If there was a vegetable that was found in places like Asia and South America that could help with diabetes, would you believe it?
Balsam pear aka Bitter melon may be just the vegetable. It is found in Asia, South America and Africa. It is a tropical veggie that gets its name from its bitter taste. They look like a light green cucumber and are very wrinkled. Inside an immature fruit you will find it to be white. As the fruit begins to ripen, it begins to have a red appearance. The seeds are very bitter and are better left out when cooking it. The longer the bitter melon ripens, the more bitter it becomes until it is inedible.
Bitter melon has been used for centuries in Asian medicine. Its strong bitter taste means it can be used for digestion issues but can worsen other ailments such as ulcers.
Besides digestion, bitter melon was also used to treat psoriasis, cancer and diabetes.
The most significant health benefit has to do with diabetes. Bitter melon has been shown to help with blood sugars levels. The plant produces a bovine like insulin that can be injected into diabetics. The studies that have been done have shown that this plant insulin works just like its bovine counterpart with added advantages. It’s important to note that this benefit come from the juice of unripened fruit.
Some people are not able to take bovine insulin due to an unfavorable reaction to it. In these cases, the bitter melon can be given as a replacement.
Also, for those who are concerned with introducing an animal product into their bodies, this would be a great alternative. Vegetarians will be able to use the balsam pear insulin with no worries.
There have also been studies done that show benefits to people carrying the HIV virus. The bitter melon has been shown to help with negative reactions to HIV medications.
This vegetable also carries with it a number of vitamins and minerals. It is loaded with calcium and iron along with more beta carotene then broccoli. It has tons of potassium and vitamins A, C, B1 and B3. Oh, and let’s not forget the fiber.
Other uses for Bitter melon
You will find balsam pear used in many Asian dishes. It is usually not found with other vegetables because of its intense bitter taste. However, in China it is used in many stir fry dishes.
In Indian cuisine you will sometimes find bitter melon with potatoes. The potatoes help balance the bitterness along with the yogurt that accompanies the dish.
The seeds are usually discarded when cooking because they carry an extra dose of bitterness.
Of course, if you want to enjoy the benefits of bitter melon, you can buy bitter melon supplements.
**Please, before taking any supplement to help treat a disease or ailment, contact your doctor to make sure the treatment is appropriate for your condition.