Chayote is a nutrient-dense squash providing 18% of the daily value (DV) for dietary fiber, 21% of the DV for vitamin C, and 14% of the DV for manganese, and only 38 calories per cup.
However, how does it affect blood glucose and insulin? Is it good for people with diabetes?
The Food and Function published an animal study in 2011 which shows consuming chayote juice before starchy meals could help reduce the increase in blood glucose. Still, more research is needed to prove the blood sugar-lowering effects of chayote in people.
A 2013 study suggests chayote, along with other vegetables, can limit the actions of protein-tyrosine phosphatase 1β. This enzyme is partially responsible for the development of insulin resistance and type 2 diabetes.
However, we still can’t recommend it for reducing blood glucose levels due to the small number of clinical trials.
Chayote may also reduce blood pressure and act as a diuretic, so it’s best to consult a doctor if you take blood pressure medications or diuretics. However, you could probably take it in moderate amounts, making sure you don’t overeat it.
The taste of chayote is similar to that of summer squash and cucumber, so you can prepare it in the same way as these veggies. It’s good in combination with lemon and lime juice, coconut milk, chilis, garlic, scallions, cilantro, curry powder, and cumin.
Also, you can puree it to make a soup using chicken stock, garlic, onion, red pepper flakes, and cilantro. Another option is to combine it with potatoes, garlic, onions, and chicken as a main dish.
Serves 4 people
Peel the chayote and remove the pit. Then, cut it into small chunks and put them aside. Add the garlic and onion in the heated oil and cook for five minutes over medium heat. Don’t forget to stir.
Next, add the tomato, chayote chunks, and chili. Cover and simmer for half an hour on lower heat. Then, remove from heat and add the sour cream. Mix well and sprinkle with the cheese.