Ridge gourd, or turai or tori, may often be looked at as a bland and slimy vegetable, but did you know it is a rich source of fibre, Vitamin C, iron and other nutrients, besides being low in calories. Here are some benefits of the nutrient-rich ridge gourd.
#1 Helps in reducing inflammation
The leaves of the ridge gourd are very effective in reducing inflammations when applied externally. The vegetable can be consumed to reduce internal inflammations and to alleviate cough and reduce swelling of the lymph glands. The paste of the leaves along with minced garlic helps in providing relief in leprosy. It also aids in the enlargement of the spleen. Read: Natural remedies for cough and cold
#2 Ideal for weight loss
Ridge gourd is rich in dietary fibre which takes time to be absorbed in the body thus making you feel full for a longer time. It is also low in calories and high in water content making it an ideal option for weight loss. Read more about other foods that help in weight loss.
#3 Helps in controlling diabetes 
The low-calorie count and the antioxidant properties of ridge gourd make it a good option for a diabetic diet. Moreover, it is hypoglycemic and hence helps in the controlling the blood sugar levels, thereby keeping diabetes in check.
#4 Reducing heat in the body
The mineral rich ridge gourd produces an alkaline effect in the body, thereby reducing signs of acidity and providing a cooling effect. Its alkaline nature also helps in reducing the burning sensation while urinating and prevents ulcers and excessive heat. In fact, Ayurveda recognizes ridge gourd as one of the components to reduce pitta or heat .
#5 Prevents premature greying and hair fall
Dried ridge gourd, when mixed in coconut oil, can be used to avoid premature greying. The nutrients in this vegetable help in restoring the pigments and making the roots stronger, thereby reducing hair fall.
#6 Reduce skin infections and prevents skin diseases
Ridge gourd aids blood purification which is important for preventing pimples, acne and skin breakouts. Thus, incorporating ridge gourd in your diet 1-2 times a week can help cleanse the blood of all the impurities and ward off skin diseases or infections. How to use ridge gourd The vegetable can be stir fried or used in curries. It can also be boiled and added to soups or stews in paste form. The skin can be chopped in medium sized pieces and sautéed with some oil, mustard, green chilli and turmeric for 4-5 minutes and relished as a side dish.
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