Scientifically known as Manikara zapota, the chico or the sapodilla is a fruit that is native to Central America. This fruit grows all year round and can reach up to 12 meters in height. The flesh of the fruit is edible with soft, grainy, and pulpy texture that is quite pleasing to the taste buds. The chico can be eaten fresh, but can also be added to ice creams and milkshakes. Aside from these known facts, the chico actually has a lot of health benefits to offer.
Sapodilla Health Benefits
Consuming chico as regularly as possible can improve your health. It is possible that this fruit can provide the following health benefits:
• In folk medicine, sapodilla or chico is a purgative, which means that it has a very strong laxative effect. It can be used as relief for constipation, but it is also common for the fruit to be used as treatment for diarrhea. To gain relief from constant going in and out of the bathroom, you can boil some chico fruits, particularly the younger ones. Drink the resulting fluid to stop diarrhea.
• If you have a cold and/or cough, you can take the yellowed leaves of the chico plant and boil them. Drink the liquid to help you get rid of the nasal congestion and other respiratory problems.
• For those with bladder and kidney stones, they can benefit from the seeds of the fruit. Instead of throwing the glossy black seeds away, crush them and extract liquid, which works as diuretic. This is effective in removing the unwanted stones in the body.
• The seeds are also useful against stings and bites – even those that are venomous. Simply extract paste from the seeds and apply on the affected area.
• Eating chico can provide you high amounts of dietary fiber. For every 100 grams of the fruit, you can get almost six grams of dietary fiber, which makes it a very effective laxative indeed. This is not the only purpose of high fiber foods though. Consuming lots of fiber can actually help protect the colon’s mucosa so that toxins that cause cancer will be removed from the body.
• Chico is also rich in tannins, which are antioxidants that have astringent and anti-inflammatory properties. Tannins are also helpful in eliminating bacteria, viruses, and parasites in the body.
It is noteworthy to mention that sapodilla or chico is rich in calories. A hundred gram of the fruit is equivalent to 83 grams of calories, which is almost the same as the calories in bananas and potatoes.