Bitter gourd or bitter melon plant and leaves contain conjugated linolenic acid (CLNA). Both conjugated linoleic acid (CLA) and CLNA provide health benefits from fat metabolism, muscle building, preventing heart diease, leukemia and others. Take probiotics or acidophilus (present in yogurt, in capsule as supplements) increase the uptake of CLNA and CLA. The leaves can be added in lentil soups while the plant can be cooked with seeds removed in many ways (just washed it in salt while squeezing its bitter content). Most body builders buy supplements containing CLNA and/or CLA.
• Bitter gourd is very low in calories, providing just 17 calories per 100g. Nevertheless, its pods are rich in phytonutrients like dietary fiber, minerals, vitamins and anti-oxidants.
• Bitter melon notably contains phyto-nutrient, polypeptide-P; a plant insulin known to lower blood sugar levels. In addition, it composes hypoglycemic agent called charantin. Charantin increases glucose uptake and glycogen synthesis in the cells of liver, muscle and adipose tissue. Together, these compounds are thought to be responsible for reduction of blood sugar levels in the treatment of type-2 diabetes.
• Fresh pods are an excellent source of folates, contain about 72 µg/100g (Provides 18% of RDA). Folate helps reduce the incidence of neural tube defects in the newborns when taken by mothers during early pregnancy.
• Fresh bitter melon is an excellent source of vitamin-C (100 g of raw pod provides 84 mg or about 140% of RDI). Vitamin-C, one of the powerful natural antioxidants, helps the body scavenge deleterious free radicals one of the reasons for cancer development.
• It is an excellent source of health benefiting flavonoids such as ß-carotene, α-carotene, lutein, and zea-xanthin. It also contains a good amount of vitamin A. Together; these compounds help act as protective scavengers against oxygen-derived free radicals and reactive oxygen species (ROS) that play a role in aging, cancers and various disease processes.
• Bitter melon stimulates easy digestion and peristalsis of food through the bowel until it is excreted from the body. Thus, helps in relieving indigestion and constipation problems.
• In addition, the vegetable is an also good source of niacin (vitamin B-3), pantothenic acid (vitamin B-5), pyridoxine (vitamin B-6) and minerals such as iron, zinc, potassium, manganese and magnesium.
• Early laboratory tests suggest that compounds in bitter melon might be effective for treating HIV infection.
Cooking: Squeezed it in salty water before cooking to lessen the bitterness. I also found out another anti-aging with anti-cancer properties in turmeric, green tea, aswaganda and bocopa in the supplement at http://www.lifevantage.com Email me for discount and to be a distributor firstname.lastname@example.org
Connie Dello Buono