
In the Caribbean, soursop is widely known to induce better sleep, the fruits and leaves are effective for sleep and will help relieve you also of other sleep issues you may have.
Relaxes the Muscles
Certain substances that are present in Soursop help to make the muscle and the whole body feel relaxed after eating it.
Its anti-inflammatory properties also help in this case, as it helps in reducing swelling in the muscles and joints, and relieving the body against such in any way.
The nutrients can be found in both the leaves and fruits.
Lowers Harmful Cholesterol
Soursop fruit contains monosaturated fats that help in lowering the level of harmful cholesterol in the body and moderate blood pressure.
It helps in balancing out high fats which we might have accumulated from high fats diets, it helps in reducing the cholesterol level in the body – the bad cholesterol or Low-Density Lipoprotein (LDL).
The leaves of the soursop plants are said to have hypocholesterolemic properties, which helps in the effective reduction of bad cholesterol in the body, and as such can prevent heart problems and others.
Helps Treat Fever
In some parts of the world such as in India and most part of Africa, soursop has been locally used in the treatment of ill health conditions like fever and related conditions like hotness of the body, diarrhoea, malaria, dysentery and seizures.
The leaves and the bark is most effective in this kind of treatment, most times it is boiled in order to bring out the vital nutrients in the substances and taken orally accordingly.
This has proved effective in the treatment of fever and other associated symptoms and is widely practised in the mentioned places for the effective treatment of such conditions.
Improve the Skin
Additionally, the seeds of Soursop can be reduced to fine particles and used as skin astringents to treat body wrinkles and ageing lines on the body. The application of this substance to the skin can help in reducing skin related problems like skin papilloma as well prevent you from getting them.
The content of vitamin C in the fruits as well as other natural antioxidants makes it good for the skin as well, as it makes the skin look smooth and healthy whilst removing the free radicals on the skin which can cause adverse affect like sun burn, wrinles, spots, rashes and more.
Generally, soursop is good for all, the children and babies, men and women, not only for their skin but also for the hair as it is used in the treatment of hair itching cause by dandruff, dry hair etc., and as well improves it texture.
Soursop contains lots of vitamins such as vitamin C, vitamin E and Vitamin A which occurs in the form of beta-carotene. The vitamins acts as an antioxidants in the body as they help in reducing the risk associated to the eye.
They help in minimising the oxidation effects/stress in the body which could result in inflammation and other health conditions, thereby preventing the chances of getting cataracts and other eye problems such as macular degeneration.
Helps in Infection Treatment
It has been tested and proved that soursop can help in the treatment of infections in the body such as those which are caused by a parasite, bacteria and fungi.
Parasite induced infections such as leishmaniasis, which can be gotten from sandfliesbite is one of the infections which soursop has shown a postive impact on. All parts of the tree has proved to be effective in the treatment of many health conditions.
In this case, the leaves of the soursop tree is effecttive also in the treatment of infection, which most times is easily squeezed to bring out the liquid extract of the leaves which is medicinal and can be taken either orally or applied to the skin (infected area).
Reduces Blood Sugar Levels
Diabetic patients avoid lots of foods and fruits which ordinarily would have provided them with enough nutrients but may be due to their abilities to increase the blood sugar level, they exclude them from their dietary plans.
And fortunately, soursop is one of the fruits which helps in reducing the blood sugar level and is highly recommended for diabetic patients and as well good for everyone as it will help minimize the chances of having high blood sugar level.
A research which was conducted recently, proved that soursop helps in reducing the blood sugar as the rats which was treated with soursop during the experiment shows much improvement in the blood levels in terms of reduction than the other rats.
This research and more have proved that soursop is a good anti-diabetic agent.
Helps in Weigh Loss
Soursop is one of the fruits which can help you reduce weight fast, it has been researched to help in weight loss as the experiment on rats was proven effective.
Soursop fruit can help in this case but the leaves are more effective when it comes to losing weight and is used in making of most green tea.
In as much as it is good for weight loss, it is not generally good for everyone especially those who are taking for its other benefits as it can cause drastic weight reduction.