Health Benefits of Luffa – Luffa is a vegetable that belongs to the Cucurbitaceae’s family. Luffa is cultivated commonly and included in the plants that easy to grow. These plants have been cultivated throughout Asia and the United States for the benefit of the fruit.
Luffa is also known as the Sponge Gourd, Gourd Dish-Cloth, Bath Sponge, Towel Gourd, dishrag gourd, Rag Gourd, Vegetable Sponge, Wash-Rag Sponge, Smooth Luffa, Scrubber Gourd.
Also See: Health benefits of okra (lady fingers)
Luffa plant thrives in dry areas with tropical and subtropical climates. The plant is vines such as cucumbers with the green color of fruit, long and ridges on the skin. The flowers are yellow and small, and plants can reach 9 meters away from the roots. The fruits are utilized as vegetables if still young and not loud.
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Luffa Fruit Characteristics
The fruit is dark green with an average length of 61 cm and a diameter of 7.6 cm. The flesh is white, soft, with white beans. But when it is old, the seeds turn to black, and coarse fibrous tissue when it is old. While the taste of the fruit is almost similar to Zucchinis.
Nutrition Fact of Luffa (Sponge Gourd)
Sponge Gourd or luffa contains a variety of antioxidants, vitamins, nutrients, lipids and minerals. The fruit is rich in carbohydrates and vitamin A. It also contains vitamin B5, potassium, manganese, copper, fiber, vitamin B6, vitamin C, and contain magnesium.
Cause too many nutrients in luffa fruit, the fruit has a significant contribution to health. Here are some health benefits of luffa to the body.
Health Benefits of Luffa (Towel Gourd)
Luffa is a vegetable that is loaded with benefits. Among the benefits is to lower blood sugar, eliminate constipation, boost immunity, lose weight, hypoglycemia, and remove toxins from the body. To be clearer, let’s look at them one by one.
1. Preventing eye disease
Macular degeneration is an eye problem that could lead to blindness, vitamin A content of the lot in luffa (Towel Gourd) is useful for preventing eye problems, especially about blindness.
Research that held by the “National Eye Institute” saying that people who consume vitamin A, vitamin E, vitamin C, copper and zinc decreased the risk of macular degeneration by 25% for six years. Luffa is one source of vitamin A, which is excellent from the class of vegetables.
2. Beneficial for the heart
The health benefits of luffa for the heart can be obtained from the rich content of vitamin A. Keep in mind that consuming 900 mg of vitamin A can reduce bad cholesterol and triglycerides, which in turn decreases the heart disease risk. But the number of doses of 900 mg is a lot, if you want to try, you should ask your doctor first.
3. Preventing diabetes
Furthermore, health benefits of luffa are preventing diabetes. Manganese is an important factor in producing digestive enzymes that are useful for the process of gluconeogenesis. Based on the research suggests that manganese can promote insulin secretion and improve mitochondrial function.
4. Prevent muscle pain
The next health benefits of luffa are preventing pain in the muscles. Potassium content in luffa to stabilize fluid and relaxes the muscles. While potassium deficiency can cause muscle cramps, pain and spasms.
5. Reduce Arthritis
Copper content in luffa provides a useful anti-inflammatory to soothe stiffness and pain associated with arthritis. That’s why many people who suffer from arthritis uses copper bracelets because they believed that copper bracelets can relieve pain.
6. Treating anemia
Luffa is a source of vitamin B6. Vitamin B6 is in charge of producing hemoglobin in the blood that serves to carry oxygen to all the cells and move in iron. While Anemia is a medical condition that occurs due to a shortage of red blood cells.
Usually, the symptoms suffered by patients is aches and pain. So, taking vitamin B6 in the appropriate dose may reduce the symptoms of anemia and prevent anemia.
7. Healthy skin
Based on research that consuming vitamin C in adequate amounts can be beneficial for skin health. Vitamin C can reduce dry skin, wrinkles, and prevent premature aging. Vitamin C plays a major role in the production of protein to build muscle, skin, blood vessels and ligaments. Another benefit is to help the healing of wounds quickly.
8. Overcoming Migraine
Health benefits of luffa also address the headaches associated with migraines. Luffa is a source of magnesium that useful to eliminate a migraine because magnesium helpful for balancing neurotransmitters in the body.
Research that published in “Expert Review of Neurotherapeutics” suggests that consuming about 300 mg of magnesium may reduce migraine headaches.
9. Maintaining brain health
The brain needs oxygen to work properly. Oxygen would not be provided to the brain when the iron requirement is not met. Thus, the iron deficiency causes not only anemia but also cause for restless, irritable and inattentive.
10. Type 2 Diabetes
Further health benefits of luffa are reducing the risk of type 2 diabetes Luffa contains lots of magnesium that necessary for glucose metabolism. This helps reduce type 2 diabetes, Consuming 100 mg of magnesium daily helps reduce type 2 diabetes.
How to Eat
Luffa fruit consumption can make gravy dishes such as soup, spicy cuisine, and with a variety of other dishes. Take the young fruit and soft so that it tastes sweet and fresh and crunchy texture, and not loud.
If you want, you can eat luffa by frying, or making the sauce. Typically, other areas are also other ways of cooking.
Pregnant and nursing women should consume but should be limited. While others can consume at will because luffa currently does not have serious side effects.