The Custard Apple is a sweetish fruit that comes from Bolivia, Colombia, Ecuador and Peru. The fruit usually grows in tropical regions around the world.
Custard Apple also known as Cherimoya is grown in:
- Europe (France, Italy, Spain, Portugal).
- North America (Mexico, Haiti, Puerto Rico, Jamaica, Venezuela, Chile, Brazil, Costa Rica, Panama, Belize, El Salvador, Honduras).
- Africa (Algeria, Egypt, Libya, Somalia, Tanzania).
- Asia (Thailand, Singapore, India).
The fruit comes from the cherimoya tree. The tree can grow between 5 to 9 meters tall. It takes about 4 to 5 years after planting the cherimoya seed to make the cherimoya fruit.
The cherimoya fruit has several names. For example, the Cherimoya fruit is also called annona cherimola, chirimoya, chirimuya and custard apple.
There is also a hybrid fruit of the cherimoya. It’s called atemoya, a cross between cherimoya and the sugar apple (annona squamosa).
The fruit is very popular in Taiwan, where it goes by the name of pineapple sugar apple. This is because of the taste that resembles pineapple.
What is the cherimoya fruit?
The cherimoya fruit is about the size of a grapefruit and comes in various shapes such as heart-shaped, oval-shaped, ovoid, flat and slightly bumped. While the color is usually light green to green.
The skin of the cherimoya fruit resembles an artichoke. The refreshing flesh in the cherimoya fruit is white, creamy and soft.
The flesh also contains black inedible seeds that must be removed. These seeds are poisonous once opened.
Cherimoya fruit flavor
The cherimoya fruit tastes sweet and tropical. The fruit can be compared to a mix of mango, vanilla, pineapple, banana, peaches and strawberries.
Because of these flavor similarities, the cherimoya fruit tastes like candy or sweet gum.
The reason the cherimoya fruit is so sweet is because it is rich in sugars. This is not a bad thing, since it is a nutritious fruit with vitamins and minerals.
A popular way to eat the Cherimoya fruit is to first refrigerate it and then spoon it out and eat it. This is also why cherimoya is called an ice fruit.
Cherimoya fruit season
The cherimoya fruiting season usually begins in fall and continues through winter. The preferences for growing a cherimoya fruit are as follows:
- Altitudes between 1500 – 2000 meters.
- Temperatures between 18 – 20 °C.
- Precipitation between 800 – 1,000 millimeters.
Cherimoya fruit nutritional value
Here is the cherimoya fruit nutritional value per 100 grams .
Energy 75 kcal (313 kJ)
Carbohydrates 17.71 grams
Sugars 12.87 grams
Fiber 3 grams
Fat 0.68 grams
Protein 1.57 grams
Vitamin B1 0.101mg
Vitamin B2 0.131mg
Vitamin B3 0.644mg
Vitamin B5 0.345mg
Vitamin B6 0.257mg
Vitamin B9 2.3 g
Cherimoya Fruit Health Benefits
The cherimoya fruit has many health benefits. One reason for this is because the cherimoya fruit is packed with important nutrients.
Here are the (potential) health benefits of the cherimoya fruit.
1. Cherimoya Fruit Can Improve Eye Health
The Cherimoya fruit is rich in antioxidants, especially lutein. The antioxidant lutein is an important antioxidant for eye health. 
This antioxidant fights free radicals, so it helps for healthy eyesight.
The study shows that high amounts of lutein is associated with good eye health.
In addition, it also helps to reduce the risk of vision loss and eye injuries caused by age-related degeneration.
2. Cherimoya Fruit Can Improve Digestion
Due to the fiber contained in cherimoya, the fruit can help aid digestion.
Fiber can, for example, help to stimulate the stool through the intestines. 
Fiber has more health benefits, making it indispensable for the body. Fiber can also help lower cholesterol , prevent digestive disorders and reduce appetite.
3. Cherimoya Fruit Can Boost Immune System
Cherimoya is rich in several vitamins, including vitamin C. Vitamin C is an important vitamin that helps the immune system fight infection and disease.
A study shows that people with a vitamin C deficiency have an increased risk of infections.
It is important to get enough vitamin C from food. The cherimoya is a vitamin C rich fruit that can help with this.
For example, the cherimoya fruit contains 12.6 mg per 100 grams of vitamin C, which is 15% of the recommended daily amount (RDA).
4. Cherimoya Fruit May Improve Heart Health
Fiber may provide more healthy benefits. Fiber can also lower cholesterol levels.
Research shows that cholesterol plays a role in several conditions, including:
- Heart attack
- High bloodpressure
5. Cherimoya Fruit May Improve Brain Health
Not only is the cherimoya fruit rich in vitamin C, but in vitamin B6. A study shows that vitamin B6 can improve brain health.
This is because vitamin B6 regulates GABA levels in your brain. Sufficient GABA levels help with depression, stress , tension and headaches.
