Did you know that bitter gourd or karela is not really a vegetable but a fruit? The part of the plant that is used for consumption and for various medicinal purposes is the fruit of the bitter squash. While we’ve been so busy condemning its bitter taste, we’ve not only overlooked this fact but also the wide range of benefits that drinking bitter gourd juice offers. Bitter gourd juice contains a train of important nutrients ranging from iron, magnesium, and vitamin to potassium and vitamin C. An excellent source of dietary fiber, it also contains twice the calcium of spinach, beta-carotene of broccoli, and the potassium of a banana. Here are some crucial benefits of drinking bitter gourd juice.
Helps in maintaining blood sugar levels
The World Health Organisation has estimated that over 382 million people worldwide suffer from diabetes. Bitter gourd contains an insulin-like compound called Polypeptide-p or p-insulin which has been shown to control diabetes naturally. According to a study, published a journal, a four-week clinical trial showed that 2,000 mg of bitter melon, when taken on a regular basis, reduced the blood glucose level significantly in the patients suffering from type-2 diabetes. Studies have shown that this plant-based insulin in bitter gourd helps patients with type-1 diabetes as well.
Lowers bad cholesterol levels
Bitter gourd juice is anti-inflammatory and also helps in lowering the bad cholesterol levels in the body. Thereby, it significantly reduces the risk of heart attack and stroke. It also maintains the blood pressure of the body as it is rich in potassium, which absorbs excessive sodium in the body. It is rich in iron and folic acid which are known to decrease the risk of stroke and keep your heart healthy.
For glowing skin and lustrous hair
Longing for that flawless skin? Doctors suggest that bitter gourd juice has powerful antioxidants along with vitamin A and C which prevent premature skin aging and diminishes wrinkles. Furthermore, it reduces acne, aids in treating eczema and psoriasis, as well as protects the skin from the harmful UV rays. The nutrients vitamin A, vitamin C, Biotin and Zinc impart shine and luster to your locks. Applying bitter gourd juice regularly to your scalp can decrease hair loss and graying of hair, treat split ends and rough hair, shrug off dandruff, and combat itchiness. You can apply bitter gourd juice directly to stop hair fall or mix it with some curd and massage on your scalp and hair for conditioning.
Cures hangovers and cleanses the liver
Got too much alcohol in your system after a crazy night of partying? You can get rid of it quite swiftly by sipping some bitter gourd juice which wipes out alcoholic intoxication settled in your liver. The juice cleanses your bowel as well as heals many liver problems. Published in the International Journal of Vitamin and Nutrition, a study concluded that a compound called Momordica Charantia provides protection against liver failure by strengthening antioxidant activity of the enzymes in the liver. It also boosts the functioning of your bladder.
Helps in weight loss
Bitter gourd is low in calories, fat, and carbohydrates. It keeps you full for longer and hence, it can easily fit in your weight loss plan. In a 2010 issue of a report published in the Journal BMC Complementary and Alternative Medicine, it was disclosed that extracts of bitter gourd helped in the dislocation of human fat cells and also hindered the formation and growth of new fat cells. It was further concluded that bitter gourd can be viewed as a natural agent for treating obesity.
Boosts your immune system
Bitter gourd fights viruses and bacteria and strengthens your immunity. It prevents allergies and indigestion. The antioxidants work as powerful defense mechanisms against illness and also help fight free-radical damage that can cause various types of cancer. In 2010, a study was published in the Pharmaceutical Research Journal which stated that bitter melon has anti-carcinogen and anti-tumour properties. It reduced the risk of prostate, breast and cervical cancer.
Great for your eyes
It helps in preventing vision-related problems such as cataract since it has compounds like beta-carotene and vitamin A which are healthy for your eyes and strengthens eyesight. It is also a good home remedy to treat dark circles. As with everything, moderation is required. Excess consumption of bitter gourd juice may cause abdominal pain and diarrhea. Pregnant women should also avoid taking too much bitter gourd or its juice as it may stimulate the uterus and lead to preterm labor. 30 ml bitter gourd juice extract is recommended on a daily basis.