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Is Bitter Melon Healthy? Benefits, Nutrition Facts, and Recipes

Is Bitter Melon Healthy?

Bitter melon is the edible fruit from the plant Momordica charantia, which is native to Africa, India, Asia, elements of the Caribbean, and different international locations with hotter climates. The culinary and medicinal makes use of of bitter melon have an extended historical past in Ayurvedic medication and conventional Chinese medication, and lots of the reported bitter melon advantages are as a consequence of compounds referred to as cucurbitacins.

Studies recommend that bitter melon lowers ldl cholesterol, treats most cancers, cleanses the blood and controls blood strain, manages blood sugar ranges, and contributes to weight reduction.

In this text, we are going to additional clarify bitter melon advantages in your health. You will even study bitter melon diet info, in addition to tips on how to eat bitter melon, tips on how to make bitter melon tea, and some bitter melon recipes.

But first, you must know extra about this unique fruit’s traits. Bitter melon can be referred to as Indian bitter melon, bitter gourd, balsam pear, bitter apple, carilla fruit, and ku gua in Mandarin. It belongs to the cucurbitaceae plant household—the identical household as cucumber, squash, watermelon, and cantaloupe.

The fruit has tough and wrinkled pores and skin, and it additionally resembles a cucumber. Yellow and orange bitter melons are thought of ripe, and inexperienced fruits are much less mature. Bitter melon might be eaten by itself, cooked in stir-fry, or juiced or blended, and the leaves can be utilized in soup and tea.

Nutrition Info of Bitter Melon (100 g)

What are the important bitter melon diet info? Bitter melon is completely loaded with vitamin C, as one cup of uncooked bitter melon comprises 130% of the really helpful day by day worth of the vitamin.

Bitter melon can be a superb supply of folate, vitamin A, and fiber. Furthermore, it comprises some protein, iron, manganese, copper, calcium, magnesium, phosphorus, potassium, zinc, selenium, vitamin B1, vitamin B2, vitamin B3, vitamin B5, and vitamin B6.

The following is a complete bitter melon diet chart with info for one cup, or 93 grams (g), of diced bitter melon.

Nutrient

Amount Daily Value
Calories 15.eight

1.00%

Carbohydrates

three.four g 1.00%
Fiber 2.6 g

10.00%

Protein

Zero.9 g

2.00%

Total Fat

Zero.2 g Zero.00%
Iron Zero.four mg

2.00%

Manganese

Zero.1 mg four.00%
Copper Zero.01 mg

2.00%

Calcium

17.7 mg 2.00%
Magnesium 15.eight mg

four.00%

Phosphorus

28.eight mg three.00%
Potassium 275 mg

eight.00%

Selenium

Zero.2 mcg Zero.00%
Zinc

Zero.7 mg

5.00%

Folate

67.Zero mcg 17.00%
Vitamin B1 Zero.01 mg

2.00%

Vitamin B2

Zero.01 mg 2.00%
Vitamin Bthree Zero.four mg

2.00%

Vitamin B5

Zero.2 mg

2.00%

Vitamin B6

Zero.01 mg

2.00%

Vitamin A

438U

9.00%

Vitamin C

78.1 mg

130.00%

* N/A—Not Applicable

four Amazing Health Benefits of Bitter Melon

Bitter melon comprises many spectacular health advantages. An alkaloid referred to as momordicine is answerable for the bitter taste of bitter melon. There are additionally no less than 32 lively chemical compounds in bitter melon, together with insulin-like peptides, cucurbitacins, and triterpenes.

The fruit’s anti-cancer and anti-diabetic results embody tannic acid, gallic acid, caffeic acid, catechin, gentisic acid, p-coumaric, epicatechin, and chlorogenic acid, amongst others.

Research reveals that these compounds can assist regulate urge for food, stability hormones, cut back irritation, forestall tumor development, and forestall weight problems. Below we are going to check out how bitter melon advantages weight reduction, maintains blood sugar ranges, controls hypertension, and manages excessive ldl cholesterol.

1. Helps Diabetes by Maintaining Blood Sugar Levels

One of the highest health advantages pertains to how you should use bitter melon for diabetes. The bitter melon fruit comprises no less than three lively compounds with anti-diabetic properties, together with vicine, steroidal saponins referred to as charantins, and insulin-like alkaloids and peptides like polypeptide-p.

Bitter melon additionally comprises lectin, which has hypoglycemic results that may cut back blood sugar.

Research has discovered that bitter melon can assist handle excessive blood sugar ranges and insulin resistance; diabetes issues resembling eye issues, kidney injury, and blood vessel injury; coronary heart issues; and menstrual modifications and hormonal irregularities in ladies.

