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Bitter Gourd – Health Benefits, Uses and Important Facts

Bitter Gourd – Health Benefits, Uses and Important Facts

Bitter Gourd, also called Bitter Melon or Karela in Hindi, might not be everyone's favourite, but this "wonder vegetable" has a lot of great health benefits. Just ignore the slightly bitter taste it might leave on your tongue and enjoy the Karela's many antioxidants and nutrients.



What is bitter gourd?

Bitter gourd, which is also called Karela, is one of the healthiest vegetables you can eat. It is full of vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants. You can eat it as a vegetable, pickle, or juice. Bitter gourd is good for you in many ways if you eat it often.


Bitter gourd comes in different kinds, but Chinese and Indian bitter gourd are the most common. Both look different, but they are good for your health in the same ways. Let's look at some of the ways this bitter vegetable is good for your health.


Other names of bitter gourd:

Bitter gourd is also called bitter squash, bitter cucumber, bitter melon, balsam pear, or bitter apple among other names. It is popularly known in  India as karela.



Nutritional value of bitter gourd:

Bitter gourd, also called Karela, is a low-calorie food. Bitter gourd has about 19 calories for every 100 grams of it. In 100 grams of karela, there are about 3.5 grams of carbs and 2.4 grams of fibre. There are only 150 mg of fats and 930 mg of proteins. It also has 87 grams of water, which is a lot.

Karela has a lot of vitamins A and C. Karela also has minerals like potassium, folic acid, zinc, and iron.

Karela gives us antioxidants such as catechin, gallic acid, epicatechin, and chlorogenic acid, which help keep us from getting sick.



Health benefits of bitter gourd:

  1. Helps in  diabetes

Bitter gourd has a substance that works like insulin. In fact, people often say "Karela and diabetes" together. It lowers the amount of sugar in the blood in people with both type I and type II diabetes. Diabetes patients who drink a glass of karela juice need to take less of their other medicines because it works so well. In fact, it can also help take care of diabetes during pregnancy. 


  1. Skin and hair-friendly

Bitter gourd or Karela is full of healthy vitamins A and C and antioxidants that are good for the skin. It makes you look younger and combats acne and other skin problems. It can help treat ringworm, psoriasis, and itching, among other skin problems. Karela juice gives hair shine and helps prevent dandruff, hair loss, and other hair issues.


  1. Cleanse the liver

Bitter gourd is good for the liver and cleans the body. It makes liver enzymes work better and is a good way to get rid of a hangover because it gets rid of the alcohol buildup on the liver. Karela is good for the gut and the bladder as well.


  1. Good for Digestion

Karela is full of fibre, which makes it easier to go to the toilet. It helps with constipation and makes the stomach feel better.


  1. Helps heart health

Bitter gourd lowers LDL, or "bad cholesterol," and makes it less likely that someone will have a heart attack. The fibre also helps the arteries stay clear.


  1. Prevents Cancer

Bitter gourd  makes the immune system stronger and keeps allergies and infections at bay. But the most important thing it does is fight cancer. It stops the growth of tumours and stops cancer cells from multiplying. When bitter gourd is eaten regularly, the risk of breast, colon, and prostate cancer goes down by a lot.


  1. Manages weight 

Bitter gourd helps people lose weight because it is low in calories and full of fibre. It stops adipose cells, which store fat in the body, from forming and growing. It speeds up your metabolism, as well as the antioxidants help clean out your body, which makes you lose fat.


  1. Heals injuries

Bitter gourd is very good for healing. It controls how the blood flows and how it clots, which helps wounds heal faster and cuts down on infections.


  1. Blood Cleanser

Bitter gourd has a lot of antioxidants, which helps it heal many problems caused by blood that isn't clean. When bitter gourd is eaten regularly, skin, hair, and cancer problems get better. Also, it helps get the blood moving better.


  1. Increases stamina

When you eat karela regularly, your body's stamina and energy levels get a lot better. It can even help you sleep better and get rid of problems with sleep like insomnia.


