6 Types Of Gourd Vegetables And Their Health Benefits

Vegetables are an essential part of our daily diet. Consumed in a variety of ways, they are loaded with plenty of vitamins and minerals. Each vegetable has a unique nutrition profile that gives our body several health benefits. Some common vegetables consumed in India are spinach, cauliflower, carrots, cabbage, okra, eggplant, and a variety of gourds. 

Belonging to the Cucurbitaceae family, gourds are divided into two categories: Lagenaria and Cucurbita. Lagenaria gourds have thin skin, while the latter one has thick skin. Available in different shapes and sizes, these vegetables are very nutritious and can be transformed into many dishes. In India, gourds are a staple part of our meals. 

Here are six different types of gourd vegetables you can add to your diet:

Bottle Gourd 

This is a very popular vegetable in India that is enjoyed in many ways. Also known as lauki or dudhi, this gourd gets its name from its bottle-like shape. According to HealthifyMe, it is loaded with vitamins, minerals, and approximately 92% water, which helps in keeping the digestive system and liver healthy. Lauki can be relished as curry, stir-fried, paratha, raita, and pakora. 

Ridge Gourd 

Due to the ridges, this vegetable came to be known as the ridge gourd. In India, it is popularly called turai and is an essential part of several regional cuisines. According to Netmeds, it is rich in vitamins, fibre, and iron. Consuming turai can enhance your vision, promote weight loss, and boost immunity. Curry, chutney, dal, and raita are some popular dishes prepared with ridge gourd. 

Ivy Gourd 

Also known as kundru, this vegetable is quite popular in the southern part of India.  Being a good source of vitamins A and C, and potassium, ivy gourd is known to boost immunity and maintain heart health. According to WebMD, regular consumption of kundru can help manage diabetes. It is best enjoyed as sukhi sabzi, prepared with tomatoes and a few spices like cumin and coriander powder. 

Pointed Gourd 

Pointed gourd, or parwal, is another staple vegetable in India. Apart from being enjoyed as a stir-fried or curried sabzi, it is also relished as a mithai in certain parts of India, mainly in Bihar and Uttar Pradesh. It is an excellent source of vitamins and minerals and is known for managing cholesterol levels, improving the digestive system, and keeping weight under control.

Bitter Gourd

This is among the least favourite vegetables of most people, but the health benefits of karela cannot be ignored. According to Healthline, being a good source of many essential nutrients like fibre, vitamin C, folate, and vitamin A helps reduce blood sugar, manage cholesterol levels, and aid digestion. If you don’t like eating bitter gourd as a stir-fried dish, then go for bharwan karela; you will love it for sure. You can also consume it as a juice or smoothie.

Ash Gourd

Ash gourd, or petha, is loved by everyone for its sweet and sour flavour. According to Healthline, this vegetable has approximately 96% water and is a rich source of dietary fibre and other nutrients. Adding ash gourd to your diet can improve your digestive health, treat ulcers, and increase your energy levels. Petha can be enjoyed as thoran, raita, curry, soup as well as halwa.