The benefits of bitter melon for pregnant women exist because this plant contains nutrients that are beneficial to health. Nevertheless,Bitter melon consumption during pregnancy also needs to be reviewed because certain chemicals in it are thought to trigger miscarriage.
In Indonesia, bitter melon is usually processed into food or eaten as fresh vegetables. Pare which is also often referred to as 'pariah' is known as a herbal plant, because the fruit and seeds are useful and can be processed as traditional medicine.
Nutritional Content of Pare
Pare has long been believed to be an herbal plant that is beneficial for health. This is because bitter melon contains a variety of important nutrients, namely:
- Vitamins, such as vitamins A, C, E, B1, B2, B3, and B12
- Minerals, such as iron, calcium, potassium, zinc, magnesium and phosphorus
- Carbohydrates and fiber
- Antioxidants, such as phenols, flavonoids, lutein, and zeaxanthin.
Various Benefits of bitter melon, including for pregnant women
Thanks to the nutritional content above, consumption of bitter melon can bring various health benefits, including the health of pregnant women. The benefits that can be obtained from consuming bitter melon include:
1. Lowering blood sugar levels
The most famous benefit of bitter melon is lowering blood sugar. This is because bitter melon has compounds that can act like insulin, which is in charge of processing blood sugar to become energy in the body's cells.
Several studies have also shown that consumption of bitter melon can reduce blood sugar levels and lower HbA1c in type 2 diabetes patients.
2. Movercome gindigestion
The high fiber content in bitter melon can prevent constipation. However, excessive consumption of bitter melon can also cause side effects in the form of diarrhea and vomiting.
3. Increase body immunity
Although very little, certain protein content found in bitter melon can help increase the body's immunity. However, this benefit still needs to be investigated further.
4. Prevent breast cancer
Studies show that bitter melon has anticancer properties and extracts from bitter melon have been shown to inhibit the growth of breast cancer cells. However, further clinical research is still needed to ensure a safe dose, side effects, and effectiveness of bitter melon in fighting cancer.
5. Lose weight
Consumption of bitter melon can help you lose weight because this one food ingredient is low in calories and rich in fiber. The high fiber content in bitter melon can provide a longer full effect so that it can reduce appetite.
6. Reduce the risk of heart disease
Although it needs further research, consumption of bitter melon can help prevent heart disease. Because the consumption of bitter melon in sufficient quantities can help reduce cholesterol levels in the body. The content of fiber, potassium, and antioxidants present in bitter melon can also improve heart health.
7. Improve eye health
The content of vitamin A in bitter melon can improve eye health. In fact, vitamin A, vitamin E, and vitamin C contained in bitter melon are believed to reduce the risk of macular degeneration in the elderly.
Pare Safety for Pregnant Women
The benefits of bitter melon for health are varied, but the consumption of this one fruit needs to be limited to pregnant women. Some experts even suggest avoiding it altogether.
The reason is, the chemical compounds in bitter melon are thought to trigger uterine contractions, increasing the risk of miscarriage. In addition to pregnant women, consumption of bitter melon while breastfeeding is also not recommended. However, so far the research has been limited to animals.
Just in case, pregnant women should avoid consuming bitter melon. Even so, if pregnant women crave bitter melon, they can still eat them in small amounts.
If necessary, first consult with your doctor about the risks of consuming bitter melon for pregnant women. If after consuming bitter melon there are side effects such as abdominal pain, diarrhea, or contractions, immediately consult a gynecologist.