Category: Weight Loss

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.

Health Benefits of Pistachio Nuts You Should Know

Overview

Pistachios (roasted without salt) are one of the most nutritious nuts, low calorie, oldest edible nuts, healthy for heart and the entire body as they improve blood, brain and skin health. Pistachio nuts belong to the Anacardiaceae family. A tree (Pisracia vera tree) takes almost 10 years to produce its first crop. Pistachios are seeds of the tree.

Health Benefits of Pistachio

Is Pistachios Are Good For You?

Pistachios are loaded with nutrients like carbohydrates, proteins, antioxidants, amino acids, fats and dietary fiber. They are rich in minerals like phosphorous, potassium, calcium, iron, magnesium, zinc, copper and sodium. Pistachio provides essential vitamins like Vitamin A, C, E and K along with folate, riboflavin, niacin, thiamin and pantothenic acid.

What are the Health Benefits of Pistachios?

Healthy Heart

Improve Heart Health

  • Pistachios are one of the most Vitamin B6 rich foods, which is important for formation of hemoglobin and blood sugar regulation. Getting Vitamin B6 in diet helps to improve cardiovascular health. Pistachios can lower bad cholesterol and cut the risk of coronary heart disease.
  • They lower the levels of lipids and lipoproteins which are the risk factors for heart disease. The omega 3 fatty acids present in serving of pistachios can help lower blood pressure and protect against abnormal heart beat.
  • The high amount of Vitamin B6 also helps in building amino acids essential in transmitting nerve impulses and thus helps in maintaining a healthy nervous system.
  • Pistachios are a great source of amino acid L arginine which is converted to nitric oxide in the body. Nitric oxide plays an important role in vasodilation (widening or dilating of blood vessels). Thus, these nuts enhance the blood flow and manage the blood pressure naturally.

Boost Fertility

  • Proper blood flow is needed for body functions like erectile function. Along with this, Pistachios act as an aphrodisiac and is found to improve sex drive in men and boost fertility.

Sources of Vitamin E

Source of Vitamin E

  • Pistachios are amazing source of Vitamin E which is needed to prevent age related cognitive decline.
  • Pistachios are able to stimulate brain frequencies better than other nuts.
  • Thus, they help to enhance learning and information retention.
  • The oil from the pistachio nut is useful in fighting brain

Premature Aging

  • Inflammation and preserving the essential fatty acids in the brain. The vitamin E in pistachios protects the skin from the damage caused by Ultra violet rays and delays the signs of premature aging.

Weight loss Management

Weight loss Management

  • Pistachios are very helpful with weight management as they are low in calories, high in proteins.
  • They have low saturated fats and high unsaturated fats which is needed for weight management. The fiber in them helps to keep one full for longer periods.
  • Consuming pistachios can keep inches off the waist over time.
  • Pistachios have beneficial effects on triglycerides too.
  • The fat content in them is not fully absorbed by the body.
  • They are the healthiest nuts to be used as a snack in order to lose weight.
  • Eating in shell pistachios also leads to mindful eating as one needs to slowly remove the shell and eat the nuts.

Enhance Gut Health

  • Pistachios promotes healthy gut bacteria as they are high in fiber.
  • They help in smooth digestion of the food and prevents constipation.
  • Consuming pistachios increases the number of butyrate producing bacteria in the gut.
  • Feeding the good bacteria helps them multiply and crowd out the harmful bacteria.
  • The fiber in pistachios is digested by the food bacteria in the stomach which then ferments this fiber and produce short chain fatty acids. This helps in reducing risk of developing digestive disorders, colon cancers and heart diseases.

Helpful in Diabetes

  • Pistachios are known to increase the levels of peptide 1 hormone that regulates glucose levels in diabetes. The nuts have positive effects on glycemic control, blood pressure, inflammation and obesity in diabetic patients. Intake of pistachios lowers the glucose and insulin levels. They have low glycemic index which means they do not cause a large spike in the blood sugar.

Improve Vision Health

  • Pistachios are a rich source of antioxidants lutein and zeaxanthin which are essential for healthy eyes. These antioxidants are found in human retina and taking care of eyes and prevents vision issues.
  • Consuming Pistachios regularly reduces the chances of age-related Macular Degeneration and cataracts. They also protect the eyes against damage caused by blue light. Pistachios also contain zinc which is a vital nutrient for healthy eyes.

Boost Immunity

  • The zinc and Vitamin B6 in Pistachios also boost the immunity and protects the body against various infections.

Pistachios Combat Inflammation

Pistachios Combat Inflammation

  • Pistachios combat inflammation as they are rich in monounsaturated fats and proteins which helps in fighting inflammation for Arthritis patients and also builds strength.
  • The presence of Vitamin A, E and anti-inflammatory properties in pistachios helps in reducing inflammation in any part of the body.

Increase Estrogen Levels

  • Pistachios are very helpful for females as they contain the highest number of phytoestrogens. They can increase the estrogen levels leading to regulated menstrual cycles.
  • They are also good source of nutrition during pregnancy and breastfeeding.

Fight Premature Aging

  • These nuts are very useful for skin and hair. The copper in Pistachios aids the production of elastin which treats sagging skin and prevents the formation of wrinkles.
  • The nuts also help in eliminating dryness from the skin. The saturated fats in these nuts acts as a good carrier or base oil for massage therapies and aromatherapies.

Prevent Anemia

  • The high copper content in Pistachios helps in the higher iron absorption in the body from various food sources. Thus, the intake of these nuts helps prevent conditions like anemia.
  • Pistachios have high ratio of essential amino acids, the building blocks of protein making it exceptionally beneficial for vegetarians.

How to Eat

  • Pistachios are very popular in ice creams and desserts. They are prized high for their unique, slightly sweet flavor. They can be eaten as a snack or on top of a salad and mixed in baked goods for additional flavor.
  • These are delicious, versatile and fun to eat nuts. Pistachios in diet are a great way to improve overall health. It is important to stick to plain, unsalted pistachio nuts in their shells and avoid eating more than one ounce a day. Pistachios must be stored in airtight containers in cool and dry places to last longer.