About the Chikoo Tree
There are several names for the fruit of the chikoo tree.
Latin name: Manilkara zapota
English: Sapodilla, noseberry, and mudapples
Spanish: Zapote and nispero
Hindi: Chikoo and sapota
The chikoo tree is native to Southern Mexico, Central America, and the islands of the Caribbean. It is a moderately tall tree, growing to between 30 and 50 feet in height with widely branching branches and stems. These trees need a tropical climate to grow and cannot survive freezing temperatures. They take from 5 to 8 years to mature and yield fruit twice a year.
Chikoo is widely cultivated in India, Pakistan, Sri Lanka, Bangladesh, Thailand, Vietnam, the Maldives, and Indonesia, but they are also fairly common in Florida.
Chikoo Nutrient Highlights
Chikoo is a good source of dietary fiber.
Chikoo contains a number of minerals, including iron, magnesium, calcium, phosphorus, copper, and potassium.
It contains vitamins A and C, thiamine, pantothenic acid, and folate.
Chikoo is high in calories, with about 83 calories per 100 grams.
Health Benefits of Chikoo Fruit
The dietary fiber aids with constipation.
It was found to induce cancer cell death and inhibit tumor growth in mice with cancer, as well as increasing their life span by 50%.
The fruit has tannins, which studies have found may have anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties; however, more research is needed to better understand their benefits.
Vitamins C and A help to keep the mucous membranes and skin healthy. Vitamin C also boosts immunity, can help to prevent infections, and scavenges free radicals.
The magnesium, calcium, and phosphorus help keep bones strong, while the magnesium benefits the heart and blood vessels.
Potassium helps to regulate blood pressure and promotes healthy circulation.
Folate and iron help to prevent anemia caused by folate or iron deficiency.
In folk medicine, the ground seeds are applied as a paste to alleviate stings and bites.
Tea made of young fruits and flowers is used to treat dysentery, diarrhea, and pulmonary diseases in Ayurvedic medicine, while the leaves are used to treat cough, colds, and diarrhea.