Recipes, produce information and forum for Zoe's Garden Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) members. Zoe's Garden offers CSA subscriptions in the Park City, Heber, Salt Lake, Ogden & Lindon areas. Our purpose is to provide the freshest naturally grown produce possible by delivering it to our local members within a day of picking.

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Bitter and Full of Nutrients

Bitter gourd has a variety of health benefits, including helping with disorders such as diabetes, blood issues, cholera, fatigue, hangover, toxemia, skin disorders, and respiratory disorders. Aside from helping to alleviate symptoms of these ailments, bitter gourd is also very high in vitamins and nutrients and is an excellent source of dietary fiber. Eating it may also help boost the immune system and is considered a healthy way to promote healthy vision and eye function.
One of the most well known medical uses of bitter gourd is to help lower blood sugar in diabetics, and to increase insulin tolerance in those with diabetes and pre-diabetes. This is possible because the gourd contains a type of plant insulin, which helps level out the body’s insulin levels naturally. Blood sugar levels should still be monitored, but a regimen using this gourd may be appropriate for many diabetics.

Bitter gourd also has substances which helps the body rid itself of toxins at a faster pace than usual. Drinking the juice from bitter gourd may help the blood get rid of toxic substances and it may improve liver function so that the body can flush toxins away naturally. This is useful in helping alleviate many diseases and conditions like toxemia and hangover. By improving immune function, this fruit also helps to prevent illnesses and some cancers by allowing white blood cells to work for efficiently.

Blood conditions and other disorders may also be helped by consuming bitter gourd juice or by eating the fruit. The fruit itself may help prevent colon cancer because it is especially high in dietary fiber and helps rid the colon of compacted waste material. The juice can be mixed with other ingredients to make the taste more palatable for those who can’t stand the bitter flavor.

The gourd may work better when used in combination with other healing foods or juices, such as onion juice, lime juice, or certain teas. Juice from the bitter gourd fruit can be sipped slowly throughout the day and can be taken long-term. No side effects have been reported when bitter melon is taken as directed.

It is important not to consume too much bitter gourd juice in one day or to consume more than two fruits per day. Gastrointestinal upset may occur, and can include abdominal cramps and diarrhea. Diabetics who use this fruit to lower blood sugar may need to alter their doses of any medications being taken to avoid low blood sugar. ---information courtesy of wisegeek

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