21 Amazing Health Benefits Of Bitter Gourd

Bitter gourd or bitter melon is a tropical and subtropical vine of the Cucurbitaceae family, and is native to South Asia but now grown in different regions of the world. It is used both as a food and medicine and is considered bitter among all fruits and vegetables. The abundance of nutrients like vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, phytonutrients, and polyphenols, etc makes them very beneficial for us as they provide numerous health and beauty benefits.

Health Benefits of Bitter Gourd

Health Benefits of Bitter Gourd

Source- Pixabay.com

Bitter gourd or bitter melon is a tropical and subtropical vine of the Cucurbitaceae family, and is native to South Asia but now grown in different regions of the world. It is used both as a food and medicine and is considered bitter among all fruits and vegetables. The abundance of nutrients like vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, phytonutrients, and polyphenols, etc makes them very beneficial for us as they provide numerous health and beauty benefits.

Health Benefits Of Bitter Gourd

Some of the major health benefits of bitter gourd are as follows

(1) Keeps Our Digestive System Healthy

Bitter gourd is good for our stomach and improves our digestive health.

The laxative properties of the dietary fibers in bitter gourd improves our bowel movement, helps proper elimination of stool, and thus provides relief from constipation and other gastrointestinal problems like abdominal pain, irritable bowel syndrome, gas, bloating, and flatulence, etc.

Vitamin C, vitamin A and other antioxidantal compounds like phytonutrients and polyphenols protect our digestive system from free radical damage and minimizes the risk of colon cancer, abdominal cancer, intestinal cancer, stomach cancer, and pancreatic cancer, etc.

The anti-inflammatory properties of vitamin C reduce stomach inflammation and minimize the risk of ulcers.

The anthelmintic compounds in bitter gourd kill infections worms in our stomach and keep digestive problems at bay.

The antimicrobial properties of the bitter gourd protect the digestive system from microbial infections and diseases.

(2) Boost Our Immune System

Bitter gourd strengthens our immune system, the defense mechanism of the body that prevents and treats microbial infections, injuries, diseases, and wounds. 

Antioxidants like vitamin A, vitamin C, and other relevant antioxidantal compounds like phytonutrients and polyphenols protect our immune cells aka white blood cells from free radical damage, and thus strengthens our immunity.

Vitamin C enhances the production of white blood cells in the body and further strengthens our immunity. 

With stronger immunity, our risk of getting a cough, cold, fever, and flu, etc reduces drastically.

The antibacterial, antiviral, and antifungal properties of the bitter gourd protect us from the ill effects of microbial infections and further strengthens immunity.

Other nutrients like iron, zinc, potassium, magnesium, and B vitamins in bitter gourd also contribute to stronger immune health.

(3) Beneficial For Diabetics

Consuming bitter gourd or bitter gourd juice regulates our blood sugar level and helps in managing diabetes.

Because of its low glycemic index,  it slows down the sugar release into the bloodstream, prevents a sudden spike in blood sugar level, and thus regulates blood sugar level.

Dietary fibers in the bitter gourd reduce the rate at which sugar gets absorbed by the bloodstream and helps in managing diabetes.

Polypeptide-P, a phytonutrient in the bitter gourd mimics the action of insulin and lowers the blood sugar levels in diabetic patients.

Other phytochemicals like triterpene, protein, steroid, alkaloid, lipid, and certain phenolic compounds also plays an important role in regulating blood sugar level. 

Even with the anti-diabetic properties of the bitter gourd, consume them in moderation as excessive intake may drop blood sugar to an abnormally low level, thereby increasing the risk of hypoglycemia with symptoms like shakiness, dizziness, sweating, hunger, fast heartbeat, and irritability.

Also, if you are already on diabetic medication, then consult your doctor before adding bitter gourd or bitter gourd juice to your diet to ensure that there is no food-drug intolerance. 

(4) Helps In Managing Weight

Eating 100 grams of bitter gourd provides 17 calories of energy, and this makes it very beneficial for individuals who are on a weight loss journey and would like to shed some extra pounds.

The dietary fibers in the bitter gourd provide satiety to the stomach, decrease the urge to eat again and again, and thus controls overeating which is a major cause of obesity. 

Drinking bitter gourd juice on the empty stomach improves metabolism and thus accelerates the burning of stored fats.

Bitter gourd also contains an abundance of water that improves digestion, improves metabolism, and ensures proper absorption of nutrients from the food.

(5) Good For Eyes & Prevents Vision-Related Disorders

Bitter gourd is good for our eyes and improves our ocular health.

Antioxidants like vitamin C, vitamin A and other antioxidantal compounds like phytonutrients and polyphenols protect the eyes from free radical damage, and thus minimizes the risk of age-related macular degeneration, cataract, and glaucoma, etc.

