Native to South America, cherimoya has a pleasant flavor reminiscent of strawberries, bananas and coconut. Its juicy white flesh makes it a pleasant snack consumed on its own. Although high in calories at 176 calories per fruit, it comes packed with nutrients. Add cherimoya to your diet to benefit from its fiber, mineral and vitamin content.
Cherimoya comes loaded with beneficial dietary fiber -- a type of carbohydrate that offers several health benefits. Consuming a diet rich in fiber protects you from several types of chronic disease, including type 2 diabetes, obesity and cardiovascular disease. It might also reduce your risk of breast cancer. Each cherimoya fruit contains 7 grams of dietary fiber -- 18 percent of the daily intake recommendation for men and 27 percent for women, according to dietary guidelines established by the Institute of Medicine.
Potassium and Copper
Add cherimoya to your diet and you'll also reap the benefits of its copper and potassium. Your body uses potassium to metabolize carbohydrates and relies on copper for energy production. Both potassium and copper also promote brain function -- potassium helps your nerves send electrical signals, while copper helps your body synthesize chemicals that relay signals between nerve cells. Each cherimoya contains 674 milligrams of potassium -- 14 percent of the recommended daily intake -- and 162 micrograms of copper, or 18 percent of your daily copper intake recommendation set by the Institute of Medicine.
Cherimoya also helps you consume more vitamin C. Each fruit contains 30 milligrams of vitamin C and provides 40 and 33 percent of the Institute of Medicine-recommended intake for women and men, respectively. Vitamin C fuels collagen production -- a process essential to maintaining tissue strength -- and acts as an antioxidant to combat tissue damage. It also helps you produce chemicals needed to brain communication and might play a role in cholesterol metabolism.
Serving Tips and Ideas
Separate the cherimoya flesh from the skin and seeds before consuming. Use cubes of cherimoya in your fruit salads or finely chop cherimoya along with pineapple, salsa and fresh cilantro for a flavorful homemade salsa. Alternatively, pair cherimoya with other fruits in homemade smoothies -- it works especially well with slightly tart fruits, such as kiwi and raspberries. If desired, add more nutritional value to your cherimoya smoothies by adding nut butter, protein powder, flaxseed or Greek yogurt.
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