Did you know that chayote is good for the heart and may also help prevent cancer? Check out the surprising health-giving goodness of this cucumber relative.
Although chayote (Sechium edule) is typically prepared as a vegetable, it is a fruit. It’s quite crunchy flesh that can be eaten both raw and cooked. Around the world, it is known by various names including mirliton, christophene, and chowchow. It is a member of the squash family and is referred to as the “vegetable pear.”
1. Good for the heart (Folate – 23% DV)
Chayote is an excellent source of folate, a B vitamin that helps prevent homocysteine build-up. Studies have shown that too much of this amino acid in the blood is linked to a higher risk of coronary heart disease and stroke.
2. May prevent cancer (Vitamin C – 13%)
Vitamin C is known as one of the powerful antioxidants, substances that may protect cells from damage caused by free radicals. Studies suggest that antioxidants may slow or possibly prevent cancer development.
3. Energizes the body (Manganese – 9%)
Start your day with a breakfast of chayote omelet. Its manganese content helps the body convert protein and fat to energy.
4. Guard against constipation (Fiber – 7%)
Need more fiber? Promote bowel regularity by adding this vegetable to your diet.
5. Keeps thyroid healthy (Copper – 6%)
It helps iodine in keeping the thyroid healthy by providing copper, a mineral linked to thyroid metabolism, especially in hormone production and absorption.
6. Helps prevent acne (Zinc – 5%)
It is a good source of zinc, a mineral that has been shown to influence hormones that control the production of oil in the skin.
7. Prevents bone loss (Vitamin K)
Tell grandma to eat chayote for a natural supply of vitamin K. Studies revealed a connection between vitamin K and osteoporosis.
8. Eases tired and heavy legs (Potassium – 4%)
Tired and heavy legs are the body’s signal that it needs more potassium. Have some potassium-rich foods to prevent this condition.
9. Good for the brain (Vitamin B6 – 4%)
Study participants have shown that vitamin B6 helps improve memory performance in some age groups.
10. Put leg cramps in check (Magnesium – 3%)
Chayote also contains magnesium, an electrolyte, and a mineral that helps prevent muscle cramps.
Nutrient data source: USDA