It has assumed the reputation of the most tasteless vegetable to eat among children. But despite of the fact that it doesn''t taste very good, it has many health benefits such as:
A nutrition powerhouse: Ridge gourd is loaded with nutrients such as dietary fiber, vitamin C, riboflavin, zinc, thiamin, iron and magnesium. It is also low in fat and calories.
An ideal weight loss food: Being low in saturated fat and cholesterol and high in dietary fiber, it becomes the ideal choice for anyone who wishes to lose some weight quickly. It also has a very high water content, making it a very low calorie vegetable (only 60 calories in 100 gm of cooked ridge gourd).
Cure for jaundice: The juice prepared from ridge gourd is a natural remedy for jaundice. The juice can be prepared by pounding the bitter ridge gourd and squeezing it through a cloth. You can also eat powder made from bitter ridge gourd seeds and dry crusts when curing jaundice.
Blood purifier: Because of its blood purifying properties, it helps to purify, restore and nourish liver protecting it from alcohol intoxication.
Lowers blood sugar level: It contains insulin-like peptides, alkaloids and charantin, which help to lower blood and urine sugar levels without altering blood insulin levels.
Good for stomach: Cellulose in ridge gourd helps to overcome constipation and also aids in curing piles.
Skin care: When ridge gourd/loofah is allowed to mature and dry on the vine, it can be harvested as a sponge. Everything (skin and seeds) is removed from them except for the main network. Loofah sponge has been used traditionally as an exfoliating product when bathing. They are very good for removing dead skin cells leaving the skin smooth and conditioned. They can also help stimulate the skin thus making it healthier and more vibrant. The blood purifying properties make sure that you stay away from pimples and acne. Loofah sponge can also help control body and foot odor.
Loofah sponge, being a natural fiber, will attract the growth of mold and microorganisms if not cared for properly. It is therefore important to keep loofah sponge clean by making sure you rinse out all soaps or salt residues and allow it to air dry after use.
Strengthens immune system: A glass of Ridge gourd juice mixed with other healthy vegetables in the morning can help to strengthen your immune system against any infection.
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