Also goes by the name bitter squash or bitter gourd, bitter melon has plenty of benefits for human health obtainable by adding it to a regular diet. Some of the most significant benefits to gain from bitter melon include its potential in helping boost the immune system, improve skin health, boost respiratory health, reduce hemorrhoid effects, and reduce and prevent cancer symptoms. Bitter melon benefits people who have diabetes as well. It possesses expectorant, antiparasitic, antiviral, antiallergenic, antibiotic, anti-fungal, and anti-inflammatory qualities. Because of all these health contributions, bitter melons are an important part of cultural dishes around the world.
What is Bitter Melon(Bitter Gourd)?
Bitter melon belongs to the Cucurbitaceae family where gourds, melons, and squashes also belonged. Depending on what part of the world this amazing herbaceous vine is available, bitter melon has three distinctive names. It dated back from the subcontinents of India and started to become widespread more than 60 decades ago. However, it is common in Asia, Africa, and the Caribbean.
It is another bitter fruit available that provides certain benefits for culinary purposes. The harvest of this fruit is best before ripening because it becomes more bitter when ripe. Similar to cucumber, bitter melon is long and has a very warty, ridged exterior. There are lots of benefits to gain from the flesh of the fruit, which possesses the same consistency of green pepper and cucumber. A bright red pith appears when the fruit ripens, which comes useful in some culinary cultures.
Bitter Melon Benefits & Health Gains
This fruit can be a delicious way to incorporate another healthy and nutritious food into a diet. However, it can be difficult to find, and the timing of harvest is important. It has numerous health benefits that are quite impressive. Bitter melon benefits a lot of people with various health problems. Listed below are the extensively researched benefits:
1. Fights Fungal Infections
Bitter melon has antibacterial and anti-fungal qualities. Thus, it makes an ideal remedy for combating different fungal infections. It is also helpful in getting rid of toxins in the bloodstream before they can do any damage.
Regarding skin health and infections, the bitter melon best works as a remedy for psoriasis and ringworm. In addition to that, the anti-inflammatory abilities of this fruit lower the itching sensation associated with certain skin infections and conditions. The juice extracted from its leaves can be made into a salve or as a remedy for these conditions by applying it directly to the affected areas.
2. Fights Respiratory Conditions
Bitter melon, as shown in some studies, is beneficial in relieving respiratory ailments. Thus, bitter melon benefits those who suffer from hay fever, bronchitis, and. It has antiviral, expectorant, anti-inflammatory, suppressant and anti-histamine properties. Thus, bitter melon benefits the respiratory system as well. Eating bitter melon would be much better before sleeping because of the soothing effects it can provide.
3. Cancer Prevention
This fruit has antioxidants that can help hunt and eliminate free radicals. By the way, free radicals can cause certain diseases (including some types of cancer). Thus, bitter melon is beneficial in preventing cancer. Thoroughly researched to be anti-carcinogenic and anti-tumor, bitter melon also gives some antioxidants in the body a natural boost.
There are studies that support the positive relation between the reduction or prevention of the growth of tumor for people who suffer from breast, cervical and prostate cancer and consuming bitter melon. The fruit’s cancer-fighting qualities are due to its ability to stimulate the death of cancer-causing cells aka apoptosis. However, more research continues to discover more potent cancer-fighting properties of bitter melon, so that it benefits people suffering from other cancer types.
4. Protects the Immune System
Bitter melon benefits the immune system. This fantastic fruit is a good source of numerous antioxidants. Thus, bitter melon can effectively defend the body against ailments. Antioxidants are responsible for scavenging free radicals in the body. Free radicals, by the way, are harmful elements released during the metabolism of cells that brings about a lot of diseases. To improve immunity and protect the body against severe diseases like liver failure, heart attack, and kidney damage, which are among the many organs that fell victim to free radical damage, add bitter melon to a diet.
5. Cures Hemorrhoid
Studies claim that the anti-inflammatory qualities found in bitter melon make it a perfect salve remedy for the uncomfortable condition of piles or hemorrhoids. Applying the paste from the root of the bitter melon plant topically can decrease the inflammation and relieves pain or bleeding. Drink bitter melon juice (if you can handle the taste) yields the same positive effects.
6. Treats Diabetes
One of the most efficient fruits for managing diabetes mellitus for a few reasons is bitter melon. Thus, bitter melon benefits the diabetics.
The fleshy part of bitter melon has significant levels of charantin, peptides that resemble insulin. All these components have active effects on the blood sugar levels. It is also beneficial in preventing unpredictable drops and spikes in insulin levels by stimulating the body’s metabolism and use of sugar that the body absorbed from foods.
However, the use of this superb vegetable-fruit as a powerful hypoglycemic agent along with other medicines that reduce blood sugar would be unwise since it can lead to a harmful sugar deficiency of the body.
7. Detoxifies Blood
Another health benefit of bitter melons is itsto effectively detoxify the blood. Its antioxidant and antimicrobial properties assist in blood detoxification, thereby keeping the skin healthy. Thus, bitter melons are also an effective treatment for psoriasis and eczema.
Bitter melons have excellent health-promoting unobtrusive chemicals. Since bitter melon can induce too much menstrual bleeding, it is one of the fruits that pregnant women should avoid. Also, there is still a need for more research regarding the intake of bitter melon at the same time breastfeeding.
Again, it comes handy in reducing high levels of blood sugar, which can be very harmful, specifically after a surgical procedure.
Other people are sensitive to the deficiency of dehydrogenase which behaves like anemia. It can also cause fevers, stomach aches, and headaches. So, it is always a good thing to consult a doctor before including bitter melon to diet.