Ridge gourd, is a fruit of a sub-tropical vine that is native to Asia, particularly India, and is widely cultivated in tropical and subtropical regions around the world. It gets its name from the distinctive ridges or furrows that run along its outer skin. It is a versatile vegetable that is widely used in various cuisines, especially in Asian countries. Additionally, it has been popular because of its mild flavor, tender texture, and the ability to absorb and enhance the flavors of other ingredients it is cooked with.
This vegetable is highly valued not only for its culinary uses but also for its potential health benefits. Ridge gourd is low in calories and rich in dietary fiber, which aids digestion and helps maintain a healthy digestive system. It is also a good source of essential nutrients such as vitamin C, vitamin A, calcium, and iron. This article will explore all about ridge gourd, its benefits and its culinary use.
Nutritional Profile of Ridge Gourd
Ridge gourd is considered a nutritious vegetable. It may not be as commonly discussed as some other vegetables, but it offers several health benefits due to its nutritional composition.
100 grams of raw ridge gourd contains:
Calories: 13.7 cal
Proteins: 0.5 g
Fats: 0.1 g
Carbohydrates: 3.4 g
Fibre: 1.9 g
Calcium: 20 mg
Iron: 0.42 mg
Magnesium: 16.15 mg
Potassium: 118 mg
Sodium: 4.71 mg
Ridge gourd is low in calories and is a good source of fiber, vitamins, and minerals.Its nutritional composition makes it a valuable addition to a balanced diet. It’s important to note that while ridge gourd contributes to a nutritious diet, it should be consumed as part of a varied and balanced eating plan that includes a wide range of fruits, vegetables, whole grains, lean proteins, and healthy fats.
The 7 Health Benefits of Ridge Gourd
Here are some of the notable health benefits of ridge gourd:
This vegetable offers a range of important nutrients. It is low in calories and contains dietary fiber, vitamins A and C, as well as various minerals such as calcium, iron, magnesium, and potassium. Although the nutrient contents of these are not very high, they contribute to its overall nutritional value. According to studies including ridge gourd as part of a varied and balanced diet can help provide essential nutrients and support overall health.
2. Weight Management
Firstly, ridge gourd is considered a low calorie vegetable, which means it can be included in a calorie-controlled diet. Along with this, It is also high in dietary fibre, which promotes feelings of fullness and reduces appetite. The fiber also aids in digestion and regulates bowel movements, contributing to overall digestive health. Additionally, ridge gourd has a high water content, which adds volume to meals without adding calories, helping to create a sense of satiety.
3. Maintains Digestive Health
Ridge gourd is beneficial for maintaining digestive health due to its high fiber content and water content. The dietary fiber in ridge gourd promotes regular bowel movements, prevents constipation, and supports a healthy digestive system. It also improves gut health, and reduces the risk of digestive disorders such as hemorrhoids and diverticulosis.
4. Regulates Blood Sugar
It is beneficial in regulating blood sugar levels due to its low glycemic index and high fiber content. Ridge gourd has a low glycemic index, which means that it causes a slower and more gradual rise in blood sugar levels compared to high-glycemic foods. The fiber in ridge gourd slows down the absorption of glucose, preventing rapid spikes in blood sugar after meals.
5. Presence of Antioxidant Properties
Studies talk about this vine vegetable containing various antioxidants, including flavonoids and phenolic compounds. These antioxidants help protect the body’s cells from damage caused by harmful free radicals, which are unstable molecules that can lead to oxidative stress and contribute to the development of chronic diseases. By neutralizing free radicals, the antioxidants in ridge gourd help reduce oxidative damage and promote overall health. Including ridge gourd in your diet can provide these beneficial antioxidants and contribute to your body’s defense against oxidative stress.
6. Protects Heart
It is high in dietary fiber content and can help lower cholesterol levels by binding to cholesterol in the digestive tract and promoting its excretion. By reducing cholesterol absorption, ridge gourd supports healthy blood lipid profiles, which are crucial for cardiovascular well-being. Additionally, ridge gourd contains antioxidants like flavonoids and phenolic compounds that combat oxidative stress and inflammation, both of which are implicated in the development of heart disease.
