Ash Gourd (Winter Melon) Nutrition and its Health Benefits

What is Ash Gourd?

Ash gourd, scientific name Benincasa hispida, is also known by the names of winter melon, white gourd, wax gourd, Chinese melon, and puhul.

It is a fruit used as a vegetable and is native to southern parts of Asia like India, Srilanka, China, Nepal, and Indonesia.

Ash Gourd On a Climber Slices Of Lime

It grows on a creeper and is usually the shape of a watermelon. The fruit has an exterior ash coating giving its name ash-gourd.

Ash gourd holds numerous medicinal benefits in Ayurvedic and Chinese medicine and is also widely used in local cuisines in India and China.

According to yogis and Ayurveda, it is one of the highest pranic foods, i.e. (the most vital life force food)

Ash gourd is also a distant cousin of the cucumber and squash family and provides excellent curative benefits.

A 100g Serving contains the following nutrition profile.

Protein- 2.0g

Fiber- 0.6g

Sodium- 33mg

Potassium- 359 mg

Calcium- 5.1%

Zinc- 7.1%

Iron- 5.6%

Additionally, it also contains a very good amount of micronutrients like Vitamin A, C, and E.

Benefits of Ash Gourd to the body

1. High in water content

A bowl of ashgourd soup along with a piece of ashgourd held by a chopstick on the top of the soup bowl, red bell pepper and veggies in two different bowls in the background

Including ash gourd in your daily diet is the simplest way to beat the summer heat as it contains 95% water, which efficiently reduces body heat and cools down the system.

2. Expedites weight loss – Ashgourd is high in water and very low in calories, fat, and carbs. Hence, best suited for people who are following a low-carb diet.

Ash gourd contains dietary fiber that keeps one feeling satiated for a longer duration and helps in maintaining a healthy weight.

3. Detoxifies the kidneys

Many ashgourd placed on top of each other.

Kidneys act as a filtration system in our body, and hence need a satisfactory amount of water to excrete the toxins from our system.

Ash gourd helps boost the secretion of fluids in the kidney and efficiently remove the excess waste from the body as it contains 95% water. It also does a great job of hydrating the internal organs.

A glass of raw juice daily helps detoxify the body from the waste accumulated throughout the day.

4. Protects against type 2 diabetes Studies have found that ash gourd may help regulate the blood sugar and insulin levels in the body, as it is very high in water and fiber content but have negligible amounts of sugar and carbohydrates,

5. Natural laxative – It has a significantly good amount of fiber, which helps manage constipation and bloating.

The gel-like substance in ash gourd helps to regulate bowel movement and promotes clean gut health.

6. Reduces inflammation – It contains anti-microbial and astringent properties, which help in reducing inflammation.

Topical application of it helps to minimize skin allergies like fungal infections and sunburn.

7. Good for skin and hair – It contains several vitamins and minerals required for a clear complexion and healthy hair.

The vitamin E in it efficiently heals any skin problems and hydrates the skin, and the topical application helps in moisturizing the scalp leading to thick and well-nourished hair.