Health Benefits of Bitter Gourd:
The most interesting part of this edition is when I put together the most relevant health benefits of my monthly topic, here are some that you would find very interesting. But first of, let’s just clarify something, ok? You may have noticed that I referred to bitter gourd as a fruit and not a vegetable. How many of you knew this? No… Well in this case, please allow me to enlighten you.
In botanical terms, a fruit is defined as a seed-bearing structure that develops from the ovary of a flowering plant. In this instance, bitter gourd, tomatoes, apples, bananas, oranges and many more, are fruits. Vegetables are all the other plants, roots (carrots, potatoes), leaves (lettuce, cabbage) and stems (celery, broccoli). So now that we have that cleared out, let’s get back to our program, shall we?
- Diabetes Treatment and Blood Sugar Management
Bitter gourd is known to be one of the most potent fruits when it comes to managing and treating diabetes mellitus. Its components such as Alkaloids and Charantin act as hypoglycemic agents by reducing blood sugar levels in the body.
Caution: Avoid consumption if taking medicines to lower blood sugar.
- Immunity Enhancer
When you include bitter gourd in your diet, you help your body ward off diseases and infectious viruses and chances of recovery are higher and quicker. This bitter fruit is rich in antioxidants (Vitamin C) which attack free radicals in the body and eliminate harmful compounds that cause a number of ailments.
- Sharper Vision
Not only are carrots good for your eye-sight as it turns out that bitter gourd are also responsible for your 20/20 vision. Flavanoids contained in bitter gourd, namely alpha and beta carotede, lutein and zeaxhanthin, act together to enhance your eyesight and night vision as well as decelerate macular degeneration.
- Asthma Relief
Here is some good news for Asthmatics!!! Bitter gourd is naturally anti-histaminic, anti-inflammatory and anti-viral, all of which aid in maintaining a good respiratory health when consumed as a food supplement, and also help reduce symptoms in certain respiratory conditions such as asthma, bronchitis and hay fever.
- Treatment for Skin Conditions/strong>
Bitter gourd has been used for centuries in traditional medicine in the treatment of skin conditions. The antifungal and antibacterial properties found in this fruit are believed to treat infectious skin diseases such as ringworm and scabies. Treatment includes applying the extracted juice to the affected area to reduce swelling and irritation.
- Cancer Prevention
Studies shows that bitter gourd contains compounds with cancer fighting properties; which could be effective against stomach, colon, lung, nasopharynx (the area located behind your nose at the back of your throat) and breast cancer cells.
- Promotes Good Digestion and Weight Loss
Bitter gourd is low in calories but high in fiber, so if you are planning to follow a weight loss diet, then you might want to consider adding it in at least one meal. Did you know that consuming foods high in fiber reduces hunger and appetite? This is because fiber passes through the digestive very slowly keeping you feeling full for a very long time.