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Bitter Melon Health Benefits

You can find the bitter melon fruit at many grocery stores. As suggested by the name the taste of the fruit is very bitter. You can also get it in liquid extracts or in the form of capsules. Bitter melon is also called bitter gourd and has been used particularly in Indian cooking for some time. This vegetable falls under the Cucurbitaceae family, and different names are used all over the world for it. 

Some of the bitter melon health benefits include treating skin infections or skin diseases, skin sores and even eczema.

You can also use bitter melon for weight loss. It is believed by scientists that insulin resistance is connected to being overweight. This is a physiological condition in which the efficiency of the insulin at lowering blood sugar becomes less. It has been found by scientists that bitter melon is able to deal with insulin resistance and can be effective for weight loss.

Bitter Melon Nutrition, Calories

It will be helpful for you to know the bitter melon nutrition facts. Bitter melon calories are very low, and there are only seven calories in 100 grams. Bitter melon pods are rich in phytonutrients like antioxidants, vitamins, minerals and dietary fiber. Bitter melon nutritional benefits include the presence of flavonoids like zeaxanthins, lutein, a- carotene, and b-carotene. Bitter melon also contains the phytonutrient, which is plant insulin that is considered to reduce the blood sugar levels. There is also present the hypoglycemic agent known as charantin. Charantin helps in increasing the glucogen synthesis and glucose uptake in the cells of the adipose tissue, muscles, and liver.

You can also use bitter melon for herpes. Extracts of bitter melon are considered to be twice as effective as acyclovir, which is a prescription drug for killing the herpes virus strains that are not resistant to acyclovir. However, people who have a history of hepatitis or cirrhosis should avoid taking bitter melon. Bitter melon for high blood pressure can also be used effectively as they are rich in an amino acid known as citrulline that helps increase the nitric oxide and vitamin C. This can quickly get rid of the active oxygen, enabling the nitric oxide to remain longer in the blood vessels. To use bitter melon for gout treatment, you should make a juice out of one or two large melons and consume it regularly two times a day. You should make sure that the juice is not cooked as the beneficial effects will be diluted. You could also try bitter melon capsules that come as 500 mg capsules. Using bitter melon for acid reflux is considered by some to be an effective treatment. However, the exact benefits of the preparation are not very clear and therefore, recommendations for using it cannot be made because of a lack of scientific research.

New research has shown that using bitter melon for breast cancer can be effective as the bitter melon extracts help in modulating many signal transduction pathways, which brings about death to breast cancer cells and prevents them from multiplying. You can also use bitter melon for hypertension and dyslipidemia. Hypoglycemia is a condition in which there is a deficiency of glucose in the blood leading to the brain seeking desperately for other sources of energy. Comas due to hypoglycemia can happen because of the ability of the fruit to affect the level of glucose. Hence, using bitter melon for hypoglycemia is not a good idea.

Bitter Melon for Diabetes

Using bitter melon for diabetes is known to be a very effective treatment. Studies have shown its efficiency in lowering the blood sugar levels in animals and humans. There are considered to be three groups of constituents in the bitter melon that are said to have hypoglycemic and other benefits in treating diabetes mellitus. Hence, bitter melon for diabetes mellitus treatment can be effective. There is present a mixture of steroidal saponins called charantin, alkaloids and insulin-like peptides. It is still not very clear which one of them is most effective or if they all work together. However, preparations of bitter melon have shown to improve glucose tolerance significantly without letting the levels of blood insulin increase and in improving the levels of fasting blood glucose. Having high quantities of iron, bitter melon contains two times the potassium of bananas and two times the calcium of spinach. It is also considered to be beneficial for the liver, and it has been proven by scientists that it contains insulin and inhibits HIV-infection.

Bitter melon for type 2 diabetes can be helpful if it is eaten raw everyday. This helps in providing the nutrition you need to beat insulin resistance or type 2 diabetes. You can also use bitter melon for type 1 diabetes as it is considered to counteract the process of the cells being destroyed by the immune system being part of the autoimmune disorder. Gestational diabetes is a kind of diabetes that happens only with pregnant women. Using bitter melon for gestational diabetes treatment can be effective. You can get more information on the Internet regarding bitter melon for insulin and blood sugar reduction.

Bitter Melon for Skin

Included with the various bitter melon health benefits comes the use of bitter melon for the skin infections. This is because the fruit and seeds have a great value of nutrition. Bitter melon is said to consist of vitamin C, vitamin B1, B2, B3, beta-carotene, potassium, calcium and iron. The cooling properties of bitter melon also make it good for the skin. You can also make use of bitter melon for acne. There is a simple technique you could follow to use bitter melon for the treatment of acne. You should first take the skin of the bitter melon and blend it well. Then, apply the pulp to your skin and let it remain for around 20 minutes. Finally, rinse it off with lukewarm water. To use bitter melon for boils you should apply the extract of it onto the boils. This will kill the germs and will bring about a soothing effect. If you find it difficult to apply the extract, you can mix the extract with some lemon juice and drink it on an empty stomach. It has been shown by studies that the extract of bitter melon helps in fighting the herpes virus strains. You can also use bitter melon for cold sores treatment and prevention by consuming it regularly. The antibacterial properties present make bitter melon for eczema an effective treatment. Bitter melon is not usually taken raw as its taste can be very bitter. Most people prefer to take the extract of bitter melon in the form of a tincture or capsule. You could also have it as a juice or a soup, which is also a popular option. You can also try getting bitter melon tea from the leading herbal tea manufactures, or you could try preparing your own bitter melon tea by letting some bitter melon leaves boil in water. Despite the plenty of bitter melon health benefits, it is important that you refrain from taking excess quantities of it as it can result in diarrhea and abdominal pain. You should also consult your doctor before taking any medication or supplement that contains bitter melon.
Submitted on January 16, 2014