Bitter gourd is an extremely healthy green vegetable that is most commonly available in Africa, Asia, and the Caribbean. Bitter gourd is also called bitter melon and is scientifically known as ‘Cucurbitaceae’. This vegetable is picked and harvested right before it grows ripe, because its bitterness is directly proportionate to its ripeness! No matter how much you or your loved ones would love to hate this vegetable, it happens to be one of the healthiest greens in tropical areas. Bitter gourd is loaded with nutrients like antioxidants, vitamins A, B6, C, alkaloids, fibre, iron, and potassium.
The major ways in which eating bitter gourd on a regular basis benefits your health are:
The dietary fibre present in bitter gourd boosts the functioning of your digestive system and helps the food pass through the tracts. The bitter alkaline secretion from this green vegetable breaks down the complex foods into much simpler forms so that they can pass through the intestines ans add bulk to your stool. This, as a result, also helps control your body mass index (BMI) and prevent internal inflammation.
Controls blood sugar:
The bitterness of this vegetable, as its very name suggests the taste, helps balance the sugar levels in your blood, and thereby prevents diabetes mellitus. The juice of bitter gourd contains significant quantities of an insulin-like alkaline product called ‘Charntin’, which regulates the metabolism of the body and its sugar levels. Dietary studies state that eating one medium-sized bitter gourd on a daily schedule can prevent diabetes by nearly 25%.
The concentrated antioxidants in bitter gourd help destroy the carcinogenic cells and control the free radicals. Eating this vegetable daily can significantly prevent the growth of cancer cells and tumour-like lumps. The most common types of cancers that can be avoided through the consumption of bitter gourd are that of the stomach, prostate, cervix, and breasts.
Acts as a potential detox:
The concentration of nutrients like antioxidants, vitamin C, vitamin B6, iron, and potassium is excellent for purifying the blood and disposing of all the toxic elements thriving inside your body. The high level of iron also helps regenerate the red blood cells and maintain a purified, toxin-free concoction in your bloodstream. Apart from these these ingredients purifying your blood, the dietary fibre helps you digest better and defecate regularly, helping you gain control over your digestive and excretory systems. Eating as little as just 30 grams of bitter gourd daily can help you thoroughly detoxify your body.
Prevents fungal growths:
Vitamin C and iron are very popular nutrients for combating fungal growths in your body. Toxins inside the blood vessels are the main reasons for fungi to thrive. As bitter gourd flushes out these toxins and provides a boost to the overall circulatory system through its constant supply of vitamin C, fungal infections are prevented by up to 1.5 times the ratio of what most other green vegetables can do.
Vitamin A is found in high quantities in bitter gourd. This vitamin helps prevent macular degeneration, cataract development, and rupture of the optic nerve. Eating about 80 grams of this green vegetable regularly can improve the overall condition of your eyes by nearly 27%!
Bitter gourd is a well-known natural remedy for curing respiratory issues like asthma, bronchitis, and rhinitis. The vitamin C present in this vegetable helps prevent the growth of inflammatory elements inside the respiratory tract, which leads to these diseases. Some doctors recommend eating bitter gourd for dinner because the nutrients in this vegetable might work better on your system while you are asleep and the body is at rest. Consume about one helping of bitter gourd curry to prevent asthma attacks by approximately 23%.
Improves skin quality:
Vitamin C, antioxidants, and vitamin A have always been well known nutrients that boost the quality and texture of your skin. All these ingredients are found in high concentration in bitter gourd. This green vegetable acts as a purifier of the dead skin cells too, as they contain traces of toxic elements. Drinking a small glass of bitter gourd juice can work wonders on your skin. The result is definitely worth the effort of gulping down the dreaded liquid!
Bitter gourd, as discussed above, provides numerous health benefits and must be consumed on a regular basis for maintaining overall health and immunity. However, one word of precaution is that pregnant women should eating this vegetable as it stimulates vaginal bleeding, which might lead to complications during this critical period. Other than this, eating bitter gourd is considered be one of the healthiest food intake practices!