Bitter gourd, bitter melon, or Karela is a green and extremely bitter vegetable. It is probably the least favorite of many around the world. Even taste receptors may be repulsed by this unpopular vegetable.
However, due to its incredible health advantages, karela is a necessary part of the diet, especially in Asian cuisine.
How to make karela juice
Bitter gourd juice is simple to prepare. It has high-water content. To enhance the flavor and make it more palatable, you can add extra components, such as fruits, herbs, or spices.
Here are the steps to make karela juice:
- Properly wash karela.
- You may remove its skin. However, the peel is high in antioxidants, vitamins A and C, and has several health advantages. Retaining it is preferable.
- Cut the bitter gourd entirely and open it in the center.
- Utilizing a spoon, remove the seeds.
- Cut the bitter gourd to make small pieces.
- Place the pieces in a juicer.
- Add salt and lemon juice. For a flavor boost, add some ginger or black pepper.
- Add honey to reduce bitterness.
- Strain through a wire mesh strainer.
- To dilute karela juice, add water or apple or pear juice.
What is the nutrient profile of karela juice?
According to the U.S. Department of Agriculture, 100 grams of karela or bitter melon has about:
|Total carbohydrate||7 g|
Additionally, karela contains the following:
- Karela contains bioactive substances, vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants, which help prevent and treat various diseases.
- Karela is rich in vitamins B9, B1, B2, B3, C, A, and E.
- Karela is high in dietary fiber and rich in several minerals, including potassium, calcium, zinc, magnesium, phosphorus, and iron.
- The medicinal value of karela has been attributed to its antioxidant content, which includes phenols, flavonoids, isoflavones, terpenes, anthraquinones, and glucosinolates. These impart the bitter taste to karela.
6 benefits of karela juice
- May help manage diabetes: Numerous preclinical research supports bitter gourd's ability to treat diabetes.
- It lowers blood sugar by regulating glucose metabolism.
- It enhances glucose utilization in the muscles and reduces its absorption in the intestines.
- The bitter gourd extracts shield the pancreatic cells from substances that promote inflammation.
- There is evidence that bitter gourd’s pulp, seeds, and whole plant extracts have an insulin-like hypoglycemic (glucose-lowering) effect.
- The bitter gourd's saponins, alkaloids, and polyphenols promote better glucose absorption and insulin tolerance.
- Aids weight loss: In addition to glucose metabolism, bitter melon influences lipid metabolism.
- Studies report that it reduces fat buildup.
- According to a study, bitter gourd in the diet reduced the impact of high-fat food in rats.
- Karela could prevent weight gain by changing the associated gene expression.
- Another recent study contends that bitter melon seed oil may reduce body fat stores by destroying adipocytes (fat storage cells). This is due to the presence of active chemicals, such as triterpenoid glycosides, alkaloids, flavonoids, polyphenols, carotenoids, and fatty acids, that prevent adipose tissue inflammation, which is often linked to metabolic disorder.
- Promotes liver health: Preclinical studies on rats show that bitter gourd has hepatoprotective effects.
- Alcohol, high-fat diets, diabetes, obesity, and other conditions can cause fatty liver growth. Free radicals and inflammation can make such liver injuries worse.
- Eating bitter melon can reduce oxidative damage because it prevents the buildup of fat and the process of lipid peroxidation. This reduces liver cell death brought on by inflammation.
- It strengthens the body's natural antioxidant defenses, including catalase and superoxide dismutase. Bitter gourd extracts help prevent liver damage brought on by prolonged alcohol consumption.
- Treats skin conditions:
- It can heal wounds and sores and treat various skin conditions, such as eczema, rashes, leprosy, psoriasis, and other skin diseases.
- The bitter gourd plant's paste is applied externally by native African and Asian tribes to treat blisters and wounds.
- Bitter gourd's peel may help prevent skin cancer. Studies on cancer reported that bitter gourd extracts increased the mice's lifespan and their quality of life.
- Relieves hemorrhoids and constipation: Bitter gourd facilitates smooth bowel movements. It is a well-known laxative and digestive stimulant.
- Fights cancer: The bitter melon plant has anticancer qualities in almost all its components. Although there is a lack of sufficient scientific data, studies done so far suggest that it may help fight cancer in many ways, such as:
- By initiating programmed cell death (apoptosis), its extract reduces the development of cancer cells.
- Its seed oil contains biologically active fatty acids that prevent breast and liver cancer cell lines from proliferating.
- Additionally, bitter melons and their skin extract can effectively fight colon cancer.
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Antidiabetic effects of Momordica charantia (bitter melon) and its medicinal potency. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4027280/
Momordica charantia (Bitter Melon) Reduces Obesity-Associated Macrophage and Mast Cell Infiltration as well as Inflammatory Cytokine Expression in Adipose Tissues. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3866167/
Bitter gourd inhibits the development of obesity-associated fatty liver in C57BL/6 mice fed a high-fat diet. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/24523491/
Bitter melon: a panacea for inflammation and cancer. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5276711/
Balsam-pear (bitter gourd), pods, raw. https://fdc.nal.usda.gov/fdc-app.html#/food-details/168393/nutrients
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