Known by many names, this organic superfood is believed to have been first cultivated in Central America and for thousands of years has been used by ancient Mayan and Aztec people as a staple food and treating diseases.
Its scientific name is sechium edule and commonly called by its Spanish name Chayote. Known also as christopine, cho-cho, sayote, merleton, choco and many more. In the US it is popularly called vegetable pear. An organic superfood that belong to the cucurbitaceae family, Chayote is a perennial vine with strong stems that produces elongated fruit that measures about 6 inches long when fully matured. They have rippled bottoms and come in smooth or prickly skin, usually in green and yellowish colors. The fruit houses a single seed and the flesh have a mild taste which is similar to that of zucchini. One of the unique feature of this vegetable is that its leaves and large tubers are also edible.
This organic superfood is packed with nutrition and health benefits. Its vitamin C can provide your body with 17% of the required daily requirement and together with a good amount of flavonoids anti-oxidants help fight free radical that causes heart disease and other form of cancers. It also stores a good amount of a water soluble vitamin called folate, which, when taken during early pregnancy reduces the risk neural tube birth defects.
Chayote also houses a healthy amount of trace minerals like magnesium, phosphorus, zinc and potassium. It has calcium and iron that are sufficient to meet a 2000 calorie diet including potassium to build up nerve and muscle function.
One whole chayote provides you with 3.5 grams of dietary fiber that can help normalize your bowel movement and in treating constipation. Dietary fiber is also helpful to individuals with diabetes as it assists in regulating blood sugar level. Also goes well in promoting cardiovascular health by lowering cholesterol. Fiber combined with high water content of chayote makes an ideal snack to keep you feeling full without veering away from your daily calorie intake. If you’re in a weight reduction program, better add this organic superfood to your grocery list.
Do you know that its tuber has a higher content of vitamin C and starch and that the seed is a wonderful source of several amino acids?
Providing a 39 calories per 7 ounce serving makes it a low calorie organic superfood. In addition, it is also low in sodium and carbohydrates, which are good reasons to include chayote in your diet.
As a safety measure, always use protective gloves when peeling chayote as it produces a white liquid that can cause slight numbness.
Stay healthy. Go local. Eat more organic superfood.
The article written here is for educational purpose only and is not meant to provide any medical advice. If you have an illness or medical condition, it would be best to consult first with your health care provider or family physician before undertaking any course of treatment.
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