Bottle Gourd Or Calabash- Important Nutritional Facts

Dr. Purushothaman
March 3, 2024

Bottle gourd is mainly used by people of the tropical and temperate regions. Many tasty dishes are made with this vegetable. This vegetable belongs to the Cucurbita vegetable family. It is popular in many names in different parts of the world. Popularly known as Calabash, it is also known by the names white flower gourd, upo squash, long squash, calabash, doodhi, louki, etc.

This is a climber which grows fast with the right amount of sunlight and water. It has stems that are branched closely and have leaves that are broad like that of pumpkin. It takes around 75 days to receive fruits after plantation.

Mostly bottle gourds are found in a range of shapes and sizes. It is normally oval-shaped and elongated with light green skin. The flesh of the vegetable is white and soft and has small soft seeds. When the fruit matures, the seeds are seen to grow and the outer cover becomes harder.

Major health & nutritional benefits of Bottle Gourd

  • Bottle gourd is one of the best low-calorie vegetables that help in giving better results to those who plan to lose weight. 100 g of this vegetable contains around 14 calories.
  • Choose fresh ones so that you get folates. This is a very essential factor that reduces the defects in neural tube that is found in newborns. So pregnant women are advised to take bottle gourd at moderate levels during the first three months of pregnancy.
  • Include calabash in your diet to receive a regular supply of vitamin c, which is a very powerful antioxidant that helps in removing harmful free radicals from the body.
  • The vegetable is very easy to digest and help in regulating the digestive system. It helps in proper excretion and gives relief from constipation.
  • Tender leaves of bottle gourd are edible. It has more minerals and vitamins than the fruit itself.

Selecting and storing Bottle gourd

This vegetable is easily available in markets all through the year. Pick the ones that look tender and are of medium sizes. The outer skin should be light green in colour and should not have bruises. Bruises or cuts on the skin can result in damaged flesh inside. If you want to pick tender ones, just check the stem. The thicker the stem part, the more aged the vegetable is. To avoid oversized ones too, as they can give you flesh that is not so tasty at all. Small spots are found on bottle gourd. These do not give any damage to the fruit. Just make sure spots are not big. Do refrigerate it so that it can be kept fresh for a week.

Preparing and serving the vegetable

Bottle gourd is one of the vegetables that have been used from time immemorial. Wash the fruit well in cold running water and dry it with a tissue or a cotton towel. Top ends can be trimmed and peel the skin off. Cut into small square pieces and use them for your favourite bottle gourd dish.


Read Related Recent Articles