Most people go through life singing ‘Bahay Kubo’ and just pass over ‘kundol’, not really knowing what it is. The truth is, not many people actually know what a kundol is, mostly mistaken it for its more popular cousin, the Upo. In my search to discover the benefits of our local vegetables, I found that the kundol is a sleeper hit in terms of its nutritional value. It seems to be underused in Filipino cooking, but when we look over to China, kundol, or ‘Winter Melon’ is used in many hearty soups, stocks and stir fries and is valued for its health benefits. The next time you spot a kundol in the grocery or market, pick it up and give it a try! Perhaps remembering its health benefits will motivate you to try.
- It is good for digestion. Loaded with fibre which not only helps make bowel movements regular, but dietary fibre also regulates cholesterol levels. The fibre in kundol will also keep you full for longer.
- It is good for the immune system. Kundol is loaded with vitamin C, which prevents colds and the flu. It is also loaded with vitamin B2 which is essential for the immune system. Vitamin B2 is also essential in preventing migranes, should one suffer from them.
- It is good for healing. The same vitamin C that boosts the immune system, also stimulates collagen that helps to repair tissues. The Chinese use Winter Melon for its benefits for the skin- keeping it moisturised and increasing the collagen production
- It removes toxins and helps to decrease bloat. In ancient medicine, Winter Melon was consumed to remove excess salt, toxins, fat and water from the body.
- It boosts metabolism. Vitamin B2 is the most natural way to boost metabolism. B2 levels are very high in kundol, making it an an excellent natural source.