5 Wonder health benefits of bitter gourd
Bitter melon or Karela is known because of its unique look, sharp flavor, nutrition, sugar controlling and lowering cholesterol level properties. Besides these, it is rich in vitamins A & C, other essential nutrients and some potential health benefits. The bitter melon is also linked to some side effects.
In addition to its sharp-flavoured distinct appearance, bitter melon has been associated with several impressive health benefits.
1. Bitter Melon is rich in several essential nutrients
Bitter melon is associated with numerous beneficial nutrients.
100 grams of the bitter gourd contains the nutrients as follows:
Calories (21), Carbs (4 grams), Fiber (2 grams), Vitamin C (99% of the Daily Value), Vitamin A (44% of the DV), Folate (17% of the DV), Potassium (8% of the DV), Zinc (5% of the DV) and Iron (4% of the DV).
2. Bitter Melon helps to reduce blood sugar
People worldwide have eaten bitter gourd to treat diabetes since ancient times to control sugar levels and other health benefits.
Many research studies confirmed the fruit’s role in controlling blood sugar levels. Studies showed that taking 2,000 mg of bitter melon daily helps lower blood sugar levels, decrease fructosamine levels, and improve insulin secretion.
The fruit contains compounds like saponins and terpenoids, which play a role in lowering blood sugar levels.
These two compounds help take sugar from the blood cells and store it in glucose.
3. Bitter melon helps to kill cancer cells
Many researches have been conducted wherein it has been found that bitter melon contains certain bio-chemical compounds linked with cancer-fighting properties.
A finding of a test-tube study showed that bitter gourd effectively kills cancer cells in the stomach, lungs and colon. Another test-tube finding reported that the fruit blocks the spread of breast cancer cells.
Bitter gourd is packed with polyphenols that act as anti-inflammatory effects to lower inflammation in the body.
4. Bitter melon decreases the risk of heart disease
Many studies found that bitter gourd may lower cholesterol levels, easing the heart to work smoothly. One study found that taking the fruit extract substantially reduced terrible cholesterol.
5. Bitter melon aids in weight loss
It is a vital ingredient to aid weight loss because of low in calories and high in fibre (2 grams of fiber in 100 grams of serving). It keeps one feeling fuller due to its excellent fibre content. The gourd also has laxative properties, which help in smooth digestion.
Eating of the fruit in moderation is good for health. However, taking it in high amounts may lead to several side effects. It may cause the following adverse effects.
- Abdominal pain
- Pregnant mothers should avoid excess use of it.
- Those who are on blood sugar-controlling medications should consult their physicians.
Many names of bitter gourd
- Bitter melon
- Bitter cucumber
- Bitter apple
- Bitter squash
- Karela in India
- Nigauri in Japan
- Goya in Okinawa
- Ampalaya in the Philippines
- Ku-gua in China
Facts about Bitter melon
- There are many varieties of bitter gourd, but the two most common are Chinese and Indian bitter gourd.
- Bitter melon, known as Karela bitter gourd or Momordica charantia, belongs to the gourd family.
- It is grown all over the world.
- It is a rich source of antioxidants, flavonoids and polyphenols that reduce the risk of many diseases.