Some interesting facts about Bitter Gourd
- Bitter Gourd comes with various medicinal properties; however, it is widely avoided due to its taste.
- The biological name of Bitter Gourd is Momordica Charantia, while other popular names include Balsam Pear and Bitter Melon.
- Bitter Gourd belongs to the melons, squashes, and cucumber family.
- Bitter Gourd serves as an amazing tonic for the liver as it is filled with anti-aging and anti-oxidant properties.
- Having one glass of Bitter Gourd juice on a daily basis can help in improving the texture of the hair and provide them with a natural shine.
- Bitter Gourd also proves to be the best purifying agents for blood which helps in clearing the skin for a beautiful and flawless look.
- Bitter Gourd helps in eliminating the split-ends by simply applying it to the hair directly.
Bitter Gourd – An Introduction
What would be your facial expressions if I utter Bitter Gourd? 7 out of 10 would make cringed faces on even thinking of it in their dish. But do you know, it actually contains a number of health, skin and hair benefits! Yes, today we shall explore how this bitter ingredient is healthy for you.
Popularly known as Karela, Bitter gourd is basically from the fruit category and is quite close to the cucumber, pumpkin, squash, and zucchini family. The fruit is among the staple ingredients in various Asian cuisines and is cultivated globally. The only thing that keeps it away from the diet is its bitterness. But the amount of bitterness it provides is much less compared to the benefits it helps with.
Whether you have it as an ingredient in various cuisines, remove its juice or make out a dish in which it is a key ingredient, it offers a wide number of health benefits as well as it is good for your skin and hair.
What are the nutrients obtained from Bitter Gourd?
Bitter gourd or say Karela is a pack of a number of essential nutrients. The list includes calories, carbs, Vitamin A and C, Fiber, Folate, Zinc, Potassium, Iron, Magnesium, etc. Compared to Spinach and Broccoli, Karela contains twice the level of calcium and Beta-Carotene. Similarly, it also contains higher levels of potassium compared to that obtained from bananas. Again, if you are going with the Bitter Gourd juice, the juice wouldn’t lose any of the ingredients in the process. The nutritional level remains the same in the juice too.
What are the benefits of Bitter Gourd?
As mentioned above, Bitter Gourd is filled with a number of nutrients that are essential for the day to day functions. Hence, it helps with various health benefits too. Here is the list of benefits you are sure to reap if you add bitter gourd to your diet.
1. Bitter Gourd is good for managing the blood sugar levels
Are you a diabetic? If yes, bitter gourd is the best magical ingredient to manage the blood sugar levels in your body. Bitter gourd contains a compound named Polypeptide-p also termed as p-insulin. This compound comes with a good impact on the blood sugar levels and helps in managing them effectively. The fruit is helpful for the patients of both Type-1 and Type-2 diabetes. When the juice of bitter gourd is consumed on an empty stomach everyday morning, the patient would observe an improvement in glycemic control. The people on high medications for diabetes can also work on reducing the dosage once a routine of having bitter gourd juice is practiced daily.
2. Good for reducing bad cholesterol levels
Did you know, compared to capsicum, Karela is much effective on the bad cholesterol levels! Yes, this is true. Along with the blood sugar levels, the ingredient is quite effective on the bad cholesterol levels. Bitter gourd is filled with anti-inflammatory properties which makes it the best for reducing the bad cholesterol levels. This also reduces the chances of stroke and heart attack as it keeps the heart in a healthy state. It is rich in folic acid and iron which makes it best for reducing the risk of any stroke.
3. For cleaning the liver
Had a good night party with an uncountable number of drinks? Having hangover? All these can be easily worked on with the help of bitter gourd. The juice of Karela when sipped comes with a strong impact on the intoxication of alcohol that has settled in the liver. It cleans the liver and bowel thoroughly and also protects your liver from any kind of issue. According to a study, Karela or bitter gourd juice also plays a vital role in protecting the liver from failing as it strengthens the anti-oxidant elements in the enzymes and boosts the bladder function too.
4. For weight loss
No doubt, the taste of Karela is quite bitter, it still can help you if you are looking to lose those extra calories. The ingredient is quite a low calorie, carbohydrates, and fat wise. When consumed in the form of juice or cuisine, it keeps your tummy full for long hours. This eliminates the chances of having anything unhealthy in mid-snacks. It is termed as a natural ingredient that works effectively on obesity. The intake of bitter gourd dislocates the fat cells in human beings and also hinders the formation of new fat cells and their growth.
5. For a healthy immune system
Surprisingly, Karela is much helpful in fighting a number of bacteria and virus which makes the immune system strong. Having bitter gourd would help in the prevention of indigestion and other allergies that might weaken the immune system. The ingredient is rich in antioxidants that proves to be strong protection against various illness and can also help in fighting against the damage caused due to the free radicals during cancer.
