Bitter Melon, scientifically known as Momordica Charantia, goes by multiple names such as Bitter Gourd, Balsam Pear etc. It comes under family Cucurbitaceae and it is grown in Asia, Africa and the Caribbean for it’s bitter yet edible fruit. We will tell you everything regarding the bitter melon advantages and disadvantages. The roots of bitter melon were first born in India and at the end of 14th-century China had tasted its bitter juice taste.
Bitter Gourd Advantages And Disadvantages
Sometimes people talk about only one side either its benefits or disadvantages. Make sure you have the knowledge of both sides because half knowledge of anything may be dangerous to you. In this article, you will know the benefits of bitter gourd as well as disadvantage also. So, let’s talk about bitter gourds benefits first:
Bitter Gourd’s Advantages
Bitter gourd has many medicinal properties which are important. It contains fewer amounts of sodium but so is cholesterol. Bitter gourd is a source of vitamin B6, iron, phosphorus, riboflavin, thiamin, pantothenic acid. It contains good amounts of dietary fibers also vitamin A, vitamin C, Folate, potassium, manganese, magnesium, zinc and most of the other nutrients are also found. There are many bitter gourd benefits and disadvantages so we will discuss one by one in this article.
1. Lowers The Bad Cholesterol Levels
Bitter gourds are anti-inflammatory and are helpful in lowering the bad cholesterol levels in the body. Bitter gourd also reduces the risk of heart attack and stroke. Iron and folic acid are present in this vegetable which will decrease the risk of stroke and make your heart healthy & safe.
2. Cures Hangover
One of the amazing benefits of bitter melon is that it cures hangovers if you got drank too much Alcohol.
3. Maintains Bladder Health
Another benefit of bitter gourds is it is helpful in maintaining the health of the bladder.
4. Improves Eye Vision
Bitter Melon is a rich source of vitamin A which is beneficial for our eyes. It is a good home remedy for treatment of dark eye circles.
5. Improves Respiratory Problems
If you include Bitter Melon in your regular diet it will improve your respiratory system problems. It cures multiple respiratory issues caused by cough, asthma or cold.
6. Improves Liver Health
If you start drinking a glass of bitter gourd juice daily then it will improve health of your liver. The juice of this amazing vegetable treats many liver problems. It also contains dietary fibers which are good for your stomach.
7. Purifies the Blood
Bitter gourd contains antioxidants which help in purification of the blood and maintain the blood circulation.
8. Maintains Sugar Levels
Another benefit of bitter gourd is that it helps to maintain the blood sugar levels and highly recommended for Type 2 Diabetic patients.
9. Make Skin Glowing & Lustrous Hair
It helps to make your skin glowing and your hair lustrous. It also protects our skin from harmful UV rays. Bitter gourd juice contains good antioxidants which can help in preventing skin aging and remove wrinkles.
Vitamin A, Vitamin C and Zinc are present in the bitter gourd which is good for your hair. If you apply bitter gourd juice on your scalp then it would be helpful in treating hair loss, rough hair, and dandruff problems.
10. Useful In Weight Loss
Bitter gourd helps to lose extra weight and helps to decrease the obesity.
[Also Read: Green Apples Benefits For Weight Loss ]
11. Reduces Stress
One of the many benefits of bitter melon is that it reduces the stress levels due to the presence of sedative properties.
12. Maximize Your Energy Level
If you are drinking the bitter gourd juice daily then your body will feel more energetic. It maximizes the energy level of your body acts as a natural energy booster.
13. Treat Cholera
It is helpful in treating cholera. Take 2 spoons of bitter gourd juice and 2 spoons of lemon & white onion juice for effective and fast treatment.
14. Helpful In Blood Disorders
It is helpful in treating the blood disorders like itching, ringworm, fungal disease and prevents aging.
15. Removes Dandruff
Take the bitter gourd juice and mix with cumin seeds and apply on the hair to remove dandruff.
Compounds found in the bitter gourd is effective and helpful for treating the HIV infections.
17. Inhibits Cancer Cells Proliferation
Bitter gourd contains antioxidants that that free radicals effect and prevents against common diseases. Eating bitter gourd is helpful in reduction of tumors with cervical, breast cancers.
18. Helpful In Fast Wound Healing
Bitter gourd contains vitamin K, these nutrients play a vital role in regulating blood clotting.
19. Promotes Healthy Bone
Bitter Gourd is helpful in increasing your bone density and reducing the risk of bone fracture. If your body has a lack of vitamin then bone fracture occurs.
Disadvantages Of Bitter Melon
If Bitter Melon has some advantages that it may have some disadvantages also. Everybody knows why we hate Bitter Melon ( Karela in hindi ) because of it’s bitter taste and most of the people don’t like to eat bitter gourds. But elders give you the advice regarding the bitter gourds benefits. Let’s come to the point we know that Bitter Gourds have also some side effects let’s discuss one by one.
1. Drug Interactions
We know that bitter gourds have also known for healing properties might even come in the way of drugs. But the fact is combining bitter gourd with drugs can reduce blood sugar levels steeply. This may be lead to dangerously low blood sugar levels. Diabetic patients should consult with the doctor before taking bitter gourds.
