Eating Bottle Gourd (Lauki) During Pregnancy – Is It Safe?
Bottle gourd, also known by monikers like long melon, calabash, or opo squash, is commonly found in many Asian countries. Although not liked by many for its bland and sour taste, it is actually a powerhouse of nutrition and is a very healthy vegetable. The bottle gourd in pregnancy has been advocated by many for generations, and with the help of modern science, we are able to microscope its benefits. Pregnant women need to strengthen their immune system as their nutrients get used up very fast in the path towards the delivery of their baby, and eating bottle gourd can fulfil that need. Browse to learn about the consumption of lauki in pregnancy and how to include this wonderful veggie in the pregnancy diet.
Can Pregnant Women Eat Bottle Gourd?
Bottle gourd can be consumed by pregnant and breastfeeding women. Eating bottle gourd during pregnancy can help keep you hydrated as it is packed with minerals and water. It is also rich in antioxidants which can keep your skin cells healthy. If you are breastfeeding, even better because it helps in milk production and weight loss post-delivery. Including bottle gourd in your pregnancy diet can prove nutritious and beneficial both for you and your baby, too.
Nutritional Value of Bottle Gourd
Read the following table to understand the nutritional value of bottle gourd.
Benefits of Bottle Gourd During Pregnancy
Bottle gourd carries a host of different health benefits. Some of the benefits of eating bottle gourd during pregnancy are listed below:
1. Prevents Constipation
Bottle gourd is low in fats and cholesterol and rich in fibre. Pregnant women who have excess weight and constipation can benefit from eating it as it improves gut health and regulates bowel movement.
2. Helps Release Heat
Not many know, but bottle gourd can help release heat from your body during pregnancy. Cut cold slices of bottle gourd and place them under the soles of your feet to release excess heat from your body during pregnancy.
3. Limits Your Intake of Unhealthy Food
During pregnancy, you may experience cravings for unhealthy food items like cake and ice cream. Since bottle gourd is almost 96% water by weight, it can fill you up and prevent such hunger pangs. It can also help quench your thirst.
4. Provides Essential Minerals
Bottle gourd is rich in minerals like sodium and potassium. During pregnancy, loss of sodium in your body can result in fatigue. To replenish the lost sodium in your body, eat bottle gourd as it is a good source of sodium. You can even drink bottle gourd juice during pregnancy if you like.
5. Cures Headaches
You can have bottle gourd in the form of a cooked vegetable guilt-free as it is extremely low in calories. The seeds of the bottle gourd also can cure headaches, especially those which accompany morning sickness during pregnancy. If you have bottle gourd in any form at least once every day, such irritations which are side effects of pregnancy can be reduced.
6. Alkaline in Nature
The juice of a bottle gourd is alkaline in nature, hence, it can balance the acidic juices in your stomach. Many pregnant women suffer from acidity and heartburn. Bottle gourd can help solve that as it balances and neutralizes the effects of acidity in your stomach.
7. Boosts Immunity
The wonderful vitamins and minerals in the bottle gourd keep the immune system healthy and ready to fight any forgien pathogens during pregnancy. Moreover, it helps reduce the risk of infections by strengthening your immune system
How to Include Bottle Gourd in Your Pregnancy Diet?
You can have bottle gourd in the form of a juice, sweet, or cooked vegetable dish. You can also include it in a salad as long as you use some dressing which tempers its bland taste. You can make a bottle gourd halwa or stir-fry it. It must be always washed, peeled, and deseeded before cooking.
Precautions to Take While Eating Bottle Gourd During Pregnancy
When eating lauki during pregnancy, here are some precautions you might want to learn about.
- Make sure the bottle gourd is fresh, without any deep cut and mould.
- If the bottle gourd tastes bitter, avoid consuming it.
- Do not over-consume bottle gourd.
- The bottle gourd is very hydrating. Make sure you consume it in a limit as it can make you diuretic and have frequent loo visits.
Bottle Gourd Recipes
Here are some amazing recipes that you can make with bottle gourd.
1. Bottle Gourd Juice
Bottle gourd juice can help cure urinary tract issues and insomnia. It can also improve your health and give you healthy, glowing skin. It is very simple to extract bottle gourd juice and it should be consumed fresh. Below is the recipe:
What You Need
- One bottle gourd
- Half teacup water
- Ginger, mint leaves or Amla
- Rock salt
- Ice cubes
- A blender and a vegetable peeler
How to Make
- First, wash and clean the bottle gourd with water.
- Peel the bottle gourd using a peeler.
- Use a spoon to remove the seeds.
- Cut the bottle gourd into small pieces.
- Put it in a blender and add half a teacup of water.
- You can add some ginger or mint leaves or amla to add some flavour.
- Blend everything together.
- For a final touch, add some rock salt and ice cubes.
- Your bottle gourd juice is done and ready to drink!
2. Bottle Gourd Stir Fry
A light and ruper delicious bottle gourd stir is gong to be nutritious and pacing for your stomach.
What You Need
- 1 medium bottle gourd, peeled and thinly sliced
- 1 cup cherry tomatoes, halved
- 1 bell pepper, thinly sliced
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 teaspoon cumin seeds
- 1 teaspoon turmeric powder
- Fresh coriander leaves (for garnish)
How to Make
- Heat olive oil in a pan over medium heat, then add cumin seeds and let them sizzle.
- Add the thinly sliced bottle gourd to the pan and sauté until it begins to soften.
- Stir in the bell pepper and cherry tomatoes, continuing to cook until the vegetables are tender yet still crisp.
- Sprinkle turmeric powder, salt, and pepper over the vegetables, stirring to coat evenly.
- Once the vegetables are cooked to your liking, remove from heat and garnish with fresh coriander leaves before serving.
3. Bottle Gourd, Lemon, and Mint Julep
What You Need
- 1 small bottle gourd, peeled and chopped
- Ffresh mint leaves
- 1 medium-sized cucumber, peeled and sliced
- 1 green apple, cored and chopped
- 1 tablespoon honey (optional)
- 1 tablespoon ginger, grated
- 2 cups cold water
- Ice cubes (optional)
How to Make
- Add peeled and chopped bottle gourd, mint leaves, green apple, cucumber, and grated ginger in a blender. Blend them all in a smooth consistency.
- Add cold water to the juice.
- If you prefer your drink to be sweet, you can add honey to the mixture.
- Starin the juice so there is no pulp left.
- You can add ice cubes to your julep if you want a cold drink to quench the thirst.
1. Can bottle gourd consumption cause any allergic reactions during pregnancy?
In most cases, no. However, in rare cases, some individuals may experience allergic reactions to bottle gourd. One may experience allergic reactions like itching, hives, swelling, or stomach discomfort. If you suspect an allergic reaction after consuming bottle gourd during pregnancy, please consult your doctor without any delay.
2. Should pregnant women avoid consuming canned or processed bottle gourd products?
Any canned or processed bottle gourd items are packed in tin items and contain preservatives to keep them long-lasting for months. All the preservatives and salt are not healthy for pregnant women.
As you can see, bottle gourd is extremely nutritious and beneficial to be consumed during pregnancy. So, eat it during pregnancy without any concern.