Essay on Chiku Fruit : Health Benefits, My Favourite Fruit
Health is wealth. This means that our health is more important than the wealth we have. Only when we have a proper health we will be able to make proper use of the wealth we have.
Even if we have enough wealth and no proper health, whatever wealth we have that will be of no use and it will go into waste.
This is because without a proper health we will not be to work or spend the money.
Then the wealth that we have will just become a showcase in our life. We need to have a proper health to earn and use the money so that we can survive on this earth.
This is why health is very important for us because it directly and indirectly effects other aspects and factors of our life.
In order to have a proper health, we should eat the right and healthy foods and maintain a balanced diet. This should be followed always otherwise there will be no change.
Junk and unhealthy foods should be avoided. They spoil our health and hamper the growth of the body.
It is necessary for us to eat all types of fruits, vegetables and drink water regularly. These are the best solutions to maintain a fit and healthy body.
Different fruits have different benefits for our health so we should make the habit of eating fruits regularly.
About the fruit Chiku (Chikoo)
Chiku is an evergreen tree. It lives for long. This tree is actually from the Caribbean, Central America and southern Mexico.
This fruit started to be grown in Philippines as well after the Spanish colonized them. Apart from these countries, Chiku is grown is India, Thailand, Cambodia, Bangladesh, Pakistan, Malaysia, Indonesia and Mexico.
This fruit is known by different names in different places. Commonly, the fruit is called Manilkara zapota, or Sapodilla .
In the Dutch Caribbean and Virgin islands it is called Mispel, dilly in the Bahamas, Sapoti in Brazil, Naseberry in few parts of Caribbean and Jamaica, Chicosapote in Mexico, Florida and Hawaii and Chico in Philippines.
While in the Dominica Republic, Cots Rica, Guyana, Nicaragua, Colombia, El Salvador, Cuba, Puerto Rico, Panama and Venezuela the fruit is known as Nispero.
In the parts of northern India, Pakistan and Punjab the fruit is called Chikoo or Chiku. In the southern parts of India like Tamil Nadu, Karnataka, Andhra Pradesh and Kerala it is known as Sapota.
In the eastern parts of India and Bangladesh the fruit is known as Sobeda or Sofeda, in Sri Lanka it is known as Ratami or Sapathilla, Lamoot in Laos, Cambodia and Thailand.
In China people randomly call chiku ginseng fruit. But ginseng is used even for the fruit called Pepino.
They believe that this fruit should be called heart fruit as the shape of the fruit is that like a heart. In standard Malay and Kelantanese Malay, the fruit is known as Ciku (but the pronounciation is chiku) and sawo nilo respectively.
The tree of this fruit can grow as much as 30m or many times more than too.
The trunk of the tree usually is 1.5 m. But the ones which are cultivated, the trees grown between 9 to 15 m while the trunk measure around 50 cm (not more than that). The tree can resist to winds. The bark of the tree is rich in chicle.
This chicle is white gummy latex. The leaves in the tree are shiny and their colour is neither too light nor too dark.
The leaves are alternate and they measure about seven to fifteen centimeter.
The flowers of this fruit are white in colour, in the shape of bell and are not easily seen. The corolla of the flowers has six lobes.
If the fruit is picked when it is unripe, the outer skin of the fruit is hard and one can find the chicle coming out from the stem.
But if the fruit is picked when it is entirely ripe, the skin is loose and chicle does not come out when the fruit is picked.
The chiku fruit is large and the diameter of the measures around four to eight centimeter.
The colour of the fruit inside varies. One can see that inside the fruit is pale yellow or the earthly brown in colour. This is similar to that of ripe pear.
The chiku fruit may contain one seed or sometime six seeds. It does not cross six. The seeds of chiku are black in colour and are hard.
Even they are shiny like the leaves of the fruit. Due to its colour and shape, the seeds of chiku look like a bean. The fruit tastes sweet and malty.
As the skin of unripe chiku is hard, it is hard when touched. The unripe chiku has saponin in it and it is present in high amount.
Saponin has the properties of an astringent. This is similar to tannin which makes the mouth dry.
Cultivation of Chiku in India
Chiku is a tropical fruit. It can be grown up to 1200 m from the sea level. The climate suitable to grow Chiku is warm and humid. It can be easily grown in the areas which are dry and humid.
The suitable climate for the cultivation of Chiku is the area which receives rainfall around 125-250 cm annually. The temperature right for the cultivation of Chiku must be in the range of 12 to 36 degree Celsius.
The tree of chiku is evergreen and permanent. So, they can be grown in varieties of soil. The most important thing which is to be kept in mind while growing chiku is the drainage.
The sub-soil should not be hard one. The growth of the tree will be good and proper if the soil is deep and absorbent.
The tree can bear irrigation water and salt only to a certain limit. Chiku can be grown by grafting seeds or even layering can be used.
But mostly the method of softwood grafting on rayan seedlings is used.
But approach grafting has replaced this method. The grafts are planted from the month of June to October.
Before the start of monsoon, the soil is dug properly. After this the dug pit is filled with decomposed manure.
During the first few years of cultivation weeding is necessary. When Chiku is cultivated, there should be trees on all sides of the cultivated tree so that even the strong winds cannot break the Chiku plants.
When the plants are young, they can damage very early because of sun and hot wind.
In order to save the young plants it is necessary to use protective methods. The tree of Chiku must have a strong and central stem so that it balances all the branches of the tree.
If the branches are crowded and over shaded, they are removed.
It is necessary to prune the trees always and the branches should not be pruned because of the growth of leaves and fruits.
Chiku tree can be grown in driest conditions as well but if there is irrigation the growth of the tree will be proper.
Fertilizers must be put regularly in the soil so that fruits are of good quality and it grows properly. The plant of Chiku is prone to get harmed by different insects.
So it is necessary to use proper pests control from time to time. After the fruits are fully ripe and are picked from the trees, they must be stored properly.
Benefits of Chiku on our health
Chiku tastes sweet and delicious. It has many important nutritional uses. Even if it is consumed in the form of fruit or juice, both are equally healthy.
The fruit gives us many nutrients like calcium, iron and phosphorous. These nutrients make our bones strong.
The fruit is also rich in copper, potassium, folate, niacin, iron and vitamin A, C and E. The Vitamin E which is present in Chiku reduces the chances of suffering from any heart diseases.
While Vitamin C makes our immunity better and gives us a shining skin. Chiku is very good for our diet.
If a person is suffering from constipation or indigestion, then consuming Chiku will give a big relief from all these problems.
Tannin is present in Chiku which helps to fight against many diseases. Problems of congestion and cough can also be solved by eating Chiku.
The fruit also helps in proper urination. The fruit is good for a pregnant woman because it helps from dizziness or nausea.
Even the seeds of Chiku are helpful along with the fruit. After eating the fruit if the seeds are crushed and consumed kidney and bladder stones can be removed.