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Bottle gourd is one of the healthiest vegetables you can add to your diet. Also known as LaukiGhia or Doodhi, this pale green vegetable has been used for ages as a staple in the Indian cuisine.

It is an excellent hypoglycemic (reduced blood sugar) and hosts an array of antioxidants that help in maintaining your body function and avoiding diseases. But if you are not a fan of lauki ki sbzi you can still add it to your life in the form of juice. Bottle guard juice provides all the benefits of the vegetable-packed in a single glass.

The best time to have bottle gourd juice is in the morning. It is important to consume the juice almost immediately after it is prepared, as it oxidizes quite fast. 

Some basic facts about Bottle Gourd:

  • Botanical name: Lagenaria siceraria
  • Family: Gourd family
  • Sanskrit name: क्षीरतुम्बी (Kshirtumbi) or अलाबू (Alabu)
  • Common name: Lauki or kaddu. White-flowered gourd or calabash gourd, bottle gourd, long melon, New Guinea bean, and Tasmania bean.
  • Native region and geographical distribution: Bottle gourd is known to have originated in Southern Africa. It is grown in the tropical and subtropical areas of the world.
  1. Bottle gourd juice nutrition facts
  2. Bottle gourd juice health benefits
  3. Bottle gourd juice side effects
  4. Takeaway

Bottle gourd contains 96% water and its a rich source of vitamin C, K, and calcium. Since it is very high in water content, it is perfect for juice extraction. It is readily available in the market and is very affordable. It is low in fat and helps bring down the bad cholesterol levels. Due to these reasons, this antioxidant drink is quite popular among those who are health-conscious.

As per the USDA Nutrient Database, 100 g of bottle gourd juice contains the following nutrients:

Nutrient Value per 100 g
Water     95.4 g
Energy     14 kcal
Protein     0.62 g
Carbohydrate     3.39 g
Fibre     0.5 g
Fat      0.02 g
Minerals  
Calcium     26 mg
Iron    0.2 mg
Magnesium     11 mg
Phosphorus     13 mg
Potassium    150 mg
Sodium     2 mg
Zinc    0.7 mg
Vitamins  
Vitamin B1 0.029 mg
Vitamin B2 0.022 mg
Vitamin B3 0.32 mg
Vitamin B6 0.04 mg
Vitamin B9 6 µg
Vitamin C 10.1 mg
Fats/Fatty acids  
Saturated 0.002 g
Monounsaturated 0.001 g
Polyunsaturated 0.009 g

Bottle guard juice is loaded with health building and healing properties which makes it the perfect addition to your diet. Let us have a look at some of the scientifically proven benefits of bottle guard juice.

  • Cools the body: Bottle gourd juice is known to have a cooling effect on the body. It is an excellent choice of drink to prevent dehydration in warm summer months.
  • Promotes weight loss: Bottle gourd juice is a low-calorie low-fat addition to your weight loss diet. It detoxifies and hydrates your body, reduces total fat content and reduces oxidative stress thereby promoting weight reduction and preventing obesity.
  • Benefits for stomach: Bottle gourd juice soothes your stomach and prevents constipation. It is well-known for improving digestion.
  • Anti-diabetic: Research evidence indicates that bottle gourd pulp improves pancreatic function in diabetic people, which, in turn, prevents the sudden rise in blood sugar levels. It also reduces the risk of heart complications in case of diabetes.
  • Delays ageing: Bottle gourd juice is a repository of antioxidants such as vitamin C. Antioxidants are natural compounds that slow down skin ageing and vitamin C is known to increase skin collagen and keep your skin taut and young.
  • Prevents Urinary tract infections: Bottle gourd juice has a diuretic action on body. It helps flush out toxins and pathogens thereby reducing the risk of urinary tract infection. Drinking bottle gourd juice may also help improve UTI symptoms.
  1. Bottle gourd for heart health
  2. Other benefits of bottle gourd juice
  3. Bottle gourd juice cools the body
  4. Bottle gourd juice for skin
  5. Bottle gourd juice for weight loss
  6. Bottle gourd juice for immune system
  7. Bottle gourd juice for gastrointestinal system
  8. Bottle gourd juice for diabetes
  9. Bottle gourd juice reduces inflammation
  10. Bottle gourd juice for urinary tract infections

Bottle gourd for heart health

Bottle gourd juice helps to keep our heart healthy. The amount of zinc present in this juice has been found to reduce the levels of LDL or bad cholesterol while increasing HDL or good cholesterol. Along with its antioxidant properties, it helps to prevent the arteries from getting blocked by plaque. Thus the risk of cardiovascular disease is minimized. Furthermore, zinc also helps in maintaining blood pressure levels to optimum, leading to lesser pressure on heart. 

