Useful properties of bitter melon mamordika
Perhaps many people saw unusual green or orange vegetables densely covered with folds or warts on the shelves of supermarkets or in pictures of gardening magazines. These are the fruits of momordica, they are called differently in different countries: mad or Indian cucumber, Chinese or Indian bitter melon. In this article, the characteristics of this plant, its useful and medicinal properties, as well as existing contraindications for humans, will be examined in detail.
The beneficial properties of bitter melon
Mad Cucumber is the fruit of a plant called Momordica charantia. The plant is a vine, a member of the cucurbit family, originating from India. Momordica refers to annual plants. The plant can be found in tropical countries located in Southeast Asia, East Africa, and South and Central America.
The fruits of this plant have a characteristic appearance resembling a cucumber in shape. A feature of the vegetable is a rough peel with numerous warts.
An immature bitter melon is covered with a green skin and has a white flesh, while in a ripe fruit, the skin and flesh turn orange, and inside the fruit there are bright red seeds.
Bitter melon is a tropical plant that contains many nutrients that are beneficial to the human body. It has antioxidant properties, maintains normal body weight and regulates blood glucose levels. Momordica increases the body's resistance to negative factors, protects the human liver and cardiovascular system.
Important! Momordiki has a characteristic bitter taste, therefore these fruits are rarely eaten separately from other products, they are mainly used as an addition to meat dishes. To reduce bitterness, it is necessary to soak chopped fruits in water with salt for several hours.
Indian cucumber has a high nutritional value, as it contains many compounds necessary for the proper functioning of the body. The composition contains vitamin C, beta-carotene, oils and phenols, which explain the antioxidant properties inherent in fruits.
Bitter melon is a source of calcium, phosphorus, as well as dietary fiber, which improve intestinal motility and prevent constipation. Fruit - low-calorie, dietary, as in 100 g of pulp there is only 17 kcal.
Video: Mamordica Melon - fruit or berry?
How to choose a bitter melon?
Usually momordica is sold in Asian markets throughout the season, sometimes it can be found in Russian supermarkets. To choose this unusual, long, warty vegetable, you should pay attention to its appearance.
A properly formed Indian cucumber has an oblong shape and a length of up to 25 cm. You should not buy vegetables longer than 20-25 cm. The age of the fetus can be determined by the color of the skin: having a green skin color - less mature if the skin color turns from green to yellow or orange. then he has matured. Usually harder, immature vegetables are used in cooking.
Important! It must be remembered that a larger bitter melon will not only be more voluminous, but also much more bitter in taste.
Since there are several varieties of momordica, the buyer needs to remember that Chinese bitter melons are most similar to a cucumber densely covered with warts. Indian bitter melon tends to have a darker skin tone, its coating folds into longitudinal folds around the entire fruit. For purchase, small and medium-sized vegetables are recommended so that the buyer can be sure of their hardness. Like ordinary cucumbers, momordica is stored in the refrigerator, in the vegetable compartment.
What diseases can bitter melon be used for?
Due to its healing properties, bitter melon is often used in "natural" medicine. First of all, it is appreciated for the hypoglycemic effect exerted on the body, that is, its intake is accompanied by a significant decrease in blood sugar. Therefore, the vegetable helps maintain the correct concentration of glucose and is recommended by doctors for inclusion in the diet of diabetics.
Momordica has a positive effect on the functioning of the cardiovascular system, since it reduces the concentration of triglycerides and “bad” LDL cholesterol, responsible for the formation of atherosclerotic lesions. Extracts of fruits and seeds of bitter melon have anti-cancer and immunomodulating effects, as they stimulate the immune system and strengthen the body.
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Indian cucumber also has anti-inflammatory, antiviral and anti-allergic properties, which is why it has a good effect on the respiratory system, protecting it from various diseases, such as asthma or bronchitis. It has detoxification and antifungal properties, so the vegetable is used in the treatment of skin mycoses.
Momordica has a high antioxidant potential, it contains antioxidant compounds, the task of which is to neutralize the harmful effects of oxygen free radicals. Thanks to this, momordica protects a person from the development of many diseases, including atherosclerosis, ischemic myocarditis, hypertension, osteoarthritis, inflammation of the intestines, scabies.
The fruits of this plant support weight loss and have a protective effect on the liver. Accelerate the healing process of ulcers in the mucous membrane of the stomach and duodenum, therefore, the vegetable should be consumed by people with peptic ulcer.
The pharmaceutical industry produces numerous preparations based on Indian cucumber in the form of tablets or capsules. They are intended primarily for diabetics who need to adjust their blood sugar levels. Also, drugs are recommended for athletes, people on a diet (for weight loss) and those who want to increase the body's immunity.
Chinese bitter melon has a characteristic, tart taste. On the basis of chopped or chopped fruits, in traditional medicine of China, South America and India, medicinal tea was prepared for a long time.
Did you know? With the help of a mad cucumber, gazebos and pergolas are decorated, planting a plant near the supports. For several summer months, a liana braids the entire structure, and decorates it not only with greenery, but also with bright exotic fruits.
A decoction of these fruits has anthelmintic properties, and is also used to treat malaria, fever and remove stones from the bladder and kidneys. Such teas are especially recommended for diabetics and athletes, as they stabilize blood sugar, strengthen immunity and increase the general condition of the body.
Too much bitter melon in your diet can lead to abdominal pain, diarrhea, headache, and nausea. Contraindications to the use of tea from momordiki or the use of drugs based on it are: pregnancy and lactation, a tendency to hypoglycemia (a condition of low blood sugar).