You may have heard of various varieties of apples, but not Ice Apples. As this is also a type of apple, it surely has health benefits too. Fruits generally are something that we should incorporate in our daily snack or brunch. So, without wasting any time, let us know more about the various health benefits of eating ice apple fruit.
A. Origin of Ice Apple
This variety of apples is grown on a tree, scientifically known as Borassus flabellifer. This tree is a native of the Indian subcontinent found mostly in South India and regions of Southeast Asia. It is being naturalized in parts of China and the islands of Socotra. This tree is also popularly known as toddy palm, palmyra palm, tala palm, doub palm, wine palm, or tala.
- The fruit it bears is commonly known as Ice Apple.
- While in Kerala it is known as nonku.
- In Odisha, people call it tal.
- And, in Tamil Nadu, it is called nungu.
- Indonesian people refer it as buah, siwalan, or lontar.
B. Properties of Ice Apple Fruit
The fruits of the palmyra palm are known as Palmyra fruit but are most commonly famous by the name of Ice Apples. These fruits have black husk color, and it grows in clusters. They have white fleshy bodies rich in water content.
Ice apples look like lychee but taste like tender coconut. Inside the fruit, a thin yellow-brown skin covers the jelly part of the fruit. The sweeter part is more sugary and denser, that is the soft orange-yellow pulp of the fruit. The flavor of this fruit is a bit similar to lychee but with a milder flavor and no pit. (See What is Golden Delicious Apples?)
C. Nutritional Content of Ice Apple
- The mesocarp pulp or the soft orange-yellow pulp, it is rich in Vitamin A and C.
- The outer covering of the fruit is rich in fiber.
- These apples are also rich in a bitter compound known as flabelliferrins. This compound is known to be steroidal saponins, which are under research for developing new therapeutic strategies against cancer.
A 100-gram serving of Ice Apple provides 43 calories and 11 grams of carbohydrates while being rich in phytonutrients and calcium. Small amounts of fiber, iron, protein, and Vitamins (A, B7, C, E, and K) are also present in ice apples. (See How Much is Water Content in Watermelon?)
D. Health Benefits of Eating Ice Apple Fruit
In this segment, we will explore all the health benefits of eating ice apple fruit. These include:
1. Boosts Immune System
Ice apples are rich in water content hence provide hydration during summers. And owing such good nutritional value an ice apple is known to boost the immune system due to the presence of Vitamins in it. (See What Is Sugar Apple Fruit?)
2. Helps in Curing Rashes
Everyone suffers from rashes during those scorching sunny days of summers. Often, few fabrics are also the cause behind the rashes but applying the flesh of ice apples to the affected areas can help in relieving burning sensations. It also provides comfort and prevents us from continuous scratching.
3. Reduces Heat Stroke
Another health benefit, of eating ice apple fruit daily is that it provides a good amount of water and hydration to the body that is useful in protecting us against heat strokes. And it is also helpful in reducing heat boils that many people develop whenever the temperature hits the high. (See 10 Rose Apple Benefits)
4. Slows Down Ageing
Ice apples are rich in phytochemicals that are known for their antioxidant qualities and anti-inflammatory properties. These two are helpful in maintaining skin health and slowing down the aging process. It also helps in the prevention of several incurable diseases. (See Top 20 Foods that contain Antioxidants)
5. Helps in Weight Loss
Overeating, untimely eating, false eating habits, binge eating habits may result in weight gain and sometimes, gains up to an obese level. So, in such cases, Ice Apples can be helpful. Since they are low in calories and have high water content with fiber and protein, these fruits can keep a person feeling full for longer. This reduces binge eating resulting in healthy weight maintenance. (See What are the health benefits of drinking Green Tea?)
6. Aids in Digestion
During summers eating ice, an apple is a good option for curing any digestion-related problems. Consuming Ice Apple juice on an empty stomach relieves constipation problems.
7. Resolves Liver Problems
Ice apples are rich in potassium, and water helps improve the functioning of the liver, which results in efficient cleaning of toxins from the body that is another of the Health benefits of eating ice apple fruit. (See Types of Green Apples)
8. Helps Fight Fatigue
Fatigue and nausea are common problems faced by people during the summer season. Consuming ice apples helps relieve these problems and makes a person more active.
9. Maintains Body Temperature
Ice apples are considered the best options among fruits during summers. It has amazing qualities of cooling down and maintaining body temperature that also reduces heat pimples. (See What is Golden Delicious Apples?)
10. Prevents Breast Cancer
The presence of a phytochemical anthocyanin leads to the growth of breast cancer cells and tumors. Ice apples are rich in flabelliferrins which proves beneficial against cancerous cells.
11. Acts as Energy Booster
Ice apple helps maintain a healthy level of nutrients and minerals in the body. And when everything is balanced, we automatically feel less tired and more energetic.
E. Ways to Eat Ice Apple
- Usually, natives of the region where these fruits are grown prefer eating them when the outer layer is unripe. At this stage, the seeds are, consumed as fruits.
- A fully ripe fruit develops a purple-black hue, and its flesh also develops a taste like coconut flesh. In a fully ripe fruit, its outer layer is, also eaten after boiling, roasting, or just raw.
- Some people enjoy the skin along with the fruit to utilize the complete health benefits of eating ice apple fruit. (See Which fruit has a blue colour?)
F. Various Dishes Made with Ice Apple
Over time Bengalis have perfected the art of using ice apples in different dishes. They can make various sweet dishes by using the yellow fluid part of a ripe ice apple. Few dishes prepared with ice apples are palmyra vadas and taal-kheer. The recipe of taal-kheer is prepared by mixing the fluid with thickened milk.
Drinks made from ice apples are Ice Apple Sharbat and Ice Apple Rose Milk. The former is prepared by mixing its fluid part with coconut water and the latter is a mixture of chilled Basil seeds mixed with milk, sugar, rose syrup, and ice apple cubes. So health benefits of eating ice apple fruit, can be enjoyed in many ways through these ice apple recipes. (See Do Women Have Adam’s Apple?)