Wood Apple is one of the fruits that I will definitely miss outside of Sri Lanka. It tastes delicious with a unique flavour despite its well known funky smell. It’s called Wood Apple due to its hard wooden shell.
The wood apple is very common in Sri Lanka and you can find it in supermarkets and in every fruit shop. It’s available throughout the year but particularly can be seen in abundance on the roadside during October.
When you pick up the fruit you can tell if it’s ripped, it will produce very strong and overpowering sourly smell. It might put off some people, but I don’t think its that bad, I love it!
The outer shell of the fruit is quite hard and you need some equipment to crack the shell. If you don’t have anything in your hands, simply smash the fruit against the sharp corner of a steady object or slam it on the floor or use a rock to smash it open, which is what monkeys do. (I usually do that)
Once you open it, the flesh of wood apple looks like it’s gone off but don’t be put off by it. It tastes really good and it smells of sweet and sour tamarind. The texture is very soft and creamy with seeds and lots of bristles.
People in Sri Lanka tend to make a refreshing wood apple juice mixed with sugar.
Also, it’s popular for making wood apple sherbet and a “Divul Kiri” a delicious dessert made of wood apple, jaggery and coconut milk.
I love eating it as a fruit and especially after heavy meals.
Powerful Benefits of Wood Apple
Wood Apple is a very nutritious fruit with powerful medicinal properties. Despite its funky taste and texture, this awesome fruit offers tons of health benefits. Although there are countless benefits that wood apple offers us I will share with you the main seven benefits that I thought were worth mentioning. Some health benefits are backed up by scientific research and those links are always provided on this site.
So why should we eat it?
1. Treats Gastrointestinal Problems
Content of tannin in wood apple helps to kill nasty bacteria which usually promotes bloating and flatulent. It treats IBS, indigestion, constipation, diarrhoea, cholera. It also cures gastric ulcers due to its phenolic compounds which have antioxidant properties.
2. Removes Toxins
Eating the fruit helps to remove toxins and getting rid of intestinal worms.
3. Protects Kidney and Liver
Health from many diseases due to its natural detoxifier in the fruit pulp. (1)
4. Prevents Breast Cancer
The research is showing that fruit extract fraction could induce cell cycle arrest. (2)
5. Regulates High Blood Pressure & Controls Diabetes
According to the research (3), the fruit contains Fibres, Saponins, Phytosterols, Flavonoids, Polyphenols and Ascorbic acid that have the ability to regulate high blood sugar levels and preventing spikes of glucose level.
6. Fights Inflammation
Eating fruit regularly is proven in reducing inflammation due to its anti-inflammatory properties as shown in one of the studies. (4)
7. Anti-Microbial Properties
This fruit is known for its antimicrobial properties due to the presence of the substances such as eugenol and cumin aldehyde in roots, leaves and fruit extract. The extract of wood apple also acts as a cure for fungal and bacterial infections. (1)(5)
So now we know the main health benefits of wood apple and why it’s so important to have this fruit as part of your daily intake. Especially if you live or visiting Asian countries.
If you are put off by its smell you can always have it as a juice mixed with other fruits that can suppress the smell of the wood apple. Wood apple drink is very common in Sri Lanka, locals mainly have it in the form of drink so it shouldn’t be a problem for you to find it.
When you try this magnificent fruit, let me know your experience….. I would love to hear from you. 🙂
You can find tips about first-time Sri Lanka travelers here.
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