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Health Benefits of Ambarella

Last Updated on Jun 05, 2018
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What is Ambarella?

Ambarella (Spondias dulcis) is a tropical tree with an edible fruit. It is commonly called as kedondong (Indonesia), buah long long (Singapore), pomme cythere (Trinidad and Tobago), June plum (Bermuda and Jamaica), mangotín (Panama), juplon (Costa Rica), golden apple (Barbados and Guyana), jobo indio (Venezuela), and cajarana (Brazil). The tree originated in Southeast Asia. It is widely cultivated in Malaysia, India, Sri Lanka, and some parts of Africa for its leaves and fruits. The tree bear fruits abundantly from September to mid of January. Ambarella fruits grow in clusters of up to a dozen.

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The fruit is oval in shape, green in color with a tough skin. The flesh of the fruit is hard and contains a fibrous pit. The fruit turns golden-yellow when it ripens. It has flavors of pineapple and mango. The hard crunchy flesh is sour and thus, it is often eaten with salt, chili powder, sugar or shrimp paste. Although the fruit can be eaten raw, the ripened fruit tastes the best.

Health Benefits of Ambarella

Ambarella fruit is used to make jams, jellies and preserves. The fruit is added to soups, sauces and stews as flavorings. In certain places, ambarella is used in fruit salad or dried and made into a spicy paste to prepare certain dishes. The fruit can also be candied or processed into drinks.

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Health Benefits of Ambarella

The leaves and the bark of ambarella are widely used as a therapeutic agent as it contains flavonoids, saponin and tannins. The fruit is dense in nutrients and improves overall health. One serving of ambarella fruit provides 48Kcal of energy, 1 gram of protein, 12 grams of carbohydrate, 233 IU of vitamin A, 30mg of vitamin C, 15 mg of calcium, 3 mg of iron and 22 grams of phosphorus. The fruit also contains dietary fiber and Vitamin B complex constituents like thiamine and riboflavin.

According to a study published in the Asian Pacific Journal of Tropical Biomedicine, in 2013, ambarella fruit and leaves extracts exhibit strong antimicrobial, antioxidant, cytotoxic and thrombolytic properties.

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Boosts Immune System

Ambarella fruit is rich in vitamin C. It improves the function of the immune system. It also improves the formation of collagen and accelerates the wound healing process. The fruit also contains antioxidants and helps prevent free radical damage.

Improves Skin Health

The vitamin C content of the fruit helps in tissue repair and nourishes the skin. It increases the production of collagen and improves the beauty of the skin. Ambarella is also used to treat skin diseases. The leaves of ambarella are boiled and the extract is used as a substitute for body lotion and moisturizers. Traditionally, the root of the tree is used to treat itchy skin.

Ambarella Improves Skin Health

Helps Treat Cough

The leaves extract are used to treat cough. About 3 or 4 fresh leaves of ambarella tree is boiled in two cups of water and allowed to stand for few minutes. The concoction is strained and usually taken with honey.

The fruit can also be used to treat cough. Two or three pieces of the ambarella fruit is shredded and the water is squeezed. A pinch of salt can be added to the extract and consumed thrice a day to relieve cough.

Helps Treat Digestive Problems

Ambarella is high in dietary fiber, which facilitates digestion and helps clear the bowel. The pulp of the fruit is recommended for those who suffer from constipation and dyspepsia (indigestion). The high water content of the fruit prevents dehydration.

The bark of the ambarella tree is used as a remedy to cure dysentery. People suffering from diarrhea, dysentery, can take a herbal concoction of the ambarella bark to ease discomfort. The herbal concoction is prepared using 5 grams of the bark. The clean bark is boiled in two cups of water until the water is reduced to half. The strained concoction can be consumed to provide instant relief for dysentery.

Ambarella Helps Treat Digestive Problems

Improves Vision

Ambarella fruit is a good source of vitamin A. It plays an important role in the visual perception. The compound of vitamin A known as retinol helps distribute images that are received by the retina of the eye. The decoction of the ambarella leaves is used as a wash for sore eyes.

Provides Energy

The fruit is high in sugar mainly in the form of sucrose, which provides instant energy. Ambarella is a natural and wholesome way to boost vitality and endurance.

Helps in Weight Loss

Ambarella fruit is low in fat, carbohydrate and high in dietary fiber. Though the fruit is low in calories, it provides the required nutrients to the body. Thus, it is an ideal fruit for weight loss. The water content of the fruit provides a feeling of fullness and also prevents overeating.

Ambarella Fruit Helps in Weight Loss

Other Benefits

  • The antioxidants present in the fruit fight against cancer.
  • It helps in the renewal of tissues and protects against cardiovascular diseases.
  • In some places, the ambarella fruit is used to treat injuries from burns.
  • Scientific studies have also proven that the fruit can lower high blood pressure.
  • The seeds of the fruit are used to treat respiratory disease owing to its antibiotic content.
  • The leaves of the ambarella tree are dried and ground until powdery and used to treat mouth sores.
  • The roots are used as a contraceptive agent.
  • The fruit is suggested for diabetics to regulate blood sugar levels.
  • The phosphorus and calcium content of ambarella is beneficial for maintaining healthy bones and teeth.
  • The fruit is beneficial for women as its iron content regulates the formation of red blood cells and helps prevent anemia.
  • Ambarella has also been used to treat urinary tract infections and hemorrhoids.
  • The bark and leaves are also used to treat oral thrush due to its antifungal properties.
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Recipe

Sweet and Sour Ambarella Chutney

Ingredients:

  • Ambarella (peeled and grated) 400g
  • Onion (sliced) 1
  • Green Chilli 1
  • Jaggery 1 cup
  • Cinnamon stick 1
  • Cardamom pods 4
  • Curry leaves 7 to 10 leaves
  • Mustard seeds 1/2 teaspoon
  • Water 2 cups
  • Oil 2 tablespoons
  • Salt to taste

Method:

  • In a shallow pan, add oil; once the oil is heated, add the mustard seeds, curry leaves, cinnamon and cardamom.
  • Add the sliced onions, green chilli and cook until it turns translucent.
  • In a separate pan, to 2 cup of water, add the jaggery and boil until it is dissolved. Strain the syrup to remove dirt.
  • Once the onions are translucent, add the jaggery water, grated ambarella and a pinch of salt. Cook over medium heat until soft.

References:

  1. Ambarella - (https://www.hort.purdue.edu/newcrop/morton/ambarella_ars.html)
  2. What is ambarella? - (http://www.slideshare.net/caribgoumet/ambarella-17723121)
  3. Caribbean June Plum - (http://www.fruitsandveggiesmorematters.org/caribbean-june-plum-nutrition-selection-storage)

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