Chayote (Sechium edule) is a pear-shaped, light green vegetable belonging to the Cucurbitaceae or gourd family. It has a crunchy texture and a mild and sweet flavor — probably a reason why chayote is said to be similar to butternut squash or pumpkin.
This vegetable has a thin layer of pale green skin, with multiple shallow vertical furrows on the surface. Chayote may either have a spiky and fuzzy or smooth surface. Inside the chayote, you will find edible and flat seeds.
Chayote grows on a perennial vine, with tendrils that enable the plant to climb and use a surface for support. The vines run along fences, over shrubs and even on trees. Chayote grows best during a long and warm season and requires well-drained and moist soil. After 30 days of pollination, the plant will begin to mature and harvest, with each plant yielding 150 vegetables per season.
Chayote’s Many Health Benefits
Chayote may not be as popular as other vegetables, but it actually has a very good track record when it comes to its health benefits. For starters, chayote contains no cholesterol and unhealthy fats, and is usually recommended for controlling bad cholesterol levels and reducing weight.7
Furthermore, chayote is a rich source of dietary fiber, antioxidants, iron, manganese, phosphorus, zinc, potassium, copper and vitamins B1, B2, B6 and C.
Another strong suit of this vegetable is its folate content, which is helpful for cell division and DNA synthesis. Pregnant women can benefit from folate as well, as it helps inhibit neural tube defects among babies.
Chayote also has small amounts of aglycone flavonoid polyphonic antioxidants in apigenin and luteolin. These are crucial in helping combat free radicals and reactive oxygen species (ROS) in the body that both play a role in aging and cancer development.
Chayote Nutrition Facts
If you’re looking for a low-calorie vegetable that’s equal parts healthy and tasty, then chayote might be the perfect choice. Chayote contains only 16 calories per 100 gram serving, perfect for those who are watching their weight but don’t want to compromise on taste.10 Take a peek at chayote’s many nutrients:11
Chayote Nutrition Facts
Serving Size: 100 grams, raw
Serving % Daily
Calories from Fat 1
Total Fat 0 g 0%
Saturated Fat 0 g 0%
Cholesterol 0 mg 0%
Sodium 2 mg 0%
Total Carbohydrates 5 g 2%
Dietary Fiber 2 g 7%
Sugar 2 g
Protein 1 g
Vitamin A 0% Vitamin C 13%
Calcium 2% Iron 2%
*Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet. Your daily values may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs.