Ash Gourd (Petha): Benefits, Recipes, and Side Effects.
Ash gourd is one of the popular vegetables in many Indian households. Whether it is a sweet dish or a savory, or even juice, this vegetable serves the purpose. Ash gourd is fuzzy, thick white flesh and is famous as a wax gourd, Chinese watermelon, white gourd, and winter melon. In this article, we have presented you with the list of Ash gourd benefits and some quick recipes you can try to reap those benefits. Read on to know more!
What is Ash Gourd?
Ash Gourd’s botanical name is Benicasa Hispida, whose roots are in Southeast and South Asia. This vegetable weighs 3-5 kg, is about 8-12 cm in length, is round, greyish with a waxy finish. This vegetable has a neutral taste similar to cucumber, making it an excellent addition to stews, salads, curries in Indian and Chinese cuisines.
The name of this fruit comes from its powdery ash-colored coating, and it has been used in Ayurvedic and Chinese traditional medicine. However, not all these benefits are backed by science. Ash gourd is also called as
- Neer poosanikai in Tamil.
- Kumbalanga in Malayalam.
- Bodidha gummadi kaaya in Telugu.
- Budugumbala in Kannada.
- Petha kaddu in Hindi.
- Komara in Assamese.
- Chal Kumro in Bengali.
Ash Gourd Nutrition Facts:
Ash gourd is very low in carbs, protein, fat, calories, and 96% of Ash gourd is water. Here is the list of nutrients you can find in 100 grams of raw ash gourd:
- 13 calories.
- Less than one gram of protein.
- 3 grams of carbs.
- Less than one gram of fat.
- 14% DV of Vitamin C.
- 8% DV of Riboflavin.
- 6% DV of Zinc.
- It also has small amounts of several B vitamins, copper, manganese, phosphorus, magnesium, and iron, not exceeding 3% DV.
Ash Gourd (Winter Melon) Benefits:
Here is the list of Ash gourd benefits that can be helpful for the healthy maintenance of your body.
1. Improves Digestion:
One of the main Ash gourd health benefits is that it improves digestion because it is high in water and low in calories and fiber. Which in turn helps you maintain healthy body weight. According to research, consuming water-dense, low-calorie foods like ash gourd might help people lose weight (1).
Moreover, the high amounts of soluble fiber in ash gourd help slow down the digestive process by forming a gel-like substance in your gut, promoting the feeling of fullness (2)(3).
2. Ash Gourd Helps to Lose Weight Effectively:
Ash gourd is a perfect addition to a low-carb diet because it is particularly low in carbs. Consumption of even in small amounts also helps slow down the rate of digestion because it is a high-fibrous food. In addition, ash gourd is low in calories. It has a negligible amount of fats, making it an excellent snack option.
This vegetable has Vitamin B2that helps boost energy and avoids water retention and bloating as it contains potassium. In addition, ash gourd helps manage thyroid levels and regulates stress hormones, a significant reason for weight gain.
[Read: Soursop Benefits and Side Effects]
3. Treats Ulcers Naturally:
Ash gourd helps keep gastrointestinal infections and indigestion at bay by acting as an antibacterial agent, thereby enabling you to combat the formation of ulcers on the intestine and stomach’s membranes. In addition, Ash gourd prevents the formation of acidity caused by spicy food consumption or fasting.
Ash gourd has anti-microbial properties that help cure peptic ulcers by preventing the rupturing of the stomach lining. It also helps clear up the intestine and stomach’s harmful germs.
4. Provides a Cooling Effect:
Ash gourd offers a cooling effect, similar to cucumbers, and is an ideal snacking option during summers. In addition, there is an increased mind sharpness when your body is relaxed. But you need to be a little careful with ash gourd if you are susceptible to problems like sinusitis, asthma, and cold because it creates too much coolness. If that’s the case, you can neutralize the coolness to some extent; always mix it with honey or pepper.
