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8 Great benefits of Sapota or Chikoo

By Dr. Nikita Toshi +2 more

Sapota”¦confused?? Many of you might be unaware of sapota but must know about ”Chikoo”. The other name of Sapota is Chikoo. Sapota is a delicious calorie-rich fruit belonging to the category of fruits like mango. This fruit is better known as Chikoo in India.


Sapota is a delicious tropical fruit that belongs to the Sapotaceae family that goes with the scientific name Manilkara zapota. It has its origin in the rain forests of Central America, particularly in Mexico and Belize, but now it is available in India too. In India, Karnataka is the largest producer of sapodilla, followed by Maharashtra, Gujarat, Tamil Nadu, Andhra Pradesh, and West Bengal.  

Sapota or chikoo is an oval or round shape fruit with brown skin. The unripe fruit has a hard surface and white pulp due to its high content of latex. The latex content reduces as the fruit ripens and its flesh acquires a brown colour. The flesh contains black, shiny bean-like seeds in the centre.

Nutritional facts about sapota 

Sapota is a high-calorie fruit offering 83 calories per 100 gram with an abundant source of fibres and vitamins. It is rich in vitamin A and vitamin C that help to build immunity and skin health. This fruit is a powerhouse of polyphenol compound tannin that possesses astringent, anti-inflammatory, anti-viral, antibacterial, and anti-parasitic characteristics. It also contains other essential nutrients like potassium, sodium, copper, iron, magnesium, and phosphorus.

I want to highlight the potential of Sapodilla in helping you manage stress. This delicious fruit contains a significant amount of Vitamin C, which has been shown to have stress-relieving properties. By incorporating Sapodilla into your diet, you can increase your vitamin C intake by 39.33%, potentially benefiting your overall well-being and promoting stress reduction.

Dr. Siddharth Gupta, MD

Health benefits of sapota

 We hardly know the benefits of the fruits that we consume. The same thing is with sapota-not many of us are aware of its health benefits. Here are some best health benefits of sapota that you should know –

1: Source of energy 

Sapota is rich in glucose and calories that make it a source of energy. It is an instant source of energy. Hence we can consume it during the workout. It replenishes the body with a quick source of natural energy. Also, sapota is the best choice of fruit for children and pregnant women to meet their increasing energy demand and uplifts overall health.

I have observed that the Sapota herb may possess remarkable soothing properties and can provide relief from stings and insect bites when applied as a paste made from its ground seeds.

Dr. Rajeev Singh, BAMS

2: Boost immunity 

Sapota is rich in vitamin C and antioxidants that help build your immunity. Polyphenol present in sapota may combat detrimental toxins and lowers the risk of diseases. It also has antibacterial and anti-viral properties that act as safeguards the system from harmful microbes.

3: Skin benefits

The presence of multiple vitamins, antioxidants, minerals, and dietary fibers makes sapota one of the great fruit for healthy and glowing skin.

The Vitamin E in this fruit moisturizes your skin, thus giving you healthy and glowing skin. It is also rich in antioxidants that act as an anti-aging compound by eradicating free radicals in the body that are responsible for enhancing the aging process. 
Sapota seeds contain kernel oil that helps to reduce the inflammation of the skin and painful conditions of the skin. You can apply this oil as a poultice on painful skin afflictions.

4: Hair benefits 

As we all know, that sapota contains essential nutrients that require for our hair health. But did you know sapota seed oil is more beneficial than its flesh when it comes to your hair health?

Oil extracted from sapota seeds helps in moisturizing and softening your hair. It is most effective when you have unmanageable curly hairs. This oil is also alleviating itchy skin conditions like seborrheic dermatitis and promotes healthy hair growth. 
For best results, ground the sapota seeds and make a paste, then mix with castor oil. This mixture should be applied to the scalp and washed off the next day

Based on my observations, the Sapota herb might possess haemostatic properties, making it effective in managing bleeding in conditions such as piles and injuries.

Dr. Smita barode, BAMS

5: Promote gut health 

Sapota is rich in dietary fibers and a compound named tannins that neutralizes acid secretion in the gut. Hence it is beneficial in treating hyperacidity symptoms. It is also an excellent laxative providing relief from constipation and lowers infections of the intestines.

