Our Indian gardens of vegetables are full of healthy and nutritious options. One such great green vegetable is the bottle gourd.
It can be included in a variety of dishes and preparations, and it will never fail to add flavour and nutrition to your plate and body.
Well, let us know:
- What is bottle gourd?
- What are its benefits?
- What is its nutritional composition?
And so on.
So without any further delay, let us jump right in!
What is Bottle Gourd?
Better known as Lauki or Doodhi in Hindi, the bottle gourd is a popular Indian vegetable. Belonging to the wide ranges in the gourd family, it is a fruit derived from the Tasmanian vine plant.
Like many other vegetables, the Bottle gourd is also a fruit. It is commonly used as a vegetable. In other places, this gourd is also known as the long melon, white-flowered gourd, Tasmanian bean, Calabash, New Guinea bean, etc.
Lauki is also famous for its medicinal juice. The taste, although disliked by many, does not compare to the numerous health benefits it has to offer.
The fruit of this vine is harvested will still young and not fully ripe. When in full ripe stage, the bottle gourd tends to get harder.
The harvested young bottle gourd is light green. The vegetable is long and smooth to touch.
Generally long, some other varieties of the bottle gourd are also shaped more round and broader. The round ones are more commonly known as a calabash.
They are white or cream-ish on the inside. The seeds of the bottle gourd are found inside it.
They are used in a lot of dishes. Chopped, sliced, cubed, or grated, the bottle gourd is also a part of many delicacy cuisines.
It is slightly sweet and gets translucent on cooking. Bottle gourds are used in various sweet treats and dishes too.
How to select the best bottle gourd?
Bottle gourds are relatively easy to find in Indian markets. They are commonly sold.
These vines can also be easily grown at homes.
Well, as always, be vigilant about any holes, cuts, or spots on your vegetable. Next, look for the fresh light green colour in your bottle gourds. Be careful not to get the white ones.
Always go for bottle gourds that are firm to handle. Do not choose the ones that are soft or squishy.
Make sure to check the top of the gourd at well. The tip with the stem of the fruit should not be rotting, ruptures, or damaged. It can be a sign of early stale fruit.
Lastly, before using in your kitchens, do ensure to clean the vegetable first. You can store them in the refrigerator for up to a week. Also, it is best to use a bottle gourd within two days of purchasing. This ensures a healthier and fresher vegetable.
Nutritional information of bottle gourd
Before moving on to how the bottle gourd can be good for your health, let us have a look at its nutritional composition.
The bottle gourd is packed with many healthy vitamins and minerals along with a good amount of necessary macronutrients as well.
The following table shows a list of all the available nutritional goodness and its quantities. The table records the nutrients found in one cup of chopped bottle gourd, which is around 145 grams.
|Sl. No.||Nutrients available in one cup chopped bottle gourd||Amount available|
|10.||Vitamin b9 (Folate)||8.7 mcg|
|11.||Vitamin C||14.6 mg|
Thus, the bottle gourd is low in calories. But on the other hand, is it packed with plenty of other good nutrients. This makes the green bottle gourd a fit vegetable to be added to your daily health routine.
Glycemic Index of bottle gourd and safety in Diabetes
The measure of a food’s Glycemic Index indicates the amount of and rate at which the carbohydrates of the food will affect the body.
The glycemic index measure helps to determine if a specific food is safe for consumption by diabetics. The amount of carbs in food affects one’s blood sugar levels.
Therefore, the glycemic range indicators become a crucial agent in deciding and planning one’s diabetic diet.
The glycemic index of various foods is ranked on a scale of 1 to 100. The foods are then according distributed into categories.
The categories include:
|Sl. No.||Glycemic Index categories||Glycemic Index range|
|1.||Low (safe)||0 to 55|
|2.||Moderate (safe when taken in restricted amounts)||56 to 69|
|3.||High (harmful and unsafe)||70 and above|
As per the above table, we can find out that low Glycemic Index foods are best suited for one’s diabetic requirements. Moderate Glycemic Index rated foods can also be included in a diabetic-friendly diet, but the portions must be restricted and paid attention to.
