Chico as an energy provider, rich sources of vitamins used for various health benefits

Chico as an energy provider, rich sources of vitamins used for various health benefits

Chico, also known as chikoo, sapodilla, sapota popular tropical fruit in line with mango, banana, jackfruit, etc. Sapota comprises of soft, easily digestible pulp made of simple sugars like fructose and sucrose. Sapote thought to have originated in the Central American rain forests, probably in Mexico and Belize. Thus, today, its cultivation has spread all over the tropical belt and grown as a major commercial crop in India, Sri Lanka, Indonesia, and Malaysia.

Benefits of chico

1.  Rich in Vitamin A and C

Firstly, a sapota a day might keep the eye doctor away. The vitamin A present in it,  keep our eyes healthy and the benefits may be visible while growing old. For vitamin C, its benefits are best known. It keeps the body’s immunity strong, skin in good condition, kills free radicals, prevents heart disorders, etc.

2.  Energy Provider

The natural fructose and sucrose content in sapota can give provide the body a lot of energy.

3.  Anti-Inflammatory

Moreover, sapota has a high content of tannin, which in turn works as a natural anti-inflammatory.

4.  Helps in Digestion

It keeps the digestive system in check and prevents a condition, that bothers urban India a lot for its irritable bowel syndrome (IBS). The dietary fibers make the sapota a laxative, therefore helping to fix the constipation problems.

5.  Source of Antioxidants

Apart from being rich in dietary fiber, vitamins A, B, and C. The sapota is also packed with anti-oxidants and therefore, it’s reported to prevent certain types of cancer such as oral cavity cancer.

6. Good for the Bones

The fruit is rich in calcium, phosphorus, and iron. Therefore it helps to keep the bones strong. It is also a good source of minerals like iron, folates, calcium, magnesium, potassium, zinc, copper, phosphorous, selenium, etc, which are very essential for facilitating various body functions, including proper bone growth.

7.  Controls Blood Pressure

The magnesium in sapota also keeps the blood vessels up and running. The potassium regulates blood pressure and circulation. It is also good to treat anemia, as it is also rich in iron.

8.  Good for Moms-to-Be

Packed with electrolytes, Vitamin A, and carbohydrates, sapotas are good for expecting and even for lactating mothers. Sapota can help to deal with morning sickness and dizziness and thus it helps in the production of collagen too, it keeps stomach related disorders at bay.

9.  Controls Weight

Sapota might also work to rid of the body from water retention. It regularises the body’s metabolism and helps to lose weight.

10.  Beauty Benefits

Eating the sapota regularly helps to remove toxins from the body and is thus great for skin and hair; it keeps them healthy and moisturized. However, the fruit must be consumed directly, instead of putting it on your face or on the hair, unless it is done every day. In fact, the sapota is known as a ‘happy’ food; it helps to promote the production of collagen and prevents the growth of deep wrinkles.

Types of chico

  • Brown Sugar variety – Fruit is medium to small, 2 to 2-1/2 inches long, nearly round. Skin is light, scruffy brown. Flesh pale brown, fragrant, juicy, very sweet, and creamy, the texture is slightly granular. Quality is superb.
  • Prolific variety – the fruit is round-conical, 2-1/2 to 3-1/2 inches long, and broad. Skin is scruffy, brown, becoming nearly smooth at maturity. The flesh is light-pinkish, mildly fragrant, texture smooth, flavor sweet, quality good..
  • Russel type – The fruit is large, round 3 to 5 inches in diameter and length. Skin is scruffy brown with gray patches. Flesh is pinkish, mildly fragrant, texture somewhat granular. Flavor is rich and sweet.

Adding chicos to your diet

Though it may be eaten just as it is or fresh sapota sections can be added to salads. Sapodilla-milkshake (chico milkshake)/smoothie is a favorite drink in Asia. It also used in ice-creams, fruit-jam, cakes, pie, etc.

Word of caution

Latex and tannins are highly concentrated in the raw sapodilla fruits and therefore it intensely bitter in taste. Eating unripe fruits may cause mouth ulcers, itchy sensation in the throat, and breathing difficulty, especially in the children.

Recipe for Chico Walnut Kheer

Preparation Time: 10 mins   Cooking Time: 25 mins   Total Time: 35 mins     Makes 5 to 6 servings


1 tsp ghee

6 tsp rice (chawal) , washed and soaked

1500 ml milk

6 tsp sugar

12 walnuts (akhrot) , roasted and crushed

4 chickoo, made into pulp

For Garnishing

few roasted walnuts (akhrot)


Heat the ghee in a nonstick pan and add the rice. Saute for 2-3 minutes till the ghee is absorbed.

Add 1000 ml of milk and boil for 14-15 minutes or till rice is cooked.

Add the sugar, remaining 500 ml milk and crushed walnut.

Boil for 5-6 minutes or till becomes thick.

Remove from flame, cool and add chico pulp. Mix well.

Chill in refrigerator for half an hour.

Lastly, serve chilled and garnish with walnut pieces.

Recipe for Chickoo and Nut Milkshake

Preparation Time: 10 mins   Cooking Time: 0 mins    Total Time: 10 mins     Makes 5 glasses


2 cups chickoo cubes

2 tbsp chopped cashewnuts (kaju)

3 cups milk

2 tbsp sugar

For The Garnish

2 1/2 tbsp chopped walnuts (akhrot)


Combine the milk, chickoo, cashewnuts and sugar in a juicer and blend till smooth.

Pour equal quantities of the milkshake into 5 individual glasses.

Finally, serve immediately garnished with ½ tbsp of walnuts in each glass.

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