In everyday non-technical usage, the towel gourd (loofah) usually means the fruit of the two species L. aegyptiaca and L. acutangula. The fruit of these species is cultivated and eaten as a vegetable. The fruit must be harvested at a young stage of development to be edible. The vegetable is popular in China and Vietnam. The fully developed fruit is the source of the loofah scrubbing sponge which is used in bathrooms and kitchens.
In Kerala, it is called peechinga In Palakkad area it is particularly called poththanga and used in bath. It is used as a vegetable, cooked with dal or stir fried. Fully matured fruit is used as a natural scrub in rural Kerala. In some places like Wayanad, it grows as a creeper on fences.
Towel gourd Nutrition Facts: Calories, Carbs, and Health BenefitsTweet
Towel gourd is about 93.85% water, 4.35% carbohydrates (including 2.02% sugar and 1.1% dietary fiber), 1.2% protein, and 0.2% fat. If you consume one towel gourd you will get 7.743 grams of carbohydrates. It is equal to 5.96 percent of the 130 grams of carbohydrates you should include in your daily diet, according to the Institute of Medicine (US). That same a 100 gram reference serving of towel gourd provides 20 calories and is a moderate source of Vitamin C (ascorbic acid) (16% of the Daily Value). This means if your diet contains towel gourds, it helps your body to absorb iron from food and defend itself more naturally since vitamin C is an antioxidant, reduce probability of heart disease by fighting cholesterol, reduce the risk of anemia as this vitamin absorbs iron and it is effective against gout (a type of arthritis) attacks by reducing blood uric acid levelsdementia since vitamin C impacts memory positivelyhigh blood pressure. It contains low amount of minerals.