Vitamin A is an essential mineral for our eyes as it improves vision and prevents eye dryness and minimizes the risk of night-blindness.

The anti-inflammatory properties of vitamin C minimize the risk of inflammatory glaucoma.

Other nutrients like zinc, selenium, potassium and B vitamins, etc also play a significant role in keeping our eyes healthy. 

(6) Provides Antioxidantal Benefits

Bitter gourd provides numerous antioxidantal benefits as they contain antioxidants like vitamin C, vitamin A, vitamin E, and other antioxidantal compounds like phytonutrients, polyphenols, and flavonoids, etc.

These antioxidants and associated compounds protect our cells and tissues from free radical damage and thus minimizes the risk of several cancers like colon cancer, lung cancer, intestinal cancer, stomach cancer, and pancreatic cancer, etc.

Antioxidants also provide several other benefits like improved cardiovascular health, cholesterol management, aids with detoxification, stronger immunity, protection from neurodegenerative diseases, improved respiratory health and better ocular health, etc.

(7) Helps In Reducing Stress

Bitter gourd provides relief from stress and anxiety which have now become an integral part of life for most people and may cause havoc to physical, mental, and emotional health.

Antioxidants like vitamin C, vitamin A and other relevant compounds like phytonutrients and polyphenols protect the cells and tissues from free radical damage and improves the functioning of the cells. 

Potassium in bitter gourd relaxes our blood vessels, improves blood circulation, and relieves stress and anxiety.

It also contains vitamin B complex and magnesium that are natural antidepressants. 

The anti-bilious and sedative properties of the bitter gourd promote good internal health and minimize stress. 

(8) Helps In Reducing Blood Pressure

Bitter gourd provides relief from hypertension or high blood pressure, a health condition that affects millions of people around the world and is a prime cause of several cardiovascular problems and other health problems.

Potassium, a natural vasodilator present in the bitter gourd relaxes our blood vessels, improves blood circulation, and thus provides relief from hypertension or high blood pressure. 

(9) Effective In Treating Cholera

The antibacterial properties of the bitter gourd minimize the risk of cholera, a deadly disease that spread like an epidemic and affects peoples of almost all age groups. 

For minimizing cholera risk, take two teaspoons of bitter gourd juice and an equal portion of white onion juice together, and add a teaspoon of lime juice to it. Consume the solution regularly. 

(10) Energy Booster

Although low in calories, bitter gourd keeps us energetic throughout the day and minimizes the signs of lethargy and sluggishness. 

Vitamin A, vitamin C, and other relevant compounds like phytonutrients and polyphenols in the bitter gourd protect our cells and tissues from free radical damage and allows them to function at an optimal level. 

It improves cellular health and helps with metabolism.

Dietary fibers in biter gourd eliminate toxins, pollutants, and other unwanted substances from our body, and prevent these toxins from causing damage to our health.

Excessive toxins in the system can give rise to fatigue, memory difficulties, sleep impairment, eczema, and brain fog, etc. 

(11) Solves Hangover Problem

The detoxifying properties of the dietary fibers in bitter gourd washouts alcohol out of the liver, and helps in treating hangover and associated symptoms.

It minimizes toxins from the system and thus reduces the burden of detoxification from the vital organs like the liver and kidneys to some extent.

Vitamin C and other relevant antioxidantal compounds like phytonutrients and polyphenols in the bitter gourd protect the liver from free radical damage and allows them to function at an optimal level. 

(12) Natural Remedy For Piles

Bitter gourd improves our digestive health and is beneficial against piles. 

As per anecdotal evidence, consuming a glass of buttermilk mixed with 3 teaspoons of bitter gourd juice on an empty stomach regularly for a month provides relief from piles. 

(13) Provides Relief From Toxemia

The blood cleansing properties of the bitter gourd provide relief from toxemia ( poisoning of blood by bacterial infection).

Drinking bitter gourd juice on empty stomach cleanses the liver and minimizes the risk of jaundice.

The anti-inflammatory compound like vitamin C prevents liver inflammation and further minimizes the Jaundice risk. 

(14) Helps In Treating Psoriasis

The antimicrobial properties of the bitter gourd protect the outer skin layer from fungal infections and thus minimizes the risk of psoriasis. 

(15) Provides Anti-Inflammatory Benefits

Vitamin C, an anti-inflammatory compound present in the bitter gourd provides relief from pain and inflammation caused by inflammatory problems like arthritis, rheumatism, rheumatoid, gouts, asthma and bronchial asthma, etc.

The detoxifying properties of the bitter gourd remove toxins from the blood and minimize gout pain. 

(16) Helps In Preventing Cancer

Antioxidants like vitamin C, vitamin A and other antioxidant compounds like phytonutrients and polyphenols protect the cells and tissues from free radical damage, and thus minimizes the risk of several cancers like colon cancer, abdominal cancer, pancreatic cancer, stomach cancer, and lung cancer, etc.  It protects the skin cells from free radical damage and minimizes the risk of leukemia.

