Bottle gourd or lauki, which contains 92 per cent water and eight per cent fiber, is considered one of the healthiest vegetables to fight diabetes. Since it has negligible amount of glucose and sugar related compounds, it is considered an ideal food for diabetics. Including lauki in your daily diet helps reduce blood sugar levels, suggest various studies.
In studies carried out by researchers from CSIR-Indian Institute of Chemical Technology (IICT) back in 2012-13, the juices of 13 commonly available vegetables were found to be inhibiting the activity of an enzyme associated with development of type 2 diabetes mellitus and obesity. It was found that after radish, bottle gourd helped in down-regulating or inhibiting the activity of enzyme — Protein-Tyrosine Phosphatase 1 beta which plays a role in increasing insulin resistance and decreasing insulin sensitivity.
Notably, diabetes mellitus is a non-communicable global disease and a major cause of morbidity and mortality and is increasing in prevalence in many populations all over the world, although the prevalence rate differs from country to country. The most common form of diabetes is non-insulin-dependent diabetes mellitus (NIDDM) or Type-2 diabetes such that it has been estimated that the number of diabetes sufferers in the world will double from the current value during the next 25 years.
According to the World Health Organization (WHO), the number of diabetics will increase by 170 per cent by 2025. Since diabetes is a condition that is difficult to treat and expensive to manage, diet constitutes a crucial aspect of the overall management of diabetes, which may involve diet alone, diet with oral hypoglycemic drugs, or diet with insulin.
Here are some other benefits of lauki
1. Keeps the body cool
To keep your body hydrated and cool, it’s a good idea to have bottle gourd or ‘lauki’ as a juice because cooking deactivates the minerals and vitamins found in it. The juice keeps your stomach cool and reduces body heat or ‘pitta’ as is described in Ayurveda.
One can also eat boiled lauki with curd to get its cooling benefits. This vegetable helps replenish the water lost due to sweating during summers and is also a great remedy for any kind of heat-related ailment like nose bleeding, ulcers or pimples, as per Ayurveda.
2. For treating UTI
Drinking freshly squeezed bottle gourd juice mixed with some lime juice is one of the best natural remedies to treat urinary tract infections.
3. Works against acidity
Rich in fiber and alkali content, it helps in treating acidity.
4. Prevents premature greying of hair
It also helps prevent premature greying. Owing to pollution, premature greying of hair has emerged as a nagging problem across the globe. Drinking a glass of lauki juice everyday can help you retain the colour and texture of hair.
5. Works against stress
As lauki contains a good amount of choline – a kind of neurotransmitter that helps in improving the functions of the brain, it helps in preventing stress, depression and other mental disorders.
6. Makes for a healthy post workout drink
To replenish the glucose levels in the body, drink lauki juice as there are natural sugars in the vegetable. It also helps replace the carbohydrates lost during training sessions. Being rich in protein and other nutrients, bottle gourd juice also improves the efficiency of your muscles.
Quick tip: Consume only fresh bottle gourd juice. Peel the gourd and taste if it tastes bitter. If it does, discard it. It is advised to not mix bottle gourd juice with other vegetables. But one can add fresh mint leaves, ginger and amla and some rock salt to spruce up the flavours.
Bonus tip: Lauki ki chutney: Add boiled and grated lauki in your regular mint chutney. Lauki will not have a taste of its own, but it will add to the nutrition quotient of the chutney.