A research printed within the Journal of Agricultural Food Studies in 2013 discovered that bitter melon consumed in uncooked and juice kind helped cut back blood sugar ranges in wholesome and diabetic animals. In the research, bitter melon focused insulin receptor websites and stimulated downstream pathways, and this led researchers to conclude that bitter melon can regulate glucose metabolism.

Another research printed within the Journal of Ethnopharmacology in 2011 discovered that 2,00Zero mg of bitter melon day by day decreased blood sugar in individuals with kind 2 diabetes; nonetheless, the hypoglycemic impact was much less potent than a 1,00Zero-mg day by day dose of the diabetes drug referred to as metformin.

2. Good for Managing High Cholesterol Levels

Bitter melon additionally helps handle excessive levels of cholesterol, that are linked with kind 2 diabetes, coronary coronary heart illness, atherosclerosis, and liver illness.

Bitter melon is taken into account efficient in opposition to liver illness since particular compounds discovered inside assist get rid of extra ldl cholesterol within the liver. Reducing ldl cholesterol additionally considerably lowers your threat of stroke and coronary heart assaults.

In a research printed within the Pakistan Journal of Pharmaceutical Sciences in 2016, researchers concluded that bitter melon extract can assist handle excessive ldl cholesterol—additionally referred to as hypercholesterolemia.

For the research, 4 types of bitter melon extract, together with entire fruit, seedless fruit, seeds, and seed extracts, had been explored for his or her cholesterol-lowering results in rats with excessive ldl cholesterol. When in comparison with the placebo, the bitter melon extract powder had been best within the discount of ldl cholesterol and triglycerides.

3. Effective for Controlling Hypertension

Bitter melon can be thought of efficient for regulating hypertension—additionally referred to as hypertension. Common signs of hypertension embody dizziness, nosebleeds, unexplained sweating, frequent complications, flushed cheeks, shortness of breath, visible disturbances, and ringing within the ears.

One research printed within the Cardiovascular Journal of South Africa in 2006 discovered that bitter melon extract normalized hypertension in hypertensive salt-sensitive rats, and subsequently, researchers concluded that bitter melon can assist management hypertension.

Another research printed within the Journal of Medicinal Food in 2011 discovered that bitter melon extracts given to rats for 52 days had decreased hypertension.

4. Potential for Lowering Weight in Studies

You can even use bitter melon for weight reduction and the prevention of weight problems. Experimental animal and medical research present that bitter melon prevents weight achieve by mediating and inducing lipid and fats metabolism processes, and gene expressions that management physique weight and urge for food. It additionally reportedly reduces irritation.

A research printed within the British Journal of Nutrition in 2005 discovered that bitter melon prevented physique weight achieve and visceral fats mass considerably in rats fed a high-fat food plan.

Another research from 2008 discovered that bitter melon considerably decreased the load of visceral fats and epididymal white adipose tissue, and lowered adipose leptin and resistin mRNA ranges in mice fed a high-fat food plan.

A 2011 research printed within the Journal of Basic and Applied Sciences additionally discovered that bitter melon considerably lowered physique weight achieve in rats.

How Is Bitter Melon Eaten? Sample Recipes

Let’s discuss tips on how to eat bitter melon. Bitter melon fruit might be eaten uncooked, cooked, or consumed in pill or extract kind. It doesn’t appear like a typical melon, and the immature bitter melon fruit is an extended, inexperienced, warty fruit.

You will discover small, agency bitter melon at farmers markets in July and August. Harder bitter melons are gentle inexperienced, and aren’t as bitter because the greener ones. Yellow or orange bitter melons additionally are usually milder in taste.

Bitter melon can retailer within the fridge for one to 2 weeks, or till the inexperienced colour begins to point out spots.

Before you narrow and cook dinner your bitter melon, wash it first to take away any dust and pesticides. Slice the melon in half lengthwise, and scoop out the seeds and white flesh. To make the bitter melon extra palatable, frivolously sprinkle salt over the bitter melon items and let the salt sit for about 10 minutes.

A standard Asian stir-fry will embody bitter melon, potatoes, garlic, onion, sizzling chili peppers, oil, and salt. The following are two bitter melon recipes, together with the same stir-fry and a bitter melon juice.