6. Good for digestion
If you are looking for some dietary fiber in your meals, bitter gourd is the best to go with. Having bitter gourd in your meals in different ways can help in dealing with various issues regarding digestion. It promotes the essential gut bacteria that are healthy and help in reducing gut issues like indigestion and constipation. When the bitter gourd is added to the meals, it also helps in absorbing the essential nutrients in the meals with ease.
7. For dealing with kidney stones
A kidney stone is one of the terrible health issues. And surprisingly, bitter gourd can help in getting rid of the stones by breaking them in a natural way. Bitter gourd is effective in reducing the high acid levels in the body that generate kidney stones that are painful. Bitter gourd would naturally break the stones and remove them from the body through urine. For this, the powder of bitter melon is used with water to make a healthy tea. You also don’t need to add any sweetening powder, sugar, honey, etc. to the tea as it comes with a tasty nutty flavor that isn’t bitter.
8. To treat various skin disorders
This might be quite surprising, but this bitter fruit is also healthy and beneficial for the skin. Taking bitter gourd in your meals on a regular basis gives the skin a glowing effect. The fruit also helps in the treatment of psoriasis, eczema, and acne in a natural way. The fruit adds some soothing impact to the skin and also helps in dealing with various skin conditions. It naturally purifies the blood which makes the skin beautiful and glowing.
9. For healthy hair
Bitter gourd is also helpful for having that dream hair. It promotes healthy hair growth through elements like Vitamin C, zinc, and protein that add to the strength of the hair. Again, using bitter gourd juice for the hair helps in getting the shine and lust of the hair naturally. It also makes sure that the hair becomes strong from the roots. It also is effective for hair fall and split ends. So, use bitter gourd juice for the hair and give them some natural health and care.
10. The best source of Vitamin K
Do you know bitter gourd is the best source of Vitamin K! Yes, bitter gourd is a natural way to keep the bones healthy and blood clotting. It is also rich with anti-inflammatory properties which is helpful for the people suffering from the pain of arthritis. It reduces the pain in the joints. It adds dietary fiber to the meals which complete the nutritional needs of the body in a delicious way. So, have some Karela in whichever way you find it delicious to reduce and eliminate joint pain or bone pain issues.
Apart from all these, bitter gourd is also effective for other health issues like viral diseases, heart issues, bronchitis, asthma, rhinitis, hemorrhoid, etc. For some of the pain, it provides instant relief in a natural way that makes it the best healer. Bitter gourd is also helpful in the prevention of issues related to the vision like cataracts and poor eyesight. It contains beta-carotene and Vitamin A which are essential for the health of the eyes as well as reducing dark circles.
How can I consume Bitter Gourd?
Bitter gourd or Karela can be consumed in many ways. No doubt, the popular way it is consumed is in the form of a sabji, however, it can also be added to your routine in other ways like bitter gourd tea, stir-fried bitter gourd, raw salads, etc. This makes the consumption of bitter gourd easy and also adds some taste to eliminate its bitterness to some extent.
What are the possible side effects of having bitter gourd?
After going through the health benefits of bitter gourd, it can be learned that bitter gourd is much helpful for your health, skin, and hair. However, one must keep a watch on the quantity of bitter gourd. When consumed in moderate quantity, it is surely nutritious and healthy, but high amounts can surely come up with some health issues. Here are some of the possible side effects of bitter gourd.
- If consumed in high quantities, it can lead to health issues like stomach pain, vomiting, and diarrhea.
- Bitter gourd is also not recommended to pregnant women as it can lead to adverse impacts on long-term pregnancy.
- If you are on any medications for lowering blood sugar levels, you need to take the advice of the doctor before consuming it.
- If the bitter gourd juice is taken in high quantity, it can result in diarrhea or abdominal pain too.
- When an excess of seeds is consumed of bitter gourd, it can lead to conditions like fever, headache, as well as coma too.
Apart from this, if you are suffering from any medical conditions, or are on medications, it is better to consult the doctor before consuming bitter gourd or the supplements for it.
No doubt, bitter gourd is quite bitter in taste, it is still filled with all the nutrients you need on a daily basis. It is one of the essential dietary ingredients which would keep you healthy and protect you from a number of diseases. The ingredient comes with mild to severe interactions with drugs like furosemide, chlorthalidone, bumetanide, metolazone, shark cartilage, torsemide, and many more. Apart from this, having it in your diet on a regular basis can surely aid in getting a healthy life.
So, how are you thinking to add bitter gourd in your diet? Share with us your views as well as unique Karela recipes with a healthy statement.