Ivy gourd or Coccinia grandis is a common vegetable in India. It is so common in our daily platter that we often miss to notice the health benefits this green vegetable offers. Ivy gourd is a store house of a range of vitamins and minerals. Apart from that it also offers a decent amount of protein and fibers.
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This vegetable is also known for its anti-oxidant content and it has been used in ayurveda for centuries as an anti-bacterial and anti-triglyceride agent. This article will provide you with the best 10 health benefits that you can enjoy by including this vegetable in your daily diet.
Protects the nervous system
One of the most important benefits of eating ivy gourd that should come at the beginning of this list is its ability to protect the nervous system. This vegetable is rich in B vitamins which are essential for smooth working of the brain and the nervous system. The nutrients and anti-oxidants present in Ivy gourd have been found to be effective in strengthening the nervous system. It can also help in treating different neural conditions like epilepsy and anxiety. Most astonishingly, this common vegetable is also known to deter Alzheimer’s.
Promotes metabolism in the body
Ivy gourd is a rich source of thiamine which plays a vital role in the conversion of carbohydrate into glucose, which works as the major product to be converted into energy in the body. Thiamine also helps in metabolism of fats and protein. The B vitamins of this vegetable boosts metabolism and helps in keeping you more energetic.
Might prevent cancer
Ivy gourd has anti-oxidants including high amount of vitamin C and beta –carotene that can be really helpful to prevent cancer. These elements are known for their effectiveness in suppressing the growth of tumor cells and they might even be effective to induce apoptosis in cancer cells. Including ivy gourd in your regular diet does not confirm that you will not get cancer, but it certainly reduces your risk of getting this deadly condition.
Helps in normalizing blood sugar levels
Ivy gourd has some active ingredients that directly work on the liver cells and helps in detoxification. These compounds can also be effective in boosting the insulin production which can be most useful for reducing blood sugar levels. However, as ivy gourd reduces blood sugar level, consuming this vegetable along with medications for blood sugar or artificial insulin might result into steep drop of blood sugar which can be deadly. So, while including this vegetable in their regular diet can be ideal for pre-diabetic to not to cross the limit, if you are on medication for controlling blood sugar, maintain caution before taking ivy gourd.
Prevents kidney stone
Ivy gourd has a good amount of calcium and the latest researches have proved that dietary calcium can reduce the risk of kidney stone formation to a significant level. So, by including ivy gourd in your diet you can reduce the risk of getting kidney stones considerably. Moreover, consumption of this vegetable extract regularly might even be helpful to dissolve and expel the kidney stone that might have already formed in your kidneys.
Promotes heart health
Ivy gourd is also a great food for heart health because of its high potassium content which makes a good percentage of the total potassium you need daily. Potassium helps in functioning of the heart and prevents conditions like heart attack and ischemic heart. It also helps in better heart pumping and blood flow which keeps one energetic.
Ivy gourd has a good amount of calcium which can be effective in strengthening the bones. Bone density loss is a common problem in women over 40 years of age. As ivy gourd is rich in calcium hence it helps in preventing bone density loss. Along with calcium it also contains iron which makes it an ideal food for consumption during pregnancy.
Promotes better immunity
Vitamin C, Vitamin B2, Vitamin B1 and Vitamin B3 all are present in decent amounts in Ivy gourd. Vitamin C and B vitamins are known for their ability to boost the immunity system which is the key to maintain a healthy life. Strong immunity system can help you stay away from many common illnesses and infections.
Promotes digestive health
The ability of ivy gourd to promote better digestive health primarily comes from its Vitamin B complex and dietary fiber content. While the vitamins help in proper secretion of the digestive enzymes, the high amount of dietary fibers promotes bowel formation and bowel movement. Consumption of ivy gourd can be effective to treat conditions like constipation.
Might help in treating depression
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Ivy gourd has a decent Riboflavin and niacin content. These vitamins have been related to the functioning and secretion of different hormones from the brain, which is directly related to mood. It is generally believed that consuming foods rich with Riboflavin can alleviate the mood and treat depression naturally.
Apart from the above, ivy gourd can also be helpful in treating iron deficiency related anemia due to its iron content. It is also useful for weight management, as it provide nourishment and satiation without adding much to the total calorie intake. It has anti-histamine qualities which support the use of this vegetable as topical treatment to cure skin irritations and allergies. In ayurveda, ivy gourd is also used in preparing medications for anorexia and coughing.