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Balsam Fruit

Introduction of Balsam apple

            Scientific name - Momordica balsamina

Indigenous to the tropical regions of Africa, Momordica balsamina is a tendril-bearing annual vine. The Bright Orange apple unlike the usual apples have numerous, glossy and sticky seeds. The appearance may not look pretty, but the health benefits associated with these fruits are plenty. They are usually found in the tropical regions of Asia, Africa and Australia. The flowers reveal a subtle beauty with its pale yellowness and the warty texture of the fruits skin are a beauty in itself. They prefer warm and sunny weather conditions and will bloom till winter if sown in fertile and well prepared soil about one half inches deep.
This bitter yet extremely health benefited fruit is sometimes sold in the Asian markets as a vegetable. The bitterness is tackled by blanching or cooking the fruit but is not eradicated completely. Also known as the Bitter gourd, sometimes most of the bitterness can be removed if soaked in water or in warm salt water. Numerous recipes are found online and this fruit is surprisingly made in a variety of ways and made tastier. They are deep fried and tossed with salt and pepper and also served with crunchy onion strips. Smell wise, they do not smell great, more like an old gym shoe.

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Nutritional Value of Balsam fruit

Principle Nutrient Value Percentage of RDA
Energy 50 Kcal 2.5%
Carbohydrates 13.81 g 11%
Protein 0.26 g 0.5%
Total Fat 0.17 g 0.5%
Cholesterol 0 mg 0%
Dietary Fiber 2.40 g 6%
Folates 3 g 1%
Niacin 0.091 mg 1%
Pantothenic acid 0.061 mg 1%
Pyridoxine 0.041 mg 3%
Riboflavin 0.026 mg 2%
Thiamin 0.017 mg 1%
Vitamin A 54 IU 2%
Vitamin C 4.6 mg 8%
Vitamin E 0.18 mg 1%
Vitamin K 2.2 g 2%

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Health Benefits of Balsam fruit

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The bitter gourd has plenty of health benefits. In Mexico, the whole plant is used to treat diabetes and dysentery. The plant is also modified to treat skin issues like Eczema, Vaginitis, hemorrhoids, itchy rashes, Leprosy and much more. The roots are a known aphrodisiac. The leaves are also used to treat Malaria, stomach pain, cold, cough, fever and measles. People suffering from vaginal discharge, Colic, Menstrual problems also seek the help of the Balsam Apple. This fruit can also be used to induce abortions. Although the appearance is fishy, the other benefits of this fruit over compensate for its looks.

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