Wednesday, May 10, 2017
The Horned Melon - 'Cucumis metuliferus' - fam: Cucurbitaceae
The Cucumis metuliferus, Horned Melon, a.k.a. Kiwano, African Horned Cucumber, or African Horned Melon, Jelly Melon, Hedged Gourd, and Melano, is an annual vine in the cucumber and melon family, Cucurbitaceae. Its fruit has horn-like spines, hence the name 'horned melon'. Ripe fruit has an orange skin, and lime green, jelly-like flesh, with a refreshingly fruity taste, and texture, similar to a passionfruit, or pomegranate. C. metuliferus is native to Sub-Saharan Africa, and is now grown in the United States, Portugal, Italy, Germany, Chile, Australia, and New Zealand. 1
It is one of the few sources of water during the dry season in the Kalahari Desert although is primarily used as a snack or salad, and rarely for decoration. It can be eaten at any stage of ripening, but when over-ripened, will burst forcefully to release seeds. 1 Some of the most impressive health benefits of Kiwano include its ability to improve cognitive ability, prevent certain types of chronic diseases, aid in weight loss, protect the skin, boost the metabolism, increase eye health, strengthen bones, optimize digestion, and speed up wound healing. 2
Considering that this fruit is more than 80% water, it has the ability to fill you up without packing on any pounds. There are high levels of alpha-tocopherol found in kiwano, which is a potent antioxidant form of vitamin E. The significant levels of vitamin A found in kiwano make it an important booster for vision health.
Although many different nutrients can positively affect the brain, vitamin E is specifically linked to slowing the onset of Alzheimer’s disease and dementia. Zinc is a mineral that is often overlooked in human health, but it plays a key role in the metabolism, as well as in producing protein, which is necessary for wound healing and repair of organs, tissues, blood vessels, and cells.
Between vitamin A, vitamin C, natural antioxidants, and abundant organic compounds, kiwano is wonderful for staying young, both inside and out.
Research has connected some of the organic compounds in kiwano with the regulation of hormones, particularly adrenaline and other stress hormones. If you suffer from chronic stress or feel anxious, eating some kiwano can quickly ease your mind and get your body back to a calm, relaxed state. 2
REFERENCES: Wikipedia 1 Organic Facts 2