The abiu, also called caimito or abiurana, is the fruit of the abieiro ( Pouteria caimito ), a tree native to the Amazon region.
With a yellow rind and white pulp with a gelatinous consistency, it is very popular in the northern states of Brazil, especially in Pará.
Its consumption is given both for its sweet taste and for the benefits it brings to health, such as cough relief , strengthening the immune system and improving intestinal functioning .
To help you know a little more about this very Brazilian food, we have separated some benefits that this fruit brings and also some tips on how to consume it on a daily basis. Don’t waste time and check it out!
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5 Amazing benefits of abiu
The abiu is a berry full of important nutrients for the body. Its pulp is rich in proteins , amino acids and minerals such as calcium, magnesium and phosphorus.
The fruit is also a source of vitamins A , C and the B complex, such as B1 (thiamine), B2 (riboflavin) and B3 (niacin), in addition to dietary fiber and carbohydrates.
1. Relieves cough
One of the main benefits of eating abiu is to relieve cough and this is due to the presence of mucilage, a viscous substance that absorbs water.
But the important part is that they have the ability to protect the mucous membranes , the tissue that lines the moist parts of the body, against the action of irritating agents, in addition to reducing the local inflammatory response.
A cough is basically an irritation caused by the accumulation of mucus (phlegm) or an allergen that has settled in the lungs and caused inflammation in an attempt to expel these elements and protect the body.
2. Helps regulate bowel function
Another very positive characteristic of the alder fruit is the amount of fiber found in it, about 3 grams per average portion of 100 g, which makes it a food friendly to the gut.
These fibers are a part of the fruit that passes through the gastrointestinal tract as the body cannot fully digest them.
Thanks to this feature, they are able to regulate the bowel , as they prevent the dryness of the stool by absorbing water and taking it to the region, increase the volume of the fecal bolus, as they swell, and stimulate peristaltic movements, which serve to push the ” poop” out.
In addition to all this, it also favors the proliferation of intestinal flora , formed by bacteria beneficial to health and helps to prevent infections and diarrhea .
3. Protects eye health
Did you know that abiu is also very good for your eye health? Yeah, and that’s because his pulp is a source of vitamin A, with about 153 micrograms in each serving.
This nutrient is essential for the maintenance of good vision , as it participates in the maintenance of ocular components and the creation of mechanisms activated in low light.
It is precisely for this reason that a deficiency of this vitamin is usually associated with night blindness and xerophthalmia (dry eye disease).
4. Strengthens the immune system
The fruit strengthens the immune system, leaving the body more protected against disease. This action is directly derived from the fraction of vitamin C (13.2 mg per serving) found in the pulp.
This nutrient is extremely important for the processes of cellular respiration and the creation of new blood cells , especially red blood cells (red blood cells) and white blood cells, which form the defense army .
Furthermore, this vitamin encourages an action called phagocytosis, which is when antibodies, another name for the cells of the immune system, “eat” the invading microorganisms, thus preventing the infection from starting or spreading.
5. Can aid in weight loss
It is possible to lose weight with health and eating tasty things and the abiu is an example of this: the fruit is tasty and can contribute to weight loss.
Its composition is low in calories, about 95 per 100 gram serving and is rich in dietary fiber.
What happens is that fiber takes up a lot of space in the stomach, contributing to a decrease in food intake throughout the day.
On top of that, as they are not digested by gastric enzymes, they take longer than usual to be discarded by the stomach. The result is that they end up delaying this gastric emptying, making the body understand that it doesn’t need to eat again anytime soon.
Therefore, it ends up reducing hunger throughout the day. Putting it all together you have a lower amount of calories ingested daily, which helps you lose those extra pounds.
But for the results to be visible, it is necessary to adopt a healthy diet and the habit of exercising, not least because the abiu is only a supporting role in a process that depends on many factors.
How to consume?
The fruit is usually most appreciated in natura for its smooth and sweet flavor and good durability , and can be refrigerated for up to a week without losing the quality of the pulp.
Another mode of consumption is as compote, which makes it last longer and preserves a good part of its nutritional and therapeutic properties. Check out how to prepare below!
To prepare this savory sweet you will need 5 abius (approximately 350 grams), 2 ¼ cup water, ⅓ cup (70 grams) sugar, 1 cinnamon stick and 3 cloves.
Peel, remove the seeds and cut the abiu into medium-sized pieces. Then bring a pan with half the sugar to the heat until caramelized .
Once this is done, lower the heat and add the rest of the sugar, the water and the abiu and mix with a large spoon. Let it cook for half an hour, add the spices and cook for another 30 minutes.
Store the compote in a sterilized glass jar with a lid in the refrigerator. Each 80 gram (5 tablespoons) serving of this candy has 100 calories.
Important ! The abiu should only be eaten when it is very ripe , when the skin turns a vibrant yellow color, since when the fruit is “for good” it releases a very uncomfortable viscous liquid.
Where to find the abiu
Abiu is sold in markets and open fairs in the northern states. In other states of the country, it is more common to find the fruit in large fairs or places that sell exotic fruits.
It can also be found in other countries in South America, such as: Venezuela, Guyana and Peru, where it is known as lucuma, caimito or temare.
My name is Ellie Lauderdale, MD and I am USA based professional Nutritionist .
I am a Registered Dietitian Nutritionist and board certified specialist in sports dietetics who is trained in integrative medicine. I have worked with hundreds of clients, from those suffering with chronic disease to professional and olympian athletes. My goal is to help optimize you from the inside so that you can feel, perform, and look your best on the outside.