Search IconSearch

What Is Soursop?

Should you make room for soursop (aka guanabana) in your diet?

A piece of soursop, a fruit native to South America

The internet loves superfoods and health trends — the more exotic, the better (acai, anyone?). Enter soursop, the latest fruit that’s creating a big buzz.


Cleveland Clinic is a non-profit academic medical center. Advertising on our site helps support our mission. We do not endorse non-Cleveland Clinic products or services. Policy

Officially known as Annona muricata, soursop is native to South America and a fruit of many names. You might also hear it called guanabana, graviola or custard apple. On the outside, the fruit resembles an oversized avocado — if the avocado were covered with prickly spikes.

Despite its tough exterior, soursop is sweet at heart. Its white pulp is smooth and creamy with large black seeds. People sometimes compare its sweet-tart flavor to a blend of strawberries and apples.

Dietitian Alexis Supan, RD, explains what you should know about this trending tropical treat.

Soursop nutrition facts

Like many fruits, soursop is a healthy source of dietary fiber, vitamins and minerals. One cup (about 225 grams) of raw soursop contains:

  • Calories: 148.
  • Protein: 2.25 grams.
  • Dietary fiber: 7.42 grams.
  • Carbs: 37.8 grams.
  • Sugars: 30 grams.

Besides fiber, the fruit is a good source of nutrients:

  • Vitamin C.
  • Potassium.
  • Magnesium.

Soursop is also high in antioxidants, substances that protect cells from damage. Antioxidant-rich diets may help protect against diseases like heart disease or cancer.

Potential soursop health benefits

Traditional healers have long used soursop for medicinal purposes. They use many parts of the plant — including the fruit, leaves and stems — to treat a variety of illnesses. Soursop may help:

  • Prevent and fight cancer.
  • Reduce inflammation.
  • Kill bacteria.

But there’s a big caveat to those claims, says Supan. Medical researchers have only just begun studying the health benefits of soursop, so we don’t yet have scientific data on the plant’s health-boosting properties.

Can soursop really help fight cancer?

There’s some evidence that extracts from the plant’s leaves could kill cancer cells or fight inflammation. But slow your roll: Those findings came from test-tube and animal studies, which often involved huge doses of extracts from soursop leaves.

“Keep in mind that there haven’t been any human studies, so it’s too soon to tell if there are any benefits,” Supan says.

Possible side effects of soursop

You can find soursop extracts and teas for sale, but those products aren’t regulated by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA). And there are reasons to be wary, Supan warns. Soursop can be toxic in large doses, causing symptoms that resemble those of Parkinson’s disease, including:

  • Rigid muscles.
  • Personality changes.
  • Slowness of movement.
  • Problems with eye movement.
  • Problems with gait and balance.


The compounds found in extracts and teas can also interfere with medications such as high blood pressure and diabetes treatments. “I’d advise staying away from soursop extracts and teas,” she says. “You don’t want to play scientist with your health.”

How to eat soursop

While you should probably steer clear of soursop extract or teas, there’s no reason not to eat it. “As far as the fruit goes, go to town!” Supan says.

Soursop can be hard to come by in the U.S., but you might be able to find it in specialty grocery stores (like Latin American and Caribbean markets). If you can track down fresh soursop, Supan recommends enjoying it in its pure form.

“Soursop has a great creamy texture and tropical taste that’s delicious eaten raw,” she says. “But spit out the seeds since they’re toxic.”

And remember that it’s a big fruit with plenty of natural sugars. “One fruit can have 70 or 80 grams of sugar, so you don’t necessarily want to eat an entire fruit at once — especially if you’re concerned about your sugar intake,” notes Supan.

Pro tip: Eat half now and freeze the rest to use in smoothies later. Its tropical flavor blends seamlessly with other tropical fruits, like mangoes, papayas and pineapples.

Like most trendy superfoods, soursop isn’t a miracle cure-all, though. But it’s a tasty tropical treat and a good source of nutrients. If you’re lucky enough to find a store with soursop for sale, give the sweet, creamy fruit a try. Tell them the internet sent you.


Learn more about our editorial process.

Related Articles

Cooked slices of seasoned zucchini
July 22, 2024/Nutrition
Is Zucchini Good for You?

Packed with fiber and other nutrients, zucchini can boost your immune system and help you cut calories

Bowl of partially peeled tamarind
May 8, 2024/Nutrition
5 Reasons To Try Tamarind

With a sweet, tangy flavor, this tropical fruit is super versatile and high in antioxidants

Person halving apricots and removing pits on cutting board
May 6, 2024/Nutrition
8 Health Benefits of Apricots

Full of antioxidants and nutrients, apricots may boost your eye, skin, digestive and overall health

Water in mason jar mug with cucumber, blueberries and lemon
May 1, 2024/Nutrition
Why You Might Want To Give Flavored Water a Chance

If you’re trying to drink less soda or fewer sugary drinks, flavored water can be a delicious and healthy alternative

Juiced fruits and veggies dispensing from a juicer on counter in kitchen
April 24, 2024/Weight Loss
What You Need To Know About Juicing for Weight Loss

Juicing cleanses don’t target fat loss — and you’ll lose important nutrients in the process

Hot cinnamon baked acorn squash on parchment paper
February 15, 2024/Recipes
Recipe: Baked Cinnamon Acorn Squash

Subtly sweet, buttery and vitamin-packed

glass of cherry juice with cherries on table
November 8, 2023/Nutrition
Sleepy Girl Mocktail: What’s in It and Does It Really Make You Sleep Better?

This social media sleep hack with tart cherry juice and magnesium could be worth a try

Person preparing pear to eat in a salad by slicing it lengthwise.
November 7, 2023/Nutrition
5 Health Benefits of Pears

They’re great for your gut, heart and blood sugar and may lower inflammation

Trending Topics

Female and friend jogging outside
How To Increase Your Metabolism for Weight Loss

Focus on your body’s metabolic set point by eating healthy foods, making exercise a part of your routine and reducing stress

stovetop with stainless steel cookware and glassware
5 Ways Forever Chemicals (PFAS) May Affect Your Health

PFAS chemicals may make life easier — but they aren’t always so easy on the human body

jar of rice water and brush, with rice scattered around table
Could Rice Water Be the Secret To Healthier Hair?

While there’s little risk in trying this hair care treatment, there isn’t much science to back up the claims