5. Ash Gourd Protects Against Type 2 Diabetes:
Ash gourd has benefits for diabetes because it is a good source of flavonoids, carotenes, and antioxidants. These components help prevent chronic conditions like type 2 diabetes by protecting your body against cell damage (4). Though there are conflicting human studies, Ash gourd may help reduce triglyceride, insulin, and blood sugar levels, according to mice studies (5)
6. Improves the Sharpness of Mind:
Ash gourd has been touted to boost cognitive functioning and sharpen memory as traditional Ayurveda. Moreover, the folate in Ash gourd is necessary to prevent congenital disabilities. It also helps reduce stress and relaxes the mind and brain. The brain functioning and the unobstructed conduction of nerve impulses are done efficiently with reasonable amounts of pyridoxine and vitamin B6 content.
7. Increased Energy Levels:
To do any work, increased levels of energy are necessary. Consumption of Ash gourd increases your energy levels because it is a rich source of Vitamin B3. It is especially beneficial for people who suffer from body weakness and anemia.
8. Reduce Inflammation:
Ash gourd is a good source of carotenes, flavonoids, and antioxidants. These antioxidants neutralize the excess free radicles to protect cells, reduce inflammation by counteracting oxidative stress.
9. Strengthens Respiratory Process:
The mucus secretions and phlegm in the respiratory tract are loosened with the help of the intrinsic expectorant quality of Ash gourd. It also helps prevent allergies and breathing difficulties and is highly beneficial to lung function.
10. Ash Gourd May Help Your Hair Grow Faster:
Ash gourd helps provide nourishment and vigor to your hair strands as it contains a multitude of vitamins and minerals. Moreover, when applied as a gel, it helps maintain the thickness and stability of your hair by protecting your follicles when it penetrates deep into the layers of the scalp. So, if you want long and strong hair, Ash gourd is an ideal option.
11. Get Rid of Dandruff:
Dandruff is a common problem for many of us, irrespective of gender. Ash gourd helps reduce the intensity of Dandruff on the scalp as it contains potent chemicals. It also eliminates the dirt and fungus particles that trigger Dandruff by sheltering the hair follicles. When applied routinely to the peeling and itchy scalp, Ash gourd gel can give your hair an incredible sheen by revamping the hair’s appearance.
12. Keeps Your Kidneys, Happy:
Ash gourd benefits include keeping your kidneys happy. It helps get rid of accumulated toxins guaranteeing proper hydration of the internal organs in the body by boosting the secretion of fluids within the kidneys. Ash gourd also helps balance the inner tissues of the liver and kidneys by abounding in water content and immensely cools the heated body.
13. Ash Gourd Moisturizes Skin Naturally:
Ash gourd has astringent traits that help neutralize the inflamed areas of your skin. It also has antioxidant properties and Vitamin E. The emollient properties moisturize your skin by pacifying the aggravated and dried-up regions.
14. Augments Heart Function:
Ash gourd promotes heart health because it has negligible cholesterol content and can be regularly consumed in the diet. You can add this boiled veggie into any traditional Indian dish effortlessly. Moreover, it ensures the optimal functioning of cardiac muscles by improving blood circulation to and from the heart.
[Read: Goodness of Jackfruit]
Ash Gourd Recipes:
Here are some tasty Ash gourd recipes you can try to reap the benefits from it:
1. Ash Gourd Juice:
- Four cups of peeled and chopped Ash gourd.
- One lemon.
- ¼ tbsp of pepper.
- ¼ tbsp of salt.
- One cup of water.
- Place the peeled and chopped Ash gourd into a blender along with one cup of water.
- Blend the ingredients until it becomes smooth without any lumps.
- Remove any big pieces by straining the juice.
- Add the lemon juice, pepper, and salt to the liquid.
- Combine everything and drink it fresh.
2. Petha (Indian Dish):
- One kg of large and hard Ash gourd (White pumpkin).
- Three cups of sugar.
- Three cups of water.
- Two tbsp of chemical lime.
- One tbsp of lemon juice.
