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Benefits of Bitter Melon And Its Side Effects

Bitter Melon Nutritional Value of Bitter Melon Health Benefits of Bitter Melon Uses of Bitter Melon Side-Effects & Allergies of Bitter Melon Cultivation of Bitter Melon
Benefits of Bitter Melon And Its Side Effects

Bitter melon or bitter gourd has plenty of health benefits. It helps to reduce diabetes, reduces the effects of hemorrhoids, aids the respiratory system and provides you with healthy, glowing skin. It even helps to prevent or remove symptoms of cancer and also helps to strengthen your immunity system. Bitter melon also has anti-inflammatory, anti-fungal, anti-allergic, anti-viral, anti-parasitic and expectorant qualities.

Bitter Melon

Bitter melon or bitter gourd (scientific name – Momordica charantia) belongs to the family of Cucurbitaceae and is a tropical and sub-tropical vine which is widely grown in Asia, Africa and the Caribbean. It belongs to the same family as squashes, melons and gourds and hence it is known by 3 different names in different locations of the world. The fruit’s exterior is very warty and ridged and it is harvested before ripening to prevent it from turning extremely bitter. It is one of the most beneficial bitter fruits available and its benefits are found mostly in the flesh. A bright red pith appears after the fruit ripens and this is used in some cultures in their cuisines.

Nutritional Value of Bitter Melon

Bitter melon or bitter gourd is rich in whole range of vitamins and minerals such as Vitamin A, Vitamin B1, Vitamin B2, Vitamin C, calcium, potassium, zinc, iron, copper and phosphorus. Not only is it a good source of dietary fiber, it also contains twice the amount of calcium that is present in spinach. Furthermore, it is low in sodium and very low in cholesterol. This fruit is sure to provide you with a host of health benefits if you include it in your diet.

Nutritional facts Per 100 Grams

34 Calories
0.2 g Total Fat
13 mg Sodium
602 mg Potassium
7 g Total Carbohydrate
3.6 g Protein

Vitamins and Minerals

48 % Vitamin A
0.04 Calcium
92 % Vitamin C
5 % Iron
40 % Vitamin B-6
23 % Magnesium

Health Benefits of Bitter Melon

Health Benefits of Bitter Melon
Mentioned below are the best health benefits of Bitter Melon

Helps to maintain blood sugar levels

Bitter melon helps to control diabetes naturally as it contains an insulin-like compound called Polypeptide-p or p-Insulin. Research has shown that regular intake of optimum amounts of bitter melon juice can significantly reduce blood glucose levels in people suffering from Type-2 Diabetes. Further research has shown that bitter lemon increases the uptake of glucose and improves glycemic control. It even helps people with Type-1 diabetes.

Takes care of your heart

Bitter melon helps to lower the level of bad cholesterol in your body and thus helps to keep your heart healthy. It contains potassium which absorbs the excess sodium in your body and thus maintains your blood pressure. The iron and folic acid which is present in bitter melon helps to ensure that your heart does not suffer a stroke.

Aids in blood purification

Bitter melon is known to be an effective blood purifier. It has anti-microbial and anti-oxidant properties that help to purify your blood. This is turn helps you get healthy and glowing skin. Various skin disorders like eczema and psoriasis can be treated by including bitter melon in your diet.

Improves body immunity

Bitter melon contains antioxidants that help to enhance your body’s immunity. The antioxidants act as a powerful defense mechanism against various illnesses as they act against the free radicals and other dangerous compounds that are released during cell metabolism. Thus, bitter melon protects against 3 very dangerous illnesses like heart attacks, kidney damage and liver failure.

Helps in weight loss

If you are trying to lose some weight, there is no other healthy way to do it than including bitter melon in your diet. Bitter melon is low in carbohydrates, fats and calories. Consumption of bitter melon will keep you full for longer and thus can easily fit into your weight loss program. Studies have shown that bitter melon extracts help to dislocate human fat cells and also prevent growth of new ones.

Helps to deal with respiratory problems

Respiratory problems like asthma, cold and cough can be treated effectively by including bitter melon in your diet. Paste of bitter melon leaves when taken together with paste of tulsi leaves and honey in the morning is a good remedy for your respiratory problems.

Helps to prevent cancer

In addition to being an anti-oxidant, bitter melon also has anti-tumor and anti-carcinogenic properties. Consuming bitter melon helps to prevent tumor growth for cervical, breast and prostate cancer patients. This is primarily because this fruit has the ability to induce apoptosis or cell death in cancerous cells.

