Mamey sapote may not be a fruit that you come across very often, but you shouldn’t ignore its health benefits, which may include its potential ability to improve heart health, aid in weight loss efforts, and strengthen the immune system, among others.
What is Mamey Sapote?
If you have ever traveled to Mexico or Central America, and seen large ornamental evergreen trees with long, brown “berries”, then you have probably seen a mamey sapote tree. With the scientific name Pouteria sapota, these trees are cultivated in Mexico and other neighboring islands, and the fruits have become staples in many Latin American diets. You can find these fruits in various parts of the United States as well, primarily in the south. These berries can be up to 10 inches long and 4-5 inches wide, and the interior fruit is orange or pink, with a creamy consistency. The taste and texture are unique, something like a cross between a pumpkin, peach, sweet potato, and cantaloupe. This fruit, which is technically a berry, can be eaten in many forms, either raw, or mixed into milkshakes, and can also be used to produce ice cream or jelly.
While this fruit isn’t widely available in many parts of the world, if you happen to be traveling in these areas, or are close to an exotic import store/Latin American grocer, then you should certainly give mamey sapote a try. The incredible blend of nutrients within this fruit makes it very important and beneficial for human health. The profile of mamey sapote includes vitamins B, C, and E, as well as potassium, manganese, and dietary fiber, among other antioxidants and trace minerals that serve our bodies in many ways.
Mamey sapote is a tasty tropical fruit, available at local markets in Mexico. Photo Credit: Shutterstock
Serving Size : Nutrient Value Water [g] 64.87 Energy 124 Energy [kJ] 520 Protein [g] 1.45 Total lipid (fat) [g] 0.46 Ash [g] 1.12 Carbohydrate, by difference [g] 32.1 Fiber, total dietary [g] 5.4 Sugars, total including NLEA [g] 20.14 Sucrose [g] 4.09 Glucose (dextrose) [g] 8.01 Fructose [g] 7.66 Maltose [g] 0.38 Starch [g] 6.33 Calcium, Ca [mg] 18 Iron, Fe [mg] 0.78 Magnesium, Mg [mg] 11 Phosphorus, P [mg] 26 Potassium, K [mg] 454 Sodium, Na [mg] 7 Zinc, Zn [mg] 0.19 Copper, Cu [mg] 0.21 Manganese, Mn [mg] 0.2 Vitamin C, total ascorbic acid [mg] 23 Thiamin [mg] 0.01 Riboflavin [mg] 0.12 Niacin [mg] 1.43 Pantothenic acid [mg] 0.4 Vitamin B-6 [mg] 0.72 Folate, total [µg] 7 Folate, food [µg] 7 Vitamin A, RAE [µg] 7 Carotene, beta [µg] 82 Cryptoxanthin, beta [µg] 7 Vitamin A, IU [IU] 143 Lycopene [µg] 199 Lutein + zeaxanthin [µg] 204 Vitamin E (alpha-tocopherol) [mg] 2.11 Tocotrienol, alpha [mg] 0.36 Fatty acids, total saturated [g] 0.17 10:0 [g] 0.02 12:0 [g] 0.01 14:0 [g] 0.01 15:0 [g] 0 16:0 [g] 0.1 17:0 [g] 0 18:0 [g] 0.02 20:0 [g] 0 Fatty acids, total monounsaturated [g] 0.1 14:1 [g] 0 16:1 [g] 0 16:1 c [g] 0 18:1 [g] 0.1 18:1 c [g] 0.1 Fatty acids, total polyunsaturated [g] 0.1 18:2 [g] 0.01 18:2 n-6 c,c [g] 0.01 18:3 [g] 0.08 18:3 n-3 c,c,c (ALA) [g] 0.08 20:4 [g] 0 Tryptophan [g] 0.05 Threonine [g] 0.09 Isoleucine [g] 0.06 Leucine [g] 0.07 Lysine [g] 0.07 Methionine [g] 0.02 Cystine [g] 0.01 Phenylalanine [g] 0.06 Tyrosine [g] 0.05 Valine [g] 0.07 Arginine [g] 0.05 Histidine [g] 0.05 Alanine [g] 0.07 Aspartic acid [g] 0.15 Glutamic acid [g] 0.15 Glycine [g] 0.07 Proline [g] 0.09 Serine [g] 0.2 Sources include : USDA
Health Benefits of Mamey Sapote
Let’s take a closer look at some of these impressive health benefits.
May Improve Heart Health
There are many reasons why mamey sapote is widely considered a heart-healthy food. To begin with, this fruit has a high concentration of potassium, which may act as a vasodilator and can effectively lower blood pressure. This may reduce strain on the heart and can prevent heart attacks, stroke, and atherosclerosis. Secondly, the fruit’s high fiber content can reduce the levels of overall cholesterol in the body, further lessening the risk of cardiovascular complications. The vitamin E and C found in the fruit can also protect the heart from oxidative stress and weakened blood vessels, respectively. All in all, everything about mamey sapote can protect our hearts in some way, so it is highly recommended for those at high risk of cardiovascular disease.
May Boost Immunity
Research has shown that mamey sapote is known to be very good at improving immune system function. This is partially due to the complex blend of nutrients that our body needs to function properly, as well as powerful antioxidants and vitamins that directly strengthen our body’s immune response. The carotenoids and other antioxidants can eliminate foreign pathogens and make it more difficult for infections to take hold, and can also help prevent chronic diseases.
May Promote Weight Loss
The dietary fiber content in mamey sapote is high enough that it can create a feeling of fullness, so you’re less likely to snack between meals and take on excess calories. Furthermore, the minerals and antioxidants in mamey sapote can help improve the metabolism, so passive burning of calories happens more often, and you will find it easier to work out and see measurable results in terms of your weight loss goals.
May Improve Bone Mineral Density
There are many important minerals found in mamey sapote, including copper, calcium, potassium, magnesium, and iron. As we age, our bone mineral density begins to diminish, making us more susceptible to broken bones, accidents, and general weakness. This cycle of infirmity and bone mineral loss can be rapid and brutal, but increasing your intake of minerals that can counter those effects is rather easy, and a mamey sapote is an excellent option for boosting your bone strength.
May Stabilize Mood
Many different factors can cause mental distress or anxiety, but your nervous system is almost always involved. Research has shown that certain vitamins and minerals found in mamey sapotes, such as vitamin E, potassium, and carotenoids, can soothe anxiety and worry by optimizing the function of the nervous system. If you suffer from depression, mood swings, or other mental issues, improving your hormone levels and nervous system function should be your first step toward improvement. The nutrient-dense fruit of the mamey sapote tree can help in both of those areas.