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Bitter Melon

Bitter Melon

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Bitter Melon infographic
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Description

Bitter melon is a vegetable native to Asia, Africa, and South America. It is similar to a cucumber, with a rough surface. The fruits and seeds have several medicinal uses. It is also high in protein, calcium, and iron.

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Possible Benefits

  • Helps lower blood sugar
  • Can help fight cancer 
  • Strengthens the immune system 
  • Can help regulate digestion
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Required Equipment

Fresh Bitter Melon or as a supplement.

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How to Do It

If you eat the melon fresh, you can put it in salads, smoothies, or creams. It tastes quite sour, so you should use it in small amounts. 

If you use the supplement, follow the manufacturer's instructions.

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Why it works

  • There are three substances in bitter melon that act on the blood sugar level. It can help regulate it in cases where it is very high. These substances are charanti, vicine, and polypeptide-p.
  • It has a high content of antioxidants, which is why its potential as an anticarcinogen is being investigated, as it helps protect the cells of the body. 
  • Bitter melon acts as an anti-viral, prevents tumor formation, and may strengthen immune system function by fighting infection. 
  • It has a high content of dietary fiber, which is helpful in improving the digestive process. It also stimulates the production of saliva and stomach acid, which helps to break down food and digest it properly.
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Time Commitment

2-10 minutes 

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Suggested Frequency

2-3 times per week

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Time of Day

Any time, except at night to avoid stomach upset.

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Possible Side Effects

Being very acidic, it can cause stomach upset 

Consumption should not be exceeded

Not recommended during pregnancy 

People who use diabetes medications should not eat bitter melon 

Consult your doctor about the safety of this plant in your specific case

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Notes

  • Bitter melon is a good source of vitamin C
  • There are different types of bitter melon, the most common measuring about 20-30 cm and is light green in color
  • You can also try bitter melon in tea
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Supporting Studies and Articles

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  1. Bitter Melon. https://www.peacehealth.org/medical-topics/id/hn-2043009
  2. Effects of bitter melon (Momordica charantia L.) on the gut microbiota in high fat diet and low dose streptozocin-induced rats. https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/full/10.1080/09637486.2016.1197185
  3. Bitter melon extract inhibits breast cancer growth in preclinical model by inducing autophagic cell death. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5630406/
  4. Bitter melon: a panacea for inflammation and cancer. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5276711/
  5. Beneficial Role of Bitter Melon Supplementation in Obesity and Related Complications in Metabolic Syndrome. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4306384/
  6. Antidiabetic effects of Momordica charantia (bitter melon) and its medicinal potency. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4027280/
  7. Bitter Melon Enhances Natural Killer Mediated Toxicity against Head and Neck Cancer Cells. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5499682/
  8. Acute effects of a beverage containing bitter melon extract (CARELA) on postprandial glycemia among prediabetic adults. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5301041/
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Category

 Health  Digestion  Immunity
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