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Ridge Gourd – Health Benefits, Uses and Important Facts

Ridge Gourd – Health Benefits, Uses and Important Facts

Popular in Indian cuisine, ridge gourd is available in two different varieties: Luffa aegyptiaca or Luffa cylindrica (type with smooth surface) and Luffa acutangula (with ridged surface). Several languages have different names for it; in India, it is called "Turai," in Bengal, "Jhinge," in Telugu and Tamil it is called "Peerkangaai."


Ridge gourd is a green, fleshy vegetable that is tasteless and bland by nature. Hence, after proper seasoning with spices, it is often used to produce various traditional "desi" meals as pakoras, sambhar, dal, chutney, and raita. It has a neutral flavour and is not particularly interesting to eat, but it has numerous health benefits, including aiding in weight loss, protecting eye health, and boosting immunity.



What is ridge gourd?

The ridge gourd is the edible fruit of a subtropical vine in the cucumber family that is indigenous to much of eastern and central Asia as well as the Indian subcontinent. The plant can withstand a wide range of temperatures and is so simple to grow that it is often grown in greenhouses in areas with colder climates. Although ridge gourd is commonly used as a vegetable in many Asian dishes, the ripe fruit is inedible. When fully ripe, the fruit becomes too fibrous to consume but is perfect for loofahs and scrubbers.



Plant description of ridge gourd:

Native to Asia, including China, India, Nepal, Indonesia, and the Philippines, the ridge gourd does best in hot and humid climates. The curved, branching branches and dark green, glossy leaves give these bushy plants a distinctive appearance. In the summer, the plant blooms with yellow flowers. Edible ridge gourd fruits (consumed as the vegetable) mature into elongated shapes with a green skin, a white pulpy inside, and black seeds at their centres.



Nutritional value of ridge gourd:

Ridge gourds are packed with nutrients like vitamin A, vitamin C, iron, magnesium, and B6 as well as dietary fibres and water. They have hardly any calories, harmful saturated fats, or cholesterol by nature. Moreover, they are rich in powerful antioxidants and alkaloid chemicals, both of which control metabolism and flush out pollutants.



Health benefits of ridge gourd:

Improves Eyesight:

They help shield your eyes from diseases like macular degeneration and glaucoma. Beta carotene, a powerful antioxidant, protects the eyes by flushing out damaging toxins from the optic neurons and visual blood vessels.


Treats Anaemia:

Due to its high iron content, ridge gourd is useful for treating anaemia caused by a lack of iron in the diet. Moreover, ridge gourd is rich in vitamin B6, which, together with iron, is essential for the healthy production of red blood cells in the body. As a result, the body's blood flow is normalised, reducing pain and weariness.


Helps in weight loss:

Ridge gourd aids in weight loss because it is naturally low in calories and has very little in the way of saturated fats or cholesterol. This, in turn, aids in the rapid breakdown of ingested proteins, carbs, and fats and prevents the unwanted accumulation of fat in one's body tissues. In addition, the insulin-like peptides and alkaloids in ridge gourd aid in the regulation of blood sugar, allowing diabetics to keep their weight and metabolic rate stable.


Helps in constipation:

Helps in constipation: The ridge gourd has a high concentration of cellulose, a type of natural dietary fibre, in its flesh. Constipation can be relieved quickly and effectively by taking ridge gourd in the form of dals or fries, or by drinking a glass of ridge gourd juice flavored with some honey.


Protects liver:

Protects liver: As a result, it's an important factor in maintaining liver health and facilitating bile production. The liver secretes a fluid called bile, which aids in the digestion of lipids (fats). Moreover, it is an effective treatment for jaundice and other hepatic duct infections.


Regulates sugar level

Regulates sugar level This juicy green vegetable is also rich in phytonutrients with hypoglycemic properties, which help to keep blood sugar levels steady after eating. This is how ridge gourd helps keep diabetes under control by improving digestion, metabolism, and insulin function.


Improves Skin's Texture

Rich in the antioxidant vitamins C and A, ridge gourd aids in the elimination of harmful free radicals, the prevention of oxidative damage to healthy skin tissues, and the detoxification and purification of the blood. Add a little ridge gourd to your daily diet in the form of salads, smoothies, stir-fries, dals, or curries and watch your skin glow as it heals from infections, dark spots, acne, and more.


Reduces Excessive Body Heat: 

Because ridge gourd is a water vegetable, it contains a lot of water, which has a cooling effect on the body. The minerals potassium, sodium, zinc, copper, and selenium are all a part of this healthy cornucopia. They not only combat dehydration, restore electrolyte balance, and replenish lost fluids and nutrients, but they also help neutralise excess acidity in the body, creating a favourable alkaline environment.


Boosts immunity:

Having a poor immune system and not being able to fight off infections is a significant cause of chronic inflammation, which manifests in the eyes, liver, stomach, and kidneys. Vitamin C, iron, magnesium, riboflavin, thiamine, and zinc are all found in ridge gourd, and they all work together to keep inflammation low and immunity high.


Ridge gourd aids in the management of acidity, the excess of which can cause stomach abnormalities and ulcers. This vegetable aids in the relief of peptic ulcers thanks to its potential cooling agent properties and anti-inflammatory properties. In addition, it has long been recognised for its ability to calm the discomfort of a burning stomach or urinary tract.


Keeps heart healthy

Improves cardiovascular health since potassium and magnesium are necessary for healthy heart function. When it comes to combating free radicals and preserving cells from damage, a healthy heart depends on a diet rich in minerals and potent antioxidants like those found in ridge gourd.



FAQs on Ridge Gourd:

Is ridge gourd safe to eat raw?

In Indian cooking, ridge gourd, or squash, is a common ingredient. Ridge gourd is edible raw, however it must be well washed before consumption. Even though they are safe to eat raw, most people prefer to cook them first.


Do ridge gourds cause gas?

The high soluble fibre content of ridge gourd aids digestion and keeps you from getting backed up. Intestinal issues including gas, bloating, and stomach pain have a natural treatment in this plant. However, ridge gourd's effects on those with digestive issues including gas and bloating have not been studied.


Can ridge gourd help with fatty liver disease?

The ridge gourd's positive effects on fatty liver are only one of its many health benefits. Because potassium aids in the excretion of both fluid and fat, it can be utilised in the treatment of fatty liver.


Are okra and ridge gourd the same?

While the ridge gourd and okra are not the same thing, they are related. As members of the same vine family, okra and ridge gourds are easily confused with one another. Yet, they are not the same thing and have important distinctions:


In contrast to ridge gourds, whose skin is smooth, okra is covered in sharp spines.

The skin of an okra is much more robust than that of a ridge gourd.

In contrast to okras, which contain painful oxalic acid when consumed raw, ridge gourds can be consumed in their raw form.


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