Ice apples, also known as Sugar Palm, Nungu, Taati Munjalu or Taal, are a popular summer fruit in India that has been enjoyed for centuries. These delicious fruits are available only during the summer months and are a refreshing treat that can help beat the heat.
Ice apples are a type of fruit that grows on the Borassus flabellifer tree, also known as the palmyra palm or toddy palm. The fruit is round and small, about the size of a ping pong ball, with a soft, jelly-like texture and a mild, sweet flavour. The flesh of the fruit is translucent and is often eaten raw or used in desserts and drinks.
Where are ice apples found?
Ice apples are primarily found in the southern and southeastern parts of India, particularly in Maharashtra, Tamil Nadu, Kerala, and Andhra Pradesh. They are also found in other tropical regions of Asia, including Sri Lanka, Bangladesh, and Malaysia.
Of shapes and sizes
The fruit is round and has a thick brown skin which is glued to the soft fruit. The tender fruit has a texture similar to that of litchi but is pulpier. The juice can be enjoyed by itself. You can just slurp it up!
The amazing cooling effect it has on our body is worth a mention, and the perfect blend of sweetness and phytonutrients is what we all want to rejuvenate us during a hot summer day.
Worth every penny
As ice apple is naturally water-loaded and is excellent for hydration in the heat. Additionally, it strikes the right note when you are planning to lose weight as it is low in calories.
The other fringe benefits are improved digestion and a healthier gut. The dietary fibre in this fruit works as a laxative and relieves constipation. It also makes one feel satiated. Healthy, it has vitamins A, B7, C, E, and K, zinc, iron, potassium, and phosphorus to boost immunity. You can add ice apples to your ‘can-have-without-guilt’ list.
How to eat ice apples?
Ice apples can be eaten raw, and the flesh can be scooped out with a spoon. Some people like to add sugar or honey to enhance the flavour. They are also used in various desserts and drinks, such as ice apple pudding, ice apple smoothies, and ice apple sherbets.
It is not surprising that one of the favourite South Indian preparation with ice apples is nungu payasam. The delectable payasam made with ice apples is worth at least one try. These fruits are used to make refreshing coolants like squash juice, sherbet, jams, mithai like burfi and peda.
Imagine taking a bite out of a juicy fruit that instantly cools down your body on a hot summer day. That’s the magic of ice apples! Not only are they delicious, but they’re also packed with nutrients that can do wonders for your health.
First and foremost, ice apples are incredibly hydrating, making them the perfect snack to beat the heat. But that’s not all – these little fruits are also rich in vitamins, potassium, and minerals that can help replenish your body’s nutrients.
Ice apples are particularly good for maintaining electrolyte balance, which is crucial for a healthy immune system. Plus, they’re great for digestion – they can relieve constipation and other stomach issues like acidity and nausea.
Relieves liver issues
But that’s not all. Did you know that ice apples are liver-friendly too? The potassium and iron in them can protect your liver from damage and help cleanse toxins.
Good for pregnant women
If you’re pregnant, ice apples may be especially beneficial for you. They can alleviate cramps and reduce nausea, all while naturally improving the quality of your breast milk.
Ice apples are even known to have anthelmintic properties that can combat worm infestation and might help with painful urination. And for those dealing with undernourishment or tiredness, ice apples could be just what the doctor ordered.
It’s clear that ice apples are a superfood that shouldn’t be missed. Just make sure to check with your doctor before adding them to your diet, especially if you’re pregnant or have any medical conditions. So why not indulge in this tropical treat and let it work wonders for your health?
Did you know?
Ice apples are known to have great benefits on your skin too. It delays ageing because it has one of the most amazing antioxidant and phytochemical properties.
The anti-inflammatory qualities seem to cure skin burns, boils and rashes. Simply apply the ice apple directly to the affected area and get relief from the pain. It also soothes the skin and greatly reduces the feeling of irritation.
The anti-inflammatory property is effective even for prickly heat (reduces itchiness) and inflamed skin.
Use ice apple as a face pack
Apply a thin layer of the pulp on the affected area. It is effective to soothe sensitive skin.