7. Provides Adequate Hydration
Ridge gourd is known to have 90% water content. It can be an excellent source of hydration, particularly in hot climates or during periods of increased physical activity. Adequate hydration is vital for various bodily functions, including maintaining proper body temperature, supporting digestion, transporting nutrients, and ensuring optimal organ function. This vegetable can be a refreshing addition to the diet and contribute to overall hydration status, promoting general well-being and optimal bodily functions.
Ridge gourd, a nutrient-dense vegetable, offers several health benefits. It is low in calories but packed with essential nutrients and various fibre. Including ridge gourd in your diet supports weight management by promoting feelings of fullness and aiding digestion. It also prevents constipation and improves gut health. Ridge gourd helps regulate blood sugar levels due to its low glycemic index and contains antioxidants that protect against oxidative stress and reduce the risk of chronic diseases. It promotes heart health by lowering cholesterol levels and provides hydration.
Use of Ridge Gourd in Ayurveda and Traditional Indian Sciences
For centuries, consuming ridge gourd has been known to offer various medicinal properties and help in promoting general well-being and optimal bodily functions.
Antidiabetic Properties– Ridge gourd has been traditionally used in certain traditional medicine systems for its potential blood sugar-regulating properties. Some studies suggest that certain compounds found in ridge gourd may enhance insulin secretion and improve insulin sensitivity.
Anti-inflammatory Properties– It contains various antioxidants, such as flavonoids and phenolic compounds, which have been associated with anti-inflammatory effects in the body. These antioxidants help neutralize harmful free radicals and reduce oxidative stress, which can contribute to inflammation. Consuming ridge gourd may help in relieving one from arthritis, joint pain, and swelling.
Reduces Signs of Wrinkle and Ageing– Ridge gourd is often included in traditional beauty regimens for its potential anti-aging effects. It is believed to have antioxidant properties that help protect the skin from oxidative damage and promote a youthful appearance.
Relieves Respiratory Symptoms– Ridge gourd is known for its high water content, which can help maintain hydration and thin respiratory secretions, making it easier to expel mucus and alleviate congestion. Additionally, ridge gourd contains antioxidants and certain compounds that may have anti-inflammatory properties, which could potentially help reduce inflammation in the respiratory system and alleviate symptoms like coughing and wheezing.
It is important to note that though it is said that ridge gourd is helpful in minimizing the effects of these conditions, there is not enough modern scientific evidence to prove its benefits. Consuming this should not replace medical treatment for any chronic or underlying medical condition. Consult a healthcare professional for proper diagnosis and management of any kind of ailments.
Recipes of Ridge Gourd
Ridge Gourd Chutney
1 cup chopped ridge gourd with skin
1 tsp urad dal
1 tbsp chana dal
1 tsp sesame seeds
2 green chillies
½ inch tamarind
3 cloves garlic
1 tsp sesame oil
1 tsp sesame oil
½ tsp mustard seeds
1 sprig curry leaves
a pinch asafoetida
Heat 1/2 tsp oil in a pan, add the dals, sesame seeds and fry till they turn light brown.
Then add green chilies, garlic, tamarind, and saute for a minute.
Keep it aside and cool.
Now fry chopped ridge gourd in another half a teaspoon of oil until it turns light brown and keep aside until it cools down.
Grind together everything along with salt to a coarse or smooth paste according to your preference.
Heat oil for the tempering, add mustard seeds, curry leaves and asafoetida.
Add the tempering to the chutney and serve with idli, dosa or rice.
Dal with Ridge Gourd
Yellow moong dal – 1/2 cup
Ridge gourd chopped – 1 large
Tomato chopped – 1
Ginger grated – 1 inch
Cumin seeds – 1 tsp
Asafoetida – a pinch
Turmeric powder – 1/2 tsp
Salt – to taste
Lemon juice – 1 tsp
Curry leaves – 4-5
Ghee – 1 tsp
Soak the moong dal in water for an hour.
