Chayote is one of the vegetables people eat today. It is an edible plant from the gourd family Cucurbitaceae, which includes squash, cucumbers, and melons. Also known as choko, vegetable pear, pear squash, pipinola, cho-cho, and christophine, the following are the health benefits of chayote, along with a sample recipe.
As a vegetable, one health benefit of chayote is fiber. Fiber is a substance that acts as a sweep and helps clean the system by eliminating harmful substances like toxins and free radicals, which cause disorders like heart diseases and cancer. Fiber also adds bulk and roughage to stools to allow easier elimination, preventing digestive conditions like constipation, hemorrhoids, and diverticulitis. In addition, fiber reduces cholesterol levels in the bloodstream, preventing cardiovascular problems like hypertension, atherosclerosis, coronary artery disease, heart failure, and stroke. Moreover, fiber promotes digestion and metabolism, increasing fat and weight loss. According to San Francisco Gate, a whole chayote contains 38.6 calories and 0.1 gram of fat, not to mention that it also high water content, which gives a sense of fullness to a person. As a result, cravings and unnecessary food intake will be reduced, resulting to weight and fat loss. As per the publication, chayote can be eaten as a snack to satisfy hunger while maintaining one’s daily calorie intake.
Chayote also benefits pregnant women. According to Mercola, chyote contains folate, which allows cell division and DNA synthesis. In pregnant women, this facilitates normal growth and development of embryonic and fetal structures and it also prevents problems like neural tube defects. Folate is one of the supplements pregnant women take during their pregnant months to promote the health and well-being of the baby inside the womb. Without folate, the baby may be unhealthy upon birth, with defects or may grow up with mental retardation.
Another health benefit of chayote is a boost in a person’s immunity. According to Azcentral, chayote contains vitamin C and zinc, nutrients that are associated with immune system. Vitamin C is known to increase a person’s resistance to infection and illness while zinc stimulates proteins and enzymes that facilitate cellular chemical reactions, proteins that control gene activity, and proteins that maintain cell membrane health. As per the institute of Medicine, as cited by the publication, a cup of raw chayote squash juice contains 19 milligrams of vitamin C, which accounts to 21 percent of the recommended daily intake for men and 25 percent for women. The publication also noted that the same cup of chayote squash juice contains 1.9 milligrams of zinc, which is equivalent to 17 percent of the recommended daily intake for men and 24 percent for women.
Chayote also promotes the health of the urinary system. According to Shattering the Matrix, chayote dissolves kidney and bladder stone, which results from concentrated urine, microorganisms, and the food a person eats. Eliminating the stones from the kidney and bladder means reduction of pain during urination. As per the publication a tea made from the plant leaves has long been used to dissolve kidney and bladder stones.
One recipe that uses chayote is Fried Chayote Squash. According to Epicurious, the ingredients include two chayotes (pitted, thnly sliced), two tablespoons butter, one tablespoon olive oil, two medium onions (sliced), two teaspoons (dried) or two tablespoons fresh oregano (chopped), half teaspoon salt, and one-fourth teaspoon of freshly ground black pepper.
To prepare, as per the publication, the butter and oil are heated in a large skillet over medium heat, until the butter is melted. Then, the onions are added and sauteed for about eight to ten minutes, until golden, but not brown. After that, the chayote and the oregano are added and sauteed for an additional ten minutes. Once done, the food is removed from the heat and salt and pepper are added before serving.