Little Known Health Benefits of Soursop
Benefits of Soursop
Soursop has been used for centuries in the traditional treatment of various conditions. Here are some of them:
1. Supplies Nutrients
Soursop is rich in various minerals like iron, calcium, sodium, copper, and magnesium. Incorporating the fruit in your regular diet can benefit your body craving these essential nutrients.
2. Discourages Inflammation
Most diseases are linked, one way or another, with an inflammatory response. Damaging free radicals cause havoc in cells and disrupt our body’s systems. Soursop may help counteract inflammation by supplying our immune system with an extra set of antioxidants to neutralize these damaging free radicals. In one study, it was found that soursop leaf extracts could protect cells from oxidative damage by scavenging free radicals and promoting the production of antioxidants.
3. Relieves Pain
Soursop has been traditionally consumed as a painkiller. Research suggests it does so by inhibiting pain receptors and other inflammatory molecules.
4. Helps Manage Diabetes
Extracts of the soursop pericarp (the fruit minus the seed) can keep blood glucose levels in check after a meal. The phenols in the fruit do this by inhibiting the enzymes – α-amylase and α-glucosidase – that increase blood glucose levels. In another study, the leaf extract was seen to promote the growth of insulin-producing pancreatic cells. Hypertension or high blood pressure, a risk factor for type-2 diabetes, can also be reduced by the phenolic compounds in soursop. By inhibiting the enzyme angiotensin-I converting enzyme (ACE), the phenols encourage the body to become more receptive to insulin. This is an added perk for diabetics and borderline diabetics. It is important to note that soursop can lower blood pressure without affecting heart rate. Because of these multiple sugar-soothing effects, soursop shows promise in the management of type-2 diabetes.
5. Protects Against Infections
A growing concern about infections is the development of drug resistance in many microbes. This is when we need to remember that natural remedies can serve us well. Soursop leaf extracts have demonstrated significant toxicity against the bacteria and viruses causing leishmaniasis, trypanosomiasis, malaria, and herpes.
6. Supports Liver Health
The liver is responsible for removing the bile pigment bilirubin from the body. Individuals who have jaundice have high levels of this pigment, which gives their skin a yellowish tinge. In Ghana, natives traditionally use soursop to treat jaundice. Building on its traditional use, researchers showed that soursop extracts can normalize bilirubin levels in adult rats suffering from jaundice. In addition to encouraging liver function, soursop has also been shown to protect the liver from chemically induced damage.
7. Heals Cuts
Soursop leaves have been used in folk medicine to treat skin diseases and abscesses. We now know that this is because of the anti-inflammatory compounds in soursop. One study on rats showed that topical application of soursop leaf extracts on cuts was able to quicken the wound healing process.