These are the health benefits of Ampalaya that most of us don’t know
Bitter gourd, or as Filipinos called as ampalaya, is a climbing vine fruit commonly cultivated in tropical and sub-tropical areas such as the Amazon, Carribean, and Southeast Asia.
Bitter gourd, as the name implies, has a bitter taste and it is because of the presence of momordicin. As a matter of fact, ampalaya is believed to be one of the foods which has the most bitter taste.
Ampalaya leaves are heart-shaped and can grow from 5 to 10 cm. It also bears male and female flowers separately. It has a green fruit with wrinkled skin and pointed edges. Its seeds are flat and has ruminated margins.
However, despite its not-so-good taste and appearance, ampalaya has many nutrients that can be good to our health.
“Don’t judge the book by its cover”, as the famous saying goes. Bitter gourd may not have the ‘looks’, but you shouldn’t underestimate it because ampalaya is very wealthy when it comes to health benefits.
Ampalaya is well known for its ability to lessen the effects of hemorrhoids, improve respiratory health, and make the skin fairer.
It can also be used as antibiotic, antifungal, anti-inflammatory, antiviral, and anti-allergenic. Because of these, it’s no wonder why ampalaya is famous among the cuisines of different culture all throughout the globe.
Recent studies from the University of Colorado show that bitter melon juice has proven it can kill pancreatic cancer cells in mice.
This is because the juice that bitter gourd has contains enzymes that inhibits the transportation of glucose, or the sugar of the body. This then leads to the decrease of sugar levels and thus, decreasing the food for cancer cells.
Rajesh Agarwal, co-program leader of Cancer Prevention and Control at the University of Colorado Cancer Centre and professor at the Skaggs School of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences in the USA said: “Three years ago researchers showed the effect of bitter melon extract on breast cancer cells only in a Petri dish. This study goes much, much farther.”
Clinical studies also have come to know that diabetes is often the forerunner of pancreatic cancer, to which they thought that maybe bitter melon can cure diabetes as well. In 2007, studies have shown that eating just 2 grams of bitter melon can help increase glucose levels after four weeks.
Aside from enzymes, ampalaya also contains insulin which is known to have the ability to lessen the blood sugar level. Aside from that, it also has charantin which increases glucose in the cells of the liver, muscle, and fatty tissues.
These compounds now are what responsible for the treatment of type 2 diabetese which includes the lowering of blood sugar level.
Another study published in 2008 by the International Journal Chemistry and Biology indicated that compounds in bitter melon improved glycemic control, helped cells uptake glucose and improved overall glucose tolerance.
This study was done in mice and led to promising advancements in treating diabetes and obesity with bitter melon.
Ampalaya is also rich in Vitamin C which is a powerful antioxidant that helps eradicate the harmful free radicals from the body.
Aside from that, ampalaya is also known for boosting the energy levels of the body. A person’s stamina level can improve greatly you consume ampalaya juice regularly.
Studies also show that consuming bitter gourd can improve the sleeping patterns of a person. Not only that, but it also cure hangovers.
Bitter gourd contains alcohol intoxication properties which made it a suitable cure for hangovers. Liver problems because of too much alcohol consumption can also be cured by or repair by it.
Eye problems won’t be an issue anymore if you regularly consume ampalaya. Aside from all the nutrients already mentioned, it also has high beta-carotene and other properties related to it, which makes it s a great cure for eye problems.
The immune system can also benefit from from this vegetable-fruit because it heightened the one’s body’s resistance to different infections.
The vitamin folate which bitter gourd also possess can help lessen the chances of a newborn baby having neural tube defects, once the mother consume ampalaya during her pregnancy.
Bitter gourd or ampalaya may not have the best skin and looks, but it can surely make yours glow and flawless.
The juice of ampalaya is a powerful anti-oxidant, coupled with Vitamin A and C which this vegetable-fruit also possess, then skin aging will be prevented. These nutrients are also responsible for the diminishing of wrinkles, as well as it lessens acne, helps in curing psoriasis and eczema. Our skin also gets protection against ultra-violet ray (UV Rays) from ampalaya juice.
Hair loss can also be treated using bitter gourd. Putting bitter gourd on your scalp regularly will help in halting hair loss because it contains Vitamins A, C, Biotin, and Zinc.
Respiratory diseases such as asthma, bronchitis, and hay fever can also be cured using ampalaya. Once consumed, the respiratory health will be boosted because this vegetable-fruit is anti-histamine, suppressant, expectorant, anti-inflammatory, and has antiviral properties.
It’s highly recommended to consume ampalaya before you go to sleep at night because it is when the benefits will happen faster.
Bitter gourd also has antibacterial and antifungal properties which make it able to fight different fungal infections. Toxins running in your bloodstream will also be removed because of it.
Ampalaya or bitter gourd truly has a lot of health benefits despite its appearance and taste. So before you say ‘no’ to this vegetable-fruit, make sure you are well informed of the benefits so you can think twice.