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What Is Horned Melon? Its Benefits, Side Effects And Recipe

Horned melon or kiwano is a peculiar-looking fruit which has yellow-orange or bright orange-coloured skin with spikes on the outer surface and lime-green jelly pulp inside with plenty of edible seeds. Kiwano is grown mostly in Africa and keeps people hydrated during the dry season.

Nutritional Value Of Horned Melon

100 g of horned melon contains 44 kcal and 88.97 g of water. It also contains the following nutrients.

  • 1.78 g protein
  • 7.56 g carbohydrate
  • 5.3 mg vitamin C
  • 88.97 g water
  • 0.56 mg vitamin B3
  • 1.13 mg iron
  • 147 IU vitamin A
  • 37 mg phosphorus
  • 40 mg magnesium
  • 123 mg potassium
  • 0.48 mg zinc
  • 0.020 mg copper
  • 13 mg calcium
  • 2 mg sodium

Health Benefits Of Horned Melon

1. Acts as an antioxidant: Kiwano is loaded with antioxidants that protect the cells from harmful free radicals. This helps in lowering the risk of infection and prevent other diseases like cancer and heart stroke [1] .

2. Reduces premature ageing: This fruit contains vitamin C [2] that help in the repair of damaged tissues and make the skin look healthy and young with reduced dark spots and wrinkles.

3. Improves cognitive function: The vitamin C present in this fruit prevents neurological disorders like Alzheimer's and improves brain function. Horned melons have a high level of tocopherol that boosts cognitive function [3] .

4. Keeps the heart healthy: The linolenic acid present in Kiwano is responsible for strengthening the heart muscles and improving the overall cardiovascular health [4] . Also, the omega-6 fatty acids manage the heart condition and balance cholesterol levels.

5. Improves digestion: This orange pulpy fruit is filled with dietary fibre that vitalizes the digestion process in the body and prevents digestive disorders [5] .

6. Relieves stress: The organic constituents present in this fruit help in managing the stress hormone and give relaxation [3] .

7. Improves eyesight: The vitamin A present in Kiwano helps to improve visibility. It prevents eye irritation, cataracts, and several eye problems [2] .

8. Makes hair strong: Kiwano has several nutrients that help in keeping hair strong and shiny. One has to consume it daily to get additional benefits [1] .

9. Makes skin glow: The antioxidants present in horned melon help to prevent spots and blemishes on the skin. The vitamin C present in this fruit adds a glow to the skin and makes it healthy [1] .

10. Promotes bone health: Horned melon is rich in minerals, calcium, and vitamins. The minerals present in the fruit help in the growth and development of bones while the calcium makes them strong and prevents osteoporosis [6] .

11. Treats anaemia: The iron present in Kiwano is beneficial to restore haemoglobin levels and treat anaemia [7] .

12. Prevents cancer: The high levels of antioxidants present in this fruit neutralise the free radicals that could lead to the formation of cancer cells [1] .

13. Treats heatstroke: The high sodium and water content of Kiwano make it the best fruit to be consumed during the summer season or when suffering from heatstrokes [8] .

14. Helps manage diabetes: Horned melons are rich in magnesium. This controls the blood sugar in the body and helps manage diabetes [6] .

15. Promotes muscle health: The high amount of vitamin D and potassium in this fruit help in strengthening the muscles. The vitamin D present in this fruit helps in the absorption of calcium by the body, making the muscles strong [9] .

Side Effects Of Horned Melon

1. Indigestion and intestinal blockage [5]

2. Adverse antioxidants effect [10]

3. Allergic reactions

4. Hypotension or low blood pressure [3]

5. Hypoglycaemia

How To Consume Horned Melon

Horned melon tastes similar to cucumber which is mild and slightly sweet. When ripe, it tastes like banana. The easiest way to eat horned melon is to slice it into half and then eat the pulp directly. Use a spoon while taking out the pulp.

Also, add the pulp on top of yoghurt or grind to make smoothies.

Horned Melon Chicken Recipe


  • 1 horned melon cut in half
  • 1 tbsp fresh lemon juice
  • Salt as per taste
  • Chopped coriander leaves
  • ¼ jeera powder
  • 7-ounces plain yoghurt
  • Red chilli powder
  • 6-ounces boneless chicken breast
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 2 tbsp fresh garlic


  • Squeeze the melon in a bowl and press the seeds with a spoon to extract the juice.
  • Remove the seeds and add lemon juice, salt, jeera, and yoghurt.
  • Stir the ingredients with a whisk, cover it and chill.
  • Place the chicken breast, sprinkle salt and pepper and rub both the sides with garlic.
  • Heat the pan and add oil. Add chicken breast and cook both the sides for 4 minutes.
  • Pour the melon ingredients in a pan, put the fried chicken and mix it well.
  • Decorate it with coriander leaves and sauce.
View Article References
  1. [1] Motlhanka, D. M. T. (2008). Free radical scavenging activity of selected medicinal plants of Eastern Botswana. Pakistan Journal of Biological Sciences, 11(5), 805.
  2. [2] Romero Rodriguez, M. A., Vazquez Oderiz, M. L., Lopez Hernandez, J., & Lozano, J. S. (1992). Determination of vitamin C and organic acids in various fruits by HPLC. Journal of chromatographic science, 30(11), 433-437.
  3. [3] Sivakumar, D., Chen, L., & Sultanbawa, Y. (2018). A comprehensive review on beneficial dietary phytochemicals in common traditional Southern African leafy vegetables. Food science & nutrition, 6(4), 714–727. doi:10.1002/fsn3.643
  4. [4] den Hartigh L. J. (2019). Conjugated Linoleic Acid Effects on Cancer, Obesity, and Atherosclerosis: A Review of Pre-Clinical and Human Trials with Current Perspectives. Nutrients, 11(2), 370. doi:10.3390/nu11020370
  5. [5] Lin, Y. T., Jan, F. J., Lin, C. W., Chung, C. H., Chen, J. C., Yeh, S. D., & Ku, H. M. (2013). Differential gene expression in response to Papaya ringspot virus infection in Cucumis metuliferus using cDNA-amplified fragment length polymorphism analysis. PloS one, 8(7), e68749.
  6. [6] Maroyi, A. (2013). Use of weeds as traditional vegetables in Shurugwi District, Zimbabwe. Journal of ethnobiology and ethnomedicine, 9(1), 60.
  7. [7] Offiah, N. V., Makama, S., Elisha, I. L., Makoshi, M. S., Gotep, J. G., Dawurung, C. J., ... & Shamaki, D. (2011). Ethnobotanical survey of medicinal plants used in the treatment of animal diarrhoea in Plateau State, Nigeria. BMC Veterinary Research, 7(1), 36.
  8. [8] Thomson, I. S. I. (2008). DMT Motlhanka. Pakistan Journal of Biological Sciences, 11(5), 805-808.
  9. [9] Muske, D. N., Peter, A., Swetha, S. P., Jingade, P., & Kumar, S. (2014). Molecular and serological detection of papaya ringspot virus infecting papaya (Carica papaya). Journal of Plant Disease Sciences, 9(1), 8-15.
  10. [10] Seifirad, S., Ghaffari, A., & Amoli, M. M. (2014). The antioxidants dilemma: are they potentially immunosuppressants and carcinogens?. Frontiers in physiology, 5, 245. doi:10.3389/fphys.2014.00245
Read more about: kiwano
Story first published: Wednesday, July 17, 2019, 16:53 [IST]
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