The antioxidants also improve heart function by reducing oxidative stress and free radical damage.

(Read more: Heart disease prevention)

Other benefits of bottle gourd juice

Apart from the above-mentioned health benefits, bottle gourd juice has some other healing benefits too. Here is a list of additional ways that bottle gourd can help your body and health.

  • Bottle gourd juice acts as an antidote for poisoning that results from the sting of a scorpion.
  • It is a tonic for people suffering from asthma, cough, and bronchitis.
  • The juice extracted from the leaves of bottle gourd helps in curing jaundice.
  • It keeps us hydrated and reduces stress.
  • The minerals present in bottle gourd juice such as magnesium, phosphorus, zinc, copper, manganese etc. helps in keeping the bones strong.
  • It protects us from getting a migraine.
  • It is an effective remedy for toothache.
  • It helps to prevent worm infections.
  • Prevents premature greying of hair.

Bottle gourd juice cools the body

Bottle gourd has a very high water content thus It can keep your body hydrated during summers. Also, bottle gourd juice has a cooling effect on our body. It cools your stomach and reduces the heat from the body.

While it can't replace water, it can certainly provide you respite in a hot summer noon. Blend a glass of bottle guard juice for yourself and beat the heat like a pro.

Bottle gourd juice for skin

Bottle gourd juice is rich in vitamin C which can help reduce the wrinkles and dryness of the skin. Vitamin C has antioxidant properties which can lower the oxidative damage associated due to stress, pollution, and poor diet. Free radicals speed up the process of ageing and consuming food rich in vitamin C can help slow down this process.

Further, vitamin C plays a crucial role in the synthesis of collagen, the protein responsible for maintaining the structural integrity of your skin. Taking bottle gourd juice helps you reach your daily recommended dosage of vitamin C faster which alleviates the risk of skin loosening and fine lines.

You can also be a bit more creative and put some bottle gourd juice on your face to give that the topical supply of vitamin C.

Bottle gourd juice for weight loss

Bottle gourd juice is highly promoted for its weight loss benefits and is said to aid in trimming down those extra inches really quickly. Unfortunately, there is no scientific research to back this claim. Still, bottle gourd does have some characteristics which may be helpful in obesity prevention or an add-on to your weight loss regime.

First, it is low in fat and very high in water. So, it won't hamper your low-fat diet or add more fat when you are looking for cutting down fatty foods.

Second, it is a good source of vitamin C which is helpful in reducing total fat content in the body and promoting weight loss. 

Studies indicate that free radical accumulation and oxidative stress may be the causative factor of obesity along with being one of the side effects of being overweight. The antioxidants present in this juice scavenge these free radicals, thereby preventing obesity and its adverse effects. 

Finally, it also helps eliminate toxins from the blood which improves metabolism and promotes weight loss.

(Read more: Weight loss diet chart)

Bottle gourd juice for immune system

Bottle gourd has been found to possess immunostimulatory effect on the body. It increases the number of WBC and other immune system cells, making a strong guard for our body. Made from whole bottle gourds, bottle gourd juice certainly inherits these properties. This may be due to the presence of Vitamin C which helps enhance the immune system and prevents pathogenic microbes from entering our body.

It also acts as an antioxidant and prevents the damage of white blood cells. Along with other antioxidants present in bottle gourd juice,  it helps strengthen the immune system by preventing the detrimental effects of stress and free radicals.

(Read more: Immunity boosting foods)

Bottle gourd juice for gastrointestinal system

Traditionally, bottle gourd juice is considered to be very good for promoting digestion and relieving constipation. This could be due to the fact that this juice has some amount of fibre and a lot of water. While fibre provides bulk to your food, water content helps in cleaning our digestive tract. Together, these facilitate easy bowel movements. 