  1. Improves vision

Karela is full of vitamin A, which prevents cataracts and makes your eyesight better. Even dark circles get lighter. Also, check out 10 healthy foods for your eyes.



Bitter gourd for skin:

Skin Glow: Karela is full of antioxidants, vitamins, and minerals that make your skin glow from the inside out. Vitamins A and C are very important for preventing wrinkles and getting rid of acne. To stop UV rays from hurting your skin, put a thin layer of Karela juice on your face and wash it off after 10 minutes.


Doctors recommend bitter gourd for people with sudden skin breakouts, psoriasis, ringworm, itching, and other fungal infections. Because it cleans the blood, it fights skin infections from the inside, and its anti-inflammatory properties help treat acne.


Eczema is a common skin condition, especially in the winter. When Karela juice is put on the affected areas, athletes' feet can be treated right away. Applying the juice at regular times can help with eczema, psoriasis, and other skin conditions that cause itching.



Bitter gourd for hair:

Dandruff is a problem that both men and women have to deal with. Take a fresh slice of Karela and rub it on your scalp to get rid of dandruff. Bitter gourd juice can also be mixed with ripe banana and massaged into the scalp for 10 minutes. Use a mild shampoo to clean it. It will work better if you do it twice a week.


Removes Excess Oil: Not many people have a scalp that produces too much oil and needs to be washed more often. Mix equal parts of Karela juice and apple cider vinegar and put it on your scalp. Leave it on for 30 minutes, then wash it with a mild shampoo to stop your hair from getting too oily.


Prevents Greying: Teenagers often have problems with their hair going grey too soon. Putting fresh Karela juice on the scalp and hair can stop young people from getting grey hair all of a sudden. This will not only stop the hair from going grey, but it will also make it shiny and smooth.


Simple ways to eat bitter gourd:

  1. Bitter gourd can be made into a tasty sabzi that you can eat for lunch or dinner.
  2. Raw bitter gourd is very good for your health if you juice it and eat it.
  3. Use karela to make a tasty, spicy filling for stuffed paranthas.
  4. Fry thin slices of karela, and you're ready to eat your healthy karela chips.


How To Make Juice From Karela?

Bitter gourd juice has many benefits, from naturally cleaning the blood to giving nutrients. If you eat it on an empty stomach, it helps control your blood sugar levels, cleans your liver, and helps you lose weight.




2  medium size bitter gourds

2 tsp lemon juice

Any clear juice (1/4 cup)

Salt to taste

1 teaspoon of honey, jaggery powder, ginger, or pepper, or all four (optional)




The Karela needs to be scraped and cut in half.

Remove the meat and seeds. The vegetable should be cut into small pieces.

Put pieces of Karela, salt, and lemon juice into a juicer. Blend, then pour in water.

You can make it less bitter by adding apple juice, honey, jaggery powder, or ginger.



When should you drink bitter juice?

Most people are told to drink it first thing in the morning on an empty stomach so that the body can easily absorb it. Since it makes you throw up, it can make you feel sick. So, to begin, try sipping smaller amounts.



Precautions to take:

  1. Don't eat the red seeds of Karela, especially if you're a child, because it can cause stomach pain and loose stools.
  2. Diabetics shouldn't eat too much of them, because too much of them can markedly lower the blood sugar levels of individuals who are already taking medicine for diabetes.
  3. If you are pregnant, you should not eat karela, especially the seeds.



Frequently Asked Questions on Bitter Gourd:

Can we drink the juice of a bitter gourd every day?

Bitter gourd, also called karela, is a vegetable that you should eat every day. It is full of nutrients like potassium, vitamin C, iron, and magnesium, and it also has several medicinal properties.


Is it safe to drink the juice of a raw bitter gourd?

Bitter gourd juice has many benefits, from naturally cleaning the blood to giving nutrients. If you eat it on an empty stomach, it helps control your blood sugar levels, cleans your liver, and helps you lose weight.



Who shouldn't drink juice from a bitter gourd?

People with G6PD should not drink bitter gourd juice because it can cause severe anaemia. Also, women who are pregnant or who are nursing shouldn't drink bitter gourd juice.


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