12 Benefits of Bitter Melon (Bitter Gourd) That Will Surprise You
Bitter melon which is also known as bitter gourd, bottle gourd or balsam pear belongs to the gourd family of tropical vines. These are closely related to zucchinis, pumpkins, squashes, and cucumbers. It is considered a staple in Asian cuisine but is cultivated worldwide.
There are two main varieties of bitter melon. The Chinese variety of bitter melon is typically pale green, long, and covered with wart-like bumps. The Indian variety is narrower with pointed ends which have rough jagged spikes on the rind. Bitter melons have a distinct appearance and a sharp bitter taste. However, there are several health benefits that you can gain from eating them. Here are 12 benefits of bitter melon and its extract.
1 They are loaded with essential nutrients
Bitter melon is rich in several key nutrients such as vitamin A, and C, potassium, folate, iron, zinc, carbs, and fiber. It is especially rich in vitamin C which is the micronutrient involved in the prevention of disease, wound healing, and bone formation. Its high vitamin A content improves your eyesight and promotes skin health.
Bitter melon also contains powerful antioxidants compounds like gallic acid, catechin and epicatechin that protect your cells from getting damaged. It is also low in calories but high in fiber which makes it a good food to include in a weight loss diet.
Your immune system is responsible for fighting off infections and diseases in your body. One of the benefits of bitter melon is the fact that it is packed with many nutrients which can boost your immunity and increase its potency in fighting against diseases. You can prevent or stop a cold, get rid of yeast infections, or curb food allergies by consuming bitter melons.
3Reduces blood sugar
Bitter melon has long been used by indigenous populations from around the world to help in controlling blood sugar levels because of its potent medicinal properties. As per studies, bitter melon might be able to improve the way in which your tissues use sugar to promote insulin secretion.
Insulin happens to be the hormone which is responsible for regulating the blood sugar levels. Thus, bitter melon can improve several markers of long-term blood sugar control which even includes the levels of fructosamine and hemoglobin A1c.
4It is a good liver tonic
Liver tonics help in improving your digestion, gallbladder functions, and can even lower fluid retention. Fortunately bitter melon is a good natural liver tonic which can effectively relieve conditions like constipation. Bitter melon can even be used to as a good natural remedy for irritable bowel syndrome, liver cirrhosis, and hepatitis.