Bitter melon save a lot of health benefits. Bitter melon (Momordica charantia L.) is from Asia has been used for herbal medicine for centuries. It is generally used to treat diabetes in China and other Asian countries. And also it has an important role in the fight against cancer.
Researchers from the University of Colorado Cancer Center found that bitter melon juice can stop the progression of pancreatic cancer cells. Bitter melon known to stop the supply of glucose in cancer cells. This is very important because cancer cells require glucose for growth.
In addition, bitter melon also contains beta-carotene are two times larger than the broccoli, potentially able to prevent the occurrence of cancer and reduce the risk of heart attack or virus infection. Bitter melon leaves useful for curing diarrhea in infants, purify the blood for a woman who just gave birth, reduce fever, remove pinworms, and can cure cough.
Calcium levels in the Bitter melon classified as very high so as to increase the production of beta cells in the pancreas to produce insulin. If insulin is sufficient, then the possibility high glucose levels can be prevented so that the blood sugar levels to normal. Thus Bitter melon very good consumed by diabetics. And also Vitamin C contained in Bitter melon can prevent the emergence of black spots and wrinkles on the face so as to maintain the beauty of the skin.
Nutrition Fact of Bitter Melon
The content of compounds in Bitter melon fruit are saponins, flavonoids, and polyphenols (powerful antioxidants), as well as cucurbitacin glycosides, momordicin, and charantin, karatin, hydroxytryptamine, vitamins A, B, and C. Though, the seeds contain momordisin. Almost all parts of this plant, seeds, flowers, leaves, and roots, efficacious for medicine.
|Nutritional value per 100 g based on USDA|
|Dietary fiber||2 g|
|Vitamin A equiv.|
|lutein and zeaxanthin||1323 μg|
|Pantothenic acid||0.193 mg|
|Vitamin B6||0.041 mg|
|Vitamin C||33 mg|
|Vitamin E||0.14 mg|
|Vitamin K||4.8 μg|
Health Benefits Of Bitter melon
1. Antibacterial and antiviral
Bitter melon contains many biochemical compounds that have antibacterial and antiviral activity. Extracts of bitter melon leaf have been shown to be effective against many types of bacteria including E. coli, Staph, Strep and Salmonella, as well as Helicobacter pylori, the bacteria that cause stomach ulcers. It also has anti-viral activity against HIV, herpes and Epstein-Barr viruses. However, it increases the resistance of animals and humans to viral infections.
Clinical studies have shown that bitter melon has anti-cancer activity. Water extracts of the whole plant inhibit growth of prostate and mammary tumors in animals, and in vitro studies showed anti-cancer activity against several melanoma, sarcoma, leukemia and liver cancer cell lines.
3. Diabetes (Blood sugar regulating)
Biochemical constituents in bitter melon lower blood sugar levels, increase glucose uptake by cells and improve the release and activity of insulin. The blood sugar regulating chemicals are found in the highest concentration in the fruit.
Bitter melon is traditionally regarded in Asia as useful for preventing and treating malaria. Tea from its leaves is used for this purpose also in Panama and Colombia. In Guyana, bitter melons are boiled and stir-fried with garlic and onions. This popular side dish known as corilla is served to prevent malaria. Laboratory studies have confirmed that species related to bitter melon have antimalarial activity, though human studies have not yet been published.
5. Maintain the beauty
Bitter melon contains vitamin C, which can overcome the threat of ultraviolet rays. Vitamin C in Bitter melon very well to prevent wrinkles on the face and slow down the aging process. In addition, it can also strengthen the immune system. In every 100 grams of Bitter melon contained 120 mg of vitamin C.
6. Other health benefits
Bitter melon has also been shown to decrease blood cholesterol and triglyceride levels, and it detoxifies, cleanses the blood, enhances the immune system and reduces inflammation.
Bitter melon may contain alkaloid substances like quinine and morodicine. Resins and saponic glycosides, which may be intolerable by some people. The bitterness and toxicity may be reduced somewhat by parboiling or soaking in salt water for up to 10 minutes.
Excessively high doses of bitter melon juice can cause abdominal pain and diarrhea. Small children or anyone with hypoglycemia should not take bitter melon. This is because this herb could theoretically trigger or worsen low blood sugar (hypoglycemia).
Furthermore, diabetics taking hypoglycemic drugs (such as chlorpropamide, glyburide, or phenformin) or insulin should use bitter melon only under medical supervision. As it may potentiate the effectiveness of the drugs and lead to severe hypoglycemia. It has also been found to have abortive properties; pregnant women should use consult a doctor before consuming it in excessive amounts.