Fruits

Seriguela’s health benefits – What are its properties?

The seriguela (siriguela or red mombin fruit) is a native fruit of Central America greatly appreciated in northeastern Brazil and still little known and consumed in other parts of the country. Gradually, the fruit begins to attract the attention of those seeking a healthier diet, as it has a rich nutritional composition, has a low calorie content and is rich in fiber. Seriguela fruit can be consumed in natura, including with the skin, or used in the preparation of juices, jams, jellies, ice cream, etc.

The seriguela has an ovoid shape, with a color ranging from yellow to red. It has a smooth and thin skin, yellow pulp with a very pleasant aroma and a sweet taste. Its stone is white and proportionally large to the size of the fruit.

In addition to being a healthy energy drink, seriguela (like other fruits) is a source of essential minerals and vitamins for the maintenance of physical and mental health. Therefore, including seriguela in the diet is a natural, cheap and delicious way to avoid diseases.

A characteristic of seriguela is that it is a highly dangerous fruit, and should therefore be consumed soon after its ripeness. Due to this fact, the use of seriguela in the manufacture of sweets (handcrafted or industrialized) is an alternative for a better use of their production.

Seriguela is also known as Spanish plum, red caja, ciroela and mexican ciruela.

In this article, we will clarify some common doubts about the seriguela fruit and the tree that produces it, the rubber tree. We’ll also talk about the health benefits of seriguela and teach you some sweet recipes, as well as tasty and nutritious fruit juice.

SERIGUELA OR SERIGUELA?

Seriguela, siriguela or ciriguela, after all, what is the correct spelling of the name of this fruit? Most of the dictionaries and the Orthographic Vocabulary of the Portuguese Language of the Brazilian Academy of Letters register the ciriguela form . This spelling derives from the word ciruela, as the fruit was called by Spanish colonists (although ciruela in Spanish actually means “plum”). However, it is very common to find the forms seriguela or seriguela in the most varied texts in Portuguese.

In Spanish, the seriguela is called jocote, a name derived from the word xocotl, which means “fruit” in Nahuatl (a pre-Hispanic language still spoken in some regions of Mexico and Central America).

SERIGUELA EPOCH

It is possible to harvest the seriguela from December to March. Its harvest usually provides large amounts of fruit.

SERIGUELA TREE

The seriguela tree , the serigueleira, whose scientific name is Spondias purpurea L., originated in Central America and has adapted well to the climate conditions of some South American countries, such as Brazil.

The seriguela tree is small, generally not exceeding 7 meters in length. During periods of drought, the leaves of the seriguela tree fall, occurring after the flowering period.

SERIGUELA: HOW TO PLANT

The planting of seriguela can be done through seeds or seedlings. As the seeds take a long time to germinate and run a great risk of rotting, the best option is to plant them from seedlings (cuttings), buying them ready-made or making them from branches.

To make the seriguela seedling, branches with approximately 2 centimeters thick and 40 to 50 centimeters long are used. The leaves must be removed from the branch, so that the plant does not suffer dehydration through leaf transpiration.

The branches must be planted in land fertilized with tanned manure and limestone, in the definitive or provisional place of cultivation. When new leaves start to emerge, it means that the seedlings can already be transferred to the final place where they will live. Choosing a location with good incidence of sunlight is essential for the health of the plant.

The seriguela starts to produce fruit 3 to 4 years after its planting.

SERIGUELA MAKES YOU FAT?

Seriguela is not fattening due to its low caloric value and good fiber percentage. In fact, it is a fruit that can and should be present in weight loss diets.

SERIGUELA CALORIES

As explained above, seriguela is a low-calorie fruit. 100 grams of seriguela contains an average of 76 calories.

SERIGUELA NUTRITIONAL COMPOSITION

Each 100 g of seriguela contains:

  • Proteins 1.4 g
  • Lipids 0.4 g
  • Carbohydrate 18.9 g
  • Dietary fiber 3.9 g
  • Calcium 27 mg
  • Magnesium 18 mg
  • Manganese 0.06mg
  • Phosphorus 19 mg
  • Iron 0.4 mg
  • Sodium 2 mg
  • Potassium 248 mg
  • Covers 0.12 mg
  • Zinc 0.5 mg
  • Tiamine 0.14 mg
  • Vitamin C 27 mg

Source: Brazilian Table of Food Composition (TACO, 2006).

