It is also called giant star apples based on the configuration of the seeds inside the fleshy fruit or Agbalumo/Udara based on local dialect.
The fruit which is botanically called Chrysophyllum albidum is found throughout tropical Africa, blooming between December and April in Nigeria.
The fruit is a favorite delicacy for adults and children alike as evident in its high rate of consumption when in season.
Like all other fruits and vegetables, the African cherry has a multitude of benefits that it offers on consumption.
First off, it has an excellent fiber and roughage content. The fibre content of African cherry provides bulk to your diet, making your stomach feel fuller for longer. This can help reduce your food intake and subsequently aid weight loss. This nutrient can also help protect you from diabetes and some forms of cancer.
Secondly, The fruit contains a generous amount of calcium which helps to allay cramps and abdominal bloating. For growing children, the mineral is very much important for bone formation, hence its high recommendation for intake.
Thirdly, The high content of vitamins and anti-bacteria properties in the fruit helps in the treatment of sore throat, toothaches and constipation. However, it is recommended that the fruit should not be used for medicinal purposes without the approval of your physician.
Finally, The sour, tangy taste helps with vomiting or spitting and could be recommended as a temporary measure to halt anti-peristaltic movement.
According to Matthew Felix, a consultant nutritionist, the fruit reduces constipation, sore throat and aids digestion, which are also common problems of pregnant women.
“It contains more vitamin C than many other fruits; it is rich in calcium, iron potassium, phosphorous, magnesium, tannins, flavonoids, terpenoids, and phytochemicals,” Felix said.
“Also, it has antioxidant properties that help to fight many deadly diseases. It can also help lower blood sugar and treats heart disease.”