Top 10 health benefits of thorn melon (Kiwano/Horned melon) to the human body

Thorn melon also known as Kiwano or horned melon is an annual vine in the cucumber and melon family Cucurbitaceae. The name “horned melon” originates from the fruit’s horn-like spines. In this article, we will give out the health benefits of thorn melon to the body.

health benefits of thorn melon SRC: @Greenlife Crop Protection Africa
A photo of ripe thorn melon SRC: @Greenlife Crop Protection Africa

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Known by its scientific name as Cucumis metuliferus, Kiwano fruit is also known by the names African horned cucumber, spiked melon and jelly melon. The flesh of the ripe fruit is lime green and jelly-like, with an orange skin.
10 Health benefits of Kiwano fruit

In Africa, kiwano is a traditional food plant. It is one of the few sources of water in the Kalahari Desert during the dry season, along with the gemsbok cucumber and tsamma.
The fruit has been compared to banana and passionfruit, cucumber and zucchini, or banana, cucumber, and lime in terms of flavor. While adding a little sugar or salt can enhance the flavor, the fruit’s seed content may make eating it less convenient. Some of the Health benefits of thorn melon include;

  1. Contains antioxidants useful to the body

Thorn melons are a good source of antioxidants, especially lutein, zinc, vitamin C, and A. They have a major impact on lowering inflammation and preventing long-term conditions like diabetes, heart disease, and several cancers.

health benefits of thorn melon SRC: @Pinterest
A photo of unripe thorn melons SRC: @Pinterest

Besides, Alpha-tocopherol components in thorn melons are also rich in vitamin E, which is necessary for the health of blood vessels and nerves.

2. Plays a role in weight loss

The presence of carbohydrates and electrolytes in thorn melon helps the body stay more hydrated. It is perfect for those who are trying to lose weight because it contains fiber, which helps to prevent hunger more quickly. Thorn melon is a great option for anyone trying to reduce weight because of its low fat and calorie content. When consumed during the summer, kiwano fruit helps one stay hydrated and fueled, especially after strenuous exercise.

3. Helps in the red blood cell production

Kiwano melon meets roughly 13% of your daily iron requirements and is a good source of the mineral (1Trusted Source). Hemoglobin, an iron-containing material that carries oxygen throughout your body, is stored in red blood cells. Therefore, in order for your body to produce enough healthy red blood cells for proper oxygenation, it needs a sufficient amount of iron from food.
Interestingly, kiwano melon also provides a substantial amount of vitamin C. This may increase the fruit’s ability to absorb its iron content, enhancing its ability to support the production of red blood cells and the transfer of oxygen.

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4. Boosts mood

According to research, the minerals magnesium and zinc found in kiwano melon are closely linked to mental well-being and the preservation of normal brain function. Both magnesium and zinc have a role in the synthesis of neurotransmitters that affect mood and are connected to a number of mood disorders, including anxiety and depression (11Trusted Source).

A picture of Ripe Kiwano Fruits SRC: @The Star
A picture of Ripe Kiwano Fruits SRC: @The Star

One study examined the efficacy of magnesium treatment for 126 participants with mild depression and anxiety disorders. Significant symptom improvements were reported by those who took magnesium (12Trusted Source).

5. Good for brain health

Maintaining brain health is among the health benefits of thorn melon to the human body. The fruit is full of various forms of tocopherol, which support and enhance cognitive function and help to keep the mind young.
Because of its high vitamin E content, dementia and Alzheimer’s disease develop more slowly.
Additionally, it contains sodium, which controls the fluid balance in the brain and aids in the conduct of nerve signals by electrolytes in the body.

What are other health benefits of Thorn melons?

6. Keeps the skin healthy

The Vitamin C in Kiwano fruit helps shield the skin from UV rays as well as slows down the signs of aging on your skin. Moreover, it helps the skin that has been burned or injured heal. Consuming more fruits and vegetables, like kiwano, can help lessen hyperpigmentation, or the darkening of the skin caused by sun damage.

7. Helps in metabolism

Thorn melon is good for your metabolism. With a high metabolic responsibility, it contains zinc which is very useful to the body. It also generates a protein that helps our body’s tissues, blood vessels, organs, and wounds heal.

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8. Aids in blood sugar control

According to studies, kiwano melon has a low glycemic index thus, eating it doesn’t result in a noticeable rise in blood sugar. It also contains a lot of magnesium, which is a mineral that is directly involved in the metabolism of insulin and glucose (sugar) (8Trusted Source).

Kiwano melon extract dramatically lowered blood sugar in diabetic rats, but not in animals with normal blood sugar levels, according to a small study (9Trusted Source).

9. Improves digestion

The high fiber content of Thorn Melon aids in better digestion. Normally, the gastrointestinal tract is cleared by the digestion acid that is released during digestion. This encourages peristaltic motion, which helps maintain regular bowel movements. It aids in the prevention of severe illnesses like colon cancer and gastric ulcers, as well as stomach bloating, cramps, and constipation.

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10. Keep bones strong

The magnesium content in Kiwano fruit is useful in maintaining strong bones. Osteopenia and brittle bones have been linked to magnesium deficiency thus, insufficient magnesium intake in postmenopausal women may result in decreased bone mineral density or faster bone loss.

The health benefits of thorn melon are endless. Remember to include them in your shopping list any time you go out shopping and stay healthy always.



I am an actress at Ndizi Tv and fun fair writer at Kenyan Moves News and Media Website.