Written by Lisa Allen, MD
There is an old and famous saying “health is wealth”.
No matter how rich you are if you are not healthy, all the wealth will be useless.
Sometimes possible solutions for impossible issues lie in the most unexpected and easy things, the same is true for the healthy state of a human body.
We are saying so because you can actually keep yourself away from some real serious and problematic diseases by, just simply, eating vegetables, and fruits, let them work as your warriors and fight for you from various health-related concerns.
Moreover, there are hundreds of cancers and life hazards, such as obesity, heart disease and type 2 diabetes that you can avoid just by adding the right vegetables and fruit into your diet.
Speaking of essentiality of vegetables and fruits, today, we are sharing bitter melon health benefits and side effects to improve your awareness regarding this fruit.
What Is Bitter Melon?
Momordica charantia (bitter melon) is a kind of edible fruit.
Bitter melon has been native to Asia, a few regions of Caribbean and Africa.
It has been part of the history due to its effective use in Ayurvedic medicine (China).
Momordica charantia is famous with various different names around the globe.
Names like bitter gourd, balsam, bitter melon, carilla fruit, karaila, and bitter apple are some of its common names.
What Are The Nutritional Facts Of Bitter Melon?
It is a great choice from the nutritional point of view as there have been around 32 chemicals that have been discovered in bitter melon.
Moreover, alkaloid momordicine is actually responsible for the symbolic sour flavor of bitter melon.
Furthermore, bitter melon is rich in:
- Vitamin A
- Vitamin C
- Phytonutrients and antioxidants
Chemical compounds like:
- Fixed oils
- Insulin-like peptides
- Phenolic acids
- A few types of steroids
- Anti-inflammatory proteins
Top 9 Bitter Melon Health Benefits
Healthy liver and stomach
As per scientific studies, bitter melon has the tendency to decrease disorders related to intestine and stomach.
Therefore, it is helpful in liver and stone diseases.
Even, in one of the studies, it has been suggested that bitter melon can elevate glutathione peroxidase (GPx), catalase, and superoxide dismutase (SOD).
Thus, it becomes helpful in elimination toxicity from the liver.
Moreover, it possesses laxative effects.
Hence, it tends to relieve the issue of constipation.
It even can be helpful for combating bacteria that can be responsible for the development of ulcers.
Bitter melon is capable of reducing blood glucose levels.
It is a bad quality of this fruit.
However, this negative trait can be beneficiary for people who are already suffering from the problem of uncontrollable diabetes.
Bitter melon certainly possesses anti-diabetic properties.
There are thousands of studies that confirm this very notion.
The substances that are responsible for its Anti-diabetic properties include alkaloids, insulin-like peptides, and steroidal saponins.
Keep you away from bacteria and infections
Research has confirmed when you have this fruit in your diet; it can lower down the risk of such infections, mainly, due to the presence of antiviral and antibacterial agents.
Reduction in weight
Metabolism and good digestive system are highly essential for an effective weight loss.
Bitter Melon has antioxidants that can actually support your inner system.
Hence, your body will perform better if you are able to include this sour fruit in your diet.
Moreover, the better internal system does not only a good thing for being healthy but it also comes handy and let you lose excess weight.
Two factors those are pivotal in losing weight.
- Calorie count
- Feeling of fullness
Most of the vegetables and fruits are low on the calorie index and due to the water content, they tend to keep user full for longer hours.
Hence, weight loss becomes much easy.
Elevate energy levels
Drinking bitter melon fresh juice on a regular basis has the potential to improve the strength and stamina.
Thus, it is a natural way to boost up the energy levels without using any synthetic substance.
Moreover, it can also improve the quality of sleep.
Remove toxins from blood
Bitter gourd or bitter melon is an excellent remedy for purifying the blood.
How is it possible?
It is rich in antimicrobial and antioxidant elements.
Therefore, it is likely to be helpful in treating blood disorders, purifying the blood.
Moreover, it can even treat those skin problems that are linked to impure blood or blood flow.
Additionally, it has the tendency to destroy those cells that are cancerous.
Bitter melon has vitamin C (a powerful antioxidant).
It can fight free radicals and can eliminate them as well.
Additionally, it becomes helpful in inhibiting the appearance of wrinkles or fine lines by decreasing the speed of premature aging.
This fruit is able to prevent skin from the UV rays that can damage skin.
Bitter gourd for hair
There are various issues related to hair and this fruit has the ability to provide relief in most of those issues, such as grey hair, loss of hair, dryness, or itchiness of scalp.
Not only eating it will be helpful, but also its external use alone, or in the form of any mask or remedy will also be able to produce the right results.
Prevention of cancer
There are numerous tumors and some of them are still untreatable.
However, a few of the food items have the potential to cure some of these cancers or tumors and bitter melon falls under the category of these food items.
It can be helpful for cancers, such as lymphoma, lymphoid leukemia, breast cancer, skin tumor, choriocarcinoma, melanoma, larynx, carcinoma of the tongue, bladder cancer, Hodgkin’s disease, and prostatic cancer.
How does it work?
The extracts of this fruit elevate heavy metal detoxification, protect lipid peroxidation, eliminate damage that is possible through harmful free radicals, these radicals can be responsible for cell mutations and tumor growth.
How Can I Add It To My Lifestyle?
There are various ways to add it.
You may start using it in different dishes, raw, or in form of juice.
Moreover, external use in the form of home remedies or mask is also possible with it.
What Are The Possible Side Effects?
It certainly has great benefits, but there are some noticeable side effects as well.
Some of the side effects are given below:
- Hypoglycemic effects are good, but they are very dangerous for people already have the problem of low blood sugar.
- Drug interactions are possible.
- It can be harmful to pregnant women as its excessive consumption can trigger miscarriage.
- It is not suitable for nursing mothers.
- It can lead to irregular heart rhythm.
- It may cause allergic reactions in some users.