When it comes to high Glycemic Index rated foods, it is best to avoid those. For diabetics, foods that are ranked higher in the Glycemic scale can be bad for their everyday diabetes levels.
Well, is the bottle gourd healthy to be eaten by diabetic patients?
YES! Indeed, the bottle gourd is one of the recommended diabetic foods. It is very low in the Glycemic Index. The bottle gourd is ranked at 15 on the Glycemic Index scale.
The bottle gourd fits right into one’s diabetic diet schedules. It can be useful in keeping the blood sugar levels in check. They do not affect the patient’s diabetic levels and rather help to control and prevent its severity.
The several nutrients found in this vegetable also has better effects on diabetic symptoms. It can reduce many complications and help in decreasing many side-effects of diabetes.
Hence, even diabetic patients can gain the many benefits that the bottle gourd has to offer.
Benefits of Bottle Gourd
The table mentioned above shows the many nutrients that are available from the bottle gourd. Let us look into all the goodness it has over our bodies:
Good for diabetics
As we already discussed, apart from being low in the Glycemic Index, it serves many other benefits for one’s diabetic health.
This vegetable provides one with the necessary fibres. Fibre is a very necessary nutrient that is extremely beneficial for the body. It is required, especially for diabetic patients.
It helps to control the release of sugars in the blood too. This, in turn, manages and prevents any high spikes in blood glucose levels.
Therefore, fibre is crucial in managing and controlling diabetes.
Good for stomach issues
The bottle gourd can also be beneficial in resolving many stomach upsetting issues. It can prevent indigestion, as well.
The already available fibre in it is useful in keeping away constipation. Stool formation and bowel movements are rather regularly benefitted from the fibre.
The bottle gourd can also be remedial in solving other stomach-related conditions. Some of them are – stomach ulcers, infections, acidity, indigestion, etc.
Great for weight management
The fewer amounts of calories found in bottle gourd make it perfect for a diet that is focused upon losing some pounds.
Weight Watchers, diet controllers, fitness enthusiasts, etc. can be on the advantage by consuming Bottle gourd. It not only reduces the daily total calorie intake but also fills the body with nutrients as well as satisfies the appetite.
Diabetics, cholesterol patients, etc. can also add the bottle gourds to make sure to not add on any weight. Losing and maintaining healthy body weight is crucial in keeping away many diseases and chronic health issues.
Although the bottle gourd is low in calories, it can still provide nourishment to the body.
Also, the sodium levels in the body can be managed with the intake of bottle gourd. It makes sure that the levels of sodium do not drop under recommended limits. This helps in marinating the energies and also protects against exhaustion and fatigue.
Aids in soothing
The alkaline property of the bottle gourd helps to keep the internal functions soothed.
Daily addition of bottle gourds into one’s diet can be very effective in reducing acidic overloads in the body.
It can assist in keeping away urinary tract inflammations due to an increased amount of acids. It prevents that burning sensation in the urinary passage and also prevents any further severities.
Maintains a healthy heart
Among so many advantages, it also helps in regulating the cholesterol levels and keeping the heart fit.
Regularly including bottle gourd, can enrich the good functioning of the heart and promote overall health.
With 92% water, the bottle gourd is amazing as a cooling agent.
It provides hydration to the body and reduces unnecessary warmth in the body.
Used of Bottle gourd juice
The juice extracted from this veggie is a lot more nutritious than the vegetable itself. It enhances the benefits it provides to the body.
Drinking one glass of bottle gourd juice on an empty stomach is an Ayurvedic cure for diabetes, cholesterol, and so on.
It is also a great post-workout drink.
Lauki juices are available in stores. You can also make the juice at home, adding in honey for increases goodness.
It is time to add this new juice to your everyday morning routine. The effects will not fail to amuse you.
Be cautious that bottle gourd juice has a toxic tetracyclic triterpenoid chemical called cucurbitacins which can cause toxicity, if taken in large quantities.