NUTRITIONAL BENEFITS OF BITTER GOURD
The bitter gourd (also known as bitter melon) looks like a cucumber but with ugly gourd-like bumps all over it. As the name implies, this vegetable is a melon that is bitter.
There are two varieties of this vegetable: One grows to about 20 cm long, is oblong and pale green in color. The other is the smaller variety, less than 10 cm long, oval and has a darker green color.
Both varieties have seeds that are white when unripe and turn red when they are ripe. The vegetable-fruit turn reddish-orange when ripe and becomes even more bitter.
Bitter gourd thrives in hot and humid climates, so are commonly found in Asian countries and South America.
Unfamiliar with the bitter, Westerners can find bitter melon difficult to consume. But if you can handle the bitterness, you will be able to enjoy the health benefits of the bitter gourd. Try it, at least for all its healthful virtues!
Bitter gourds are very low in calories but dense with precious nutrients. It is an excellent source of vitamins B1, B2, and B3, C, magnesium, folate, zinc, phosphorus, manganese, and has high dietary fiber. It is rich in iron, contains twice the beta-carotene of broccoli, twice the calcium of spinach, and twice the potassium of a banana.
Bitter melon contains a unique phyto-constituent that has been confirmed to have a hypoglycemic effect called charantin. There is also another insulin-like compound known as polypeptide P which has been suggested as insulin replacement in some diabetic patients.
HEALTH BENEFITS OF BITTER GOURD
There are few other fruit or vegetables that can offer the medicinal properties for the following ailments quite like bitter melon does.
Bitter gourd treats blood disorders: Bitter gourd juice is highly beneficial for treating blood disorders like blood boils and itching due to toxemia. Mix 2 ounces of fresh bitter gourd juice with some lime juice. Sip it slowly on an empty stomach daily for four to six months and see improvement in your condition.
Bitter gourd helps kill cancer cells: Bitter gourd juice contains an enzyme that inhibits the transportation of glucose (sugar), thus lowering blood sugar levels, cutting off the food supply to cancer cells, retarding their growth.
Bitter gourd can stop cholera: In early stages of cholera, take two teaspoonfuls juice of bitter gourd leaves, mix with two teaspoonfuls white onion juice and one teaspoonful lime juice. Sip this concoction daily till you get well.
Diabetes Mellitus: Bitter melon contains a hypoglycemic compound (a plant insulin) that is highly beneficial in lowering sugar levels in blood and urine. Bitter melon juice has been shown to significantly improve glucose tolerance without increasing blood insulin levels.
Bitter gourd to boost your energy levels: Regular consumption of bitter gourd juice has been proven to improve energy and stamina level. Even sleeping patterns have been shown to be improved/stabilized.
Eye problems: The high beta-carotene and other properties in bitter gourd make it one of the finest vegetable-fruit that help alleviate eye problems and improving eyesight.
Bitter gourd can stop gout: Bitter gourd juice is liver cleansing. It helps clean up a toxic blood, improves blood circulation and relieves gout pain.
Bitter melon is a genuine hangover cure: Bitter melon juice may be beneficial in the treatment of a hangover for its alcohol intoxication properties. It also helps cleanse and repair and nourish liver problems due to alcohol consumption.
Drink bitter gourd to boost your immune system: This bitter juice can also help to build your immune system and increase your body’s resistance to infection.
Psoriasis: Regular consumption of this bitter juice has also been known to improve psoriasis condition and other fungal infections like ringworm and athletes feet. Read a great Psoriasis remedy.
Respiratory disorders: Take two ounces of fresh bitter melon juice and mix with a cup of honey diluted in water. Drink daily to improve asthma, bronchitis, and pharyngitis.
Bitter gourd to combat Toxemia: Bitter gourd contains beneficial properties that cleanse the blood from toxins. Sip two teaspoonfuls of the juice daily to help cleanse the liver. Also helpful in ridding jaundice for the same reasons.