Kiwano or also known as “horned melon” is an exotic, peculiar-looking fruit from the central and southern regions of Africa. The horned melon may be native to Africa, but nowadays it is grown in California, Mississippi, Chile, Australia, and New Zealand, as well.
It belongs to the cucumber and melon family, Cucurbitaceae. The name “horned melon” comes from the fruit’s unusual appearance, as the outer layer of orange or gold skin is covered in small spikes.
You can eat the kiwano as a snack or as a addition to your salads. The taste of the fruit is very similar to passion fruit and bananas. The peel of the fruit is the one that contains the essential nutrients, vitamins and minerals.
7 Important Health Benefits of Kiwano:
Rich in Antioxidants
Kiwano is loaded with high antioxidant content (a-tocopherol and y-tocopherol) which keeps the blood vessels and nerves healthy. They also neutralize the free radicals in the body. The main antioxidants in kiwano melon are vitamin C, vitamin A, zinc, and lutein. These nutrients play an important role in reducing inflammation and preventing chronic diseases, such as diabetes, heart disease, and certain types of cancer.
Helps in Weight Loss
The weight loss benefit of kiwano is mainly because of its low caloric value.This fruit is made up of over 90% water. Water has no calories which mean it doesn’t contribute to weight gain.
Good for the Eyes
The vitamin A found in this fruit is of crucial importance for the vision health. Vitamin A is a type of carotenoid, which acts as an antioxidant for the eye, eliminating free radicals that can cause macular degeneration, while also slowing down or preventing the development of cataracts. Other nutrients like zinc, iron, and phytonutrients, etc. also play a significant role in improving our vision health.
Gives proper Hydration
Most of the time, water itself is a synonym for hydration. But the electrolytes — as potassium, magnesium, and sodium — are also very important for maintaining our organism hydrated. Since the horned melon is made up of about 90% water and contains carbs and electrolytes — makes it perfect for increasing hydration.
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According to some researches, the various organic compounds in this fruit help in the regulation of the hormones. It helps especially in the regulation of stress hormones such as adrenaline. If you suffer from chronic stress or feel anxious, eating some kiwano can quickly ease your mind and get your body back to a calm, relaxed state.
Eating kiwanos on a regular and moderate basis has been found to be very beneficial for our stomach and helps in keeping our digestive system healthy. This is because the presence of dietary fibers in them. The dietary fiber present in the kiwano acts as a natural laxative which means it improves bowel movement and ensures smooth elimination of waste from our system.
Kiwano is an excellent source of collagen – a compound that repairs the damaged skin and the organ tissues. This fruit is known to protect the integrity of the skin and reduce age spots, dark spots. wrinkles. skin blemishes, etc.