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The chocolaty fruit

The chocolaty fruit
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Most of us have dismissed chikoo thinking it has no nutritional value, and is unnecessarily fattening. How wrong people can be! Inside, its...

Most of us have dismissed chikoo thinking it has no nutritional value, and is unnecessarily fattening. How wrong people can be!

Inside, its grainy flesh is deliciously sweet and succulent. The slippery seeds are black, with a hook at one end that can catch in the throat if swallowed. Chikoo has a high latex content and does not ripen until picked. Most of us have dismissed it thinking it has no nutritional value, and is unnecessarily fattening. How wrong people can be!

This small and humble fruit is so sweet, pulpy, filling, nutritious and healthy. Even though Chikoo is just 83 calories for one large one most people are scared to eat it as they would gain weight. Do understand that its fat content is next to nothing! It has natural sugar its soft, easily digestible pulp composes of simple sugars like fructose and sucrose that when eaten replenishes energy and revitalises the body instantly. Chikoo is a vital source of vitamins, minerals and has health benefiting antioxidants and tannins. It is sad that its caloric content is highlighted than its health power. It equivalent having one bread slice, roti or idli. It helps in metabolic processes to ensure optimal good health and yet these vital benefits are overlooked.

Chikoo is quite sweet in taste because it contains abundant qualities of fructose and sucrose, hence is a natural energy boosting food. It contains a good source of dietary fiber and therefore acts as a good remedy to curb constipation, thus preventing fissures, piles and hemmorides. It also helps in protecting the mucous membrane of the colon from cancer causing toxins. The anti-inflammatory effects properties of Chikoo are beneficial for problems like gastritis and bowel disorders. Ripened Chikoo contains minerals like iron, potassium, copper and vitamins A and C and others like niacin, folate, etc. Thus they help in boosting immunity besides good skin and hair.

(The writer is a popular Mumbai-based nutritionist)

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