6: Good for bones 

This delicious fruit is rich in calcium, phosphorus, and iron that keeps your bone strong. If you have eaten the sapota regularly, you might not need supplements later in life. Essential minerals present in sapota can be beneficial for facilitating various body functions including, proper bone growth.

7: Best for mommies-to-be

Since sapota is an excellent source of carbohydrates and essential nutrients, they are beneficial during pregnancy. It helps in reducing weakness and other symptoms of pregnancy, such as nausea and dizziness.

In my experience, I have observed that Sapota fruit contains a significant amount of Vitamin A, which plays a crucial role in maintaining good vision, especially as we age. Including Sapota in your diet can contribute to the health of your eyes and support optimal vision.

Dr. Anuja Bodhare, MD

8: Cancer Benefits

Chikoo contains a high dose of antioxidants and has been found to be effective in lowering the risk of different types of cancers. It contains a healthy level of vitamins A and B which help in the maintenance of the several mucus linings in the body. This can in turn help to reduce the risk of lung and oral cancers. Moreover, sapota is a great source of dietary fibre which helps to regulate healthy bowel movements. This is key to preventing the onset of colon cancer.

9. Anti-inflammatory 

Chikoo and its plant compounds are also anti-inflammatory, which brings with it a slew of health benefits. Apart from easing digestive inflammation it also is useful in helping to stay away from digestive issues like irritable bowel syndrome, gastritis and enteritis. Anti-inflammatory foods are also a boon against inflammatory disorders like arthritis, joint pain and swelling. Inflammation is also heavily associated with medical conditions like cancer, obesity, diabetes and heart disease. Adding chikoo and other inflammation-fighting foods to your regular diet will ensure better overall health. 

10. May Reduce Blood Pressure

Sapota contains two minerals that are important for healthy, normal blood pressure, magnesium and potassium. Magnesium is involved in the physical and chemical aspects of your circulatory system, they are required to widen or dilate blood vessels which makes it easier for blood to move around. Potassium helps to remove sodium from your body, the more potassium you have, the more sodium your body is able to get rid of through the urine. Sodium is very closely linked to high blood pressure. In fact, hypertension treatment often involves reducing your salt intake because it contains sodium. With potassium and magnesium-rich foods like chikoo, you can influence your blood pressure and get it to a manageable level.

I recommend considering Sapota as a potential natural remedy to support your urinary system and avoid kidney-related issues. The crushed seeds of Sapota have diuretic properties, which can aid in the elimination of bladder and kidney stones. This natural diuretic action helps promote healthy kidney function and provides protection against kidney diseases.

Dr. Ashok Pal, BAMS

Read more about: 10 Foods Good for the Gut Health: Why You Must Eat them Daily!

Chikoo (Sapota) Recipes To Try

Sapota is a wholesome fruit that abounds with all essential nutrients. Sapota can relish as it is, or we can make desserts, smoothies and milkshakes. You can obtain the tremendous benefits it delivers for uplifting both physical and mental health.

1. Chikoo Kheer

Everyone is fond of Kheer, especially people with frequent sweet cravings. Chikoo Kheer with walnut is a healthier version of the regular Kheer that makes it versatile and no less tasty. This creamy rice pudding or Chikoo Kheer serves as a great dessert option that can be made and served any time of the year.

Ingredients:

  • 1 tbsp ghee
  • 6 tsp rice, washed and soaked
  • 1500 ml milk
  • 12 walnuts, roasted and crushed
  • 4 Chikoo, made into pulp
  • 6 tbsp sugar

How to make Chikoo Kheer:

  • Heat the ghee in a non-stick pan.
  • Add the rice and saute for 2-3 minutes till all the ghee is absorbed by the rice.
  • Add 1000 ml of the milk and boil for 10-15 minutes, or till the rice is 3/4th cooked.
  • Put the gas on low flame, add sugar and the remaining milk.
  • Boil for 4-5 minutes or until the milk thickens.
  • Remove the Kheer from the flame and set it aside to cool.
  • After the Kheer has reached room temperature, add the Chikoo pulp and mix well.
  • Put the Kheer in the refrigerator for half an hour.
  • Serve chilled, with crushed walnut pieces.

