Nutrition

The bitter, healing fruit

Eating bitter melons has a wealth of benefits for your body—and your skin!

The fruit may be bitter, but the health benefits of bitter melons definitely makes the bitterness worth it. Scientifically known as Momordica charantia, these melons often range from light green to dark green depending on the places they are grown. We tend to stay away from bitter foods, but studies have shown that bitter foods can be good for you. This bitter fruit is a powerhouse. Bitter melons are commonly used in Asian cooking and in traditional medicinal practices. It is also known as bitter squash, bitter gourd or balsam pear.

Effective for diabetic patients
This fruit is primarily known for its capabilities to lower blood sugar levels and can help to overcome Type 2 diabetes. The chemicals inside bitter melons are like insulin, which helps to lower the levels of glucose in the blood.

Heart disease
High cholesterol levels can lead to heart problems. Bitter melons help reduce the bad cholesterol levels, which are responsible for clogging the arteries and thereby reduces the potential risk for a heart attack.

Cancer protection 
Bitter melons can prevent cancer cells from proliferation. Due to their rich antioxidant properties, they can help fight free radicals. In addition to this, they also have anti-tumour and anti-carcinogenic properties. Cancer patients are advised to consume a glass of bitter melon juice every day to reap the benefits.

Improves respiratory health
Bitter melon has anti-histaminic, anti-inflammatory and anti-viral properties which makes it perfect for respiratory conditions such as asthma, bronchitis and hay fever. This is a natural remedy that can reduce the complications of the infection.

Acne treatment
Say goodbye to blemishes! Bitter melons are known to give you glowing skin because of their deep cleansing properties and their skin regenerating properties. The vitamin C and vitamin A present in bitter melons prevents premature skin aging and diminishes wrinkles.

It is important to note that consuming bitter melons excessively can lead to adverse side effects such as diarrhea and extreme low blood sugar levels. It should not be consumed with diabetic medications as bitter melon can interfere with the medications. Pregnant women or women who are trying to get pregnant should avoid bitter melon as It can cause menstrual bleeding and it has been found to contain abortifacient properties (induces abortion or miscarriage).

Spicy crispy bitter melon fry 

Ingredients

  • 3 medium bitter melons
  • 2 green chilies finely chopped
  • 1 tsp turmeric
  • ½ tsp coriander powder
  • 3 Tbsps of vegetable oil
  • Salt and pepper to taste

 Directions
Wash the fruit and cut it into thin round slices. Add the turmeric, coriander and salt to the slices and mix well. Add some vegetable oil to the pan and add the green chilies along with the bitter melons. Sprinkle some water on the pan to aid the cooking process. Fry on low flame till the slices become brown and crispy. The dish can be served with rice or tortillas. Enjoy!

Here’s another recipe you can toss some bitter melons into! Check it out here.

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