Top Eight Health benefits of thorn (horned) melon
Looking for a delicious and healthy addition to your diet? Learn about the wonders of Thorn Melon and its many health benefits.
Thorn melon, also known as Kiwano, is an exotic fruit from Africa's Central and South regions. With its vibrant golden orange skin, this tropical delight offers a unique taste and many health benefits. Whether consumed unripe or fully ripe, the thorn melon is packed with essential vitamins, minerals, and proteins that positively impact one's overall health. This article will explore the advantages of including thorn melon in your diet, from promoting heart health to improving brain function. So let's dive in and discover the wonders of this extraordinary fruit.
Nutritional Profile of Thorn Melon
Before we delve into the specific benefits, let's take a closer look at the nutritional profile of thorn melon. This nutrient-dense fruit is low in calories and rich in essential vitamins and minerals that support overall well-being. Here is a breakdown of its nutritional composition per 100 grams:
- Water: 89 g
- Calories: 44 kcal
- Carbohydrates: 7.56 g
- Total Fat: 1.26 g
- Protein: 1.78 g
- Calcium: 13 mg
- Iron: 1.13 mg
- Phosphorus: 37 mg
- Potassium: 123 mg
- Vitamin A: 108 µg
- Vitamin C: 5.3 mg
- Vitamin K: 231 µg
As we can see, thorn melon is high in water content, which helps keep the body hydrated. It is also a good source of vitamins A, C, and K and essential minerals like iron and potassium.
The Health Benefits of Thorn Melon
1. Promotes Heart Health and Lowers Blood Pressure
Thorn melon contains antioxidants that help keep blood vessels and nerves healthy. Its high vitamin E content neutralizes damaging free radicals, reducing the risk of chronic diseases such as cardiovascular disease and cancer. Additionally, the fruit's seeds contain fatty acids like linoleic acid and oleic acid, which can aid in lowering blood pressure. Incorporating thorn melon into your diet can contribute to maintaining a healthy cardiovascular system.
2. Aids in Weight Loss and Reduces the Risk of Obesity
With its 80% water content and low-calorie count, thorn melon is an excellent addition to a weight loss journey. The fruit contains dietary fiber, vitamin A, C, calcium, and iron. These nutrients provide the necessary energy while keeping calorie intake in check. By including thorn melon in your meals, you can feel satisfied while supporting your weight management goals.
3. May Help in the Management of Diabetes
Thorn melon contains significant amounts of magnesium, which has been shown to impact individuals with diabetes positively. Magnesium helps regulate blood sugar levels and improves food absorption in the body. Furthermore, the fruit's zinc content aids in protein production, normal carbohydrate metabolism, and insulin discharge. Including thorn melon in a balanced diabetic diet may contribute to better blood sugar control.
4. Supports Brain Health and Cognitive Function
Thorn melon is rich in tocopherol variants, a form of vitamin E that helps keep the mind fresh and boosts cognitive function. Vitamin E has been linked to slowing down the onset of dementia and Alzheimer's disease. Additionally, the fruit contains sodium, which helps electrolytes conduct nerve signals and regulate fluid balance in the brain. Including thorn melon in your diet can support brain health and potentially reduce the risk of age-related cognitive decline.
5. Improves Vision and Eye Health
The vitamin A content in thorn melon is beneficial for maintaining good eye health. Vitamin A is a carotenoid with antioxidant properties, preventing macular degeneration and protecting against free radicals that can lead to eye irritation and various eye problems, including cataracts. Including thorn melon in your diet can contribute to proper retina functioning and overall eye health.
6. Helps Reduce Stress and Anxiety
Thorn melon can act as a natural stress reliever. The fruit helps regulate stress hormones, such as adrenaline, in the human body. It contains a good amount of zinc, a mineral that improves metabolic processes. Thorn melon's high beta-carotene antioxidant content also aids in improving the immune system, protecting the body from the onset of diseases. Incorporating thorn melon into your diet can reduce stress and anxiety while supporting overall well-being.
7. Relieves Stomach Problems and Improves Gut Function
The dietary fibers present in thorn melon promote a healthy digestive system by improving digestion and regulating bowel movements. Its gelatinous nature reduces constipation and helps counter cramping and bloating. Additionally, thorn melon has been used in treating severe conditions such as gastric ulcers and colon cancer. You can support a healthy gut and maintain optimal digestive function by including thorn melon in your diet.
8. Maintains Good Heart, Bone, and Muscle Health
Thorn melon's high potassium and vitamin D content are highly beneficial for maintaining good heart health. Potassium helps regulate heart muscle function and blood pressure, while vitamin D improves calcium absorption, strengthening muscles. The calcium in thorn melon helps prevent and treat bone-related issues, such as osteoporosis and bone repair. By incorporating thorn melon into your diet, you can support the health of your heart, bones, and muscles.
In conclusion, thorn melon, also known as Kiwano, is a tropical fruit with many health benefits. From promoting heart health, aiding in weight loss, improving brain function, and supporting gut health, this exotic fruit is a nutritional powerhouse. Incorporating thorn melon into your diet can contribute to overall well-being and add a touch of tropical delight to your meals. So why try this unique fruit and experience its incredible benefits for yourself?
FAQs (Frequently Asked Questions)
Is thorn melon safe for individuals with pollen allergies?
While limited research is available, individuals with oral allergy syndrome (OAS) or pollen allergies may experience a reaction when consuming thorn melon. Allergic reactions may include itchiness or swelling of the mouth, face, lips, tongue, throat, hives, itchy ears, and difficulty breathing. It is recommended to consult with a healthcare professional if you have known allergies before consuming thorn melon.
Can thorn melon help with weight loss?
Yes, thorn melon can aid in weight loss. With its high water content, low-calorie count, and abundance of dietary fibers, thorn melon provides a satisfying option for those looking to manage their weight. It offers essential nutrients while helping to remove harmful substances from the body.
How should thorn melon be stored?
Thorn melon should be stored at room temperature and can last weeks before it ripens. Once the fruit is ripe, consuming it within a few days is recommended. Handle thorn melon with caution due to its spikes, as they can cause injuries to your hands.
Can thorn melon be used in recipes?
Thorn melon can be a delightful addition to various recipes. It can be used in fruit salads, smoothies, sorbets, and sauces. Its unique flavor and texture can add an exotic touch to your culinary creations.
Is thorn melon related to kiwi fruit?
Despite the name "kiwano," thorn melon is not biologically related to kiwi fruit. The name was given due to the resemblance of the fruit's flesh to that of the kiwi fruit, with its juicy, emerald-green, jelly-like meat.
Can thorn melon be consumed both unripe and fully ripe?
Thorn melon can be consumed both unripe (green color) and fully ripe (bright golden orange). The taste of unripe thorn melon is a blend of banana, lime, cucumber, and melon, while the taste of ripe fruit resembles that of a cucumber.
The information provided in this article is for informational purposes only and should not be considered medical advice. Consult with a healthcare professional before making any dietary changes or if you have any specific health concerns.
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