Nutritional Info:

  • Calories: 1594 Kcal
  • Carbohydrates: 185.4 gm
  • Protein: 38.2 gm
  • Fat: 78.1 gm
  • Other: Fiber- 32.7gm

2. Chikoo and Date Energy Bites

These Chikoo and Date Energy Bites are the perfect healthy and energizing snacks. Packed with the natural sweetness of chikoo and the goodness of dates, these bites are both nutritious and delicious.

Ingredients:

  • Ripe chikoo fruit (peeled and chopped)
  • Dates (pitted and chopped)
  • Rolled oats
  • Almond butter or peanut butter
  • Chopped nuts (e.g., almonds, walnuts) for extra crunch
  • Unsweetened shredded coconut for coating (optional)

How to Make Chikoo and Date Energy Bites:

  • In a food processor, combine the chopped chikoo, dates, rolled oats and almond butter (or peanut butter).
  • Pulse the mixture until everything is well combined and forms a sticky dough-like texture.
  • Transfer the mixture to a bowl and mix in the chopped nuts for extra crunch and texture.
  • Using your hands, roll the mixture into bite-sized balls.
  • Optionally, roll the energy bites in unsweetened shredded coconut for a finishing touch.
  • Place the energy bites on a plate or tray and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes to set.
  • Once set, store the Chikoo and Date Energy Bites in an airtight container in the refrigerator for quick and healthy snacking.

Nutritional Information (per serving – 2 energy bites):

  • Calories: 120 kcal
  • Carbohydrates: 18g
  • Protein: 3g
  • Sugar: 9g

3. Chikoo Banana Smoothie

Enjoy the perfect fusion of chikoo’s sweetness and the creaminess of banana in this delectable Chikoo Banana Smoothie. This easy-to-make smoothie is a delightful treat packed with essential nutrients to kickstart your day.

Ingredients:

  • Ripe chikoo fruit (peeled and chopped)
  • Ripe banana
  • Low-fat yogurt
  • Honey or agave syrup (optional)
  • Ice cubes

How to Make Chikoo Banana Smoothie:

  • Peel and chop the ripe chikoo fruit, discarding any seeds.
  • In a blender, combine the chopped chikoo, ripe banana and low-fat yogurt.
  • Blend the ingredients until you achieve a smooth and creamy consistency.
  • Taste the smoothie and add honey or agave syrup for extra sweetness if desired.
  • Add a few ice cubes to the blender and blend again to create a refreshing texture.
  • Pour the Chikoo Banana Smoothie into a glass, garnish with chikoo slices or banana slices, and serve immediately.

Nutritional Information (per serving):

  • Calories: 190 kcal
  • Carbohydrates: 42g
  • Protein: 4g
  • Sugar: 25g

Did You Know?

Also Read: Yellow Dragon Fruit: Everything You Need to Know About its Health Benefits

Precautions To Take While Consuming Chikoo (Sapota)

Individuals with certain health conditions or allergies should avoid consuming chikoo to prevent any adverse reactions. 

1. Diabetes or Low-Carb Diet

Chikoo contains natural sugars, primarily fructose and sucrose, which contribute to its sweet taste. For individuals with diabetes or those following a low-carb diet to manage their blood sugar levels, consuming chikoo in large quantities may lead to a rapid increase in blood glucose levels. According to the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) National Nutrient Database, 100 grams of chikoo contains approximately 83 calories, 19.97 grams of carbohydrates and 16.98 grams of sugars. Therefore, it is recommended that individuals with diabetes or on a low-carb diet consume chikoo in moderation and consider its impact on their overall carbohydrate intake.

2. Gastrointestinal Issues

Chikoo is a good source of dietary fibre, providing about 5.3 grams of fibre per 100 grams. While fibre is beneficial for most people as it aids digestion and promotes gut health, individuals with certain gastrointestinal conditions, such as irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) or inflammatory bowel disease (IBD), may find high-fibre foods like chikoo challenging to digest. Excessive fibre intake can lead to bloating, gas or abdominal discomfort. If you have a sensitive digestive system or suffer from gastrointestinal issues, it’s essential to monitor your fibre intake and consider limiting your chikoo consumption accordingly.

3. Allergies

Allergies to chikoo, though rare, have been reported. Chikoo contains proteins that can trigger allergic reactions in susceptible individuals. According to the Food Allergy Research & Education (FARE) organization, it’s crucial for people with known allergies to chikoo or latex (as chikoo belongs to the latex family) to avoid consuming chikoo to prevent allergic reactions. Common symptoms of chikoo allergy may include itching, hives, swelling of the lips or throat and difficulty breathing. If you suspect or experience any signs of an allergic reaction after consuming chikoo, seek immediate medical attention.

