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 Benefits of Karela, Bitter Gourd

  Last Updated : Aug 02,2019

Benefits of Karela, Bitter Gourd + healthy karela recipes

Benefits of Karela, Bitter Gourd. healthy karela recipes. healthy bitter gourd recipes.  Karela, known as bitter gourd or bitter melon, is most native to Asian countries. If you are planning healthy meals, your diet plan is incomplete without the addition of bitter gourd. It is hollow in cross-section, with a relatively thin layer of flesh surrounding a central seed cavity filled with large flat seeds and pith. They range from light to dark green in colour depending on the region where they are grown. 

They are commonly known as Karle in Marathi, Hagal kai in Kannada, Kaippakka in Malayalam, Pavakkai in Tamil, Kakara Kayi in Telugu, Kash in Bengali and Kalara in Oriya. Though most of us are not very keen on trying karela because of its bitter taste, once aware but the plentiful of health benefits it offers, you will surely change your thoughts about it.

9 Health Benefits of Karela (Bitter gourd)

Like Tulsi juice, a glass of karle juice is often recommended for good health. True to the fact, karela benefits us right from managing diabetes to strengthening our immune system to reducing body inflammation, purifying blood to promoting weight loss. Have a quick look at all well-known benefits of not-so popular karela. 

1Manage Diabetes: This is one of the most crucial health benefit known to all. Anyone who has just been detected with diabetes is advised to eat karela by all – be it a family member or a friend. Many studies have shown that they contain insulin like substances which help to keep blood sugar under control. Moreover the carb count of this gourd is also low, which is an added advantage for diabetics. The seeds and the juice of karela both are beneficial. If you want to opt for juice, try and drink a small glass on an empty stomach in the morning or it is best had in-between meals. Want to include karela in your meals? We have tried and tested recipes like Karela Theplas, Karela Tikkis and Karela Muthias just for you. These recipe have been crafted keeping in minds all the other necessary nutrients required to plan a diabetic meal. 

2Improve Gut Health: Regular consumption of karela has a very positive effect on digestive health. Bitter gourd not only reduces intestinal disorders like constipation but is equally beneficial for Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS) by helping to treat the parasites that enter the digestive system. Its high fiber count and natural laxative property is what aids digestive health. The antioxidants in the juice are also known to stimulate the digestive enzymes and promote digestion.  

3Boost Immunity: As mentioned earlier, karela is a good source of antioxidants which are necessary for multiplication of immune cells, white blood cells (WBC) and build a strong immune system. Vitamin C, another potent antioxidant, is also found in high amounts in karela. A cup of chopped karela fulfills more than your daily requirement of Vitamin C (98.5 mg). Adding karela to your body is a ladder to ward of diseases. Karela Juice made fresh and consumed immediately will retain most of its vitamin C content, as vitamin C is a volatile nutrient which is lost to some extent on exposure to air. Here’s How to make Karela Juice at Home.

4Protect against Cancer: The various types of cancer in the body are mostly a result of damage to cells due to high free radical count. These free radicals are produced in the body as a by-product of metabolism and the number increases due to stress, pollution and smoking majorly. This increases the chances of cell mutations and cancer. Karela like many other fruits and vegetables holds antioxidant power which can fight and scavenge these free radicals from our body. Learn about antioxidants like Carotenoids, Lignans and Lycopene

5Treat Obesity: Karela has a basic nutrient profile which is remarkable. With just 28 calories, 4.7 g of carbs, 0.91 g of fats along with 4.8 g of fiber and 1.8 g of protein, it qualifies as a weight loss vegetable. It is sure to boost your metabolism and the fiber in it will keep you full for hours thus avoiding bingeing on unhealthy snacks. Onion and Karela ki Subzi is a tastier way to add karela to your meals. 

6Blood Purifier: The antioxidant and antimicrobial capacity of karela has been known to remove toxins from the body and thus purify blood. 

7. Beautifies the Skin: The antioxidant vitamin C also has a role to play in preventing premature ageing of skin and reducing wrinkles, thus contributing to glowing skin. Vitamin C is involved in the process of collagen making, which is necessary for skin elasticity and smoothness. If you have existing itching and other skin diseases and have been advised to go healthy by adding a horde of fruits and veggies to your diet, do not forget to include karela to your shopping list. So if want to go healthy by treating your skin healthy and delicious food? Try our Vitamin C Rich Juices and Vitamin C Rich Salads today. 

