Ridge Gourd-Benefits And Nutritional Facts

Ridge gourd or Luffa is an elongated, cylindrical fruit pod in the cucurbitaceae/gourd family of vegetables. Ridge gourd or sponge gourd is popularly known as ‘Jhinga’ in Bangladesh. Scientific name Of Ridge Gourd: Luffa acutangula (L.) Roxb. It is a ridged and dark green vegetable with white pulp inside. The taste of the vegetable resembles zucchinis. It exhibits a spongy flesh with white pulp and seeds. Ridge gourd contains many health benefits and nutritional facts.

Its young, tender and mild flavored pods indeed are one of the very popular vegetables featuring in the Indian, Chinese and Filipinos cuisine. Luffa are also known as patola (Filipinos), angled or ribbed luffa, silk gourd, dishcloth gourd, silk squash, and Chinese okra, Sin qua, etc.

Nutritional Facts

Ridge gourd is extremely rich in dietary fibre and enriched with all the vital elements that include Vitamin-C, zinc, iron, riboflavin, magnesium, thiamine and traces of another minerals. Ridge gourd is one of the very low calorie vegetables- carrying just 15 calories per 100 g and contains 94% moisture. Its delicate, sponge-textured flesh consists of moderate levels of minerals and vitamins in addition to being rich in anti-oxidants.

NutrientsAmount per 100 g
Energy13.15 kcal
Carbohydrates1.72 g
Protein0.91 g
Fat0.14 g
Calcium13.7 mg
Phosphorous33.06 mg
Omega-3 fats26.42 mg
Sodium4.71 mg
Potassium118 mg
Folate (vitamin-B9)29.26 mcg
Vitamin-C5.42 mg
Beta carotene348 mcg
Vitamin-A58 mcg
Magnesium16.15 mg

It is low in saturated fat, cholesterol and calories that aids in weight loss. It is high in beta-carotene which is good for enhancing eye sight. Being rich in dietary fibers and smooth flesh, luffa facilitates easy digestion and easy movement of food through the bowel.

Health Benefits

Ridge gourd contains good amount of cellulose and high in water content that helps to relieve from constipation. Both cultivars (ridged and smooth varieties) compose phenolic antioxidants such as carotenes, lutein and crypto-xanthins.

1.Weight Loss

Ridge gourd is inherently low in calories and is packed with dietary fibres that digest and absorb the fat properly. It possesses negligible concentrations of saturated fats and cholesterol. This, in turn, helps to digest proteins, carbohydrates and fats in food bang on upon ingestion and also turn away the excess accumulation of fats in body tissues. Moreover, insulin like peptides and alkaloids in ridge gourd help control blood sugar levels, hence maintaining body weight and metabolism in diabetes.

2. Enhances eye sight

The significant amounts of vitamin A in ridge gourd, in the form of beta carotene, contribute to improving eyesight even at an older age. They also aid in preventing macular degeneration, partial blindness and other eye ailments. Being a valuable antioxidant, beta carotene rids the optic nerves and visual blood vessels of toxins, thereby shielding the eyes from harmful free radicals.

3. Liver health

Ridge gourd is bestowed with the ability to purify blood of toxic wastes, alcohol residues and undigested food particles. Hence it plays a crucial part in augmenting liver health and bile function. Bile is a fluid secretion of the liver, which helps break down lipids or fats. It boosts up and nourishes the liver health and protects the liver from alcohol intoxication

4. Relieves Constipation

Ridge gourd comprises abundant volumes of water. In addition, it is abundant in cellulose, a natural dietary fibre. Therefore, consuming ridge gourd provides relief from constipation, besides restoring normal bowel movement and digestion.

5. Skin Health

Ridge gourd has blood purifying qualities and it is skin friendly. It makes sure you to stay clear from pimples and acne. 

6. Controls Diabetes

Ridge gourd is a diabetic-friendly vegetable that exhibits anti-diabetic properties. It contains a low amount of carb and has insulin such as peptides and moreover, it is hypoglycemic, which helps maintain the blood sugar levels. Hence, ridge gourd is an ideal vegetable for controlling diabetes.

7. Other

  • Ridge gourd helps to manage acidity as well as ulcers.
  • Reduces sugar in blood and urine
  • It acts as a cooling agent and aids in handling burning sensation during urination.
  • Ridge gourd juice is used to heal jaundice
  • Strengthen your immune system against any infection
  • It also effectively treats other infections arising in the hepatic duct.

Thus, it helps in relieving indigestion and constipation problems. Further, it is also an average sources of B-complex vitamins such as thiamine, niacin (vitamin B-3), pantothenic acid (vitamin B-5), pyridoxine (vitamin B-6) and minerals such as calcium, iron, zinc, potassium, manganese and magnesium.