4. Pregnancy and Breastfeeding

Chikoo is considered safe for most pregnant and breastfeeding women when consumed in moderate amounts. However, due to individual differences and possible sensitivities, it’s advisable for pregnant or breastfeeding women to consult their healthcare provider before including chikoo in their diet. Chikoo is a good source of vitamins, minerals and fibre, which can be beneficial during pregnancy and breastfeeding. For example, 100 grams of chikoo provides approximately 24 mg of vitamin C, supporting the immune system during this crucial time.

If you experience any adverse effects after consuming chikoo, such as significant blood sugar spikes, digestive discomfort or signs of an allergic reaction, discontinue its consumption immediately and seek prompt medical advice. Your healthcare provider can provide personalized guidance based on your health condition and any observed reactions to chikoo (sapota).

Also Read: Is Pineapple a Laxative? A Comprehensive Look into Its Digestive Benefits

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

What is chikoo (Sapota) and what does it taste like?

Chikoo, also known as Sapota, is a tropical fruit with a sweet and unique flavour. Its taste is often described as a combination of pear, caramel and brown sugar, making it a delightful treat for those with a sweet tooth.

What are the health benefits of consuming chikoo (Sapota)?

Chikoo (Sapota) is rich in dietary fibre, vitamins (such as vitamin C and vitamin A) and minerals (including potassium and calcium). These nutrients contribute to various health benefits, such as supporting digestion, boosting the immune system, promoting bone health and providing a quick energy boost.

Can chikoo (Sapota) help with digestive issues?

Yes, chikoo contains significant dietary fibre, which aids in digestion and helps prevent constipation. Its fibre content promotes regular bowel movements and contributes to a healthy digestive system.

Is chikoo (Sapota) suitable for weight management?

While chikoo (Sapota) is a nutritious fruit, it is relatively high in natural sugars and calories. As with any food, portion control is essential for weight management. Moderation and incorporating chikoo as part of a balanced diet can be beneficial.

Can chikoo (Sapota) be consumed by people with diabetes?

Individuals with diabetes should consume chikoo (Sapota) in moderation due to its natural sugars. Monitoring blood sugar levels and considering chikoo’s carbohydrate content is crucial for those managing their blood glucose levels.

Is chikoo (Sapota) safe for pregnant women?

Chikoo (Sapota) can be consumed in moderation during pregnancy. It provides essential nutrients, such as vitamin C and fibre, which can be beneficial for pregnant women. However, pregnant women should consult their healthcare provider for personalized dietary recommendations.

Are there any allergies associated with chikoo (Sapota) consumption?

While allergies to chikoo are rare, some individuals may be allergic to chikoo (Sapota) proteins or experience cross-reactivity with latex due to chikoo belonging to the latex family. Individuals with known allergies to chikoo or latex should avoid consuming it to prevent allergic reactions.

How can I select and store ripe chikoo (Sapota) fruit?

Choose ripe chikoo (Sapota) with a slightly soft texture and a sweet aroma. Avoid fruits with bruises or blemishes. To store, keep ripe chikoo at room temperature until they fully ripen. Once ripe, store them in the refrigerator to extend their shelf life.

Can chikoo (Sapota) be included in desserts and smoothies?

Yes, chikoo’s (Sapota’s) sweet flavour and creamy texture make it an excellent addition to various desserts, smoothies and milkshakes. It pairs well with other fruits and complements both sweet and savoury dishes.

How do I consume chikoo (Sapota) if it has seeds?

If your chikoo (Sapota) has seeds, simply cut the fruit in half and remove the seeds before eating. Alternatively, you can scoop out the flesh with a spoon or use it in recipes that call for deseeded chikoo.

Disclaimer: The information provided here is for educational/awareness purposes only and is not intended to be a substitute for medical treatment by a healthcare professional and should not be relied upon to diagnose or treat any medical condition. The reader should consult a registered medical practitioner to determine the appropriateness of the information and before consuming any medication. PharmEasy does not provide any guarantee or warranty (express or implied) regarding the accuracy, adequacy, completeness, legality, reliability or usefulness of the information; and disclaims any liability arising thereof.

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