Acts as an anti-fungal agent

Consumption of bitter melon in optimum quantities help to fight off various fungal infections as it possesses anti-fungal and anti-bacterial properties. These properties also help to remove toxins from the bloodstream which may cause various diseases in your body.

Gives relief from hemorrhoid

Hemorrhoid or piles is a very uncomfortable illness that may jeopardize your daily life. Bitter melon has anti-inflammatory properties which help to reduce or prevent the uncomfortable symptoms that are associated with this disease. A paste created from the roots of the bitter melon plant when applied topically to the affected areas help to reduce inflammation and also helps to reduce pain and bleeding.

Takes care of your eyes

Bitter melon is rich in compounds like beta-carotene and Vitamin A which are very beneficial for your eyes. It helps to deal with vision-related problems like cataract. Including bitter melon in your diet will help to prevent or at least delay the onset of this disease called cataract which causes partial blindness in your eyes.

Uses of Bitter Melon

Bitter melon or bitter gourd is a fruit that has a number of nutritional and medicinal benefits. Having bitter melon in optimum quantities can help you to lead a healthy and fulfilling life. It boosts your immunity system and prevents your body from falling prey to a number of diseases. Bitter melon also helps to prevent certain forms of cancer and also helps to manage blood sugar levels. It allows you to get relief from respiratory problems like asthma, bronchitis and hay fever. Moreover, it also helps to treat fungal infections and also provide relief from hemorrhoid.

Side-Effects & Allergies of Bitter Melon

It is advisable to avoid bitter melon before and after surgeries as it acts strongly to reduce blood sugar levels. It is better to avoid eating bitter melon during pregnancies as it may cause excess menstrual bleeding. Dehydrogenase deficiency is caused in some people due to consumption of bitter melon. The symptoms of this include headaches, stomach pains and fever.

Cultivation of Bitter Melon

Very little is known about the origin of bitter melon. However, it is common knowledge that this fruit is a native of tropical and sub-tropical regions. Bitter melon or bitter gourd is cultivated all over the Indian subcontinent and also in parts of China and Africa. It is also widely grown in the Caribbean islands and also in South-East Asia.

Popular Questions & Answers

I am 41 years old is suffering from diabetes-related issues. I am taking medicine in allopathy. I am also taking blood pressure medicine. I want to know about ayurvedic medicines.

C.S.C, D.C.H, M.B.B.S
General Physician, Alappuzha
The anti-diabetic effect of Momordica charantia or bitter gourd is well documented. It is extensively used in Ayurvedic medicines for diabetes. It helps to increase insulin secretion by improving the functions of the beta cells of the pancreas But...

Hi, I am 32 years old male checked fbs 160. what food habits do? I follow any need for complete avoiding sugar.

MBBS, CCEBDM, Diploma in Diabetology, Diploma in Clinical Nutrition & Dietetics, Cetificate Course In Thyroid Disorders Management (CCMTD)
Endocrinologist, Dharwad
Hello, Thanks for the query. You have mentioned only fasting glucose level, what about after food glucose and HbA1c%. These details are needed to know whether you have diabetes plus how severe is the condition. Usually Fasting above 126 mg is cons...

I am 20 years old height is 5'9" weight is 50 is this weight under weight? I want increase my weight please tell me the standard weight &the diet table?

BHMS, Diploma in Dermatology
Homeopath, Hyderabad
How to Gain Weight Eat More. Eat more calories than your body burns. Eat More Meals. Small meals are easier to eat than big ones. Eat Caloric Dense Foods. Food high in carbs and/or fats has more calories per serving. Eat More Protein. Go Liquid. T...

Hi, What are the herbs to use to control blood sugar level for diabetes? Please suggest me.

Diploma In Gastroenterology, Diploma In Dermatology, BHMS
Homeopath, Hyderabad
Curcumin. The compound curcumin, which is found in the spice tumeric, has been shown to both boost blood sugar control and help prevent the disease. ... Ginseng. ... Fenugreek. ... Psyllium. ... Cinnamon. ... Aloe vera. ... Bitter melon. ... Milk ...
1 person found this helpful

I have frequent tingling (pin and needle sensation) in left hand thumb finger. My sugar level: 119 (fasting) and 172 (PP). Please advice. Thanks.

BAMS, M.D.Alternative Medicines
Ayurveda, Belgaum
1 person found this helpful

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Content Details
Written By
PhD (Pharmacology) Pursuing, M.Pharma (Pharmacology), B.Pharma - Certificate in Nutrition and Child Care
Reviewed By
B.Sc (Home Science), Post Graduation Diploma in Dietetics and Public Health Nutrition
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