22 September, 2020
This is perhaps one of those few veggies that can be easily used for cooking during all meal courses. Lauki, also known as Doodhi is the bottle gourd that is easily available in India in most parts, across all seasons. This vegetable can be blended into a juice or a soup, or used in the gravy for the main course, or you could even make desserts with it. It offers diverse cooking options, each of which is quite healthy for us. It is a pleasing green in colour and comes in a long bottle shape, with a spongy white flesh inside. It grows on a vine and is called by many different names across India, though Lauki is common.
Incredibly, it can be eaten in all seasons because it has multiple benefits that suit all seasons. For example, it is around 92% water and so, quite useful for summers, as it is refreshing, and cools you down and also prevents fatigue. At the same time, it is extremely helpful for monsoon time diseases like diarrhoea, prevents constipation, which is common in winters and is also beneficial to our body in many other ways.
Good for gut health
Lauki is low on calories and fat, high in fibre and water content; it contains both soluble and insoluble fibre and hence, good for slow digestion, and prevents constipation. The fibre content in Lauki adds bulk to your stools and also helps with easy bowel movement. It even helps with flatulence, piles, as well as weight loss. It keeps you full and prevents you from snacking. It is supposed to be good for acidity, indigestion, as well as ulcers.
It helps with acidity as it is alkaline and that is what makes it good for gut health. A glass of Lauki juice is a recommended home remedy to relieve acidity. With a pinch of salt, this works like electrolyte for your gut, if affected by diarrhoea. The alkaline nature also makes it useful in treating urinary infections, as it helps flush out the toxins and relieves the burning sensation while passing urine. Few drops of lemon juice may be added to the Lauki juice, along with the salt to derive maximum benefit.
Lauki happens to be low on the glycemic index, and hence one of those diabetic-friendly foods that can be eaten without any guilt. Simple soups or a cup of juice once in a while is extremely beneficial for such people. Key is to keep away from the desserts like doodhi halwa or kheer, and not gorge on them! Use Lauki in curries, or simple stir-fries, apart from the soups and juices to maintain the health, without affecting the blood sugar levels.
Healthy for heart
Lauki is also considered to be good for the heart as it helps regulate the blood pressure; it is low in Sodium, but contains Potassium as well as a few other essential minerals (Vitamin K, A, E, Iron, Calcium, Folate, Manganese), and helps reduce blood cholesterol levels and thus helps keep your heart healthy.
Helps skin health
Lauki is rich in anti-oxidative Vitamin B and C and this helps with the prevention of wrinkles and maintaining a glowing skin. The doodhi juice is even used as a rejuvenating face pack. If you want to consume it as a juice, then it should be consumed immediately on blending it and should not be kept aside for long after beating it. It even helps with pimple and acne issues.
Lauki is one of those vegetables that are recommended by Ayurveda for a healthy liver. It helps prevent or reduce liver inflammation due to its high Vitamin C content and anti-oxidative function. It is also prescribed to people suffering from jaundice.
If you are looking for a natural stress-buster, then Lauki is your best choice; it contains choline, an essential nutrient that supports many bodily functions like cellular growth and metabolism. This helps in improving the brain function and helps reduce stress in the body. Choline is known for its cognitive boosting capabilities, and also helps with liver and muscle functions.
Wash the Lauki, cut off the top tip and peel and chop it. Taste a piece to see if it is bitter, and if so, use it for some other cooking purpose, as it won’t be suitable for juice. Else, blend it in a mixer jar, with a few mint leaves (optional), mix in a pinch of salt and pepper powder, and a few drops of lemon juice and consume immediately. It is said that is it is best consumed in the morning, preferably, on an empty s
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