Diabetes is one of the most prevalent diseases that we Indians suffer from today. Mostly, it is due to genetics, but sometimes it can be caused by our sedentary lifestyle and improper food habits. In either case, diabetes can lead to life-threatening situations. It has to be monitored, controlled and the diabetic person needs to be extra vigilant about his/her sugar intake. Timely medicine intake, getting proper exercise and precautions about the food they eat is part and parcel of a diabetic life. As diabetes can lead to a lot of other health problems, regular health checkups are a must.
There are generally three types of diabetes. Type I diabetes is caused where the body does not produce insulin and hence, is referred to as juvenile diabetes or early-onset diabetes. Type II diabetes refers to a condition where either the body does not produce enough insulin for proper function or the cells in the body do not react to the insulin produced. Gestational diabetes occurs in women during pregnancy when they have high levels of glucose in their blood, but their bodies are unable to produce enough insulin to transport all the glucose into their cells. This further leads to progressively rising levels of glucose. In India, type 2 diabetes is more common than other forms.
It is indeed sad that diabetes can affect anyone, even a baby. Treatments like insulin injections and dialysis are a painful experience. The diabetics not only have to give up eating sweets but also restrict the consumption of several other food items. Bitter gourd or bitter melon is a vegetable that is hated by most of us because of its bitter taste and ugly appearance. But it is indeed a boon for diabetics.
Bitter Gourd Juice – The Best Of All
Is bitter gourd juice good for diabetes? The bitter gourd, more commonly known as karela in Indian households, is not a loved vegetable, thanks to its bitter taste. It is, however, an effective medicine for diabetic and anemic people. It’s an amazing blood purifier. As it has hypoglycemic substance, it helps in bring down the blood sugar and urine sugar levels.
The best way to get all the possible nutrition from a vegetable is to eat it raw. You can also get the maximum nutrition if you take the juice of it. But ensure that our body assimilates it in a much more effective manner.
5 Simple Steps To Make Bitter Gourd Juice For Diabetes
If you are suffering from diabetes, you should take bitter gourd juice early every morning on an empty stomach for best results. Though most people appreciate its effectiveness, most are unable to look past its bitter taste. However, a little time with a bad aftertaste is better than bad health, right?
Here is a simple and quick way to make bitter gourd juice for diabetes at home:
Take fresh bitter gourd and get a few lemons as well. To make the juice more effective, add a little bit of turmeric.
- Wash the bitter gourd and peel its top skin. If it does not bother, you can simply let it be. Many people do not skin or peel the top skin away.
- Cut the karela into fine pieces and apply salt properly by rubbing it with turmeric. Keep it for some time, and then extract the bitter juice out of it.
- Once you see the water strained out of the bitter gourd, you can then crush the pieces in the mixer properly.
- Sieve it if you want. Just have the full juice with the fiber after adding a little bit of fresh lemon juice for taste and tangy flavor.
There are other ways of making this juice, but this is the best method to start. But ensure that you have this juice fresh. Also, having bitter gourd juice on an empty stomach is preferable if you are diabetic. If you are overweight, it will also improve the metabolism of fat in the body by stimulating bile juice production in the liver.
Benefits Of Bitter Gourd For Diabetes
This vegetable is renowned for its numerous health benefits; especially it’s potential to lower blood glucose levels. It was widely used in traditional medicine to treat diabetes, and now, it is commercially available in the form of tea, juice, extracts and pills. Though there is lack of proven data regarding its ability in the treatment of diabetes and research is still underway in this respect, consuming bitter gourd or its juice may help in diabetes due to the following reasons:
1. Lowers Blood Glucose Levels
As stated earlier, bitter gourd has been found to be effective in lowering blood glucose levels. Instead of targeting one particular organ or tissue like medicinal drugs, bitter gourd facilitates glucose metabolism in the entire body. This can be attributed to the presence of two essential compounds called charatin and momordicin which play a key role in lowering blood sugar levels.
2. Facilitates Carbohydrate Digestion
Bitter gourd inhibits the enzymes that are involved in breaking down the disaccharides to two monosaccharides, thereby reducing the amount of glucose released into the blood. Bitter gourd is effective in the treatment of both Type I and Type II diabetes as it influences the transport channels for glucose. This is particularly beneficial in preventing the spikes in blood sugar levels after meals.
3. Increases Insulin Secretion
Insulin is involved in transporting sugar from the blood to the skeletal muscle and fat tissue. This sugar is then used for energy production. Insulin prevents the production of sugar by the liver and its release into the blood. Type I diabetes, also known as insulin-dependent diabetes, is caused by the failure of the pancreas to produce enough insulin for prevention of spikes in blood sugar levels. By increasing pancreatic insulin secretion, bitter gourd can help in treating type I diabetes. Besides, scientists have discovered an insulin-like molecule called polypeptide P in bitter gourd which can lower blood sugar levels in type I diabetics. Hence, consumption of bitter gourd can reduce the requirement of insulin injections to manage type I diabetes.
4. Reverses Insulin Resistance
Bitter gourd has been found to be effective in the treatment of Type II diabetes. As stated earlier, it is caused due to the failure of the skeletal muscles, fat tissues, and liver to respond adequately to insulin. This is called insulin resistance which increases the risk of developing type II diabetes. Research has shown that bitter gourd contains compounds called oleanolic acid glycosides which can improve glucose tolerance in Type II diabetics, by preventing or reversing insulin resistance.
5. Antioxidant Properties
Thus, high sugar concentration in the blood increases the risk of both Type I and Type II diabetes which further increases the risk of oxidation and inflammation in the whole body, leading to blindness, diabetic feet, stroke, heart attack or kidney disease. Bitter gourd can prevent all these ailments not only by lowering blood sugar levels but also through its antioxidant properties.
How To Take Bitter Gourd For Diabetes
Drinking a glass of bitter gourd juice in the morning on an empty stomach can greatly help in lowering blood glucose levels. To reduce its bitterness, you can soak the peeled bitter gourd pieces in water with salt or turmeric for 15 minutes. Then remove the pieces from water and grind them with water along with a few drops of lemon. Sieve the fibrous part and drink on an empty stomach. For the added benefit of boosting your immune system, you can try adding half a piece of amla or Indian gooseberry to the juice.
No matter how bitter the juice may be, gulp it down—bitter gourd juice can do wonders for diabetic people. Get your thinking cap on and blend bitter gourd with other veggies and fruits. Some honey can do the trick too! So what are you waiting for? Bring out the blender, and get set go on a journey towards better health with this wonderful relation between bitter gourd juice and diabetes.
Do you or someone you know suffer from diabetes? Have you tried bitter gourd juice? Do you have a special bitter gourd juice recipe? Share with us in the comments section below.
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