NUTRITION

Eight benefits of thorn (horned) melon

An exotic fruit that originates from Central and South of Africa.

In Summary

• Kiwano can be consumed both unripe and fully ripe.

• Packed with vitamins and minerals, the fruit is also highly packed with proteins which positively impacts one’s health.

Thorn melon
Thorn melon
Image: MARGARET WANJIRU

Also known as Kiwano, thorn melon, as many Kenyans call it, is an exotic fruit that originates from Central and South of Africa.

You know a Kiwano is ready to eat when the skin is bright golden orange.

Kiwano can be consumed both unripe (green colour) and fully ripe.

When unripe, it tastes like a blend of banana, lime, cucumber and melon, while the taste of ripe fruit resembles that of a cucumber.

Packed with vitamins and minerals, the fruit is also highly packed with proteins which positively impacts one’s health.

Research published in the International Journal of Biological Innovation shows that the fruit not only helps cancer patients but also may help in curing early diabetes and promotes good brain and heart health.

Green or orange, both are packed with similar benefits
Green or orange, both are packed with similar benefits
Image: Courtesy
  • Keep the blood clean and lower blood pressure

Full of antioxidants, the fruit helps to keep the blood vessels and nerves healthy.

Vitamin  E  also helps to neutralize the damaging free radicals that can cause chronic diseases such as cardiovascular disease and cancer.

It flushes out the carcinogenic substances from the body.

Its seeds contain a number of fatty acids including linoleic acid and oleic acid.

Oleic acid, also found in olive oil, is thought to help in lowering blood pressure.

Zinc and iron help in repairing wounds and producing blood cells and managing haemoglobin levels in the blood.

  • Help in weight loss and reduce risk of obesity

The fruit contains 80 per cent water content which helps remove harmful substances from your body.

Lower in calories, loaded with dietary fibres, vitamin A, vitamin C, calcium as well as iron.

 The nutrient content in this exotic fruit helps our body to get the necessary energy in our journey towards weight loss.

A patient undergoes a blood test at Coast General Hospital on World Diabetes Day
MONITORING: A patient undergoes a blood test at Coast General Hospital on World Diabetes Day
Image: FILE
  • May cure diabetes

Containing high amounts of magnesium, the fruit is said to have a positive impact on individuals suffering from diabetes.

Magnesium helps to manage blood sugar levels among people with diabetes and it improves food absorption in our bodies, which is needed by people with diabetes.

The zinc helps by aiding the production of protein, normal carbohydrate metabolic process and the insulin discharge

The zinc helps by aiding the production of protein, normal carbohydrate metabolic process and insulin discharge.

Image: OZONE
  • Good for brain health

The fruit is rich in different tocopherol variants that help in keeping the mind fresh and boost cognitive function.

Its Vitamin E content helps to slow down the onset of dementia and Alzheimer’s disease.

It also contains sodium, which helps electrolytes in the body conduct nerve signals and regulates fluid balance in the brain.

A person gets an eye test at Lapaire new branch along Kamiti road on February 7,2022
A person gets an eye test at Lapaire new branch along Kamiti road on February 7,2022
Image: Courtesy: Delight production254
  • Improves vision and eye health.

Its Vitamin A helps to boost eye health. Since Vitamin A is a kind of carotenoid with antioxidant properties, it prevents macular degeneration and also eliminates the free radicals that lead to eye irritation and various eye problems, such as cataracts helping in the proper function of the retina.

Image: Courtesy: creativemarket.com
  • Helps to reduce stress and anxiety

A Kiwano a day, keeps the therapist away.

The fruit helps regulate the stress hormones such as adrenaline in the human body.

Kiwano has a good amount of zinc, a  mineral that is highly beneficial in improving our metabolic processes.

Kiwano  has  a  high  content  of  beta-carotene  antioxidant which helps in improving the immune system and protecting the body from the onset of any diseases

  • Relieve stomach problems and improve gut function

Dietary fibres in the fruit help improve the digestion process and regulate bowel movement, hence a healthy digestive system.

The gelatinous nature of the fruit tends to reduce constipation, and helps counter cramping and bloating.

 It  also  aids  in  treating serious  conditions  such  as  gastric ulcers  and  colon cancer

  • Maintain good heart, bone and muscle health.

The heart is also a muscle,  the fruit’s high potassium and Vitamin D content, is extremely beneficial for improving our muscle health.

Vitamin D helps to improve the calcium absorption process, thereby strengthening our muscles.

Its calcium helps to treat and prevent bone-related issues such as osteoporosis and bone repair.

Thorn melon on a tree
Thorn melon on a tree
Image: MARGARET WANJIRU
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