Bitter melon or otherwise called bitter gourd resembles a cucumber by its look, except from the gourd-looking bumps that are covering it. Same like its name, this is a is a melon, but with a bitter taste.
Two different types of this vegetables are present on the market: the one that is oblong, pale green and grows to 20 cm and a small one, which is oval and dark green and grows to 10 cm.
The seeds are a part of both of the varieties. When the vegetable is unripe, they’re white and they become red when they become ripe. When the flesh inside is ripe it becomes orange and red as well as more bitter.
Bitter gourd can be usually found in South America and Asia as it needs a hot and humid climate.
This vegetable is very healthy to eat even though it can’t be found easily. If can stand its bitterness and find it where you live, try to intake it more often and you’ll see how amazing it is!
Bitter gourd contains very few calories, but it is abundant in magnesium, vitamins C, B1, B3 and B2, folate, manganese, zinc, dietary fiber and phosphorus. It also contains plenty of iron, 2 times more beta-carotene than broccoli, 2 times more potassium than a banana, 2 times more calcium than spinach.
A special ingredient which possesses a hypoglycemic effect is a part of bitter melon. It is a phyto-constituent called charantin. It also contains a compound similar to insulin called polypeptide P that has even been suggested to replace insulin in diabetics.
This vegetable is abundant in medicinal properties. Here, we’re going to mention some of them.
Bitter gourd against blood disorders: The juice of this vegetable can help you against itching caused by toxemia as well as blood boils. Just mix some lime juice with 2 ounces of fresh juice of bitter gourd. Take it on an empty stomach sip by sip every day for 4-6 months. The improvement will appear very soon.
Bitter gourd against cancer cells: The juice from this vegetable is abundant in an enzyme which can decrease the levels of blood sugar and decrease the growth of cancer cells.
Bitter gourd prevents cholera: If a patient is in the early stages of this terrible disease, give them a mixture of 1 teaspoon of lime juice, 2 teaspoons of white onion juice and 2 teaspoons of bitter gourd leaves’ juice. Take it sip by sip.
Bitter gourd against diabetes mellitus: Bitter gourd is abundant in a hypoglycemic compound that can really decrease the levels of blood sugar. It can also help patients improve their tolerance of glucose without an increase in their levels of blood insulin.
Bitter gourd improves your energy: If you consume the juice of this vegetable, you’ll increase your stamina as well as your energy. Your sleep will also be improved!
Bitter gourd solves your eye problems: As we mentioned it previously, bitter gourd is abundant in beta-carotene which can help us improve our eyesight as well as the health of our eyes.
Bitter gourd prevents gout: The juice of this vegetable is excellent for cleansing your liver. It can improve your blood circulation, clean toxic blood and relieve gout pain.
Bitter melon against a hangover: The juice made of this vegetable is excellent against a hangover. It can clean your liver because of an excessive consumption of alcohol.
Bitter gourd improves your immune system: This vegetable is amazing as it helps you improve your immune system. You’ll become more resistant to infections.
Bitter gourd against piles: Take a glass of buttermilk and mix it with 3 teaspoons of bitter melon leaves’ juice. This should be taken on an empty stomach every morning for 1 month. You can also prepare a paste from the roots of this plant and apply it on the area where you have piles.
Bitter gourd against psoriasis: If you consume this juice regularly it will help you against psoriasis as well as fungal infections like, for example athletes foot and ring-worm.
Bitter gourd against respiratory disorders: Prepare 2 ounces of fresh bitter melon juice. Mix it with 1 cup of honey that you’ll dilute with some water previously. Take this every day and improve pharyngitis, asthma and bronchitis.
Bitter gourd fights toxemia: Bitter melon can help you clean your blood from toxins. You only need 2 teaspoons of the juice to cleanse your liver and also help you heal from jaundice.
CONSUMPTION TIPS FOR BITTER GOURD:
How to select, store, prepare and consume bitter gourd?
Make sure you choose unripe bitter melons. They should be firm like when you buy cucumbers. You should avoid the ones with spots or which are orange in color. Don’t worry if your bitter melon is very bitter, because the ripe ones should be like that.
Keep this vegetable in the fridge to keep them fresh for a longer period of time. It can stay there for up to 3 or 4 days.
If you keep it at room temperature, it will be spoilt very soon and it will also be more bitter.
Clean it under cold running water. Use a soft vegetable brush to brush it. Slice it length-wise and remove the seeds. You can leave it into salty water for 30 minutes before you decide to use it to help you remove the bitterness.
The smaller ones are more bitter than the larger ones. Prepare it with some apple or carrot juice. Fr diabetics, it is recommended that they consume it with green apple juice.
Does the consumption of bitter gourd cause any side effects?
If you drink more than 3 ounces of bitter gourd juice, you may feel diarrhea or abdominal pain. People who are diabetic should talk to their doctor before they decide to take this vegetable.
Pregnant women shouldn’t take it too much because the vegetable can stimulate their uterus.
Can bitter melon be cooked or boiled?
Make sure you don’t boil it as you will remain without all the vitamins, enzymes, phytonutrients and minerals as they’ll be destroyed by the heat!