What is ridge gourd (turai)? benefits and nutrition

A healthy diet is the first step to an all well life. The food you choose does not just decide your mood but much more in real life.

Including the best nutrients from the best foods is very necessary. Vegetables always come first in line when speaking of good nutrients and healthy food options. One such great vegetable that is packed with goodness is the ridge gourd.

Let us find out:

  • What is ridge gourd?
  • Is it healthy?
  • What are the benefits of ridge gourd?
  • What is the nutritional composition of the ridge gourd?

Let us begin!

What is Ridge Gourd?

What-is-Ridge-Gourd

Ridge gourd as the name suggests belongs to the wide range of gourds present out there. It is known as Turiya or Turai in Hindi. It is among the most popular Indian green vegetables.

It is also related to the cucumber family. It is a common vegetable in Indian cuisine as well as kitchens. Its scientific name is Luffa acutangular. Ridge gourd is also very famous for its healing properties and innumerable health benefits.

This gourd is a fruit of a climbing vine. It is dark green and long in appearance. The ridge gourd is named so because of the long vertical ridges that run through the tapering body of this green veggie.

This long green vegetable is fleshy, moist, and white on the inside. The ridged dark green outer layer is peeled off and discarded before cooking the ridge gourd. The flesh is also filled with soft flat seeds.

It is slightly sweet with a bitter kind of after taste. It softens and becomes more translucent on being cooked.

There are a variety of ways in which it can be cooked. Chopped, sliced, cubed, or grated, they taste great always. Moreover, these veggies never fail to nourish you with the best.

How to get the best and fresh Ridge gourd?

How to get the best and fresh Ridge gourd

It is crucial to pay attention while you shop for vegetables. The fresh and healthy vegetables mean better taste as well as nutritional benefits.

Indian markets and vegetable stores are usually places you will find this vegetable very easily. But the ridge gourd can also be grown at home. The vine can be grown in your kitchen or house gardens.

To pick out the best and healthiest ridge gourds make sure to check its appearance. Pay keen attention to the skin of this vegetable. It is best to opt for dark green gourds with no blemishes or spots.

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If the ridge gourds feel light or soft to touch, they can be infected. Try to look for firm and fresh ridge gourds. The ones that are too watery, soft, rubbery, or have holes can be stale.

Always look for fresher stems. The ones that are soft and rotting are signs of a spoilt vegetable.

Once you have bought the best ridge gourds for your dishes, it is best to be used fresh. They can be stored in the refrigerator for around a week. Overtime can make the vegetable go soft and prone to rotting.

Is Ridge Gourd healthy?

Is-Ridge-Gourd-healthy

Yes! Indeed the ridge gourd is perfect for a healthy meal. The nutrients found in this vegetable and the effects of it on our body are what make it so popular.

This vegetable is best because of its low-calorie factor. They can be eaten by diabetic patients, pre-diabetics, cholesterol patients, etc. it does not add any prominent weight, rather helps to keep these issues under control.

It is also low in the Glycemic Index value. Low Glycemic Index foods are really important for those who are diagnosed with diabetes. It is categorized from 0 t0 100 as below:

Sl. No.Glycemic Index categoryGlycemic Index range
1.Low Glycemic Index0 to 55
2.Medium Glycemic Index56 to 69
3.High Glycemic Index70 and over

The Glycemic Index of the ridge gourd falls under the low GI category and is thus fit for people with diabetes. It is good for managing one’s blood sugars and keeping them normal.

There are many minerals and useful vitamins found in the ridge gourd, which are great anti-oxidant agents. They help in improving the overall body immunity and functioning.

The Ridge gourd has also been a part of many Ayurvedic remedies since time immemorial. It is said to be packed with goodness that helps to maintain the balance between bodily elements. It acts to restore proper conduct between the body’s internal energies and its interaction with the outside environment.

They also have lower amounts of unhealthy and unsaturated fats and cholesterol. This makes the vegetable good for cardiac patients too.

The alkaline quality of this gourd also helps to maintain a neutral internal environment.

Before getting into a detailed account of how the ridge gourd benefits various parts of the body, let us have a look at its composition and nutrients.

Nutritional Information of Ridge Gourd

The following table shows the nutrients found in Ridge gourd. It records the amounts of nutrients for one cup of chopped ridge gourd. This is around 86 grams in total.

