When it comes to fruit that is eaten as vegetable, white gourd is among one of them. If you are willing to broaden your knowledge about some exotic vegetables and fruits, learning more about the health benefits of white gourd is highly recommended. Uniquely, among the locals, white gourd is also used to keep away bad spirit and protect mother during pregnancy.
What Is White Gourd?
White gourd comes from genus Benincasa with botanical name Benincasa hispida. This plant is originated from Southeast Asia and South Asia from the tropical Java islands to the cold weather of Japan, it is one of the vegetable in the lists of Asian fruits and its health benefits are already well known. Instead of white gourd, the term that is popular worldwide is wax gourd or winter gourd. The name wax gourd derived from the fact of the fruit will be coated with waxy material when mature, the term winter gourd also used because you could keep this fruit in a long time just like the winter squash. The appearance of the fruit is similar to melon as well as the vine plant characteristic with yellow flowers.
Nutritional Value of White Gourd
Among the other types of vegetables, white gourd is one of the vegetables that surprisingly high in vitamin C and vitamin B2. Furthermore, the amount of potassium found in white gourd is also very significant compared to other minerals such as zinc and iron. The juicy texture of white gourd which is similar to melon makes this vegetable is excellent source of fiber. To find out more about the health benefits of white gourd, the list below will tell you more about this tasty vegetable.
- Great for Heart
The amount of potassium found in white gourd is the reason why this vegetable is great for heart. The health benefits of potassium are to make sure there is no excessive amount of sodium that could lead to several cardiovascular conditions.
- Good for Digestion
Surely you have been familiar with the health benefits of fiber which is great for digestion. Well, as mentioned above white gourd is one of the vegetables that are well known as excellent source of soluble fiber.
- Vision Booster
As mentioned above white gourd is loaded with vitamin B2 or also well known as riboflavin. This compound is excellent vision booster and prevents conditions like blindness in senior age.
- Natural Immunity Booster
The trace of vitamin C benefits found in white gourd is making this vegetable is an excellent immunity booster. Furthermore, white gourd is also excellent source of zinc.
- Promotes Cell Regeneration
White gourd is also highly recommended for children in development stage because it is packed with vitamin C and certain minerals that are great for cells regeneration as well as promote healthy bone growth.
- Excellent Energy Booster
Whenever you feel like losing your energy and required an energy booster, white gourd may help you in this matter. There are some beverage brands made from white gourd that could solve your problem because the vitamin B2 found in this vegetable is an excellent energy booster.
- Improves Cognitive Function
The high concentration of several minerals found in white gourd is the reason why this vegetable could help improving cognitive function. The health benefits of iron is optimizing the production of RDCs which essential for optimal oxygen distribution to prevent cells oxidation that could lead to cognitive problem.
- Body Detox
Traditionally, white gourd has been well known as vegetable used for diuretic. The increase of urination could be used as treatment to detoxify body from toxins. The result is your kidney will be cleaned and your liver could work optimally.
- Recommended for Weight Loss
If you are currently in weight loss diet program, surely you find it really hard to manage your daily menu. Well, for new menu you may add white gourd to your vegetable choice because this vegetable is very tasty and yet low in calories.
- Excellent Source of Antioxidant
Consuming vegetables rich of antioxidant is an excellent way to fight the worst effect of free radicals. Free radicals are the root of several fatal diseases like cancer and arthritis. Vitamin C found in white gourd is the one responsible to eliminate the free radical because it could act as potent antioxidant.
- Prevents Cold and Flu
There is no easy way to deal with cold and flu though this condition is considered as common condition. However, it is better to prevent instead of deal with it. Consuming white gourd regularly could help preventing cold and flu by optimizing your immunity system.
- Treats Migraine
It is not a common knowledge unless you are a nutrient expert. The most effective way to treat migraine is consuming foods or vegetables that are rich of vitamin B2. The intake of vitamin B2 will reduce the symptoms of migraine significantly.
- Home Remedy to Food Poisoning
In Sri Lanka, traditionally people are eating white gourd to treat food poisoning that could lead to diarrhea. It is closely related to the high concentration of fiber found in this vegetable. Soluble fiber will absorb the water and stop the diarrhea while anti-bacterial properties will help killing the root of the problem.
- Treats Nervous Disorder
White gourd is one of the plants used in Ayurvedic medication practice. Since ancient time, white gourd has been used to treat nervous disorder, like epilepsy. Though, further research is still strongly required to prove the effectiveness of the treatment to support the claim.
- Promotes Healthy Skin
In China, white gourd is used for skin treatment. The fact that white gourd could optimize the cell regeneration including skin cells are the reason why this vegetable is excellent anti-aging and anti-wrinkle treatment for younger and healthy skin.
Cautions of White Gourd
White gourd is packed with some essential nutrients for body metabolism but still there are some cautions that people should aware as well.
- White gourd is not recommended to be consumed by women during pregnancy especially in the first trimester.
- Though white gourd is very juicy but consuming it in a moderate amount is highly recommended. Too much white gourd will lead to indigestion condition.
- Winter melon is very sweet and it is not recommended for those who are suffering from asthma.
- Allergic reaction still may occur especially for you who are consuming this vegetable for the first time and by those who are allergic to vegetables from the same family like cucumber.
Based on some history notes, white gourd was once brought to Europe during Renaissance period. Different countries have different name to call white gourd, most Europe will refer white gourd as winter melon or wax melon but countries in Asia has their own name to call this vegetable.