The chico fruit, also spelled chikoo, is a sweet-tasting plant with an edible coat. Before it made its ways to the United States, it was first cultivated in the Philippines, India, Thailand and Vietnam. It is also a native of Mexico and the Caribbean. It also goes by the name of Sapodilla. It is a small fruit and when mature, has a buttery flesh that is packed with several nutrients.
Types of Nutrients in Chico
Fresh chico fruit can be a great source of helpful nutrients. Apart from being a powerhouse of antioxidants, chico is rich in iron, copper, calcium, magnesium, potassium and phosphorus. Studies claim that the tropical fruit is dense with vitamin A and C, and has some micronutrients of the B vitamin complex. In addition, eating the fruit can give you a fiber fill as well.
Chico and the Heart
Your heart needs minerals to maintain a healthy rhythm, specifically potassium. If you have an abnormal heartbeat, you are at greater risk of suffering from hypertension. Eating fresh produce like chico fruits are a good way to lower your blood pressure and reduce the threat of heart disease. Fiber in fruit has also been linked to a healthier heart as well.
Chico and Digestion
There is no better natural remedy to constipation and bowel conditions than dietary fiber, and the chico fruit is full of it. Fiber can lower the risk of colon cancer by mixing with toxins in the intestines and excreting them as waste out of the body. It is also helpful in cases of diarrhea, where it helps to bulk up stools. Some studies have found that it adds strength to the muscle in the intestines for healthy digestion.
Chico and Bone Health
When bones lose their thickness and strength, it is referred to as low bone density. Low bone density is the predecessor to conditions like osteoporosis and can increase your risk of serious fractures. You can use your diet to treat weak bones by adding foods with calcium and phosphorus. Fruits and vegetables like chico can give your bone structure and teeth the nutrients necessary to keep them strong and flexible.
Chico and Weight Loss
Chico is a low-calorie fruit. A serving yields about 40 calories, with only a small percentage comprised of sugars. It might not be enough to suppress your hunger, but it provides enough sugar to keep your sweet tooth under control. Stick to portions of one or two pieces per day to avoid derailing your weight loss efforts.
Chico and Skin/Hair Care
If your skin has lost its elasticity and youthful appearance for any reason, nibbling on chico fruit pieces frequently can help restore it. Chico and other vitamin C-rich fruits like bayabas and mangga increase collagen that makes skin look younger. They also have good quantities of copper and vitamin A, which provide hair-nurturing and vision-improving nutrients.
Cooking with Chico
Fruits like chico are convenient to have around in the kitchen because they can be added to many foods. Apart from enjoying it raw, you can add it to yoghurt, cereals and health shakes for a bit of sweetness. You can puree its flesh and use it to flavor jam, sauces and even baked treats.