Wood apple, also known as Limonia acidissima, is a popular tropical fruit mainly cultivated in Southeast Asian nations. The fruit is called ‘wood apple’ because of its rigid outer texture, although its pulp is extremely soft.
You can consume wood apple as it is or can freeze it to make jam or ice cream. Despite being a relatively lesser known fruit, this delicious and nutritious fruit is available around the world and is easily consumed by people of all ages.
Typically, wood apple fruit comprises of an outer shell enclosing the pulp. While the outer shell is rigid and quite difficult to break, the pulp is sticky, aromatic, scattered with tiny seeds, and offers a sweet-sour taste.
Wood apple belongs to Sri Lanka and Indian subcontinents. It is grown extensively across Indonesia, Kampuchea, Laos, Malaysia, Vietnam, Myanmar, Thailand, and Southeast Asia.
What is Wood Apple?
Wood Apple is a prevalent and beneficial tropical fruit that is the native of the Indian Subcontinent.Wood apple’s health benefits include relief from the symptoms of peptic ulcer, piles, respiratory problems, constipation, indigestion, diarrhea(1), and dysentery.
Besides, regular use of wood apple also helps enhance the immune system, reduce inflammatory conditions, prevent sexual dysfunction, increase milk production for nursing women, improve ocular health, regulate diabetes, and treat bacterial infections.
Wood apple gets widely regarded as sacred in India for over 4000 years. All parts of Wood Apple plant are incredibly beneficial and are extensively used to create different types of Ayurvedic medicines.
Mostly, Wood Apple tree can reach up to a height of 9 to 10 meters with thorny branches and dark grey bark.
Typically, there are three varieties of wood apple plant.
One that doesn’t bear fruits. One that grows small-sized fruits and contains fewer seeds and is extremely aromatic and the other variety bears relatively larger fruits.
Also, the wood apple tree is now very popular and widely used around the world. It can be seen growing in large numbers across different parts of Asia and is popularly called the ‘monkey fruit’ or the ‘elephant apple’ in most of these regions.
Nutritional Profile of Wood Apple
Wood apple packs a powerful and diverse nutritious value as given below:
|Dietary Fiber||5 g|
|Vitamin C||3 %|
Percentages are as per a daily 2000-calorie diet.
‘X’ Benefits of Wood Apple
While wood apple offers numerous health benefits to prevent diseases, treat infections, and provide a sense of overall wellness, the ten wood apple benefits discussed below clearly stand out:
As such, wood apple helps in avoiding premature aging, particularly of your skin. The plant contains a decent quantity of vitamin C and several essential antioxidants(2) that aid in reducing oxidative damage along with supporting the synthesis of natural collagen to provide tremendous noticeable anti-aging benefits.
[Read: Health Benefits of Bilberry]
The bark of wood apple trees contains numerous unique compounds that are proven to exhibit powerful fungicidal and bacteriostatic properties. As a result, the bark as well as extracts of wood apple tree help in reducing the replication of viruses and bacteria.
Foods rich in assorted flavonoids, vitamins, and phytocompounds are known to exhibit a certain degree of anti-inflammatory properties. The same applies to wood apple, You can use it traditionally for reducing the symptoms of arthritis pain, dermatitis, and eczema.
Due to the presence of essential electrolytes, wood apple helps to maintain fluid balance in the body. Amongst all, potassium is the most significant as it helps in preventing water loss through perspiration or urination. Also, you can apply wood apple topically to your skin to help preserve moisture in the body.
The presence of dietary fiber in wood apple helps prevent constipation. Along with being a rich source of water, different natural sugars present in this plant extract also provide a moderate laxative effect to support regular bowel movement.
Insect & Fly Repellent
Wood apple may well be applied topically to your skin to keep flies and insects away. As an alternative, some individuals also use its roots, ground and properly mix it with an appropriate base. This base can be used to keep insects and flies at bay.
Helps Prevent Cancer
As such, foods that reduce different types of inflammations in your body are well known for decreasing the high propensity of developing cancer. Also, extracts of wood apple tree have a possible roleplay in destroying cancer cells, particularly those associated with the skin and breast cancer.
Accelerates Wound Healing
You can attribute the tremendous potency of wood apple to speed up healing of bruises, minor cuts, and wounds to its powerful anti-inflammatory properties along with its capacity to prevent pathogen proliferation.
Also, wood apple stimulates the production of collagen and thereby spectacularly heals wounds and cuts. It prevents infections and also, facilitates faster recovery.
The extracts of wood apple complement the natural detox process of your body to enhance flushing out of the toxins. Besides, it enhances liver metabolism to facilitate easy removal of various water-based wastes.
Traditionally, you can use wood apples as a natural and safe measure to help recover from a hangover. Wood apple helps in curing hangovers by facilitating the easy and quick drain out of alcoholic metabolites. This wonderful fruit may even come handy in safeguarding the liver against non-alcoholic fatty liver diseases, inflammation, and jaundice.
A small wood apple provides approximately 30 gram of quick-digesting carb that aids in instilling you with more energy whenever you require it the most. While this effect may well be short-term, it is particularly useful for example, if you’re engaged in physical activities or in case the mental acuity drowns to below average
Although probiotic bacteria serve a vital role in helping you maintain a healthy immune system, most of you have no clue about the gut bacteria existence, what they do, and how they enhance your system.
With plant-based food, you can easily enhance the quantity and effectiveness of these gut bacteria. The fiber content in wood apple helps ensure proper maintenance of these probiotic bacteria, in turn enhancing regularity, decreasing bloating along with fortifying the defense system of your body against foreign intruders.
How to Eat Wood Apples?
Wood apple is a fabulous fruit featuring a funky smell. Numerous individuals eat wood apples by blending them up to a fruit shake or a juice. However, you can consume the wood apple as such. Simply grab a wood apple, break the hard shell, and start enjoying the meat with a teaspoon.
The pulp of these wood apple trees is slightly sticky and can be eaten raw without sugar, or you can blend it with palm sugar syrup and coconut milk and drink it as a smooth and delectable beverage. For more ways, you can use it to make jam, jelly, and chutneys.
Preventive Measures to Keep in Mind while Consuming Wood Apple
While wood apple is generally regarded as safe for people of all ages when consumed in moderation, intake of wood apple on large quantity can lead to constipation and stomach upset.
There’s not much scientific evidence to back the effects of wood apple on pregnant or nursing women. It is, therefore, recommended to avoid it completely.
Also, excessive consumption of wood apple extracts can lead to flatulence, so individuals having gastric problems and weak digestive system should be careful while using it. Anything can act as an allergen and, therefore, it is better to start with a small quantity and gradually scale up if wood apple goes well with your body.
Even if you do not consume wood apples or have never tried them, still you must surely consider getting some for yourself the next time you visit your nearest supermarket. You are certainly going to be surprised by its unique taste. Wood apple is easy to consume and has many benefits as discussed above.
Make it into jam, jelly, ice cream, or chutney to savor its unique taste and get the health benefits of its nutritious values. With so many health benefits, it certainly makes sense to include benefits of wood apple in your diet more often. So, give it a try today and get access to all wood apple benefits.