- One tbsp of Gulab Jal.
- 3 to 4 peeled and crushed green cardamoms.
- Two tbsp of mild combined with two tbsp of water.
- Peel the pumpkin.
- Remove the soft, fibrous potion and the seeds.
- Slice the pumpkin into thick pieces.
- Take a fork and prick it well.
- Take enough water to cover the pumpkin pieces and dissolve one tbsp of chemical lime in the water.
- Soak the pumpkin pieces and wash them in the water.
- Cut them into cubes.
- Now use the remaining chemical lime to prepare a fresh lime water solution.
- Use the freshly made lime to soak the pumpkin pieces for two hours.
- Wash the pieces thoroughly without leaving any traces of lime.
- Cook the pumpkin pieces until they are transparent and soft by placing them in boiling water.
- Place another pan and fill it up with three cups of water and sugar.
- Bring it to a boil while stirring until the sugar is dissolved.
- Now add the crushed cardamoms and lemon juice.
- Cook until the liquid reaches one thread consistency.
- Make sure to skim off the foam collected on the pan’s sides.
- Keep the syrup warm.
- Once the pumpkin pieces are cooked, transfer them into the syrup after draining with a slotted spoon.
- Let it remain on simmer for a few minutes.
- Now take it off the stove, add rose water and combine them well.
- Let it cool and serve.
3. Ash Gourd Curry:
- 200 grams of Ash gourd.
- One medium finely chopped onion.
- One finely chopped green chili.
- ½ tbsp of mustard seeds,
- ½ tbsp of cumin seeds.
- Two sprigs of curry leaves.
- ½ tbsp of turmeric powder,
- One to 1.5 tbsp of coconut oil.
- ¾ cup of grated coconut.
- Salt as per requirement.
- Chop the ash gourd into pieces and keep them ready.
- Heat the coconut oil in a pan.
- Add the mustard seeds and cumin and fry them until golden brown.
- Add the thinly sliced onions and fry them till they become transparent.
- Now add chilli and curry leaves and fry for a few seconds.
- Now add the sliced pieces of ash gourd.
- Saute them after adding turmeric powder.
- Let the ash gourd cook in its juices by covering the pan.
- Since ash gourd has enough water, there is no need to add additional water.
- Let it cook until the ash gourd is cooked thoroughly.
- Now add grated coconut and combine it thoroughly.
- Add salt as per your taste, cover the lid and let it cook for a few minutes.
- You can eat this curry with rice, roti, or a side dish.
Ash Gourd Side Effects:
Although Ash gourd has several health benefits, here are some of the side effects caused by its over-consumption:
- Excessive consumption of Ash gourd might cause the accumulation of toxic levels of metallic elements into your system because it has many vital trace elements.
- If people with high fever consume ash gourd, it might slow down the healing process by cooling the body.
Ash gourd is one of the popular vegetables in many Asian countries because of its nutritional benefits. It is also recognized in Ayurveda because of its medicinal value. Ash gourd benefits include digestion issues, stomach ulcers, fight constipation. So, have this wonderous veggie in your diet and reap all its benefits. Don’t forget to let us know if you found this article helpful!
Disclaimer: The information provided in this article is based on pure research and not a replacement for professional advice. Consult your doctor before including anything new into your diet. The website is not responsible for the accuracy and authenticity of the information.
1. Are there any seasonal benefits of Ash gourd?
Ans: Ash gourd is ideal for cooling in summers because they grow in a warm tropical climate. You can also treat sunburns or soothe irritated skin by applying Ash gourd.
2. Is it okay to drink Ash gourd juice daily?
Ans: You can reap several benefits by starting your day with a glass of ash gourd juice. First, it helps with your body’s detoxification by kick-starting your metabolism. It also enables you to stay alert by increasing your energy levels.
3. Can we store ash gourd juice and drink it later?
Ans: After preparation, it is best to drink Ash gourd fresh to real the benefits rather than save it to drink later.