2. Maybe bad for Children in some cases
According to recent reports, the red arils ( covering on the seeds ) found in bitter gourds may be toxic for children. They may cause diarrhea and vomiting. If your children or baby is allergic to bitter gourds it is better to a avoid to giving bitter gourds in vegetables.
3. Affects the Liver
You may be confusing what is the connection between liver and bitter gourds. If you are taking bitter gourds for a long period of time to control diabetes might actually induce liver inflammation. Bitter gourds can’t damage the liver directly. Taking the bitter gourds for a long period can elevate liver enzyme and the result is called atherosclerosis. These side effects of bitter gourds you do not hear before. Bitter gourds are beneficial for us but overconsumption may create complications.
4. Can Stimulate Miscarriage
If pregnant women consume bitter gourds in excessive amounts can turn out to be a nightmare for pregnant women. Excessive intake may cause emmenagogue and abortifacient effects.
[Also Read: How To Prevent Miscarriage In First Month Of Pregnancy ]
5. May affect the Heart Rhythm
A study published in 2010 revealed some unknown side effects of bitter melons. A 22-year-old man without any heart rhythm irregularities developed when he drank a half cup of bitter gourd juice before taking the admission. When the heart rhythm is irregular it leads to pulling the blood in one side of the heart it results in the platelets forming clots in the pool. It may cause a heart attack or stroke.
6. Hypoglycaemic Coma
This is a type of coma which may occur due to an excessive dose of injected insulin. It may lead to a decrease in blood sugar levels. Hypoglycemic coma occurs when the intake of bitter gourds is excessive.
7. Results in Headache, Fever & Stomach Pain
If you are suffering from the deficiency of Glucose-6-Phosphate Dehydrogenase (G6PD) and you consume bitter gourd can result in fever, stomach pain, headache, maybe in a coma.
Also Read: Benefits of Karela in Hindi
Nutrition In Bitter Gourd
Bitter gourds contain most of the nutrients and its nutrition value is quite high. That is why we say this is a beneficial nutritional vegetable. Below the nutritional value of bitter gourds is explained:-
- It contains insulin(phytonutrients) which is known to lower blood sugar levels.
- Bitter gourds contain vitamin C, it is a powerful natural antioxidant and also contain vitamin A.
- It contains health benefiting flavonoids which is lutein, beta-carotene, zeaxanthins etc.
- Bitter gourds provide only 17 calories per 100 gm and are rich in phytonutrients like vitamins, minerals, dietary fibers, antioxidants.
- It is a rich source of vitamin B3, vitamin B5, vitamin B6 and also minerals like iron, zinc, manganese, magnesium potassium.
You should always take advice from doctors how much bitter taste vegetables and fruits you should take to control your diabetes. Your daily consumption of bitter gourd may depend on a variety of factors including your age, health status, and weight.
How to buy and where to preserve Bitter Gourd
We should select the bitter gourd that is unripe, ripe ones are extremely very bitter. Immature and young bitter grounds can be used for cooking due to green skin. You should not buy the bitter grounds that have soft spots. Wash the bitter grounds in running cold water. Dry them and placed in a paper bag. If you place the bitter gourd in the refrigerator at a 50 F temperature then it lasts for 4-5 days. If you store the fruits and vegetables at room temperature then the riping process will increase and the fruits and vegetables become bitter.
Frequently Asked Questions On Bitter Gourd Benefits And Disadvantages
1. What are the main side effects of the bitter gourds?
- Abdominal pain and diarrhea are the main side effects of the bitter gourds when taken in excessive amounts.
- A headache and fever are common with the high ingestion of the seeds.
2. Can we eat a raw bitter gourd?
As you know bitter gourd and many vegetables are sprayed with lots of the pesticides and if you eat in a raw form can be harmful. You can consume bitter gourd in a raw form if you like it’s taste but wash properly before consuming.
3. Can we consume bitter gourd with milk?
Bitter gourd is a good vegetable for us and we consume bitter gourds with bread (Roti). No one is interested to drink milk during meals. Yoghurt can be eaten during meals.
4. How does the bitter gourd taste?
Bitter gourd is a seasonable vegetable and it is bitter in taste and a rich source of the phosphorus. It helps to purify our blood and keeps many diseases away from us.
5. Is bitter gourd juice is good for diabetic patients?
Bitter gourd contains some active substances with anti-diabetic properties. Bitter gourd juice is an excellent beverage for diabetes and diabetic patient. A diabetic patient should consume bitter gourd juice but before taking please consult the doctor for safety reasons.
As we already know very well that bitter gourd is looking unattractive and its taste is also bitter. But it’s bitterness also has many health benefits. It has antibiotic, antifungal, antiviral, anti-inflammatory properties. One of the amazing and most useful benefits of bitter gourds is that it helps to control type 2 diabetes. Bitter gourds are common vegetables or used as a herb and used in many Asian countries, and we also make various types of traditional medicines from them. You can tell us how much you like this complete article on bitter gourd advantages and disadvantages.