- The custard apple, locally known as tomoko, is available in various parts of the country including Taita, Ukambani, and Kirinyaga
- It is praised for its strong ability to fight cancer cells, as well as a host of other health benefits
Custard apple is a soft and fleshy fruit, with hard exteriors, which is grown locally and known as matomoko.
It is mostly found in Voi, Taita and Ukambani, and sold in urban centre markets during season. The tomoko fruit that grows in some highlands areas within Murang’a and Kirinyaga is larger in size than the hybrids growing more commonly in dryland areas of the country.
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The fruit, also called soursop, is said to have components that destroy lung, breast, prostate, colon, liver, ovarian, cervical, breast, bladder and skin cancerous cells.
A study by the Catholic University of South Korea published in the Journal of Natural Products found that an extract from the fruit’s plant was 10,000 times more efficient in killing colon cancer cells compared to Adriamycin (medication that is popular for chemotherapy).
The fruit's health benefits
-Custard apples have anti-oxidants such as Vitamin C, which helps to combat free radicals in the body.
-The fruit contains Vitamin A, which is good for keeping the hair and skin healthy.
-Tomoko is also known to be high in magnesium. This is great for balancing the water levels in our bodies, as well as assisting to eliminate acids from the joints hence reducing the symptoms of arthritis and rheumatism. The magnesium also protects the heart from cardiac diseases.
-It is also high in potassium, which helps to fight muscle weakness.
-Again, the copper present in the fruit is effective in helping to treat constipation, as well as diarrhoea and dysentery.
-Custard apples are also known to be a rich source of dietary fiber, usually required for maintaining a healthy digestive tract.
Image: NDTV Food