Karela juice is a beverage made from bitter melon, a rough-skinned fruit. As the name implies, the fruit and its juice have a bitter flavour that some people find unpleasant.
However, karela juice has grown in popularity due to its numerous health benefits, including lower blood pressure and improved skin health.
This article will teach you everything you need to know about karela juice, including its nutritional value, potential health benefits, and how to make it.
What exactly is karela juice?
Karela juice is derived from the bitter melon, or Momordica charantia. It gets its name from Indian language translations of “bitter melon.”
The fruit has a distinct rough, bumpy skin and is available in two varieties: Chinese and Indian bitter melon.
The Chinese variety has a pale-green colour and grows to nearly 8 inches (about 20 cm). It has smooth, wart-like bumps on its skin.
The Indian variety is nearly 4 inches (about 10 cm) in length, with pointed ends, spiked skin, and a dark-green colour.
On the inside, both have white flesh that becomes more bitter as the fruit ripens. Karela juice can be made from either variety.
Follow the recipe below to make karela juice. It’s as simple as blending raw bitter melon with water. Some people find that adding a pinch of salt and a squeeze of lemon juice improves the flavour.
The fruit is widely used in subtropical cuisines from the Caribbean, Africa, Southeast Asia, and parts of China. Its juice is also popular in these and other parts of the world as a health tonic.
Karela juice is created by combining bitter melon fruit and water. The fruit has a distinct appearance and a strong flavour. Bitter melon comes in two varieties, both of which can be used to make karela juice.
Information on nutrition
Karela juice is high in a variety of nutrients. Blending 1 cup (93 grammes) raw bitter melon with 1/2 cup (118 ml) filtered water, for example, will provide the following nutrients:
- Calories: 16
- Carbs: 3.4 grams
- Fiber: 2.6 grams
- Protein: 0.9 grams
- Fat: 0.2 grams
- Vitamin C: 95% of the Reference Daily Intake (RDI)
- Folate: 17% of the RDI
- Zinc: 10% of the RDI
- Potassium: 6% of the RDI
- Iron: 5% of the RDI
- Vitamin A: 4% of RDI
- Sodium: 0 mg
Karela juice contains a lot of vitamin C, an antioxidant that helps with immunity, brain health, and tissue healing.
It also contains a lot of provitamin A. This is a substance that your body converts into vitamin A, which benefits your vision and skin health.
Furthermore, blending 1 cup (93 grammes) of bitter melon into your juice provides about 8% of your daily fibre needs to support healthy digestion. Dietary fibre can also aid in blood sugar control.
Karela juice is high in nutrients while being low in calories and carbs. It is high in provitamin A and vitamin C.
Karela juice’s health benefits
The advantages of karela juice extend beyond its nutritional profile.
It has long been lauded for its numerous applications and has been incorporated into many non-Western medicinal practises, including Ayurveda and Traditional Chinese medicine.
Can aid in the reduction of blood sugar levels
Several studies have found that karela juice may aid in the management of blood sugar levels.
Polypeptide-p, charantin, and vicine are the three main components that have been shown to have glucose-lowering properties.
Polypeptide-p is thought to function similarly to insulin, an important hormone that aids in blood sugar regulation by facilitating the absorption of sugar from the blood into cells and tissues.
Both charantin and vicine have been shown to lower blood sugar levels. However, it is currently unknown how this works in your body.
Moreover, several other compounds in karela juice may help protect and even regenerate cells in your pancreas, the organ responsible for insulin release.
For 90 days, 24 people were given 2 grammes of bitter melon extract or a placebo. Those who consumed the bitter melon extract had lower levels of haemoglobin A1c (HbA1c), a marker of long-term blood sugar levels.
Lower HbA1c levels indicate improved blood glucose control and a lower risk of developing diabetes.
While these findings are encouraging, more research is needed to determine exactly how bitter melon or its juice can help control blood sugar levels.
Skin health may be improved.
Karela juice is also used as a beauty aid all over the world. Many people believe it can help your skin glow.
Karela juice is high in antioxidants, such as vitamin C and provitamin A, both of which are essential for healthy skin and wound healing.
In one study, rats treated topically with bitter melon extract healed wounds significantly faster. This effect was even observed in diabetic rats.
