Kiwano, also known as horned melon or African horned cucumber, is herbaceous vine that belongs to the melon family. It originates from southern and central parts of Africa, but it can be found in temperate areas around the world today. Kiwano grows in the fields and scrublands. It quickly occupies new areas and prevents growth of native plant species (it is classifies as weed in some parts of the world). People cultivate kiwano as a source of food and in ornamental purposes. Majority of globally consumed kiwano originate from California and New Zealand.
Kiwano melon is an exotic, peculiar-looking fruit from the central and southern regions of Africa.It’s formally known as Cucumis metuliferus but informally also goes by horned melonand African horned cucumber.When ripe, the thick outer skin of a kiwano melon is bright orange and covered in small spiny projections or horns. The inner flesh consists of a gelatinous, lime-green or yellow substance that houses a multitude of edible seeds.Though kiwano melon isn’t a fruit you’re likely to find in an average fruit basket, including it in your diet may be good for your health.
Here are the benefits of kiwano melon and tips on how to eat it.
1.contains a varieties of essential nutrients
Kiwano melon boasts an array of vitamins and minerals, many of which play a role in its ability to positively impact health.A single kiwano melon (209 grams) provides the following nutrients:
- Calories: 92
- Carbs: 16 grams
- Protein: 3.7 grams
- Fat: 2.6 grams
- Vitamin C: 18% of the Reference Daily Intake (RDI)
- Vitamin A: 6% of the RDI
- Vitamin B6: 7% of the RDI
- Magnesium: 21% of the RDI
- Iron: 13% of the RDI
- Phosphorus: 8% of the RDI
- Zinc: 7% of the RDI
- Potassium: 5% of the RDI
- Calcium: 3% of the RDI.
Kiwano melon is mainly comprised of water and relatively low in calories, carbs, and fat. About 16% of its calories come from protein — which is relatively high compared to other fruits.
This unique nutrient distribution makes kiwano melon suitable for a variety of diet plans.
2.promotes healthy red blood cell production
Kiwano melon is a good source of iron and provides about 13% of your daily needs .Red blood cells store an iron-containing substance called hemoglobin, which is used to transport oxygen through your body.Thus, an adequate supply of dietary iron is necessary for your body to produce enough healthy red blood cells for proper oxygenation.Plant sources of iron — such as kiwano melon — contain a form of the mineral known as non-heme iron. This form isn’t absorbed as efficiently as iron from animal sources.pairing non-heme iron with vitamin C enhances its absorption rate.Coincidentally, kiwano melon supplies a significant amount of vitamin C as well. This can improve the absorption of the iron present within the fruit, making it more effective for supporting red blood cell production and oxygen transport.
3.promotes blood sugar controll
Kiwano melon has a low glycemic index, meaning it doesn’t cause a significant spike in blood sugar after you eat it.Additionally, it’s a rich source of magnesium — a mineral that’s directly involved in the metabolism of glucose (sugar) and insulin .A small study found that kiwano melon extract significantly reduced blood sugar in diabetic rats but not in animals with normal blood sugar levels .Ultimately, more research is needed to determine whether kiwano melon affects blood sugar in humans.
Research that focuses specifically on kiwano melon’s effect on health is minimal. However, many of the nutrients it contains are well-known for supporting your body’s systems in other ways:
Supports bone health: Kiwano melon provides nutrients that support bone remodeling and maintenance of bone strength, including magnesium, vitamin C, and zinc.
Encourages healthy skin: The vitamin C and water in kiwano melon may support collagen production, wound healing, and protection from sun damage.
Promotes heart health: Kiwano melon is a rich source of magnesium and potassium. These minerals can reduce inflammation, prevent the accumulation of arterial plaque, and help regulate blood pressure.
Strengthens immunity: Kiwano melon also offers multiple nutrients that are vital for a healthy immune system, including vitamin C, zinc, iron, and magnesium.