Pune: Recently, a 41-year-old woman died in the city after consuming bottle gourd juice and much debate has sparked on social media about consumption of such juices which are recommended for low cholesterol, weight loss and other health benefits. So botanists and doctors from across the city have suggested ways to ensure that the vegetable is good before consumption.
Speaking to Sakal Times, Madhav Pendse, Senior Botanist and former principal of SP College said it is advisable to eat a small bite of the vegetable before cooking or making juice.
“Bottle gourd belongs to the Cucurbitaceae family, also called cucurbits and the gourd family, a plant family consisting of 965 species. Of which there are Cucurbita – squash, pumpkin, zucchini, some gourds and Lagenaria – calabash and others that are inedible. This plant family has cucurbitacin poison which affects a few people. These are naturally present in the plants for their protection from animals and this gives them a bitter taste. Hence a small bite should be taken before cooking or making juices,” said Pendse.
He added that in case of juices, people rush to gulp it and finish.
“If the juice feels bitter, it should be avoided,” said Pendse.
Dr Ankur Deshpande, an ayurvedic doctor said that bottle gourd is a very healthy vegetable for losing weight.
“There are very good uses of bottle gourd but in Ayurveda, it is important to see how much we consume and what we consume. If taken properly the bottle groud juice is healthy. But earlier, many people have had good health without having bottle gourd juice as well. So there are many ways to keep the diet healthy and live a fit life,” said Dr Deshpande.