Did you know that bitter gourd or karela is not really a vegetable but a fruit? The part of the plant that is used for consumption and for various medicinal purposes is the fruit of the bitter squash. While we’ve been so busy condemning its bitter taste, we’ve not only overlooked this fact but also the wide range of benefits that drinking bitter gourd juice offers.
High on nutrition
Bitter gourd is a rich source of vitamins and minerals. It contains iron, magnesium, potassium and vitamins like A and C. It contains twice the calcium of spinach and beta-carotene of broccoli. Various anti-oxidants and anti-inflammatory compounds are present in bitter gourd.
It also helps in lowering the bad cholesterol levels, thus reducing the risk of heart disease and stroke. That’s not all. It strengthens the immune system, improves respiratory health, boosts skin health and contains anti-ageing properties.
Bitter gourd has multiple health benefits. It is mostly consumed for triggering the blood sugar level. Diabetes is a common ailment that affects many people today. Regular intake of bitter gourd juice helps prevent the rise of blood sugar levels. It also helps cure insulin resistance without taking any external medication.
If not detected at the right stage, cancer is almost an incurable disease. Karela juice benefits to prevent some particular types of cancer. It also helps trigger leukemic cancer cells effectively.
Karela juice is an excellent natural antioxidant. Antioxidant is essential for removing toxins from the body. At the same time, it helps to rejuvenate the body cells and prevents free radicals. The juice of karela is the finest tonic for those who are addicted to smoking. Taking karela juice helps to cleanse the nicotine layer from the system.
Regular consumption of karela juice is best for triggering the condition of an HIV patient. Studies conducted on natural antidotes of HIV/AIDS establish the goodness of bitter guard in preventing further damaging of the skin cells.
Bitter gourd is excellent for weight loss. Karela benefits to weight loss is attributed to its high fibre and low carbohydrates and calories content. It makes an ideal diet for those who are on a weight loss program.
Karela juice helps boost the immune system.
Great for diabetics
Bitter gourd contains polypeptide, an insulin-like compound called and charantin, which has anti-diabetic properties. These components actively help in reducing the blood sugar levels. It also helps to prevent unpredictable spikes and drops in insulin levels by regulating the metabolism and use of sugar the body has consumed. Bitter gourd acts as a hypoglycemic agent. It is rich source of soluble fiber and is low in glycemic index, which helps in lowering the blood sugar level.
It is an excellent source of dietary fiber. Regular consumption of bitter gourd contributes to relieving constipation and indigestion. It supports healthy gut bacteria, which favours digestion and nutrient absorption.
How to make bitter gourd less bitter:
Sprinkle salt all over the bitter gourd pieces and let it sit for about 10 minutes. This will minimise the bitter taste of the gourd making it more palatable.
Soak it in tamarind juice for a few minutes.
Boil equal parts sugar and vinegar. Pour this mixture on bitter gourd and let soak for some time.