Bitter gourd is dark or light green colored bitter vegetable popular for its health benefits in Asia, Africa and the Caribbean. It is low in calories but rich in dietary fiber, minerals, vitamins, folates and anti-oxidants.
Health benefits of bitter gourd:
- Controls blood sugar: Hypoglycemic agents, polypeptide-P and charantin present in bitter gourd are effective in reducing blood sugar levels naturally in our body. They work by enhancing the use of glucose by the body and promoting synthesis of glycogen in liver, muscle and adipose tissue cells. This is the reason why bitter melon juice is commonly recommended to reduce the risk of as well as treat type 2 diabetes.
- to Reverse Diabetic Peripheral Neuropathy
- Promotes digestion: Being rich fiber it promotes easy digestion of food and by adding bulk to it helps in easier elimination of undigested waste. This helps to keep a check at constipation, irritable bowel syndrome and indigestion. It also has antihelminthic compounds that can retard parasitic worms inside our body.
- To Reverse Fatty Liver Naturally
- Antiviral and anti-bacterial benefits: Several biochemical compounds present in bitter gourd offer antibacterial and antiviral protection to our body. The leaf extracts can safeguard us from disease causing bacteria like E. coli, Strep, Staph and Salmonella. It is also known to inhibit stomach ulcer causing bacteria Helicobacter pylori. The vegetable is also beneficial against viral diseases like chickenpox, measles, HIV, herpes, common cold and flu.
- Anti-carcinogenic benefits: Studies have depicted positive effect of consumption of bitter gourd on inducing cell death of cancerous cells in breast cancer. Flavonoids and anti-oxidant vitamins like A and C present in the vegetable remove harmful oxygen free radicals from our body and help to keep cancer at bay.
- Beneficial in malaria: It has been used in Asia to treat malaria for long. As soon as malaria symptoms are identified patients are recommended to drink a tea made using bitter gourd leaves.
- Helps purify blood: Bitter gourd juice when consumed in empty stomach is beneficial in purifying blood and is therefore used as a remedy for boils and itching resulting from blood toxicity or poisoning.
- Eye health: Rich in beta-carotene it is beneficial in improving eyesight and keeping diseases like macular degeneration and night blindness at bay.
- Skin benefits: Drinking bitter gourd juice daily is associated with prevention and treatment of eczema, psoriasis, blemishes and acne. Its anti-oxidant properties prevent premature aging of skin.
- Helps in weight loss: As bitter gourd enhances metabolism it is beneficial in helping us to lose weight. It itself is very low in calories but at the same time is high in fiber and water. This makes you feel fuller for long and controls overeating.
- Eating bitter gourd is also beneficial against kidney stones as well as liver diseases and keeps our urinary bladder healthy as well. The folate present in it is beneficial in preventing neural tube defects in neonates.
As bitter gourd is considered safe for all you can easily make it a part of your daily diet and enhance your well being.