Snake tomato (Trichosanthes cucumerina) is a tropical vine plant grown for its tasty fruits and leaves.
It is a member of the cucumber family and is called by many names in different parts of the world including serpent gourd, snake gourd, pointed gourd, snake squash etc.
Called “Elejo tomato” in Nigeria, it is mainly found in the states of Lagos, Ogun, Oyo, Osun, Ekiti, Ondo, and Edo.
While it is primarily used as a culinary ingredient, snake tomato also has several potential health benefits.
Snake tomato has a low calorie and fat content while providing a rich dose of nutritional fiber, vitamins, and minerals. It contains A, B, and C vitamins, as well as iron, calcium, and magnesium.
Here are some of the health benefits of this amazing vegetable.
1. It aids digestive health
Snake tomato’s high fiber content helps aid good digestion and prevents constipation. It also aids regular bowel movements and promotes overall digestive health.
2. It promotes weight management
The low-calorie and high-fiber content of snake tomato can contribute to a feeling of fullness, potentially assisting in weight management by minimizing overeating and encouraging satiety.
3. Boosts the immune system
Snake tomato contains vitamin C, which can help support a healthy immune system and protect against common illnesses and infections.
4. Contains antioxidant properties
Snake tomato includes a variety of antioxidants, including flavonoids and phenolic substances. These antioxidants help protect the body’s cells from free radical damage, potentially lowering the risk of chronic diseases.
5. Lowers blood sugar
Snake gourd lowers blood sugar levels increasing insulin efficiency. Some Chinese medicines have used root extracts in anti-diabetic medications. It is a high-nutritional-value, low-calorie vegetable that is great for diabetics. It is thought to be effective in the treatment of diabetes, particularly type 2 diabetes, because it not only helps patients lose weight but also offers appropriate nutrition.
6. Helps with hydration
Snake tomato has a high water content, which can help with hydration and maintaining appropriate bodily fluid balance.
7. Promotes Heart health
Snake gourd is regarded as one of the most effective for heart-related issues. This vegetable extract is good for cardiac diseases such as palpitation and stress. It also aids in the improvement of blood circulation and the appropriate functioning of the heart. Snake gourd aids in the reduction of high blood pressure.
8. Prevents worm infestations
Snake gourd has been discovered to have anthelmintic properties, which aid in the destruction and elimination of parasitic worms from the human intestines.