Pepino Plant Description
Pepino melon is a semi-dense, unarmed, short-lived, evergreen sub-shrub that grows about 1-2 meters tall. The plant is found growing in sunny or semi-shaded, frost-free location, sheltered from strong winds. The plant does best in a fertile but not too fertile), free draining, neutral soil. It is not as tolerant of salinity as the tomato. If the soil is too fertile fruit production will suffer due to excess vegetative growth. The plant has fibrous root system. The bright green leaves are sparsely covered with very small hairs. In appearance the pepino dulce is much like a potato plant, but the leaves may take many forms–simple and entire, lobed, or divided into leaflets.
The small flowers are blue, violet-purple or white marked with purple, and are similar in form to unopened potato flowers. The pepino dulce is considered to be parthenocarpic but a much heavier crop results from self-pollination or cross-pollination. The plants will not set fruit until the night temperatures are above 65° F.
Flowers are followed by delight fruit. The fruit show considerable diversity in size and shape. In the areas of its origin there are small oblong types with many seeds, while others are pear or heart-shaped with few or many seeds. Still others are round, slightly larger than a baseball and completely seedless. The colors also vary completely purple, solid green or green with purple stripes, or cream colored with or without purple stripes. The fruit are usually round to egg-shaped, about 2 to 4 inches long, with some growing up to 6 inches. The skin is typically yellow or purplish green, often with numerous darker streaks or stripes. The flesh is greenish to white and yellowish-orange. Better quality fruit is moderately sweet, refreshing and juicy with a taste and aroma similar to a combination of cantaloupe and honeydew melon. In poor varieties there can be an unpleasant “soapy” aftertaste. The fruit matures 30 to 80 days after pollination.
Health benefits of Pepino Melon
Pepino melons are consumed for their sweet and succulent taste, and for a number of vitamins and minerals, it comes packed with. This rare fruit has many health benefits and we have enlisted in the top benefits.
1. Fights Cancer
Pepino melon is considered a powerhouse of antioxidants, vitamin C, vitamin A and beta-carotene. These antioxidants are vital to fighting the spread of cancerous cells.
In the study, it was discovered that pepino fruit extract has anti-inflammatory, immune-modulatory and anticancer properties.
2. Immunity booster
Fruit extract of Pepino melon consists of Polyphenols which gives it antioxidant characteristics. Antioxidant properties are present in both unripe and ripe fruits. However, ripe variety has a higher content of flavonoid and phenol. Add this natural agent into your daily diet as a whole or as a food supplement.
The Pepino melon fruit has anti-inflammatory, anti-glycative and anti-oxidative effects. These properties help in reducing the effects of diabetes progression. In the research it was found that flavonoids, phenolic acids and ascorbic acid from Solanum muricatum had positive results for diabetes on the model. As it helps in the progression of diabetes, the fruit is considered ideal for chronic kidney disease preventions too.
4. Natural energy booster
As we all know that we get energy from the glucose stored in our body, derived from the food we eat. Pepino melon has certain compounds that break this glucose into bursts of energy, and you feel recharged instantly. These glucose cells otherwise get stored in your body as fat. So the next time you are feeling weak, grab a pepino melon and experience some good energy.
5. Reduces cholesterol
Pepino melon consists of high soluble fiber content that keeps cholesterol levels in check. Soluble fiber does not affect cholesterol directly, but binds the bad cholesterol and excretes it from the body. Soluble fiber can decrease the absorption of low-density lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol into your bloodstream and let the high-density lipoprotein do wonder for your body.
6. Regulates High Blood Pressure
Pepino melon has no sodium but a considerable amount of potassium, and therefore can be effectively used to regulate high blood pressure. Potassium helps to balance the negative effects of salt, and in turn, helps to lower the blood pressure. Pepino melon is also known for its diuretic properties. Less the fluids in your kidneys, the lesser is your blood pressure.
7. Boosts liver health
Pepino melon can help people who have liver diseases. Strengthening the liver is one of the best ways to boost energy, balance weight and strengthen overall health. Fiber in pepino melon removes toxins from the body, cleansing the liver and boosting its overall health. Since the liver is the core of many bodily functions, a healthy liver makes your overall health.
8. Soothe away aches and pains
Pepino melon has been known to possess anti-inflammatory properties and can be helpful to sooth pains and aches throughout the body. In the natives where it is grown, the fruit finds its use as a traditional goes to food for fighting inflammation.
9. Digestive benefits
Pepino melon is a wonderful source of fiber and can serve as an excellent remedy for people who have irregular bowels or suffer from constipation. Vitamin C content of pepino melon allows the body to optimally absorb nutrients from food. It can also be used as an excellent remedy to soothe gastric ulcers. Digestive problems affect people suffering from kidney diseases. This fruit could be helpful for them too.
10. Strong bones
We all know that calcium is an essential component for strong, healthy bones. But not many of us know that it is vitamin K that keeps our bones strong and healthy, keeping the calcium in the bones and avoiding it getting gathered in the arteries. Particularly when the bones start to grow weak during aging, vitamin K can still help maintain good bone health. And amongst the sources of vitamin K, pepino melon is a great choice.
11. Weight Loss
Pepino melon has calories, but they are stored as carbohydrates. These carbohydrates are broken into glucose by the body and used as a fuel. People looking to lose weight can safely eat it and benefit because it makes the stomach feel full for longer.
12. Eases Anemia & Lowers Creatinine Level
Anemia is one of the complications of the kidney disease. In addition to the regular treatment, pepino melon could help in the treatment. Person suffering from kidney disease experiences high creatinine levels as kidneys are unable to discharge it from the blood. Diuretic properties of the fruit help in decreasing the wastes through urine from the blood.
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