Karela juice has been used in traditional non-Western medicine to treat psoriasis, eczema, and ulcers. However, these applications must be investigated formally in human studies.
While bitter melon and its juice have long been used in folk medicine, more research is needed to determine how they may affect skin health.
Other potential health advantages
Karela juice may have additional health benefits, including aiding in weight loss.
According to one study, 42 participants who were given 4.8 grammes of bitter melon extract daily lost significant amounts of belly fat. They had lost an average of 0.5 inch (1.3 cm) from their waistline after seven weeks.
While this study was unable to pinpoint the precise cause of weight loss, it is clear that karela juice can be an effective addition to a weight loss regimen. It has a high fibre content, is low in calories, and is hydrating.
Because fibre moves through your digestive tract more slowly than simple carbohydrates, this combination may help you feel fuller for longer.
Because it suppresses hunger, it may prevent you from eating foods that are high in calories but low in nutrients.
Furthermore, some animal and test-tube studies indicate that some of the components of karela juice may have cancer-fighting properties.
Finally, animal studies suggest that karela juice may increase HDL (good) cholesterol while decreasing LDL (bad) cholesterol and total triglyceride levels.
Karela juice may have numerous health benefits, such as lowering blood sugar levels and improving skin health. More research is needed to determine whether it can aid in the reduction of belly fat.
The disadvantages of karela juice
While some people enjoy karela juice, others may find its bitter taste repulsive.
Furthermore, drinking too much of this juice may be harmful, as it can result in stomach pain, diarrhoea, and an upset stomach. However, there is insufficient scientific evidence to determine how much is safe to consume.
Furthermore, because the long-term effects are unknown, it may not be suitable for everyone.
People with diabetes and those taking medication should consult their healthcare provider before beginning a karela juice regimen due to its effect on blood sugar.
Furthermore, bitter melon extract may have an impact on your endocrine system, which regulates hormones and reproduction. As a result, women who are pregnant or breastfeeding should consult with their healthcare provider before incorporating karela juice into their daily routine.
When consumed in moderation, karela juice is safe for most people, but those with diabetes, taking medication, or who are pregnant or breastfeeding should consult their healthcare provider.
Karela Juice Preparation
Karela juice is simple to make at home. Raw bitter melon, a blender or juicer, and water are all you need.
Choose larger bitter melons and avoid those that are riper and have a slightly orange or red hue. This will help you avoid the harsh flavour that is commonly associated with the fruit.
To help with the bitter taste, soak the bitter melon flesh in water with lemon juice for about 30 minutes before blending it.
- bitter melon
- water or other juice
- lemon juice, salt, or honey (optional)
1 .Cold water should be used to wash the bitter melon.
2. Place it on a cutting board and cut each end off (no need to peel it).
3. Cut the melon in half lengthwise and crosswise. You should now have four pieces of the puzzle.
4. Using a spoon, scoop out the seeds from each piece and discard them.
5. Place the remaining outer green flesh on the cutting board, flat-side down. Cut these into medium-sized chunks.
6. Add enough water to the blender to make one part water to two parts bitter melon. You can adjust the proportions to your liking, and you can substitute another type of juice for the water if desired.
7. Add the bitter melon pieces to the blender. To taste, add a few drops of lemon juice and 1/2 teaspoon (5 mL) honey or salt. Blend until completely smooth.
8. Pour through a wire mesh strainer to remove any fruit chunks. To extract as much juice as possible, press a wooden spoon over the solids. Serve immediately or chill before serving.
If you have a juicer, you can substitute it for the blender. Simply add water at the end to avoid straining the solids.
You can also add other ingredients to your karela juice. Popular additions include green apple, cucumber, ginger, pineapple, and strawberries.
You can easily make karela juice at home with a blender or juicer. If the bitter taste bothers you, choose bitter melons that are larger and paler in colour.
Karela juice is high in nutrients and has been linked to a variety of health benefits, including improved skin health and blood sugar control.
It can be an acquired taste because it is made from bitter melon. You can reduce the sharp flavour of the juice by adding other fruits and vegetables when making it at home.
While more research on the health benefits of karela juice is needed, it can provide many key nutrients and may help optimise your health when consumed in moderation.
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