By Mercy Gitau
There is nothing on earth like the horned melon or Kiwano in Kiswahili, a yellow-orange or golden color fruit on the outside, green and translucent with a lot of seeds on the inside. This fruit is naturally found in tropical and subtropical sub-Saharan regions of Africa.
This nutrient dense, antioxidant rich fruit has been revered as a symbol of health fertility. Its scientific name is cucumis metuliferus. The horned melon has several vernacular and other names such as African cucumber, bitter wild cucumber, English tomato, Kiwano melon and thorn melon.
Horned melon has incredible benefits for our bodies and may lower the risk of all sorts of diseases. Best way to incorporate this fruit into diet is as fresh juice, fruit salad or fruit snack. Horned melons are sweet and tart, although the taste has been compared to cucumber or combination of cucumber and banana.
One cup of horned melon 233 grams contains 103 kilo calories. According to USAD (United States Academic Decathlon), major nutrients contained in this fruits are: Iron (32.88%), magnesium (22.14%), vitamin C (13.67%), phosphorus (12.39%) and Vitamin B6 (11.31%).
Ever since the World Health Organization (WHO) recognized the principle nutritional illness that affect sub-Saharan Africa, studies have been performed to determine plants like horned melon which could supply the required nutrition as well as micro nutrients so as to fight these types of inadequacies.
Since the horned melon can be grown in dry regions and is particularly very nourishing, it will assist improving malnutrition in Africa along with other parts of developing world.
1. Horned melon contains numerous antioxidants.
The seeds in this fruit contain a-tocophered and y-tocopherol which are both organic types of vitamin E. This vitamin has a health advantage which includes healthy skin, heart, muscles, nerves and red blood cells.
It also helps counteract harmful fee-radicals that can induce long term illnesses like heart problems and cancer as well.
Additionally, vitamin E helps decrease chances of Alzheimer’s as well as Parkinson’s disease.
The yellow-green colored pigment perfectly located at the seeds and also pulp of horned melon include the carotenoid, beta carotene, popularly known as vitamin A. Beta carotene assists strengthen the body’s defense mechanisms and sustain eye and skin health.
It may also help cancer prevention simply by suppressing the growth of free radicals. A diet abundant with vegetables and fruit which contain carotenoids just like beta carotone, lycopene and lutein may also assist repair as well as safeguard DNA, therefore decreasing the aging procedure.
2. Beneficial for eye.
Horned melon is rich in Vitamin A which is a vital nutrient for the assistance of the retina function within the eye which retains eyesight. Also, Vitamin A fortifies the strength of the mucosal lining, the very first line of protection from infection within the nasal passages, throat and intestinal tract.
3. Good for metabolism.
A kiwano offers 1mg of zinc which is required every day. Zinc is essentially important because it plays a role in the development of protein that repairs wounds and also produces blood cells.
In addition, Zinc takes part in the function along with the discharge of insulin essential for normal carbohydrate metabolism.
4. Stops premature aging.
Horned melon is a source of Vitamin C which is essentially required for the function of numerous body systems. This Vitamin is important for generation of collagen, an element of skin tissue utilized for making as well as repairing epidermal and organ tissues.
It also safeguards cells from injury brought on by free radicals and harmful toxins, waste by-products of metabolism that may result in the growth and development of disease and result in untimely aging.