Bitter melon, bitter gourd, bitter squash, balsam-pear, karela, or Momordica charantia – whatever you choose to call it, this melon is mighty.
The bitter karela melon resembles a kind of lumpy, oddly-shaped cucumber. Inside, you’ll find a smooth, creamy, seeded flesh. The juice of the melon is bright green.
With its quirky looks and bitter taste, it may not sound so appealing, but there’s a reason it’s a popular food throughout Asia, Africa, and the Caribbean.
It’s loaded with minerals, including potassium, calcium, zinc, magnesium, phosphorus, and iron.
It’s also a good source of dietary fiber, and it’s super high in vitamin C. And because bitter melon is almost 94 percent water, it’s also extremely hydrating and filling.1
Well, modern science is finally catching up and, in the process, arriving at some very exciting results.
So, what are the mysterious benefits of drinking bitter karela juice?
1. Helps Maintain Blood Sugar Levels
Bitter melon has been widely used as a traditional medicine in Asia, particularly within Ayurvedic medicine, for helping to support healthy blood sugar levels. of high-blood sugar. Scientific studies are now backing this idea up.
Bitter melon was given to patients with chronic high blood-sugar at a dose of 2,000 mg/day. The results showed a modest hypoglycemic effect (it was able to lower blood sugars) and a reduction in fructosamine levels (blood glucose levels).2
Even if you don’t have chronic high blood sugar issues, stabilizing your blood sugar can provide you with more energy, and lessen fatigue.3
2. Gives Your Skin a “Boost”
We discussed earlier that bitter melon is very high in vitamin C, but to get specific – one cup of bitter melon contains 130% of the Recommended Daily Allowance (RDA) of vitamin C!4
As anyone obsessed with the latest skin-aging research will tell you, vitamin C is one of the heroes when it comes to fighting wrinkles and boosting collagen. Vitamin C is critical for collagen synthesis in your body. Collagen helps fight the appearance of wrinkles in your skin by promoting firmness and elasticity. Vitamin C is also a powerful antioxidant, which is why it can help to knock out those free radicals which seek to age and damage your skin.5,6
Your body can’t store vitamin C, so it’s important to get an adequate, regular intake from fruits and vegetables.7
3. Helps Protect Your Liver
One of the key benefits of the bitter gourd is that its juice might help cleanse your liver, and even regenerate liver cells.8 This is thought to be because of its high antioxidant content which strengthens the antioxidant activity of enzymes in your liver. Antioxidant properties appear to be highest in the fruit of the bitter melon plant which, when concentrated into a juice form, may provide a more powerful antioxidant boost.9
4. Aids in Weight Loss
Bitter melon is high in fiber, which helps to promote feelings of fullness. Fiber also helps to ensure that food moves through your digestive tract at a rate at which nutrients can be efficiently absorbed. Fiber-packed foods are great for supporting weight loss goals, as they keep you feeling fuller for longer — limiting snacking, and the extra calories that come with it!
A regular intake of soluble dietary fiber may also play an important role in protecting your body from metabolic syndrome, which is a cluster of conditions such as obesity, high blood pressure, and high blood sugar levels.10
5. Defends Against Bacterial and Fungal Conditions
The bitter gourd has also displayed potential antibacterial and antifungal properties which could prove both beneficial for your skin and your organs. In one study, essential oil from the seeds of the bitter melon was tested on several varieties of bacteria and fungus. Incredibly, the oil had the most profound effect on Staphylococcus aureus, a common but nasty bug that can cause everything from minor skin infections (like pimples and boils) to life-threatening illnesses.11
How To Drink Bitter Gourd Juice
If you’d like to make your own karela beverage, here are a few easy ways to consume it. If you’re not a fan of the bitter taste, you’ll want to look to #2 and #3!
1. Blend one cup of deseeded and chopped karela with ½ cup of water. Strain the mixture, then add ½ teaspoon of lemon juice and a pinch of salt to taste.
2. Make a super juice by juicing one bitter melon (deseeded), three apples, two celery stalks, one cucumber, and one lemon, and combining.
3. Make bitter gourd tea by steeping fresh slices in boiling water for 10 minutes. Strain the tea into a cup, and add honey or agave to sweeten.
As you can see, karela juice benefits are many and varied. And even if it’s a (slightly) bitter taste to swallow, it is surely worth it for the potential health and wellness benefits.
You can buy karela most commonly as a melon extract in pill form, as a concentrated, virgin bitter gourd juice, or you can easily juice your own. You should be able to find bitter gourd available at any good Asian grocery market.
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