AFRICAN STAR OR WHITE STAR APPLE

Africa Star Apple is also known as white star apple.

The tender, sweet inner flesh is off-white with seeds making the inner pulpy part look like a star-shaped fruit.

This suggests where it got its name ‘star apple’ from.

This vitamin c enriched fruit is always in season, between December and April and sometimes, some part of May.

This colourful fruit with semi-circle seeds is usually green in colour when unripe, but when it is ripe,  its colour can tilt towards orange or yellowish–peach.

This 5-celled seedy fruit which has an edible, sweet fruit is a popular seasonal fruit normally consumed with it flesh.

Botanically called Chrysophyllum albidum, the fruit is mostly cultivated in rural areas.

In many parts of West Africa, this pulpy fruit is commonly found and well known and its exotic fruit has a chewable edible skin.

From Nigeria to other African countries like Cameroon, Cote d’ Ivorie, Uganda and Niger Republic, it is virtually the same story.

In South Western Nigeria, the name is Agbalumo, in South Eastern Nigeria, the name is either Udara or Udala and in most parts of Northern Nigeria, the name is Ciwo, Ciwoh or Agbaluma. 

It is however pertinent to note that the abundant sale of this fruit has become a source of income to many rural and urban dwellers, mostly subsistent farmers and medium-scale entrepreneurs and solopreneurs.

            Health Benefit and Nutritional Value

  • It is rich in Vitamin C. Its vitamin C is “a potent antioxidant that can neutralize free radicals because of its antioxidant properties.
  • This pulpy fruit contains more vitamin C than orange and guava.
  • Udara is also rich in calcium, iron, potassium, phosphorous, magnesium, tannins, flavonoids, terpenoids, and phytochemicals.
  • When eaten with its flesh, it can help to lower blood sugar and cholesterol in the body.
  • Eating plenty of African Star apples can help prevent and treat heart diseases,  fight cancer and treat diabetes amongst others.
  • Vitamin C aids in the skin’s natural regeneration process, which helps the body repair damaged skin cells.
  • A recent study by researchers at the Department of Biological Sciences, College of Science and Technology, Covenant University Ogun State, Nigeria, showed that fruit helps to lower blood sugar and cholesterol.
  • Medicinally, it is a good remedy for sore throat and toothache.
  • It can be useful for constipation and in preventing and treating heart diseases.
  • The fruit is good for pregnant women, as the acidic taste of the fruit usually helps prevent the urge to vomit during pregnancy. The fruit has a sour-like taste that firms the palate of the mouth and helps with excessive spitting and vomiting.
  • The bark of the tree can be used traditionally to treat yellow fever and malaria, while the leaves can be used for treating wounds, stomach aches, and diarrhoea.
  •  Agbalumo can be a natural remedy for toothache, constipation and sore throat.
  • In some parts of Africa, Nigeria precisely, the seeds can be used to treat vaginal and skin infections.
  • The fruit is a good source of calcium, Each serving provides about 10 per cent of the amount required each day. This is essential because calcium lends strength to the bones and teeth.
  • Eating the fruit can help lessen symptoms of premenstrual syndromes, such as cramping and abdominal bloating.
  • This fruit also contains 5 per cent of the daily recommended value per serving of vitamin A.

So, visit the fruit market close to you and relish the uniqueness of the fruit.

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