Bottle gourd is called that way because it usually comes in the shape of a bottle. Native to so many countries in Asia, South America and Africa, bottle gourd is also known locally as lauki, doodhi, trumpet gourd and calabash gourd, depending on the location. In India, it is a staple in many dishes. It is said that the Peruvians were the first ones to use bottle gourd as food as well as various applications.
The vine from which bottle gourd grows is specifically cultivated for the fruit. The mature fruits are commonly harvested and dried so that they can be used as containers, as well as water pipes and various utensils. On the other hand, the young fruits are cooked and even used for medicinal purposes. Bottle gourd is also sometimes juiced, but the kind that has a bitter taste is not safe for consumption as it has some toxins in it.
A 100-gram serving of bottle gourd contains only 15 calories and just 1 gram of fat. Definitely, it does not have bad cholesterol in it, so your arteries are out of harm’s way. It has good amounts of vitamin C, as well as nutrients such as riboflavin, manganese, magnesium and zinc. Bottle gourd is packed with fiber and it helps contribute to your total fluid intake — up to 96 percent of bottle gourd is water, say the experts.
Whenever you come across bottle gourd at your favorite grocery store or farmers’ market, go ahead and pick up a piece or two. Once you’re back home, log on the web and search for easy-to-follow tasty recipes that use bottle gourd as one of the ingredients. Serving a dish containing bottle gourd is good for you and your family. The following are some of the health benefits known to be offered by bottle gourd:
It Helps Prevent Constipation and Colon Cancer
Because bottle gourd is packed with dietary fiber, having it regularly included in the diet helps regulate your bowel movement, saving your from constipation and its various uncomfortable symptoms. Experts say that consuming fiber-rich foods may also lower your risk of ending up with colon cancer.
It Promotes a Healthy Weight Loss
Overeating can make it really challenging for you to get rid of those excess pounds. Rather than take slimming pills that come with a variety of unfavorable side effects, why not simply consume healthy dishes with bottle gourd? Thanks to its loads of fiber, bottle gourd can make you feel full right away, saving you from eating more than necessary.
It Keeps Your Body Hydrated
Just like what’s stated earlier, as much as 96 percent of bottle gourd is water. This is the reason why consuming it helps ensure that your body remains hydrated. It’s the perfect vegetable as well as beverage especially during hot summer months, keeping your body cool and staving off muscle fatigue.
It Helps Lower Your Risk of Heart Disease
Thanks to the potassium content of bottle gourd, adding it in your regular diet may help keep high blood pressure in check. It’s exactly the reason why the vegetable may help save you from having heart disease. Another heart-friendly thing about bottle gourd is it contains low sodium.
It Promotes the Proper Functioning of Your Liver
Experts say that one of the impressive properties of bottle gourd is its anti-bilious capability. This means that it can help save the liver from being damaged, especially the kind that’s due to excessive bile production. With the liver functioning well, your body is more protected against chemicals and other poisonous substances.
It Strengthens Your Immune System and Protects Your Skin
One of the many nutrients found in bottle gourd is vitamin C. We all know that this vitamin is important for strengthening the immune system. Also, vitamin C functions as an antioxidant, and that is why consuming bottle gourd and other vitamin C-rich foods can help keep your skin healthy and beautiful.