Bitter gourd is a healthy and green vegetable with white inner pulp. It tastes bitter, so it is called bitter gourd. Although it tastes bitter, it provides several health benefits. Adding bitter gourd to regular diet increase health benefits.
Bitter gourd is also a vegetable of different names. It is equally called bitter cucumber, bitter melon, bitter apple, balsam pear, or bitter squash. This vegetable is also called Karela in parts of India. This vegetable favors humid and hot climates with more sunshine and normal water access. Today, you can get bitter.
There are many varieties of bitter gourd, but the two are most common such as Indian bitter gourd and Chinese bitter gourd. The Chinese variety resembles similar to a pale green cucumber with bumpy skin and crimped.
The Indian variety has tapered and narrow ends with angled ridges and sharp all over its surface. The differences between these varieties are very visual and both provide the same health benefits and flavor.
Health Benefits Of Bitter Gourd
Table of Contents
There is more evidence that throws light over the benefits of bitter gourd. It is pulp, fruit, skin, seeds, and makes good health. The phytochemicals of this melon get a positive effect on liver health, diabetes, related conditions, and linked conditions.
Plentiful pre-clinical research proves the antidiabetic property of bitter gourd. It piles a hypoglycemic effect by managing glucose metabolism.
It reduces glucose rise in the intestines and improves its use in the muscles. The extracts of the bitter gourd help the pancreatic cells from compounds and pro-inflammatory cells.
The seeds, fruit pulp, and whole plant extracts of bitter gourd are documented to get the hypoglycemic insulin-like effect. The alkaloids, saponins, and polyphenols present in bitter gourd are responsible for raised insulin tolerance and glucose uptake.
Help Weight Loss
Along with glucose metabolism, bitter melon benefit lipid metabolism also. Research has proven that it can lower fat build-up, and provide anti-obesity effects.
Including bitter gourd in the diet lower the high-fat food effect in rats. It was observed that fruit could stop weight gain by changing the corresponding gene expression.
Another recent research recommends that bitter melon seed oil may tire the fat reserves in the body by selectively killing adipocytes that are fat storage cells. It consists of active molecules like alkaloids, glycosides, triterpenoids, polyphenols, fatty acids that stop inflammation of adipose tissue, which often cause metabolic disorders.
There might be different harmful elements found in the blood that may travel to the complete body and lead to troubles. It is essential to purify your blood to change these health risks. Bitter gourd provides high antioxidants that are good for purifying blood. It helps to improve skin condition also.
Boosts Liver Health
Pre-clinical trials on rats show the hepatoprotective properties of bitter gourd. Diabetes, obesity, alcohol, and a high-fat diet led to the increase of a fatty liver.
Free radicals and inflammation can worsen like liver injuries.
Consuming bitter melon can manage oxidative damage as it can block the lipid peroxidation mechanism and fat build-up. It slows down the inflammation that triggered cell death in the liver.
It also improves your antioxidant system of the body that is in-house enzyme-like superoxide dismutase and catalase. Bitter gourd extracts can stop the damage in the liver induced by chronic alcohol consumption.
Eases Hemorrhoids and Constipation
Bitter gourd helps to ease bowel movement. It is a proven digestion stimulant and laxative. Patients with hemorrhoids indicate signs of improvement when taking bitter melon leaf extract. Bitter gourd also stimulates gut cells to secrete more digestive juices. That is how it helps to digest food fast and better. Efficient digestion is often followed by a smooth bowel movement. By stopping constipation, bitter melons relieve the pressure on the veins in the hemorrhoids.
Treats Skin Conditions
This squash family member has amazing anti-inflammatory properties. It can treat different skin conditions like rashes, eczema, psoriasis, wounds, leprosy, and sores. The indigenous tribes of Asia and Africa use a bitter gourd paste to apply on injuries and blisters topically.
