6 Popular Reasons To Add Bitter Melon (Karela) To Your Diet| Things To Note
Though bitter, you’ll be surprised to learn about various health benefits that the consumption of bitter melon (karela) can have. From being used as a treatment for diabetes to strengthening your immunity, its advantages are nothing but phenomenal.
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There can be nothing more Indian than a fruit that originated in the southernmost part of the country itself. Bitter Melon, or karela as it is popularly known in India, originated in the South-Indian state of Kerala and has become popular across the world, especially in the Asiatic regions, be it China, the Middle-East, and in the Indian subcontinent itself. Apart from having a bitter taste, bitter melon is quite beneficial in managing diabetes. Bitter melon also helps in promoting good liver health. Let’s take a deep look at what bitter melon (karela) has to offer.
Table of Contents
Health Benefits Of Bitter Melon (Bitter Gourd, Karela)
1. Healthy Digestion And Weight Loss
If you are looking for a food item that could help you shed some kilos and flaunt your summer body, then look no further for bitter melon is just the right choice for you. Full of nutrients, this humble food item contains few calories and is quite rich in dietary fibers. Fibers are the indigestible part of the food, which when ingested, makes the digestive system work hard for completely digesting the food. In such a process, the calories spent on the digestion tends to be higher than the number of calories taken in the first place, thus a diet rich in fiber can help you burn out more calories by eating (no, it isn’t a dream!).
2. Regulates Blood Sugar Level
Bitter melon is a popular medicine in Ayurveda and is used for the therapeutic treatment of type-2 diabetes. The bitter melon consists of charantin, steroidal saponins, and alkaloids, all of which greatly contribute to the fruit’s hypoglycaemic effects. Moreover, the fruit is also rich in dietary fiber (as mentioned in the previous point), and what is noteworthy about the consumption of fiber is the fact the fiber helps in decreasing the insulin resistivity of the digestive system. It achieves this by slowing down the digestive system, which also slows down the rising of the blood sugar level.
3. Detoxifies Liver
Bitter melon juice is a natural liver tonic. With a splash of minerals, it serves as a remedy to get rid of all the toxins and foreign particles that could cause liver damage. Furthermore, the consumption of bitter melon juice is known to activate the antioxidant enzymes present in the liver, which helps in the protection of healthy liver cells from any free-radical present in the blood. The free radicals, or the free oxygen atoms, which are present in the blood, combine with the healthy cells and produce oxidative stress over cell walls, further damaging them. However, the antioxidants are responsible for combining with these free-radicals before they get a chance to reach the healthy cells, hence reducing the risk of free-radical damage.
4. Immunity Booster
A 100g serving of bitter melon contains about 80mg of vitamin C. Thus, being loaded with antioxidants does give bitter melon an upper hand when it comes to protecting the immune cells from the attack of free-radicals and keeps them healthy and nourished. Moreover, the consumption of bitter melon is known to be quite helpful in fighting disease, as the adequate intake of bitter melon is linked with an increase in the level of the white blood cells that help in getting rid of the foreign toxins and bacteria.
5. Boosts Healing
Along with vitamin C, bitter melon is also a storehouse for vitamin K, a very special micronutrient that plays a vital role in the rate of blood clotting. The diet rich in vitamin K is known to be responsible for increasing the concentration of platelet in the blood, thus a sufficient intake of bitter melon can help in speed up blood clotting. Moreover, vitamin K is credited with offering a helping hand and aiding with an effective absorption of calcium by the bones, hence it also helps in increasing bone density.
6. Prevent Skin Problems
Apart from all the health benefits associated with the consumption of bitter melon that we have listed above, there is another yet popular beauty benefit associated with it. As we know bitter melon is known for its antioxidant property, it is this property that helps in protecting the skin cells from getting attacked by free-radicals. This helps the skin cells in retaining their structure and delays the onset of age-related skin problems such as wrinkles and dark spots.
Things To Note
Everybody has in their mind a very reasonable understanding as to why they hate bitter melon. It’s the taste, of course. As mentioned in the name, the bitter taste of bitter melon is quite successful in driving people away from it. But, as we know, a thing that tastes bad, isn’t necessarily bad for health. However, taking into account all the benefits, both health and beauty, associated with the consumption of bitter melon, you must also take note of all the adverse effects an unregulated consumption of this healthy yet bitter fruit has on your health.
It is highly advised that women who are pregnant must avoid bitter melon, as its consumption is linked with the increase in menstrual flow, and can also cause miscarriages. Moreover, sometimes bitter melon can prove to be toxic upon being consumed by children, as the red covering over the seeds of the bitter guard may cause vomiting and nausea.
So, now that we are aware of all the factors that are affected by the consumption of the bitter melon, you can more accurately judge it and know whether it is exactly the kind of food item that you are looking for.