Bitter gourd is famous by various names, including bitter melon, bitter squash, bitter cucumber, bitter apple, or balsam pear. In India, everybody knows this vegetable as karela. This green-skinned vegetable has a white flash and taste that suits its name.
Bitter gourd comes in various varieties, but two are most common- Chinese and Indian bitter gourd. Both types have different appearances but have similar health benefits. Let’s dig a little into the health advantages of this bitter vegetable.
Bitter melon may taste bitter but is rich in fibers and various micronutrients that possess numerous health benefits, including:
- Bitter gourd is a rich source of vitamin C, which helps fight many diseases, and wound healing and is crucial for development and growth.
- Vitamin A and beta-carotene present in bitter gourd are beneficial for our eyes’ health and improve vision. They are also effective for dark circles treatment.
- Bitter gourd reduces several blood-sugar control markers, including hemoglobin A1c and fructosamine.
- Bitter gourd is low in calories and high in fibers, which helps decrease body weight.
- Vitamin folate, zinc, iron, and potassium are present in the bitter gourd, essential during neural growth and development in a fetus.
- Bitter melon contains numerous powerful antioxidants, including catechin, epicatechin, chlorogenic acid, and gallic acid. These antioxidants help fight against radicals. They protect us from many diseases caused by oxidative damage, including cancers, aging, heart diseases, and chronic conditions.
- Vitamin C, zinc, and protein components of bitter gourd promote hair growth and add shine to hairs.
- Potassium, magnesium, and calcium in bitter melon reduce bad or LDL cholesterol levels in our blood and maintain good cholesterol or HDL levels. Cholesterol is one of the leading causes of many heart conditions, so bitter gourd improves heart health.
- Bitter gourd has antioxidant and antimicrobial properties, which help excretion toxins from our blood and liver and heal many liver conditions.
- Regular consumption of bitter melon improves our gut health and treats many intestinal conditions, including constipation and irritable bowel syndrome (IBS).
- This bitter vegetable improves our immune system and respiratory health.
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The bitter flavor of this vegetable makes it unique. Bitter gourd is a versatile vegetable, as we can add it as juice, stir-fry mixed vegetable, or salad garnish. Bitter melon is a flavorful and nutritious addition to a nutritious-rich diet.