According to rabbit research, the effect of skin creams enriched with bitter melon extracts over wounds. Rabbits that got this cream treatment showed improvement and increased wound healing. The peel of this fruit has the high potential to stop skin cancers. Cancer research discovered that gourd extracts increased the quality-of-life span of mice.
Hinders Helminthic Infections
Helminthic infections ailment occurred by parasitic worms because of nematodes, cestodes, and trematodes impacting livestock and humans. Different bitter gourd part extract showed anthelmintic activity against adult earthworms.
Recent research claims that bitter melon phytochemicals are helpful for this activity. Alkaloids, saponins, flavonoids, oil glycosides, and tannins are very effective for killing the nematodes(worms). They can paralyze them and disturb their nervous system and vascular.
These phytochemicals can limit the migration and survival of young nematode larvae. Getting bitter gourd can lower the worm load in your body and prevent worsening or helminthic infections.
Cholesterol is a risk for the heart. High levels of LDL cholesterol can impact the heart in different ways. High levels of bad cholesterol raise the risk of heart diseases that can be managed by eating bitter gourd daily. It helps in unclogging arteries to improve cardiac health.
Benefits for Eyes
Many foods are proven to boost eye health and increase eyesight and the bitter gourd is a strong vegetable that can promote eye health. Bitter gourd consists of vitamin A which is necessary for eye care. It boosts vision and stops cataracts. If you are feeling weaker eyesight, begin having bitter gourd.
Boosts Your Immune System
Adding bitter gourd to your diet helps to promote the immune system. Bitter gourd is sufficient to fight any bacteria or virus entering the body. Bitter gourd has antioxidants found in it, which help to fight the radical damage in the body stop us from any type of illness.
Karelas also have anti-cancerous and anti-tumor properties, which help to stop the risk of cancers like cervical, breast, or prostate cancer.
Bitter Gourd: Nutritional Profile
Energy 16 kcal
Water 87.45 gl
Energy 66 kJ
Protein 0.93 g
Total lipid (fat) 0.16 g
Ash 1.02 g
Carbohydrate, by difference 3.44mg
Fiber, total dietary 2.6 g
Iron 0.40 mg
Magnesium 16 mg
Phosphorus 29 mg
Potassium 275 mg
Sodium 5 mg
Zinc 0.74 mg
Copper 0.032 mg
Manganese mg 0.083
Selenium µg 0.2
Vitamin C, total ascorbic acid 78.1 mg
Thiamine 0.037 mg
Riboflavin 0.037 mg
Niacin 0.372 mg
Pantothenic acid 0.197 mg
Vitamin B-6 0.040 mg
Folate, total 67 µg
Folate, food 67 µg
Folate, DFE 67 µg
Vitamin A, RAE 22 µg
Carotene, beta 177 µg
Carotene, alpha 172 µg
Vitamin A, IU IU 438
Lutein + zeaxanthin 158 µg
These nutrient-dense foods have a strong phytochemical profile. It consists of a steroid, triterpene, inorganic, alkaloid, lipid, and phenolic compounds.
Charantin, cucurbitacin, cucurbitane, cucurbitacin, nerolidol, Spinasterol, cryptoxanthin, rubixanthin, steroidal glycosides, Stigmasta-diols, stigmasterol, Taraxerol, verbascoside, vicine, trehalose, zeatin, zeaxanthin, citrulline, Ascorbigen, Elasterol, lycopene lutein, were recognized in bitter gourd during biochemical analyses.
Organic acids such as Eleosearic acid, galacturonic acid, linoleic acid, lauric acid, gentisic acid, rosmarinic acid, myristic acid, oleic acid, pipecolic acid, oxalic acid, and petroselinic acid are also present in different parts of the bitter gourd plant. These bioactive ingredients act well to offer you different health benefits. Making bitter gourd a part of your diet is a good way to keep them to work. Here are some quick ways.
Bitter melon or bitter gourd is a bitter-tasting vegetable belonging to the cucumber family. The bitter melon seeds, peel, fruit, leaf, and different plant are known for being highly nutritious.