1. Bitter Melon Stir Fry

Ingredients:

  • 2 sliced bitter melons
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 small onion, chopped
  • three to four garlic cloves, minced
  • Tomatoes, chopped
  • 2 natural eggs, whisked
  • Coarse sea salt, to style
  • Serve with rice, potatoes, or gluten-free noodles

Directions:

  • Heat olive oil in a wok or giant, deep saucepan over medium-high warmth. Add the garlic and onion to the wok, and cook dinner till they seem golden brown. Stir in tomatoes as soon as the onion and garlic have browned.
  • Add the sliced bitter melon, and stir-fry for 2 to 3 minutes.
  • Beat and pour two eggs into the wok, and over the melon items. Continue to stir-fry till the eggs are cooked.
  • Remove from the wok, season with sea salt, and serve on high of rice, potatoes, or gluten-free noodles.

2. Bitter Melon Juice

Ingredients:

  • 1 bitter melon
  • 2 to three apples
  • 1 cucumber
  • 1 lemon
  • 2 celery stalks

Directions:

  • Wash the produce properly. Cut the bitter melon in half, scooping out the seeds and white flesh with a spoon. Place the outer inexperienced a part of the bitter melon within the juicer.
  • Chop the remainder of the substances, and put them into the juicer. Pour right into a glass, and take pleasure in.

How to Make Bitter Melon Tea

Bitter melon tea is comprised of the leaves and stems of the bitter melon plant. Bitter melon can be bought in powder or extract kind. You will even usually discover bitter melon tea in tea baggage at Asian markets or health meals shops.

The following is an easy-to-make bitter melon tea recipe:

Ingredients:

  • 6 to eight tbsp dried bitter melon or bitter melon leaves, or 2 cups chopped recent bitter melon
  • Filtered water, boiled

Directions:

  • Wash and chop dried bitter melon or bitter melon leaves to get about six to eight tablespoons.
  • Boil about 16 oz. of filtered water in a chrome steel pot, and add the bitter melon leaves or dried bitter melon. If utilizing recent bitter melon, use about two cups of recent bitter melon for a similar quantity of filtered water.
  • Simmer on low to medium warmth for round 10 minutes, and hold the lid on.
  • Turn off the warmth and take away the pot from the range, and steep for about 10 minutes.
  • Strain the leaves, dried melon, or recent melon, and pour the tea in a cup. Drink about two cups of bitter melon tea day by day.

Bitter Melon Side Effects Due to Excess Consumption

Although there are various advantages, there are additionally bitter melon uncomfortable side effects to think about.

Bitter melon is really helpful for diabetes; nonetheless, consuming bitter melon whereas taking diabetes medicines could trigger your blood sugar to drop too low and result in hypoglycemia. As a consequence, bitter melon is just not really helpful to deal with diabetes with out cautious monitoring and supervision.

Bitter melon consumption can also intervene with blood sugar regulation throughout surgical procedure. It is greatest to keep away from bitter melon consumption no less than two weeks earlier than surgical procedure.

Also, when you’ve got just lately undergone surgical procedure, misplaced a considerable quantity of blood, or been fasting, keep away from bitter melon since it may intervene with blood sugar management and trigger uncomfortable side effects like fainting and dizziness.

Other populations that ought to keep away from bitter melon consumption embody breastfeeding or pregnant ladies and ladies making an attempt to grow to be pregnant. This is as a result of some analysis reveals that bitter melon has some abortifacient properties that may trigger miscarriages. It can also trigger menstrual bleeding and has potential anti-fertility capabilities.

People with glucose-6-phosphate dehydrogenase (G6PD) deficiency could develop a situation referred to as favism following consumption of bitter melon seeds. Favism is a situation named after the fava bean, and a chemical present in fava beans is said to bitter melon seeds.

Favism is assumed to result in anemia, a fever, abdomen ache, complications, and a coma in some individuals. As such, you must keep away from bitter melon when you’ve got G6PD deficiency.

Final Thoughts on Bitter Melon

Bitter melon has lengthy been used as meals and medication all through India, Asia, Africa, elements of the Caribbean, and in conventional Chinese medication and Ayurvedic medication. The bitter melon fruit is loaded with vitamin C and fiber and lively compounds like cucurbitacins.

In this text, we reviewed among the bitter melon advantages, together with the way it lowers ldl cholesterol, blood sugar, and blood strain and contributes to weight reduction. Bitter melon fruit might be eaten uncooked, juiced, or blended; cooked in stir-fry; and made into tea or soup utilizing the leaves, stems, or recent bitter melon.

Bitter melon can be consumed in extract or pill kind, and absorption is improved when taken after a meal.

Remember, since bitter melon lowers blood sugar and can work together with diabetes medication, cautious supervision is really helpful.


 


 

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