Though a late import to India, Chico ‘sapodilla’, has fast become one of the most consumed fruit due to its taste and also for its potential health benefits.
A native fruit of South America, chikoo was introduce to the Indian palette in the early 1800’s. The few saplings have mushroomed into 40+ varieties being grown in the warmer climates of India, with Karnataka and Maharashtra producing the most.
Chikoo also known as sapodilla or sapota is a round or oval-shaped fruit. Chiku is a grey-brown pulpy fruit with a grainy texture & sweet taste. The outer skin is smooth and edible. The pulp contains 3-5 small black bean-shaped seeds. The ripe fruit is edible while the unripe fruit has a hard surface and a white pulp due to the latex content.
Nutritional Facts of Chikoo/Sapota
Chikoo is a storehouse of numerous nutrients, minerals, vitamins, tannins, and glucose.
As per the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) National Nutrient Database, 100 gm of chikoo contains 83 calories, 0.44 gm of proteins, 5.3 gm of fiber, 19.9 gm of carbohydrates, 12 mg of sodium, 1.1 gm of fats, 193 mg of potassium, 21 mg of calcium, 14 µg of folates, 0.8 mg of iron, 12 mg of magnesium, 12 mg of phosphorous, 0.1 mg of zinc, 0.2 mg of niacin, and 14.7 mg of vitamin C.
Potential Health Benefits of Chiku/ Sapota
1/5. Prevents digestive ailments
1. Chiku is a rich source of tannin which is an anti-inflammatory compound that decreases symptoms of irritation in various regions of the digestive tract, treats gastritis, and other bowel diseases.
2. The high amount of fiber found in Sapodilla enhances bowel movement, clears the digestive tract, and prevents constipation.
2/5. Strengthens the bones
1. Chikoo contains abundant amounts of calcium, phosphorous, copper, and iron that keep the bones healthy and strong.
2. Regular intake of chiku enhances the quality of the bone.
3. The presence of copper in chiku promotes tissue and muscle strength.
3/5. Controls blood pressure
1. The magnesium content of sapota keeps the blood vessels up and running.
2. The potassium content of chikoo reduces the sodium levels thus, regulating the blood pressure and circulation.
4/5. Improves vision
The high amount of Vitamin A content in chikoo helps in the formation of visual sensory cells and enhances eyesight.
5/5. Other possible Benefits…
Chikoo produces several health benefits, apart from the health benefits mentioned above, it also produces few more such as improves immunity, prevents cancer, relieves pulmonary problems, reduces effects of aging, keeps inflammation away, boosts energy, cures cough and cold, controls weight,benefits the skin, beneficial for pregnant and lactating mothers, benefits the hair, treats diarrhoea, calms the nerves, alleviates stress, expels bladder and kidney stones, acts as a detoxifying agent and prevents anaemia.
Chikoo ‘Sapota’ fruit is a good source of dietary fiber, is a good laxative and protects the colon from carcinogenic toxins. Also, being fiber heavy, the fruit can also be consumed by diabetics but only in small quantity.
How to incorporate Chiku in the Diet?
The flesh of chiku can be consumed directly. It can also be added to several dishes. Some of the ways by which they can be incorporated into the diet are as follows…
- Added to fruit salads.
- Added to confectionaries.
- Used to prepare puree.
- Used to prepare milkshakes and ice cream.
How to prepare Chikoo milkshake?
Take 2 to 2.5 cups of rinsed, peeled, deseeded, and chopped chikoo pieces. Put them in the blender.
Pour 2.5 to 3 cups of milk.
Add sugar or jaggery as needed.
Blend all the ingredients until smooth.
Add ice cubes and serve the chikoo milkshake.