Bitter Gourd or karela has been slammed at all times for its bitter taste that our palate just repels. Our childhood memories of our struggle to avoid eating it when being forced upon our plate, still haunt us. Ever wondered, despite its repulsive taste, why our mothers continue to nudge us to eat it? The fact that karela contains plenty of health-giving characteristics, anoint it as a must-have food in our regular diet. Karela is especially recommended as a part of the diabetes diet, as its properties help in regulating blood pressure levels. Another reckoning quality of this food is that it helps in quick weight loss. According to the United States Department Of Agriculture ((USDA), 100 grams of bitter gourd has around 602 grams potassium, 34 calories, 7 grams carbohydrates and 3.6 grams proteins.
Diabetes Diet: Karela should be included in the diet as it offers many health benefits like –
1. Polypeptide-p or p-insulin (plant-based insulin) found in bitter gourd, helps in lowering down high blood sugar level, thus, managing diabetes. A study published in the Journal of Chemistry & Biology, states that bitter gourd improves glycemic control. Another important fact to know about karela is that it is rich in potassium and sucks out excessive sodium in the body when ingested.
2. Karela is a low-fat, low-calorie and low-carb food – requisites for fast and effective weight loss.
3.The anti-inflammatory properties of karela help in maintaining cholesterol levels and maintaining good heart health and hence, it is a beneficial addition to diabetes diet.
4. Karela is also considered a boon for skin and hair.
(Also Read: Bitter Gourd (Karela) Juice For Weight Loss: What Makes It A Perfect Drink To Burn Fat)
Food For Diabetes: Bitter Gourd is full of nutrients
Many people can’t bring themselves to eat karela. But, if it’s cooked carefully and combined with complementing foods, its taste can change drastically. Here’s a dish made with karela that is surprisingly good in taste. Aamchoori Kareley is a tangy dish made with a number of spices like ginger (adrak) fenugreek (methi) and fennel seeds (saunf). This curry is cooked in mustard oil, which is a highly beneficial oil for combating diabetes. It possesses an optimum ratio of Omega 6 and Omega 3 fatty acids that makes a world of difference in alleviating the symptoms of diabetes by boosting insulin production. Furthermore, mustard oil is free of cholesterol and unhealthy trans-fats, making it the ideal oil for diabetics and heart patients.