Bitter foods do not appeal to many people, but the bitter gourd is a common food in Indian cuisine. This vegetable, also known as bitter melon or balsam pear, offers a variety of benefits, both nutritional and medicinal. Bitter gourd is a good source of several vitamins and good for a low calorie diet. However, consult your physician before eating this vegetable as a treatment for any medical condition.
Bitter gourd is a good choice for restricted calorie diets -- a 1-cup serving of this vegetable adds only 24 calories to your meal plan. As this gourd is an acquired taste, you may not enjoy it just by itself. You can add it to soups and casseroles, but your total caloric intake would be greater. Bitter gourd is quite low in fat as well, containing 0.2 g per serving.
Excellent Source of Vitamin K
A serving of bitter gourd satisfies your entire daily need of vitamin K. The vitamin K available in this bitter vegetable decreases your risk of excessive bleeding and contributes to the integrity of your bones. Taking antibiotics may leach vitamin K from your body, so eating foods like bitter gourd is a good choice to boost your intake.