Food & Nutrition

Karela: The bitter king of gourds

All of us twist our faces when we think of bitter karela, but lo, behold, this vegetable is one of the healthiest sitting in the basket at the borough. In short, karela is one of the most potent vegetables in the food chain.

Since time, it is known to be full of antioxidants, packed with vitamins, and laced with minerals. If you are watching your weight…leave it up to the karela. Low on calories and high in water content, this bitter gourd is an ideal vegetable you should mix into your diet. It can be eaten as a vegetable or as a juice. Now you may continue to read if you want to turn your scowl into a smile saying ‘welcome karela…”

Karela, also called bitter gourd, is a tropical vine-like zucchini and is a common ingredient in Indian cuisine. It is longish, green with rough bumps on the skin and with a pointed tip.

Hold your breath as we are just opening our list of karela benefits:

Immunity Booster

During this time, it is best, to begin speaking about what actually makes us strong. There is no doubt that immunity or potency helps us guard ourselves against various illnesses. Karela is known to prevent germs and various viruses, guarding against germs and indigestion as well. The antioxidants such as gallic acid, catechin, chlorogenic acid, and epicatechin, battle against free radical damage further preventing various forms of cancer from developing.

Blood purifier and body energizer

Enjoy crispy karela and see your energy levels improve. With its high number of antioxidants, it helps cleanse the toxins from the blood and cure many problems. Apart from improving blood circulation, regular consumption improves skin and hair too. It helps treat skin infections like ringworm and psoriasis while combating dandruff and hair loss. It even improves sleep quality and helps with insomnia.

Vitamin driver

Karela is rich in vitamin A and vitamin C and is empowered with minerals like folate, potassium, zinc and iron along with antioxidants. This helps the skin maintain its good health by fighting acne and ageing.

Diabetics savvier

Bitter gourd contains a compound that mimics insulin. It reduces the blood glucose levels in both types of diabetes: type I and type II including gestational diabetes.  Gestational diabetes is detected in pregnant women who were not diabetic before pregnancy.

Digestion booster and liver cleanser

Karela contains fibre that helps to improve bowel movement. Bitter gourd cleanses the liver. It boosts liver enzymes and cures hangovers as it brings down the alcohol deposits in the liver. This in turn helps the bladder and the gut.

Heart friendly

Bitter gourd reduces LDL (bad cholesterol) as the fibre helps to unclog the arteries. This drums down the risk of a heart attack.

Weight Watcher

Karela stops the formation and growth of adipose cells and improves metabolism. The antioxidants help detoxify the body leading to the reduction in fat.

Healer

Karela has healing properties. It clots the blood and helps in the quicker healing of wounds thus reduction in infections.

Stronger eyes

The vitamin A in this vegetable prevents cataracts and strengthens vision.

And some more dose of bitter

  • If consumed in a modest amount karela helps with diarrhoea and stomach ache.
  • Karela could lead to uterine contractions so if you are pregnant avoid it.
  • Also, avoid eating red seeds of Karela as it could lead to stomach pain and diarrhoea.
  • Excessive consumption can drastically lower blood sugar levels so those who are on medications for diabetes should consume karela in moderation.
  • A glass of karela juice is so effective that diabetes patients are known to reduce the dosage of their medicines.
  • Juice out raw karela and consume it for immense health benefits. Add some jaggery, salt and chaat masala to it to enhance the flavour.
  • It lightens dark circles.

Click here to buy fresh karela

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Gourds – A healthy staple vegetable

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