Powerfoods: Bitter Gourd
Bitter Gourd or Bitter Melon; Momordica charantia, botanically belongs to the family of Cucurbitaceous, and is a member of the same family of squash, watermelon, cantaloupes, cucumber, etc. It is traditionally grown in tropical areas, including parts of the Amazon, east Africa, and the Caribbean, and is cultivated throughout South America and Asia as a food and medicine. It is also known as Balsam Pear, and is the most bitter of all vegetables.
- Early laboratory tests suggest that compounds in bitter melon might be effective for treating HIV infection
- Helpful to treat many respiratory disorders such as bronchitis, asthma and pharyngitis
- Fresh bitter gourd juice is beneficial for patients suffering from piles
- Regular consumption of bitter juice can help improve psoriasis condition and other fungal infections like ring-worm and athletes feet
- Regular consumption of bitter gourd juice has been proven to improve energy and stamina level
- Its juice is highly beneficial in treating blood disorders like blood boils and itching due to toxemia
- Fresh pods are excellent source of folates; helps reduce incidence of neural tube defects in pregnant mothers when taken during early pregnancy
- The pods are rich in phytonutrients like dietary fibre, minerals, vitamins and anti-oxidants.
- This vegetable is also good source of Niacin (vitamin B3), Pantothenic acid (vitamin B5), Pyridoxine (vitamin B6) and minerals such as iron, zinc, potassium, manganese and magnesium
- Bitter gourd is very low in calories, and contains properties that cleanses the blood from toxins
- Can stimulate digestion and peristalsis which can be helpful in relieving indigestion and constipation problems
- Fresh bitter melon is an excellent source of vitamin C; one of the powerful natural antioxidant, helps body scavenge damaging free radicals
- High beta-carotene, helps alleviate eye problems and improve eyesight
- It has a particular plant insulin-like compound known as polypeptide P that works as an effective insulin replacement in patients with diabetes