8Regulate Cholesterol: Some studies have shown positive effect between consuming karela and maintaining healthy levels of cholesterol. Though more research is necessary in this field, it’s a fairly good source of minerals like calcium (2.2%), magnesium (11.5%) and potassium (4.1%) which has positive effect on heart. You can try Masala Karela to eat for your Heart’s health.

9Add Shine to Hair: Nutrients like vitamin Czinc and protein add luster to hair and promotes hair growth. Ensure to add karela to your pantry along with other healthy ingredients like broccoli, carrots, melon, berries etc. which also contribute to hair health. Karela Juice is also applied topically to treat hair fall problem and split ends. This is sure to add beauty and shine to your hair.

Karela has a highly rewarding nutrient profile. Let’s look into it in detail…

Nutritive Information for Bitter gourd (karela):

1 Cup of chopped bitter gourd is about 112 grams
RDA stands for Recommended Daily Allowance.

Energy - 28 calories
Protein – 1.8 g
Carbohydrate – 4.7 g
Fat – 0.91 g
Fiber – 4.8 g

See full nutritional details of bitter gourd in Bitter gourd (karela) glossary click here.

Given below are some healthy karela recipes, healthy bitter gourd recipes. The most inportant benefit of karela is having karela juice for those having diabetes or our on boarderline diabetes. 

benefits of bitter gourd karela

 by Tarla Dalal
The first thing we all can think about karelas is their bitterness. Believe it or not, karela is a vegetable that is extremely beneficial for diabetics and you can enjoy it more if you acquire the taste for it. This innovative recipe makes use of the peels of the karela which we usually throw away. Wash and chop the peel into small pieces before adding it into the dough. Use the karelas to make the Karela Kadhi .
Though unpleasantly bitter, karela tops the list of diabetes-friendly foods. It contains 'gurmarin', a polypeptide that works like insulin in our body and helps to regulate blood sugar levels. Combine karela with carrot and low-fat paneer to make these surprisingly delicious tikkis. Serve with diabetic-friendly Garlic Tomato Chutney or Mint and Onion Chutney .
 by Tarla Dalal
Karela and flour dumplings that are enlivened with the addition of onions and garlic to make a delicious breakfast. This recipe makes use of karelas and garlic, the two ingredients that are said to be diabetic friendly as they help to maintain the blood sugar levels. Serve them hot, along with Low Calorie Green Chutney.
Karela Juice is a boon for those with diabetes, because the high dose of insulin and other anti-diabetic substances in the karela plant help to control blood sugar levels! It is suggested that diabetic people have it first thing in the morning on an empty stomach. Doing this regularly is sure to avoid unnecessary spike in blood sugar levels. Plus, being a good source of potassium, Karela Juice is beneficial for those with high blood pressure too. Antioxidants vitamin A and vitamin C work to give you glowing skin, healthy eyesight and better immunity too. Being low in carbs, this juice helps in weight loss too. So, Karela Juice is good not just for diabetics but for anybody! So, how do you make this juice properly so that it tastes good and you will enjoy having it in the morning? Well, dilute it with the right proportions of water and spike it up with a little salt and lemon juice. Isn’t that easy? And it tastes good enough to have every day! Here’s how to make Karela Juice... Enjoy how to make Karela Juice recipe with detailed step by step photos below.
 by Tarla Dalal
Wonderfully flavourful, this Onion and Karela Subzi is perked up not just by the pungency of onions, but also by the aroma of roasted sesame seeds and the tanginess of amchur powder. Together, these ingredients complement the bitterness of karela very well, making it not just palatable but quite enjoyable too!
 by Tarla Dalal
You will be amazed by how effectively grated cauliflower masks the bitterness of karela, making it a delicacy that even kids would not mind eating. Perked up with onion, coriander and spice powders, Masala Karela is a treat to the taste buds, and a wonder food for your body too, as karela contains at least three active substances with anti-diabetic properties, including charantin, vicine and as polypeptide-p which have been confirmed to have a blood glucose-lowering effect.
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