Ash gourd: A superfood that guards your health!
Here is everything you need to know about this amazing superfood.
Ash gourd that is also called as Benincasa hispida, White melon, wax gourd, or white pumpkin is hugely popular in south Asian countries like China and India.
It resembles an oblong melon in size and cucumber in taste whose outer surface morphs into powdery ashy colour on ripening.
Ash gourd is packed with rich nutrition which is linked to some amazing health benefits. The high nutrients content also makes ash gourd a gem for Ayurveda and Chinese medicine.
Ash gourd is considered ideal for weight loss because of its high water content. This superfood can fight a plethora of ailments and can thwart many other health scourges.
Here in this article, we will look in-depth on its nutrition content and amazing health benefits.
Ash gourd Nutrition facts
The following nutrition fact of per 100 grams of Ash gourd is given by the National Institute of Nutrition, ICMR, Hyderabad.
Ash gourd benefits by Ayurveda
Ash gourd is a cornerstone for ayurvedic medicines. It has a plethora of medicinal uses which has several health advantages. Ayurveda boasts some of the peculiar medicinal advantages of Ash gourd such as treatment of asthma and other lung diseases.
It is also effective against urine retention, internal hommage, and epilepsy. Also in Ayurveda, the fruit juice of ash gourd can cure snake bites and mercury poisoning. On top of that this juice is effective against bleeding of gums and can even thwart mouth cancers. Hence we can say that Ash gourd is totally worth its weight in gold as far as Ayurveda is concerned.
Do you know?
Ash gourd is a fleshly vine of the gourd family that is native to South Asia. Ash gourd is good to grow using multilayer farming techniques. It is widely used in soups, curries or stir-fries. It has a long shelf life and can be stored for several months. The plant of ash gourd consists of solitary unisexual yellow flowers that are 8-10 cm wide.
The oblong fruits are hairy in their younger days and can extend up to 40 cm. On ripening fruits turn green with a whitish waxy coating or powdery ashy coating hence it is called Ash gourd or Wax gourd.
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Ash gourd hosts a lion share of water that is around 96% of its total nutrition content. It is a rich source of potassium which helps to control blood pressure.
Also, it is blended with minerals such as calcium, magnesium, iron, phosphorous. On top of that, it is loaded with vitamin B1, vitamin B3, and vitamin C. It also contains a modest level of pantothenic acid and riboflavin.
Ash gourd holds an ample amount of fibre which is linked to smooth bowel movements. The fibre content also curbs colon cancer by eliminating toxic compounds from the gut.
Protein and Carbs
Ash gourd is low in carbs which makes it a part of the food for the people following low carbs diet. It is also gluten-free which is a protein molecule and hence suitable for celiac disease patients.
Vitamins and minerals
Ash gourd host a fair share of vitamin C (14% of RDA per 100 grams) which is a water-soluble antioxidant that plays a crucial role in boosting immunity and helps in absorption of iron in the body. Also, it is linked to collagen synthesis in bones, blood vessels, and cartilage.
Ash gourd host an infinitesimal share of folates (vitamin B) which is linked to DNA synthesis and cell division functions. It helps eliminate the neural-tube defects in the new bord baby if taken in adequate amount during pregnancy.
Ash gourd holds a higher amount of potassium which is a vital inter-cellular electrolyte. The richness of potassium is linked to adequate blood pressure. It is a friend of heart and avoids heart-related risks.
The fame of Ash gourd
Ash gourd is an eminent part of Asian cuisine. There is a wide array of ways to eat this superfood. It can be eaten on its own or can be blended with soups or salads. Also, it can be baked or fried.
It is also an important ingredient to make jams, ketchup, cakes, icecreams, or sweets. One of the popular sweet made from Ash gourd is Indian petha. Apart from this, it is also an important addition to juices.
7 health benefits of Ash gourd
1. Promotes weight loss
Ash gourds host a fair share of dietary fibre which aids in weight loss. The fibre content stimulates smooth bowel movement, reduces the cravings, and keeps you full for a long time. Also, it is low in calories and carbs thus aids in burning unnecessary fats.
2. Heart friendly
Ash gourd contains an infinitesimal amount of cholesterol which is linked to a healthy heart. It is rich in potassium which reduces the high blood pressure and avoids heart-related scourges. Thus ensures the optimal functioning of cardiac muscles.
3. Good for kidneys
Ash gourd juice prevents kidney stones and supports routine tasks of kidneys and bladder. It enhances the secretion of fluids in kidneys. The ash gourd juice acts as a detoxing agent and removes the accumulated toxins in kidneys.
4. Boost digestion
Ash gourd holds a significant amount of fibre which is linked to smooth bowel movement. It thwarts constipation, bloating, and cramping of the stomach. It also stimulates gut bacteria for good gut health.
5. Supports respiratory process
Ash gourd possesses an expectorant quality which is linked to the removal of phlegm or mucus from the respiratory tract. This property of ash gourd hugely benefits lungs and can be vital for asthmatic people.
6. Promotes hair growth
Ash gourd is blended with vitamins and minerals which provide nourishment to hair and tackle hair strands. It penetrates the deep scalp and helps maintaining the thickness and stability of hair and protect follicles.
7. Boost immunity
Ash gourd is a powerhouse of vitamin C which helps to boost our first line of control against the situation of illness. It also helps to recover from fatigue.
Ash gourd: Q&A
- Q: Is Ash gourd good for thyroid?
- A: Ash gourd holds a fair share of iodine which can de-elevate the high levels of thyroid hormones. It also hosts a good amount of zinc which is linked to proper enzyme functioning for optimal thyroid hormones. Thus Ash gourd is good for thyroid.
- Q: Is Ash gourd good for diabetes?
- A: Ash gourd is believed to be good for type 2 diabetes. However, there are not enough studies to prove that it stimulates low blood sugar levels.
- Q. Can you take Ash gourd juice during pregnancy?
- A: Yes, a moderate amount of Ash gourd would not do any harm during pregnancy. As it is densely packed with vitamins and minerals it keeps you hydrated. Moreover, it is rich in antioxidants which keeps your skin cells healthy during pregnancy. However, the excess of Ash gourd consumption should be avoided as it may produce some ill effects.
- Q: How do I choose a good Ash gourd?
- A: You should always check for the freshness before buying ash gourd or else it can trigger some ill effects in the body. If you are looking for a ripe ash guard you should ensure that its skin is whitish (powdery ashy) green in colour.
Side-effects of drinking ash gourd juice
The optimal consumption of ash gourd juice has no possible side-effects. However, the excess intake is harmful and can stimulate side-effects in many individuals particularly for obese people.
It may result in the toxic accumulation in the body triggering harmful effects. It may also increase the cough in winters hence can adversely hamper asthmatic patients. Individuals with fever or high fluctuation in body temperature must avoid ash gourd juice.
Ash gourd nutrition: All in all
Ash gourd is low in carbs and calories and high in fibre which is linked to weight management. It is a rich source of potassium which helps in controlling blood pressure. Ash gourds are believed to boost digestion and effective against type 2 diabetes.
Ash gourd juice acts as a detox agent and is efficient against kidney stones. Thus with a plethora of rich nutrition that is linked to amazing health benefits ash guard is widely used in Ayurveda.
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