Custard Apple for Diabetes
Custard apples, also known as cherimoya, are subtropical fruits. They belong to the Annonaceae family. Annona reticulata is the tree that bears custard apples. Found in every house, custard apple is one of the most favorite fruit and consumed by many.
A custard apple is a heart-shaped fruit. It is a sweet and aromatic fruit. There are usually two varieties of custard apples, namely Pink mammoth and African pride. Both the varieties are juicy and full of flavor.
Diabetes is one of the most common diseases from which millions of the population suffer. It normally results in too much blood sugar in the body, leading to severe effects. It can be caused due to our immunity system and also due to external habits, and the environment. There are two types of diabetes – Type 1 diabetes, where the pancreas either produces little or no insulin and type 2 diabetes, where it gets difficult to process the body’s blood sugar.
Nutritional Fact of Custard Apple
- Fat – 0.3 grams
- Sodium – 9 milligrams
- Potassium – 247 milligrams
- Total Carbohydrate – 24 grams
- Dietary fibers – 4.4 grams
- Protein – 2.1 grams
- Calories – 94 cal
The sugar content of custard apple: Custard apples mainly consist of glucose and fructose. Custard apples are often sweet and contain about 28% sugar.
Custard Apple Glycemic Index
The glycemic index is usually a system where we assign certain values to the carbohydrate-containing food and how much consumption will increase sugar level.
The glycemic index of custard apple is 54 which comes under the low GI category of food, even though it is a sweet fruit. Also, it contains a moderate amount of glycemic load, which is 10.2.
So, we are up with a green signal to consume custard apple in diabetes but with moderation.
Can a Diabetic Eat Custard Apple?
The custard apple fruits have a lot of anti-diabetic properties. Hence it is safe to say diabetics can eat custard apples. If taken in small measures daily, custard apples can show results against diabetes. It is a sweet fruit but as its glycemic load is less it won’t do many effects.
Also, the presence of antioxidants will enhance insulin production and slows down the absorption of blood glucose. Both custard apple and its leaves have many anti-diabetic properties making it a suitable fruit for a diabetic.
Is Custard Apple Good For Diabetes?
A custard apple in a moderate amount is good for a patient with diabetes. The glycemic index and glycemic load of custard apples are low which mean diabetic can consume custard apples. As we know custard apples are filled with dietary fibers, these fibers usually slow sugar absorption, making them healthy for the diabetic. It is usually suggested for people with diabetes to consume custard apples as it lowers blood glucose levels.
Custard Apple Benefits for Diabetes
Being one of the favorites and often consumed fruit, let’s now look at the different health benefits of custard apple :
High in Antioxidants:
Custard apples loaded with antioxidants often fight the free radicals in our bodies that reduce oxidative stress and fight against cancer and heart diseases. Compounds in custard apple such as kaurenoic acid, flavonoids, carotenoids, vitamin c have powerful antioxidant effects.
Better Brain Health:
Custard apples are rich in vitamin B complex and hence an excellent provider of vitamin B6 (pyridoxine). Vitamin B6 helps in the creation of neurotransmitters including serotonin and dopamine which regulate our mood. The B complex generally controls our brain’s GABA (gamma-aminobutyric acid) neuron chemical levels that are responsible for different emotions we express.
Can Benefit Eye Health:
Custard apple is a rich source of vitamin C and riboflavin which are responsible for keeping our eyesight perfect. The presence of antioxidants, lutein maintains healthy vision.
Provides Better Cardiovascular Health:
Custard apple contains a balanced ratio of potassium and sodium which regulates blood pressure. The high amount of magnesium present generally smoothes heart muscles and prevents it from any heart stroke.
Helps in Preventing Arthritis:
Rich in magnesium, custard apple helps to maintain the water balance in our body, eradicating acids from joints. Custard apple also contains calcium which is important for bone health.
Custard Apple Leaves for Diabetes
Custard apple leaves are equally beneficial to our body just like custard apples. The leaves are generally used in the healing process. Custard apple leaves are generally considered good for people with diabetes as they contain antioxidants that generally enhance insulin production.
Custard apple leaves also help with the glucose uptake from our muscles managing blood sugar concentration. The fibers are generally digested slowly, hence there is no sudden spike in the sugar level in the body. In a study, custard apple leaves with 5 grains of black pepper in the morning have shown positive results against diabetes.
Custard Apple Disadvantages
There are several side effects or disadvantages of custard apple.
Too much consumption of custard apple can lead to weight gain. And excessive weight gain can lead to other complications like cardiovascular diseases and an increase in cholesterol levels.
Can Upset Our Digestive System:
Custard apples are a good source of dietary fibers and consumption of an excessive amount of custard apple can lead to absorption of nutrients in our body, resulting in stomach problems like diarrhea, constipation, etc.
Iron and Potassium Overdose:
High iron intake often leads to complications in the stomach like stomach ulcers, and intestinal inflammation. Potassium usually acts by relaxing blood vessels, but a high amount of potassium will drop the blood pressure and hence people with low blood pressure should eat in moderation.
Custard Apple Seeds:
Pregnant women should avoid consuming custard apple seeds as they can upset the digestive system. The seeds usually have toxic effects on the skin as they contain annonacin. Also can affect the eyes.
Can Interact With Certain Medicines:
Considering the case of high blood pressure, the medicines and custard apple together can lower the blood pressure to a very low level of concern.
The Bottom Line
Custard apple, the subtropical fruit, comes with many advantages. It is a sweet fruit and can be eaten in different ways. It has many anti-diabetic properties. Although it’s very healthy, due to its side effects, one should always diabetic or not eat it in moderation. Not only the fruit but the custard apple leaves also provide health benefits.
She is a research enthusiast, doing her master’s degree in biotechnology. Associated with the research program and planning to opt for a doctoral program in drug delivery & designing in a reputed organization.