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What is Cherimoya?

This is not a question you have probably asked yourself before, but maybe now is the right time! Cherimoya (scientific name Annona cherimola) is a fruit native to South America. The cherimoya plant is a semi-evergreen shrub, which extends to a size of about 7 meters. The tree is fast growing and is fairly dense.

Cherimoya is a word used by Incas, which literally means “cold breast”, as the fruit is used to pacify toddlers. These trees are sub-tropical, mild temperate, which has the capacity tolerate light frosts. It is basically a summer fruit, and is harvested and grown mostly in the spring and the summer season. It requires sunny temperature to grow.

The cherimoya is fleshy, soft and sweet, oval shaped fruit, which is slightly oblique at the ends, its flesh is white in color.

Chirimoya is one of the best tasting fruits in the world. It has a velvety flesh with the mixed flavor of a pineapple, strawberry and banana. Chirimoya is made into smoothies, ice cream, yogurt and added to fruit salads.

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The cherimoya fruit has a large number of dark brown seeds planted in it. The cherimoya seeds and skin are non-edible. Consumption of cherimoya seeds or skin can lead to severe consequences. If you consume the cherimoya skin, you can be paralyzed for 4 to 5 hours. The kernels are also toxic and bark can also cause paralysis if it is injected.

The flowers of the cherimoya tree are yellow-brown in color and generally produced in clusters. These flowers are hermaphroditic. They cannot self-pollinate as these flowers are female in the initial stage, but they later on convert into males. The cherimoya tree should be fertilized regularly to increase the amount of fruit. Cherimoya flowers require a self-pollinator, who cans collect the pollens from the flower in the male stage, and deposit it back in its female stage.

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Cherimoya is known by different names in different places: Chirimoya, Chirimolla, Graviola, Tukib, Anone, Ice cream fruit. Also, according to the degree of surface irregularity, cherimoyas can be classified as lisa, Impressa, Umbonada, Papilonado and tuberculada.

Cherimoya is rich in nutrients, it contains B-complex vitamins, vitamin A, C and E as well as essential minerals like potassium, manganese, zinc, copper, sodium, calcium, magnesium, iron and phosphorous, loaded with proteins and dietary fiber. Cherimoya is a rich nutritional fruit, with almost no side effects.

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Cherimoya helps in curing many diseases such as Anemia, Arthritis, Decalcification, Hypertension, Stomach contractions, stomach cramps, intestinal transit problems, constipation, diabetes and other related problems. In Mexico, this fruit was used as a pulverizer, mixed with milk and powder as a potent emetic and cathartic. It can be used to kill lice when mixed with lice, and is even used to treat parasitic disorders. The decotation of the skin of this fruit can be used as a relive against pneumonia. The dried flower is used as a flavoring agent for snuffs. The seeds are crushed to be used as an insecticide.

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Cherimoyas can be eaten raw, or may be enjoyed after cooking. Pick a ripe fruit, cut into halves and scoop the flesh out with a spoon and eat fresh. It tastes best when it is refrigerated.

In our next blogs we share with you more Cherimoya recipes and health benefits of incredibly taste fruit. Variety is a key!

Be healthy, stay healthy!

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