Bitter Gourd – What Are the Bitter Gourd Benefits, Its Scientific Name

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“Ampalaya” is the Tagalog for bitter gourd and here are some of its benefits.

BITTER GOURD – Here are the uses, benefits, and nutrition that we can get from eating bitter gourd or “ampalaya”.

The scientific name of bitter gourd is “Momordica charantia” and in Tagalog, it is called “ampalaya”. This vegetable is widely consumed and grown in Asia, East Africa, India, and South America.

Bitter Gourd
Photo lifted from Healthline

Apart from its bitter taste, this vegetable from the Cucurbitaceae family is also known as a medicinal herb. It has a stem, leaves, flowers, fruit, and seeds. Among the useful parts are roots, leaves, and fruit.

According to USDA Agricultural Research Service, a cup or 94 grams of raw ampalaya has the following nutrients:

  • Calories: 20
  • Carbs: 4 grams
  • Fiber: 2 grams
  • Vitamin C: 93% of the Reference Daily Intake (RDI)
  • Vitamin A: 44% of the RDI
  • Folate: 17% of the RDI
  • Potassium: 8% of the RDI
  • Zinc: 5% of the RDI
  • Iron: 4% of the RDI

PubMed Central also said that it has powerful antioxidant compounds like catechin, gallic acid, epicatechin, and chlorogenic acid which all play crucial roles to prevent cell damage. And although it is low in calories, it is packed with healthy fiber.

In terms of its claimed effectiveness to treat diabetes, studies have shown that the consumption of ampalaya to fight diabetes still needs further research.

Although it has significant effects on lowering blood sugar, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) still did not approve the usage of this as a treatment for diabetes or other conditions.

According to a blog from Food NDTV, here are the benefits of ampalaya juice:

  • Maintain blood sugar levels due to its Polypeptide-p or p-insulin, an insulin-like compound.
  • This is anti-inflammatory and lowers bad cholesterol.
  • It helps improve skin.
  • May helps detoxify the liver.
  • Since it is low in calories, it may aid weight loss.
  • It is packed with Vitamin C which makes it good for the immune system.
  • It has beta-carotene and vitamin A and these two nutrients help improve vision.

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