Other possible health benefits of vitamin B6 include:
- Reducing the risk of Alzheimer’s disease
- Helps Treat Nausea During Pregnancy
- Reducing the risk of heart disease
- Improving Eye Health
The vitamin B6 content in cherimoya contains about 0.257 mg per 100 grams, which is 20% of the recommended daily allowance (RDA).
6. Cherimoya Fruit Can Improve Skin Health
Vitamin C not only helps the immune system, but also the health of the skin.
The vitamin is important in wound healing. In addition, it also produces collagen, which is necessary for the formation of the skin.
And because vitamin C is a natural antioxidant, it helps fight free radicals. Free radicals are a major cause of aging, wrinkles and pigmentation spots.
Vitamin C helps fight these free radicals, which can aid in healthy and glowing skin.
7. Cherimoya Fruit Can Improve Hair Health
A lack of essential nutrients and minerals can cause hair problems.
And because the cherimoya fruit is rich in these nutrients, it can help improve hair health.
Like the skin, vitamin C is also important for supporting healthy hair. This in turn has to do with the free radicals in the body.
8. Cherimoya Fruit Can Help Anti-Aging
As mentioned earlier, the cherimoya fruit can improve skin and hair health due to the vitamin C contained in the fruit.
But, vitamin C can also help against aging.
For example, a study shows that cherimoya fruit can also help against age spots, wrinkles and other blemishes.
Thus, the antioxidants present in cherimoya fight the free radicals. As a result, the oxidative stress in the skin and other organs is reduced.
9. Cherimoya Fruit Can Help With Mood
Vitamin B6 plays an important role in the production of the hormones dopamine and serotonin. These hormones help regulate mood.
The lack of vitamin B6 can therefore contribute to depression and mood disorders.
For example, a study in 251 adults shows that the risk of depression doubled in those who had a vitamin B6 deficiency.
10. Cherimoya Fruit Can Fight Inflammation
The cherimoya fruit has anti-inflammatory properties. One of the substances that has an anti-inflammatory effect is kaurenoic acid.
Animal studies have shown that kaurenoic acid can reduce certain inflammatory proteins .
This is important, as chronic inflammation has been linked to several diseases, such as cancer and heart disease.
11. Cherimoya fruit can help with high blood pressure
The minerals magnesium and potassium found in cherimoya play a role in supporting blood pressure as they can promote the widening of blood vessels.
For example, a review of ten studies shows that people with a higher magnesium intake had an 8% lower risk of high blood pressure.
This was compared to people with the lowest magnesium intake.
12. Cherimoya fruit can help against cancer cells
The cherimoya fruit contains flavonoids, including catechin, epicatechin and epigallocatechin.
Some of these flavonoids have been shown to help stop the growth of cancer cells in test-tube studies.
More studies are needed on how flavonoids and cancer cells work.
13. Cherimoya fruit is rich in antioxidants
Antioxidants are important for the body because, among other things, they help fight free radicals in the body.
The cherimoya fruit is packed with antioxidants, including:
- Vitamin C
- Kaurenoic acid
These antioxidants can provide several healthy benefits to the body, which is what makes the cherimoya fruit so nutritious.
How can you eat the cherimoya fruit?
The cherimoya fruit contains toxic substances, which are mainly found in seeds. To eat the cherimoya safely, it is important to remove the black seeds first.
You can eat the cherimoya fruit in different ways:
- Cut the cherimoya fruit in half, and eat the flesh from the fruit with a spoon.
- To eat it as a fruit ice cream, scoop the flesh into a bowl and remove the seeds with a spoon. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and freeze it for one to two hours.
- To add it to salads , cut the cherimoya fruit and remove the seeds. Cut the meat into cubes and mix it in a salad with other tropical fruits , such as banana, pineapple and mango.
- For a smoothie, freeze the meat first. Blend it in a blender with other fruits like strawberries, avocado, and blueberries. You can also use the frozen meat to make a sorbet.
Cherimoya Fruit Side Effects
The skin and seeds of the cherimoya fruit contain toxic substances. These substances can damage the nervous system if consumed in large amounts.
So always remove the skin and seeds before eating the cherimoya fruit.
Frequently asked questions about the cherimoya fruit.
Below are frequently asked questions about the cherimoya fruit. Some of the answers below are summarised from the information in this article.
What is the cherimoya fruit?
The cherimoya is a sweet, edible fruit that grows in tropical regions around the world.
How do you eat cherimoya?
The skin and seeds of the cherimoya fruit contain toxic substances. To eat cherimoya safely, therefore, first peel the skin and remove the seeds. Then you can eat the cherimoya fruit with a spoon.
How healthy is cherimoya?
Since the cherimoya contains important nutrients such as vitamins, minerals, antioxidants and flavonoids, it can provide several healthy benefits to the body.
What does a cherimoya taste like?
The cherimoya fruit tastes sweet and tropical, which can be compared to pineapple, strawberries, banana, vanilla and mango.
Where can I buy cherimoya?
The cherimoya fruit is available in several supermarkets and exotic fruit stores. You can go to a supermarket’s website to see if the cherimoya fruit is available.