Custard Apple (Sharifa) During Pregnancy: Health Benefits, Simple Recipes

Eating Custard Apple During Pregnancy

Image: iStock

Nine months is ample time to taste almost all the seasonal fruits. When you are pregnant you can eat mangoes in summer, berries and plums in rains, and apples, pears, grapes and more in winter. Custard apple is one such seasonal fruit, which you wouldn’t want to miss. Yes, the seeds are a little annoying, but it is worth the pain as the fruit is nutritious for both the mother and her unborn baby.

Originated in South America with the name cherimoya, it is known as sitaphal, sharifa and sugar apple.

MomJunction tells you about eating custard apple during pregnancy, and the technique you can use to eat the fruit. Also, do not miss to read some delicious recipes at the end.

Why It Is Safe To Eat Custard Apple During Pregnancy

Custard apple is rich in nutrients and calories. Also, the natural sugars in them help underweight pregnant women gain weight. It lowers the risk of abortion. You will also find it palatable when you develop a distaste for others foods, a common tendency during pregnancy. However, you should not overeat the fruit, just like any other food.

Not enough to convince yourself about the fruit? Then, we have more to say about it.

10 Benefits Of Custard Apple During Pregnancy

The fruit is sweet, tasty, and is safe to eat during pregnancy. You can benefit from the goodness of the fruit, if you eat it in moderation.

1. Vitamins

A custard apple contains vitamins A, B6, and C (1), which are essential for fetus development. Vitamin A is vital for good eye vision, skin and hair, while vitamin C fights off the free radicals in the body. Vitamin B6 helps alleviate nausea (2).

2. Calories

Custard apple contains good amount of calories that help you add to your daily calorific requirement. However, note that you should eat it in moderation.

3. Copper

The daily requirement of copper during pregnancy is 100 milligrams, and custard apple is a rich source of this mineral. Copper helps improve the hemoglobin levels.

4. Fiber

The high fiber content in custard apple eases the bowel movements and lowers the chances of constipation and other digestion related problems.

5. Antioxidant

The antioxidant nature of the fruit helps in flushing out the toxins from your body.

6. Magnesium

Magnesium is an essential element during pregnancy as it protects you from cardiac problems and aids in muscle relaxation.

7. Expectorant

The fruit has coolant, stimulant, and expectorant properties. It can help in addressing diarrhea and dysentery.

In addition to these nutrients, custard apple also contains other nutritional values.

[Read: Diarrhea During Pregnancy]

Nutritional Value Of Custard Apple

Custard apple contains vitamins, minerals, proteins, fiber, and calories (3).

100 grams of sugar apple provides you with the following nutrition:

  • Ascorbic acid – 15-44mg
  • Calcium – 17.6-27mg
  • Calories – 80-101
  • Carbohydrate – 20-25g
  • Fat – 0.5g
  • Fiber – 0.9-6.6g
  • Iron – 0.42mg
  • Niacin – 0.528mg
  • Nicotinic acid – 0.5mg
  • Phosphorus – 14.7-32mg
  • Protein – 1.17-2.47g
  • Riboflavin – 0.086-0.175mg
  • Thiamine – 0.075-0.119mg

[ Read: Healthy Recipes For Pregnant Women ]

Can a fruit with such nutritional values be completely safe, or can it harm you in any way?

When Can Custard Apple Be Harmful?

  • Unripe fruit can irritate your stomach leading to digestion problems. So you should consume only a fully grown, soft and plump custard apple.
  • Do not consume seeds as they might disturb your health.
  • If you have gestational diabetes, avoid taking the fruit as it is high in sugars.

How Do You Eat A Custard Apple?

Know the right technique to remove the pulp to eat the fruit easily.

  • Open the fruit using your hands or cut it half.
  • Take a spoon and scoop out the flesh.
  • Sometimes the flesh closest to the skin and the central spine may taste a little bitter. You may avoid these portions.

Selecting the best fruit: Ripe custard apples have pale green skin. They are juicy and sweet. You can also buy darker green fruits and store them at room temperature to ripen.

You may eat custard apple in a variety of ways during pregnancy.

  • Just add a little lime juice for a complementary flavor.
  • Make it as a dessert.
  • Prepare a smoothie, milkshake or add to ice creams.
  • Add some honey, if you have a sweet tooth.

If you are bored of eating whole fruits, you may also make some delicious recipes.

A Few Simple Recipes With Custard Apple

1. Custard apple milkshake

Custard apple milkshake

Image: Shutterstock

You will need:

  • Custard apple – 3 medium
  • Milk – 4 cups
  • Sugar – 3tsp
  • Fresh cream – 2tbsp
  • Ice cubes – As required

How to:

  1. Extract the pulp from custard apples, and remove seeds.
  2. Blend the pulp, milk, cream, sugar and ice cubes until you get a smooth consistency.

2. Custard apple ice cream

Custard apple ice cream

Image: Shutterstock

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

How to:

  1. Mix milk, milk powder, sugar powder, fresh cream, and vanilla essence in a large bowl, and stir well until the sugar dissolves.
  2. Add custard apple pulp and mix again.
  3. Pour the mixture into a shallow container, cover and freeze until it is set.
  4. Blend the mixture until you get a smooth consistency.
  5. Put the mixture again in the shallow container, cover, and freeze.
  6. Eat it either plain or top it with dry fruits.

[ Read: Nutritious Fruits To Eat During Pregnancy ]

Frequently Asked Questions

1. Can you eat the seeds of a custard apple?

Swallowing a seed or two will not harm you in any way as your body flushes them out in stool. In general, custard apple seeds have abortifacient properties and are therefore mildly toxic.

2. Can you eat custard apple during periods?

A decoction made from custard apple leaves is said to support blood flow during periods.

3. Can you eat custard apple if you have gestational diabetes?

Custard apple is rich in sugars, and can only be taken in limited amounts when diabetes is under control.

4. Can you eat custard apple during a cold?

Custard apple is a cooling fruit. However, it does not mean it causes cold but it could aggravate the condition.

Eat fresh and ripe custard apples, which are tasty and healthy. You can also replace a dessert with this fruit, to gain maximum benefits from your diet. However, just like any other food, limit the consumption of the fruit to avoid any side-effects.

Have some favorite recipes with custard apple? Share them with us. We would love to hear from you.

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