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Health Benefits of Bottle Gourd (Lauki/Ghiya)
Undoubtedly we all hate when our mom force us to have bottle gourd (lauki/ghiya) in our platter. But did you know that they are one of the favorite vegetables in Indian cuisine and has numerous health benefits. Though, this vegetable is disliked by the children and young people, old people consume it for its benefits in maintaining the good body and good health.
Bottle gourd (a.k.a Lageneria vulgaris) is one of the earliest vegetables cultivated by man, believed to be originated in Africa. It is yellowish-green in color and has white pulp with white seeds embedded in the spongy flesh. It is also known by other names such as bottle squash, white gourd, calabash gourd, lauki, doodhi and ghiya. It belongs to Cucurbitaceae family and is now widely cultivated throughout the tropics, especially India, Sri Lanka, Indonesia, Malaysia, Philippines, China, tropical Africa and South America.
Bottle Gourd has many properties that are valued in traditional healing. Here are a few of them:
Low in Calories and Fat: The bottle gourd is low in fat (just 0.1 gm in 100 gm edible portion) and calories (15 calories in 100 gm) yet high in dietary fiber. It is comprised of 96% water and provides multiple vitamins (vitamin C and some B vitamins) and minerals (iron, sodium, potassium, and trace elements). If you are on a low calorie diet eating bottle gourd is an excellent addition to your diet.
Cooling effect: As bottle gourd is mostly made of water, cooked bottle gourd is not only easy to digest but also contains cooling, calming and diuretic properties. A glass of bottle gourd juice taken in the morning can help prevent heat stroke during summers and cool the body.
Aids against constipation: Bottle gourd, being a good source of fiber content and easy to digest, tremendously helps in curing digestion related disorders like constipation, flatulence and piles.
Urinary disorders: Include a glass of fresh bottle gourd juice mixed with a teaspoon of lime juice in your daily diet. It serves as an alkaline mixture that cures the burning sensation in the urinary passage because of high acid content in urine.
Aids weight loss: Being low in calories and fat, and high in fiber and water makes bottle gourd an excellent food (both in cooked and juice form) to include in your diet when you are trying to maintain or lose weight. Consumption of bottle gourd juice on an empty stomach, first thing in the morning, helps to curb your hunger pangs.
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