Sl. No.Nutrients availableAmount available
1.Calories15
2.Proteins0.4 g
3.Fats0.08 g
4.Carbohydrates2.9 g
5.Fibres1.6 g
6.Zinc43 mg
7.Phosphorus22.3 mg
8.Potassium43 mg
9.Magnesium27.5 mg
10.Calcium15.5 mg
11.Vitamin A28.3 mcg
12.Vitamin C4.3 mg
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These nutrients are found in inaccurate quantities. When added to one’s meal, the ridge gourd adds more nutrition to one’s overall daily diet.

Now let us find out in more detail, what these many nutrients do for our body and health.

What are the health benefits of eating ridge gourd?

This green vegetable can be very beneficial for one when added to the daily diet routine or frequent meals. It has potential nutrients that provide the body with the necessary benefits.

Some of the numerous advantages of eating ridge gourd are:

  1. Efficient in promoting weight loss

Losing weight and getting into perfect shape is a dream of us all. It not only prevents complications but also helps to keep away many health issues and chronic health conditions.

The low calorie-content of ridge gourd is excellent if you mean to lose some extra pounds. It is healthy and does not at all add to excess fats or calories that can affect the body weight negatively.

Fitness enthusiasts and weight-watchers can easily add this vegetable to their low-carb and low-calorie focused diets. This vegetable is also rich in water content and thus keeps the body well hydrated after workouts or exercise sessions.

  1. Good for diabetics

As we already discussed, the ridge gourd is also safe for consumption by diabetic individuals. It is low in Glycemic values and does not give rise to harmful excess levels of blood glucose in the body. This is the major necessity of food expected by people with diabetes.

This vegetable is also recommended to maintain healthy insulin functioning in the body. It is thus very beneficial for diabetics to add this green gourd in their everyday diabetic diets. It may be excellent in controlling the blood sugar levels.

  1. Encourages better digestion

The presence of good quantities of fibre in this gourd makes it very helpful for the stomach and digestive tract health.

The excess amounts of water along with the digestive-friendly dietary fibre are great for promoting easy digestion. It is said to work on keeping the bowels motile and regular.

The proper absorption of food and correct excretion leads to a healthy overall stomach and gut system. Thus, the ridge gourd is also helpful in keeping away gastric, intestinal, as well as constipation issues.

Moreover, these nutrients also assist in promoting better metabolism and strengthening the stomach and intestines.

  1. Protects against free-radicals

The anti-oxidant rich ridge gourd can be very helpful in protecting the body against many diseases. The presence of free-radicals can be harmful and may increase the vulnerability towards developing chronic conditions such as cancer, heart problems, kidney issues, etc.

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The vitamin C found in the ridge gourd can assist in keeping away the free-radicals and boost internal health.

  1. Safe on the heart

It is very crucial to pay attention to your heart’s health from a young age. Many little and big symptoms and conditions can affect the heart and have harming reactions.

The ridge gourd is a vegetable that can be included without harming the heart health. This is known to be good for the body’s cholesterol management.

Low oil content leading to less fat in this vegetable is the heart’s saviour. It can help in keeping away several cardiovascular complications.

  1. Boosts overall immunity

Strong immunity is required to stay fit and away from ailments. The many minerals and availability of vitamin C in ridge gourd enriches the body with good nutrients.

Furthermore, this packed nutritious veggie can make one stronger and protect against negative body issues.

The juice of the ridge gourd can be beneficial to the liver as well. It acts as a detoxifying agent and clears the internal systems.

  1. Improves and enhances eyesight

The vitamin A found in the ridge gourd can prove beneficial to one’s eye health. These nutrients also prevent many age-related vision issues.

It protects against and prevents macular degeneration, blindness, etc. They also offer protection against the effects of free radicals on one’s eyesight.

Conclusion

The ridge gourd, a common Indian gourd, is known for its many benefits and good effects on one’s health. It is low-carb and low-calorie, and thus, fit for many lifestyles.

Taking ridge gourd juice or the cooked vegetable can be a great way to include effective nutrients and enhance immunity.

Daily consumption of this gourd can prove advantageous for conditions such as diabetes, cholesterol issues, weigh-management, etc.

References

  1. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/11853228/
  2. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/26597132/
  3. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/32627224/
  4. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/3771544/
  5. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/30336187/
  6. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/24991118/
  7. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/10997684/
  8. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/21874188/
  9. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/8924202/
Dr Sharon Baisil MD

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