Have you seen that green vegetable in the grocery store that looks like the fusion of a cucumber and potato? That, ladies and gentlemen, is the chayote squash, a produce item that is loaded with potassium, magnesium, zinc, protein, manganese, and vitamins B6, B9, and K. It has been praised for the folate content, which has been known to promote healthy cell division and reduce the risk of congenital deformities. Chayote could be the dietary addition you need to achieve a healthier body.
What Is Chayote?
The pear-shaped chayote squash is often overlooked by many grocery shoppers, but this could be because people are unaware of its many healthy benefits. Belonging to the gourd family, the chayote squash originated in central Mexico and other Latin American countries. It grows on a perennial vine, which can climb up fences, trees, or shrubs. While it isn’t the most popular vegetable, it has a few surprising benefits that you should know about.
The Benefits Of Chayote Squash
May Slow The Signs Of Aging
One of the primary causes of premature signs of aging is an overabundance of free radicals, which can wreak havoc on your cells. Chayote is extremely rich in antioxidants, which work to fight free radical damage, ultimately slowing the aging process by protecting cells. One of the primary antioxidants in chayote is vitamin C, which is necessary for collagen production. A recent test tube study found that chayote extract had a positive effect on human skin cells that were damaged by UV radiation.
May Help Control Blood Sugar
The high fiber content and low net carb value makes chayote an excellent vegetable for managing blood sugar levels. The combination of low carbs and soluble fiber can help fight the body’s insulin resistance because soluble fiber works to slow the digestion and absorption of carbohydrates. Insulin resistance occurs when cells become less sensitive to insulin, which regulates blood sugar. This can lead to high blood sugar levels, which can result in diabetes if dietary change doesn’t happen. Preliminary research suggests that chayote may play a role in increasing insulin sensitivity to help control blood sugar.
May Improve Liver Health
There is a growing percentage of people with fatty liver disease, a condition that results in excess fatty tissue in and around the liver. Too much fat can cause improper liver function. According to animal and test tube studies, chayote squash may prevent fat from accumulating in the liver. One animal study, in which rats were fed a high-fat diet, found that the addition of chayote to their diet reduced fatty acid deposits in their livers and cholesterol in their bodies.
May Support Healthy Pregnancy
Folate, or vitamin B9, should be consumed by everyone, but pregnant women or women who want to become pregnant should focus on including it in their diet. Since folate is necessary for fetal brain and spinal cord development, it has been researched to play a role in the prevention of birth defects. One chayote contains 40% of the recommended daily intake of folate, making it a great food to support a healthy pregnancy.
May Promote Heart Health
According to test tube studies, chayote contains antioxidant compounds that work to relax blood vessels, which helps to increase blood flow and reduce blood pressure. Chayote contains an antioxidant known as myricetin, which has demonstrated cholesterol-lowering properties in preliminary animal studies. Additionally, chayote squash is a great source of fiber, and a high-fiber diet has been associated with a reduced risk of heart disease.