A Consultant Nutritionist, Matthew Felix, has highlighted the health benefits of African Star Apple popularly known as Agbalumo or Ciwoh or Udara during pregnancy. The doctor said the reason why pregnant women crave for seasonal fruit is that it has a sour-like taste that holds the mouth, hits the palate and stops one from throwing up or spitting. These could be some of the main reasons why many pregnant women, who often have these experiences, crave for it. The fruit, which is botanically called chrysophyllum albidum is mostly cultivated in rural areas and is very common between December and April. Nutritionists say it reduces constipation, sore throat and aids digestion, which are also common problems of pregnant women. “It contains more vitamin C than many other fruits, it is rich in calcium, iron potassium, phosphorous, magnesium, tannins, flavonoids, terpenoids, and phytochemicals. “Also, it has antioxidant properties that help to fight many deadly diseases. It can also help lower blood sugar and treats heart disease. “The fruit has low calorie because of its little fat content, and it is found to be ideal for those who are trying to watch weight because it is high in fibre,” Felix said.
Felix, however, advised pregnant women to eat the fruit moderately as it could have other harmful effects if consumed too much.“If you crave too much for the fruit, seek advice from your care giver,” the consultant advised. (NAN)