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Sunday, January 20, 2013

DIFFERENT WORLD DIFFERENT FRUIT : HORNED MELON


The horned melon also called African horned cucumber or melon kiwano. It is a one of the cucumber and melon family. Southeastern United States named a nickname as blowfish fruit .It is grown for its fruit, which looks like an oval melon with horn-like spines. The fruit of this plant is edible, but it is used frequently for the decoration of food. When ripe, it has a yellow orange color skin and a lime green jelly-like flesh. The horned melon is native to Africa iceland, but it is now currently grown in California, and New Zealand.

In Zimbabwe, this type of cucumber family is called as 'gaka' or 'gakachika' and it is mainly used as a fruit-snack, salad and rarely for decoration of foods. It is eaten young, mature green or when ripe bright yellow or orange. It grows naturally in the fields and also in the shrub. Its taste has been compared to a combination of cucumber or a combination of banana, cucumber and lemon. It is a replica that does not have horns, but looks and tastes are similar to that of Cucumber. The seeds are covered in a gelatin-like substance. The skin is very rich in vitamin c and fiber.

TASTE
Kiwano Horned Melon is a member of the cucumber family with different taste. Looks like an oval melon with horns and is very decorative fruit. Picked green, the kiwano horned melon tastes like a mix of lemon and banana. The spiky, orange colored shells of Kiwano Melons cover a soft, juicy bright green flesh. Kiwano Melons are mild in flavor and similar in taste to juicy, seed-filled cucumbers.

HORNED MELON TREE

The horned melon is a vining annual tree that can be grown practically anywhere anytime, all over the world, provided a warm season. Plants can produce up to 100 fruits on a single creeper. It provides a support for the tendril to grab. Leaves and stems are covered with hair like substance.

SEEDS

African Horned Melon also called Kiwano, Jelly Melon; enclose Gourd, Blowfish Fruit or Melano. Seeds of this fruits look in nature as stars irregular in shape with dirty white in color with sharp edges. This horned melon plant is an annual creeper, with starting height from 1.5 to 3m long of African horned melon origin. The stem is raw-boned, ridged and hairy with internodes within 5-8cm long.

HEALTH BENEFITS


Iron is one of the most melon’s resources for health it contains over one milligram per average fruit, or about 12 percent of the daily requirement.
Compare the fruit watermelon, which contains only a quarter of a milligram than in the horned melon fruit.

Nutrition: Ever since the World Health Organization identified the principle nutritional diseases that effect sib-Saharan Africa, research has been carried out to identify plants, such as those of the Cucurbitacceae botanical family, which could provide the necessary nutrients and micro nutrients in order to combat these deficiencies. Because the horned melon can be cultivated in arid regions and is highly nutritious, it may well help to improve malnutrition in Africa and other regions of the developing world.
The horned melon is primarily a good source of vitamin C, potassium and iron. Other minerals less abundant are magnesium, phosphorous, zinc, copper, calcium and sodium. The seeds of horned melon contain a number of fatty acids including linoleic acid and oleic acid. Linoleic acid is one of the omega 6 fatty acid which are essential for human health. Oleic acid, also found in olive oil, is thought to be responsible for the blood pressure reducing effects of olive oil.
Antioxidants: Two of the antioxidants identified in horned melon seeds are a-tocopherol and y-tocopherol. Both are organic forms of vitamin E. Vitamin E has numerous health benefits including healthy skin, heart, muscles, nerves, and red blood cells. Vitamin E also helps neutralize damaging free radicals, that can cause chronic diseases such as cardiovascular disease and cancer. There is also some evidence to suggest that vitamin E could help reduce our risk of Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s disease.
The yellowish-green colored pigment found in the seeds and pulp of horned melon contain the carotenoid, beta carotene, commonly known as vitamin A. Beta carotene helps strengthen the body’s immune system and maintain eye and skin health. It also helps cancer prevention by inhibiting the grow of free radicals. A diet rich in fruits and vegetables that contain carotenoids such as beta carotone, lycopene and lutein could also help repair and protect DNA, thereby slowing the ageing process.


NUTRITION VALUE IN 100 GMS.

Principle
Nutritive value
Fat
0 g
Protein
1g
Vitamin C
40%
Vitamin A
6 %
Cholesterol
0 mg
Sodium
0 mg
Fiber
1 g
Calcium
2 %
Iron
6 %

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