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Did you know that karela or bitter gourd is not a vegetable but a fruit? Karela is also known as bitter melon which is used for consumption and for various medicinal purposes. In this article, we will discuss about karela or bitter gourd juice for diabetes.
Bitter gourd juice is the best natural medicine for diabetes. And drinking it early in the morning on an empty stomach helps lower the blood sugar levels and reduces the possibility of diabetes-related health complications like weight gain, high blood pressure, heart disease, high cholesterol, and so on.
Bitter gourd juice contains a myriad of important nutrients, ranging from folate, zinc, iron, magnesium, potassium, vitamin A and vitamin C. Karela, being an excellent source of dietary fibre, also contains twice the calcium, potassium and beta-carotene levels.
How Good Is Bitter Gourd Juice For Diabetes?
Karela contains at least three active substances with anti-diabetic properties, which includes charantin that has a blood glucose-lowering effect, vicine and an insulin-like compound known as polypeptide-P. These substances work to help reduce the blood sugar levels in diabetic patients, including type 2 diabetes.
Type 2 diabetes refers to a condition where either the body does not produce enough insulin for the proper functioning or the cells in the body do not react to the insulin produced. And type 1 diabetes is caused when the body produces less amounts or no insulin at all.
According to a study published in the Journal Ethnopharmacology, a 4-week clinical trial showed that 2000 milligrams of bitter gourd when taken on a regular basis reduced the blood glucose level significantly in type-2 diabetes patients  . Also, the plant-based insulin in karela helps type 1 diabetes patients as well.
Another report issued in the Asian Pacific Journal of Tropical Disease showed evidence that bitter melon increases the uptake of glucose and improves glycaemic control  .
How Much Karela Juice To Drink Every Day For Diabetes?
The recommended daily dose of karela juice for diabetes can range from 50-100 ml of juice per day, 900 mg of fruit three times a day, 10-50 ml/day tincture.
Other Health Benefits Of Bitter Gourd Juice
1. Lowers Bad Cholesterol
Bitter gourd juice is anti-inflammatory in nature and also aids in lowering the bad cholesterol levels in the body. This significantly reduces the risk of heart attack and stroke. Bitter gourd also helps in maintaining the blood pressure of the body, as it is rich in potassium, which absorbs excess of sodium in the body  .
2. Cleanses The Liver
The juice of the bitter gourd helps in cleansing your bowel as well as heals many liver-related problems. A study found that bitter melon juice can prevent liver failure by strengthening the antioxidant activity of the enzymes in the liver  .
3. Boosts Immunity
The antioxidants present in bitter gourd aid protection against the bacterial and viral infections, cure allergies and help improve the eyesight. These powerful antioxidants help prevent DNA damage by the harmful oxygen radicals and ensure a smooth functioning of the cells. Bitter melon also has anti-carcinogen and anti-tumour properties that reduce the risk of prostate cancer, breast cancer and cervical cancer  .
4. Aids Weight Loss
Karela or bitter gourd is packed with vitamins, minerals, and dietary fibre. The dietary fibre helps improve bowel movement, prevents overeating and increases satiety. Also, the vitamins and minerals present in bitter gourd juice speed up the metabolic process. It is also low in calories, fat and carbohydrates, thus helping in weight loss  .
5. Good For The Eyes
Drinking karela juice every day will help prevent vision-related problems such as cataracts, since it has compounds like beta-carotene and vitamin A which are healthy for your eyes and strengthen the eyesight. Furthermore, bitter gourd juice is an excellent home remedy to treat dark circles.
6. Improves Skin And Hair Health
Bitter gourd being rich in powerful antioxidants can prevent premature skin ageing and it diminishes wrinkles. Furthermore, it helps in reducing acne, treats eczema, psoriasis and protects the skin from the harmful UV rays. Applying bitter gourd juice on the hair scalp can decrease hair loss and greying of the hair, also treating split ends and rough hair.
How To Make Bitter Gourd Juice For Diabetes
- 1-2 fresh bitter gourds
- ½ lime
- ¼ teaspoon turmeric powder
- A pinch of salt
1. Wash the bitter gourd and peel the skin.
2. Slice the bitter gourd and take out the rind and the seeds.
3. Add half a teaspoon of salt in a bowl of water and soak the bitter gourd in it for 10 minutes.
4. Take out the bitter gourd pieces and put them into a juicer. Add water to it.
5. Pour the juice into a glass, add salt, turmeric and lime juice. Stir well before drinking.
Note: You can even add a pinch of black pepper and ginger to decrease the tartness.
Drink bitter gourd juice in moderation, as excess consumption of bitter gourd juice may cause abdominal pain and diarrhoea. Pregnant women should avoid taking too much of karela juice, as it may stimulate the uterus and lead to pre-term labour.
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-  Fuangchan, A., Sonthisombat, P., Seubnukarn, T., Chanouan, R., Chotchaisuwat, P., Sirigulsatien, V., ... & Haines, S. T. (2011). Hypoglycemic effect of bitter melon compared with metformin in newly diagnosed type 2 diabetes patients. Journal of ethnopharmacology, 134(2), 422-428.
-  Joseph, B., & Jini, D. (2013). Antidiabetic effects of Momordica charantia (bitter melon) and its medicinal potency. Asian Pacific Journal of Tropical Disease, 3(2), 93–102. doi:10.1016/S2222-1808(13)60052-3
-  Naz, R., Anjum, F. M., & Butt, M. S. (2016). Dietary supplementation of bitter gourd reduces the risk of hypercholesterolemia in cholesterol fed sprague dawley rats. Pakistan journal of pharmaceutical sciences, 29(5).
-  Xu, J., Cao, K., Li, Y., Zou, X., Chen, C., Szeto, I. M. Y., ... & Liu, J. (2014). Bitter gourd inhibits the development of obesity-associated fatty liver in C57BL/6 mice fed a high-fat diet. The Journal of nutrition, 144(4), 475-483.
-  Fachinan, R., Fagninou, A., Nekoua, M. P., Amoussa, A. M., Adjagba, M., Lagnika, L., ... & Yessoufou, A. (2017). Evidence of immunosuppressive and Th2 immune polarizing effects of antidiabetic momordica charantia fruit juice. BioMed research international, 2017.
-  Wang, J., & Ryu, H. K. (2015). The effects of Momordica charantia on obesity and lipid profiles of mice fed a high-fat diet. Nutrition research and practice, 9(5), 489–495. doi:10.4162/nrp.2015.9.5.489