Scientific Name: Sechium edule
Chayote (Sechium edule) is a plant in the gourd family, Cucurbitaceae. Chayote originated from Mexico and Central America. It is also known as chocho or mirliton squash. Chayote is a light green, pear-shaped fruit with a single, large pit and edible flesh and skin. It has a crispy, juicy flesh with a flavor similar to apple or cucumber.
Chayote has a moderate amount of vitamin C (13% daily value [DV]), which serves as an antioxidant. Antioxidants protect against cellular damage, reduce inflammation, and neutralize harmful free radicals in the body. In addition to its antioxidant capacity, vitamin C stimulates collagen production. Collagen is a major component of skin. It gives skin its strength and elasticity.
Chayote is also an excellent source of folate (23% DV). There is 93.0 mg of folate in 100 g of chayote. Folate (or folic acid) plays a key role in the production of healthy red blood cells and the synthesis of DNA. Folate is also critical during periods of rapid growth, such as during pregnancy and fetal development. Adequate folate intake may also play a role in preventing preterm births.