Most of us cried and fought when we have force-fed karela as a child. Being told it was good for us didn’t make any difference. If anything, obstinate kids resisted it even more. But now that we’re grown up and struggling with lifestyle diseases and modern-day disorders, it’s about time we makeup with bitter gourd and adds it in our diets. Its health benefits are exactly what we need today.
Bitter gourd, or karela in Hindi, is relished for its benefits and despised for its bitter taste.
It is an excellent source of vitamins B1, B2, and B3, C, magnesium, folate, zinc, phosphorus, manganese, and has high dietary fiber. It is rich in iron and contains twice the beta-carotene of broccoli, twice the calcium of spinach, and twice the potassium of a banana.
Acts as a blood purifier: The antimicrobial and antioxidant properties present in karela juice helps in treating skin problems, blood disorders, removing toxins from the blood and purifying it. It also improves blood circulation and helps to cure issues like rashes, acne, psoriasis, blood boils and even hinders the growth of cancerous cells in the body.
Helps in weight loss: Eating or drinking the juice of karela stimulates the liver to secrete bile acids that are essential for metabolizing fat in the body. Besides, a 100g serving of bitter gourd contains just 17 calories making it a great option for fitness enthusiasts.
Improves immunity: Karela is an extremely rich source of vitamin C, which helps boost immunity. It also has powerful antiviral property, which stimulates the immune system and also aids in digestion.
Great for diabetes: Bitter gourd has a certain insulin-like protein called polypeptide P that mimics the action of insulin and lowers blood sugar levels in diabetic patients.
Also, read the diabetic diet plan
Fight acne: Consuming karela can help you get rid of acne, blemishes and skin infections and gives you a healthy and glowing skin.
Improves digestion: It is an excellent source of dietary fiber. Regular consumption of bitter gourd contributes to relieving constipation and indigestion. It supports healthy gut bacteria, which favors digestion and nutrient absorption.
Boosts weight loss: Bitter gourd is low in calories, fat, and carbohydrates. These properties together help in weight management. It keeps you full for longer, so you avoid over-eating. It stimulates the liver to secrete bile acids that are essential for metabolizing fat in the body. Moreover, bitter gourd contains 80-85% water. Also, read the best weight loss plan for a breakthrough result
How to make it less bitter
- Sprinkle salt all over the bitter gourd pieces and let it sit for about 10 minutes. This will minimize the bitter taste of the gourd making it more palatable.
- Soak it in tamarind juice for a few minutes.
- Boil equal parts sugar and vinegar. Pour this mixture on the bitter gourd and let soak for some time.
- Sauté it in olive oil.
Karela Juice Recipe
- Bitter gourd
- Salt or lemon juice
- Apple juice
- Black pepper
- Chaat masala
Peel the skin from the bitter gourd with a small kitchen paring knife. Wash the gourd under cold running water.
Slice the bitter gourd down the center with a kitchen knife. Scoop out the seeds and white flesh from the bitter gourd with a spoon, leaving the green outer section.
Cut the outer green flesh of the bitter gourd into small- to medium-size cubes. Use a sharp knife.
Scoop the bitter gourd cubes into a bowl and cover them with water. If you want to offset the bitterness, you can soak the cubes for about 30 minutes in a bowl of water with about 1/2 teaspoon of salt or juice from half a lemon.
Add the bitter gourd to a blender. Pour water, apple juice or lemon juice into the juicer or blender to lessen the bitter taste, making the karela juice more palatable. Adding honey, black pepper and ginger also help with making the karela juice tastier. Blend the ingredients until the juice is smooth and uniform.
Pour the juice through the strainer to remove any solid pieces of the bitter gourd. Press the solids against the wire mesh with the back of a spoon to extract as much juice as possible.
Place the karela juice in the refrigerator to chill between 1 to 2 hours. Pour the karela juice into serving glass; top the juice with a sprinkle of black pepper or chaat masala
Your Karela juice is ready to be served!
Don’t run away from one of the healthiest green veggies, include it in your diet today and do tell us about your experience in the comment section. Enjoy!