Published: 12/19/2014 - Updated: 03/08/2020
Author: Dra. Loredana Lunadei, PhD
Native to Peru, the caigua is a truly excellent at normalizing fat metabolism, reducing cholesterol, and is also low in calories. At 15 calories per 100 grams, it is highly recommended in weight loss diets.
This is proven because it is made up of 93% water, along with pectin, starch-based material, carbohydrates, lipid substances, proteins, vitamin C, salts and minerals like: calcium, iron, phosphorous, selenium, magnesium and zinc.
Out with the bad cholesterol
Over time, a series of clinical studies began to appear that indicated that not only was this seed a tasty food, but that it also had very beneficial health properties. It was also shown to normalize cholesterol levels. One of its most studied compounds was beta-sitosterol-3-o-beta-d-glucoside, that has beneficial properties for removing fats, especially those responsible for LDL cholesterol.
In addition to its lipotropic action, it has a double positive effect. Not only does it help reduce LDL cholesterol that accumulates primarily in the arteries, but it also helps increase HDL cholesterol, which is known as the “good” cholesterol. This double effect makes caigua a perfect complement for high cholesterol treatment.
Description of Caigua
Caigua is part of the Cucurbitaceae family, known scientifically as Cyclanthera pedata Schrad, and commonly known as caigua. The stock grows up to 5 meters tall and the berries measure 10 to 20 cm in length. They are green and have a thin and succulent outer layer, while the inside is white and spongy. Its seeds are black, squared and rough, and grow in two rows in the placenta.
This fruit is an excellent contributor to weight loss diets. I eliminates excess weight without causing anorexia, malnutrition or anemia. It helps keep the body helathy and at an ideal weight. It is also good for varicose veins, cellulitis, and hypertension. It prevents cardiac and coronary diseases.
Caigua is recommended for liver, stomach and kidney pain, as well as fevers caused by malaria. It is known for being a good anti-inflammatory and analgesic. And lastly, it is perfect for amygdalitis. Cook caigua with olive oil and apply to the throat.
How is it eaten?
You can consume it in drinks or infusions, by boiling two caiguas (without seeds) in one liter of water. Then drink 4 glasses throughout the day. One other way of using it is as a poultice. All you need to do is apply it to the inflamed area.
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For people that suffer from high cholesterol, caigua can be procured in capsule form. Take 6 capsules on an empty stomach before breakfast for three months. Periodically control cholesterol in cases of hyperlipidemia and high glucose (diabetes). It is best, however, to consult a physician before taking it in this condition.
You could easily integrate this food in your meals, cooked stews, or salads.
In the even of an overdose
If you eat too much caigua, consuming it more than twice a day every day could cause some temporary side effects, like nausea and blurry vision. It is recommended to monitor prolonged use with blood panel counts. Women who are pregnant or breastfeeding should avoid consuming it as controlled studies have still not been done on it.
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