Plants

Health Benefits of Chuchu

The chayote, chayote belongs to the category “vegetable fruit”, as well as tomatoes. Being a fruit vegetable means that the seeds are in the edible part. It belongs to the Cucurbitaceae family , such as cucumber, pumpkin, watermelon and melon. In the Azores (Portugal), it is called caoita or machucho. In Madeira Island, also in Portuguese lands, it is known as pepinela or pimpinela and is served cooked with beans and potatoes.

The best known type is the pear shape, measuring between 10 and 20 cm, in various shades of green and with small thorns. There are also greenish and white rounded chayote similar to mini-pumpkins. Its origins go back to Panama and Costa Rica, but there are indications of chayote cultivation in the Caribbean, at the time of the discovery of America.

HOW TO PLANT CHAYOTE?

Growing chayote is easy. It falls off after ripening and soon after it forms the navel, from which the buds and roots will come out. Self-sufficient, this fruit vegetable has an extra reserve of water and nutrients for its development. The few requirements in relation to the soil include soils with phosphorus, fertilization with nitrogen, potassium and boron, and frequent irrigation. With such requirements, it germinates even in acidic soils.

Open a 50 x 50 cavity and place 1 kg of animal fertilizer and 100 grams of NPK fertilizer with formula 4-14-8. Plant chayote with the sprouts facing down and finish with class A soil conditioner. Fertilizer and conditioner should be reapplied every three months. The development starts with branches that will support the fruits, then small white flowers and, finally, small oval fruits in shades of green or cream. Harvesting takes between 80 and 110 days and must be carried out before full ripening, that is, when they are large and heavy.

CHAYOTE PROPERTIES

They are known since antiquity, so it was one of the most cultivated vegetables. For starters, almost 96% of chayote is water. Rich in nutrients, the fruit is a source of fiber, calcium, potassium, phosphorus, zinc, manganese, magnesium, vitamins A, B, C, E and K complex, in addition to antioxidants such as luteolin, polyphenols and flavonoids. Are you one of those who don’t see grace in the fruit? Your opinion will change after knowing the 11 benefits of chayote.

  1. strengthens the bones

Calcium, magnesium, phosphorus and vitamin K keep bones healthy. Therefore, it should be consumed to avoid osteoporosis and for those who already have bone problems.

  1. Improves bowel function

Chayote has more than 10% of the daily fiber requirements. It prevents and helps in combating constipation, as it makes the feces more malleable and easier to eliminate.

  1. good for thyroid problems

The thyroid gland regulates functions such as the menstrual cycle and sleep. It is by hormones T3 (triiodothyronine) and T4 (thyroxine), responsible for metabolism. Iodine is the mineral that acts directly on this gland and its absence causes overweight. Chayote should be consumed by those with hypothyroidism, as it helps the body to produce more T4, the hormone that speeds up metabolism.

  1. Prevents anemia

Few people know, but vitamin C helps with iron absorption. Zinc also has this function. Vitamin B9 increases the production of red blood cells, an item that usually decreases in anemia. Therefore, include chayote and other foods with this nutrient in the menu.

  1. good for the heart

The chemical compound homocysteine ​​is related to cardiovascular problems. Vitamin B9 (or folic acid) prevents excess homocysteine. Fiber lowers the blood sugar level. Potassium, on the other hand, maintains blood pressure at a normal level and magnesium increases good cholesterol.

  1. Helps prevent cancer

Chayote has 17% of the daily requirement for vitamin C. Daily consumption helps to prevent tumors.

  1. makes you full of energy

Manganese converts protein and fat into energy. How about eating a chayote salad for lunch to end the day with a lot of energy? Do you work out? So know that vitamin C and magnesium from this fruit help in muscle recovery.

  1. protect the fetus

During pregnancy, vitamin B9 prevents cardiac, cranial and central nervous system malformations.

  1. acts against depression

The B-complex vitamins are very important for the nervous system. B6, for example, acts in the production and release of serotonin, the famous well-being neurotransmitter.

  1. Keep your skin and hair healthy

Chayote’s antioxidants remove toxins from the skin. Vitamin C acts in the production of collagen, the substance that makes the skin firm. Zinc, on the other hand, balances oil levels. Anyone with skin blemishes should invest in the fruit. Is your hair lifeless? Chayote has vitamin E, the nutrient responsible for nourishing the hair.

