The Bitter Benefits of Bitter Gourd (Karela)
I wonder how unfortunate it is for "bitter gourd/karela" to be disliked by almost everyone for its bitter flavor, yet no one notices the benefits hidden in the depth of bitterness. The karela is often made as a curry with minced meat in our households. There is another variation that you can try, it is the juice. The karela or bitter gourd blended with water and strained. Even reading this is giving you a bitter taste in your head, right?
Benefits beneath the bitterness of the bitter gourd
The bitter gourd or commonly known as karela is very full of essential nutrients and is very beneficial in treating and preventing many health problems. For its health benefits, karela has been used in traditional medicinal practices.
Bitter gourd for diabetes
The bitter gourd either as such or juice, contains some polyphenols and nutraceuticals which help in regulating blood sugar levels. It is still used by diabetics to regulate blood sugar levels. Polypeptide p, a compound in bitter gourd, works similarly to insulin in the absorption and utilization of glucose by cells, thus lowering blood sugar levels.
Bitter gourd for skin health
bitter gourd or karela juice is a superfood for the skin. It has several compounds that promote skin health and prevent the onset of skin problems that often come along with puberty. It is rich in antioxidants e.g. vitamin C and provitamin A, which is a precursor for vitamin A in the human body. Both of these vitamins are proven to be beneficial for skin health. In folk medicine, it has been widely used to treat symptoms of eczema, psoriasis, acne, or body itching of any sort and it is still incorporated in medicines to treat skin issues in some regions of the world.
Karela/bitter gourd can aid weight loss as it contains a lot of fiber and very fewer calories so it keeps you satiated for longer periods. It keeps hunger away for a while and refrains you from eating and munching.
The karela helps fight and prevent cancer onset in lab-controlled trials.
Consuming bitter gourds can also help you in regulating your lipid profile and lower your LDL cholesterol and triglycerides and increase HDL cholesterol.
Approved by Certified Dietitian