Can you eat raw ivy gourd raw?

In this write-up, we will answer the question, “can you eat ivy gourd raw?” We will also discuss the phytonutrient and phytochemical composition of ivy gourds. We will go ahead to list some common recipes for ivy gourd. We will then talk about the medicinal and health significance of ivy gourd. 

Can you eat raw ivy gourd raw?

Yes, ivy gourd can be eaten raw. However, eating ivy gourd raw might not be appealing to the taste of everyone as it is known to be bitter. Eating ivy gourd raw might not also be safe for everyone, especially people with blood sugar level imbalances. 

What is an ivy gourd?

Ivy gourd is a vine plant in the family Cucurbitaceae (gourd or melon family), the same family as watermelon. The botanical name for this plant is Coccinia grandis, which is found in India and tropical Africa, and other tropical and subtropical countries. It has also been introduced to some European countries and, in some states in the U.S. The leaves and the fruit are edible preferably when cooked.

How nutritious is an ivy gourd?

Ivy gourd is very nutritious; it contains some important vitamins and beneficial active phytochemicals.  The nutritional information is provided in table 1 below;

Table 1: The nutritional content of ivy gourd per 100g of edible fruit portion

NutrientQuantity% Daily Value (% DV)
Protein1.22.4%
Carbohydrate3.1 g2.38%
Total dietary Fiber1.6 g4.21%
Lipid0.1 g0.29%
Vitamin C (Ascorbic acid)1.4 mg1.56%
Vitamin B1 (Thiamine)0.07 mg5.83%
Vitamin B2 (Riboflavin)0.08 mg6.15%
Vitamin B3 (Niacin)0.07 mg0.44%
-Carotene70.05 mg
Lycopene5.68 mg
Iron1.4 mg17.50%
Phosphorus30 mg
Calcium40 mg4.0%
Sodium0.95 mg
Potassium3.38 mg0.6%

From the table, we can infer the following;

  • Ivy gourd is an excellent source of iron which can meet about 17.5% of the recommended daily intake of iron for humans.
  • Ivy gourd is also a good source of vitamin B1 and vitamin B2 which are essential for the proper functioning of the nervous system. This will be discussed in detail.

What does eating ivy gourd do to the body?

  • Support for the Nervous system

Eating an ivy gourd ensures proper functioning of the nervous system through the action of its B-complex vitamins. Thiamine does this by fast-tracking the breakdown of food to release energy in order to drive cellular and nervous activities.

  • Prevents anemia 

Eating ivy gourd also helps to prevent anemia due to the high level of iron it contains. This prevents sudden fatigue and keeps us strong to run our daily activities. This is because iron is required for the synthesis of hemoglobin which in turn will bind with oxygen to carry oxygenated blood (oxyhaemoglobin) to cells of the body keeping them alive and actively working.

  • Prevents diabetes

Eating ivy gourd serves as a tonic for diabetic patients. Coccinia grandis (ivy gourd) has been used in Indian Traditional Medicine (Ayurveda) and in other Asian countries to manage diabetes mellitus. Studies have established the antidiabetic potential of ivy gourds.

  • Supports good vision and Heart health.

The phytochemical B-carotene in ivy gourds is a precursor to Vitamin A which is significant for vision. It also supports the proper functioning of the heart.

  • Prevents obesity

Scientific research has established that regular inclusion of ivy gourd in the diet helps reduce the incidence of obesity. It does this by suppressing the differentiation of preadipocytes (fat cells precursor) to fat cells through downregulation of  the nuclear peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor gamma, PPAR (a transcription factor relevant for fat cell formation).

  • External application for the treatment of wounds and leprosy.

The leaves of ivy gourd can be applied in a form of poultice to handle dermatological issues such as wounds, and leprosy. 

Recipes of ivy gourd 

Ingredients

  • 3 medium-sized Irish potatoes
  • 6 tsp cayenne 
  • 3 tsp cumin powder
  • 8 pieces of ivy gourd fruit
  • Pinch of salt
  • Parsley leaves (chopped into small pieces)
  • 6 tbsp olive oil
  • 2 tsp all spices

Process of preparing this recipe

  1.  The ivy gourd fruit is washed under running water.
  1. The guard is dissected vertically into halves and sliced into small cubes.
  1. The Irish potatoes are washed and the outer coverings removed. Cut the potatoes into small cubes just like the ivy gourd.
  1. Put oil in a cooking pan and heat using low heat. When it is hot, add turmeric powder and the cumin powder.
  1. Then add the chopped potato and the ivy gourd, and stir well to mix.
  1. Then add coriander powder, cayenne powder, all spices, and salt, and stir well.
  1. Take it off from the fire after 5 minutes.
  1. The recipe is ready, it can be eaten with rice or similar.

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Conclusion

In this blog, we answered the question, “Can you eat raw ivy gourd?” We also talked about how nutritious ivy gourd can be and the health benefits of eating ivy gourd. We then gave an example of a common recipe that can be prepared using an ivy gourd.

We hope this information is relevant, kindly contact us for further questions if any.

References

https://specialtyproduce.com/produce/Tindora_586.php
https://www.emedicinehealth.com/ivy_gourd/vitamins-supplements.htm
https://www.nutrition-and-you.com/ivy-gourd.html

Hi, I am Charlotte, I love cooking and in my previous life, I was a chef. I bring some of my experience to the recipes on this hub and answer your food questions.