There will be those who are familiar with this sour fruit and those who are hearing the name for the first time. If you haven't had it before, you should know that it's one of the summer fruits you absolutely have to try. Bael, or wood apple, is a superfood that everyone should be eating this summer. More importantly, what? Every portion of the wood apple is useful and nutritious since it is packed with vitamins, minerals, fibre, and other substances.
What is wood apple?
The bael tree (Aegle marmelos), which originates in India and Southeast Asia, produces a fruit called bael, which is both sweet and fragrant. The fruit can be consumed in its various forms, including fresh, dried, and juice. Some people believe that by eating bael fruit, you can remedy health problems including indigestion.
Besides its native India, Sri Lanka, and Thailand also cultivate substantial amounts of wood apple fruit for their local markets. The interior resembles banana pudding, with a dark brown pulp and sticky, hairy seeds. Its sour taste makes it a favourite addition to sweet condiments like chutneys and jams.
Wood apples are cherished for both their tasty flavour and their beneficial nutritional content.
Other names of wood apples:
English Name: Wood apple
Marathi: Belaache zaad
Kannada: Belladi Hannu
Nutritional value of wood apple:
Carbohydrates: 31.8 mg
Fat: 0.3 mg
Vitamin C: 60 mg
Proteins: 1.8 mg
Vitamin A: 55 mg
Fibre: 2.9 mg
Calcium: 85 mg
Potassium: 600 mg
Energy: 137 kCal
How does wood apple taste?
The pulp of a wood apple has a tangy, acidic flavour that is both sour and sweet. Whether sweet or savoury, it leaves a sense of sweetness or spice. In general, it's a tasty and healthy snack to try.
Health benefits of wood apple:
- Prevents stomach illnesses: Wood apple, also known as bel, contains antidiarrheal qualities that can prevent stomach illnesses and diarrhoea brought on by the germs E. Coli and Shigella. The bel tree's unripe fruit helps prevent the growth of harmful bacteria in the digestive tract. Wood apple has been used to treat diarrhoea for ages, first in Ayurveda and then in folk medicine.
- Defend against germs: Wood apple has chemicals that can defend against germs that cause disease, including fungi, viruses, and bacteria. Bacillus subtilis, Staphylococcus aureus, Escherichia coli, and Pseudomonas aeruginosa are the microorganisms that it is most effective against. Coxsackievirus, which causes diseases like meningitis, hemorrhagic conjunctivitis, myocarditis, and encephalitis, has also been proven to be susceptible to its antiviral effects.
- Anti-cancer: Bel extracts have been shown to shield healthy tissues from the harmful effects of radiation in animal studies. Bel's radioprotective chemicals shield healthy tissues from radiation's free radical damage, which can lead to cancer.
- Treats fever: The antipyretic properties of wood apple help reduce fever. After administering fruit extracts to animals, researchers discovered that the fevers of the test subjects decreased after taking the supplements.
- Good for kidneys: Wood apple is a diuretic, thus it aids the kidneys in flushing out excess sodium via the kidneys and out of the body. This has positive effects on blood pressure and kidney function. It reduces blood pressure by easing tension in the veins and arteries.
The other positive effects of bel or wood apple on health:
Excellent for the stomach
Aids in fighting off infections
Advantageous to cardiovascular health
Beneficial for the purification of blood
Maintains a healthy mouth
Eases stomach and intestinal distress
Promotes intestinal health
Reduces the risk of developing anaemia
Wood apple for skin:
Antioxidant-rich phenolic compounds are found in Wood Apple. As a result of free radicals, this is effective in mending the harm done to cells.
The antioxidants included in Wood Apple can help keep your skin looking young for longer.
The antibacterial properties of wood apples aid in the treatment of a number of skin infections and other skin conditions.
Wood apple for hair:
Hair growth is stimulated by eating wood apples. The antibacterial properties aid in the treatment of many scalp and hair illnesses. Among these are itchiness, flaking, and folliculitis.
Because of the nutrients it provides, it helps hair grow from follicles.
It improves blood flow to the scalp, which in turn fortifies the hair follicles.
Reducing the overproduction of stress hormones helps keep hair from breaking and falling out when we're under pressure.
How to make Bel Sharbat:
Use a hammer or a rolling pin to smash open the rinds of three bel fruits.
When the shell of the fruit has broken, you can remove the brown flesh with a spoon.
Pour one cup of ice water over the pulp in a bowl.
The pulp and water should be mixed together by mashing after a 20 minute soak.
Drain the liquid.
Mix the strained liquid with a cup of ice water.
Add black salt and sugar or jaggery, to taste.
To garnish, use mint leaves.
FAQs on Wood Apple:
Q: Can you eat wood apple daily?
Ans: Wood apples are safe for everyday consumption. Thiamine and riboflavin, both found in abundance in wood apple, have powerful detoxifying effects. Wood apple juice is beneficial for general digestive health and for preventing and treating renal issues.
Q: Does wood apple increase weight?
Ans: The high fibre content of wood apples can ease bloating and speed the elimination of excess water weight. Last but not least, wood apple juice can serve as an effective energy drink.