Atis is the Philippine name for sugar apple or sweet sop. Sugar apple is a small tree that grows between 10-20 feet high when fully matured with green heart-shaped fruits with polygonal tubercles and oblong leaves. Its fruit has a white, sweet flesh with black seeds.
The fruit of the sweetsop resembles that of a pine cone but is sweet. As per Purdue’s University Agriculture Division, oil obtained from the seed kernels of atis can be used for cooking, as well as in the perfume industry. The seeds themselves are highly toxic and must go through a special treatment before they become edible.
Health Benefits of Atis (Sugar Apple)
1. Antioxidant Properties
A 2011 study published in the “Journal of Pharmacy Research,” studied atis to see if it contains any compounds that could be useful for nutritional support or medical treatments. Results from the research shows that sweetsop has free radical scavenging activity, which makes it an effective antioxidant.
2. Helps in Asthma Prevention
If you are suffering from asthma, sugar-apple may be good for you. Eating atis or sugar-apple can be a source of an excellent amount of vitamin C, one of the potent anti-oxidants which can help decrease the risk of developing asthma.
3. Lowers Cholesterol Level
Fiber is effective in lowering blood cholesterol serum and prevents it from blocking the blood vessel. Atis is loaded in fiber and contains niacin, one of Vitamin B type which has a significant effect in increasing HDL or good fat in the body.
4. Healthy Heart
How can the sugar-apple or atis be heart-friendly? Through its rich vitamin B6 content. B vitamin has been found to prevent homocystein build-up. A high level of amino acid in the blood is linked with a higher risk of coronary heart disease and stroke.
5. Rich in Vitamin C
A medium-size atis or sweetsop fruit contains 56.3 milligrams of vitamin C and weighs about 5.5 ounces. This is roughly 75% of the daily recommendation of 75 milligrams for women and 62% of the recommended daily intake of 90 milligrams for men.
Vitamin C helps in maintaining healthy bones, muscles, as well as helps blood vessels stay strong and supple. The July 2012 issue of “American Family Physician”, stated that vitamin C does seem to shorten the duration of a cold in both adults and children.
6. Helps Your Body Produce Energy
Feeling a little tired lately? Atis or sugar-apple is a perfect source of thiamin, a nutrient which helps sugar turn into energy.