Health Benefits Of Chico Fruit

  • Nivedita Balyan MSc. Business Analysis and Consulting, University of Strathclyde, Scotland
  • Stephanie Tsang BSc, Biochemistry, UCL, UK
  • Jessica Tang BSc, Cancer Science, Oncology and Cancer Biology, University of Nottingham, UK

What is chico fruit?

Chico, also called Sapodilla (family Sapotaceae), is a large tropical evergreen tree native to southern Mexico, Central America, and parts of the Caribbean. The sapodilla tree is medium-sized and slow-growing. The fruit is spheroid to ovoid, with a reddish brown colour and a diameter of 5-10 cm. 

Its sweet flavour has been described as a cross between pears and brown sugar. When the fruit is ripe, the seeds, which are two to five in number, shiny black, and the size of flattened beans, are surrounded by translucent, yellowish brown and luscious flesh. When the fruit is young, its flesh includes tannin as well as milky latex and is therefore unappealing.1

The fruit is used in desserts, smoothies, and other sweet dishes. The chico fruit is similar in appearance to a kiwi fruit, which is small and brown with sand-paper skin. The high levels of fructose and sucrose in the fruit give it a naturally sweet taste. The flesh surrounds a cavity that contains two to three large black seeds, which are inedible and should be discarded.2

Health benefits of chico fruit

The chico fruit offers several health benefits, including:

  • Rich in antioxidants: Chico fruit is a rich source of antioxidants, which help protect cells from damage. The natural tannins in the flesh of the chico are antioxidants and have antiviral, antibacterial, and anti-parasitic effects.
  • Aids in digestion: It is a good source of dietary fibre and can help improve digestive health and prevent constipation. The presence of natural plant chemical tannins in sapota aids in the neutralisation of acid discharge in the intestine. While a high fibre intake adds weight to the stool, regulates bowel movements, heals constipation, and cures all other digestive issues.
  • Immunity booster: Sapota, which is rich in vitamins A and C, polyphenols, and antioxidant components, has an important role in developing a strong immune system, combating harmful pollutants, and lowering the risk of disease. Furthermore, including this fruit in a healthy diet protects the immune system from diseases and relieves seasonal coughs and colds.
  • Supports heart health: The fibre and potassium in chico fruit can help regulate blood pressure and support heart health. Sapota includes magnesium and potassium, both of which are essential for maintaining good blood pressure. Magnesium is involved in both the physical and chemical parts of the circulatory system; it is required to enlarge or dilate blood vessels, which allows blood to circulate more easily. Potassium aids in the removal of sodium from the body.
  • Promotes healthy skin: Vitamin C and antioxidants in chico fruit can help keep skin healthy by fighting off free radicals that cause damage to skin cells. Sapota, which is high in important vitamins A, B, and C, rejuvenates new skin cells and locks in skin moisture from within. A wide range of polyphenols, flavonoids, and antioxidants prevent harmful pollutants from destroying healthy skin cells, eliminate wrinkles and fine lines, slow the ageing process, and naturally improve skin complexion and shine.
  • Low in calories: Chico fruit is low in calories and can be a great snack option for people watching their weight.
  • Prevents Cancer: Sapodilla also contains antioxidants, which help eliminate free radicals, battle oxidative stress, limit tumour cell growth, and reduce the risk of numerous types of cancer. Because it is naturally high in vitamins A and B, it helps to keep the mucus lining healthy and reduces the risk of lung and mouth cancer.
  • Treats Anaemia: Anaemia is a prevalent health problem in women of reproductive age caused by an iron deficiency in the body. Sapota, which is high in iron and copper, improves iron levels and relieves anaemia.

