Category: Vitamin C

7 Reasons Why You Should Start Eating Karela (Bitter Gourd)

How to Reverse Diabetes NaturallyOverview

Bitter Gourd (Karela) is also known as Balsam Pear or Bitter Melon. It is also called Momordica charantia and is a climbing shrub that grows in tropical climate. It belongs to the same plant family as cucumbers, pumpkin and squash. It is despised for its bitter taste but is considered one of the best foods to be consumed because of its various health benefits. Bitter Gourd is not a vegetable but a fruit as the part of the plant that is used for consumption and for medicinal purpose.

Bitter Gourd is packed with nutrients ranging from iron, magnesium, calcium, beta carotene, vitamin c and potassium. It is an excellent source of dietary fiber. It is a good source of Omega 6 fatty acid, linoleic acid, and Oleic acid.  Bitter gourd is very beneficial in managing disorders like diabetes and asthma.

The leaves and Bitter Gourd itself can be consumed for health benefits. It can be either cooked as a dish, baked, boiled, fried or consumed as raw juice.  It can be either made into a smoothie along with apples and spinach or be cooked as soup. It is also available in form of baked chips, pickles and chutneys. There are numerous reasons why one should start eating Bitter Gourd.

Some of the most important reasons are listed below:

Weight Management:

  • Bitter gourd is a natural agent for treating obesity. The fruit is low in calories, fats and carbohydrates. 100 grams of Bitter Gourd contains just 20 calories. It has the ability to keep one fuller for a longer period of time. The pods of Bitter gourd contain 80% water. Bitter melon contains antioxidants that improve metabolism and flush out toxins from the body.  Regular consumption of Bitter Gourd helps in relieving constipation and indigestion. Thus, it is very useful in losing weight.

Blood Purifier:

  • The anti-oxidant and anti-microbial properties of bitter gourd help it to clear toxins from the body, purify it and improve blood circulation throughout the body. Bitter Gourd juice should be consumed in the morning on an empty stomach to detox the body. It helps with controlling blood clotting too, thus helping the wounds to heal faster.
  • Bitter Gourd is used to treat acne, rashes, psoriasis, toxemia, blood boils and itching in any part of the body. It is rich in folate and is very useful for menstruating women and pregnant women to prevent anemia and maintain blood iron levels. Bitter Gourd is known to reduce neural tube defects in developing baby if consumed at the time of pregnancy.

Treats Respiratory disorders:

  • Bitter Gourd is a simple home remedy to relief cough, cold, improve breathing and clear up the sputum. The pods of Bitter Gourd is used to treat asthma.

Health Benefits of Bitter gourd

Manages Diabetes:

  • Bitter gourd contains polypeptide-p (p insulin), alkaloids and charatin which help in reducing blood sugar levels naturally for Type 2 diabetic patients. Consuming bitter gourd, helps in regulating metabolism, thus prevents unpredictable spikes and drops in insulin levels.
  • Bitter gourd increases the absorption of glucose by the liver, fats and muscle tissue thus helps in reducing blood sugar levels and reduces demand on pancreas for insulin.
  • Bitter gourd acts as a hypoglycemic agent. Consuming bitter gourd juice increases the uptake of glucose and improves the glycemic control. Bitter Gourd activates the kinases protein that helps in absorption of sugar, thus aids in bringing diabetes under control.
  • Plant based insulin in bitter gourd also helps patients with type 1 diabetes. A glass of bitter gourd juice, daily (50 ml) is the most successful home remedy for diabetes.

Cleanses the liver:

  • A glass of bitter gourd juice daily acts as liver tonic and heal all kinds of liver problems. The juice cleanses the bowel and prevents liver failure by strengthening the anti-oxidant activity of the liver enzymes. It is very helpful in improving liver and kidney functions. It repairs liver and increases its capacity to clean blood.

Improves Eye sight:

  • Bitter Gourd is a good source of Lutein and Zeaxanthin and Vitamin A. It helps in preventing cataract development and progression.
  • Vitamin A also plays an important role in cell communication and aids in new cell growth and development.
  • Consuming Bitter gourd (raw, cooked or in juice form) helps in maintaining better vision by supporting retinal function and nourishing the corneas and conjunctival membranes.
  • Bitter Gourd is also a great home remedy to treat dark circles. It helps in preventing all vision related problems and strengthens the eye sight over time.

Boosts Skin and Hair Health:

  • The regular consumption of Bitter Gourd protects the skin from blemishes and acne. The vitamin C content in Bitter gourd makes it a power anti-oxidant that fights harmful free radicals and prevents wrinkles. This fruit contains anti-ageing properties as it keeps the tissues strong by facilitating collagen production thus it slows down the aging process naturally. It also protects the skin from Ultra Violet rays damage. Consuming Bitter Gourd helps to get rid of deep skin infections.

How to Use

  • Applying Bitter gourd juice to the scalp decreases hair loss and graying of the hair. It treats dandruff, scalp itchiness, split ends and rough hair. The juice may be applied directly to the scalp or mixed with some curd. Biotin, Zinc and Vitamin A and C help in imparting shine and luster to the hair.

Other Benefits of Bitter Gourd

  • Bitter Gourd has proved to be beneficial for HIV/AIDS patients as they contain phytochemicals which improve immunity and reduce the overall infection and inflammation in the patient. It also helps in lowering cholesterol levels, thus reducing risk of heart problems.
  • Bitter Gourd is a rich source of Vitamin C that protects our cells from free radicals involved in cancer development. It boosts immunity and helps in iron absorption in the body. It also improves stamina and energy levels of the individual and aids sound sleep.
  • To make Bitter Gourd less bitter one can sauté it in olive oil or sprinkle some salt over the cut bitter gourd pieces and let it sit for few minutes. Soaking Bitter Gourd in Tamarind juice also helps in taking away the bitterness.

