In the treatment of diabetes, it is extremely important that there is a regulated control on the blood glucose or sugar level because this disease comes along with several other complications such as cardiovascular and kidney-related diseases, diabetic eye, leg swelling, high blood pressure, amongst a host of other complications. Experts are always looking for something natural which can treat this extremely complicated disease. One such treatment of diabetes is the use of bitter melon or the bitter gourd plant which, as per studies and research is highly beneficial in effectively dealing with diabetes and the other related complications.
In this article, we shall try to analyze the effect of the bitter gourd on diabetes. We shall find out the different compounds and chemicals that are present in the plant due to which it is not only beneficial for those suffering from diabetes but the overall sound health too.
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Some Facts Related to Bitter Melon
In order to understand the effect of Bitter Melon on diabetes, we first would want to know more about the Bitter Melon or the Bitter Gourd plant.
The Bitter Gourd plant has long been popular amongst the medical fraternity because of its strong and powerful healing properties. The juice from the bitter melon is considered to be used as an important treatment for different kinds of diseases. The plant is known to treat a lot of diseases which include the digestion problem, constipation, problems related to the teeth or any other dental concerns, amongst others. Besides, the regular consumption of the Bitter Gourd plant in the form of a vegetable, juice, etc. goes a long way in the treatment of a chronic condition like diabetes and the various related complications.
Some facts related to the plant which lends the above healing and medicinal powers to the plant are as follows:
- The Bitter Gourd or the Bitter Melon plant is known to contain essential compounds which give it the most important property wherein when one consumes the same, the increased blood sugar or glucose levels come down to a considerable extent.
- The charantin, various alkaloids, etc. which are present in the Bitter Gourd or the bitter melon plant renders the insulin- like property to the vegetable.
- The above compounds also help the body in producing compounds such as a protein which, in turn, help in allowing the body cells to take up and utilize glucose.
- The different parts of the plant are also known to have anti fungal and antibacterial properties which keep diseases like malaria, HIV virus, cold infections, etc. at bay.
- The proteins in the plant also go a long way in treating a few tumors particularly the prostate tumor growth.
- The presence of the compound, charantin is known to improve and increase the production and growth of pancreatic beta cells. This helps in the efficient management and treatment of diabetes.
As seen above, the Bitter Gourd plant is highly beneficial for the good health of the humans in general. It also is beneficial for the efficient treatment and better management of diabetes.
In the following paragraphs, we determine and analyze more carefully how the popular plant is useful in the treatment and management of diabetes, what are the effects of bitter melon on the blood sugar levels of a diabetic patient, and how to better use the vegetable for dealing with diabetes effectively.
Effect of Bitter Gourd on Blood Glucose Levels
Whenever we talk about diabetes and the effect of any food item on the management of diabetes and its various complications, it is extremely important to understand how the particular food item under question affects the level of blood glucose or blood sugar in our body. An ideal food item is the one which can help us regulate the blood sugar level.
This paragraph explains the effect and advantages the consumption of Bitter Gourd or Bitter Melon has on our blood glucose. It is this property which makes this bitter tasting vegetable one of the most sought after food items recommended by experts for diabetes treatment.
- One of the essential compounds present in Bitter Gourd plant is Charantin. It is this compound which lenders the blood glucose lowering property to this extremely important vegetable.
- There is an insulin- like compound called polypeptide which also helps in maintaining a balanced level of blood glucose in our body.
- Besides, charantin, polypeptide, and vicine work in combination to lower the otherwise high blood pressure of a diabetic patient.
- Finally, the lectin is also known to be present in Bitter Gourd. This lectin acts on the outer body tissues by reducing sugar levels and also helping by controlling an individual’s appetite. Hence, the overall effect of lectin is the reduced blood sugar or glucose level of the body.
Thus, as we see in the above points, the otherwise bitter vegetable has a huge positive impact on the health of someone who is suffering from diabetes by helping to maintain the blood glucose level of the body. A balanced level of blood glucose level in a diabetic patient is considered half the battle won!
Benefits of Taking Bitter Melon for Diabetes?
Is Bitter Melon Good For Diabetes? – As discussed in the above paragraphs, Bitter Gourd, in its various forms is very helpful in the treatment of diabetes and its various related complications. Several research has been conducted in this regard which has time and again proved the benefits the plant has to offer when it comes to diabetes.
Following are some of the benefits of the plant in the treatment of the disease:
- Most of the problems in diabetes arise due to the high level of blood sugar in the body and the inability to control the same.As already discussed above, the three compounds present in the vegetable helps to reduce the otherwise high blood glucose levels in a person suffering from diabetes. The three compounds include charantin, polypeptide, and lectin.
- It is the above three compounds which also contributes to lower levels of triglycerides. Increased triglycerides in the blood are certainly harmful to those suffering from the condition.
- Besides, regular consumption of the bitter vegetable controls the required levels of hemoglobin in the blood.
- The bitter melon gourd is helpful for diabetes as it helps in the better digestion of carbohydrates. The cells and the various ways in which the blood glucose is transported into the body are helpful by the intake of watermelon, thereby reducing the frequent rise in the blood sugar levels caused by diabetes.
