Winter melon, or safed petha, is a nutritious vegetable mainly native to India, China and other regions of Southeast Asia. You will find winter melon (also known as ash gourd) in various Indian and Chinese delicacies, from stews and salads to even curries. In other words, there is no limit to the ways you can have this humble veggie. But what does winter melon taste like? It is both delicious and healthy and has a neutral taste like cucumber when it is young. However, the sweetness fades a little when it is matured but still remains juicy and crispy. Did you know ash gourd is composed of water that constitutes almost 96 percent?! What's even more interesting is that it's packed with countless health benefits. It's believed that ash gourd has nutritional and medicinal properties. It's rich in vitamins like vitamin C and B complex such as niacin, thiamine and riboflavin. It also carries minerals like iron, potassium, zinc, calcium, magnesium, protein, carbohydrates and fibres. If you want to know more about this humble vegetable, nutritionist Lovneet Batra shared some surprising benefits of ash gourd.
Here Are 5 Health Benefits of Winter Melon
1. Winter Melon stimulates healthy digestion
Do you face digestion issues often? If yes, then, you must savour petha. Lovneet mentioned, “Ash gourd is a good source of soluble fibre. This type of fibre forms a gel-like substance in your gut, which slows your digestion and helps promote feelings of fullness.”
Also Read: Cooking With Ash Gourd - 2 Delicious South Indian Recipes To Try
2. Winter Melon is rich in antioxidants
Nutritionist Batra stated that winter melon/ash gourd is rich in polyphenols, flavonoids, and anthocyanins. That's why it is known as a functional food that has the potential to fight cell damage caused by free radicals. Antioxidants play a protective role in our bodies by fighting free radical compounds that can cause serious harm.
3. Ash gourd supports heart health
It is said that winter melon also supports cardiovascular health. It has high levels of potassium and vitamin C. Potassium functions as a vasodilator, meaning that it can help to lower blood pressure by releasing tension in the blood vessels and arteries, letting blood flow more freely, added Lovneet. Furthermore, vitamin C has been directly linked to reduced chances of stroke.
Also Read: How To Make Ash Gourd Or Petha Juice For Weight Loss And Alkaline Detox
4. Winter melon boosts immunity
Everyone understands the importance of having strong immunity especially, after the pandemic. Winter melon has vitamin C and riboflavin. Vitamin C can stimulate the production of white blood cells, and can also act as an antioxidant to neutralize free radicals and prevent the mutation of healthy cells. Winter melon also boasts a possibly decent amount of riboflavin, also known as vitamin B2, which is a micronutrient with a key role in maintaining immune health.
5. Winter melon has anti-inflammatory properties
Winter melon contains a significant amount of gallic acid, which has the potential as an anti-inflammatory effect.
We hope these pointers convinced you to add ash gourd into your diet.