Heat ghee is a pressure cooker and add cumin seeds.
When they crackle, add the curry leaves and asafoetida.
Add the ginger and tomatoes and saute for a few minutes.
Add the ridge gourd, dal, salt and turmeric powder.
Add a cup of water and stir.
Close the lid and pressure cook for one whistle.
Cool, remove the lid and add lemon juice.
Serve hot with roti or rice.
Precautions Before Adding Ridge Gourd To Your Diet
Some individuals may be allergic to ridge gourd or other members of the same family, such as cucumbers, melons, or pumpkins. If you have an allergy to any of these foods, it’s advisable to avoid ridge gourd.
2. Pesticide Residue
Like any other vegetables bought from the market, ridge gourd may also contain residue of pesticides. So, to minimize exposure to pesticide residues, it’s recommended to wash ridge gourd thoroughly before consuming or opt for organic varieties whenever possible.
3. Medication Interaction
Ridge gourd contains certain compounds that may interact with medications. If you are under any prescribed medications, especially those for diabetes or blood pressure, it’s important to discuss the consumption of ridge gourd with your healthcare provider to ensure there are no potential interactions.
4. Digestive Discomfort
Although ridge gourd is generally well-tolerated by all, some individuals may experience digestive issues such as bloating or stomach discomfort post consumption. If you notice any adverse gastrointestinal symptoms, it’s recommended to reduce your intake or consult with a healthcare professional.
The peels of ridge gourd are rich in fibre, vitamins and antioxidants. Instead of discarding the peels, consider using them in chutneys, pickles, or even stir-fries to reap their nutritional benefits.
Ridge gourd holds significant importance in various cuisines and cultures worldwide. Its versatility is known through the impressive culinary uses, nutritional benefits, and potential medicinal properties. From being a staple ingredient in recipes to symbolizing cultural traditions, ridge gourd has proven to be a versatile and valuable vegetable. Its rich history and potential for further research make it a fascinating and beneficial addition to our diets.
Let’s incorporate it into our meals to enjoy its unique flavors and reap its numerous health benefits.
Disclaimer: The purpose of this article is just to disperse knowledge and raise awareness. It does not intend to replace medical advice from professionals. For further information please contact our certified nutritionists Here
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
1. What is a ridge gourd good for?
Ridge gourd is good for promoting digestion, maintaining a healthy weight, boosting immunity, improving skin health, and regulating blood sugar levels.
2. How do you eat ridge gourd?
Ridge gourd can be cooked in various ways, such as stir-frying, sautéing, steaming, or adding it to soups and stews. It is often used in curries, side dishes, and pickles.
3. Can you eat ridge gourd raw?
While ridge gourd is commonly cooked, it can also be consumed raw. However, it is usually preferred cooked as it softens the texture and enhances the flavor.
4. Is ridge gourd the same as okra?
No, ridge gourd and okra are different vegetables. They belong to different plant families and have distinct appearances, flavors, and textures.
5. Is ridge gourd good for the liver?
Ridge gourd is considered beneficial for the liver due to its antioxidant properties and ability to aid in detoxification processes. It may support liver health when consumed as part of a balanced diet.
6. When should you not eat bitter gourd?
Bitter gourd, not to be confused with ridge gourd, should be avoided by individuals with low blood sugar levels, as it can further decrease blood glucose levels. Pregnant women and those with certain medical conditions should consult a healthcare professional before consuming bitter gourd.
Nutritional and Antioxidant Components of Ridge Gourd (Luffa acutangula L. Roxb) Fruits of Promising Genotypes and Varieties
Therapeutic Potential of Luffa acutangula: A Review on Its Traditional Uses, Phytochemistry, Pharmacology and Toxicological Aspects
A review on Luffa acutangula: A potential medicinal plant
The post Ridge Gourd: Nutritional Profile, Health Benefits, Recipes and More appeared first on Blog – HealthifyMe.