Bitter melon is one of the popular edible pods which have a bitter taste. The botanical name of the bitter melon plant is Momordica charantia; it belongs to the curcibitaceae family and classified as the same family with squash, cucumber, watermelon, and such.
Among other edible vegetable, the bitter melon has the bitterest taste which makes people are not into it. Despite the bitter taste, surprisingly, bitter melon has sweet health benefits.
Native to South East Asia countries, the unripe bitter melon is usually cooked into numerous tasty local foods but the ripe one has the bitterest taste is not edible. The common characteristic of bitter melon is the pebbly surface with the long shape and pointed tip.
The different variety produces different colors of bitter melon, ranging from dark to light green color which will turn to yellow or brown when ripe. The inside part of the bitter melon pod is spongy part with seeds.
Usually, people remove the spongy part and only use the green flesh for cooking. To reduce the bitter taste, soak the sliced bitter melon into salted water and knead for a while. The texture of the bitter melon flesh is crunchy and watery like cucumber.
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The bitter melon plant is a climbing vine with thin stems which require a trellis to support its growth. Anytime during the growth season, the bitter melon plant can be harvested when the pods still green or approximately two weeks after blooming and fruit formation.
The bitter melon plant usually blooms after four to six weeks after planting. In some countries bitter melon is also known as goya, karela, pare, peria laut, and many more.
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Bitter Melon Health Benefits
If you are never having any idea of tasting bitter melon; you should try now.
You probably have no idea if this bitter vegetable has tons of sweet health benefits. The bitter melon is effective to help control blood sugar level.
The polypeptide-P is known to help reduce the level of blood sugar.
Moreover, the substances compose character which is known as hypoglycemic agent; if all this substances work together may responsible for reducing the blood sugar level and treatment for diabetes type 2.
The fresh bitter melon is a natural source of vitamin C which is powerful antioxidant to defend harmful free radicals. Bitter melon is high in natural fiber which can help relieve indigestion and bowel problems.
The high acid compounds in the bitter melon can help reduce kidney stones pain as well as breaking the down. The benefits of adding bitter melon to a daily diet plan are it can help reduce the cholesterol level and, of course, reduce the risk of stroke and heart disease.
Moreover, due to the ability to prevent the production of glucose, the bitter melon is believed can inhibit the pancreatic cancer growth as well as other cancer such as liver, breast, colon and prostate. An additional benefit of consuming bitter melon is visible effect for the skin. It can make the skin glow and help to treat some other skin problems such as acne, eczema, and psoriasis.
For those who are on a diet, bitter melon can promote weight losing since it only contains 17 calories per 100 grams. Bitter melon metabolizes sugar in the body such as sugar from carbohydrate which means less fat that stores in the body and promotes weight losing.
This bitter vegetable is also a good natural source of vitamin K which the body needs for bone health, anti-inflammatory, and blood clotting. Surprisingly, the bitter melon can also boost the immune system and fight infections as well as a disease.
Bitter Melon Juice Side Effect
Even though bitter melon is loaded with tons of health benefits; excessive consumption of bitter melon juice can also bring side effect for the body.
Consuming bitter melon juice in large amount can trigger contractions for pregnant women which lead to miscarriage since the bitter melon can increase the menstrual flow.
We may acknowledge that bitter melon is indeed good herbal medicine; however consuming bitter melon in the same time with standard drug medicine can possibly reduce the blood sugar level instantly and even can put the low blood sugar in danger. Therefore, it is important to have a prior consultation with the doctor before taking anti diabetic medicines.