One of the exotic fruits found in Costa Rica is the Guanábana (pronounced gwah-nah-bah-nah) or sour sop. This football-sized fruit can often weigh more than five pounds. It can be grown in almost all tropical regions across the globe.
Soursop is also known as “nature’s ice cream.” This fruit has a white pulp, some fiber, and a core of black seeds. The sweet pulp is used to make candies, sorbets, and ice cream flavorings. It is also a common ingredient in fruit juice or fresco as it is called in Costa Rica. Once you open the football-sized fruit, its velvety, white flesh is exposed. Soursop’s unique flavor is often described as a combination of pineapple, strawberry and citrus fruit flavors with the creamy touch of banana or coconut.
Guanábana is excellent for your health. It contains significant amounts of vitamin C, vitamin B1 and vitamin B2. Laboratory research suggests that soursop may have potential to treat some infections. There may also be a connection between consumption of soursop and atypical forms of Parkinson’s disease due its very high concentration of certain substances.
It has been said that this fruit can be used as a way to naturally combat cancer cells because of it contains a substance called acetongena. The advantage is that it does not hurt healthy cells like many traditional cancer treatments. According to one study the acetogena can inhibit the growth of cancer cells that are resistant to chemotherapy. Another study from the Institute of Sciences and Health of the United States, points to the guanábana’s possible effectiveness in combating malignant tumors as an alternative treatment.
Other medicinal benefits of sour soap are:
- Its antibacterial properties
- Can help against asthma
- Help against hypertension
- Help fight diabetes
- Protect the immune system
- Help with an irritated colon
- Lessen colesterol and triglycerides
- Strengthen intestinal flora
- Help stabilize liver function
Here is a recipe for Guanábana Juice:
1 pound of guanábana, peeled, seeded, and diced
1 1/2 cups milk or water
1. Blend the soursop and milk or water in a blender (licuadora in Spanish). Taste and add sugar as needed. Usually, the riper the fruit, the less sugar you will need.
2. Store the juice in the refrigerator and add ice just before serving.