Custard Apple Health Benefits/Custard apple fruits is the fruit of Annona squamosa or Annona asiatica, which belongs to the genus Annona and family Annonaceae. Custard apple is cultivated throughout India and is commonly known as sitaphal or “sugar apple” due to the sweet taste of the fruit (tastes like custard).[1,2] Different parts of this plant are used in folklore medicine for the treatment of various diseases such as boils, ulcers, maggot infested sores, head lice, and skin exfoliation. Their accidental contact with the eyes, especially when used for head lice or as a facial skin exfoliant, is not uncommon in some parts of South India. We present a series of cases wherein the patients developed severe symptoms of toxic keratitis following accidental ocular exposure to the custard apple seeds.
Custard apple seeds have been used in native medicine from time immemorial for the management of head lice and skin exfoliation. We report six consecutive patients who developed toxic keratoconjunctivitis within 6-12 h of ocular exposure to custard apple seeds. The use of topical steroid worsens the toxicity and predisposes to the development of microbial keratitis in such cases. Patients showed a good response to primary treatment with topical fortified antibiotics and lubricants. This case series highlights the need to educate the patients regarding the potential toxic effects of the mustard seeds and the treating physicians about possible deleterious effects on using a topical steroid.
Types of Custard Apple Fruits
1. Pinks Mammoth
Pinks mammoth is a huge custard apple with an outstanding taste. It is named after Mr. Pink, the man who introduced it to Australia. Its sweet and melting flavor makes it the most popular variant across the world. It is quite huge and could produce fruit weighing as much as 3 kg. This variety of custard apple is renowned for possessing almost no seeds.
2. African Pride
African Pride is a ten feet tall tree, bearing small sized custard apple. The tree bears heart-shaped fruit with a relatively thick skin. The fruit has more seeds than pinks mammoth and yields are quite high. It is an early maturing fruit that makes it the most commercially popular variety of custard apple. The fruit weighs between 500 grams to 800 grams and is mostly utilized for preparing salads and other savories.
3. Late Gold
Late Gold is a stunning golden bronze custard apple with a soft skin. This variety of custard apple is quite rare and is mostly available in Northern Rivers.
Geffner is an Israeli variety of the custard apple with an exceptionally amazing taste.
5. Hilary White
Hilary White has a relatively smooth skin and is average in size. It tastes same like the other varieties of custard apple.
Nutritional Value of Custard Apple Fruits
|Nutritional value per 100 g (3.5 oz)|
|Energy||423 kJ (101 kcal)|
|Dietary fiber||2.4 g|
|Pantothenic acid (B5)||
|†Percentages are roughly approximated using US recommendations for adults.
Source: USDA Nutrient Database
Custard Apple Health Benefits
- Skin Care – There are a good number of polyphenolic antioxidants in custard apple, which makes it an ideal solution for people who want to protect themselves against free radical damage.  This can help to eliminate the signs of aging, such as wrinkles and age spots, as well as increasing skin elasticity to reduce the signs of aging. Custard apple is not only a delicious fruit but is excellent for the skin as well. It contains nutrients like vitamin C, vitamin A, vitamin B, antioxidants, which are required for rejuvenating the skin’s health.
- Hair Care – By regularly consuming this mineral-rich fruit, you can boost the strength of your hair, while also enjoying the beneficial effects of vitamin C. Collagen is essential for every part of the body, and vitamin C is required for its production, so this fruit can definitely help your hair loss and dandruff issues. 
- Prevents Cancer – Some research has linked the antioxidants present in custard apple to preventing cancer or at least preventing the spread of cancerous cells to other parts of the body. Neutralizing free radicals is an excellent way to prevent cellular mutation and reduce your risk of cancer. 
- Improves Vision – Beta-carotene is found in limited quantities in custard apple, but with the other nutrients and antioxidants present in this fruit, regular consumption can help boost vision.  This includes lowering your risk of macular degeneration and slowing the advance of cataracts as you age.
- Treats Diabetes – There is a very high level of dietary fiber found in custard apple, which can significantly slow down the release of insulin into your body, in response to the intake of sugar.  This regulation is perfect for diabetic patients, who need to be mindful of their balance between glucose and insulin at all times.
