Diabetes mellitus is a widespread health issue that affects over a million people in India. It is identified by high glucose levels in the bloodstream. In addition, it can lead to severe health problems such as heart disease, renal failure, and obesity if not appropriately managed. Therefore, it is vital to seek medical attention if you notice irregularities in your blood sugar levels.
Taking all prescribed medications is essential, but it is also beneficial to supplement your diet with nourishing foods. For example, studies have suggested that fibre-rich fruits and vegetables help stabilise blood sugar levels. Bottle gourd is one of the many Indian vegetables one can include for this purpose.
Lauki, also known as bottle gourd in some parts of the world, is a popular vegetable in India. It is low in calories and rich in dietary fibre, making it an excellent choice for a healthy diet. It is often cooked and spiced; people use it in soups and curries. In addition, people also use it to make snacks. The versatility of lauki makes it an excellent ingredient for boiling, steaming, or stir-frying. Packed with vitamins and minerals, it is a nutritious and delicious addition to any meal.
Continue reading to know more about bottle gourd and its utility for diabetes patients.
Nutritional Value of Bottle Gourd
Bottle gourd, also known as calabash, is a cucurbita family vegetable with a sweet flavour and many nutrients. The United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) states that one hundred grams of bottle gourd contain the following nutrients, making it a healthy choice for people’s overall well-being.
- Water: 95.5g
- Energy: 14 Kcal
- Protein: 0.62g
- Fat: 0.02g
- Carbohydrate: 3.39g
- Fibre: 0.5g
- Calcium: 26mg
- Magnesium: 11mg
- Phosphorus: 13mg
- Potassium: 150mg
- Vitamin C: 10.1mg
Lauki or bottle gourd is a nutritious green vegetable that comes in various shapes and sizes. Its impressive nutrient profile is rich in vitamins C and K, calcium, fibre, and other nutrients in minimal calories. With mostly water (92%) and the rest mainly fibre, bottle gourd is an easily digestible food.
Can Diabetics Consume Bottle Gourd?
One study has found that bottle gourd is ideal for people with diabetes. That is because it contains a high concentration of antioxidants, is diuretic and has lipid-lowering properties.
Patients with diabetes should aim to consume foods with a glycemic index of 55 or less. The glycemic index measures how quickly a food item increases blood glucose levels. However, it is valid only when one consumes the food alone, not in combination with any other food from a different category. For instance, a bottle gourd has a glycemic index of 15, meaning it releases sugar into the bloodstream slowly. As a result, it causes a smaller spike in blood sugar levels.
Studies suggest that dietary fibres found in vegetables can help to reduce the rate at which sugar absorbs into the bloodstream.
The HealthifyMe Note
Lauki, or bottle gourd, is an incredibly healthy food option for those with diabetes. Its 92% water content is complemented by fibre and other nutrients, making it a low-calorie, low-carb vegetable. Its low glycemic index (GI) means that it will release sugar into the bloodstream slowly, avoiding any sudden spikes. The high fibre content contributes to this steadiness, as it helps slow down sugar absorption.
Methods of Consuming Bottle Gourd for Diabetes
How you cook bottle gourd is essential when it comes to managing diabetes. You can juice it, add it to salads, or make a mild curry. Generally, people with diabetes are encouraged to eat fruits and vegetables in their whole form. However, as lauki is primarily composed of water, juicing it might be alright. But you must ensure not to strain it, as it will take away the fibre.
Here are some ideas for incorporating Lauki into a diabetes diet.
- For a tasty and healthy way to consume bottle gourd, mix it with freshly chopped vegetables and a little olive oil for a nutritious salad.
- One can also add bottle gourd to pulses and make gourd lentils.
- You can also make raita for a flavorful and digestion-friendly dish.
- If you have type 2 diabetes, a glass of gourd smoothie daily with breakfast can help you control your diabetes more quickly.
Remember to avoid using too much oil and spices when preparing the veggie.
