Ridged gourd and bottle gourd belong to the Curcurbitaceae family of vegetables. These are the summer veggies which have cooling properties and are loaded with tons of health benefits. Although these vegetables may not fall in the category of fancy vegetables like zucchini and broccoli, yet no one can deny the salubrious use of these humble vegetables since ancient times when they were even considered fashionable to eat.
Both the vegetables are commonly used in Asian cooking and for healing many health problems. Benefits include:
Keep you hydrated: Ridged gourd and bottle gourd contain 92 percent water. They are the best summer vegetables to keep you hydrated.
Help in digestion: These veggies are easy on the stomach. They are easily digestible and have a cooling effect. Due to high water and fibre content, they improve the health of digestive system if consumed daily. Digestible fibre and minerals present in these vegetables aid bowel movement. Thus, they help in combating flatulence and constipation.
Heart-friendly: Ridged gourd and bottle gourd are cholesterol-free vegetables. They are rich in antioxidants and vitamin C. These veggies help to keep blood pressure under control and make your heart healthy. They also contain good anti-inflammatory agents and thus help with cardiovascular disease and strokes.
Aid in curing urinary infection: Both vegetables contain alkaline and diuretic properties. Therefore, they help in combatting urinary tract infections.
Good for people suffering from diabetes and hypoglycaemia: The vegetables contain insulin like peptides that helps lower and balance blood sugar. These vegetables restrict sugar from rising above the levels which are considered as normal levels and dropping too low.
Detoxify the body: These amazing vegetables are good detoxifying agents for the liver, blood and other tissues of the body.
Weight-loss: The vegetables are full of dietary fibres and keep you full for longer. They curb hunger pangs and thus curtail appetite. These vegetables are very light and therefore they help you sleep better. Good sleep improves your metabolism and helps in weight-loss.
Boost immunity: By removing toxins from the body, these vegetables make our immune system function properly. Due to the fibre content, they help provide a good environment for growing of probiotic bacteria and boost immune system. These vegetables also contain vitamin C to keep cold and other infections at bay. The presence of B vitamins is good for mood and vitality. Zinc content present in the veggies also contribute in strengthening the immune system.
Rich in minerals: These vegetables are loaded with iron, manganese, magnesium, calcium and phosphorus. All these minerals help in combating anaemia, producing enzymes and strengthening bones.
Help cure jaundice and other liver disease: The vegetables help heal bacterial infections due to its antibiotic properties. The juice of these veggies help in healing jaundice and liver disease and the flesh of the vegetables can be ingested for additional cleansing of the liver.
No doubt, these vegetables are loaded with health benefits but they are generally not liked by kids and many young people. Preparing them into a variety of savoury dishes like bottle gourd koftas, stuffed ridged gourd etc. is an easy and interesting way to incorporate them in your daily diet. Stir fry them, stuff and bake in oven or use them in soups, stews and curries.
It is significant that you must consume these vegetables during the summer season. The vegetables have mild flavours. So go well with all kinds of spices and herbs.