Ash gourd also called as wax gourd, white gourd, winter gourd, ash pumpkin and winter melon. It is a vine grown for its large fruit which is eaten as vegetable.
The ritual of breaking an ash gourd outside the house during Navarathri is symbolic of the animal sacrifice offered during new beginnings and believed to ward off the evil eye. Hence, called the vegetable sacrifice.
NUTRITION OF ASH GOURD:
It is composed primarily of water ( 96%), it also boasts a variety of beneficial vitamins and minerals, including vitamin-C and B complex vitamins such as niacin, thiamine and riboflavin. Ash gourd is also a valuable source of minerals like iron, potassium, zinc, calcium and magnesium. The gourd also provides a good amount of protein, carbohydrates and dietary fiber.
ASH GOURD BENEFITS:
- Sharpness of Mind.
Daily consumption of ash gourd juice in the morning enhances your intellectual capabilities
2.Accelerates weight loss.
Ash Gourd being low on calories and high in essential nutrients, can be taken regularly by those people who are strictly following a diet regime to lose weight.
3.Augments Heart Function.
It has negligible cholesterol content, hence can be safely consumed in diet regularly for promoting heart health.
4.Detoxifies the Kidneys.
It simulates the normal elimination of body wastes via the excretory system in the body.
5.Enhances Digestive System.
Ash Gourd has a significant fiber content, which helps to prevent constipation, bloating and cramping of the stomach.
6.Strengthens Respiratory Processes.
Ash gourd immensely benefits lung function and also prevents any allergies and breathing difficulties.
7.Naturally Moisturizes Skin.
The gel extract from the vegetable, when applied on sunburns and rashes, pacifies the aggravated and dried up regions of the skin, leaving it soft and completely moisturized.
8.Combats Skin Infections.
This helps in neutralizing the highly enflamed spots on the skin.
9.Promotes Hair Growth.
It provides nourishment and vigour to the hair strands.
10.Tackles Excessive Dandruff.
Ash gourd has potent chemicals that can reduce the intensity of flakiness and dandruff on the scalp of hair.
Key words: Introduction, Nutrition and Health benefits.