Properties of chayotes


Chayote is a very suitable vegetable for people with weight loss problems

Chayotes contain much water and very few calories. Its potassium content is very high. This makes it a very suitable food to control the level of fluids in the body. Potassium helps to remove excess of water retained in our body, promoting diuresis.

People with fluid retention problems or those who have a tendency to obesity should include this vegetable as a staple food in their meals, especially if they are on a low-fat diet.

Chayotes are similar to courguettes

It has been said that chayotes have similar properties to courgettes, and indeed the content of many components is similar (see table at the bottom of this page). Chayote contains less potassium, less sodium and has a similar proportion of water and calories.

On the other hand, it contains a higher percentage of carbohydrates, thus it provides a feeling of stomach fullness longer than courgettes.

To put it another way, it “keeps us full without fattening us.” This provided that we eat them boiled. If we fry them, even being delicious, their calorie level increases, something which is not very suitable for those with overweight or for people who want to lose weight.

Boiled chayotes,Boiled chayotes, ready to be used

Chayotes are good to cleanse your body

The draining capacity offered by this vegetable is not only interesting for the control of body weight. By increasing urination, your body expels, along with the urine, a lot of toxins.

As a result, chayotes are also well suited in cleansing diets, just before the season changes to regenerate one’s body or when this type of drainage helps in the treatment of metabolic abnormalities (rheumatoid arthritis, osteoarthritis, gout, acne, hypertension, etc)

Photo of chayotesPhoto of chayotes. One is cut to show the seed and the flesh surrounding it.

Chayote, a very remineralizing food

In addition to potassium, this food is rich in other minerals, especially zinc. We know that this mineral plays a role in the formation of enzymes and in the metabolism of proteins and carbohydrates.

Equally important is this mineral in the health of our defenses as well as the formation of bones and teeth. 100 grams of this vegetable provides the necessary amount of this mineral.

It should be mentioned that chayotes also contain a good amount of manganese, a mineral needed for fats metabolism and for the transmission of nerve impulses.

Chayotes are rich in amino acids

Besides minerals, chayotes are rich in other components. Among them, it is worth mentioning their amino acid content., Amino acids, besides being responsible for the synthesis of proteins, are involved in many body functions (creation of enzymes, hormones, neurotransmitters, etc.).

The body forms proteins from 22 amino acids, of which 9 are essential, meaning that the body can not synthesize them and needs to take them food. Chayote contains 7 of the 9 essential amino acids and other non-essential ones:

Essential amino acids in chayote

  • Lysine: An essential amino acid. Necessary for the body to absorb calcium. Involved in the formation of collagen., Enzymes and antibodies. A deficit would manifest itself in the form of hair loss, concentration problems, infertility, fatigue, etc.
  • Leucine: An essential amino acid necessary for the proper development of young people
  • Methionine: An essential amino acid. Necessary for the metabolism of fats. Helps remove ammonia from the body through urine. Allows the good health of hair, nails and skin. It helps the body to produce lecithin, which controls levels cholesterol in blood.
  • Phenylalanine: An essential amino acid necessary for the production of tyrosine that enables mental functioning. Low levels of these amino acids may be responsible for cases of depression.
  • Valine: An essential amino acid. Necessary for nitrogen balance and for good mental health. Helps reduce stress and provides muscle force.
  • Isoleucine: An essential amino acid. Necessary for the proper balance of nitrogen and child development.
  • Tryptophan: An essential amino acid. From it, the body makes serotonin and melatonin, a neurotransmitter and a hormone needed for the transmission of electrical impulses. Its deficit causes insomnia and depression

Nonessential amino acids in chayote:

  • Glutaminic acid, nonessential amino acid involved in the health of the nerves and brain
  • Histidine: A nonessential amino acid for adults, even if it is for babies. It is considered a vasodilator and a good stimulant of gastric juices. With antioxidant and antiuremic properties (against the formation of uric acid)
  • Alanine: A nonessential amino acid, that is involved in antibody production and the metabolism of sugars.
  • Arginine: A nonessential amino acid. Strengthens the immune system . Involved the creation of creatine a protein necessary for the formation of muscles.
  • Glycine: A nonessential amino acid. Involved, along with arginine and methionine, in the creation of creatine a protein necessary for the formation of muscles. Also involved in immune system development.
  • Tyrosine: A nonessential amino acid. It is very necessary for good mental health. It helps to have memory, prevents depression and intervenes in the proper state of the thyroid and pituitary.
Comparison between the composition of the zucchini and chayotes per 100 g
Water95, 2 g94, 85 g
Energy15 kcal17 kcal
Fat0,07 g0,13 g
Protein1,03 g0,82 g
Carbohydrates2, 90 g3,90 g
Fiber1,2 g1,7 g
Potassium248 mg125 mg
Phosphorus32 mg18 mg
Iron0, 42 mg0,34 mg
Sodium5 mg2 mg
Magnesium22 mg12 mg
Calcium15 mg17 mg
Copper0, 057 mg0, 123 mg
Zinc0, 20 mg0, 74 mg
Manganese0, 127 mcg0,189 mg
Vitamin C9 mg7,7 mg
Vitamin A340 UI56 IU
Vitamin B1 (Thiamin)0,070 mg0,025 mg
Vitamin B2 (Riboflavin)0, 030 mg0,029 mg
Vitamin B3 (Niacin)0, 400 mg0, 470 mg
Vitamin B6 (Pyridoxine)0, 089 mg0, 076 mg
Vitamin E0, 12 mg0, 12 mg
Folic acid22 mcg93 mg


  • Kidney problems: The native Indians ate the fruit when they were having trouble removing water from the body and when they wanted to solve problems related to the urinary tract, both in cases of urinary tract infections, as in other kidney and bladder problems. (Kidney stones, gallstones, kidney failure, nephritis, cystitis, etc. (Infusion of fruits. Take a couple of glasses a day)
  • Circulatory problems: The leaves of this plant can be used to make herbal preparations to fight arteriosclerosis and hypertension. (Infusion of dried leaves)
  • Respiratory diseases: The same infusion is used to treat bronchitis and colds.
  • Skin blemishes: The juice of the plant, applied externally, it was believed that was used for bleaching freckles or skin blemishes.

punto rojoMore information on chayote.

This article was endorsed by Elisenda Carballido - Dietitian nutritionist. Postgraduate in Phytotherapy and master in Nutrition and Metabolism.
Written by Editorial Botanical-online team in charge of content writing

1 March, 2021

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