Kalera is a rough-skinned fruit that is mostly known by English speakers as “bitter melon”, “bitter gourd”, or “balsam pear”. Kalera is its Sanskrit name and it is originating from India. The scientific community refers to it as Momordica charantia.
The fruit has distinctly rough, bumpy skin and can generally be found in two varieties, Chinese and Indian bitter melons. The Chinese variety grows to nearly 8 inches (about 20 cm) and has a pale-green color. Its skin has smooth, wart-like bumps while the Indian variety is smaller at nearly 4 inches (about 10 cm) with pointed ends, spiked skin, and a dark-green hue. Both have white flesh on the inside that grows more bitter as the fruit ripens. Either variety can be used to make karela juice.
They don’t call it “bitter gourd” for nothing: karela is one of the worst-tasting fruits in the world! People who incorporate it into their cooking often stir-fry it aggressively to curtail its almost overwhelming bitterness. You’d never know it was a superfood if you were to pick it off the vine and take a bite.
Right now, you might be asking yourself why we’d write an article all about karela if it’s so unappealing. True, this fruit makes an unfortunate first impression. But like a prickly friend with a heart of gold, there’s more to karela than meets the eye.
The fruit is a common ingredient in cuisines from subtropical regions like the Caribbean, Africa, Southeast Asia, and parts of China. Its juice is also a popular health tonic in these and other parts of the world.
Karela juice is made from the karela fruit. It takes its name from translations of “bitter melon” in Indian languages. the juice is made by blending karela fruit with water.
The fruit itself has a distinct appearance and sharp taste. There are two main varieties of bitter melon, both of which can be used to make karela juice. Some people find that adding a dash of salt and a squeeze of lemon juice makes it more delicious.
Karela juice provides ample amounts of vitamin C, an antioxidant that plays a role in promoting immunity, brain health, and tissue healing.
It’s also a great source of provitamin A. This is a substance that your body converts into vitamin A, which helps with eyesight and skin health.
What’s more, every 1 cup (93 grams) of bitter melon you blend into your juice provides about 8% of your daily fiber needs to support healthy digestion. Dietary fiber can also help control your blood sugar.
Kalera health benefits
1. Stronger Immune system
Having a strong immune system is like having an invisible iron shield protecting the whole body. How to strengthen the immune system? The abundance of antioxidants in bitter melon helps in fighting infections, viruses, and bacteria that attack your body. Besides, among the karela health benefits is the prevention of indigestion issues and allergies, both of which are correlated to our immunity by causing inflammation in the body. So due to different reasons, a stronger heart is one of the main health benefits of karela that you should explore.
2. Lowers the Risk of Diabetes
Nowadays, more and more people suffer from diabetes. Among the most effective medicines used against this disease are nature-based remedies. The p-insulin found in the bitter melon juice is similar to insulin. One of the most important uses of the bitter gourd is as being a natural remedy for the control of the blood sugar levels. It also prevents the risks of complications from the disease.
It can be consumed in the form of karela juice for diabetes, bitter melon tablets, extract, powder and tea. Just to make a quick clarification – these supplemental forms are an idea not just for regulating diabetes, but also for fighting any other ailment this plant is known to treat or relieve. There are tens of bitter melon benefits. To clue you in further in the properties of this intriguing natural gift, simply keep reading below….
3. Healthier Kidneys, liver, and bladder
Among the health benefits of karela is the detoxifying of the liver, clearing the kidneys, and the lungs. It has powerful properties for purifying the digestive tract for better functioning. This natural remedy is effective in the treatment of kidney stones. The bitter melon fruit helps in relieving the lower back pain caused by kidney stones. It is also effective in fighting kidney infections. Patients often use bitter melon extract, tea or tablets for the prevention of kidney stones.
Bitter gourd juice purifies the liver and hence blood from toxins. That’s because the liver serves as a filter when it comes to our blood. You can take karela daily and enjoy all the benefits including better blood circulation. Because of this, we can firmly say that karela can be a safe bet if you have to pick your team of top liver cleansing foods.
4. Purifies the blood
Because it is a liver detox plant, we can deduct that karela would be highly effective in purifying the blood. Besides being a natural blood purifier, bitter gourd is also a means of lowering the blood pressure. To boot, it increases the production of red blood cells.
5. Helps to relieve heart diseases
The stronger heart prolongs one’s life. What’s the recipe for a strong heart? A healthy lifestyle that can very well include taking advantage of the benefits of bitter gourd vegetables that may do miracles for one of the most vital organs. How does that happen? Well, karela reduces the levels of LDL cholesterol in the human body and thus facilitating the ease of blood flow. That, in turn, decreases the risks of heart attacks and heart diseases. The properties of the bitter melon include improving the function of the heart and strengthening the blood vessels for the better overall health of the cardiovascular system.
6. Fights Cancer
Science still tries to find the most effective remedies and medicines that will prevent and cure cancer. There are tens of studies about dozens of different foods and herbs and their effects against the multiplying of cancer cells. The antioxidants are among the most powerful fighters against the deadly cancer cells.
How to include more antioxidants in your daily life? By consuming karela daily to keep your body healthier and stronger. Recent clinical trials and pharmacological studies show a link between ingesting bitter melon and the reduction of tumors in individuals with breast, cervical, and prostate cancer.
