Bitter Melon (Bitter Gourd) Benefits and Side Effects

Bitter gourd or bitter melon is a green vegetable with white to translucent flesh and a taste that fits its name.

Bitter gourd is another vegetable with numerous names. Bitter melon, bitter cucumber, bitter apple, and bitter squash are all names for it.

Bitter gourd comes in several varieties, but the two most common are Chinese bitter gourd and Indian bitter gourd. The distinctions between these varieties are mostly visual, and they both have similar flavors and health benefits.

Bitter gourd, which is high in antioxidants, flavonoids, and other polyphenol compounds, may help to lower your risk of a variety of health problems. Here are some of the health advantages of bitter gourd and its extract.

Bitter Melon Health Benefits

1. High in Vitamin C

Bitter gourd is particularly high in vitamin C, with 100 grams containing 93 percent of the recommended daily intake.

Vitamin C is a micronutrient that helps with disease prevention, bone formation, and wound healing.

2. Bitter Melon Benefits for Weight Loss

Bitter melon is a great addition to a weight loss diet because it is low in calories but high in fiber. One cup contains approximately 2 grams of fiber.

Fiber moves slowly through your digestive tract, keeping you fuller for longer and decreasing hunger and appetite.

As a result, replacing higher-calorie ingredients with bitter melon may help you increase your fiber intake while also cutting calories to promote weight loss.

3. Bitter Melon Benefits for Diabetes

Bitter melon contains saponins and terpenoids, which are bioactive compounds. These compounds are responsible for the bitter taste of the vegetable, but they may also help diabetics lower their blood sugar levels.

The saponins and terpenoids in Bitter melon may help move glucose from the blood to the cells while also assisting your liver and muscles in better processing and storing glucose.

A study of 40 diabetics found that taking 2,000 mg of bitter melon daily for four weeks resulted in a modest reduction in blood sugar levels.

4. Lowers Cholesterol Levels

High cholesterol levels can cause fatty plaque to form in your arteries, causing your heart to work harder to pump blood and increasing your risk of heart disease.

Several studies have found that bitter melon may lower cholesterol levels and thus benefit overall heart health.

5. Fights Inflammation

Bitter gourd is high in polyphenols. These substances are well-known for their ability to reduce inflammation in the body.

The greater the number, the greater the anti-inflammatory effects.

6. Maintain Eye Health

Bitter gourd contains flavonoid compounds, such as carotene, lutein, and zeaxanthin that can help improve your eye health.

Other content in bitter melon can also prevent cataracts and glaucoma caused by complications of diabetes.

7. Bitter Melon Benefits for Skin

Bitter gourd can be used as an alternative treatment for various skin problems, both caused by fungi and bacteria.

The antifungal and antibacterial compounds present in bitter melon can help fight skin infections, including ringworm, scabies, eczema, and psoriasis.

The trick, is you simply extract the bitter gourd and apply it to the affected skin area.

Side Effects of Eating Bitter Melon

Bitter gourd, when consumed in moderation, can be a healthy and nutritious addition to your diet.

However, consuming large amounts of bitter melon or taking bitter melon supplements may result in a number of negative side effects.

Bitter gourd, in particular, has been linked to diarrhea, vomiting, and stomach pain.

It is also not recommended for pregnant women because the long-term effects on health have not been thoroughly studied.

If you are taking blood-sugar-lowering medications, you should consult with your healthcare provider before eating them due to their effect on blood sugar.