Cultivated throughout Asia and the United States for food and scrubbers, the sponge gourd belongs to the Cucurbitaceae family, which is easy to grow. It is known for many other names, such as luffa fruit, bath sponge, dish cloth gourd, towel gourd, wag-rag sponge, scrubber gourd and wild vegetable sponge.
In the Philippines, it is locally known as patola.
The outer rind of luffa is green while the inner flesh is white and the taste resembles zucchinis. This fruit is rich in vitamin A, carbohydrates, vitamin B, manganese and potassium.
The sponge gourd also contains various antioxidants, minerals, nutrients, lipids and dietary fiber.
Health Benefits of Sponge Gourd
All parts of the luffa plant possess the medicinal properties. The luffa fruit is used in cooking as well as to treat various health ailments. It is helpful to lower the blood sugar, constipation, weight loss, and hypoglycemia, enhance immune system, weight loss and detoxifies the body.
#1: Cardiovascular Benefits
Vitamin B5 in 900 mg dose helps to reduce the bad cholesterol as well as triglycerides which reduce the chances of cardiovascular disease. As 900 mg dosage is the higher amount, one should consult the physician before taking.
#2: Prevent Diabetes
Manganese is essential for the production of digestive enzymes which is responsible for a process called gluconeogenesis. The research conducted by the Department of Internal Medicine and Biochemistry showed that mice that were given the manganese, their glucose tolerance were improved in 12 weeks. The manganese promoted the secretion of insulin, reduce the lipid peroxidation and enhance the mitochondrial function.
#3: Prevents Eye Ailments
Vitamin A prevents from the macular degeneration that leads to the blindness. The study conducted by the National Eye Institute shows that those who took vitamin C, vitamin A, copper, vitamin E and zinc, their chances of macular degeneration was decreased by 25% in a six year period. The study also shows that the eye drops of Vitamin A effectively treat the dry eyes. Including Vitamin A-rich food luffa fruit in your daily diet may help to reduce eye ailments.
#4: Reduce Arthritis
Copper provides anti-inflammatory properties which soothe stiffness and pain which is related to arthritis. It is able to assist with muscular strength, repair connective tissue. The people with arthritis wear copper bands or bracelets as it is believed that the copper can reduce the painful symptoms.
#5: Type 2 Diabetes
The food rich in magnesium helps to reduce the chances of type 2 diabetes because magnesium is essential for glucose metabolism. The dose of 100 milligrams of magnesium in a day reduces the chances of diabetes by 15 percent.
#6: Prevents Muscle Pain
Potassium balances the fluid levels and helps to relax muscles. The low presence of potassium leads to the muscle cramps, spasms and pain. It assists to break down the protein and carbs on which the muscle depends for the repair and energy.
#7: Treat Anemia
Vitamin B6 is essential to produce hemoglobin in the blood which helps to transport the oxygen to the cells and mobilizes iron. Anemia is the result of inadequate red blood cells. The patients of anemia might experience these symptoms such as aches, fatigue and pain. The study shows that the consumption of Vitamin B6 in adequate amount reduces the symptoms of anemia and prevents its occurring.
#8: Good for the Skin
The study shows that high intake of Vitamin C can reduce the skin dryness, wrinkles and slows down the aging process. Vitamin C is essential for the production of protein to form tendons, skin, blood vessels and ligaments. It assists in the healing process of wound and also forms a scar tissue.
#9: Migraine & Headaches
The inadequate amount of magnesium is related to migraine headaches. Magnesium assists to balance the neurotransmitters in the body. The study which was published in Expert Review of Neurotherapeutics showed that the dose of 300 milligrams of magnesium lowers the recurrence of migraine headaches.
#10: Brain Function
Oxygen is required for the brain to function properly. The brain results to poor memory, apathy and decrease productivity in the absence of iron as the brain won’t receive oxygen. The deficiency of iron leads to restless, irritation and inattentive.
Source: Health Benefit Times
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