- The essential compounds and nutrients present in the vegetable are also helpful in acting like insulin, thereby giving all the essential functions and uses which the hormone is supposed to perform. Insulin, as we know, is the main hormone responsible for providing energy and glucose in the body. It is the lack of insulin or the inefficient utilization of the hormone which is mainly responsible for diabetes. It not only promotes insulin secretion but also prevents the resistance of the body from utilizing insulin that is produced by the pancreas.
- When a person is suffering from type 1 diabetes, the immune system of the body is hampered and this destroys the all-important beta cells. The beta cells are so important because it is these cells which are responsible for the production of insulin. If you are someone suffering from type 2 diabetes, the beta cells stop functioning efficiently. The compound, charantin, stimulates the growth of beta cells thereby helping in the efficient treatment and management of diabetes.
- Besides, the antiviral and anti fungal properties of bitter melon or bitter gourd also helps in preventing some of the complications which might be experienced along with diabetes. It also has a number of antioxidants which makes the consumption highly beneficial.
Thus, bitter melon can prove to be extremely useful for a person who suffers from diabetes and its related complications. Having said that, there are a few risks associated with the over consumption of the vegetable which one should be aware of.
The following paragraph shows some of the risks that might be associated with the consumption of bitter melon for a diabetic patient.
What Could Be the Possible Risks Associated With the Consumption of Bitter Melon for Diabetes?
As discussed in the above session, too much consumption of the bitter vegetable might lead to a few risks. The following could be some of the risks:
- When you intake too much bitter melon, chances are there that the blood glucose levels may become too low or even hypoglycemia. Hypoglycemia is dangerous in all its effects in the sense that it might lead to coma or even death.
- Liver inflammation or damage is another risk factor associated with too much consumption of the bitter vegetable.
- Atherosclerosis is another problem that is often linked with too much consumption of the bitter gourd. This particularly happens because more than the recommended consumption of the plant leads to over secretion of liver enzymes.
- Experts have highly warned that those who eat too much of bitter melon could have increased chances of contracting a disease or deficiency of what is called glucose-6-phosphate dehydrogenase.
- Finally, the consumption of bitter melon can be associated with a lot of other side effects particularly nausea, vomiting, weakness in the muscles, problems infertility, and even drooling.
Given the above risks, one has to be extremely careful when one is thinking of including the vegetable in your daily diet. It is here where a medical advice and consultation is highly recommended.
How to Use Bitter Gourd to Treat Diabetes?
Bitter Gourd can be used in several forms and each form shall have its own benefits and advantages.You can include bitter melon in your diet in various forms including a juice, smoothie, or even a normal vegetable item.
The following points explain the usage of the Bitter Gourd plant in various ways when you are someone who is suffering from diabetes or its other related complications:
- Peel the skin of the vegetable and remove the seeds to cook the plant. You can use it either boiled, steamed, or roasted.
- If you do not like the bitter taste of the vegetable, make it a point to blanch the same in boiling water for a few minutes, let the same drain in the towel for 10-15 minutes and then proceed with the cooking of the vegetable.
- Bitter melon juice for diabetes is also something that is preferred far and wide for the treatment of diabetes. You can mix ginger, lemon, and stevia for best results.
- Bitter melon tea is also recommended for the treatment of the condition: 2 to 4 cups a day is the recommended quantity for diabetes treatment.
- There are bitter melon capsules which are available in the market which you can take to treat diabetes in case you run out of the actual fruit.
- Take Bitter melon juice early in the morning on an empty stomach in order to treat diabetes.
- For best results, cut the vegetable into fine pieces and sprinkle salt as well as turmeric on top of it. This shall help in getting rid of the bitter taste. Once the water has all been removed completely, mix the same and extract juice out of it.
- Add some lemon into the juice to give it a nice and different flavor.
- Avoid using bitter melon in any of the above-mentioned forms if you are going through a period of pregnancy and breastfeeding.
Although it is understandable that the vegetable is bitter, experts still recommend the daily intake of the plant in various forms due to its extremely useful properties that help in leading life better, particularly if you suffer from diabetes.
We hope that the above post has been helpful in removing some of the doubts you had with regards to the relation between diabetes and the consumption of bitter melon plant as part of the regular diet. Although the various nutrients, compounds, and chemicals present in the bitter vegetable can provide benefits to those suffering from diabetes, there is surely a need to take all the necessary precautions as mentioned in the article.
The wide variety of essential compounds, nutrients, and the simplicity with which the plant is available have made bitter melon or bitter gourd a favorite amongst the medical experts, not only for the treatment of diabetes but also for the various other health benefits that are closely associated with the disease.
Having said that, do remember to consult your medical doctor before consuming bitter melon juice, powder, and capsules, particularly if you are under certain kind of medication. The chemicals and nutrients present herein might interfere with the chemicals and compounds present in the drugs that you are already consuming or the medication that you have been taking.This is also important in order to determine what is the standard prescribed quantity of juice and capsules that you can take as the standard may vary from one person to another basis a number of factors such as lifestyle, the extent of physical exercise, and the complications suffered owing to diabetes!!