Bitter gourd, also called Karela in India, is considered to be the best natural medicine to treat diabetes. Studies have shown that drinking its juice on an empty stomach in the morning lowers blood sugar levels in the body. It also helps lessen the risks of diabetes-associated health complications such as high blood pressure, heart disease, weight gain, high cholesterol, and more.
The bitter taste of the vegetable makes it unappealing and unpalatable. This deprives them of its amazing health benefits. In this article, we are going to tell you delicious ways to prepare bitter gourd juice to stay fit and healthy.
About Bitter Gourd
Bitter gourd belongs to the family of cucumber. It is grown prominently in Asia, Caribbean regions, South America, and East Africa. The vegetable is called by various different names in different parts of the world. Some of them being bitter melon, karela, balsam apple, African cucumber, and Ampalaya. It is dark green in color. The size of the vegetable is between three to twelve inches. It has rough crocodile-like skin.
As the name suggests, the vegetable has a bitter flavor. The extent of its bitterness is directly proportional to its ripeness. A bitter gourd that is ripe is more bitter compared to an unripe one. It contains nutrients that possess shows excellent blood sugar lowering properties. This makes it a traditional medicine to treat diabetes.
Nutritional Composition Of Bitter Melon or Bitter Gourd
Bitter melon is a superfood that is packed with various types of healthful minerals, antioxidants, and vitamins. It is a good source of vitamins C, vitamin A, vitamin E, vitamin B-1, vitamin B-2, vitamin B-3, and vitamin B-9. It also has essential minerals that include magnesium, potassium, zinc, calcium, iron, and phosphorus. It also has good amounts of antioxidants such as flavonoids, phenols, etc. in it.
Diabetes is among the most prevalent ailments in the world. The genes of this disease are passed on from one generation to another, but this condition can also happen due to unhealthy food habits, stress, or living a sedentary lifestyle. Diabetes is categorized into Type I, Type II and Gestational diabetes.
- The main reason for the occurrence of Type 1 diabetes is when your body secretes inadequate or no amounts of insulin.
- Type 2 diabetes happens due to inadequate production of insulin and when the cells show resistance towards insulin hormone. Insulin promotes the cells to absorb glucose and perform cellular tasks. Due to lack of insulin or insulin resistance, the level of glucose in the blood rises and cells are deprived of the necessary glucose. When this condition continues for a longer time, then it causes diabetes and other associated ailments in the body.
- Gestational diabetes occurs in pregnant women when high amounts of sugar are present in the blood, but their body isn’t able to secrete adequate insulin to carry the glucose to the different cells of the body. This leads to a progressive increasing in glucose levels of the blood.
How Important Is Food In Diabetes?
Food is one of the most critical things when it comes to managing diabetes. Due to the irregular break-down of carbs, a diabetes-friendly diet has several restrictions. The available food choices for their intake is limited. Packaged fruit juices, that are packed with fructose, calorie-dense foods, fast foods, sugar and sugary foods, refined and processed foods, are a strict no in a diabetes meal plan.
Only those foods are permitted that would not increase the level of sugar in the blood. Foods that are low in glycemic index (whose value is 55 or less) are appropriate in diabetes. It takes a lot of time to get digested, absorbed, and metabolized in the body.
They slowly release sugar levels without causing a spike in the bloodstream. In this way, low GI foods help in the effective management of diabetes. Bitter gourd juice or Karela juice is one of the ideal foods to control diabetes. It has the ability to even reverse the condition.
How Is Bitter Melon Linked To Diabetes?
Bitter melon is touted as the best natural remedy to treat diabetes. It is associated to lower the blood sugar levels in the body. This vegetable shows similar attributes like insulin that provides an adequate amount of sugar to reach the varying cells of the body for the production of energy.
The intake of bitter melon helps the cells in your body to use glucose and transport it to the different body parts that include the liver, fat, and muscles. The vegetable retains the nutrients and blocks the sugar to enter into the blood. In this way, it helps in the treatment of diabetes. Bitter melon is an ideal inclusion in your healthy diet. However, consuming it beyond your meals may lead to risky consequences.
How Does Drinking Bitter Gourd Juice Daily Treats Diabetes?
The juice of bitter melon is one of the healthiest beverages for diabetics. It is effective in the regulation of blood glucose levels in the body. The juice activates insulin in the body. This results in the proper and adequate use of sugar in the body. This eliminates the possibility of conversion of sugar into fat that eventually leads to weight reduction.
