Nutritional Value Of Water Apple

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Water apple' extract may provide dietary support for diabetes

Introduction:

Water apple is a small, bell-shaped juicy fruit. It is glossy and pink to red in appearance with a sweet, low acidic taste and has white flesh with a rose-scented aroma. The luscious water apple is scientifically known as Syzygium aqueum and belongs to the botanical family Myrtaceae. The water apple plant is native to Indonesia and Malaysia and grows in all tropical regions of Africa and Southern Asia, including India and Thailand.1,2

Water apples are considered fruit crops. They were used in traditional and folk medicine systems due to their vast amount of essential nutrients. The common names of water apples are rose apple, Malabar plum, and plum rose.1,2

So, readers come along with us to know more about this deliciously juicy fruit.

Nutritional Value of Water Apple:

The water apple contains essential nutrients, such as vitamins, minerals, fibre, carbohydrates and proteins. The water apple is a low caloric fruit due to its low fat and calorie content and high water content, which is approximately 90%.1 The nutritional value of water apple is as follows:

Nutrient Component Value/ 100 g
Energy 25 kcal
Carbohydrates 5.7 g
Proteins 0.6 g
Fats 0.3 g
Calcium 29 mg
Magnesium 5 mg
Iron 0.07 mg
Potassium 123 mg
Phosphorus 8 mg
Zinc 0.06 mg
Manganese 0.029 mg
Copper 0.016 mg
Vitamin B1 0.02 mg
Vitamin B2 0.03 mg
Vitamin B3 0.8 mg
Vitamin A 17  µg
Table 1: The nutritional value of raw water apple per 100 grams3 

Properties of Water Apple:

The water apple contains various bioactive compounds that may show multiple biological properties that may benefit human health.1 Water apples might have the following properties:

  • It may have an antioxidant property (It may fight free radicals).
  • It might have anti-fungal properties.
  • It may show an anti-bacterial property.
  • It might have blood sugar-lowering properties.
  • It may have pain-relieving properties.
  • It may have anti-inflammatory properties.
  • It may have anti-proliferative (might stop the spread of cancerous cells) activity.
  • It may have a cholesterol-lowering ability.

Potential Uses of Water Apple for Overall Health:

The water apple plant may have various medicinal properties. Traditionally various parts of the plant, including water apple fruit, were used for potential value.4

Some of the potential uses of water apple are described as follows:

1. Potential Uses of Water Apple for Constipation:

Water apple may have beneficial properties associated with constipation. The water apple contains a good amount of dietary fibre, which may support the digestive system. It may help in the waste materials movement. These properties of water apple may be helpful to those who are facing irregular stools or constipation issues. This might help in the overall support to maintain a healthy weight.4 There is a need for further research to say that the water apples might benefit constipation.

2. Potential Uses of Water Apple for the Heart:

Water apple may be valuable against heart diseases due to its antioxidant activity. The bioactive antioxidant such as vitamin C present in the fruit may fight the free oxygen radicals. These free oxygen species are formed in the body during the food breaking down processes or when the body is exposed to certain radiations or while smoking. Vitamin C may help in reducing oxidative damage and thus may enhance the smooth functioning of the heart. It might also lower the chances of stroke and inflammation.4

The studies are insufficient, and further studies are required to support the potential use of water apple to overcome a stroke in humans.

3. Potential Uses of Water Apple for Diabetes:

The potential anti-diabetic properties of water apple may be valuable for patients who have diabetes. A review of scientific literature by Sridevi R et al.have stated that using water apple might lower blood glucose levels by enhancing the activities of specific carbohydrate metabolising enzymes. Other than the fruit of this plant, the studies have shown the positive effects of the leaf extract in lowering blood glucose levels due to the presence of specific bioactive compounds.4

There is a need for more studies to establish the potential positive effect of water apple on diabetes.

4. Potential Uses of Water Apple for Sunstroke:

Water apples are composed of 90% of water. During the hot and the humid summers, water apple is an excellent choice of fruit which might help fulfil the feeling of thirst. It may also be effective in dealing with sunstroke. It might help remove the bad effect of dehydration by providing its usefulness in driving off the summer heat.2

More research is needed to develop the effect of water apple on human health. People should always consult a doctor before taking any herbal supplements. We advise you to not replace or discontinue any ongoing medications with any Ayurvedic preparation without consulting a doctor.

5. Other Potential Uses of Water Apple:

  • Water apple may be helpful in overcoming liver diseases by helping detoxify the toxins of the body.1
  • The anti-microbial activity of water apple may help against infection-causing bacteria.1
  • The salted water apples may help to release the discomfort of the stomach and intestine.2
  • Antioxidants like vitamin C and vitamin A are present in water apples. It might be effective in reducing the dryness of the skin.4
  • Water apples contain a good amount of potassium. It may strengthen muscles and lower muscle cramps caused due to the low level of potassium.4
  • Vitamin C of the fruit might enhance the white blood cell production in the blood and also may boost the immune system.4
  • Water apple also contains vitamin B3, which might enhance the production of good cholesterol in the body by reducing the harmful fats and lipid molecules.4

Though there are studies that show the benefits of water apples in various conditions, these are insufficient, and there is a need for further studies to establish the true extent of the benefits of water apples on human health.

How to Use Water Apple?

Water apple is a colourful luscious fruit with a delicious sweet taste and rose-like aroma.1 The uses of water apple are given as follows:

  • Water apple is majorly used in the form of raw fruit.
  • It may be used to form juice and jellies.
  • It may be frequently used in fruit salads.
  • It may also be used in making jams, pickles, sweet beverages and squash.2

You should consult a professional doctor before taking herbal supplements. Do not replace or discontinue your ongoing medications with Ayurvedic or herbal preparations without consulting a qualified physician.

Side Effects of Water Apple:

No major study reports the side effects of water apples. Hence, more studies are required to confirm the side effects of water apple on human health.

However, if any harmful effects or discomfort are observed after having water apples, please get in touch with your Ayurvedic physician, who advised you to have the herb. They will provide the appropriate treatment to overcome the side effects.

Precautions to Take With Water Apple:

Water apples might be safe when taken in a moderate dose. However, general precautions have to be followed.

  • Sufficient information is not available to suggest the safe use of water apples for pregnant and breastfeeding women. Thus, it is important to consult a doctor before taking it.
  • Extra precautions must be taken while giving it to young children and older adults since their immune systems are weak and might develop reactions in the body.

source:PharmEasy.com

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