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Health Benefits of Pointed Gourd ‘Parwal’

Grown abundantly in the Indian subcontinent, low in carbs and calories, high in fiber and antioxidant rich, parmal is an integral part of not only in the Indian kitchen but is also an integral part of the wellness and detox diets. 

Pointed gourd, also known as parwal, parmal, wild snake gourd, patola, green potato is a small to medium-size vegetable. It is average 5-15 centimetres in length, oblong with pointed ends. The rind is yellow-green when young and orange when mature. It has few light strips running lengthwise. Internally the flesh is moist, creamy-white with a central cavity that is filled with tiny ivory seeds. 

Nutritional facts of Parwal

Parwal contains significant amounts of protein, fiber, vitamin A, iron, calcium, and potassium. As per the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) National Nutrient Database, 100 gm of parwal contains 20 kcals, 0.3 gm of fats, 2 gm of proteins, 3 gm of fiber, 4.2 gm of carbohydrates, 30 mg of calcium, 1.7 mg of iron, 9 mg of magnesium, 83 mg of potassium, 1.1 mg of copper, 29 mg of vitamin C, 0.06 mg of vitamin B2, and 0.05 mg of vitamin B1.

Potential Health Benefits of Parwal/Parmal

1/5. Improves digestion and treats constipation

1. The rich fibre content of parwal/parmal enhances digestion and aids resolve various gastrointestinal complaints.

2. Fiber further promotes bowel movement and enhances the smooth passage of food.

3. The seeds of parwal help in easing stools and in decreasing constipation complaints.

4. Pointed gourd helps in keeping the organs healthy and aids in the regeneration of new cells.

2/5. Reduces the signs of ageing

1. The high content of antioxidants, vitamins A, and C present in pointed gourd helps in reducing the signs of aging on the skin. 

2. Antioxidants, vitamin A and C fight against the free radical molecules which promotes the signs of ageing signs. 

3/5. Maintains eye health

The presence of vitamin A in parwal benefits the health of the eyes. Vitamin A fights against the free radical and protects against macular degeneration and other age-related eye complaints.

4/5. Improves bone health

1. Calcium, magnesium, and phosphorous helps increase bone and bone density. The vitamin C present in pointed gourd helps in calcium absorption. Parwal prevents bone-related diseases such as osteoporosis.

5/5. Other possible Benefits

Pointed gourd produces several health benefits, apart from the health benefits mentioned above, it also produces a few more such as purifies the blood, reduces flu,  manages weight loss, controls blood sugar, lowers blood cholesterol levels, treat jaundice, boosts immunity, treats alcoholism, improves cardiovascular health, enhances skin health, and treats anorexia.

Traditionally pointed gourd/parmal has been recommended for people suffering from liver related ailments. Besides its various health benefits, in some parts of Indian, parmal is also used for making Indian sweets. 

How to incorporate Parmal in diet?

Before cooking, the pointed gourd should be initially peeled, the pointed tips should be removed and the tough seeds should be discarded. Pointed gourd forms a staple of several dishes in many countries. Some of its culinary uses are as follows:

  • Used in meat stuffing.
  • Used to prepare various dishes.
  • Can be blended in gravies or stir-fried.
  • Used in stew, soup, sweet, curry, sweet, or eaten fried.
  • Can be pickled in vinegar with several different herbs and spices and used as a side dish or a salad.

How to prepare Pointed Gourd Curry?

Take 250 gms of parwal and 2 potatoes and cut them into small pieces. 

Heat oil in a pan and fry the chopped pieces of parwal till they turn light golden brown. Keep it aside.

Similarly, fry the potatoes and keep them aside.

Take 2 medium-sized chopped onions and a pinch of salt and add it to 3 tbsp oil, fry it till it turns golden brown.

Add 2 teaspoon Kashmiri lal mirch powder to it and sauté it at low flame. Once the oil starts coming out from the sides then, add 4 tablespoon ginger garlic paste, 1/2 teaspoon turmeric powder, 1/2 teaspoon red chili powder, 1/2 teaspoon cumin powder, 1/2 teaspoon coriander powder, 1 chopped tomato, and little water and sauté it till the masala get cooked.

Add fried parwal and potatoes to it and add salt. Sauté it for 1 min and then add 2 cups water to it and cover it.

Let it boil for 5-10 mins. Remove the cover and sprinkle 1 teaspoon garam masala over it and cover it for 2-3 mins more.

Serve it with roti or rice.

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