Is Custard Apple Good for Diabetes?

Native to the tropical regions of America, custard apples have found a second home in various parts of India, thriving in the wild and cultivated with care in states such as Andhra Pradesh, Maharashtra, Karnataka, Bihar, Orissa, Assam, and Tamil Nadu. Custard apples are known for their distinctive oval or heart-shaped appearance. They have vibrant green or yellow, bumpy-textured skin, making them easily recognisable in any fruit market.

However, it is not just the exterior that sets custard apples apart; it’s the sweet and creamy flesh within that truly steals the show. The inner flesh of custard apples varies in colour, ranging from a luscious white to a delicate pink. This velvety texture, combined with a delightful sweetness, makes custard apples a favourite among many. The unique flavour profile of custard apples often draws comparisons to a combination of banana, pear, and strawberry, creating a taste that is both familiar and exotic.

Custard apples, with their natural sweetness, might raise questions about their suitability for those with diabetes. So, is custard good for diabetes? The good news is that custard apples can be a part of a balanced diet for individuals with diabetes. The natural sugars present in custard apples are accompanied by dietary fibre, which can help regulate blood sugar levels. Additionally, custard apples have a low glycemic index, meaning they cause a slower and steadier rise in blood sugar compared to high-GI foods. Let’s explore more aspects that ensure custard apple is good for diabetes.

Glycemic Index of Custard Apples

To understand whether custard apple is good for diabetes, we have to understand its glycemic index. The Glycemic Index (GI) measures how quickly carbohydrates in food raise blood sugar levels. Custard apples have a low GI of 54, indicating a slower and steadier increase in blood sugar. This is beneficial for promoting insulin production and stabilising blood sugar levels, making custard apples a suitable choice for individuals managing their blood sugar.

Read More: 16 Best Fruits Juice For Diabetes.

Nutrient Content of Custard Apples

Nutrient Content of Custard Apples

Custard apples are packed with a variety of nutrients that contribute to their nutritional value. According to the USDA, here’s a breakdown of the key components found in 100 grams of custard apples:

  • Vitamin C: Custard apples are an abundant source of vitamin C, with 19.2 mg per serving. This essential vitamin plays a crucial role in supporting the immune system and promoting overall well-being.
  • Potassium: With 382 mg of potassium, custard apples contribute to maintaining healthy blood pressure levels. Potassium is essential for proper heart function and fluid balance in the body.
  • Fibre: A 100g serving of custard apple provides 2.4g of fibre, aiding in digestion and promoting a feeling of fullness. This can be particularly beneficial for people with diabetes in managing blood sugar levels.
Nutrient Content per 100g Serving Amount
Water 71.5g
Energy 101 kcal
Protein 1.7g
Carbohydrate 25.2g
Calcium 30mg
Magnesium 18mg
Phosphorus 21 mg

Read More: Is Bottle Gourd Good For Diabetes?

Custard Apples and Diabetes: Custard Apple is Good for Diabetes or Not?

Custard Apple

Custard apples offer a plethora of health benefits to diabetics, making them a valuable addition to their diet. Let’s take a look at the key advantages:

1. Rich in Fibre

The high fibre content in custard apples plays a crucial role in slowing down sugar absorption, contributing to better blood sugar control. According to the National Institutes of Health, custard apples or Annona Cherimola have shown a positive effect on blood glucose levels.

2. Antioxidant Power

Research conducted by the NIH has shown the presence of antioxidants, such as flavonoids, in custard apple leaves. These compounds possess anti-diabetic properties, working to combat oxidative stress and inflammation. Additionally, the inclusion of vitamin C further enhances the fruit’s ability to reduce oxidative stress, promoting improved blood sugar regulation for those with diabetes.

3. Low Glycemic Index

Custard apples boast a low glycemic index, signifying that they are slowly absorbed by the body. This characteristic ensures that there is no rapid surge in blood sugar levels, providing a stable environment for people with diabetes. The slow absorption helps in avoiding fluctuations in blood sugar.

4. Blood Pressure Management

According to WebMD, custard apples are rich in potassium and magnesium, nutrients known for their positive impact on blood pressure. For people with diabetes, maintaining optimal blood pressure levels is essential to reduce the risk of complications like heart attacks and strokes.

5. Improved Insulin Sensitivity

Consuming foods with high fibre and a low glycemic index has been linked to enhanced insulin sensitivity. This factor is particularly beneficial for individuals with diabetes, as it aids in better blood sugar control. Custard apples, with their combination of fibre and a slow glycemic response, contribute to improved insulin sensitivity.

Read More: Top 6 Dry Fruits For Diabetics.

Considerations for Diabetes Patients

Now that we know custard apple is good for diabetic patient and that including custard apples in your meals can provide essential nutrients, it’s important to know that they should not be the sole focus of your dietary choices.

