There are some unique looking foods out there, but perhaps none more so than the kiwano. Also known in some regions as the horned melon, kiwano has an easily identifiable exterior because of what appears to be horns on a red and yellow shell. Once you open the kiwano, you’ll find a lime green interior with seeds that appears to be a mixture of a honeydew and a cucumber.
That’s because the kiwano is actually a member of both the cucumber and melon families, furthering its uniqueness. Some people have said that it tastes similar to a banana mixed with passionfruit, while others have said that there’s a hint of lime or cucumber in there as well. Some people might be hesitant to try a kiwano because of its appearance, but it’s going to be great for your health if you do. To show you why you shouldn’t fear the kiwano, let’s take a look at the nutritional value and proven health benefits that you get from this fruit.
Nutrition of Kiwano
Kiwano is one of those fruits that tends to be very low in calories, containing just 44 calories in a 100 gram serving (which is about 3.5 ounces). In that same serving, you’ll be getting nearly two grams of protein and six grams of dietary fiber, making a nice dent into your daily recommended values. There are plenty of vitamins to be found in lower amounts within kiwano, as vitamin C is the most abundant at six percent daily value.
Others that come in right around the five percent mark include vitamin A, thiamin, niacin, pantothenic acid and vitamin B6. Kiwano is more known for its minerals, as you’ll get more than 10 percent of daily value in both iron and magnesium. Kiwano is also a significant source of phosphorus and zinc at five percent, while manganese and potassium are just under that mark. Kiwano has no cholesterol and is very low in fat, with just over one gram (no saturated fat).
Low Calorie Option
One of the biggest aspects to any successful weight loss plan is the ability to fight off cravings. This can be easier said than done as cutting excess calories out of your diet can leave you feeling hungry. This is why you should turn to foods such as kiwano to boost your weight loss. The low calorie count in each serving is already a bonus with just 44 per 100 grams, a nice calorie ratio.
On top of that, kiwano is comprised mainly of water to help you feel more full, but the real big benefit comes from the high amount of fiber. When you add more fiber to your diet, your stomach will feel more full, allowing you to avoid those mid-afternoon hunger cravings. It will also provide a nice boost to your metabolism, allowing you to burn more calories even while you’re not exercising.
Vitamin E can be pretty hard to come by in certain foods, but you’ll find plenty of it within each serving of kiwano. Vitamin E is made up of tocopherols and tocotrienols, both of which have a great benefit for your brain’s health. Researchers have found that those who get enough vitamin E in their diet reduce their risks of Alzheimer’s disease and other neurological diseases because of the improved function of neurotransmitters.
Even the overall aging process will begin to slow down once you start eating more kiwano because of the nutrients within. This also applies to your skin, as antioxidants work to clear out the free radicals that can harm skin cells, causing wrinkles and other early signs of aging. There’s no real fountain of youth, but doctors suggest eating fruits such as kiwano to maintain a younger mind and appearance.
Speaking of those free radicals found in your body, making you look older isn’t the only harmful thing that they do. Free radicals attack the healthy cells of your body, causing a wide range of illnesses that unfortunately includes cancer. Kiwano helps you fight back against free radicals due to the wide range of vitamins and antioxidants. One of the more powerful antioxidants, alpha-tocopherol, is known to rid free radicals very effectively.
Getting a fair amount of vitamin C in your diet also gives a boost to your immune system, increasing the white blood cell count to prevent certain illnesses. Getting these antioxidants and vitamins in your system is the best thing you can do to prevent diseases both small and large. You also won’t have to worry about getting too much vitamin C as any excess of this nutrient is flushed out naturally by the body.
When you start to get older, one of the first things that you’ll notice is that your vision isn’t performing the way that it used to. With a decrease in overall vision, your eyes are susceptible to a lot of age-related problems, including macular degeneration. One of the main aspects that this happens so commonly for people is a lack of vitamin A and other antioxidants in their diets.
Kiwano has a nice boost of vitamin A that acts as a carotenoid to attack free radicals that are the cause of many eye problems. Eating more kiwano will also enhance your ability to see clearly at night and avoid cataracts. This is just another reason why kiwano is so effective in helping you feel younger!
Because of how fast paced today’s society can be with all of its hustle and bustle, a lot of us are under too much stress. Stress can lead to a lot of unwanted side effects that include weight gain, lack of sleep and even heart disease. To balance your stress, you’ll need to balance the hormones in your body. Thankfully, kiwano has been shown to help reduce stress and anxiety by curbing adrenaline for when you only need it. This will allow you to sleep better and even get the energy boost that you need to get through an exercise without burning out too quickly.
Summing it Up
With all of the great news about this fruit you might not have heard of before, is there really anything you need to be aware of? Just make sure that when eating kiwano that you’re getting a ripe fruit, as the unripened version can be hard to digest, causing issues in your stomach. You’ll obviously also want to avoid eating the exterior because of the ruggedness which clearly won’t be fun for your digestive system.
Outside of that minor tidbit, there really isn’t anything that brings up concern when eating kiwano. Some might have to get used to the taste since it’s certainly unique to some parts of the world, but it’s certainly delicious to most. You might struggle to find kiwano in some regions, but doing so is a great way to get some of the fantastic health benefits that it brings. Just don’t forget to bring a spoon to make eating a kiwano much easier!