6 Types of Gourds and Their Health Benefits
Apart from the vegetables which have the word ‘gourd’ in their name like bitter gourd and bottle gourd, all crops belonging to the family ‘Cucurbitaceae’ can also be called gourds. It would make a very long list of vegetables and hence we will focus on a chosen few out of them which are known to have the most health benefits.
1. Bottle gourd
Also known as bottle squash, calabash and a host of other names; this gourd is one of the healthiest food available out there. It is generally light green or yellowish green in color depending on how ripe it is with white flesh underneath. It is cultivated not just as a food but also for use as a container and even a tobacco pipe.
It is beneficial for health as it contains a host of vital nutrients. Among its many health benefits, the one that deserves special mention is its stomach friendly nature. It is thus helpful in various digestive disorders besides being good for the liver and also helps prevent tooth decay. It can help in the treatment of various diseases like epilepsy, diarrhea etc.
2. Bitter gourd
Another member of the gourd family, it is known all around the world by literally a million different names. It comes in different varieties which are green when raw but turn yellow or red when they ripen.
If you can deal with its bitter taste, it can be a very healthy food to eat as it contains a high amount of vitamins and some essential minerals as well. It is especially well known for its antiviral and anti malarial properties. Besides, it has been found to be good for diabetic patients as it activates an enzyme responsible for the metabolism of glucose in the body.
3. Ridge gourd
It is also known as luffa as it is used as a loofah or bath sponge when it matures and its flesh and seeds are removed. It is also green in color and gets its name from the ridges on its body.
Ridge gourd contains a good amount of vitamins and minerals apart from a high quantity of dietary fiber and low quantity of fats and cholesterol. It is good for the digestive system and is also known to purify blood. It can also provide a cure for various diseases like eczema, piles and psoriasis.