While custard apples bring a plethora of advantages, moderation is essential for diabetes patients. These fruits, though rich in fibre and antioxidants, also contain calories and natural sugars. Consuming them in excess can lead to an unintended spike in blood sugar levels.

Like many fruits, they also contain natural sugars. While these sugars come with fibre, slowing down their absorption, it’s still important for diabetes patients to be mindful of their overall carbohydrate intake. Additionally, custard apples have a calorie content that, when not moderated, can contribute to weight-related concerns—a factor closely linked to diabetes management.

To maximise the benefits of custard apples without compromising diabetes management, consider integrating them into a well-rounded and diverse diet. Pairing them with other low glycemic index foods, lean proteins, and healthy fats can create a balanced and satisfying meal.

Before making significant changes to your diet, especially if you have diabetes, it’s imperative to consult with healthcare providers.

Read More: Is Cauliflower Good for Diabetic Patients?

How to Include Custard Apple in a Diabetes-friendly Diet?

How to Include Custard Apple in a Diabetes-friendly Diet?

1. Breakfast Ideas:

  • Custard Apple Smoothie: Blend custard apple with low-fat yogurt and a handful of berries for a delicious and nutritious smoothie.
  • Custard Apple Parfait: Layer sliced custard apple with Greek yogurt and a sprinkle of nuts for a satisfying breakfast.

2. Snack Suggestions:

  • Custard Apple Slices: Enjoy custard apple slices with a drizzle of lime juice for a refreshing and low-calorie snack.
  • Custard Apple and Nut Mix: Combine chopped custard apple with almonds and walnuts for a crunchy and energy-boosting snack.

3. Dinner Recipes:

  • Custard Apple Chicken Salad: Mix diced custard apple with grilled chicken, leafy greens, and a light vinaigrette for a flavorful dinner option.
  • Custard Apple Quinoa Bowl: Combine cooked quinoa with custard apple, vegetables, and a lean protein source for a balanced dinner.

4. Additional Ways to Incorporate Custard Apple:

  • Custard Apple Chia Pudding: Create a nutritious chia pudding by soaking chia seeds in custard apple puree overnight.
  • Custard Apple Salsa: Make a vibrant salsa with diced custard apple, tomatoes, onions, and cilantro to serve with grilled fish or chicken.

Read More: Is Rice Good For Diabetes?

How to Use of Custard Apple Leaves to Control Diabetes?

Custard apple leaves are believed to have hypoglycemic properties that may help in managing diabetes. They contain bioactive compounds that could contribute to blood sugar control. Here are some preparation methods of custard apples to manage diabetes:

  • Making Tea: Boil custard apple leaves to make a tea. Strain and drink it regularly for potential benefits.
  • Grinding into a Paste: Grind custard apple leaves into a paste and consume a small amount with meals.
  • Adding to Diet: Incorporate chopped custard apple leaves into salads or as a garnish in various dishes.
  • Taking Leaf Extract: Extract the juice from custard apple leaves and consume it in controlled amounts.

FAQs (Frequently Asked Questions)

Is custard apple a high-sugar fruit?

Custard apples do contain natural sugars, primarily fructose. While they are sweet, they also provide essential nutrients and fibre. Moderation is key, especially for people with diabetes who should monitor their overall sugar intake.

Are there any specific health conditions that warrant avoiding custard apples?

While custard apples are generally safe for most individuals, those with latex allergies should exercise caution. Custard apples may cross-react with latex, potentially causing allergic reactions. Individuals with specific medical concerns or conditions should consult with a healthcare professional before including custard apples in their diet.

Can custard apples be consumed daily as part of a healthy diet?

Yes, custard apples can be enjoyed as part of a balanced and diverse diet. They offer valuable nutrients like fibre, vitamins, and minerals. However, it’s crucial to maintain variety in your fruit intake and not overly rely on a single type. People with diabetes or other health conditions should consider their overall dietary needs and consult with a healthcare provider.

Do custard apples have any impact on cholesterol levels?

Custard apples are naturally low in cholesterol and saturated fats. Their dietary fibre content may contribute to maintaining healthy cholesterol levels. While custard apples can be part of a heart-healthy diet, overall lifestyle factors, including regular exercise and a balanced diet, play a significant role in cholesterol management.

Can custard apples aid in weight management?

Custard apples are relatively low in calories and high in fibre, which can contribute to a feeling of fullness. Including them in a well-balanced diet, coupled with regular physical activity, can be a part of a weight management strategy.

How should custard apples be stored to maintain freshness?

Custard apples should be stored at room temperature until they ripen. Once ripe, they can be refrigerated for a few days. Avoid storing them in direct sunlight, as excessive heat can accelerate ripening.

Can custard apples be included in a child’s diet?

Yes, custard apples can be a nutritious and tasty addition to a child’s diet. Ensure they are served in a safe and age-appropriate manner to prevent choking.

Last Updated on by Dr. Damanjit Duggal 


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