If you don’t eat bitter melon on a regular basis, or if you’ve never tried it at all, don’t worry — neither have I! The name is enough to turn me away since I’m not a fan of bitter foods, and its appearance also leaves much to be desired. However, once you learn the incredible health benefits it offers, it’d be hard to say no to giving this nutrient-packed miracle plant a chance.
If you’ve never heard of bitter melon (also commonly referred to as bitter gourd), it could be because it only grows in Africa, Asia, and the Caribbean. Bitter melon has been used as a traditional medicine for many years, treating things like colic, fevers, burns, chronic cough, painful menstruation, and skin conditions. As for the taste, the title pretty much sums it up, it’s considered to be an acquired taste.
Here are 7 bitter melon benefits you should know about:
1. Helps In Maintaining Blood Sugar Levels
Bitter gourd contains an insulin-like compound called Polypeptide-p or p-insulin which has been shown to control diabetes naturally. Studies have shown that this plant-based insulin in bitter gourd helps patients with type-1 diabetes as well. Another report gave evidence regarding the fact that bitter melon increases the uptake of glucose and improves glycemic control. People suffering from diabetes taking hypoglycemic drugs may even be required to alter the dosage of their drugs if they consume bitter melon juice daily and consult a doctor before doing so.
2. Assist In Antioxidant Defense
Bitter melon contains the essential mineral called manganese, which is important for several enzymes important in energy production and antioxidant defenses. Also, the vitamin C in bitter melon is a powerful natural water-soluble antioxidant that helps the body develop resistance against infectious agents and eliminates cancer-causing free radicals in the body.
3. Prevents Osteoporosis
Bitter melon consists of calcium and plenty of vitamin K, both of which are important for healthy bones. It has been found to reduce your chances of getting osteoporosis as well. The vitamin K also serves as an anti-inflammatory and can ease the pain generated by arthritis.
4. It Can Improve Eye Health
Bitter melon is high in vitamin A, containing approximately a third of your daily recommended intake. Numerous studies have proven the positive correlation between vitamin A and eye health. More specifically, by consuming more vitamin A, you can slow macular degeneration and thus reduce your likelihood of developing a poor vision as you age. It can also improve your night vision. Plus, vitamin A is required for optimal function of your cornea and conjunctival membranes, so the more bitter melon you eat, the better your eye health may become!
5. Reduces Cholesterol
The juice of the bitter melon has been proven to reduce high cholesterol levels. When you have high cholesterol, you are leaving yourself open to heart disease, the chance of having a heart attack, and the chances of having a stroke.
6. Purifies Blood
The antimicrobial and antioxidant properties of bitter gourd juice help to treat skin problems, blood disorders, clear toxins from the blood and purify it, and further improves blood circulation throughout the body. It helps to cure issues like itching caused by toxemia, rashes, acne, psoriasis, blood boils and even inhibits the growth of cancerous cells in the body.
7. Aids In Weight Loss
Bitter melon contains antioxidants that help to flush out your system. This improves your metabolism and digestive systems, thus helping you lose weight quickly. The two other major factors that aid in weight loss are the calorie control and filling components. Calorie control happens as such because vegetables are low in calories that allow you to consume more quantities of them. The filling component in this vegetable is water. We know that water is a universal suppressant of hunger. The pods of this vegetable contain the whole 80-85% water.
Bitter melon may be bitter in taste, not smooth, and smell really bitter, but the health benefits you can reap from this plant defies all the “not so good” you find in this plant. In this post, I shared with you 7 bitter melon benefits you should know about.
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