Monday, July 5, 2010

Facts You’d Like To Know About Ampalaya

Ampalaya is one of the most widely-cultivated vegetables in the Philippines. Despite its harsh bitter flavor, Filipinos are very fond of eating this vegetable. In the Philippines, it is usually sauteed with pork and egg and is considered as a main ingredient in pinakbet, a special cuisine among Ilocanos. Its bitter taste is attributed to the presence of momordicin, a compound found to be effective in treating diabetes.

The results of different researches showed that ampalaya may also help in liver problems and even HIV. Because of its ability to treat and prevent various diseases and promote over-all health, this vegetable is highly recommended by different government and non-government organizations as one of the best herbal medicines available today.

1. Lowers sugar levels in blood and urine, reducing the incidence of diabetes mellitus
2. Treats blood disorders like blood boils and itching due to toxins
3. Helps cure cholera
4. Improves energy and stamina level
5. Stabilizes sleeping patterns
6. Helps alleviate eye problems and improves eyesight
7. Treats hangovers
8. Helps cleanse, repair, and nourish liver problems due to alcohol consumption
9. Helps enhance the body’s immune system to protect against infections
10. Helps improve psoriasis condition and other fungal infections like athlete’s foot and ring worm
11. Improves respiratory disorders such as asthma, bronchitis, and pharyngitis
12. Serves as cough and fever remedy
13. Acts as a parasiticide
14. Treats intestinal worms and diarrhea
15. Acts as a purgative and stimulates digestion
16. Alleviates the symptoms of rheumatism and gout
17. Lowers blood pressure levels
18. Helps in disinfecting and healing of cuts, wounds, and burns
19. Helps prevent some types of cancers
20. Serves as an effective antioxidant, antibacterial, and antipyretic

Ampalaya is packed with lots of vitamins and minerals especially important in providing various health benefits mentioned above. It is an excellent source of vitamins B1, B2, B3, and C, magnesium, folic acid, zinc, phosphorus, and manganese. This vegetable high in dietary fiber and very low in calories also contains twice the carotene of broccoli, twice the calcium of spinach, and twice the potassium of a banana. There is also another insulin-like compound present that serves as insulin replacement in some diabetic patients.

Bitter gourd (boiled, drained, no salt)Nutritional value per 100 g (3.5 oz)

Energy 20 kcal 80 kJ

Carbohydrates 4.32 g
- Sugars 1.95 g
- Dietary fiber 2.0 g

Fat 0.18 g
- saturated 0.014 g
- monounsaturated 0.033 g
- polyunsaturated 0.078 g

Protein 0.84 g
Water 93.95 g

Vitamin A equiv. 6 µg 1%
Thiamin (Vit. B 1) 0.051 mg 4%
Riboflavin (Vit. B2) 0.053 mg 4%
Niacin (Vit. B3) 0.280 mg 2%
Vitamin B6 0.041 mg 3%
Folate (Vit. B9) 51 µg 13%
Vitamin B 12 0 µg 0%
Vitamin C 3.0 mg 55%
Vitamin E 0.14 mg 1%
Vitamin K 4.8 µg 5%
Calcium 9 mg 1%
Iron 0.38 mg 3%
Magnesium 16 mg 4%
Phosphorus 36 mg 5%
Potassium 319 mg 7%
Sodium 6 mg 0%
Zinc 0.77 mg 8%
Percentages are relative to US recommendations for adults.


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