Further, constipation is considered to be one the causative factor for piles. By ensuring regular bowel movements bottle gourd juice helps reduce excess pressure on your gut thereby reducing the risk of haemorrhoids

Bottle gourd juice for diabetes

Having bottle gourd juice regularly is very beneficial for diabetic patients and also those who are at high risk for this disease. Preclinical studies report that bottle gourd pulp prevents the sudden rise in the blood sugar level and helps improve pancreatic cell function, which is usually impaired in diabetics.

Not only this, but bottle gourd juice may also be helpful in reducing cardiovascular damage and risk of heart diseases in diabetic people. This is because of the presence of zinc in bottle gourd juice which works actively in maintaining blood pressure and blood cholesterol levels.

(Read more: Diabetes management)

Bottle gourd juice reduces inflammation

Inflammation is our body's normal response against infection and injury. However, systemic or long-term inflammation could point to an underlying disease. Some of the common inflammatory diseases include arthritis, rheumatism, and inflammatory bowel disease. These are characterised by swelling, redness and pain and are a cause of major discomfort. Good news is that having a glass of bottle gourd juice can help you get relief from both pain and inflammation. Animal studies suggest that consuming bottle gourd juice significantly reduces inflammation and pain, without showing any side effects. Though the exact mode of action was not defined in this study.

The presence of antioxidants such as vitamin C in this juice may be one factor responsible for the anti-inflammatory property. It has an antioxidant compound which causes a reduction in inflammation by reducing oxidative stress. 

(Read more: Inflammatory diseases types)

Bottle gourd juice for urinary tract infections

Drinking bottle gourd juice regularly reduces the chance of getting urinary tract infections. It also helps in treating it. Bottle gourd is a diuretic which means the frequency of urination in our system increases. As a result, excess water and toxins are flushed out of the body. Apart from this, the antioxidants such as vitamin C present in the body helps prevent oxidative damage happening to our kidneys.

  1. Bottle gourd juice is toxic when bitter
    Bottle gourd juice is very beneficial for a healthy body. But research has proved that if your bottle gourd juice is bitter, consuming it could be highly toxic to your body and may cause even death. It may also cause various side effects such as diarrhea, nausea, vomiting, discomfort, or any feeling of uneasiness. So it is essential to check the taste of the juice before consuming it. Seek immediate medical help if you notice any of the above-mentioned side effects.

  1. Gastrointestinal problems
    Consuming bitter bottle gourd juice can lead to various problems such as duodenitis (inflammation in the duodenum), gastric erosions (damage to stomach mucosa), gastric ulcers, and esophagitis (inflammation in the food pipe). It leads to bleeding in the upper gastrointestinal region when bitter bottle gourd juice is consumed.

  1. Other side effects:

  • Drinking excessive bottle gourd juice may lead to Hypoglycemia (low blood sugar).
  • Bottle gourd juice may lead to allergic reactions in a few individuals.

Bottle gourd is very good for a healthy body and mind. It has various health benefits. Including the juice in your diet can bring about a positive change, keeping you healthy. However, precaution should be taken while drinking this juice. This juice can be harmful as it possesses certain compounds that a human body may not be able to withstand. It is best to make this juice at home but if you are buying bottle gourd juice, it is important that you look for organic bottle gourd and also avoid mixing this juice with other vegetable juices. It is not safe to drink this juice if it is bitter.

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References

  1. United States Department of Agriculture Agricultural Research Service. Basic Report: 11218, Gourd, white-flowered (calabash), raw. National Nutrient Database for Standard Reference Legacy Release [Internet]
  2. Parle Milind et al. [LINK]. IRJP 2 (6) 2011 13-17
  3. Indian Council of Medical Research Task Force. Assessment of effects on health due to consumption of bitter bottle gourd (Lagenaria siceraria) juice. Indian J Med Res. 2012;135:49-55. PMID: 22382183
  4. Puri R et al. Gastrointestinal toxicity due to bitter bottle gourd (Lagenaria siceraria)--a report of 15 cases. Indian J Gastroenterol. 2011 Sep;30(5):233-6. PMID: 21986853
  5. Garcia-Diaz DF, Lopez-Legarrea P, Quintero P, Martinez JA. Vitamin C in the treatment and/or prevention of obesity. J Nutr Sci Vitaminol (Tokyo). 2014;60(6):367-79. PMID: 25866299
  6. R Jayawardena et al. Effects of zinc supplementation on diabetes mellitus: a systematic review and meta-analysis. Diabetol Metab Syndr. 2012; 4: 13. PMID: 22515411
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