Bitter melon, balsam pear, or most ordinarily mentioned as bitter gourd, may be a unique fruit-vegetable combination that’s consumed widely. It’s an edible pod that belongs to the Cucurbitaceous family that also includes cucumbers, cantaloupes, watermelon, squash, and more. It’s considered the bitterest tasting amongst all culinary vegetables and fruits. While bitter gourd is condemned for its bitter taste, it truly can sweeten our well-being through virtue of its health promoting and disease preventing photochemical compounds. Bitter gourd is very beneficial for patients affected by intestinal and stomach problems, diabetes, and more.
Bitter gourds are mostly cultivated in tropical parts of the planet, like Asia, South America, and Africa. It highly treasured in India and China specifically, and is taken into account a staple within the majority of their cuisine. The Indian variety features a narrower appearance with pointy ends and jagged, rough spikes on the rind. The Chinese variety, on the opposite hand, is usually long and covered with wart-like bumps. If you aren’t conscious of the magical benefits bitter gourd offers, inspect the useful information about these pods within the following sections.
Nutritional Value in Bitter Gourds
100 grams of raw bitter gourd contains:
Total Calories – 16
Dietary Fiber – 2.6 g
Carbohydrates – 3.4 g
Fats – 158 mg
Water – 87.4 g
Protein – 930 mg
What are the Health Benefits of Bitter Gourd?
A number of clinical studies are conducted for evaluating the efficiency of bitter gourd for human health. The bulk of those studies revealed that consuming bitter gourd is useful for human health. While most folks aren’t very keen on trying bitter gourd thanks to its bitter taste, once conscious of the plentiful health benefits, you’ll probably change your mind.
1. Promote Gut Health
Regular consumption of bitter gourd features a positive impact on gut health. It not only treats intestinal disorders like constipation and stomach ache but is equally beneficial for Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS) because it helps kill parasites that enter the gastrointestinal system. Moreover, it contains antioxidants that help stimulate digestive enzymes and support digestion. Thanks to its natural laxative property and high fiber count, bitter gourd is suggested by the doctors for maintaining good digestive health.
2. Manage Diabetes
Anyone who is diagnosed with diabetes is prescribed to eat bitter gourd. This is often one among the foremost crucial health benefits of bitter gourd known to all or any. It contains three active substances with anti-diabetic properties, namely polypeptide-p, vicine, and charanti, which are confirmed to possess insulin-like properties and blood sugar lowering effects. These compounds work together or individually to assist lower blood glucose levels. Moreover, it’s also been found that bitter gourd contains lectin that helps reduce blood sugar concentrations within the body by suppressing appetite and working on the peripheral tissues. Consistent with experts, lectin is liable for triggering the hypoglycemic effect, which suggests that the blood glucose levels are down. The flesh and seeds are both beneficial during this aspect. Consuming bitter gourd juice daily within the morning on an empty stomach can assist you keep your diabetes in check.
Visit: Diabetes Management
3. Boost Immunity
Bitter gourd may be a rich source of vitamin C that comes with many antioxidant properties. Antioxidants are necessary for our body because it helps in multiplication of the immune cells and white blood cells (WBCs). This not only strengthens the system but also helps in preventing allergies. The recommended daily intake (RDI) of vitamin C is 98.5 mg, which bitter gourd easily fulfills.
4. Purifies Blood and Cleanses Liver
The antimicrobial and antioxidant properties of bitter gourd help in removal of poisons. Moreover, it can help wipe out all types of intoxication settled in your liver. Thus, bitter gourd heals many liver problems also as cleanses your bowel. It also aids the right functioning of the bladder. Consistent with experts, if you’re hungover, consuming bitter gourd juice can assist you reduce the alcohol intoxication from your body, thereby making you are feeling active.
5. Protect against Cancer
Free radicals are the first explanation for cancer. They will affect the way our body functions. Thus, keeping your body freed from free radicals is vital. Free radicals are a by-product of our metabolism and therefore the count increases with smoking, pollution, and stress majorly. Bitter gourd contains lycopene, lignans, and carotenoids, alongside good amounts of vitamin A, zea-xanthin and lutein, which are the first antioxidants and nutrients that fight and scavenge these free radicals. This ultimately reduces the formation of tumors in your body.
6. Regulate Cholesterol
High levels of cholesterol end in the buildup of fatty plaque within the arteries that creates your heart work harder to pump blood. This increases your risk of cardiovascular diseases. Several studies have found that bitter gourd may reduce the amount of “bad” cholesterol and regulate “good” cholesterol to support overall health. Bitter gourd may be a good source of potassium, magnesium, and calcium, which all have a positive effect on the guts.
