It is important to take constant care of your digestive health. Many of us suffer from indigestion, bloating, acidity, constipation and other problems. There are many home remedies for these issues. But one of the most important steps you can take is to be mindful of your diet. It is crucial to choose the right fruits, veggies and spices so that you can promote long-term gut health. You don’t have to opt for fancy or expensive ingredients. Many simple, everyday veggies and locally available produce are powerhouses of the nutrients you need. One such example is ash gourd or safed petha. This particular vegetable is also known by other names like white pumpkin, wax gourd or winter melon. This veggie is perhaps best known as the main ingredient of petha, a white-coloured sweet from North India. Here’s why you should consider adding wax gourd to your diet:
Is White Pumpkin Good For Digestion? Benefits Of Ash Gourd (Petha) For Gut Health
- Ash gourd is rich in soluble fibre, which helps in healthy digestion.
- According to nutritionist Lovneet Batra, it also “promotes the growth of good bacteria, alleviates indigestion causing constipation, haemorrhoids, etc., thereby keeping the colon healthy.”
- White pumpkin has a very high water content (almost 96%). This helps detoxify the body and maintain gut health.
- This gourd is said to have alkalising properties which can relieve acidity and heartburn.
- Some research also suggests that this veggie could help prevent ulcers.
Is White Pumpkin Good For Weight Loss?
The low carb and calorie content of ash gourd makes it an excellent weight loss ingredient. Since it is high in fibre, consuming safed petha can help you stay full for longer and beat cravings. Ash gourd also contains vitamin B3, which can help you stay energised naturally. Its hydrating properties can help relieve water retention and maintain a healthy weight.
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Other Health Benefits Of Ash Gourd:
Ash gourd contains minerals such as iron, calcium, phosphorus, zinc, copper, manganese, and magnesium. Its vitamin C, flavonoids and antioxidant content are said to boost immunity and protect your cells from damage. This veggie has cooling and detoxifying properties that enhance multiple physiological processes. White pumpkins can also contribute to kidney and heart health. Here’s how you can make this veggie a part of your diet:
How To Consume Ash Gourd/ White Pumpkin/ Winter Melon/ Safed Petha:
As a juice:
One of the best ways to consume this veggie is as a simple juice. You can have it first thing in the morning, even on an empty stomach. All you have to do is peel the veggie, cut pieces of the white part and blend it with a little water and mint. No need to add sugar, salt or any other spices. Drink this juice in its most natural form for maximum benefits.
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As a main dish:
Apart from India, wax gourd is a common ingredient in the cuisines of countries such as China, Japan, Indonesia, Philippines and others. As such, you will be able to find many yummy preparations that use white pumpkins. To get started, why not try a South Indian recipe? Ash gourd is typically used in the popular avial curry. Watch the recipe video here. For other easy and delicious dishes you can try making at home, click here.
As a dessert:
You can also make some delicious desserts using ash gourd. While the addition of sugar in these dishes reduces their nutritional value, they are still an interesting way to consume this veggie and familiarise yourself with it. A classic choice would be to make the famous petha – click here for the recipe. You can also use white pumpkin to make a tasty halwa known as Kashi halwa. This is actually a festive Udipi delicacy. Find the recipe here.
Disclaimer: This content including advice provides generic information only. It is in no way a substitute for a qualified medical opinion. Always consult a specialist or your own doctor for more information. NDTV does not claim responsibility for this information.