Bitter gourd is the vegetable that most of the children hate to have as the name itself says it all. The vegetable is green and roughly spiked with quite a bitter taste. It possesses a numerous number of names like it is called 'karela' in India. Bitter gourd can also be mentioned as Momordica charantia, bitter cucumber, bitter melon, bitter squash, or bitter apple.
It has its origin in eastern India and southern China. Now, it is found plenty in the fields of Asia. The two most popular variety of it is the Indian bitter gourd and the Chinese one. Both the variety differs in appearance but taste similar with the same benefits.
Continue reading this article to know about the several nutritional advantages of bitter gourd.
1. Filled with important nutrients: It may not satisfy your taste buds it can certainly satisfy your health since it possesses several health benefits. Single bitter gourd gives you:
Protein: 1 gram
Fat: 0 grams
Carbohydrates: 5 grams
Fiber: 3 grams
Sugar: 0 grams
Cholesterol: 0 milligrams
Sodium: 6 milligrams
2. Vitamins and mineral in it:
Folic Acid (B9)
3. It helps in bringing down blood sugar level: There exist several cases where it is shown to bring down the blood sugar level along with hemoglobin A1C by secreting insulin into the body. It comprises certain bioactive elements like terpenoids and saponins which makes the vegetable bitter, alongside it helps in managing diabetes.
4. It might possess properties to fight cancer: certain research studies have found out that the vegetable comprises some properties that are able to fight cancer cells in the colon, stomach, lungs, breast, etc. However, further studies wait to prove.
5. Bring down cholesterol level: High cholesterol can lead to several heart problems. Certain animal research has found out that it is good in bringing down cholesterol levels which can be helpful in protecting the heart from various diseases.
6. Helps in losing weight: It has fewer amounts of calories but high in fiber. Consuming fiber makes you stay fuller for a longer time thus decreasing the appetite. Thus it can be a great option if you are seeking for foods that help in cutting down weight.
Some recipes of bitter melon:
This vegetable is known for its versatility. It can be consumed raw or cooked, baked, pan-fried, steamed or could be stuffed with your favorite fillings.
Below are some ways to have it:
• Prepare a juice of it by adding some other veggies or fruits to make it more healthy and tasty.
• Fry it with a bit of coconut or olive oil to make a side-dish.
• Mix it into scrambled-egg by sautéing it with tomatoes, onions or garlic.
• It also goes well with salads.
• Stuff with grounded meat and vegetables, or mashed potatoes with certain herbs to add flavor to it.