The Benefits of Bitter Melon
So this weekend I have decided to try Bitter Melon, also known as Bitter Gourd, after hearing about all it's impressive health benefits.
Listed below are some of the main, well-studied benefits:
Helps in maintaining blood sugar levels
Bitter Melon is one of the most potent fruits for manging diabetes mellitus, it contains charntin peptide that acts like insulin to help reduce blood sugar levels and alkaloids within the fleshy fruit of bitter melon. All of these components actively help in reducing the levels of blood sugar. It also helps to prevent unpredictable spikes and drops in insulin levels by regulating the metabolism and use of sugar that the body has consumed in food. It is a powerful hypoglycemic agent so avoid use if taking medicines that lower blood sugar.
Lowers bad cholesterol levels
Bitter gourd juice is kniown as an anti-inflammatory and has also been known to help in lowering the bad cholesterol levels in the body. Thereby, it significantly reduces the risk of heart attack and stroke.It also maintains the blood pressure of the body as it is rich in potassium, which absorbs excessive sodium in the body. It is rich in iron and folic acid which are known to decrease the risk of stroke and keep your heart healthy.
Bitter melon is known as an effective blood purifier. The antimicrobial and antioxidant properties of the gourd help in purification of the blood, thereby aiding in skin care. Bitter gourd is effective in treating various skin disorders such as eczema and psoriasis.
A number of studies have shown that the anti-inflammatory qualities present in bitter melon make it a very good salve for the uncomfortable condition of piles, also known as hemorrhoids. When you create a paste from the root of the bitter melon plant, you can apply it topically to reduce the inflammation and relieve pain and bleeding. If you can handle the bitter taste, drink bitter melon juice to receive similar benefits!
Bitter melon is a source of many different antioxidants that make it a powerful defense mechanism against illnesses in the body. Antioxidants scavenge the body for free radicals and dangerous compounds released during cell metabolism that can cause many different illnesses. By adding bitter melon to your diet, you can greatly improve your chances of defending against very serious diseases, including heart attack, kidney damage, and liver failure; three of the many places where free radicals like to cause health issues.
The antioxidants present in bitter melon may help to seek out and destroy free radicals that can cause diseases (including numerous forms of cancer), but that is not the only benefit the fruit has in terms of cancer. Bitter melon has been widely studied as an anti-tumor and anti-carcinogenic agent all by itself, along with its antioxidant properties. Primarily, studies have shown positive correlations between eating bitter melon and the prevention or reduction in tumor growth for cervical, prostate and breast cancer patients. Some of this is due to the fruit’s ability to induce apoptosis (cell death) in cancerous cells. However, more studies are being done all the time to find out more about the powerful anti-cancer properties that this unassuming fruit seems to possess, and which other types of cancer patients it could benefit.
There have been a number of studies that showed bitter melon as a means of getting relief from respiratory conditions like asthma, bronchitis and hay fever. It’s anti-histamine, suppressant, anti-inflammatory, expectorant, and antiviral properties make it an ideal booster for respiratory health. It is recommended to eat some bitter melon before going to bed, so the soothing effects can occur while you’re asleep!
The antifungal and antibacterial qualities of bitter melon make it ideal for fighting off various fungal infections. These properties also help to get rid of any toxins in the bloodstream before they cause any more damage.
Bitter melon rich in anti-inflammatory properties help reduce the irritating itching linked with skin conditions and infections such as ringworm and psoriasis. The juice extracted from the leaves can be the best salve or cure for these conditions when topically applied to the affected areas.
A Few Words of Caution
Avoid consuming bitter melon during pregnancy because it can stimulate excess menstrual bleeding. More research must still be done on consuming bitter melon while breastfeeding, so for now, it is best to avoid it. Also, as mentioned earlier, it acts very strongly to reduce blood sugar levels, so should be avoided pre and post-surgical procedures. Some people are particularly sensitive to dehydrogenase deficiency, which bitter melon can cause. The symptoms of this are similar to anemia and also include headaches, fevers, and stomach pains. This is a very powerful fruit, and it is recommended that you speak with your doctor or physician before adding it to your diet.