9 Amazing Health Benefits Of Ash Gourd & How To Include It In Your Diet
There’s no doubt that vegetables of all varieties are immensely beneficial for our health. Among all the vegetables, gourds occupy a significant place largely due to their impressive nutritional profile. Ash gourd or winter melon has been extensively studied by researchers. All the studies have linked it with improved health which can be attributed to the high levels vitamin C and E that is found in it.
A powerhouse of vital minerals like calcium, magnesium, zinc, iron, copper, and selenium, ash gourd is certainly a vegetable that people need to eat more often. At this point, if you are coming across this name for the first time, you might wonder what is ash gourd called in india? It is called ‘petha’ in hindi. Now you must have got a little more familiar with this vegetable.
Where Is Ash Gourd Found?
Ash gourd, Credit: Canva
It is an ancient vegetable that has been well written about in the ancient texts. Its natural habitat consists of the wilderness present in countries that lie in the south eastern part of Asia. These places include Sri Lanka, Nepal, India, China, and Indonesia. It requires a warm climate to grow and become ripe. Hence, it finds a perfect habitat in these places.
You must have eaten dishes that include this vegetable at some point in your life. Indians make sabzi, curry, and sweets using this vegetable. Petha as a sweet is very famous in India and is everyone’s favourite. People sometimes ask, Is Ash gourd and pumpkin same? Well, ash gourd is also called white pumpkin and looks very similar to the orange one that you usually see.This vegetable is packed with medicinal value from top to bottom. Ash gourd benefits are widespread. It is an anti-inflammatory, anti-oxidative, and also aids your body to detoxify itself.
What Is Ash Gourd Good for?
healthy people, Credit: Canva
By now you must have got a clear idea that apart from imparting a great taste, this vegetable is a powerhouse of innumerable vitamins and minerals. Naturally, it comes with its various benefits. Come of the major ones are listed below.
This vegetable is primarily composed of water. Hence, it has very low calories. It is a good news for those on a weight loss diet. They can eat this vegetable in huge proportions to fill themselves up and lose weight in the process. Diabetics can also benefit by eating it. No longer will you suffer from unwanted cravings and a sense of unfulfilled appetite.
People who are concerned about their heart health should also make ash gourd a part of their diet. It does not have any cholesterol. Hence, it is very beneficial for enhancing blood circulation and making your cardiac muscles function at their peak.
The vegetable contains tons of fiber through which it is able to stimulate the excretion of toxins and wastes from your body. Hence, it is very good for your kidneys. It will hydrate each and every cell in your body and will get you rid of the toxins in your organs.
Digestive issues are commonly faced by people. They can prevent them by increasing fiber in their diet. You will never experience the problems of constipation and bloating of the stomach if you include this vegetable in your meals.
Ash gourd has expectorant quality. It makes it able to loosen more than usual mucus in your respiratory tract. Hence, your lungs will function optimally after you consume this vegetable.
Ash gourd is high in vitamin E. The gel that is extracted from it when applied to skin can greatly moisturise it and impart a smooth and glowing look. If you are suffering from rashes, sun burns, or boils, apply its gel part on the affected skin. It will help you attain relief from all the infections and allergies.
If you take away the peel of this vegetable and use the soft, fleshy part of it on your hair after blending it then you will be able to easily tackle the issue of dry hair and dandruff. It also stimulates the strength of your hair follicles which, thus makes weak and brittle hair strong.
This vegetable is non-starchy, which means that it does not contain any amount of carbohydrates. So, it is great for those following ketogenic diets or those who are advised by doctors to stay on a low carbohydrate diet.
By just drinking a glass of ash gourd juice everyday, you will witness a huge difference in your intellectual capabilities. You will become more alert, energetic, and will experience an unrivalled calmness.
How to Include Ash Gourd in Your Diet?
bowl of curry, Credit: Canva
If you want to know how to make this vegetable a part of your diet, then try this simple recipe.
In water, soak some dal for about an hour.
Now, slice some pieces of ash gourd.
In a pan, boil some oil and add seeds of cumin and mustard.
Now, add some dal and let it boil on a low flame
When dal becomes soft add all the pieces of gourd. Cook with salt and chillies till it attains a dry consistency.
Your ash gourd sabzi is now ready for you to enjoy.
Here is another ash gourd stir fry recipe for you
Peel your ash gourd, take away the seeds, and chop it into small pieces.
In a pan, boil some black gram lentils, mustard seeds, and oil. Saute it.
Now, put some ash gourd pieces. Add around ½ cup of liquid like water into it.
In a blender, blend some mustard and coconut seeds and red chilly.
When your ash gourd starts to become soft, add whatever you have blended into it.
You should stir the mixture for a few minutes.
Your ash gourd stir fry is ready for you to relish.
Did you see how easy it is to include this highly nutritious vegetable in your diet? Start enjoying this vegetable and soon you will notice a huge improvement in your health and consequently, the quality of your life.