These benefits can vary depending on factors such as the ripeness of the fruit, storage and preparation methods, and individual nutritional needs.2,3,4,5

Nutritional facts

NutrientsNutritional value per 100g
Carbohydrates, by difference20g
Pantothenic Acid0.252mg
Vitamin A60 IU
Vitamin C14.7 mg

Table 1: Nutritional value per 100g of Sapodilla, raw obtained from U.S Department of Agriculture

Side effects and other concerns

There is an adage that says excess of anything is harmful to your health, and this includes chico. Some side effects of excessive consumption of chico are mentioned below:

  • Allergic reactions: Latex and tannins are two compounds that might trigger allergic reactions in some people. As some patients have described, it might manifest as skin rashes and swelling around the neck immediately following fruit consumption.
  • Not a good option for diabetic patients: Chico is naturally high in sugar, which can lead to spikes in blood glucose levels making it an unhealthy food option for individuals with diabetes. If you have diabetes, you should consume chico fruit in moderation to maintain blood glucose levels.
  • Abdominal pain: Excess consumption has been linked to stomach aches in some cases due to its high fibre content and tannin components. Swallowing its seeds by accident may also result in vomiting.
  • Digestive problems: Excessive chico consumption may result in digestive issues, particularly in children. It is high in fibres and puts strain on the digestive tract, which might disrupt digestion and cause stomach trouble.6,7

If you have any concerns, you should speak with your doctor or a registered dietitian for personalised dietary guidance.


Sapota is a nutritious fruit that is high in all essential nutrients. Sapota can be enjoyed on its own or combined with desserts, smoothies, and milkshakes. You can reap the tremendous benefits it provides for improving both physical and mental health. The fruit has a sweet flavour, resembling a cross between pears and brown sugar and is similar in appearance to a kiwi. Chico offers various health benefits, including being rich in antioxidants, aiding digestion, boosting immunity, supporting heart health, promoting healthy skin, and being low in calories. It also has nutritional value, containing vitamins, minerals, and dietary fibre. However, excessive consumption may lead to allergic reactions, and high sugar content can lead to spikes in blood glucose levels in individuals with diabetes and may cause abdominal pain and digestive issues, especially in children.


  1. Sapodilla | Description, Distribution, & Facts | Britannica. In: Encyclopædia Britannica [Internet]. 2019. Available from:
  2. ‌Anon. All You Need Know About Chico Fruit [Internet]. Filipino Eyes. 2021 [cited 2023 Apr 22]. Available from:
  3. ‌Chikoo [Internet]. [cited 2023 Apr 22]. Available from:
  4. ‌Pelegrino EN. Health Benefits of Chikoo Fruit [Internet]. Available from:
  5. Parmar R. 8 Great benefits of Sapota or Chikoo [Internet]. PharmEasy Blog. 2022 [cited 2023 Apr 22]. Available from:
  6. ‌Disadvantages of Chikoo | Side Effects of Having Chikoo [Internet]. India Gardening. 2021 [cited 2023 Apr 22]. Available from:‌
  7. Benefits And Side Effects Of Having Chikoo [Internet]. Onlymyhealth. 2020 [cited 2023 Apr 22]. Available from: 
This content is purely informational and isn’t medical guidance. It shouldn’t replace professional medical counsel. Always consult your physician regarding treatment risks and benefits. See our editorial standards for more details.

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Nivedita Balyan

MSc. Business Analysis and Consulting, University of Strathclyde, Scotland

Nivedita (M. Pharm) is a healthcare consultant with 8 years of experience in syndicated report writing, clinical trial tracking and data analysis. She has exposure to team handling and project management. She has worked on medical information, targeted literature review and client handling. She has worked for pharmaceutical and medical devices clients.

Currently, she is pursuing MSc. Business Analysis and Consulting from University of Strathclyde presents all health information in line with our terms and conditions. It is essential to understand that the medical information available on our platform is not intended to substitute the relationship between a patient and their physician or doctor, as well as any medical guidance they offer. Always consult with a healthcare professional before making any decisions based on the information found on our website.
Klarity is a citizen-centric health data management platform that enables citizens to securely access, control and share their own health data. Klarity Health Library aims to provide clear and evidence-based health and wellness related informative articles. 
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