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Sweet truth about bitter gourd

  • Published at 03:58 pm June 21st, 2013
Bitter gourd, aka karalla, is notorious for its extremely bitter taste. Adults and children alike frown the moment they see this vegetable served on their plates. Despite its bitter taste, this unevenly textured, green vegetable is good for your health. It contains lots of vitamins and nutrients and is especially beneficial in lowering the blood sugar of diabetics. Bitter gourd stimulates easy digestion and peristalsis of food through and out the bowel. Thus, it helps in relieving problems of indigestion and constipation.   Bitter gourd helps control diabetes   Some studies say bitter gourd contains a chemical that acts like insulin to help reduce blood sugar levels. Bitter gourd  juice or extract improves glucose tolerance, reduces blood sugar levels, and lowers HbA1c (a measure of blood sugar control over time) in people with type 2 diabetes.    It preserves eyesight and boosts the body’s defence   Bitter gourd contains a good amount of beta carotene, which is highly beneficial for maintaining and improving eyesight. The bitter taste of this vegetable is known to boost the immune system. In addition, the vegetable is a good source of niacin (vitamin B3), pantothenic acid (vitamin B5), pyridoxine (vitamin B6) and minerals such as iron, zinc, potassium, manganese and magnesium.   Bitter gourd can protect against hypertension and stroke   For overweight, type 2 diabetic patients, bitter gourd can improve health.In mice and rats, bitter gourd has been able to reduce hypertension, plasma cholesterol and plasma lipids. Apart from this, bitter gourd helps in losing weight. There is also evidence that it might be effective in cancer treatment.   Warnings   Bitter gourd is likely unsafe when taken by mouth during pregnancy. Certain chemicals in it can cause abortion in animals. Breastfeeding woman should not consume bitter gourd or bitter gourd products. Exclusive consumption of bitter gourd, bitter gourd juice, or other bitter gourd products can lead to a reduction in blood sugar levels.