- Prevents Arthritis – Studies have found certain anti-inflammatory properties in this unique apple, meaning that it can help to soothe the pain of arthritis, while also cutting down on inflammation in the gut and cardiovascular system. 
- Boosts Immunity – There is an impressive amount of vitamin C in custard apple, which is a major kickstart for the immune system.  Vitamin C can help to stimulate the production of white blood cells, which are the first line of defense for the body’s immune system. This vitamin is also renowned for its innate anti-inflammatory and immune boosting properties. Include just one serving of this creamy fruit in your daily diet for a better resistance against infectious agents. It scavenges harmful free radicals in the body, preventing the onset of various illnesses and diseases. Custard apple is an excellent source of energy. It helps to fight exhaustion and eliminates muscle weakness.
- Natural Anti-cancerous Properties – The bark of custard apple contains astringent properties and tannins, which is utilized for making herbal supplements. These supplements help in the treatment of several types of cancer and tumors. The fruit contains compounds like acetogenin and alkaloids that reduce the risk of cancer and renal failure. It acts against cancer cells, without adversely affecting healthy cells. Antioxidants such as asimicin and bulletin are also found to have anti-cancer and anti-helminths properties. These antioxidants neutralize the effects of free radicals, preventing cancer. It also contains significant fiber, which protects the colon membrane by warding off toxic substance from the gut, reducing the risk of liver and colon risk. It also provides protection from breast cancer.
- For Better Brain Health – Custard apple is a good source of B complex vitamins, which controls the GABA neuron chemical levels in the brain. This helps to calm down stress, tension, irritability, and depression. It also protects from Parkinson’s disease. 100 grams of custard apple contains 0.6 grams of vitamin B6, amounting to about 20% of the daily recommended value. The skin of custard apple is helpful for fighting against tooth and gum pain.
- Keep Anemia Away With Custard Apple – The high levels of iron in custard apple are very beneficial for curing anemia. The fruit is excellent in treating vomiting, gout and vitamin B6 deficiency.
- For A Better Vision – Custard apple contains riboflavin and vitamin C, which helps to combat free radical destruction. This helps in maintaining good eyesight.
- Lower The Risk Of Arthritis – The high amount of magnesium in custard apple equalizes the water balance in the body and removes acids from the joint, reducing the symptoms of rheumatism and arthritis. Regular consumption also helps to fight muscle weakness. Custard apple also contains a decent amount of calcium, which is vital for bone health.
- For Better Cardiovascular Health – The well-balanced ratio of sodium and potassium in custard apple regulates and controls blood pressure fluctuations in the body. The high levels of magnesium in custard apple unwind the smooth muscles of the heart and calm the jerks and cramps, thus preventing heart attack and stroke. Niacin and fiber in custard apple lower bad cholesterol and increases good cholesterol in the body. It also prevents the absorption of cholesterol in the gut. Custard apple also prevents free radicals from attacking lipid, promoting heart health.
- A Stronger Digestive System – This delicious fruit is very effective for treating indigestion. It flushes out the toxins from the intestine, aiding in the proper functioning of the bowels. It also prevents stomach related diseases like heartburn, ulcer, gastritis, and acidity. Custard apple in its unripe form is further dried and crushed to treat diarrhea and dysentery. One medium sized custard apple contains 6 grams of dietary fiber, amounting to almost 90% of the recommended amount. Fiber adds bulk to the stools, relieving constipation.
- Good For Fetal Skin And Hair – Custard apple contains high amounts of vitamin A and C, which is very beneficial for maintaining the skin, eyes, and hair of the fetus.
- Prevents Premature Labor – Custard apple is an excellent source of copper. It is a trace mineral which helps the body to form hemoglobin. Pregnant women need 1000 micrograms of copper each day for the proper development of the fetus. Low levels of copper in the body can lead to premature birth in the child. Consuming custard apple during pregnancy is very healthy.
- Good For Fetal Brain Development – Regular consumption of custard apple is also good for the growth of the baby. It also helps in the development of the brain of the fetus.
- Excellent Source of Iron – Custard apple is a rich source of iron, which reduces the risk of premature birth of the baby. It reduces the extent of labor pain in expectant women. It is also known to increase milk production in pregnant and lactating women.
