9 Benefits of Chayote for Body Health
Netgenz - Health | Having the scientific name Sechium edule, chayote is not a foreign vegetable in our country. Although in fact, this plant with the international name chayote was first cultivated in a place between southern Mexico and Honduras.
Over time, chayote spread to various Asian countries, including Indonesia. Generally, chayote is processed with coconut milk and made into a crunchy vegetable. Sometimes, fried tofu is cut into small pieces and quail eggs are added as protein.
What is usually eaten is the fruit. It has a pear-like shape, is green in color, and has lines and wrinkles on the outside. Its length is between 10-25 cm with an average weight of 200-450 grams. The skin is thin and united with the flesh of the fruit.
Surprisingly, not only the fruit can be consumed, but also the leaves, roots, stems, and seeds! Of course, it takes special skills to make it taste so delicious.
Here are 9 Benefits of Chayote for Body Health
1. Source of vitamin C
When we talk about vitamin C, we probably immediately think of oranges or guavas. In fact, chayote is also a source of vitamin C, lo! Not sure?
A study published in the 2018 Chemical Academic Journal found out the vitamin C content in old (ripe) chayote seeds. As a result, the vitamin C content in it is 0.56%.
Vitamin C is an antioxidant that helps protect cells from the effects of free radicals, according to the Mayo Clinic. In addition, vitamin C is needed for the development, change, and renewal of body cells.
2. Lowering blood pressure
The research described in the Proceedings of the 1st International Conference on Community Health in 2019 found out the impact of chayote on the blood pressure of elderly people suffering from hypertension at Teluknaga Health Center.
This study included 13 elderly people aged 60-70 years around 92.3% and 75-90 years around 7.7%. Elderly women were 84.6% and men 15.4%.
As a result, consumption of chayote juice was effective in reducing systolic blood pressure by 30 mmHg and diastolic by 10 mmHg. Before consuming chayote juice, the average systolic blood pressure was 160 mmHg and diastolic was 90 mmHg. Thereafter, the mean systolic was 130 mmHg and diastolic was 80 mmHg.
3. Protects against kidney toxicity
A report published in the Bangladesh Journal of Pharmacology in 2013 investigated the defensive activity of chayote leaf water concentrate on gentamicin, nephrotoxicity (kidney toxicity) due to potassium dichromate induction, and diabetic nephropathy (kidney disease caused by diabetes) due to streptozotocin induction in experimental rats.
Apparently, in all 3 situations, chayote concentrate of about 200 mg/kg significantly reduced blood urea, blood urea nitrogen, and serum creatinine levels. Urea is a substance left over from the breakdown of proteins and amino acids in the liver.
Serum uric acid content decreased significantly, while renal histology increased. Thus, it can be proven that the water concentrate of chayote leaves has a protective effect on nephrotoxicity.
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4. Demonstrate the cardioprotective activity
Furthermore, a study published in the Bangladesh Journal of Pharmacology in 2015 found out if the ethanol concentration of chayote has cardioprotective activity. It refers to all the processes, efforts, and facilities that play a role in protecting the heart.
This study included albino Wistar rats weighing 150-200 grams per head. They were given ethanol concentrate of chayote in the amount of 100 mg/kg BW and 200 mg/kg BW for 28 days.
As a result, the levels of serum transaminase, lactate dehydrogenase, alkaline phosphate, creatinine kinase, cholesterol (overall, triglycerides, and LDL) decreased significantly. In addition, there is an increase in HDL cholesterol or good cholesterol.
It can be concluded that rats given the ethanol concentrate of chayote showed fewer degenerative changes than those given isoproterenol (a drug for bradycardia).
5. Has antioxidant and anti-inflammatory effects
Metabolic syndrome is a risk factor for cognitive impairment and deficiency in the elderly. Triggers are oxidative depression and acute infection. Alternative anti-oxidant and anti-inflammatory therapy that is safe is the consumption of chayote. Why?
The research, published in the 2019 Antioxidants journal, aims to find out the impact of consuming dried chayote powder supplements 3x a day each 500 mg for 6 weeks in the elderly. This study included 12 elderly people, which were divided into 10 women and 2 men. They have metabolic syndrome.
During treatment, they experienced a reduction in lipoperoxide focus and an increase in overall antioxidant status. In addition, oxidative depression decreased significantly. So, it can be concluded that the consumption of dried chayote has an anti-oxidant and anti-inflammatory effect in the elderly who have metabolic syndrome.
6. Shows antibacterial activity
The content of tannins and flavonoids is abundant in the fruit and seeds of chayote. Research in the 2020 International Journal of All Research Education and Scientific Methods investigated the antibacterial activity of chayote on foodborne bacteria.
The bacteria defined are Bacillus cereus, E. coli, Pseudomonas aeruguinosa, Klebsiella pneumoniae, Vibrio cholerae, and MRSA. According to the initial phytochemical analysis, chayote showed astonishing results on foodborne bacteria.
Meanwhile, according to a 2013 study published in Advances in Applied Science Research, concentrates of chloroform and methanol pulp and chayote seeds showed antibacterial activity in the majority of Gr-negative bacteria tested (Escherichia coli, Salmonella typhimurium, and Shigella flexneri). However, the concentrate was not able to regulate the growth of Gr-positive bacteria.
7. Lowering blood glucose levels
Research published in the Indian Journal of Public Health Research and Development in 2018 looked at the impact of chayote on the blood glucose of high school teachers who were in the prediabetes stage. Chayote is given to them for 30 days.
As a result, there were differences in blood glucose content before and after interference in the sequence given the chayote and nutrition studies. This makes chayote can be a healthy alternative to lower blood glucose levels in people with prediabetes.
8. Potentially treat gastric ulcers
Chayote is thought to have antiulcer activity. To be sure, a study published in the International Journal of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences in 2012 investigated the antiulcer activity of chayote ethanol concentrate on Wistar rats.
Apparently, the ethanol concentration of chayote in the amount of 100 and 200 mg/kg BW resulted in a significant reduction in the ulcer index and protected the gastric mucosal epithelium from damage due to ethanol. It was concluded that this fruit has an antiulcerogenic character.
For information, gastric ulcers are injuries that develop in the lining of the stomach. According to the National Health Service (NHS), the symptoms are feeling a burning pain or gnawing at the center of the stomach.
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9. Contains folic acid
Lastly, chayote is rich in folic acid. Based on a study published in the Indonesian Food and Nutrition Progress in 2019, the folic acid content is 93 mcg per 100 g of chayote.
Another name for folic acid is vitamin B9. This vitamin is important for the development of red blood cells and the development and functioning of healthy cells. According to the Mayo Clinic, folic acid is important during early pregnancy to reduce the risk of birth defects in the brain and spine.
The recommended daily amount for adults is 400 mcg. For women who are planning to get pregnant, the number is getting bigger, which is between 400-1,000 mcg every day