Tuesday, November 12, 2019

Ultimate Guide about Bitter Gourd (Karela) – Health Benefits & Side-effects

Must Read

Surprising things you should never eat if you’re trying to lose weight

Losing weight is a pretty difficult endeavor on its own, and things only get worse when you start running...

For Seniors Looking for Love Online, Mature Dating has Never Been Easier

Whether you are a widow(er) or you have gone through a divorce, after you’ve taken your time going through...

5 Ways to tell if you are in a committed relationship

Today’s relationships are nothing like they were in the late 1900’s. Traditional values that once were the foundation of...

Mostly your body painful, It May Be Fibromyalgia [Chiropractic care]

Painful all throughout your body that never ends! Your signs aren’t recognized as a known illness? It affects your...

Key steps on understanding and overcoming your anxiety

As humans, we are naturally driven by anxiety, stress, and fear in relation to our abilities and performance to...

All About Maternity Braces: How They Work?

Maternity braces are the latest hit in the world, simply due to the fact they are effective, affordable and...

With the scientific name Momordica charantia, bitter gourd is also known as Bitter squash, Bitter Melon, or balsam-pear in English. In India it’s called Karela (Sanskrit name), while it’s called Goya in Okinawan.

Karela grows as a tropical and subtropical vine belonging to the family Cucubitaceae. It’s chiefly grown in Africa, Asia, and Carribean. Karela fruit is the edible part that is extremely bitter in taste.

Karela or bitter melon originated in the Indian Subcontinent and spread to China in the 14th century.

It comes in various shapes, size varying in their bitterness.

Karela’s Use in Cooking

The fruit of bitter gourd is consumed while it is green or in its early yellowing stage. Sometimes leaves and young shoots of bitter gourd are also consumed.

In Chinese cuisines bitter gourd is used for its bitter flavor and added in stir-fried, frequently with douche and pork, dim sum, herbal teas and soups. Bitter melon is also used instead of hops in many Okinawan and Chinese beers as bittering agent.

Karela is widely popular in India. In North India Karela is cooked as sabzi or stuffed with spices (masala karela bharta) and fried in oil. It’s often served with yoghurt to compensate for bitterness.

In South India various dishes are prepared with Karela, like thuvaran or thoran prepared with grated coconut, theeyal prepared with roasted coconut, mezhukkupuratti which is stir fried in spices, and pachadi, a diabetic medicinal food.

Karela is also used as achar (pickles).

 

diabetes-food-fad-karela-bitter gourd

Health Benefits of Karela

  1. Bitter melon or Karela is very low on calories with only 17 Kcal/100g, thus it makes for a good low calorie diet for weight conscious people.
  2. It is a rich source of nutrients like vitamins, minerals, dietary fibers and antioxidants.
  3. Bitter gourd is most famous for its benefit in diabetes. It contains a compound called Polypeptide-P, which has a similar action to insulin and, thus, lower blood sugar levels. Besides, it also contains charantin which is also hypoglycemic. It promotes glucose uptake and glycogen synthesis in the liver cells, adipose tissues and muscles.
  4. Karela pods are rich source of folic acid with about 72 µg of folates per 100g. Folic acid is a very important vitamin especially in growing children and pregnant women. Folic acid deficiency during pregnancy can result in congenital defects like neural tube defects in newborn babies. However, due to other reasons karela shouldn’t be used during pregnancy. (read the Side-effects)
  5. Bitter melon is also a rich source of Vitamin C, with about 84 mg per 100g. Vitamin C acts as a potent natural antioxidant and helps in getting rid of free radicals from our body.
  6. Moreover, bitter melon is an excellent source of several flavonoids too, like α-Carotene, ß-carotene, zea-xanthin and lutein. Karela also contains fair quantities of Vitamin A. Together these compounds aids in scavenging free radicals, thus protecting against cancers, ageing, and many diseases.
  7. The rich fiber content in bitter melon aids in digestion and bowel movements. This helps in relieving constipation and indigestion problems.
  8. Karela is also contains B-complex vitamins like Vitamin B3 (niacin), Vitamin B5 (Pantothenic acid), Vitamin B6 (pyridoxine), along with minerals like zinc, iron, magnesium and manganese.
  9. Some studies have also shown that Bitter gourd contains few phytochemical compounds which may be effective in treating HIV/AIDS.
  10. Studies have also shown that bitter gourd may have some effect in various cancers too.

 

 

Side-effects and Contraindications

Various reported side-effects of bitter melon or karela are:

  1. Diarrhea
  2. Fever
  3. Abdominal pain
  4. Hypoglycemia
  5. Chest Pain
  6. Urinary incontinence

Symptoms are usually mild, without requiring any treatment. Rest when facing a side-effect after using karela.

Use of bitter gourd is contraindicated during pregnancy because it can accentuate contractions, bleeding and abortion.

Diabetics on medication should also avoid Karela or bitter gourd because it may induce hypoglycemia due to the combined action of anti-diabetic drugs and compounds in bitter melon.

Refrences:

http://www.diabetes.co.uk/natural-therapies/bitter-melon.html

http://bittermelon.org/heal/bittermelonandaids

http://ndb.nal.usda.gov/ndb/foods/show/2869

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/12678140

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/20198408

Dr. Kishor Kumarhttps://kishorkr.com
Kishor Kumar is a blogger, writer, entrepreneur, enthusiast learner, and occasional web designer. He is founder of Zigverve, Zigreads, Books & Writers and PastelRed.

LEAVE A REPLY

Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

705FansLike
3,498FollowersFollow
0SubscribersSubscribe

What's popular

What is EHP lab’s Oxyshred and does it really work?

In 2011, EHP Labs created and launched a product called EHP Labs Oxyshred. The company claimed that this was...

Glam it up right here with amazing fashion trends

Fashion is an ideal blend of personal style and comfort. It is an aesthetic expression especially in the context of clothing, accessories, lifestyle, makeup,...

Difference between Whey Protein Concentrate, Whey Protein Isolate and a Blend?

As people are getting health conscious and hitting the gym more regularly than ever, dietary supplements are getting equally popular be it health drinks,...

Know the causes and home remedies for Bruises

Bruises are caused due to an injury. The injury breaks the blood vessels that are underneath your skin, causing them to bleed. However, the...

When is the right time to repair your roof depending on the material you are using?

There is a wide variety of materials to choose from when it comes to roofing your home. While, on one hand, a lot of...

The ultimate guide to buying the perfect gemstone engagement rings

Buying an engagement ring can be a stressful experience, as you have to check so many things before you make a final decision. No...

Top 7 reasons why you should not be bailing on your breakfast

Every meal you have throughout your day gives you a chance to nourish your body. It all depends on the choice of food that...

Fitness Wonder – Coconut Oil

New super-foods trigger regular hypes among fitness bloggers, health fanatics and passionate athletes and are often summoned as a panacea thanks to their supposed...

Why is your hair falling and what can you do about it?

It is quite natural for people to keep on losing their hair from time to time and even throughout the day as you do...

More Articles Like This