7. Treats Acne
Beautiful skin is one of the exterior signs of a healthy body. How to get rid of the acne and red spots on your skin? Start consuming powerful fruits like bitter gourd daily and you’ll notice the difference before you know it. The blood purifying properties of the fruit make karela especially effective against skin problems. You’ll enjoy healthier and younger-looking skin thanks to the antioxidants and the strength properties of the bitter melon for fighting inflammation and bacteria.
8. Induces Weight Loss
This is one of the most famous karela benefits and with the disturbingly high numbers of overweight people, that’s no surprise at all. Karela contains many antioxidants that boost your metabolism and flush your system, plus it reduces cholesterol which reflects on weight management. You can maintain your weight and even lose extra pounds just by adding karela to your diet. The consumption of bitter gourd juice for weight loss makes your body work faster (green tea is also effective in that, so you can combine both as a natural pre-workout combo). Here’s how it happens: karela contains certain enzymes that break down fat into free fatty acids, which results in fat reduction. On the other hand, it also suppresses another type of enzymes that stimulate the formation of fat cells. To boot, karela induces bile juice secretions from the liver and bile juices ease fat metabolism.
Let’s not neglect the fact that bitter gourd is very low in calories (only 34 calories per 100g), which of course is crucial to weight reduction because one of the most known weight loss approaches is the calorie deficit in which you have to count your daily calories.
At last, but not least, the plant activates a specific protein named AMPK, which is involved in things like fat burning, insulin release modulation, glucose uptake, inhibition of triglycerides and cholesterol buildup. Combine karela with a healthy diet and a more active lifestyle and get ready to fit into those skinny jeans you keep at the back of your closet.
9. Improves your vision
Everyone who suffers from vision-related health issues knows how important it is to take care of your eyes and take the necessary eye health-boosting nutrients. Do something great for your eyes and add bitter gourd nutrition to your diet. The vitamins packed in the karela fruit will improve eye functions. This amazing fruit is a source of vitamin A and beta-carotene – just what your eyes need the most.
10. Improves Hair Health
Dandruff, split hair ends, dry and itchy scalp, tangled hair, hair loss…
There is no need to search for a different product to help with each of these problems. Do you know that karela is a great remedy for all kinds of hair issues? Bitter melon is used for treating the scalp. Thus, you can get rid of dandruff and give your hair a shiny, natural look. Just add to your hair a few drops of bitter gourd juice and you’ll forget about the split ends. Treating your scalp with the juice will prevent you from issues like an itchy scalp and greasy hair.
You can also prevent and even treat gray hair, as well as diminish hair fall thanks to karela juice. In the first case, you can mix bitter gourd juice with curry leaves, while for preventing hair loss, you can mix the juice with an equal quantity of curd.
If you start using it, you may find a lot more than 10 benefits of bitter melon. However, before jumping on the bandwagon, you should take a minute to contemplate on the following questions:
Frequently Asked Questions about Kalera
Is Karela safe for me? Are there any side effects of karela?
Generally, karela seems to be a fairly safe substance, but it can cause stomach cramps and diarrhea. Certain diabetes medications don’t mix well with karela either, and if you want to try using this fruit to maintain your blood sugar, a long talk with your doctor is in order. Finally, karela can induce miscarriage when it’s taken in large quantities and it might make children ill, so kids and pregnant women should avoid it.
There’s a lot of potential for karela as a major medical food of the future. Research continues to uncover its incredible powers. If you’ve established that this plant is appropriate for you to consume, you can enjoy this wondrous natural gift in numerous different forms, such as a karela powder, bitter melon tea, extract, juice or tablets.
What is karela good for?
It improves blood circulation and helps to cure issues like rashes, acne, psoriasis, blood boils and even hinders the growth of cancerous cells in the body. Helps in weight loss: Eating or drinking the juice of karela stimulates the liver to secrete bile acids that are essential for metabolizing fat in the body.
Is karela good for diabetes?
Bitter gourd contains an insulin-like compound called Polypeptide-p or p-insulin which has been shown to control diabetes naturally. Karela juice is an excellent beverage for diabetics.
What do you call a karela in English?
The English name for Karela is Momordica charantia, bitter gourd or simply bitter melon.
Is it safe to drink karela juice every day?
While some people find karela juice delicious, others may find its bitter taste unpalatable. In addition, it may not be good to drink too much of this juice, as doing so can lead to adverse effects like stomach pain, diarrhea, and an upset stomach.
What are the side effects of the bitter gourd?
Side effects of bitter melon include:
- Abdominal pain and diarrhea (with bitter melon juice, several times more than the recommended amounts)
- Headache, fever, and coma (with excessive ingestion of the seeds)
- Worsening low blood sugar (hypoglycemia)
Can bitter melon cure cancer?
Laboratory studies show that bitter melon extracts can kill certain cancer cells, but it has not been studied in cancer patients.
Can bitter gourd be eaten raw?
Bitter melon can be enjoyed raw or cooked in various recipes. In fact, it can be pan-fried, steamed, baked, or even hollowed out and stuffed with your choice of fillings.
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