Bottle gourd is one of the known vegetables today. Also known as calabash, white-flowered gourd, long melon, opo squash, Tasmania bean, and New Guinea bean, it is a vine grown for its fruit, which is used as a vegetable. One of the first cultivated plants in the world, the following are the health benefits of bottle gourd, along with a sample recipe.
As a vegetable, a health benefit of bottle gourd is fiber. It is a substance that acts as a sweep to help eliminate debris, toxins, and free radicals from the body, preventing them to cause diseases like heart diseases and cancer. Fiber also promotes digestion and metabolism, preventing bloating and obesity. It also adds bulk and roughage to stools, facilitating easier bowel movement, which prevents digestive problems like constipation, diverticulitis, and hemorrhoids. In addition, fiber also reduces blood cholesterol levels, preventing cardiovascular problems like hypertension, atherosclerosis, coronary artery disease, and stroke.
One health benefit of bottle gourd is weight management, specifically weight loss. Aside from fiber, the vegetable contains potassium and iron, which allow fluid shifts and cellular oxygenation, which promote metabolic processes. According to Style Craze, the person just peels the skin of a fresh gourd, cuts the vegetable into small pieces, and puts them in a juicer. As per the publication, the juice is believed to reduce a person’s appetite after drinking it in the morning on an empty stomach. Thus, bottle gourd can be consumed by those who want to lose fat and weight.
Anti-Urinary Tract Infection (UTI)
Bottle gourd also counters urinary tract infection, also known as UTI. Aside from its water content, which hydrates the body and prevents urine concentration, the vegetable also has a cooling effect on the body; it acts as a diuretic, which promotes urination and prevents urinary retention in the bladder, preventing infection due to microorganisms. According to The Health Site, bottle gourd is alkaline in nature, neutralizing the acidic nature of urine; this prevents the burning sensation while passing urine.
A recipe that uses bottle gourd as its ingredients is Bottle Gourd Curry. According to Indian Healthy Recipes, the ingredients include two cups of bottle gourd (chopped), one to two green chilies slit (optional), one sprig of curry leaves, a pinch of mstard, a pinch of cumin, a pinch of tureric, oil, a teaspoon of chana dal (senaga pappu) and a teaspoon of urad dal (minapa Pappu), two to three teaspoons vepudu karam, a tablespoon or two of grated fresh coconut (optional), and salt.
To prepare, as per the publication, the gourd is washed under running water. After that, its skin is peeled and it is chopped to bite sized pieces. Next, oil is added to a wide heavy bottomed pan. Then, cumin, dal, and mustard are added and fried, until the dal turn gold in color. Once done, the curry leaves and chili are added and fried until the leaves become crisp. Once done, the bottle gourd is added, along with salt and turmeric. Next, the ingredients are fried on a medium to high flame for three to five minutes and stirred to avoid burning. As per the publication, the pan is covered if the gourd is not tender; this will fully cook the vegetable; oherwise, it is just fried until fully done. Next, the vepudu karam and the coconut are added and stirred well to mix. Finally, it is served with rice and sambar or rasam.
Overall, bottle gourd is one of the nutritious vegetables people heave today, with is numerous health benefits. Thus, it can be added or made into various dishes for friends and families.