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The Health Benefits of Sayote Plants

The Health Benefits of Sayote Plants

Many people may be familiar with different kinds of green vegetables when they find them in their favorite viands. For one, you may be familiar with cabbage used for nilaga or the sayote in your favorite tinola. But, have you ever wondered about the specific health benefits of a particular vegetable present on your plate? This article takes you through the health benefits of the sayote plant (chayote).

Getting to Know More About the Sayote Plant

One remarkable feature about sayote is its appearance, which resembles that of a pear. But the sayote plant (Sechium edule) is actually a type of squash belonging to the Cucurbitacae family alongside other squashes and cucumbers.

The sayote plant is mainly used as an ingredient in a variety of nutritious stews and dishes. Its edible parts, like the fruit, stem, and young leaves, contain dietary fiber, protein, and vitamins than other plants. The seeds are also high in amino acid contents such as the following:

  • Aspartic acid
  • Glutamic acid
  • Alanine
  • Arginine
  • Cysteine
  • Phenylalanine
  • Glycine
  • Histidine
  • Isoleucine
  • Leucine
  • Methionine (specifically in fruits)
  • Proline
  • Serine
  • Tyrosine
  • Threonine
  • Valine

Aside from these building blocks of proteins, studies also showed that sayote plant has a wide array of medicinal properties, including:

  • Antioxidant
  • Antihypertensive
  • Diuretic
  • Antimicrobial
  • Antifungal
  • Vasorelaxant
  • Antihyperglycemic
  • Antiulcer
  • Diuretic
  • Membrane stabilizing
  • Hypouricemic
  • Hepatoprotective

Some people also refer to this plant as the vegetable pear, mirliton, or chayote squash.

What Are the Health Benefits of the Sayote Plant?

This light-green, thin-skinned vegetable provides showcases its many health benefits. The infusion of its leaves aid in the process of dissolving kidney stones to treat atherosclerosis and hypertension. Whereas, the vegetable itself helps relieve urinary retention.

Sayote is Rich in Antioxidants

Like any other vegetable, the sayote plant is packed with antioxidant properties. Sayote also contains vitamin C. It aids in immune defense by providing support to several cellular functions in both innate and adaptive immune systems.

Sayote Plant Helps in Controlling Blood Sugar Levels

Sayote contains low carbohydrates and high soluble fiber, which makes it a good food option for people with diabetes. A high-fiber diet allows slow food absorption to take place, helping improve blood sugar levels after eating. In addition, sayote’s unique compounds may help in increasing insulin sensitivity.

The said compounds act by lowering enzyme activity in relation to poor management of blood sugar and type 2 diabetes. Moreover, its fruit extract also showed a significant decrease in blood glucose levels, as well as lipid profile improvement.

Sayote Leaves Aid in Lowering Uric Acid Level

Researchers from Davao Medical School Foundation, Inc. revealed that sayote leaves have a uric acid-lowering effect which is beneficial for people with hyperuricemia. This refers to the condition of having abnormal levels of uric acid that has a strong link to the development of gout.

Key Takeaways

Because of its wide selection of health properties, researchers believe that the sayote plant is one promising herb, and can be integrated into many Pinoy dishes like tinolang manok.

What are other meals that you prepare at home that you add sayote to? Share it with us in the comments.

Learn more about Nutrition Facts here.

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Sources

Chayote, https://www.hort.purdue.edu/newcrop/1492/chayote.html Accessed January 19, 2022

Chayote, https://aggie-horticulture.tamu.edu/archives/parsons/vegetables/chayote.html Accessed January 19, 2022

Using and Preserving Chayote, https://nchfp.uga.edu/publications/nchfp/factsheets/chayote.pdf Accessed January 19, 2022

Sayote, http://www.stuartxchange.org/Sayote.html Accessed January 19, 2022

Sayote leaves lower uric acid level, say researchers, https://www.pchrd.dost.gov.ph/index.php/r-d-updates/3194-sayote-lowers-uric-acid-level-says-researchers Accessed January 19, 2022

Vitamin C and Immune Function – Anitra C Carr and Silvia Maggini, https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/29099763/ Accessed January 19, 2022

Issues in Nutrition: Carbohydrates – Margaret E. Thompson and Mary Barth Noel, https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/28092151/ Accessed January 19, 2022

Revisiting “Vegetables” to combat modern epidemic of imbalanced glucose homeostasis – Ashok Kumar Tiwari, https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/24991093/ Accessed January 19, 2022

Dietary fiber: Essential for a healthy diet, https://www.mayoclinic.org/healthy-lifestyle/nutrition-and-healthy-eating/in-depth/fiber/. Accessed January 19, 2022

 

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Written by Fiel Tugade Updated May 16
Fact Checked by Kristel Lagorza