  1. helps to lose weight

A 100 gram serving of cooked chayote has only 24 calories. Want one more reason to include it in your diet? The high water content and fiber removes toxins and provide satiety, that is, it delays the feeling of hunger. Chayote juice is a great recipe for losing weight, check it out:

CHAYOTE JUICE WITH ORANGE

Ingredients

  • 1 chayote ;
  • Juice of 2 orange pears;
  • 1 cup of coconut water.

preparation mode

Beat the chayote, orange juice and coconut water in a blender. Consume without straining and if you want to sweeten it, use stevia.

HOW TO MAKE CHAYOTE?

Let’s start with the traditional chayote salad enhanced with shrimp.

CHAYOTE SALAD WITH SHRIMP

Ingredients

  • 3 chuchus cut into strips;
  • ½ kg of shrimp;
  • 3 cups of grated carrot tea;
  • 1 chopped tomato;
  • 1 onion cut into slices;
  • 250 grams of kani;
  • Smell green;
  • 2 crushed garlic cloves;
  • 1 lemon juice;
  • 1 lemon zest;
  • Salt and pepper to taste;
  • Olive oil to taste;

preparation mode

Cook the chayote until al dente. Place the shrimp in a skillet with the juice, lemon zest, pepper, garlic and oil and saute. Place chayote, tomato, carrot, onion, kani, green scent, salt and lemon zest in a bowl and mix well. Add the sauteed shrimp, stir and serve immediately.

CHAYOTE PIE

Ingredients

  • 1 cooked chayote cut into cubes;
  • 200 grams of chopped cheese;
  • 1 pack of chopped green scent;
  • ½ cup of oil;
  • 1 ½ cup of milk tea;
  • 1 cup of all-purpose flour;
  • Salt and black pepper to taste;
  • 1 teaspoon of powdered yeast.

Preparation mode

Beat eggs, milk, oil and salt in a blender. Add the wheat flour and beat a little more. Put this mixture in a container and add the chayote, which must be cold, the green smell and the yeast. Transfer to a buttered pan and bake for 30 minutes or until golden.

How about a braised chayote? Here, a different version with leeks and garlic.

SAUTEED CHAYOTE WITH LEEKS AND EGG

Ingredients

  • 3 cooked and diced chayote;
  • ½ cup of leeks;
  • 3 eggs;
  • 1 small chopped onion;
  • 2 tablespoons of butter;
  • 1 tablespoon chopped cilantro;
  • Salt and black pepper to taste.

Preparation mode

Beat eggs and set aside. In a pan, fry the onion with butter until golden. Add the eggs and other ingredients and stir until golden.

The traditional chayote gratin gains another air with cheese and ham.

CHUCHU AU GRATIN WITH CHEESE AND HAM

Ingredients

  • 4 chuchus cut into thin strips;
  • 1 bunch of parsley or parsley;
  • 2 eggs;
  • 100 grams of cheese cut into small cubes;
  • 100 grams of ham cut into small cubes;
  • ½ cup of heavy cream;
  • ¼ cup of grated Parmesan cheese to sprinkle;
  • Salt and black pepper to taste.

Preparation mode

Preheat the oven to 220 o . Butter a baking dish and add the chayote and ham. Add salt, pepper and parsley or parsley. Beat eggs, milk, cream and cut cheese in a blender. Transfer this mixture over the base of the gratin. Bake for 25 minutes or until golden. Sprinkle the gratin with the grated cheese.

The famous chayote souffle could not be left out of our chayote recipes:

SOUFFLE FROM CHUCHU

Ingredients

  • 4 large chuchus;
  • 1 cup of milk;
  • 2 whites;
  • 1 tablespoon of butter;
  • 1 American cup of milk;
  • 2 tablespoons of baking powder;
  • 4 tablespoons of grated Parmesan cheese;
  • 1 tablespoon of cornstarch;
  • Salt and black pepper to taste.

Preparation mode

Preheat oven to 180 o . Cook the chayote and season. Drain the water, chop and set aside. Beat the egg whites until snowy and set aside. Place the cheese, starch and milk in a bowl. Stir this mixture until you get a smooth cream. Add chayote and mix well. Add the egg whites and gently stir a little more. Transfer to a buttered pan and bake for 35 minutes or until golden.

So, are you going to give the benefits of chayote a chance? Read our contents and discover fun facts about vegetables, vegetables and fruits.

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Robert Asprin, APD is a non-dieting Accredited Practicing Dietitian passionate about inspiring positive changes in eating and lifestyle behaviors to help improve health while nurturing relationships with food and body.

Robert Asprin

Robert Asprin, APD is a non-dieting Accredited Practicing Dietitian passionate about inspiring positive changes in eating and lifestyle behaviors to help improve health while nurturing relationships with food and body.

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