Bitter melon, also called bitter gourd or scientifically Momordica charantia, is a tropical vine that falls within the gourd family and has close botanical ties to zucchini, squash, pumpkin and cucumber. Check out 5 surprising health benefits of bitter gourd.
Rich in nutrients
Bitter gourd contains significant levels of vitamin C, an essential micronutrient that is crucial for disease prevention, bone formation and facilitating wound healing. It is also rich in vitamin A, a fat-soluble vitamin that plays a key role in promoting skin health and maintaining good eyesight. In addition, it provides essential folic acid for growth and development, in addition to smaller amounts of potassium, zinc and iron.
Lower blood sugar levels
Due to its powerful medicinal properties, indigenous communities around the world have traditionally used bitter melon as an aid in the treatment of diabetes-related conditions. Recent research has proven its effectiveness in regulating blood sugar levels. For example, a three-month study of 24 adults with diabetes found that a daily intake of 2,000 mg of bitter melon resulted in lowered blood sugar levels and a reduction in hemoglobin A1c, a test used to measure blood sugar levels for three months.
Research indicates that bitter melon contains specific compounds known for their potential in fighting cancer. For example, a previous laboratory study showed that bitter melon extract was effective in eliminating cancer cells in the stomach, colon, lungs and nasopharynx (located behind the nose in the throat area).
Helps lower cholesterol levels
Bitter gourd is a valuable addition to a weight loss program because of its favorable nutritional profile. It is low in calories and rich in fiber, with approximately 2 grams of fiber in each 100 gram serving. The slow digestion of fiber through your system contributes to long-lasting feelings of fullness, effectively curbing hunger and reducing appetite.
High fiber intake
The distinctive tart flavor of bitter gourd lends itself beautifully to a wide range of culinary creations. To prepare it, start by washing the fruit and cutting it lengthwise. Using a utensil, remove the seeds from the center and cut the fruit into thin slices.
Bitter gourd can be cooked with different ingredients
The versatility of bitter gourd means you can enjoy it both raw and in cooked dishes. You can bake it, steam it, bake it or even hollow it out and fill it with your favorite filling for a delicious culinary experience. Its adaptability makes it a unique and flavorful addition to various recipes.