Despite its reputation as being bitter and unappealing, Karela, or bitter gourd, has many health benefits and is used in folk medicine.
Studies have shown bitter melon contains phytonutrients like polypeptide P that mimic insulin activity and reduce blood sugar levels in people with diabetes. Bitter melon also contains vicine, a glycol alkaloid that is hypoglycemic. Recent studies have shown that other phytochemicals help bitter melon with potent anti-diabetic activity.
Bitter melon is very low in caloric content. A serving only has 17 calories. Several studies have shown that eating bitter melon can increase the production of bile acids, which are necessary for the breakdown of fat in the human body. A recent study has shown that bitter melon has effectively controlled weight gain and controls the accumulation of body fat without altering energy intake in rats. More studies are needed to confirm these promising results.
Bitter melon may improve eye health, according to new research. Bitter melon has shown promising outcomes in treating cataracts and age-related macular degeneration. Bitter melon contains a lot of beta–carotene and vitamin A. Both nutrients are essential for eye health. Bitter gourd also contains vitamin C and other antioxidants, known to reduce damage to the eyes caused by oxidative stress.
The bitter gourd, high in vitamin C, is beneficial to your immune system. Vitamin C has antiviral properties capable of stimulating the immune system and stimulating the anti-inflammatory response in the intestinal system.
Adding bitter gourd to your diet will add more fiber to your digestion. Bitter melon contains cellulose which helps to improve digestion and is also helpful in the prevention of dyspepsia and constipation. Bitter melon has been proved to kill stomach worms.
Health Benefits of Bitter Melon
- Great for diabetics
- Bitter melon may aid in weight control
- Bitter melon has been shown to help in eye health
- Bitter melon has vitamin C and aids the immune system
- Bitter melon contains a lot of fiber