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Vitamins From the Sayote Plant

By Sylvie Tremblay, MSc

The sayote plant, also called chayote, yields a pear-shaped fruit with a mild flavor that works well in savory dishes. Because each sayote fruit contains just 39 calories, it complements weight-loss and calorie-conscious diets. Sayote offers lots of nutritional value -- including generous amounts of fiber, zinc and copper -- and serves as a significant source of four essential vitamins.

Vitamin B-9

Adding sayote to your diet significantly ups your intake of vitamin B-9, or folate. Each sayote fruit packs in an impressive 189 micrograms of vitamin B-9, which makes up 47 percent of your daily intake needs. Folate is key for a healthy pregnancy; it plays a role in the growing baby's nervous system development and reduces the risk of birth defects. It also helps you metabolize nutrients, such as proteins, that you need for cell growth.

Pantothenic Acid

Each sayote offers pantothenic acid, or vitamin B-5. You need pantothenic acid for cell communication, including healthy nerve function, and it also helps you make hormones that are essential for good health. B-5 also helps you make phospholipids, the fats that make up your cell membranes. Each sayote contains 0.51 milligrams of pantothenic acid, which is 10 percent of the daily recommended intake.

Vitamin B-6

Add sayote to your diet and you'll also consume more vitamin B-6, also called pyridoxine. Like pantothenic acid, B-6 plays a role in nerve function. It helps you make serotonin, a chemical that regulates your mood and contributes to good mental health. It's also essential for red blood cell production, and getting enough B-6 in your diet may also help your red blood cells function properly. Each sayote fruit contains .15 milligrams of vitamin B-6 -- 10 percent of the recommended daily intake.

Vitamin C

Sayote offers lots of vitamin C. Each sayote fruit boasts 16 milligrams of vitamin C, which is 18 percent of the daily needs for men and 21 percent for women. Vitamin C activates enzymes you need to make collagen -- a protein found in your skin, muscle tissue and skeleton -- and chemicals needed for brain function. It's also a potent antioxidant, so it prevents damage to your cells from harmful free radicals that could otherwise contribute to disease.

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