The soursop fruit, also known as the guanabana, is common in the tropical climates of Africa, South America, Southeast Asia, and the Pacific Islands. Also referred to as the thorny custard apple, thorny mango, and thorny fruit due to its exterior appearance, the soursop tastes like a combination of pineapple and cherry, with a creamy flavor similar to coconut or banana. Its pulp is white with inedible black seeds that should not be consumed due to their possible toxicity. The soursop is a member of the Annonaceae family, which also includes the paw paw, a tropical tasting fruit that can be found in North America.
The fruit of the soursop is used to flavor ice cream, sorbets, and candy. Fruit bars made from the soursop are very popular in Venezuela. You can buy this fruit fresh if you have access to imported fruits at grocers and markets near your house, or you can buy the pulp in cans or in plastic packages. Similarly, you can buy fresh coconut at many grocery stores and prepare it on your own a hammer and a butter knife, or you can buy frozen cubed coconut.
This fruit is low in calories and high in fiber with no sodium or fat while offering a wide range of phytochemical compounds unique to the soursop. It's loaded with vitamin C and a host of B-complex compounds, guanabana is rich in minerals and unusual compounds such as acetogenins. Soursop contains potassium, phosphorus, magnesium, and copper, iron, zinc, and calcium.
Gather the ingredients.
Put the soursop pulp, cubed coconut, cubed pineapple, leafy greens, and peeled ginger into a blender.
Pulse until everything has blended together.
If you'd like a thinner smoothie, feel free to add a bit of water or coconut milk, a bit at a time, until you reach your desired thickness. Add ice cubes for a thicker smoothie.
Serve and enjoy!
What Are The Benefits of Soursop?
Soursop has been studied for. many of its health benefits. In one study funded by the National Cancer Institute, fatty compounds in soursop inhibited the growth of cancer cells. According to the Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center, some other compounds in guanabana also have anti-parasitic and anti-inflammatory properties. In another laboratory study, published in the Journal of Ethnopharmacology, it was demonstrated that an extract of the fruit inhibited the development of the Herpes virus. The Journal of Medicinal Chemistry also published a laboratory study which showed that soursop extracts were highly effective in killing breast cancer cells compared with traditional methods. All these studies, however, remain to be tested on human subjects.
Use the following steps to prepare your fresh soursop:
- Wash 2 soursops under running water. Make sure to scrub, as dirt often gets caught on the bumps of the skin.
- Once washed, peel the soursops. You can use a paring knife to do this. Since the skin is very soft, you could even use your hands.
- After peeling the fruit, cut it in half to remove the stem.
- To remove the seeds, place the pulp in a large bowl and break it up by hand. Discard the seeds.
US Department of Agriculture. Food Data Central. Soursop, raw. Updated April 1, 2019.
Mclaughlin JL. Paw paw and cancer: annonaceous acetogenins from discovery to commercial products. J Nat Prod. 2008;71(7):1311-21. doi:10.1021/np800191t
Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center. Graviola. Updated May 14, 2019.
Padma P, Pramod NP, et al. Effect of the Extract of Annona Muricata and Petunia Nyctaginiflora on Herpes Simplex Virus. J Ethnopharmacol. 1998;61(1):81-3. doi:10.1016/s0378-8741(98)00013-0.
Oberlies NH, Chang CJ, Mclaughlin JL. Structure-activity relationships of diverse Annonaceous acetogenins against multidrug resistant human mammary adenocarcinoma (MCF-7/Adr) cells. J Med Chem. 1997;40(13):2102-6. doi:10.1021/jm9700169