Ridge gourd (Scientific Name: Luffa Acutangula) is a deep green, narrow, and ridged vegetable.
As per the places, ridge gourd has many other names like Silky/Silk Gourd, Chinese Okra, Vegetable Gourd, Sponge Gourd, and Angles Luffa.
Ridge gourd is a fruit belonging to the cucumber family. It grows in the sub-tropical vines native to eastern as well as central Asia.
It exhibits a spongy flesh with white pulp and seeds. Ridge gourd is an essential ingredient in many regional cuisines of India.
In Vietnam, people also use it in soups and stir-fries. It is a fruit that is edible before its ripening. When it ripens, it becomes more fibrous and unfit for eating.
In this article, we will highlight the incredible nutritional health benefits of ridge gourd.
Ridge gourd is a rich source of protein, vitamins, and antioxidants, such as flavonoids (1).
100 grams of cooked ridge gourd provides the following nutrients (2):
- Water: 92 grams
- Calories: 22 Kcal
- Protein: 1.86 grams
- Fiber: 2.5 grams
- Fat: 0.21 grams
- Carbohydrate: 4.4 grams
- Calcium: 77 mg
- Magnesium: 36 mg
- Potassium: 134 mg
- Copper: 0.085 mg
- Iron: 0.28 mg
- Phosphorus: 32 mg
- Thiamin: 0.131 mg
- Zinc: 0.43 mg
- Sodium: 247 mg
- Vitamin A: 14 mcg
- Vitamin K: 39.8 mcg
- Selenium: 0.4 mcg
- Vitamin C: 16.2 mg
- Vitamin B-6: 0.186 mg
- Riboflavin: 0.06 mg
- Folate: 46 mcg
- Niacin: 0.866 mg
Health Benefits of Ridge Gourd:
1. Control Diabetes
Ridge gourd is a diabetic-friendly vegetable that exhibits anti-diabetic properties (3).
It contains a low amount of carb and has insulin such as peptides, which helps maintain the blood sugar levels. Hence, ridge gourd is an ideal vegetable for controlling diabetes.
2. Helps in Weight-loss
Since it has fewer calories and more water, ridge gourd is an excellent vegetable for those who want to lose weight (4).
Ridge gourd is also low on carbs and has a reasonable amount of fiber. With this, it gratifies a person for more hours on a little calorie.
3. Protects Heart
Ridge gourd has virtually zero cholesterol and less fat than other vegetables.
People with heart diseases must consume ridge gourd. It is one of the best vegetables that protect you from heart diseases.
4. Improves Digestion
As ridge gourd is rich in fibers and moisture contents, it improves your digestion.
Also, with its negligible fat content, it eases the bowel movement and prevents constipation.
5. Rich source of Vitamins
Ridge gourd is an outstanding source of vitamin A, which is essential for your skin, hair, vision, etc.
It also contains a considerable amount of vitamin C that helps the human body to fight with harmful free radicals.
Ridge gourd contains a significant amount of B vitamins (B-3, B-5, and B-6) and vitamin E and K.
These vitamins in ridge gourd protect our body from chronic diseases like cancer, heart disease, etc.
6. Protects from allergies
Ridge gourd contains anti-allergic sources that protect you from allergies.
Research says that regular consumption of ridge gourd may help relieve allergies like itching, etc. Some homeopathic tablets also contain luffa (ridge gourd) extracts.
7. Maintains Brain health
Cerebral ischemia is the result of inadequate blood flow to the brain, which causes the death of brain cells.
Thankfully, ridge gourd has some cerebroprotective effects that help improve the blood flow to the brain (5).
Moreover, research done on rats has shown that ridge gourd may help improve brain function.
8. Helps in relieving pain
Ridge gourd, with its anti-inflammatory properties (6), helps in relieving pains from inflammatory problems.
Research says that the seed extracts of ridge gourd have anti-inflammatory, antioxidant, as well as analgesic properties.
Additionally, ridge gourd contains antioxidants, such as flavonoids that make ridge gourd a natural pain reliever.