Okra and Indian Squash Hash

What is Indian Squash and why is good for our gut?


Indian squash (also known as Tinda and round gourd) is a squash vegetable popular in South Asia. This squash was often eaten in India, some East African countries and Pakistan. It is often light green on the surface, and has soft flesh on the inside: it tastes relatively sweet and creamy, and has a plethora of vitamins and minerals that provide #GoodGut benefits!


Indian Squash is a very low calorie vegetable that is rich in Iodine, zinc, B-complex vitamins, vitamin C, and Fiber! Consumption of vegetables that offer a variety of nutrients help to support thyroid function, maintain the intestinal barrier and integrity, and can also be preventative against diseases that involve the intestinal barrier. B-complex vitamins are important for intestinal motility, supporting certain bacteria, as well as providing nutrients for the microbiota in the gut.


Furthermore, they also may help to suppress colonization of the “bad bacteria”, and may even help modulate the development and progression of colitis. Incorporating more dietary fiber in the diet may also support optimal digestion. Though this squash has a rather mild fiber content, it makes it a very digestible option for those that experience gastrointestinal discomfort or perhaps are not used to eating high amounts of fiber yet. One cup of Indian squash provides 1 gram of fiber.


One cool fact about Indian squash is that it has been used in traditional Ayurvedic medicine for years. It has been thought to be alkaline in nature and frequent consumption may provide a cooling and neutralizing effect on stomach acids. For this reason it has been used for treating digestive ailments like hyperacidity, dyspepsia, and ulcers. Talk about #GoodGut benefits!


Ways to eat it


Cooking Indian squash can be a great way to reap the #GoodGut benefits without the discomfort of too much fiber! Try adding Indian squash to an oven bake, or add it to a curry or stew. You can also remove the seeds and roast as a snack!


Recipe: Okra and Indian Squash Hash

Ingredients:

  • 3 medium indian squashes, diced into equal, bite-size chunks

  • 1/2 cup vegetable broth (add more as needed)

  • 1 cup okra, fresh or frozen

  • 1⁄2 medium white onion, diced

  • 1 1⁄2 tsp pink himalayan salt

  • 1⁄2 tsp ground black pepper

  • 2 cloves garlic, minced

Directions:

  1. Heat a large pan.

  2. Add squash and onion to veggie broth.

  3. Sprinkle it with salt and pepper to taste.

  4. Cover and cook for 12-15 minutes, stirring occasionally until squash is almost dtender.

  5. Add chopped okra.

  6. Turn heat to high and add garlic. Cook for 2-5 more minutes until Indian Squash is browned.

  7. Serve hot!

Heal With Each Meal!


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References

Tinda/Indian round gourd: Health benefits nutrition uses for skin, hair, weight loss, and recipes. (8 June 2021). NetMeds, https://www.netmeds.com/health-library/post/tinda-indian-round-gourd-health-benefits-nutrition-uses-for-skin-hair-weight-loss-and-recipes.

Tran, C. D., Hawkes, J., Graham, R. D., Kitchen, J. L., Symonds, E. L., Davidson, G. P., & Butler, R. N. (2014). Zinc-Fortified Oral Rehydration Solution Improved Intestinal Permeability and Small Intestinal Mucosal Recovery. Clinical Pediatrics, 54(7), 676–682. doi:10.1177/0009922814562665.

Uebanso, T., Shimohata, T., Mawatari, K., & Takahashi, A. (2020). Functional Roles of B-Vitamins in the Gut and Gut Microbiome. Molecular nutrition & food research, 64(18), e2000426. https://doi.org/10.1002/mnfr.202000426.


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