The Amazing Health Benefits of Pomegranate Juice

Pomegranate is a wonderful and popular fruit in the Middle East, India and other Asian countries. They are growing and being used in the whole world, owing to their many health benefits as well as nutritional value.

It is a wonderful source of dietary fiber, vitamin K and vitamin C and several B vitamins also. Other nutrients include potassium, iron, magnesium, phosphorus, selenium, zinc, folate and manganese. The fruit is also rich omega-6 fatty acids.

The arils along with rind have many medicinal benefits due to the presence of antioxidants like anthocyanins, polyphenols, tannins and flavonoids.

Pomegranate’s antiviral, anti-inflammatory and antitumor properties helps in treating inflammation, viral infections and several cancers. This fruit can be enjoyed by anyone watching their weight, due to its low caloric values.

The seed pods or arils can be eaten raw as well as made into juice. The juice has a tart flavor. The arils can also be added to savory dishes, soups, smoothies as well as desserts. The seeds of pomegranate are also used to make oil, which has many health and cosmetic benefits.

Health Benefits of Pomegranate Juice

HEART HEALTHY

  • Pomegranates are wonderful for your heart. Pomegranate juice helps in improving the blood flow to the heart and also helps in clearing the clogged arteries. Its anti-atherogenic benefits helps in reduction of the growth of plaque formation. It is rich in polyphenol content.
  • A study conducted in 2005 at the University of Naples in Italy, it was found that the juice of dark pomegranate is very beneficial in the prevention and treatment of atherosclerosis which is the most serious condition nowadays.
  • According to another study it is found that intake of 800 mg of pomegranate seed oil lowers the levels of triglycerides and also improves the high density lipoprotein (HDL) ratio.
  • Drink 1 glass of freshly extracted pomegranate juice daily, so as to boost the health of heart. Another option, you can also eat 1-2 cups of pomegranate seeds.

REGULATES BLOOD PRESSURE

  • Pomegranates are wonderful for people who are dealing with high blood pressure or hypertension. The high antioxidants, polyphenols and vitamin C stimulates the nitric oxide production, which helps the blood to flow easily and prevents arteries from blocking.
  • They even lower existing plaque formations in the arteries resulting in the reduction of risk of strokes as well as heart attacks.
  • According to some studies it is believed that consumption of pomegranate juice inhibits the activity of serum angiotensin converting enzyme and reduces systolic blood pressure.
  • According to another study, it was found that pomegranate juice consumption could be considered in the context of both pharmacological as well as dietary interventions for hypertension
  • Intake of at least a glass of freshly extracted pomegranate juice on the daily basis for better results.
  • Another option is to make fruit salads and smoothies with pomegranates.
  • Always keep monitoring your levels of blood pressure when taking pomegranates to lower blood pressure, especially if you are taking blood pressure medication.

RELIEVES JOINT AND ARTHRITIS PAIN

  • Arthritis pain and joint pain is a major problem among old people, especially women. Include pomegranate juice in your diet so as to treat osteoarthritis, rheumatoid arthritis and overall joint pain. Pomegranates juice has anti-inflammatory as well as antioxidant properties which helps in blocking the enzymes known to damage joints and cause pain as well as stiffness.
  • According to a study carried out, it is found that pomegranate fruit extract contains certain compounds which blocks the enzymes that can lead to joint damage.
  • Another study was carried out in 2011 and it was concluded that daily intake of pomegranates lowers the serum oxidative stress and lowers the disease activity in the patients with active rheumatoid arthritis. More research is still going on.
  • Have at least a glass of pomegranate juice regularly for better results and if you are taking medicines, always consult your doctor first before using it.
  • Make a mixture of equal quantities of pomegranate seed oil with a carrier oil. Then massage it on the affected painful joint. This can be done once or twice a day.

FIGHTS ANAEMIA SYMPTOMS

  • This superfood is even beneficial for the people who are suffering from iron-deficient type of anemia. The iron present in pomegranates increases red blood cell count which ultimately cures anemia.
  • This results in an increase in the concentration of hemoglobin in the blood and even induces healthy blood flow. It helps the body in absorption of iron, due to the presence of high amount of vitamin C.
  • Drink a cup of pomegranate juice daily with your breakfast, if you are suffering from anemia.
  • Have this juice for at least a month or more so as to treat various types of anemia.

AIDS IN CANCER PREVENTION AND TREATMENT

  • Another wonderful benefit of pomegranate juice includes protection against cancer. It helps in treating and preventing cancer due to its anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties.
  • Pomegranate juice induces antitumor effects on various types of cancer cells such as prostate, lung, breast and skin cancer.
  • According to some researches, it was concluded that cytotoxic activities of pomegranate extract or pomegranate juice is likely to be valuable for the treatment of prostate cell line [by induction of apoptosis].
  • According to a study carried out in 2014 study, it is believed that pomegranate juice is best for the treatment of cancer. Molecular Carcinogenesis focuses on the anti-proliferative effects of pomegranate juice in breast cancer cells.

IMPROVES MEMORY

  • Pomegranate juice is also beneficial in improving the memory as well as helps in prevention and treatment of Alzheimer’s disease. The polyphenols present in the pomegranate juice are thought to provide positive cognitive benefits.
  • According to a study carried out in 2011, it was concluded that daily intake of pomegranate juice helps in improving the memory and functional brain activity in middle-aged as well as older adults with mild memory complaints and issues.
  • According to another study which was carried out in 2006, it was concluded that pomegranate juice decreases the accumulation and deposition of amyloid in the brain by 50 percent from Alzheimer’s disease.