Free radicals are the unstabilized ions that stabilize by stealing electrons from the neighboring molecules, and while doing so, it causes oxidative damage to them. 

(17) Helps In Treating Respiratory Disorders

Bitter gourd is good for our lungs and improves our respiratory health.

It contains antioxidants like vitamin C, vitamin A and other relevant compounds that protect our respiratory system from free radical damage, and minimizes the risk of lung cancer. It promotes our respiratory system to work at an optimal level. 

The anti-inflammatory properties of the vitamin C in bitter gourd reduce lung inflammation and is beneficial against respiratory problems like asthma and bronchial asthma. 

Antioxidants strengthen the immune system and minimize the risk of respiratory problems like cough and cold etc.

The anti-microbial properties of the bitter gourd also improve our respiratory health. 

Other nutrients like iron, potassium, magnesium, and vitamin B complex also contribute to better respiratory health. 

(18) Helps In Curing Blood Disorders

The detoxifying properties of the dietary fibers in bitter gourd make it a wonderful blood cleanser that eliminates toxins, pollutants, and other unwanted substances from our bloodstream and provides relief from blood disorders like boils, toxemia, etc.

For treating blood disorders, mix bitter gourd juice and lime juice and drink it on an empty stomach regularly for 4 to 6 months. 

(19) Wonderful Liver Tonic

Consuming bitter gourd (bitter melon) juice on an empty stomach regularly can provide relief from many liver problems and helps in flushing toxins out of our system. This benefit of bitter gourd makes it a wonderful tonic for the liver.

Bitter gourd juice contains detoxifying compounds like dietary fibers and antioxidants that make it a wonderful liver tonic that flushes out toxins, pollutants, and other unwanted substances from the liver and improves the efficiency of this vital organ. 

Antioxidants and other relevant compounds like vitamin C, vitamin A, phytonutrients, and polyphenols protect the liver from free radical damage and keeps them healthy.

(20) Good For Kidney And Bladder

Bitter gourd improves our renal health and is beneficial for kidneys and bladder.

The diuretic properties of the bitter gourd increase the frequency and flow of the urination and help in the efficient removal of toxins and other unwanted substances from the system. This improves our renal health and minimize the risk of urinary tract infections.

Vitamin C and other antioxidantal compounds protect the kidneys and bladder from free radical damage.

The detoxification properties of the bitter gourd minimize the burden of detoxification from the vital organs like the liver and kidneys to some extent and improve their overall health. 

Bitter gourd breaks down kidney stones and reduces the high acid load that causes painful kidney stones. 

(21) Manages Cholesterol Level

Bitter gourd manages our cholesterol level and thus minimizes the risk of several cardiovascular problems.

Dietary fibers in the bitter gourd reduce bad LDL cholesterol from the system, and thus minimizes the risk of atherosclerosis. 

Atherosclerosis is a condition that leads to hardening and narrowing of the arteries due to the accumulation of plaque and fat deposits in the arterial walls and is a leading cause of various cardiovascular problems like heart attack, heart stroke, and coronary artery disease, etc.

(22) Protects from Neurodegenerative Diseases

Bitter gourd is good for the brain and improves our neurological health.

Antioxidants like vitamin C, vitamin A and other relevant compounds in bitter gourd protect our brain cells aka neurons from free radical damage, and thus minimizes the risk of several neurodegenerative diseases like Alzheimer’s disease, Parkinson’s disease, amnesia, and dementia, etc.

Other nutrients like vitamin B complex, manganese, magnesium, iron, and potassium, etc in the bitter gourd also play an important role in improving neurological health as they provide several cognitive benefits like a sharper memory, reduced confusion, improved focus, etc. 

(23) Improves Cardiovascular Health

Bitter gourd is good for our heart health and strengthens our cardiovascular system.

Vitamin C, vitamin A and other antioxidantal compounds in bitter gourd protect the cardiovascular system from free radical damage.

The vasodilating properties of the potassium in bitter gourd relieve hypertension and minimizes the risk of several cardiovascular problems.

Dietary fibers in bitter gourd reduce LDL cholesterol and prevent atherosclerosis, a leading cause of several cardiovascular issues like heart attack, heart stroke, and coronary artery disease. 

Other nutrients like iron, zinc, calcium, magnesium, and B vitamins in the bitter gourd also improves cardiovascular health.

Disclaimer

Suggested Read   29 Amazing Health & Beauty Benefits of Pumpkin (Squash)

The information contained in the post is for general purposes only and shouldn’t be considered as medical advice or as an alternative to medical advice. Although I’ve tried my best to keep the information in this post as accurate and updated as possible, I make no guarantee of the same accuracy.

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