Nutrition in 1 cup (58 g) of boiled bitter melon
- Calories 20
- Vitamin A 28% daily value | B6 20% | Folate 16.75% | C 53%
- Magnesium 13% | Potassium 9% | Iron 3% | Phosphorus 2.8% | Calcium 2%
- Dietary fiber 4%
Bitter melon (Momordica charantia), also known as bitter gourd, is a fruit vegetable that is consumed all over the globe for its therapeutic properties. Bitter melon is packed to the brim with a varied range of priceless nutrients, something that is uncommon in one single food.
It is also extremely low in carbs and cholesterol.1
Most of us tend to keep bitter gourd off our diet because of its extreme bitterness but if we knew how effective it is in burning excess fat, would we still avoid it? Here are 5 ways in which bitter melon juice helps us lose weight.
1. Breaks Down Body Fat
Body fat, or adipose tissue, is chemically composed of connected chains of fatty acids. Bitter melon juice contains enzymes that break down fat into free fatty acids, thus reducing body fat. It also lowers the levels
2. Stabilizes Insulin Levels
Bitter melon protects pancreatic beta cells, which store and release insulin – the hormone responsible for regulating glucose levels in the blood. It is also known as a vegetable insulin. Bitter gourd has 3 active anti-diabetic substances called charantin, vicine, and polypeptide-p, which together lower both insulin resistance and glucose levels in the body. While too little insulin leads to poor use of glucose, too much insulin can lead to a sudden spike of hunger and heightened food intake, one of the primary reasons for obesity.3 4
3. Aids In Fat Metabolism
Bitter melon juice stimulates the liver
- Modulates the release of insulin
- Enables glucose uptake by all the cells, including the muscles
- Inhibits the synthesis of cholesterol and triglycerides
- Helps burn fat
What this means is that it eliminates the root causes of obesity.5
4. Helps Remove Toxins
Bitter melon comprises about 90% water, which helps suppress appetite. This provides necessary hydration and helps flush out toxins from the body, one of the causes of weight gain. When too much toxin accumulates in the body, the liver is overwhelmed and cannot function effectively.
5. Is Low In Calories
According to USDA, 100 g bitter melon juice contains just 34 Calories! Bitter melon also contains lectin which suppresses appetite.6 This means you are less likely to overeat after you have had bitter melon in your meal.
How Much Should You Have?
Who Should Avoid?
- Pregnant and breastfeeding women: Bitter melon consumption may be unsafe during pregnancy. It contains certain chemicals that may induce menstrual bleeding. Experts recommend avoiding it during breastfeeding, although there’s not enough justification to it.7
- Diabetics on diabetes medication: As bitter melon is known to lower blood glucose levels, if you’re on medication, it may drop your blood glucose levels below normal. Monitor your levels if you feel giddy or low in energy.8
- Anyone with an impending surgery: Bitter melon may interfere with blood sugar control during and after surgery. It is recommended to stop consuming bitter melon at least 2 weeks before a scheduled surgery.9
|↑1||Basic Report: 11023, Balsam-pear (bitter gourd), leafy tips, cooked, boiled, drained, without salt. USDA.|
|↑2||Alam, Md Ashraful, Riaz Uddin, Nusrat Subhan, Md Mahbubur Rahman, Preeti Jain, and Hasan Mahmud Reza. “Beneficial role of bitter melon supplementation in obesity and related complications in metabolic syndrome.” Journal of lipids 2015 (2015).|
|↑3||Joseph, Baby, and D. Jini. “Antidiabetic effects of Momordica charantia (bitter melon) and its medicinal potency.” Asian Pacific Journal of Tropical Disease 3, no. 2 (2013): 93-102.|
|↑4, ↑6||Bitter Melon and Diabetes. Diabetes.co.UK.|
|↑5||Professor Wendell C. Sleet, Scaleless Dieting: The Essential Survival Kit For The Overweight, Obese and Diabetics. AuthorHouse, 2011.|
|↑7||Basch, Ethan, Steven Gabardi, and Catherine Ulbricht. “Bitter melon (Momordica charantia): a review of efficacy and safety.” American Journal of Health-System Pharmacy 60, no. 4 (2003): 356-359.|
|↑8||Joseph, Baby, and D. Jini. “Antidiabetic effects of Momordica charantia (bitter melon) and its medicinal potency.” Asian Pacific Journal of
|↑9||Potential for Improved Glycemic Control with Dietary Momordica charantia in Patients with Insulin Resistance and Pre-Diabetes|