Bottle Gourd/Lauki Recipes to Try
Bottle Gourd Smoothie
Preparation Time: 5 mins
- Lauki, dudhi, or bottle gourd (chopped): 1 cup
- A handful of mint or pudina
- Cumin powder or jeera powder: ½ tsp
- Pepper (crushed): ½ tsp
- Ginger: 1 inch
- Himalayan Pink Salt: ¼ tsp
- Lemon Juice: 2 tsp
- Water: ½ cup
- Blend the peeled and diced lauki in a blender.
- Add mint, cumin powder, pepper, ginger, salt, and lemon juice.
- Blend in water until smooth.
- Pour the liquid into a glass.
- For optimal benefits, consume this bottle gourd smoothie on an empty stomach in the morning.
Some Other Benefits of Bottle Gourd
Bottle gourd may not be everyone’s favourite flavour, but it has incredible health advantages. A couple of the health benefits are listed below.
Moisturises Your Body
Summer can dehydrate the body by depleting its water content. Migraines, discomfort, and life-threatening heat strokes are all caused by salt deficiency. Lauki, which contains 96% water, is also high in sodium and potassium and replenishes the body with fluids and electrolytes., assisting you in combatting heat.
Helps Combat Constipation
Bottle gourd can also help with a variety of digestive problems. For example, it can also help to prevent indigestion. That is because the bottle gourd contains soluble and insoluble fibre and water, which aids digestion, cures constipation, and decreases acidity and flatulence.
Promotes Heart Health
Because of its high potassium level, eating bottle gourd helps to keep your blood pressure in check, making it ideal for people who suffer from hypertension. It also has a high concentration of zinc, which protects the heart from oxidative damage and helps to avoid coronary artery disease.
According to one study, the magnesium in lauki maintains and regulates the heartbeat.
Ideal for Losing Weight
Bottle gourd is high in water and has fewer calories and density per gramme, in addition to having a high dietary fibre content that helps keep you fuller for longer. For all of these reasons, this vegetable can be an excellent addition to your weight loss diet. In addition, bottle gourd might boost your metabolism by ensuring you get enough sleep.
Consuming bottle gourds is an excellent way to stay healthy by having a well-balanced diet. Gourd consumption can reduce the risk of stomach-related illnesses and promote digestion. Furthermore, drinking gourd juice is more beneficial than cooking it, as it preserves vitamins and minerals while also helping to regulate blood sugar levels. Monitoring blood glucose is essential in preventing the progression of illnesses and helping to identify glucose variation.
With HealthifyPro, you can monitor your blood glucose levels with a Continuous Glucose Monitor (CGM). Simply attach the CGM to your arm and view fluctuations in your glucose levels throughout the day. Then, with the help of AI and coaching interventions, you can control and manage your glucose levels at any time of the day. That makes the CGM an invaluable tool for tracking and regulating blood glucose levels. With HealthifyPro 2.0, you now have all the essential tools to control your metabolic health and stay healthy with just a click.
The Supporting Reference
- Wang PY, Fang JC, Gao ZH, Zhang C, Xie SY. Higher intake of fruits, vegetables or their fibre reduces the risk of type 2 diabetes: A meta-analysis. J Diabetes Investig. 2016 Jan;7(1):56-69. doi: 10.1111/jdi.12376. Epub 2015 Jun 22. PMID: 26816602; PMCID: PMC4718092.
- Katare C, Saxena S, Agrawal S, Joseph AZ, Subramani SK, Yadav D, Singh N, Bisen PS, Prasad GB. Lipid-lowering and antioxidant functions of bottle gourd (Lagenaria siceraria) extract in human dyslipidemia. J Evid Based Complementary Altern Med. 2014 Apr;19(2):112-8. doi: 10.1177/2156587214524229. Epub 2014 Feb 20. PMID: 24647091.
- Lattimer JM, Haub MD. Effects of dietary fibre and its components on metabolic health. Nutrients. 2010 Dec;2(12):1266-89. doi: 10.3390/nu2121266. Epub 2010 Dec 15. PMID: 22254008; PMCID: PMC3257631.
- DiNicolantonio JJ, Liu J, O’Keefe JH. Magnesium for the prevention and treatment of cardiovascular disease. Open Heart. 2018 Jul 1;5(2):e000775. doi: 10.1136/openhrt-2018-000775. PMID: 30018772; PMCID: PMC6045762.