Benefits of Bitter Melon
The bitter gourd or bitter melon plant is perhaps the secret of longevity of the Okinawa islands. Botanically belongs to the family of Cucurbitaceae, of the genus Momordica and is a member of the same family as pumpkin, watermelon, melon, cucumber, etc. Its scientific name is Momordica charantia.
Bitter melon is a plant of tropical climate and probably originated in Southeast Asia. Bitter melon is used to treat or prevent imbalances sugar in the blood (diabetes), as well as prevention of various degenerative diseases for its richness in natural antioxidants, such as the case of cancer, effects that are currently in the study.
Bitter melon is very low in calories, providing only 17 calories per 100 grams. However, their pods are rich in phytonutrients, fiber, minerals, vitamins, and antioxidants. They are an excellent source of folate, niacin (vitamin B-3), pantothenic acid (vitamin B-5), pyridoxine (vitamin B-6) and minerals such as iron, zinc, potassium, manganese, and magnesium.
Reduce blood sugar
Bitter melon tea has traditionally been used in Africa, Asia, and Latin America to reduce blood sugar levels in people with diabetes and according to the University of Maryland, this herbal medicine has therapeutic effects on metabolic disease.
Bitter melon mainly contains a compound called polypeptide-P which helps balance the levels of blood sugar. It also contains other hypoglycemic agents called charantin. The charantin increases glucose uptake and glycogen synthesis in the liver cells, muscle and adipose tissue. Overall, it is believed that these compounds are responsible for the reduced levels of blood sugar in the treatment of type 2 diabetes.
High concentration of antioxidants
It is an excellent source of flavonoids such as beta-carotene, a-carotene, lutein and zea-xanthine. Also, it contains a good amount of vitamin A. Together these compounds act offering protection against free radicals play a role in aging, cancer and various diseases.
Promotes digestive health
Bitter melon stimulates digestion and peristalsis of food through the intestine until excreted from the body. Therefore, it helps relieve problems of indigestion and constipation.
Bitter melon is not recommended for pregnant women, because some of its components can cause an abortive stimulation, it as all herbal medicine must be prescribed by a doctor.
Bitter Melon Tea
Prepares you for bitter melon, just boil a liter of water and put one or two tablespoons of bitter melon powder after boiling water infusion. 6 Let stand 10 minutes. It can also be consumed as a supplement in capsules.