Chayote is a gourd plant, that is consume in similar manner to the summer squash, melons and cucumbers. You can add raw chayote in your salads or add them in vegetarian or meat dishes.
The whole plant including the fruit, stem and leaves contains multiple nutrients and has anti-inflammatory properties that can aid in the treatment of high-blood pressure, kidney stones and indigestion. Chayote can also help support weight loss efforts, as it is low in calories and fibrous.
1. Essential Vitamins
Chayote is a rich source of vitamin C and folate. Folate is a water-soluble vitamin which is important for cancer prevention and female fertility. If taken before and during pregnancy, it helps reduce the risk of neural tube birth defects.
One whole chayote contains about 189 micrograms of folate, which amounts to about 50% of your recommended daily allowance. Vitamin C is also a key antioxidant that helps in fighting free radicals, which may increase the risk one’s risk for heart disease and some forms of cancer. One chayote is loaded with 15.6 micrograms of vitamin C, this amounts to 26% of your RDA.
2. High in Fiber
A high-fiber diet can help in treating constipation and to normalize bowel movements. Consuming chayote is a good way to increase fiber consumption.
Just one chayote contains about 3.5 grams of fiber, which contributes to 14% of your daily value of 25 grams. Fiber also helps in controlling blood sugar levels and lowers cholesterol, which promotes a healthier cardiovascular system.
3. Low in Calories
Chayote is very diet friendly because it is low in calories. Just one cup of chopped chayote contains about 25 calories. It is made up of 94% water and only contains 0.1 gram of fat.
Several essential nutrients and vitamins can be found in chayote squash. One half-cup serving provides at least 17% of your vitamin C needs.
Also chayote contains B complex vitamins, which includes 61 mcg folate and small amounts of thiamin, niacin, pantothenic acid, riboflavin and vitamin B6 in a half-cup.
5. Trace Minerals
Trace minerals are required in small quantity on a daily basis to help maintain a healthy immune system and strong bones. Chayote contains the trace minerals such as magnesium, zinc, phosphorus, calcium and potassium.
Trace minerals make up part of the body’s enzymes and hormones. Chayote provides 1 milligram of zinc, which is 7% of your daily value. Zinc plays a role in supporting proper sense of smell and taste and in wound healing. Magnesium and calcium keep bones strong and potassium helps support muscle and nerve function.