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Health Benefits of the Humble Bottle Gourd

Bottle gourd and its benefits, nutritional detail, how to grow bottle gourd at home, and the best suitable season to grow the same.

Swati Sharma
Bottle gourd
Bottle gourd

Bottle Gourd (Lagenaria siceraria), also called white-flowered gourd or calabash gourd, is a running or climbing vine of the gourd family (Cucurbitaceae). The young fruits are usually cooked as vegetables or harvested when mature to be dried and used as utensils. When it is fresh, the fruit has a light green smooth skin and white flesh.

Calabash has different shapes – long, cylindrical, round, small and bottle shape, or slim and serpentine, and they can grow over a meter long.

Do you know the gourd was one of the world’s first cultivated plants grown for utensils/containers, primarily not for food?

Nutritional detail per 100gms of bottle gourd:

  • Energy: 15 Calorie [4%]

  • Protein: 0.4 gms [1%]

  • Carbohydrate: 8.6 gms [3%]

  • Fibre: 3.1 gms [12%]

  • Fat: 1gms [0.1%]

  • Cholesterol: 0.1 mg [0%]

  • Vitamins: 174.9 mg [55%]

  • Minerals: 249.5 mg [23.9%]

Why do dieticians or doctors advise including bottle gourd in the diet?

Bottle gourd is enriched with the goodness of nature; it is low on calories and fats. It has 96% of water and soluble fibre. It is an excellent vegetable for weight watchers and patients who have diabetes and other lifestyle diseases because of low calories. Besides that, Bottle gourd is low in saturated fats and cholesterol and has enough minerals and vitamins like zinc, iron, magnesium, etc., to keep the body fit and healthy.

Benefits of Bottle Gourd:

  • Cures constipation: Bottle gourd is enriched with soluble and insoluble dietary fiber. Hence, it helps to cure constipation, pomposity, and piles. It is easy to digest. That is why doctors suggest having a bottle of gourd if there is any problem related to the stomach.

  • Promotes weight loss: Vitamins, minerals, and dietary fiber in bottle gourd maintain the body's nutrients and control unnecessary hunger. It gives the best result if you drink its juice in the morning on an empty stomach, as per health reports. (Please consult your doctor before starting any kind of vegetable juice on an empty stomach)

  • Proper liver functioning: Ayurveda doctors recommend a bottle gourd for balancing the liver function when the liver is swollen and unable to function well.

  • Lowers blood sugar level: Bottle gourd has low fats and cholesterol. It keeps the blood sugar level controlled. Together with diabetics, it is fantastic for those who are recovering from an illness or injury.

  • Heart protector: Bottle gourd consists of potassium, sodium, and essential minerals that manage blood pressure and control the risk of a heart ailment.

  • Best coolant in summer: Bottle gourd comprises 96% water and is, therefore, a great refreshing drink without calories. It gives a fresh, relaxed feeling during the summer season.

Is it possible to grow bottle gourd at home?

Yes, it's easy to plant the bottle gourd at home by the seed sowing method. You can grow the bottle gourd throughout the year. Summer and monsoon are the best seasons to plant seeds. If you have open ground, then it is excellent; otherwise, you can plant the seeds in a container and let them allow further to grow on the roof of the house.

How to check the freshness of the bottle gourd?

It should have a smooth surface and pale green color. There should not be any cuts, spots, or blemishes. It should be solid to handle, and the flesh should not feel soft when pressed.

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