Vegetables

Jiló’s health benefits

The jiló is the fruit of the jilo tree, scientific name Solanum gilo, an herbaceous plant that can reach up to a meter and a half in height. Jiló originates from West Africa and was brought to Brazil during slavery, and is now widely cultivated, especially in the states of São Paulo, Rio de Janeiro and Minas Gerais. Its most striking feature is its bitter taste, which at first may not please all palates, but whose consumption brings many health benefits.

A source of proteins, carbohydrates and minerals such as calcium, iron and phosphorus, in addition to vitamins A, C and B5, eggplant helps protect the cardiac system, fight bad breath, eliminate toxins from our body, improve the digestive system and help with weight loss.

For those who do not like the bitter taste and want to benefit from the properties of jiló, soaking it in salted water helps to reduce the bitterness. Some forms of preparation also make the bitter taste more subtle. One suggestion is to consume it in the form of farofa and eat it together with other foods.

To preserve its properties during preparation, it should preferably be steamed or in a little water at low temperature, thus ensuring its nutritional value and low caloric value. Jilo can be consumed cooked, fried, grilled and as an ingredient in various recipes.

There are different types of jiló. In Brazil, the most commonly found are the round and elongated jiló. There is also the giant jiló which is in the same family as the common jiló and is less bitter. The fruits of Jiló Gigante Jaíba can reach the size of an eggplant, measuring between 8 and 10 cm in diameter and weighing an average of 400 to 500 grams.

WHAT IS THE JILÓ FOR

The eggplant is a fruit markedly bitter taste and has several beneficial properties to the body. A source of vitamin A, C, B complex, in minerals such as phosphorus, calcium and iron and substances such as flavonoids, alkaloids and steroids, it has its medicinal use as a digestive and ally in the treatment of liver disorders and biliary dyspepsia.

Its consumption is indicated to improve cholesterol, diabetes, diarrhea, fever, liver problems, flu and colds. As it contains few calories and a lot of water in its composition, it is an ally in weight loss diets.

BENEFITS OF JILO

Although the bitter taste does not please all palates, the benefits of jiló make up for its consumption. Its low caloric value and large amount of water and fiber in its composition favor those in search of weight loss.

Jilo also has calcium, phosphorus, iron and vitamins of the B and C complex, flavonoids, steroid alkaloids that have an important antioxidant property. Its consumption helps protect the cardiac system, as it has substances that prevent bad cholesterol from accumulating in the arteries. It is still used to treat liver disorders and to control bad breath.

– Helps in disease prevention

Due to its antioxidant properties, jilo helps fight some types of cancer. The high fiber content and the low amount of fat are important for the health of the gastrointestinal tract and for the prevention of health problems such as colorectal cancer and constipation.

– Aids in weight loss

Consuming jiló loses weight. It contains a good amount of water, about 90% of its composition, and a good amount of fiber that promotes satiety, reducing the amount of calories ingested and fighting fluid retention. .

– Beneficial for the heart

Jiló is a source of vitamin B1, known as thiamine. It improves circulation and protects the heart muscle. It also has potassium, a mineral that acts in the regulation of blood pressure and heartbeat.

– Beneficial for people with diabetes

Because it has a low carbohydrate content and a good amount of fiber, jilo helps control blood glucose, an important property for people with diabetes.

– Improves digestion

The jilo stimulates the secretion of digestive enzymes that promote better digestion, nutrient absorption and elimination of toxins. This fruit also has beneficial properties for the liver, being considered a stimulant of liver metabolism .

– Improves bad breath

The consumption of Jiló stimulates salivation, which has a bactericidal action against agents that cause bad breath, promoting oral health.

HOW TO MAKE JILO

Jiló can be consumed cooked, fried, sautéed, grilled and as an ingredient in several recipes. In order not to lose its nutrients, the best option is to sauté the jiló or cook it at a low temperature and with little water. Another tip is to use the cooking water to make rice or soups, making the most of your vitamins.

To get rid of the jilo’s characteristic bitter taste, which is often unappealing, just cut the jilo into four parts and soak in salted water for about 15 minutes before cooking.

JILO RECIPES

The jiló is a fruit that is often looked upon with fear due to its reputation for being very bitter. The bitterness is really a characteristic, but for those who do not like the taste, the bitterness can be removed if the jiló is salted before its preparation or used as an ingredient in the preparation of flour, for example.

Its benefits are greater than its reputation for bitterness. A source of vitamin A, vitamin C, B vitamins, phosphorus, calcium, iron, fiber and potassium, it is an ally in weight loss, heart health and the proper functioning of the digestive and liver systems.

Each 100 grams of jilo has only 38 calories, 1 gram of fat, 7 g of carbohydrates, 1.37 g of protein and 2.8 g of fiber, and a large part of its composition is water.

Chillo juice with lemon is a recipe that can be included in weight loss diets. In addition to losing weight, this juice also helps to prevent heart disease, liver problems and lower cholesterol.

JILÓ JUICE WITH LEMON

Ingredients

  • 1 lemon
  • 1 jilo
  • 250 ml of water
  • Sweetener to taste

Preparation mode

Wash well and cut the jiló excluding its ends. Cut the lemon into 4 parts. Beat the jiló, lemon and water in a blender. Sweeten to taste.

Take preferably without straining, as this keeps your fibers that help with satiety and better functioning of the intestine.

The juice can be consumed up to 3 times a day. For people with gastritis, it is best to reduce consumption to 3 times a week.

FRIED JILO

Ingredients

  • 5 pieces of jilo
  • 1 cup of wheat flour
  • salt to taste
  • Frying oil

Preparation mode

Clean the jiló, cut into slices and place it inside a container with water and salt for 15 minutes to remove the bitterness. Then pass each slice of jiló in the flour, covering well and fry until golden.

JILO CHIPS

Ingredients

  • 5 jilos
  • 1 teaspoon of salt
  • Frying oil
  • 1 tablespoon of lemon juice

Preparation mode

Wash the jiló well and slice without removing the skin. Soak in water with salt and lemon juice for 10 to 15 minutes. Then fry in clean oil until golden. Drain it well in a colander and it’s ready to serve.

 

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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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