Bitter gourd contains a few active compounds that exhibit anti-diabetic properties. It has “charantin” that is popularly consumed to reduce blood sugar levels in the body. This juice also has “Vicine” and “Polypeptide-p” that mimics human insulin-like properties.
The bitter melon juice has one more molecule named “momordin” that helps regulate the metabolism of fatty acid storage and sugar in the body. It also assists the cells to consume sugar molecules, improves insulin production, stimulates the muscle glycogen synthesis, and reduces the absorption of glucose in the body. All these compounds work together to manage diabetes effectively and naturally.
In a study performed on the impact of bitter melon juice in diabetes, it was found that when people consumed 2000 mg/day of bitter melon for four weeks, they had significantly reduced levels of blood sugar in the body.
Later, researchers administered bitter melon tablets to diabetic patients and checked their fasting blood sugar levels, two-hour postprandial blood sugar, blood lipid profile, liver, and kidney functions. The result showed that these tablets helped in the reduction of the levels of blood sugar in the body. It also showed an enhancement in the plasma triglyceride levels.
So, science has confirmed that bitter gourd juice possesses the remarkable anti-diabetic property. So, let us now learn some recipes to prepare yummy bitter gourd juice.
What Is The Ideal Dosage of Bitter Gourd Juice For Diabetes?
There is no standard dose for a bitter gourd to reap its medical benefits. It is not FDA approved remedy for the cure of diabetes or other medical conditions. It is appropriate as alternative medicine.
You can consume bitter melon in either supplement form or natural vegetable form. It is commercially sold in the form of juice, tea, pills, and extracts. You need to note that supplements aren’t monitored by the FDA. If you are considering a bitter melon supplement, you should always consult your doctor.
The recommended daily dose of the juice for diabetes is as follows.
- 50-100 ml juice/ day
- 10-50 ml per day tincture
- 900 mg of fruit thrice a day
Other Health Benefits Of Bitter Gourd Juice
Bitter gourd is a superfood that can work wonders for your health. In addition to reducing blood glucose levels, you can also use it to treat various other ailments. Its regular intake keeps you in the best health.
1. Helps in Digestion of Carbohydrates
Bitter gourd has enzymes that reduce the release of glucose into the blood. It is impactful in the cure of Type I as well as Type II diabetes. In this way, it prevents a drastic increase in blood glucose levels after meals.
2. Detoxifies The Liver
Bitter gourd juice possesses remarkable antioxidant properties that help eliminate toxins from the body. It can even destroy the free oxygen radicals and prevents its oxidation in the body. The high antioxidant level in bitter gourd juice makes it beneficial for the liver. When you drink it on an empty stomach in the morning then it helps eliminate toxins in the liver.
3. Boosts Immunity
Bitter gourd is a powerful antioxidant. It can protect your body against viral and bacterial infections in the body. It is effective in the treatment of allergies, and vision. Regular consumption of the juice help prevents DNA impairment caused due to destructive oxygen radicals in the body.
4. Reduce Cholesterol Levels
LDL cholesterol accumulates on the walls of the arteries and narrows the passage. Due to which, blood gets less space to move through the arteries. When less blood reaches the heart, it can lead to stroke and heart disease.
Bitter gourd juice is an effective natural remedy to treat this condition. It can help reduce the levels of bad cholesterol in the body. It enhances the levels of good cholesterol in the body.
5. Supports Bowel Movement
Bottle gourd has plenty of fiber in it. These fiber aids in the digestion of food and facilitates the movement of bowel in the digestive tract. In this way, it helps flush out the harmful toxins in the colon. Bitter melon juice prevents digestive tract issues such as bloating and constipation.
6. Aids Weight Loss
The high amount of dietary fiber and low calories make karela an ideal beverage in your weight loss diet. It also has good amounts of minerals and vitamins. The dietary fiber keeps you fuller for a longer time.
It increases satiety levels and prevents overindulging. The presence of minerals and vitamins speeds up the metabolic process in the body. In this way, drinking bitter gourd juice help you lose excess body weight.
Steps To Prepare Bitter Gourd Juice For Diabetes
We are sharing a quick and easy to prepare recipe to make the juice palatable and healthier for diabetes.
- 2 to 3 fresh bitter gourds
- half lime
- one-fourth teaspoon turmeric powder
- One pinch of Himalayan salt
- Use an unripe bitter melon.
- Wash it and remove its skin.
