Kino’s Health Benefits

The kino , and belong to the family of cucurbits , is close to the melon and cucumber. This fruit is known by this name in the Brazilian market, however, abroad, it is called Kiwano.


This orange-colored fruit is oval-shaped and has thick, crooked spines. The pulp is yellow-green gelatinous and the seeds are whitish. It can be said that its interior reminds us of a passion fruit, for example.

It is worth noting that kino is unknown to Brazilians. This is due to the fact that, in addition to not being cultivated here, it is hardly commercialized.

This fruit is native to the Kalahari Desert in Southern Africa (South Africa, Angola, Botswana and Namibia).

Usually, the pulp is consumed raw and fresh. It can be used as a dessert, but there are those who prefer to use it in dishes, whether cooked or baked.


Kino is the source of:


This mineral, in addition to being fundamental for the formation of teeth and bones, helps in blood clotting and in the muscle contraction process. It is noteworthy that the daily consumption of calcium is essential to avoid problems arising from the absence of minerals, as well as osteoporosis, for example.


Phosphorus makes up cell membranes and acts on the formation of teeth and bones. In addition, it acts on the metabolism of carbohydrates and acts on muscle contractions.

C vitamin

This water-soluble vitamin, also called ascorbic acid, plays a key role in the maintenance of connective tissue. In addition to strengthening the immune system, vitamin C promotes the absorption of iron and acts in the synthesis of some amino acids.


This mineral participates in the mechanisms of normalization of neuromuscular activities and acts from the regulation to the distribution of water in the body’s cells.


Iron is the mineral responsible for transporting oxygen and carbon dioxide to cells. It is noteworthy that the lack of iron in the body in individuals can trigger anemia.


This mineral is essential for muscle contraction and relaxation. Additionally, it is seen as a natural tranquilizer, as it relaxes the intestinal tract and blood vessels.

It is important to mention that the seeds of this fruit contain several fatty acids, which include oleic and linoleic acid.

Oleic acid improves insulin sensitivity, which in turn helps control diabetes. Furthermore, this fatty acid, in addition to balancing the burning of fats in the body, ensures the proper storage and use of fats by the heart, which regulates metabolism.

With regard to linoleic acid, in addition to being part of the structure of cell membranes, it controls blood cholesterol levels. It is noteworthy that this acid strengthens the immune system and improves the permeability of veins and arteries.


Kino is considered a fruit that has several health benefits, such as:

1. Strengthening the immune system;

2. Helps in the digestive process;

3. Acts in the weight loss process;

4. Balances the intestinal flora;

5. It has isotonic action;

6. Provides a greater feeling of satiety;

7. It has a laxative effect; and

8. Acts as a digestive.


The kino plant is a vine that has accelerated growth and produces fruit up to five months after planting. If you want to have a kino tree at home, you need to buy seeds of the fruit, which can be easily found on the internet or in specialized physical stores. Once this is done, just do the planting in soil or in a pot.

Considering that Kino comes from Africa, it adapts easily to the climate of most Brazilian regions. This plant is highly sensitive to excess moisture and cold. The ideal temperature for germination is between 20ºC and 35ºC.


A large part of the fruit consumed in Brazil is imported, given that national production is very small. As such, it is often sold at exorbitant prices.


Kiwano is also known as kino or African cucumber. In addition to being an exotic fruit, it is seen as a great help food. This is because the African cucumber helps to solve problems related to food shortages in sub-Saharan Africa.


To obtain a delicious kino juice, it is possible to combine other ingredients. To do so, you must book:

  • 1 kino;
  • 400ml of ice water;
  • Two lemon juice;
  • Sugar (to taste); and
  • Ice (to taste).

Preparation mode:

Once all these ingredients have been set aside, blend the kino pulp, lemon juice, ice water and sugar in a blender. Beat well and then sift.

Serve over ice.

If you want, add mint.


The kino foot will develop better if it is exposed to the sun and receives little rain. If the region is rainy, it is necessary to protect the foot with a covering, since it does not tolerate water-impregnated soils.

It is important to mention that this vine should be led to a wall or support, if you prefer. It needs space to develop.


If you want to grow kino, please observe the following steps:

1st: Clean the seeds selected for planting. In addition, it is possible to find prepared seeds on the internet);

2nd: Seeds should be planted in a tray, pot or directly in the ground half a centimeter deep and covered with sieved earth;

3rd: Do not sow in months of intense temperature;

4th: Use a very sandy soil, drained and fertilized with earthworm humus or compost;

5: Seeds will germinate within six weeks.


Kino is a fruit little cultivated in Brazil and, due to that, little known to most people. This fruit has several properties for the body, given that it is rich in iron, calcium, potassium and vitamins A and C.

Still in this perspective, this plant with an arid and hot climate strengthens the immune system and balances the intestinal flora.

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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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