A vast majority of people know bitter gourd as that one veggie they have hated since childhood but the myriad of benefits will definitely convince you to add them in your online grocery delivery in Karachi.
The reason this vegetable gets such detestation from adults and children alike is evident from its name, so it won’t come off as a surprise if it takes some time for you to develop a taste for the bitter flavor and to learn cooking techniques that help bring it out in a manner you can find appealing. It is also referred to as bitter cucumber, bitter apple, bitter melon and bitter squash. The common factor is clear which also lends to the significance “karela” has in language, proverbs, culture and lore, especially in the South Asian region. Karelas are close cousins of squashes, zucchinis, pumpkins and cucumbers and are mainly found in two basic varieties – Chinese and Indian. While the outward appearance is different for both of them, the nutritional value and taste is quite comparable.
Bags full of nutrients to help you rejuvenate
Bitter gourds are found to have several potential health benefits according to research and the distinct flavor or appearance seem smaller issues if we look at the bigger picture. Let’s start with their amazing nutritional value because few vegetables compare to these bad boys if you look at the number of nutrients they pack. They contain carbohydrates, fiber, vitamin A, vitamin C, folate, zinc, potassium and iron, all of which are associated with key biological functions and have potential health benefits. Vitamin C for example is a vital micronutrient with regards to bone formation, wound healing and prevention of diseases. Vitamin A is another that is responsible for keeping your vision and skin healthy.
This vegetable is also rich in folate which is necessary for your body’s development and growth. It also provides zinc, iron and potassium in smaller proportions. There are a number of antioxidants found in bitter gourds like chlorogenic acid, epicatechin and catechin, which are associated with protection against damage at a cellular level. Only a single cup serving of bitter gourd can make up for about eight percent of the body's daily fiber requirement while being really low in terms of the calorie count. In local cultures the vegetable has made its mark for several medicinal uses including skin problems, diabetes, etc. Research also suggests that bitter gourd can help regulate blood sugar levels. According to one study, eating 2000 mg of the vegetable on a daily basis decreased hemoglobin A1c and blood sugar in 3 months’ time among 24 adults.
Cancer prevention and reduction in cholesterol levels
Studies also suggest that this vegetable along with its extract may have anti carcinogenic properties. A test tube research demonstrated that cancer cells of colon, lung, nasopharynx and stomach could be killed with bitter melon extract. Another similar study reported that it could help prevent the growth of cells related to breast cancer and also towards killing such cells. However, these results are limited and the exact impact bitter gourd can have on the human body with reference to cancer by including it in our regular diet remains to be examined thoroughly.
Bitter gourd may also help reduce cholesterol levels, as high levels of it can clog the arteries by building up fatty plaque which can as a consequence start weighing too heavily on the heart making it work with additional force in order to ensure blood supply to the body. This can also lead to further cardiac conditions and diseases. A number of researches have been conducted on animal subjects and it has been found out that bitter gourds can help decrease cholesterol levels. For example, one research on rats pointed out that bitter gourd extract significantly reduced cholesterol levels while another study compared the extract with a placebo and had similar findings. The animal studies correlated the dosage of extract with the decrease in bad cholesterol levels but again research related to consuming them in regular human diet can uncover more with regards to the health benefits for us.
Staying skimpy with bitter gourd
One major advantage of including bitter gourd in our regular diet is for weight loss. It is widely accepted to be an important constituent of weight loss diet plans because of the low calorie count. It also contains fiber which is important for a healthy digestive system because it slows down the food passing through the digestive tract. This helps us feel satiated for a longer time and therefore overall appetite and food intake automatically comes down. It can be a great substitute for other high calorie foods in your diet while also helping you lose belly fat. Several researches with bitter gourd extract have shown that it is associated with fat loss when consumed in high doses.