Health Benefits of Agbalumo (Udara) in Pregnancy


Did you know that the African star Apple got its name from the formation of its seed? It has 4 - 6 seeds that are arranged in a star formation when you cut it open in halves.


The African star Apple or agbalumo/udara as you might call it is high in Vitamin C. This seasonal fruit, although grown majorly in Togo, Ghana, and Benin republic is most popular in Nigeria.


Nigerians have gone on to create several unofficial etiquettes for eating the nation's beloved fruit even.


The cotonou agbalumo is said to be the sweetest of the bunch. It tastes sweet than sour and is juicy. Agbalumo is usually cultivated in the rural areas of the southwestern part of Nigeria. Its season of harvest is from the month of December till April. 



Health benefits of Agbalumo

Agbalumo has several health benefits. The major nutrients of agbalumo are Vitamin C, fat, protein, carbohydrates, and water. Constant consumption of this fruit can help with the following:

  • Aid weight loss.
  • Effectively remedy sore throat.
  • Soothe inflammation associated with pneumonia.
  • Prevent mouth and gum diseases.
  • Help control nausea. 

The root, leaves, and bark of the African star Apple are also used to make traditional herbal medicine. The bark is used to treat fever and malaria, and its leaves are used to treat skin-related problems.


Is Agbalumo Safe to Eat During Pregnancy?


As much as you enjoy all the goodness that comes with eating agbalumo before pregnancy, you might wonder if it is safe to continue eating it while pregnant.


A study on the antimalarial potential of the African star Apple shows that, in a herbal medicinal form, this fruit may be valuable in pregnancy. It can serve as an occasional preventive therapy against malaria for pregnant women.


It contains more vitamin C than many other fruits. It is rich in calcium, iron, potassium and phosphorus. It reduces constipation and sore throat; it aids digestion which is a common problem for pregnant women. 


Moderate consumption of agbalumo while pregnant helps:


  • Decrease the sugar and cholesterol levels in the blood. This prevents heart disease.  
  • Protect the body from free radicals. 
  • Control nausea because of the acidic taste.
  • Aid digestion. 
  • Improve skin tone and texture. 


Note that, this fruit can cause serious problems for those with kidney disease. As a pregnant woman, experts advise you to always consult your doctor before you include anything in your diet. Your doctors know your medical history and what is best for your unique health condition.




WaysTo Enjoy Agbalumo 

Almost everyone simply enjoys eating this fruit on its own. 


Pineapple and agbalumo juice



  • Large ripe pineapples 
  • 500ml water 
  • Sugar
  • Thin slices of agbalumo 


  • Macerate (mix sugar and agbalumo flesh and leave to mellow for three days, this helps improve the taste and reduce tartness) agbalumo. 
  • Wash, peel and chop pineapple into large chunks.
  • Blend pineapple chunks and macerated agbalumo. 
  • Add water and continue blending till smooth. 
  • Strain twice for a really smooth blend. 
  • Serve cold with ice. 


Agbalumo gum balls



  • Agbalumo 
  • Sugar


  • Scoop out fruit flesh and mince finely. 
  • Add sugar to sweeten and whisk together.
  • Spread on parchment paper and oven dry. Ensure it does not bake.
  • Mold into different shapes and leave to dry in a cool room.
  • Sweeten with sprinkled sugar and serve.

Agbalumo Ice cream cake



  • 3 - 4 agbalumo fruits
  • A large tub of vanilla ice cream
  • Crushed oreo biscuits
  • Honey or sugar cane syrup 


  • Add syrup to chopped agbalumo, and allow to marinate for at least 6 hours.
  • Whisk ice cream, crushed biscuit and a large portion of the syrup agbalumo together. 
  • Line your cake pan with cling film.
  • Turn the ice cream mixture into the pan. 
  • Refrigerate overnight. 
  • Serve with the last portion of marinated agbalumo. 


Chocolatey Agbalumo



  • Milk chocolate 
  • Ripe agbalumo 
  • Sugar


  • Chop agbalumo flesh and sweeten it with sugar.
  • Set your oven to 50°C or below. 
  • Spread on a tray and dry in an oven. Take care not to cook or burn it, you can also sun dry it instead.
  • Roll out into a thin layer with a rolling pin. 
  • Heat up and melt your milk chocolate bar.
  • Turn it into a mold design of your choice. 
  • Spread a thin layer of agbalumo over it.
  • Add a second layer of melted chocolate over it.
  • Refrigerate and enjoy. 


So mama, which of these recipes are you going to try? Let's know in the comment section. 


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