Friday, 1 March 2013

Bitter Gourd (Bitter Melon) And Health Benefits

  • Prevent Diabetes

    Bitter melons are a good source of a phytonutrient known as polypeptide-P. This useful compound is very effective in lowering blood sugar levels. Also, the nutritious fruit is loaded with charantin, a hypoglycemic agent that can significantly raise glucose uptake and glycogen synthesis. Together these two compounds provide therapeutic values against type II diabetes.
  • Fight HIV

    Initial laboratory tests have shown that ribosome inactivating proteins or RIPs found abundantly in bitter gourds contain therapeutic effects against HIV. RIPs consist of alpha-momarchorin, beta-momarchorin and MAP-30. Research has proven that MAP-30 is capable of slowing down infection of HIV-1 in monocytes and T-lymphocytes and also replication of HIV-1.
  • Cancer Aid

    A recent study has found that bitter melon extracts help reduce the size of tumor in Swiss albino mice. The extracts are full of antioxidants, which also promote high free radical scavenging activity, which is important in preventing cancer. The merits of bitter melons can be extended to the rich content of lenolenic acid, an essential fatty acid, in bitter melon seed oil that helps protect you against colon cancer. Another scientific study done by Nagoya City University also found bitter melon leaf extracts powerful for healing of prostate cancer.
  • Great for High Blood Pressure

    Apart from the many health advantages mentioned earlier, drinking bitter gourd tea helps eliminate bad fats. A study by the University of Botswana has shown that bitter gourd assists your body in reducing LDL cholesterol and triglyceride, while boosting the HDL cholesterol levels. It is an excellent food to include in the diet of patients with hypertension.
  • Beneficial for Weight Loss

    Most scientists agree that the typical insulin resistance can be related to overweight and obesity. Research has found many health properties of bitter gourds, including getting rid of insulin resistance, which is good for weight loss.
  • Packed with Nutrients

    Bitter melons contain a variety of phytonutrients, namely vitamins, minerals and dietary fiber. 100 g of the fruit supplies you 140% of RDA of the potent antioxidant vitamin C. Other nutrients found include B-complex vitamins, vitamin A, zinc, iron, magnesium, potassium and manganese. They are good for the wellness of your body.     
Side Effects

People who take medications to control diabetes have to be careful as eating bitter melon may further lower the blood sugar levels. Those with G6PD deficiency should avoid bitter melon to avoid the risk of favism. Pregnant women should also avoid the fruit as abortion has been recorded in animals.

Making Bitter Gourd Juices

The bitter gourd blends very well with green apple and orange for making juices.

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