The bitter melon extract has strong antioxidant, antidiabetic, anti-inflammatory, anti-proliferative, anti-obesity, properties.
Including it in your diet help to keep you healthy and active. There are claims that melon is unsafe for human consumption, but there are insufficient data to prove toxicity.
How Bitter Gourd Juice helps in Weight Loss:
Bitter Gourd is famous for regulating insulin and helps to manage blood sugar levels. It activates the insulin and stops sugar conversion into fat which means that your body will produce low fat and lead to fat loss in the body.
Bitter gourd consists of low calories, carbohydrates, and fat. It lowers fat consumption, carbs, calories and prevents extra weight gain. There are only 34 calories present in 100 gm of bitter gourd.
Bitter gourd consists of more fiber which is best for your body. A high fiber diet also helps to feel full for more time. It lowers cravings and stops overeating. It also has a high water content that makes it a healthy vegetable to add to your diet.
Bitter gourd is known to lower the growth and formation of fat cells, which helps to lower fat in the body and helps to lower weight and keep your shape.
Remember that most of the research is performed on rats and requires to be validated over humans. Hence, workout caution and talk to physicians who offer these nutrient-dense veggies.
Potential Side Effects
When you eat bitter melon in moderation bitter melon can be nutritious and healthy. However, eating high amounts of bitter melon or consuming bitter melon supplements may be linked with many adverse effects.
In particular, bitter melon causes vomiting, diarrhea, and stomach pain. It is also not suggested for a female who is pregnant as its long-term effects are not extensively studied.
Because of its effects on blood sugar, you should talk to your physician before consuming it if you are on blood sugar-reducing medications.
Also, take physician advice before supplementing with bitter gourd if you get any underlying health conditions or consuming medications and assure to use as told.
Pregnancy: Bitter melon is possibly not safe when taken by mouth during pregnancy. Some chemicals in bitter melon might affect the pregnancy.
Breast-feeding: There is not sufficient information to understand if the bitter melon is safe to use when breastfeeding. Keep safe side and skip use.
(G6PD) deficiency: Bitter melon seeds might lead to severe anemia in people with G6PD deficiency. Skip bitter melon seeds if you get G6PD deficiency.
Bitter gourd might affect blood sugar control after and during surgery. Stop utilizing bitter melon at least two weeks before a scheduled surgery.
Be careful with this combination.
Medications for diabetes interacts with Bitter Melon
Bitter melon might reduce blood sugar levels. Taking bitter gourd along with diabetes medications might lead to blood sugar stopping too low. Manage your blood sugar closely.
Medications Moved By Pumps In Cells (P-Glycoprotein Substrates)Interacts With BITTER MELON
Some medications are moved in and out of cells by pumps. Bitter melon might change how these pumps work and change how much medication stays in the body.
In some cases, this might change the effects and side effects of medication.
How To Make Karela Juice For Weight Loss
How to make Bitter Gourd Juice
- It is very easy to prepare bitter gourd juice. There is no denying the fact that bitter gourd has a distinct taste. If it gets more bitter for your palate, you can reduce ingredients or mix fruits.
- Peel the bitter melon using a knife.
- Slice the bitter gourd to the mid. Once you are done slicing, scoop out the white flesh and the seeds of the vegetable.
- Now, cut the bitter gourd into small pieces.
- Soak the pieces in cold water for around 30 minutes.
- Include bitter gourd pieces in a juicer and include half a teaspoon of salt and lemon juice.
Blend all the ingredients well till you form a fine consistency
Add jaggery or honey to lower the bitterness in the drink or add pears or apple. You can even include lemon juice to lower the harsh taste of bitter gourd juice. One pinch of ginger and black pepper can also lower the tartness and make it extra palatable.
The Bottom Line
Bitter melon is a fruit belonging to the gourd family with a unique taste and appearance. It is not only rich in many essential nutrients but also connected to several health benefits, including improved cholesterol levels and blood sugar control.
Take it in moderation to enjoy the benefits of bitter melon.