SERIGUELA BENEFITS

Among the benefits of seriguela for health, we can mention:

1. Improves bowel function –  As it is rich in fiber, seriguela prevents constipation, especially when the fruit is consumed with its skin.

2. It has diuretic properties –  By optimizing the elimination of liquids by the body, the consumption of seriguela favors the elimination of toxins and reduces abdominal swelling.

3.Helps to reduce cholesterol levels – This  effect is explained by the large concentration of fibers existing in the seriguela.

4.Natural Energetic – A  source of carbohydrates, the seriguela provides extra energy for the practice of physical activities, in addition to helping in cases of fatigue and drowsiness.

5. Indicated for the relief of spasms –  The minerals and vitamins present in seriguela help to prevent muscle cramps.

6. It helps in the treatment of diarrhea –  The fibers present in the seriguela improve the absorption of water by the intestine and increase the volume of the fecal bolus, regulating the frequency of bowel movements.

7. Strengthens the immune system –  With a good amount of vitamin C in its composition, seriguela helps make the body more resistant against infections by viruses and bacteria.

8. It helps to treat anemia –  As it is a source of Iron, Calcium and Phosphorus, the consumption of seriguela is highly recommended for people with anemia.

SERIGUELA JUICE

Seriguela juice is very tasty and easy to prepare. And for those who cannot find fresh fruit in their region, the alternative is to use the frozen seriguela pulp, which can be found in large supermarket chains and stores specializing in natural products.

Seriguela juice recipe (with fruit)

To prepare a refreshing seriguela fruit juice, the following ingredients are needed: 400 grams of very ripe seriguela, 1 liter of water and sugar to taste (refined or brown) to sweeten.

First, sanitize the seriguelas and blend in a blender (without removing the skins) with a little water). Strain the mixture, add the rest of the water and sweeten. Serve very cold.

In the case of opting for the frozen pulp, just beat directly with water and sweeten.

SERIGUELA: RECIPES

In addition to being a delight to eat natural or to make juices, seriguela is the protagonist in several irresistible recipes. Check out.

Seriguela candy

To prepare the seriguela jam, you will need: 1 kilo of seriguela, 2 cups of sugar and 1 liter of water.

After sanitizing the seriguelas, bring them to medium heat with all the water and cook until the seeds start to come loose from the berries. Turn off the heat, allow the mixture to cool and remove only the seeds from the seriguelas. Beat the pulp (without the pits) in a blender, until a homogeneous mass is formed. Reserve that resulting mass.

In a heavy-bottomed pan, melt the 2 cups of sugar, without leaving it dark. Add the beaten seriguela mass to the melted sugar, stirring constantly until it starts to boil. Turn off the heat and let the candy cool. Serve at room temperature or chilled.

Seriguella jelly

Ingredients for seriguela jelly: 900 grams ripe seriguela, 1 apple chopped into small pieces, 250 grams of sugar.

Preparation: Sanitize the seriguelas and place them in a thick-bottomed pan together with the chopped apple, add enough water to cover them. Cook over medium heat until seriguela pits begin to come loose. Turn off the heat and wait for the mixture to cool. With the cold mixture, pass it through a sieve, removing the seeds. Add the 250 grams of sugar to the sifted mixture and cook, stirring slowly, until it reaches the point of jelly (to check if it is perfect, place a little of the mixture in a glass dish and check the texture).

Homemade Seriguela Ice Cream

To make a delicious homemade seriguela ice cream, the ingredients are: 1 cup and ½ of seriguela pulp, 1 tablespoon of lemon juice, 1 can of heavy cream and 1 can of condensed milk.

How to prepare: blend all ingredients in a blender until a homogeneous mixture is obtained. Transfer the mixture to a refractory, cover with plastic wrap and store in the freezer for at least 4 hours. After this time, remove from the freezer and beat again. Take it back to the freezer until it hardens and that’s it, just serve.

As we have seen, seriguela is a fruit that has many health benefits, helping to prevent and treat a number of problems. Unfortunately, it is still not easily found in many places in Brazil, but with the spread of information about its beneficial properties, interest in its commercialization only tends to grow. As a result, producers and consumers will benefit.

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Robert Asprin, APD is a non-dieting Accredited Practicing Dietitian passionate about inspiring positive changes in eating and lifestyle behaviors to help improve health while nurturing relationships with food and body.

Robert Asprin

Robert Asprin, APD is a non-dieting Accredited Practicing Dietitian passionate about inspiring positive changes in eating and lifestyle behaviors to help improve health while nurturing relationships with food and body.

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