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Bitter melon & Co. can help with diabetes
Have you ever heard of bitter melon, bitter cucumber or bitter spring cucumber? What has been on the table for centuries in many countries, primarily in Asia, is still largely unknown here. The tropical vegetable fruit is full of minerals and vitamins. In addition, it is also used as a traditional medicinal plant because it contains several natural active ingredients that lower blood sugar.
The globally active diabetes company "Diabetes.co.uk" recommends several plants and fruits that are suitable for the natural lowering of the sugar level. The recommended fruits include bitter melon, which contains at least three active ingredients with anti-diabetic properties: hypoglycemic charantin, the insulin-like compound polypeptide-p and vicin.
The exotic bitter cucumber
The bitter melon (Momordica charantia) is a climbing plant and belongs to the pumpkin family. It thrives in tropical and subtropical regions such as South America, Asia, parts of Africa and the Caribbean. The plant forms vines on which elongated green fruits with a warmer texture grow. The size, texture and bitterness of the vegetable fruit depends on the region of origin.
How does the vegetable fruit affect diabetes?
As reported by the society, bitter melon is used not only as a food ingredient but also as a herbal remedy for a number of ailments, including type 2 diabetes. In addition to the active ingredients Vicin, Charantin and Polypeptide-p, the vegetable fruit also contains the hormone leptin, which is said to have a direct effect on glucose metabolism. The Munich Diabetes Information Service reports on experiments in rats and mice with type 1 diabetes that have shown that the animals' elevated blood sugar levels normalized after an injection with leptin.
Bitter melon as a traditional medicinal plant
The bitter melon is traditionally used as a medicinal plant for numerous complaints. It is said to have proven itself in colic, fever, burns, cough, menstrual pain and skin problems.
How to take bitter melon
The vegetable fruit can be taken in various forms. For example, it can be eaten as a fruit, boiled in water or processed into juice. A powder is also produced from the seeds, which can be added to various foods. Bitter melon extract is also available as a dietary supplement. The vegetable fruit can be bought in Asian grocery stores and in many health food stores.
According to Diabetes.co.uk, no more than two bitter melons should be consumed per day, as excessive consumption can lead to mild abdominal pain or diarrhea. If you are taking diabetes medication, you should consult your doctor before consuming it regularly, since the active ingredients from bitter melon in combination with the diabetes medication could produce extremely low blood sugar levels (hypoglycemia).
Other recommended plants and fruits to lower blood sugar
The society reports that there are other plants, plant extracts and fruits that have scientifically proven anti-diabetic properties. These include:
- Aloe vera,
- Blueberry extract,
Further information: Natural blood sugar lowering: Bitter melon counteracts type II diabetes