Bitter melon also is known as bitter gourd or Momordica charantia .is a tropical plant that belongs to the gourd family. Examples of related plants are cucumber, zucchini, squash pumpkin.
It’s an edible fruit that is grown in the world and most stable in Asian Cuisine. In Chinese, the variety is typically pale green and also covered with wart-like bumps.
Moreover, in Indian legion, the variety is more narrow, also has pointed ends with rough and jagged spikes on the rind.
Some Of The Nutritional Benefits Of Bitter Melon
1. It’s Loaded With Beneficial Nutrients
Bitter melon is an excellent source of various key nutrients.
One cup (94 grams) of raw bitter melon provides:
- Calories: 20
- Carbs: 4 grams
- Fiber: 2 grams
- Folate: 17%
- Vitamin C: 93% of the Reference Daily Intake (RDI)
- Vitamin A: 44%
- Potassium: 8%
- Iron: 4%
- Zinc: 5%
it’s exceptionally rich in vitamin C, a great micronutrient linked in disease prevention, wound healing, and bone formation.
It’s also great in vitamin A, a fat-soluble vitamin that boosts skin health and proper vision.
More so, it’s a great source of catechin, gallic acid, chlorogenic acid, and epicatechin powerful antioxidant compounds that can help preserve your cells against damage. It also produces folate, which is required for growth, as well as smaller quantities of Iron, potassium, and zinc.
Finally, it’s low in calories however high in fiber. Achieving about 8% of your daily fiber needs in a single one-cup (94-gram) serving.
2.May Have Cancer-Fighting Properties
The study recommends that bitter melon holds certain compounds with cancer-fighting properties.
For instance, one test-tube study revealed that bitter melon extract was powerful at killing cancer cells of the stomach, lung, colon, and nasopharynx, the area located behind the nose at the back of your throat.
Another test-tube study had similar findings, reporting that bitter melon extract was able to block the growth and spread of breast cancer cells while also increasing cancer cell death.
Have it in mind that these examinations were conducted using concentrated amounts of the bitter melon extract on individual cells in a laboratory.
However, further examination is needed to discover how bitter melon may affect cancer growth and development in humans when eaten in the normal amounts found in food.
3. It Can Help Decrease Blood Sugar
Bitter melon having high medicinal properties have been used to treat diabetes and other related health conditions. In recent years, different studies proved the fruit’s role in blood sugar control.
A 3-month study in 24 adults with diabetes revealed that taking 2,000 mg of bitter melon daily reduced blood sugar and hemoglobin A1c, a test used to regulate blood sugar control over three months.
A different study in 40 people with diabetes discovered that taking 2,000 mg per day of bitter melon for 4 weeks led to a modest decrease in blood sugar levels.
The supplements significantly reduced levels of fructosamine, another marker of long-term blood sugar control
Bitter melon is held to promote the way that sugar is used in your tissues and increase the secretion of insulin, the hormone responsible for controlling blood sugar levels.
4. It May Decrease Cholesterol Levels
High levels of cholesterol can create a fatty plaque to build up in your arteries, making your heart work harder to pump blood and rising your risk of heart disease. Various animal studies discovered that bitter melon may decrease cholesterol levels to promote heart health.
One research in rats on a high-cholesterol diet recognized that administering bitter melon extract led to an important decrease in levels of total cholesterol, “bad” LDL cholesterol, and triglyceride.
A different study discovered that giving rats a bitter melon extract significantly decreased cholesterol levels related to placebo. Higher doses of bitter melon explained the greatest decrease. Furthermore, the current study on the likely cholesterol-lowering properties of bitter melon is often limited to animal studies using large doses of the bitter melon extract.
5. It’s Delicious
Bitter melon has an excellent flavor that serves well in various dishes. It can be enjoyed raw or prepared in various recipes. it can also be steamed, baked, pan-fried.
Below are some interesting ways you can add bitter melon to diets:
- You can enjoy the juicy bitter melon with a few other fruits and vegetables for a nutrient-packed beverage.
- Fly it with tomatoes, onions, and garlic, and add to scrambled eggs.
- Can be eaten as a food, as juice identified as karela juice, or as a tea.
- Mix it into your next stir-fry.
- Fill with ground meat and vegetables and serve with a black bean sauce.
- You can join seedless bitter melon with your choice of dressing and garnish for a savory salad.
6. It May Help In Weight Loss
Bitter melon performs an outstanding supplement to a weight loss diet, as it’s low in calories and also high in fiber. It holds about 2 grams of fiber in each one-cup (94-gram) serving. Fiber moves through your digestive tract very slowly, keeps you fuller for longer, and decreasing hunger and appetite.
Hence, swapping higher-calorie ingredients with bitter melon could aid boost your fiber intake and cut calories to increase weight loss. Some study also shows that bitter melon can have useful effects on fat burning and weight loss.
One research discovered that eating a capsule containing 4.8 grams of bitter melon extract each day led to meaningful decreases in belly fat. Participants lost an average of 0.5 inches (1.3 cm) after seven weeks.
Likewise, research in rats on a high-fat diet noted that bitter melon extract helped reduce body weight compared to a placebo.
However, you should have it in mind that these studies were performed using high-dose bitter melon supplements, and still not clear whether eating bitter melon as part of your daily diet would have the same helpful effects on health.
What Are The Potential Side Effects?
Bitter Melon Can be Very healthy and nutritious when enjoyed in moderation. Although, eating high quantities of it or taking bitter melon supplements may be connected with many adverse effects. Notedly, bitter melon has been connected to vomiting, stomach pain, and diarrhea.
However, it’s also not prescribed for pregnant women, as its long-term results on health. Additionally, due to its influence on blood sugar, you should consult with your doctor before eating it if you’re taking any blood-sugar-lowering medications.