Bitter melon or bitter gourd is an underestimated vegetable-fruit rich in all the essential nutrients needed for a balanced diet. Eating 94 grams per day serves several nutritional needs.
Bitter gourd primarily contains 93 percent of the Reference Daily Intake (RDI) of Vitamin C; and 44 percent of daily Vitamin A needs. If that’s not enough; the vegetable-fruit also provides 8 percent of fiber required as well as smaller doses of potassium, zinc and iron.
The fruit belonging to the gourd family is grown on vines, and is surprisingly not incorporated enough into everyday diets despite its numerous health benefits. This is probably due to miniscule drawbacks such as its bitter taste and sharp ends. It can be consumed in various forms, either as a juice or just the extract put inside capsules.
Check out the different health benefits that bitter melon can give to your body below.
One serving of 100 grams holds only 17 calories. Hence, it does not add fat to the body if consumed regularly. Bitter melon being full of fiber breaks down the process of digestion into slower steps, prevents hunger pangs and reduces appetite.
The extract is made into a juice or used for medicinal purposes with evidence showing positive benefits. Participants in a study taking 4.8 gram capsules of bitter melon extract found that their waist size had decreased by 1.3 cm after 4 weeks, according to Healthline.
Loaded with antioxidants, it helps prevent the spread of free radicals that lower immunity levels. Whole fruits and skin extracts inhibit cell proliferation and colon cancer formation, though the whole fruit variety has higher efficacy in achieving this, according to this research paper published in National Centre for Biotechnology Information (NCBI).
Bitter melon juice reduces risk of pancreatic cancer and breast cancer, as well.
Prevents Bone Loss
Vitamins K and C aid calcium absorption, especially for people suffering from osteoporosis. Bitter melon helps prevent bone fractures caused by low bone mineral density that occurs when there is less calcium in the bones, as pointed out by Natural Food Series.
Bitter melon, which has the scientific name Momordica Charantia, has been traditionally used in India and China as part of their traditional medicine practices.
Meanwhile, a particular study done on laboratory rats of various models is a case in point. MC pulp extract lowered blood sugar levels after three weeks of treatment in rats chemically induced with diabetes, the study said.
In high fat induced insulin resistant rats, MC extract improved insulin sensitivity and glucose tolerance. Frequent consumption of bitter melon in its various forms enhances the effect of the typical medication taken for hypoglycemia.
The same laboratory experiment on diabetic rats conducted over the span of 30 days proved that consumption of the plant extract had in fact normalized the levels of low-density lipoproteins (LDL) or “bad cholesterol” and triglycerides. Consequently, it increased the high-density lipoproteins (HDL) or “good cholesterol.”
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