Bitter gourd or bitter melon or karelay – many names, numerous nutritions – one vegetable
Many of us are not a fan of karelay but our parents are and that is because they are a wise wise generation ….Sigh!
Well, back to the topic at hand, bitter gourd is an easily available vegetable that can be found in tropical and subtropical regions around the world (hence in our plates!)
Are you as curious about the benefits of bitter gourd as I am? Let us dig deep together to find out what all the hype is about.
Nutritional Profile of Bitter Gourd
Given below is a peek into the nutrients that are packed in this sour yet healthy vegetable. Take a look and get motivated!
|Vitamin A||44% of the RDI|
|Folate||17% of the RDI|
|Potassium||8% of the RDI|
|Zinc||5% of the RDI|
|Iron||4% of the RDI|
|Vitamin C||93% of the RDI|
*RDI is the Reference Daily intake
As you can see from the above nutritional profile that bitter gourd is rich in Vitamin C. Vitamin C is necessary for a lot of important functions in the body. Some of the most important functions of Vitamin C in the body are disease prevention, assistance in wound healing, and bone strength as well as formation.
In addition to Vitamin C, bitter gourd holds a substantial amount of Vitamin A. This vitamin is pertinent for good macular health, hence strong vision. In addition to this, Vitamin A is needed for good skin health.
Bitter gourd also boosts folate in the body. Folate in the body is necessary for the development and growth of cells and tissues.
Furthermore, eating bitter gourd does not elevate your blood sugar or fat levels because of its low-calorie count.
Benefits of Bitter Gourd – Not so Bitter for Health
Here are some of the benefits of bitter gourd that will urge you to eat it, every now and then for good health and wellness.
Helps to Control Diabetes
One of the premium bitter gourd benefits is that it helps to keep the blood sugar levels in check. Bitter gourd contains noticeable levels of charantin. Chartnin resembles insulin from a structural point of view. And it is not a hidden fact that good amounts of insulin are needed in the body for optimizing blood glucose levels.
Therefore in case you are suffering from diabetes, then remember to add bitter gourd in your food because it is the perfect candidate for your diabetic diet.
Not only does it help with a sudden spike in the glucose levels in the body but is also helpful in regulating the metabolism. Bitter ground’s rich fiber content also helps with the complications of bowel movements that diabetic patients often suffer from.
Is a Blood Purifier
Bitter gourd is one of the best natural blood purifiers that remove toxins away from the blood. Removal of all the toxins from the blood helps to make skin more healthy and glowing.
Furthermore, expert dermatologist Dr, Shaiqa Ali, often recommends eating bitter gourd for the treatment of eczema and psoriasis.
So, looking for better skin, try eating karelas today!
Gives a Boost to Immunity
Bitter melon is rich in a number of antioxidants that puts the body’s defense mechanism in gear so that it can fight off infections and pathogens. When infectious agents enter the body they lead to the production of free radicals which can cause tissue destruction.
But eating bitter melon can prove to be very effective in such case scenarios. Not only it fights off the inflammation (cue the anti-inflammatory foods) but also protects your body against cardiac issues and kidney problems.
Leads to Good Respiratory System
Bitter gourd no matter how sour it tastes actually possesses good anti-inflammatory, antihistamine and anti-viral properties. All of this helps this vegetable to strengthen the alveoli network of the lungs which leads to an efficient breathing pattern.
Furthermore, people who are suffering from respiratory conditions such as bronchitis, asthma and rhinitis should also make good use of bitter gourd juice because it is just the perfect fluid in such conditions.
Protection Against Cell Damage
One stunning thing about the benefits of bitter gourd is that it is rich in gallic acid, catechin, epicatechin and chlorogenic acid. Medical Health experts of Horizon Hospital comments that these are some of the best antioxidants that help with inflammation and protects the body against free radical damage.
Promotes Liver Health
As we have mentioned previously that bitter gourd helps to purify the blood. Liver which is the largest body organ, is known for purifying the blood. Its detoxifying properties make it one of the best things for good liver health.
In addition to all this, it helps to optimize good health by keeping the bowel movements intact and removing any toxic material from the body.
Treats Urinary Tract Infections
The karelay that you keep on ignoring in your meals is one of the best diuretics. It helps with urination and does not allow your body to suffer in such matters.
Urination is an important body process because it helps to flush out all the bacteria and salts that are not needed in the body anymore. Healthy urination decreases the risk of UTIs by ten folds.
Good Eye and Bone Health
Bitter Gourd is a powerhouse of a number of antioxidants which help the body to stabilize. In addition to all this, it also works to provide the body with a number of nutrients such as zinc, Vitamin C, Vitamin A and potassium.
These nutrients not only help the body to fight off bacteria but also aid in preventing the onset of various diseases.
Keeps Your Body Hydrated
As this sour vegetable is made up of 90% water, eating it helps to hydrate your body. Hydration of your body is necessary because it helps with the whole metabolism process. Eating bitter melon is helpful as it removes toxins from the body and also aids in keeping your body cool.
Bitter Gourd Disadvantages – The BItter Side of a Bitter Vegetable
While we are talking about bitter melon, it is best to learn about bitter gourd benefits and disadvantages. Here are some of the potential side effects of bitter gourd that demands you to eat this one with care:
- Bitter gourd can cause rashes to the skin if applied directly
- Those who are diabetic should be extremely careful with eating too much bitter gourd because it can drastically lower the blood glucose levels.
- Oral consumption of bitter gourd juice might lead to severe headaches in some people
- Sometimes karelay can cause stomach ache, and digestion problems
Bitter Gourd – A Sour Treat that Promises Good Health
So, an overall analysis leads us to the conclusion that bitter gourd is packed with nutritions and vitamins that reduces the complications. All you have to do is eat them with caution if you have underlying conditions.
Moreover if you seek consultation you can check out the best nutritionists via healthwire. They will guide you properly in such regards.
Till then, stay happy and eat your bitter grounds!