Read More: Tips to Lower Cholesterol With Your Diet
7. Treat Obesity
Bitter gourd qualifies as a weight loss food thanks to its basic yet remarkable nutrient profile. 100 grams of raw bitter gourd contains only 16 calories, 0.15 grams of fat, 0.93 grams of protein and a couple of .6 grams of fiber. Thus, it ensures that you simply feel satiated without adding extra pounds to your weight. The nutrients help boost the general metabolism and therefore the fiber content keeps you full for hours, thus aiding in healthy digestion and avoiding binging on junk and unhealthy snacks. The simplest thanks to consume bitter gourd for obesity is by drinking the raw juice.
8. Add Luster and Shine to Hair
Bitter gourd promotes hair growth and support hair health. Components like protein, zinc, and vitamin C in bitter gourd keep hair healthy and powerful. it’s been found that applying bitter gourd juice to the hair can assist you retain its sheen and luster while ensuring that the roots are strengthened and problems like split ends and hair fall are treated.
9. Beautifies the Skin
Vitamin C plays a crucial role keep the skin wrinkle-free and preventing premature aging. As we all know, bitter gourd may be a rich source of vitamin C content among other nutrients that aids within the production of collagen, which is liable for skin smoothness and elasticity. Furthermore, it reduces skin blemishes and acne, helps in treating psoriasis and eczema, and protects the skin from the sun’s harmful UV rays.
10. Keeps the Eyes Healthy
Doctors and health experts say that bitter gourd helps in preventing vision-related problems like poor eyesight and cataracts. Bitter gourd is crammed with vitamin A and beta-carotene that are healthy for the eyes. Moreover, it’s an honest remedy for treating dark circles also.
Bitter Gourd for Weight Loss
Since bitter gourd is bitter in taste, it’s components that prevent your body from absorbing extra sugar and helps in lowering and maintaining the blood glucose level in your body. Moreover, it increases the amount of beta cells in your pancreas that’s liable for secreting insulin your body. When the insulin levels in your body are regulated, the blood glucose levels ultimately decreases. This results in weight loss. Bitter gourd contains vitamin C, potassium, magnesium, iron, alongside good amounts of protein and fiber. Of these keep you feeling full throughout the day, preventing you from munching in odd hours. Fiber helps curb hunger and therefore the low amounts of carbohydrates and fats help prevent the buildup of excess fat within the body and make sure that the food you eat is correctly digested.
Best Ways to Consume Bitter Gourd
There are many ways using which you’ll consume bitter gourd. Incorporating bitter gourd in your daily diet is sort of easy. You’ll simply eat bitter gourd raw as a salad, or just blend it into a tasty beverage, or make bitter gourd tea.
Bitter Gourd Tea
You can make healthy tea out of bitter gourd reception. The recipe is sort of easy and you’ll make it a day.
Dried or fresh slices of bitter gourd (no seeds): 3-4 slices, bitter gourd leaves also work
200 ml water
Honey or agave syrup – natural sweeteners (optional)
Take a tea pan, pour some water, and convey it to boil.
Boil the water on medium heat for about 10 minutes.
Put bitter gourd slices and into the boiling water and stir properly in order that all the nutrients are immersed into the water.
Turn off the stove, add honey and let it sit aside for a few of minutes.
Use a strainer and filter the content.
Stir-Fried Bitter Gourd
Bitter gourd fries are the simplest and tastiest thanks to consume bitter gourd.
Olive oil or oil – 1 tablespoon
Two sliced bitter gourds – seeds removed
3-4 garlic cloves
1 finely chopped tomato
1 small onion – finely chopped
Salt to taste
Heat up the stove, place a saucepan, and pour oil
Add finely chopped onion and crushed garlic cloves to the pan
Stir the mixture until you achieve medium-brown texture
Now add chopped tomatoes into the pan and stir properly
After 2-3 minutes of stirring, add sliced bitter gourd to the pan
Cook until the bitter gourd turns translucent
Whisk two eggs and pour the mixture into the pan
Continue to stir until the eggs are cooked
Turn off the stove and season the content with salt and pepper
Eat because it is or serve it with noodles or rice
Bitter gourd is important dietary elements which will assist you keep your health intact and freed from diseases. Aside from its bitter taste, it’s full of nutrients and essential minerals, which are necessary for your well being. The above two recipes are just a glimpse of how interestingly you’ll make bitter gourd a neighborhood of your healthy diet. You’ll add more to the present list together with your delightful ideas because it will add more health and well-being to your life.
Read More: NutriFit India