Health Benefits of Lauki or Doodhi | Benefits of Bottle Gourd
Health Benefits of Lauki or Doodhi | Benefits of Bottle Gourd (Lagenaria siceraria) – Ghiya, Lauki or bottle gourd is yellowish-green in colour and usually in the shape of a bottle (hence the name).
Also known as opo squash, it has white pulp, with white seeds embedded in spongy flesh. It is cultivated in the humid weather conditions of Sri Lanka, India, Indonesia, Malaysia, Philippines, China, tropical Africa and South America.
Be it as a juice, in a sabzi or in for a soup, you will reap the health benefits of lauki from this water-rich vegetable. Endorsed by Ayurveda, this vegetable is totally delightful, be it sweet, think Lauki ka Halwa, or spicy, as in Lauki Aloo Ki Sabzi Curry.
Health Benefits of Lauki or Doodhi
Lauki is extremely low in calories. It provides small amounts of vitamin C, folate, calcium, iron, zinc and B vitamins. It is also rich in fibre and is believed to help aid in healthy digestion.
The juice of lauki is touted for its vitamin C and zinc content as well as for its ability to potentially regulate blood sugar levels. In India, the juice is popularly consumed as a health benefiting beverage.
Caution should be used however as to not ever consume lauki juice that has developed a bitter flavour. It may contain toxins that can be extremely harmful to the digestive tract and can cause ulcers and even be fatal.
Culinary Applications of Bottle Gourd or Ghiya
- Ghiya is used most often as cooked. When young it can be utilized with skin on or when more mature the skin can be removed for a more tender texture.
- In India, it is used by itself or mixed with lentils for super-nutritious curries and sweets.
- Overseas, ghiya is popularly added to soups, stews and stir-fries or grated and used in batter for quick bread and fritters.
A popular north Indian dish is lauki channa, (channa dal and diced gourd in a semi-dry gravy). In the state of Maharashtra in India, a similar preparation called dudhi channa is popular.
The peel of the vegetable is used in making a dry spicy chutney preparation (recipe below). It is consumed in Assam with fish curries, as boiled vegetable curry and also fried with potato and tomatoes.
Lauki kheer (grated bottle gourd, sugar and milk preparation) is a dessert from Telangana, usually prepared for festive occasions.
To incorporate ghiya in food, simply peel the bottle gourd, cut it into half lengthwise. Remove the seeds and spongy interior using a paring knife. Discard the flesh because it turns mushy when cooked. However, you can also use it to make a spicy bottle gourd peel chutney.
Health Benefits of Doodhi or Ghiya Juice
- Drinking a glass of doodhi juice in the morning is beneficial for treating grey hair.
- Massaging your head with the juice with sesame oil provides an effective medicine for insomnia.
- Ghiya juice is very helpful in treating insanity, epilepsy, stomach acidity, indigestion, ulcers and other nervous diseases.
Health Benefits of Ghiya, Doodhi or Bottle Gourd
Health benefits of lauki or bottle gourd include having an enormous impact on the treatment of high blood pressure and heart disease.
- Cools your body – Bottle gourd juice has a cooling effect on your body and keeps your body hydrated especially during summers. It keeps your stomach cool and reduces body heat.
- An anti-oxidant, it is rich in nutrients – Lauki in your diet to replenishes the body with essential nutrients and fibres. It is low in saturated fats and cholesterol, and rich in nutrients such as riboflavin, zinc, iron, magnesium, Vitamin C, etc. It also has anti-oxidation properties along with Vitamin B and C.
- Beneficial for the heart – Lauki is also very beneficial for your heart. Drinking its juice at least thrice every week will help you in maintaining a healthy heart. It also keeps a check on your blood pressure.
- Helps for a healthy digestive system – Bottle Gourd is a common medicine for disturbed digestion. Eating Bottle Gourd on a regular basis helps improve digestion and keep the digestive system on a healthy track. This is owing to its nutritious dietary fibres.
- Checks Diabetes – Another and major health benefits of lauki is its impact on diabetics. The glycemic index of bottle gourd is 15, which is low. This means that bottle gourd releases sugar into the blood at a much slower rate and hence helps check diabetes.
- Lauki is an alkalizing diuretic – Lauki supports the kidneys and the urinary system of our body by reducing burning sensation from high acidic urination. It also reduces the chances of urinary infection because it is alkalizing and has a diuretic effect.
- Relieves stress – Lauki juice contains the highest amount of choline, a neurotransmitter, than any other vegetable. It is loaded with vitamins, amino acids and minerals that help in the synthesis of neurotransmitters that in turn help in the proper functioning of the brain cells and thus, prevent mental disorders like stress and depression. One of the major health benefits of lauki.
Bottle Gourd is one of the healthiest vegetables. Health benefits of ghiya make it an extensive ingredient for food globally. It has a 100% usage. Here is a bottle gourd peel recipe uses the leftover bottle gourd peels or ghiye ka chilka to make a spicy and delicious chutney.
- Bottle Gourd Peel - 50 grams (1 Cup)
- Sesame seeds - 15 grams (3 Teaspoons)
- Desiccated coconut - 15 grams (3 Teaspoons)
- Green chillies - 5 grams (1 Teaspoon)
- Salt to taste
- Vegetable Oil - (1 Tablespoon)
- Mustard seeds (1/4 Teaspoon)
- Asafoetida (Hing) - One Pinch
- Water - 3-4 Tablespoons
- Wash bottle gourd and peel thick.
- Heat vegetable oil.
- Fry mustard, asafoetida, chopped green chillies, sliced coconut, sesame seeds and bottle gourd peel.
- When crisp, remove and cool.
- Grind into a fine paste using little water.
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