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HEALTH BENEFITS AND USES OF SOURSOP (NONI, GRAVIOLA, MORINDA CITRIFOLIA)



Soursop is the fruit of Annona muricata, a tree that grows in the rain forest of Africa, South East Asia and South America. This fruit is yellowish-greenish in colour and has a very thick skin with spike-like protruding on the skin.

In Cameroon, it is known as Sour sop. Other names for Noni include Graviola, morinda, custard apple. it is scientifically known as Morinda citrifolia

 Nutritional Content per 100g or Raw Soursop
             
Energy
276 kJ (66 kcal)

Carbohydrates
16.84 g
Sugars
13.54 g
Dietary fiber
3.3 g

Fat
0.3 g

Protein
1 g

Vitamins
Thiamine (B1)
(6%)
0.07 mg
Riboflavin (B2)
(4%)
0.05 mg
Niacin (B3)
(6%)
0.9 mg
Pantothenic acid (B5)
(5%)
0.253 mg
Vitamin B6
(5%)
0.059 mg
Folate (B9)
(4%)
14 μg
Choline
(2%)
7.6 mg
Vitamin C
(25%)
20.6 mg

Minerals
Calcium
(1%)
14 mg
Iron
(5%)
0.6 mg
Magnesium
(6%)
21 mg
Phosphorus
(4%)
27 mg
Potassium
(6%)
278 mg
Sodium
(1%)
14 mg
Zinc
(1%)
0.1 mg
The pulp of soursop is used in making smoothies, fruit juice and is used as a flavour in other fruit juices. It can be eaten raw or when cooked. Here are some of the uses of Soursop.

1) Cure of certain cancers and reduces the risk of developing Cancer
Soursop is widely publicized as a natural cure for cancer and is being used by African traditional healers for this purpose. Few studies have been conducted and the Results of one of such studies showed that sour sop is effective in reducing cancer risk (1,2

2) Cure of Headache
Soursop has analgesic properties and this is very useful in relieving headaches. Studies also confirm that possesses anti-inflammatory properties, which is an important constituent of many analgesics and over the counter pain killers (1). 

3) Boosting the Immune system to fight infections
Soursop has anti-bacterial properties. This helps to boost our immune system and prevent us from catching some minor illnesses. It also possesses immunomodulatory properties that keep our immune system strong(1, 4)

4) Relieving joint pain
In addition to its analgesic properties Noni has been used in relieving joint pains and pains associated with gout. It may also help in reversing these conditions. 

5) Better Cardiovascular health
Soursop has vasodilatory properties and this is good for those who want to prevent cardiovascular diseases. It also helps in increasing our good cholesterol and doing away with bad cholesterol which is very necessary for a healthy heart.

6) Protects our liver
The liver is the largest and one of the most important body organs. It helps in breaking down harmful substances and detoxifying our system. Soursop protects the liver against liver damage, something which is life threatening.

7) Remedy for arthritis 
Arthritis is a painful inflammatory condition that occurs in the joints of our body. It can be caused by old age as well as lifestyle risk factors. Since Soursop contains analgesic properties, it can be a good remedy for arthritis (5).

8) Remedy for Diabetics
Some studies have showed that consuming Soursop and its products can help in preventing type 2 diabetes (1) It also enhances insulin sensitivity so that glucose doesn't accumulate in our blood system.

9) Speeding up the process of wound healing
Wound healing occurs in four stages (Hemostasis, Inflamatory phase, Proliferative Phase and maturation Phase). The proliferative phase involves the formation of granulation tissue 3-5 days after injury. Cells rapidly grow so that the wound can close up. Soursop helps in increasing granulation tissues so that healing can take place faster (1)

10) anti-malaria and anti-fever
Studies have showed that noni possesses some anti malarial compounds. It is also an anti inflammatory and has also been showed to possess anti-pyretic (anti-fever) properties (3)

Side effects
According to WebMD Excessive use of Soursop can cause nerve damage leading to movement disorders. The sypmtoms of parkinson's Disease can also get worse as a result of Soursop

Caution
People who suffer from kidney problems or are on antihypertensive medication should seek medical advice because soursop contains some significant amount of potassium. 




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