When it comes to watching your figure, it’s best to include the healthiest ingredients on your plate. Exploring exotic fruits and vegetables can lead to discovering hidden gems that are slimming allies. One such example is a vegetable-fruit native to Central America known as chayote, also called “christophine”.
A distant relative of the cucumber, this squash, popularly grown in Asia, Africa, and the Caribbean, is appreciated for its tender texture and relatively neutral taste, both sweet and mild. It offers numerous health benefits.
A fiber-rich, low-calorie vegetable-fruit
With only about 15.5 kcal per 100g, chayote is extremely low in calories, but notably high in fiber, vitamins, and minerals. It boasts an excellent content of vitamins C and B9, which help strengthen the immune system. Additionally, it’s a good source of calcium, magnesium, and potassium, promoting better bone health. This vegetable, known as “chouchou” in Reunion Island, is also packed with antioxidants like carotenoids and flavonoids, which safeguard cells against damage from free radicals.
Chayote contains both soluble and insoluble fibers. Insoluble fibers prevent constipation and promote better intestinal transit, thereby improving digestion. Soluble fibers help regulate blood sugar levels and reduce blood cholesterol.
According to Passeport Santé, chayote has a relatively low glycemic index, around 25, indicating that its consumption does not lead to a sudden spike in blood glucose levels. This quality makes it an ideal choice for individuals focused on blood sugar management and weight control.
How to incorporate chayote into your diet?
Incorporating chayote into your diet is easy, as it is readily available in exotic supermarkets. This versatile vegetable-fruit can be featured in both savory and sweet dishes, including salads, stews, gratins, soups, cakes, tarts, or jams. Embracing chayote not only adds diversity to your meals but also contributes to your overall well-being, making it a delicious and nutritious choice for those mindful of their figure and health.