Post by Ismail AbdulAzeez on Jun 6, 2019 2:55:17 GMT 1
Bitter gourd also known as Momordica charantia is a tropical and subtropical vine of the family Cucurbitaceae, widely grown in Asia, Africa, and the Caribbean for its edible fruit. Its many varieties differ substantially in the shape and bitterness of the fruit. Bitter gourd comes in a variety of shapes and sizes.
The fruit has a distinct warty exterior and an oblong shape. It is hollow in cross-section, with a relatively thin layer of flesh surrounding a central seed cavity filled with large, flat seeds and pith. The fruit is most often eaten green, or as it is beginning to turn yellow. At this stage, the fruit's flesh is crunchy and watery in texture, similar to cucumber , chayote or green bell pepper, but bitter. The skin is tender and edible. Seeds and pith appear white in unripe fruits; they are not intensely bitter and can be removed before cooking.
When the fruit is fully ripe, it turns orange and mushy, and splits into segments which curl back dramatically to expose seeds covered in bright red pulp.
Bitter melon is commonly included in cuisines. For instance, it is eaten throughout India. In North Indian cuisine, it is often served with yogurt on the side to offset the bitterness, used in curry such as sabzi or stuffed with spices and then cooked in oil.
How to make bitter gourd less bitter
- Sprinkle salt all over the bitter gourd pieces and let it sit for about 10 minutes. This will minimise the bitter taste of the gourd making it more palatable.
- Soak it in tamarind juice for a few minutes.
- Boil equal parts sugar and vinegar. Pour this mixture on bitter gourd and let it soak for some time.
Benefits of Bitter Gourd
It is widely believed that constantly drinking the mixture of bitter melon and some other ingredients water shrinks fibroids and prevents their growth.
Inhibits Cancer Cell Proliferation
Free radicals seek out and destroy healthy cells, which accelerate aging and lead to numerous complications including cancer. Bitter melon is abundant in antioxidants that combat free radical effects as well as creating a strong defense against common diseases. Along with its abundance of antioxidant are its anti-tumor and anti-carcinogenic attributes. Recent clinical trials and pharmacologic studies show a link between eating bitter melon and the reduction of tumors in individuals with breast, cervical, and prostate cancer. There has been a significant body of studies conducted for its role on cancer prevention, which is promising as an alternative to potent chemotherapy agents.
Bitter melon can help reduce symptoms brought on by certain respiratory conditions such as
asthma, bronchitis, and hay fever. Bitter melon has anti-histaminic, anti-inflammatory, and anti-viral properties, which makes it an ideal supplementary food in maintaining good respiratory health. It also helps promote sound sleep.
High on nutrition
Bitter gourd is a rich source of vitamins and minerals. It contains iron, magnesium, potassium and vitamins like A and C. It contains twice the calcium of spinach and beta-carotene of broccoli. Various anti-oxidants and anti-inflammatory compounds are present in bitter gourd.
It also helps in lowering the bad cholesterol levels, thus reducing the risk of heart disease and stroke. That’s not all. It strengthens the immune system, improves respiratory health, boosts skin health and contains anti-ageing properties.
Reduce Cholesterol Levels
Bitter melon is also widely consumed to help lower bad cholesterol levels, which in turn prevents atherosclerotic plaque buildup in arterial walls. Decongested arteries reduce the risk of heart attack, heart disease, and stroke.
Diabetes Treatment And Blood Sugar Management
Momordica charantia is used primarily as an alternative therapy for lowering blood sugar levels in patients with type 2 diabetes mellitus. Considerably it is the most potent and popular fruit in terms of managing diabetes through alternative medicine. In fact, drinking bitter melon decoctions is a common practice of diabetes management in Asian countries.
It is an excellent source of dietary fiber. Regular consumption of bitter gourd contributes to relieving constipation and indigestion. It supports healthy gut bacteria, which favours digestion and nutrient absorption.
Boosts weight loss
Bitter gourd is low in calories, fat and carbohydrates. These properties together help in weight management. It keeps you full for longer, so you avoid over-eating. It stimulates the liver to secrete bile acids that are essential for metabolising fat in the body.
The bitter melon may have an unattractive appearance and a taste that most people would despise, but its bitterness also comes with a wealth of health benefits. It has antibiotic, anti-allergenic, anti-inflammatory, anti-fungal, anti-viral, and anti-parasitic properties. The bitter melon’s most notable health benefit is its ability in managing type 2 diabetes. Bitter melon is a staple among Asian cuisines and traditional medicine.