Kokum, a small cherry-like summer fruit, is red in color and deepens to purple when ripe. It is widely found in the Western Ghat region of India. This is one of the main reasons why they are mostly used in the cuisines of Gujarat, Maharashtra, and coastal states of Southern India. The fruit is sour with a faintly sweet aroma and is used as a spice. When added to food it imparts a purple-ish color. Some cuisines also use it as a preferred substitute for tamarind in curries and other dishes. Apart from being used for cooking and as medicine, they are widely used to make plush Kokum sherbet as well.
Moreover, Kokum has numerous health benefits as it is rich in antioxidants, essential nutrients, vitamins, and minerals required by the body. Kokum oil and butter are also extracted from its seeds and frequently used in making chocolates and sweets. It also finds itself in many beauty products of skin and hair.
Furthermore, in this post we will be looking at Kokum fruit’s nutritional facts, health benefits, and the best ways to consume kokum.
Health Benefits of Kokum
1. Remedy for Acidity
Kokum is an age-old homemade fix for acidity. Dried Kokum consumed in a sherbet or juice form can help reduce acidity. Simply add sugar, salt, and chilled water to dried Kokum to make delicious kokum sherbet to relieve acidity.
2. Improves Digestion
Kokum shields the helpful gut bacteria in the body, aiding digestion. It is anti-bacterial in nature and counteracts the harmful effects of certain bacteria that cause indigestion, dysentery, constipation, ulcers, bloating, nausea, and flatulence. Kokum is a natural remedy for all such gastric ailments.
Kokum has tremendous anti-inflammatory powers. It can be directly applied to sores, rashes induced by allergies, and burns to soothe the inflamed skin. It also has anti-allergic properties. It stops histamine formation by effectively decreasing a body’s pH level.
#4 Rich in Antioxidant
Garcinol is a powerful antioxidant that is harvested from Kokum. It is known to be anti-cancer in nature and aids in cell regeneration. It scavenges free radicals and protects from carcinogenesis.
5. Power-Packed with Nutrients
Kokum contains several important nutrients like vitamin A, vitamin B3, vitamin C, folic acid, calcium, iron, potassium, and zinc. It also provides the body much- needed dietary fiber that helps lower cholesterol, improves bowel health and assists in weight loss. It does this by keeping you feeling full for a longer time. This helps you avoid overeating and gaining weight. It is also great for pregnant women as it helps relieve nausea, vomiting, and cooling down the body.
6. Anti-aging properties
The antioxidants in Kokum impart its natural anti-aging properties. It helps in beautifying your hair and skin by repairing and regenerating cells. The ancient medicinal practice of Ayurveda uses Kokum extensively from relieving rheumatoid arthritis to healing cracked heels. Kokum butter can be mixed with soaps and creams to rejuvenate and refresh the skin by improving its elasticity.
7. Beat the Heat
Kokum is indigenous to many tropical regions where for centuries people have used this fruit to keep the heat at bay. Consuming it as a chilled sherbet or juice helps keep the body cool and refreshed. Summers can be exceptionally harsh in tropical areas. So, fruits like Kokum are a natural low-caloric way to keep your body hydrated and healthy.