It may not seem like it but bottle gourd – also known as dudhi or lauki – is one of the best things about summer. Be it as juice, in a sabzi or in soup, you will reap benefits galore from this water-rich vegetable. Backed by Ayurveda, this veggie is delightful, be it sweet, think Dudhi ka Halwa, or spicy, as in Chana Dal and Lauki Curry.
We give you 10 reasons to put lauki on your weekly shopping list:
It is rich in nutrients
Include lauki in your diet to replenish the body with essential nutrients and fibres without popping pills. It is low in saturated fats and cholesterol, and rich in nutrients such as riboflavin, zinc, iron, magnesium, Vitamin C, etc. It also has anti-oxidation properties along with Vitamin B and C.
It keeps your body hydrated
Summer can deplete the body’s water content and cause dehydration. The loss of sodium causes migraines, uneasiness and life-threatening heat strokes. Lauki, with 96 per cent water content, is also high in sodium and potassium and replenishes the body, helping you beat the heat.
3. Skin care and protection
Lauki cleanses the skin from inside and controls the release of oil on face, thus regulating acne breakouts caused by excessive sweating and oil generation in summer. It also controls and soothes other skin disorders.
It helps you beat constipation
Loss of water during summers can result in indigestion and constipation. The bottle gourd has soluble and insoluble fibre and water content that boosts the digestive system, treats constipation, and reduces acidity and flatulence.
It helps regulate blood pressure
Blood pressure normally drops in summers and there is always the risk of it dropping it further for low blood pressure patients. Lauki can regulate blood pressure and keep the heart healthy.
6. It may relieve summertime SAD
Summer often brings along seasonal affective disorder (SAD), which causes depression because of the heat and longer days. Lauki soothes the body and mind, and has diuretic, sedative and anti-bilious properties that beat stress.
7. It can promote weight loss
Summer is weight loss season and lauki is among the top foods that can aid weight loss in summer. With only 12 calories per 100 gm and rich in water and filling fibre, this vegetable is a must for anyone looking to lose weight.
8. It can protect against kidney stones & urinary disorders
The loss of fluids can cause kidney stones fluids and induce or aggravate urinary infections. Add lauki to your diet to break calculus or stones in the body and serve as an alkaline mixture to treat infections. It also helps in relieving liver inflammation.
9. It can help you sleep better
Summers can cause sleeplessness, unpleasant sleep cycle, and increase insomnia due to heat and shorter nights. When mixed with sesame oil, Lauki has properties that can help with sleep-related disorders. Remember that you need to eat, sleep and hydrate to recover from workouts.
10. It provides a cooling effect
Another extended therapeutic advantage is that the bottle gourd is an essential blend of fibre and water that can cool the body temperature. The internal mechanism of your body will be calm and soothed after you consume this vegetable.
A word of caution
Always test the bottle gourd by tasting a slice before making juice or consuming it in other forms. If it is bitter, discard promptly as bottle gourd poisoning may affect you and your family.