Karela also known as bitter gourd or bitter melon is one vegetable which most people avoid. Most people find it's extreme bitterness, non palatable. However, karela has been used in traditional indian medicine to deal with a wide variety of health problems, including diabetes.
Most often, people suffering from diabetes, tend to drink the karela juice which is extremely bitter. However, the karela juice can be made tasty, with the addition of ginger, kala namak, lemon juice and salt. You can also add a dash of black pepper powder for spice.
The most important part of the karela which adds to the bitterness is the skin. It is very important to retain the skin when making the karela juice or a karela sabzi, Karela dal or karela kadhi.
Research shows that bitter gourd reduces blood glucose levels in type 2 diabetes. Bitter gourd contains many anti-diabetic properties which includes charantin, which is known to have a blood glucose-lowering effect, vicine and an insulin-like compound known as polypeptide-p.
Karela also is known to suppresses the enzymes involved in producing glucose within the body, which in turn helps in reducing appetite.
However, according to Ayurveda karela has to be combined with other diabetic remedies and cannot be a soul factor to reduce the blood glucose levels in type 2 diabetes.
To make things more palatable, we have created delicious and yet wholesome karela recipes that you can make at home and serve along with an indian lunch or dinner.
Ensure you do not deep fry the karela, but pan fry or pressure cook it to get the maximum benefits.