- Natural Antidote For Morning Sickness – It also cures morning sickness in pregnant women. It fights nausea, numbness, food cravings, and mood swings during pregnancy. Custard apple is believed to be a good alternative to milk. Therefore, it is a perfect choice for pregnant women who are allergic to dairy products.
- Naturally Heals The Skin Infections – The paste of custard apple is used to treat ulcer, abscesses, and boils. Vitamin C in custard apple helps in the healing of wounds and forming cartilage, tendons, and ligaments. Consuming custard apple juice on a regular basis stimulates the development of new cells in the layers of the skin. It also assists in the healing of abrasion and cuts. The latex of the custard apple tree, when applied on the skin, treats skin diseases like inflammation, eczema, and psoriasis.
- Delays Ageing And Keeps Skin Youthful – Regular consumption of custard apple thickens and stimulates the collagen to reduce wrinkles and fine lines. It increases the deposition of collagen and slows its breakdown, improving the elasticity of the skin. It also improves hydration in and around the cells. Vitamin C in custard apple combats free radicals in the body, providing a healthy, flawless and glowing skin. It promotes a healthy cell membrane. The antioxidants in custard apple neutralize free radicals, hastening the process of regeneration. It helps to delay the signs of aging like age spots and blemishes. The antioxidants fight the harsh rays of the sun, protecting from sun damage. Consumption of custard apple helps in the regeneration of skin cells and contributes to making the skin youthful.
- Keeps Skin Cancer Away – The acetogenin compounds in custard apple help in the eradication of pre-cancerous skin lesion, preventing skin cancer. Custard apple decreases the clustering of melanin granules, reducing brown spots and pigmentation. It also helps to reverse the pigmentation caused due to the free radicals.
- Good For Pimple-Prone Skin – Consumption of custard apple decreases sebum production, controlling acne and pimples. Mix custard apple paste with lemon juice and use it three times a week to control sebum production. The anti-inflammatory properties of custard apple fight acne and clear the pores to prevent a further breakout.
- Natural Detoxifying Agent – Custard apple is loaded with soluble fiber and antioxidants, making it an excellent laxative. Regular consumption of custard apple helps to get rid of toxins and waste, giving you a healthy and glowing skin. Drinking custard apple juice evens out the skin tone and makes it firm by rejuvenating its appearance.
- A Luxurious, Moisturized Hair – Custard apple contains vital nutrients like iron, magnesium, vitamin A and phosphorus, which can benefit the hair in multiple ways. Custard apple seed oil is useful for taming wavy and coarse hair. It hydrates and moisturizes the scalp, making the hair lustrous, voluminous and shiny. The high levels of vitamin A in custard apple seed oil hydrate the hair without weighing it down.
- Prevents Premature Graying – The high levels of copper in custard apple contribute to the formation of melanin, preventing premature hair graying. It also maintains the natural color of the hair. The vitamin C and antioxidants in custard apple regulate the sebum production in the scalp, reducing dandruff and flaky skin. It inhibits scalp inflammation, preventing hair fall. It also facilitates the absorption of nutrients, providing nourishment to the hair. The high amount of iron in custard apple improves blood circulation in the scalp, stimulating the follicles to promote hair growth.
Recipes With Custard Apple
1. Custard apple milkshake
You will need
- Custard apple – 3 medium
- Milk – 4 cups
- Sugar – 3tsp
- Fresh cream – 2tbsp
- Ice cubes – As required
- Extract the pulp from custard apples, and remove seeds.
- Blend the pulp, milk, cream, sugar and ice cubes until you get a smooth consistency.
2. Custard apple ice cream
You will need
- Custard apple – 3 to 4 cups pulp
- Milk – 2 cups
- Milk powder – 1 cup
- Powdered sugar – 1/3 cup
- Fresh cream – 1/2 cup
- Vanilla essence – 1 tsp
- Mix milk, milk powder, sugar powder, fresh cream, and vanilla essence in a large bowl, and stir well until the sugar dissolves.
- Add custard apple pulp and mix again.
- Pour the mixture into a shallow container, cover and freeze until it is set.
- Blend the mixture until you get a smooth consistency.
- Put the mixture again in the shallow container, cover, and freeze.
- Eat it either plain or top it with dry fruits.
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