Ampalaya or bitter gourd, also known as bitter melon or bitter squash in English, is actually not a vegetable but a fruit which is dark or light green in color depending on the region where it is grown.
While we’ve been so busy condemning its bitter taste, we’ve overlooked its wide range of benefits. Bitter gourd juice contains a train of important nutrients ranging from iron, magnesium, and vitamin to potassium and vitamin C. It is also filled with many beneficial antioxidants.
Here are some of the health benefits of bitter gourd:
1. Respiratory Disorders
The fresh pods are an excellent remedy for curing respiratory problems like asthma, cold, cough, etc. Also, the paste of ampalaya leaves, along with the paste of tulsi leaves, when taken with honey in the morning, is a good remedy.
2. Liver Tonic
Drink one glass of ampalaya juice daily to heal liver problems. Keep consuming this continuously for a week to see results.
3. Immune System
Boil ampalaya leaves or fruits in water and consume it every day to fight against infections. This also helps to build your immunity.
Consuming ampalaya can help you get rid of acne, blemishes, and deep skin infections. It is useful in treating blood disorders like blood boils, scabies, itching, psoriasis, ringworm, and other fungal diseases. The free radicals in it are also useful for anti-aging. Consume the juice of ampalaya mixed with lemon on an empty stomach daily for 6 months or till you get the desired results.
Ampalaya juice benefits include helping to overcome type 2 diabetes. It has been a part of the Chinese and Indian ancient medicine for a long time but only recent research has proven that it is no folklore. Type 2 diabetes is caused partially due to the inability of a cell to absorb the sugar in the blood due to insufficient insulin or due to development of resistance to insulin. In both cases, the cells are unable to absorb the sugar due to the ineffectiveness of the insulin produced.
The absorption of sugar occurs due to the activation of AMP-activated protein kinase in the cells. Ampalaya activates these kinases due to which the absorption of sugar increases and hence, aids in bringing diabetes under control. Green juice for diabetics: cucumbers, green apples, bitter melon, celery, ½ green capsicum (bell pepper). Ampalaya contains certain chemicals that are like insulin which help to reduce the blood sugar levels.
Ampalaya helps in easy digestion as it contains fiber properties. The food is digested and the waste is thrown out of the body which helps in curing indigestion and constipation problems.
7. Kidney and Bladder
Ampalaya helps to maintain a healthy liver and bladder. It is also useful in curing kidney stones.
8. Heart Disease
Ampalaya is very good for the heart in many ways. It helps reduce the bad cholesterol levels which clog the arterial walls and thereby reduces the chances of heart attacks. Also, it is known to lower the blood sugar levels that help in maintaining a good heart health.
Ampalaya can prevent cancer cells from multiplying.
10. Weight Loss
Ampalaya contains antioxidants that help to flush out your system. This improves your metabolism and digestive systems, thus helping you lose weight quickly. The two other major factors that aid in weight loss are the calorie control and filling components.
Calorie control happens as such because vegetables are low in calories that allow you to consume more quantities of them. The filling component in this vegetable is water. We know that water is a universal suppressant of hunger. The pods of this vegetable contain on the whole 80-85% water.
A quick tip to reduce the bitterness of the drink is to add some honey or jaggery to it or pair it with sweet fruits like apple or pears. You can also add lemon juice to lessen the harsh taste of ampalaya juice.