The scientific name of hairy gourd is Benincasa hispida. The origin of hairy gourd is uncertain, but Indo China and India are regarded to be the centers of greatest diversity. The color of hairy gourd is green to dark green with pale green speckles. The major nutrients of hairy gourd are Vitamin C, Vitamin B1, Vitamin B2, dietary fiber and potassium.
The hairy gourd is annual creeping vine along with branched tendrils found growing in a temperate, warm climate. It normally prefers fertile, organically rich, medium moisture and well – drained loams soil. Hairy gourd has prominently – furrowed, coarse, thicker and hairy stems. In one cup of hairy gourd there are 11 Kcal.
The immature and mature, but not ripe fruit is packed for cooking after peeling the skin. The firm flesh is sliced and used in stews, soups, stir – fry on its own or with fish, meat or other vegetables. The firm flesh of the mature fruit is candied with sugar and it can be dried for future use. The young shoots, flowers and leaves are sometimes consumed as vegetable as for wax gourd.
Health benefits of hairy gourd
Treatment for cancer
The hairy gourd has Vitamin C or ascorbic acid which is one of the most effective and safest nutrients. It is water – soluble vitamin and it is powerful antioxidant for the synthesis of collagen which helps to make blood vessels, as well as body muscles robust. Also, the Vitamin C is important for the protection of different forms of cancer. This has good amounts of Vitamin C, so if you consume hairy gourd, then you have less chances of getting cancer. There are different studies in which are shown that the consumption of Vitamin C rich hairy gourd is associated with a reduced chance of cancer of the mouth, rectum, stomach, colon, throat, esophagus, lungs and vocal cords.
Steady blood sugar levels
The hairy gourd has fiber which is particularly soluble type. It helps to slow the absorption of sugar from intestines. This will make your blood sugar levels steady and it will minimize the ups and downs of insulin secretion. This is a reason why your breakfast and lunch should have moderate amounts of fiber. Add the hair gourd in your breakfast and lunch so your blood sugar will be steady. When you are maintaining lower insulin levels, then it will help your body to store less fat which is another bonus for people who are trying to manage their weight though the benefits of fiber.
Blood pressure and cardiovascular health
It is known that the high blood pressure and cardiovascular diseases are related to lower potassium intake. Also, many people are maintaining a low sodium intake which is vital for the lowering blood pressure, but you should be sure that you are consuming a good amount of potassium. Hairy gourd has minimal amounts of potassium, but when you consume it on regular basis, then it can fulfill the requirements of potassium of your body. There are some studies in which are shown that increasing the potassium and decreasing the sodium is one of the most important dietary changes which can help people to reduce the chance of cardiovascular disease.
Immune system health
Hair gourd has many nutrients, such as Vitamin C, magnesium and other antioxidant compounds. These minerals and vitamins are important antioxidant components in the body which can help to neutralize free radicals all through the body. Free radicals are increasing the risk of illnesses, such as heart disease, cancer and premature aging. Also, hairy gourd has beta – carotene which in a combination with other components can boost the immune system, as well as protect it from external substances.
Improves physical performance
The hair gourd has Vitamin C which is very effective for improving your physical performance. The hairy gourd has anti – inflammatory and anti – oxidant properties which can improve the physical performance and muscle strength, particularly in older people. This is a reason why you should add hairy gourd in your diet.