- Slit it vertically. Take out the skin and the seeds. Chop them into small-sized pieces.
- Take a jar. Fill it with water. Soak these pieces in the jar for about ten minutes. Add salt to this water.
- Now blend the bitter gourd pieces in the blender to get a juice-like consistency.
- Add pink Himalayan salt, lime juice, and turmeric in it. Your healthy, and refreshing drink is ready. Enjoy it fresh.
To reduce the bitter taste of the drink, you can add some jaggery or honey to it. Alternatively, you can add sweet fruits such as pears and apple in it. The addition of lemon juice, ginger, and black pepper can reduce its tartness.
Note: If you have a sluggish digestive system or a sensitive stomach and can’t able to digest fiber-rich foods should sieve the juice through a strainer. Besides drinking this healthy beverage in the morning, you can even include it in the daily diet.
Other Ways To Include Bitter Gourd Juice In Daily Diet
You may get bored of drinking bitter gourd daily. At those times, try the below delicious recipes to incorporate bitter gourd into your diet.
1. Bitter Gourd Soup
- Two medium-sized bitter melons in chopped form
- One chopped carrot
- Four tbsp of sweet corn kernels
- Half chopped form of bell pepper
- Half chopped red onion
- A few minced garlic cloves
- half a teaspoon of ginger paste
- a handful of finely chopped cilantro
- half a teaspoon of olive oil
- one cup of water
- half a tsp salt
- half a tsp black pepper
- Soak the sliced bitter gourds for 15 minutes in saltwater.
- Take a pot and heat some oil in it. Now fry the garlic for thirty seconds.
- Add the chopped form of onion.
- Cook it till the pieces get translucent.
- Now add the ginger paste to this mixture. Cook it for a minute.
- Add all the remaining vegetables. Stir-fry it for a minute.
- Add water, pepper, and salt in it. Simmer it over medium flame for a few minutes. It will cook the veggies. Switch off the flame and allow the soup to come to room temperature.
- Blend the entire mixture.
- Garnish with a little olive oil and chopped cilantro. Your bitter gourd soup is ready. Enjoy it hot.
2. Bitter Gourd Juice Smoothie
- Two medium-sized roughly cut bitter gourds
- One chopped apple
- half a cup of sliced baby spinach
- one-fourth cup of grapes
- juice of half lime
- A little pink Himalayan salt to taste
- half a teaspoon of dry tossed cumin powder
- Soak the pieces of bitter melons for fifteen minutes in saltwater.
- Toss these pieces in a blender. Add chopped apple, grapes, and spinach in it.
- Add lime juice, cumin powder, and pink Himalayan salt in it. Stir the mixture properly before you drink it.
The above recipes show how easy it is to incorporate bitter gourd juice in the diet.
Side Effects Of Drinking Bitter Melon Juice
Bitter gourd juice is safe when consumed in permissible amounts. If you consume it in excess then it leads to adverse side effects in the body.
- Bitter gourd can be harmful to a woman in pregnancy. It can lead to miscarriage.
- It reduces blood sugar (below the safe levels) in the body.
- It may lead to vomiting and nausea in children.
- Avoid drinking bitter melon juice if you have an allergy to the vegetable.
- Drinking a lot of bitter gourd juice in a day can even result in inflammation in the liver.
- It interferes with drugs that you have been taking it.
To save yourself from these discomforts, it is required that you consume it in the recommended dose.
Potential Risks And Complications
You need to be careful when consuming bitter melon beyond your diet. This is because it may interfere with other medicines and cause side effects in the body. Here are a few risks and complications associated with bitter melon:
- Intestinal issues like diarrhea
- Bleeding, and contractions in the vagina. In some cases, it can even lead to abortion
- If taken along with insulin, it can cause dangerously low levels of blood sugar in the body
- Causes damage to the liver
- Favism that can result in anemia in people who suffer from G6PD deficiency
- When used with other diseases, it can modify the effectiveness of a medicine
- Bitter melon juice can also cause blood glucose control issues in those who had undergone recent surgery.
For time immemorial, bitter gourd vegetable is consumed to treat diabetes. Its juice is a healthy remedy that can heal a variety of ailments in the body. Occasional consumption of the vegetable proves to be a healthy inclusion in your diet.
Follow the above recipes to prepare a delicious healing juice. Consume it every morning to see beneficial results in a few days. It is good to consult your doctor when you plan to consume bitter gourd to treat diabetes.