The bitter melon is the fruit of the bitter melon plant of the family Cucurbitaceae, also known as Momordica charantia, bitter gourd, bitter apple, etc. It has a very high nutritional value and is rich in vitamins, glucose, and other basic nutrients and various minerals. Although the taste is bitter, it has the health benefits of eliminating heat, improving eyesight, losing weight, etc. And also bitter melon is known as the “insulin of plants”. Then can we eat bitter melon to lower blood sugar?
Can bitter melon help to lower blood sugar?
Eating bitter melon can lower blood sugar. The hypoglycemic function of bitter gourd is mainly due to the active ingredient in the bitter gourd extract – Charantin. Researchers have compared the hypoglycemic effect of Momordica Charantin and the common hypoglycemic drug, tolbutamide in mice. The research results show that the hypoglycemic effect of Charantin is even greater than that of tolbutamide, but only if the bitter melon is purified and taken in large doses.
To some extent, bitter melon has a sugar-lowering effect because of its low sugar content. It can only be said that this is a food that does not raise blood sugar so fast. So the effect of simply relying on the bitter gourd to lower blood sugar is actually very small, and can only be used as an adjuvant therapy.
What are the taboos of eating bitter melon?
- Patients with hypoglycemia: Bitter melon has the effect of lowering blood sugar and clearing fire. It is a food more suitable for people with a greasy diet and people with high blood sugar. However, people with low blood pressure or blood sugar should not eat bitter melon. The same will be true for normal people who eat too much bitter melon.
- People with spleen and stomach deficiency: for people with spleen and stomach deficiencies, eating too much bitter melon may cause stomach discomfort, bloating abdominal pain, and even vomiting, diarrhea, and other symptoms.
- Those who need calcium supplementation: The oxalic acid in bitter gourd will hinder the absorption of calcium in food. So before eating, you should put the bitter gourd in boiling water to remove the oxalic acid. People who need to supplement a lot of calcium should not eat too much bitter gourd.
- Pregnant women and parturients: Pregnant women should eat bitter gourd with caution. Bitter gourd contains quinine, which can stimulate uterine contraction and cause miscarriage. At the same time, eating too much bitter gourd can easily hurt the spleen and stomach, and postpartum weak mothers must also control the amount of bitter gourd they eat.