A bitter melon is probably the last vegetable that would occur to cook for dinner tonight. But it is a pleasure worth acquiring. This knotty green vegetable, also called bitter gourd or balsam pear, can be a great source of nutrients that do everything from building stronger bones to improving immunity, and possibly even protecting against cancer. Here is a summary of all its benefits.
1. Keeps Your Diabetes Under Control:
If you have a family history of diabetes or have already been diagnosed with type 2 diabetes mellitus, bitter melon can really help. It is believed that bitter melon extract is structurally similar to animal insulin and may reduce blood glucose levels in someone who has type 2 diabetes. In one study, patients who consumed 2,000 mg of bitter melon daily saw that levels of fructosamine decreased significantly, along with a “modest hypoglycemic effect.” What you should remember, however, is that bitter melon cannot be a substitute for the medications you take.
2. Help with Eye Health:
The Vitamin A is a nutrient that your eyes adore. In addition to helping prevent the development of cataracts or even night blindness, this vitamin promotes good eye health in general. It is needed for normal functioning of the cornea and conjunctival membranes. A typical serving of bitter melon gives you almost a third of the vitamin A recommended for your body daily.
3. Strengthens Bones and Prevents Osteoporosis:
Bitter melon contains high levels of vitamin K, an essential nutrient for bone formation. Without this vitamin, all the calcium you consume (of which bitter melon is again a good source) will not be worth much, because it works together with this vitamin to improve your bone density. You could easily protect yourself from osteoporosis and osteoarthritis if you have enough of this vitamin, and even less likely to have a fracture.
4. He Loves His Liver:
Bitter melon is taken as a “tonic for the liver” due to its ability to aid digestion, purify the blood and detoxify the body. According to traditional Chinese medicine, bitter substances such as bitter gourd can help eliminate excess heat in your body, act as a natural detoxification and restore balance.
“Vitamin K in bitter melon also reduces the risk of bleeding related to liver disease”.
What is attracting more followers to this vegetable is its role in reducing triglyceride levels in your liver. Animal studies on multiple varieties of bitter melon have found that they all impact liver triglyceride levels to varying degrees.
5. He Is an Ally in His Fight Against Cancer:
Bitter melon also offers hope to those who have cancer. Different parts of bitter melon, from seed extracts to pericarp and placenta, have been used in research against leukemia. These studies have found that plant extracts have the potential to cause apoptosis or cell death of HL60 leukemia cells in humans. Studies that explore the impact of bitter melon extract treatment on breast cancer cells have found that the remedy significantly reduces cell proliferation. The extract also causes apoptotic cell death of these cancer cells, which makes it a good alternative therapy to consider along with medical treatment. Its effectiveness in stimulating apoptosis of cancer cells in the pancreas is especially encouraging, given the poor prognosis associated with this form of cancer.
6. Help You Lose Weight and Reduce Fat:
Studies have found that bitter melon can cut the accumulation of tissue fat in your body. This is the result of the ability of bitter melon to stimulate the breakdown of lipids or fats, while also inhibiting the synthesis of fatty acids or triglycerides, which makes it a good option for someone on a weight loss plan. If you are counting calories and trying to stay fit, there is more. Because bitter melon is not very caloric, you can get vitamins A, C, K and minerals such as calcium, magnesium and potassium without consuming too many calories.
7. Build Immunity:
Bitter melon also acts as an anti-inflammatory agent. The phenolic compounds gallic acid, catechin and caffeic acid in bitter melon are powerful antioxidants, making a portion of the vegetable immensely beneficial for its immunity. For people with diabetes, animal studies indicate that it could even help normalize the antioxidant state that would otherwise be affected. As one study found, the consumption of this pumpkin can help induce systemic and intestinal anti-inflammatory responses.