by Ward W. Bond, PhD
African cucumber taste has been compared to a combination of cucumber and zucchini or a combination of banana, cucumber and lemon. 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.
African Cucumber is very high in alpha-tocopherol, which is a potent from of Vitamin E. This makes this fruit a free radical fighter which will benefit cardiovascular, brain health and the prevention of cancer.
Your mom told you to eat carrots so you would have healthy eyesight, but this fruit has high levels of Vitamin A in the form of carotenoids that help macular degeneration and maintain eye health. When you see fruits that are orange and yellow in color, the eyes have it!
The antioxidant dense fruit doesn’t stop there as it has high levels of Vitamin C, which fights free radicals, needed for healthy arteries, fights off colds and flu and strengthens collagen. Who knew this overlooked fruit packed so much power! African Cucumber has the valuable mineral Zinc is needed for a healthy immune system and wound healing. With both Vitamin A and Zinc in the same fruit makes it’s a superfruit with potent healing powers. You see, both of these nutrients rely on one another to improve your immune system and keep you healthy.
It’s also a bone building fruit with plenty of calcium and if you are dealing with osteoporosis or trying to heal from a broken bone, this a fruit to consider. The high fiber content is ideal to improve gastrointestinal health. Fiber is needed for proper bowel movements, regulating blood sugar and is perfect for heart health.
A Final Word of Warning: The bitter forms of kiwano, before they are ripe, can have dangerous levels of chemicals that are not present when the fruit is ready to eat. This toxicity can cause stomach issues, headaches, and fevers, but is not known to be life-threatening.