Bitter melon, also known as bitter gourd, is a unique vegetable fruit that is used as food or medicine. It is the edible part of the plant Momordica Charantia, which is a vine of the Cucurbitaceae family and is considered the most bitter among all fruits and vegetables.
The bitter melon itself grows off the vine as a green, oblong-shaped fruit with a distinct warty exterior – though its size, texture and bitterness vary between the different regions in which it grows – and is rich in vital vitamins and minerals.
In addition to being a food ingredient, bitter melon has been used as a herbal remedy for ailments, including type 2 diabetes. The fruit contains at least three active substances with anti-diabetic properties, which have a blood glucose-lowering effect, vicine, and an insulin-like compound known as polypeptide-p.
10 Health Benefits of Bitter Melon
Bitter gourd has a compound that functions similar to insulin. It reduces the blood glucose levels in both type I and type II diabetes. Consuming a glass of bitter melon juice is effective, however, it is advisable to monitor sugar levels to adjust medications.
It boosts liver enzymes and is a good cure for hangovers as it reduces alcohol deposits on the liver. Published in the International Journal of Vitamin and Nutrition, a study concluded that a compound called Momordica Charantia provides protection against liver failure by strengthening the antioxidant activity of the enzymes in the liver.
Bitter gourd fights viruses and bacteria and strengthens your immunity. It prevents allergies and indigestion. The antioxidants work as powerful defense mechanisms against illness and also help fight free-radical damage that can cause various types of cancer.
Bitter gourd juice is anti-inflammatory and also helps in lowering the bad cholesterol levels in the body. Thereby, it significantly reduces the risk of heart attack and stroke. It also maintains the blood pressure of the body as it is rich in potassium, which absorbs excessive sodium in the body. It is rich in iron and folic acid which are known to decrease the risk of stroke and keep your heart healthy.
Bitter gourd juice has powerful anti-oxidants along with vitamin A and C which prevent premature skin aging and diminish wrinkles. Furthermore, it reduces acne, aids in treating eczema and psoriasis, as well as protects the skin from harmful UV rays. The nutrients vitamin A, vitamin C, Biotin, and Zinc impart shine and lustre to your locks.
Bitter gourd is low in calories, fat, and carbohydrates. In the Journal BMC Complementary and Alternative Medicine, it was disclosed that extracts of bitter gourd helped in the dislocation of human fat cells and also hindered the formation and growth of new fat cells. It was further concluded that bitter gourd can be viewed as a natural agent for treating obesity.
As it is rich in fiber, consuming its juice help with soothing the stomach and relieves from constipation.
Disclaimer: The information included at this site is for educational purposes only and is not intended to be a substitute for medical treatment by a healthcare professional. Because of unique individual needs, the reader should consult their physician to determine the appropriateness of the information for the reader’s situation.
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