guanabana plant benefits

What you need to know: Also known as graviola or soursop, the guanabana plant grows on young branches in the tropics of South America, Africa, and Southeast Asia. It has a fleshy white pulp that’s both sweet and sour to the taste, and is a common ingredient used in fruit juice, sorbet and ice cream. Rich in vitamins B and C, guanabana fruit is considered to be anti-inflammatory, antibacterial, anti-diabetic and anti-cancer when eaten.

Why you should try it: Guanabana is traditionally used to heal ulcers, lower blood pressure, and kill parasites – but its highest potential might just lie it its ability to fight cancer. In a 1996 research study, a compound from the guanabana was able to kill cancer cells without causing damage to healthy cells – and what’s even more impressive, it proved to be ten thousand times more potent than the common (and harmful) anti-cancer drug called andriamycin! In two other studies, one from 2011 and another from 1998, its extract was effective in destroying cancer of the pancreas, prostate, lung, colon and breast tissue. The jury is still out as far as setting a conclusion in stone, but we know that we’ll be adding this unique superfood to our diet as much as possible.

Let’s get together: Having a flavor that resembles both citrus and pineapple, this fruit lends itself to creating sippable, sweet concoctions. Join the masses of guanabana believers by consuming this fruit as a “milk,” simply blending it and adding a little vanilla extract. What’s even more perfect for these hot summer months, however, is guanabana sherbet. Why not take a healing food and turn it into the perfect summer dessert? Try this mint lime guanabana sherbet and eat your way to health…

Lime Mint Guanabana Sherbet


1 1/4 cups coconut sugar
1 1/2 cups water, divided
1 tsp unflavored gelatin
3/4 cup cold coconut milk
3 cups guanabana puree
2 tsp fresh lime juice
2 Tbsp mint leaves, minced
1 pineapple, skinned, cored and sliced


In a small saucepan, add sugar and 1 1/4 cups water. Bring to a boil.

Boil until sugar is dissolved into a syrup. Add syrup to a metal bowl. Place bowl in ice bath to quickly chill, about 5 minutes.

Next, add 1/4 cup water to saucepan. Add gelatin and stir. Turn heat back on to a low simmer. Stir until gelatin is fully dissolved.

Add sugar syrup, milk and puree and mix. Then allow to cool and add mint and lime. Mix.

Add mixture to an ice cream maker to freeze. Then place in a container and freeze for about 2 hours until hard.

Once ready to serve, top with pineapple.

From our friends


  1. Where can you get this? It sounds incredible but I’ve certainly never seen it at my local super market or even farmers market. I’d love to try it!

    Sara | 06.25.2014 | Reply
    • I don’t know where you live, but here in Los Angeles you can find it at markets that sell Latin or Asian products. I’ve found it in the frozen fruit secction.

      carey | 06.26.2014 | Reply
    • Hi Sara, see if there is a natural foods store in your area, they might have some!

      The Chalkboard | 06.26.2014 | Reply
  2. Please be warned that guanabana is an emetic for some people (i.e. it makes some people vomit) Unfortunately I am one of these people 🙁
    Guanabana also goes by the names sour sop, custard apple, graviola

    Heather | 08.14.2014 | Reply
  3. Hmmmm I would like to try that Sherbet out these days, must be refreshing 🙂 … In Europe most of the countries call it Graviola fruit but yea Soursop is also a familiar one 😀

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