Bitter gourd, also known as bitter melon or karela, is a tropical and subtropical vine that is widely cultivated for its edible fruit.
The fruit is known for its characteristic bitter taste, and is often used in traditional medicine for its various health benefits.
The bitter gourd plant is a trailing vine that can grow up to five meters long, and it belongs to the family Cucurbitaceae.
The leaves of the plant are simple and deeply lobed, while the fruit is green and shaped like a cucumber or gourd.
The fruit is typically harvested when it is still immature, while it is still green and firm. As the fruit matures, it becomes more bitter and the skin turns yellow or orange.
Bitter gourd is a rich source of nutrients, including vitamins B1, B2, and B3, as well as vitamin C, iron, and potassium.
It is also a good source of dietary fiber, and it contains a number of antioxidants and phytochemicals that are beneficial for health.
One of the key active compounds in करेला is a plant insulin called polypeptide-p or p-insulin which is similar to human insulin and has been found to lower blood sugar levels in diabetics.
Studies have also suggested that consuming bitter gourd may help to improve insulin sensitivity, which can help to manage diabetes and other metabolic disorders.
In addition to its potential benefits for managing diabetes, bitter gourd has also been found to have anti-inflammatory, antioxidant, and anti-cancer properties.
These effects are attributed to the presence of compounds like flavonoids, polyphenols, and alkaloids, which are known to protect cells and molecules from damage caused by free radicals.
may improve liver health bitter gourd has been shown to have liver – protective effects and may be helpful in the treatment of liver disorders..
Furthermore, Bitter gourd also contains high levels of charantin, a compound that has been found to lower blood glucose levels and increase insulin sensitivity in people with type 2 diabetes.
Additionally, it also contains an insulin-like compound called polypeptide-p, which has been found to have a blood sugar-lowering effect.
may improve skin health:bitter gourd is rich in antioxidants, which may help protect the skin from damage caused by free radicals and improve skin health..
Bitter gourd is commonly used in traditional medicine to treat a variety of ailments. In Ayurvedic medicine, it is used to treat skin disorders,
digestive problems, and fever, while in Chinese medicine, it is used to support liver health, improve blood circulation, and detoxify the body.
Bitter gourd can be consumed in many ways. The most common way is to cook it as a vegetable dish. Bitter gourd is also used to make juice, pickles, and even jams.
Due to its bitter taste, most people prefer to remove the seeds and the inner white pith, as these parts of the fruit are the most bitter. Some people also scrape the skin before cooking to reduce the bitterness.
It is also important to note that overconsumption or using an excessive amount of bitter gourd could be harmful as it may lead to diarrhea, abdominal pain, and other side effects.
Pregnant and breastfeeding women should avoid consuming bitter gourd in large quantities as it could lead to negative effects on the fetus or the baby.
In conclusion, Bitter gourd is a unique and nutritious vegetable that has a variety of health benefits, including blood sugar management and antioxidant properties.
Despite its bitter taste, it is a popular ingredient in many cuisines around the world. However, it is important to consume it in moderate amounts and to consult with a healthcare
professional before incorporating it into a treatment plan for diabetes or any other health..