Bullock’s heart is the name of the fruit of the annona reticulata — a tree that is said to originate in Central America and the Caribbean, but now widely grows across the tropics. Also sometimes known as ox heart and wild sweetsop, bullock’s heart has a buttery texture and has a sweet taste, which is commonly compared to custard.
Just like what it’s called suggests, the fruit can come in the shape of the heart, but can also be spherical or sometimes irregular. It’s very important to harvest bullock’s heart when it is at the perfect state of ripeness — it is inedible when not ripe enough because of its hardness, and unpalatable when overripe because of the bland taste and musky smell.
According to nutrition experts, bullock’s heart is an excellent source of vitamin C. A 100-gram serving of the fruit yields up to 21 percent of your daily vitamin C requirement. Some other nutrients found in bullock’s heart include B vitamins for energy and healthy nerves, potassium that’s good for the heart, and calcium for strong bones.
Let us check out some of the reasons why you should get your hands on some bullock’s heart if you happen to come across it at your favorite grocery store or farmers’ market:
It Makes You Less Susceptible to Infections
Thanks to the vitamin C content of bullock’s heart, including it in your diet can help make your immune system strong, which is exactly what you need if you’re prone to having a cold or the flu season is just around the corner. It’s also a wonderful idea to consume bullock’s heart if you are already suffering from a form of infection as it will help you bounce back from the problem at a much faster rate.
It Keeps Your Skin Healthy and Beautiful
Vitamin C in bullock’s heart is also important for healing wounds. What’s more, the said nutrient helps keep your skin cells from being damaged by free radicals, which means that it can save your skin from premature aging. Vitamin C is also crucial for the synthesis of collagen, a structural protein that firms up your skin and makes it supple. This is the reason why plenty of anti-aging products on the market have super doses of vitamin C in them.
It Saves You From Having Iron-Deficiency Anemia
One of the many nutrients found in bullock’s heart is iron. Getting good amounts of iron via the diet is important for the production of red blood cells, which are components of the blood responsible for transporting oxygen molecules from your lungs to the rest of your body. Otherwise, you may end up with iron-deficiency anemia. Vitamin C found in bullock’s heart, by the way, helps promote proper iron absorption.
It Wards Off High Blood Pressure
Vitamin C is also important for keeping the blood vessels in tip-top shape, and thus it helps to keep high blood pressure at bay. What’s more, vitamin C is an antioxidant — it helps ward off high blood pressure by preventing cholesterol from being oxidized and causing the narrowing of the arteries. You don’t want to have high blood pressure as it comes with risks such as damage to some of your organs, heart disease, heart attack and stroke.
It Maintains a Healthy Nervous System
There are all sorts of B vitamins found in every serving of bullock’s heart, such as thiamin, riboflavin, pyridoxine, niacin and pantothenic acid. All of the said nutrients are crucial for keeping the brain cells in a good condition, thus preventing mental decline. According to medical professionals, B vitamins are also important for the proper functioning of the nerves as well as for keeping them damage-free.
It Helps Lower Your Risk of Having Osteoporosis
Another nutrient that is found in good amounts in bullock’s heart is calcium. Everyone knows that the said mineral is vital for strong teeth and most especially bones. The inclusion of calcium-rich foods such as bullock’s heart in your everyday diet helps ward off the softening of the bones, a condition known as osteoporosis. There is also phosphorous present in bullock’s heart, a nutrient that’s also important for strong and healthy bones.