DID YOU KNOW?
Bitter Gourd (Momordica charantia), is known in the Philippines as “ampalaya”. A tropical and subtropical vine of the family Cucurbitaceae, ampalaya is widely grown for its edible fruits and shoots, and for its nutritional and medicinal properties. For generations, the crop has been used as a folkloric cure for may non-serious conditions.
Recently, ampalaya is already accepted as an effective herbal medicine for many ailments. The Philippine variety has proved to be the most potent. It contains the compounds flavonoids and alkaloids that are responsible for helping the pancreas produce more insulin. Insulin, as we know it, regulates the blood sugar in diabetics.
Ampalaya offers many other benefits, too. it’s known to be an effective antioxidant, parasiticide, antibacterial, and antipyretic. Likewise, it is a good source of vitamins A, B, and C, iron, folic acid, phosphorus, and calcium.
Following positive results of several studies worldwide, the Philippines’ Department of Health (DOH) recognizes ampalaya as an alternative treatment for some health conditions, including diabetes, skin diseases, liver problems, and HIV among many. The flavonoid and alkaloid contents of ampalaya make the vegetable potent prevention for and treatment of diabetes.
Other vitamins and minerals that you can get from ampalaya include:
- high dietary fiber
- twice the beta-carotene of broccoli
- twice the calcium of spinach
- twice the potassium of a banana
Content, except the Additional Info, courtesy of the Department of Agriculture (DA) Region VII, Central Visayas, Philippines.