Is Bitter Gourd Good for Type 2 Diabetes? 8 Benefits

Diabetes is more of a lifestyle change than just a metabolic disorder. It asks for the individual’s perfect attention and cares over his/her metabolism, diets, exercise schedules, rest, and sleep routines.

Diabetes is a disorder where the body’s blood sugar levels are imbalanced due to improper functioning of the insulin hormone that regulates metabolism. Diabetes is a growing disorder and needs to be controlled and prevented from severing to ensure a healthy and comfortable life.

There are several ways to improve your diets to facilitate diabetes management. Including everyday healthy food options is a key method to control your diabetic blood sugar levels. Today, let us talk about the effects of bitter gourd on the diabetic body.

We will discuss …

  • Is bitter gourd good for type 2 diabetes?
  • Can we drink bitter gourd juice daily?
  • Can bitter gourd (karela) reverse diabetes?
  • Bitter gourd (karela) nutrition information
  • What are the other bitter foods that can reduce blood sugar?

And so on.

Today’s topic will surely help you find a good balance in your diabetic life and make necessary changes in your diets. So, without waiting any further, let us get into solving the answers to the above questions.

Veggie causing Diabetes

Is Bitter Gourd good for type 2 diabetes?

Is Bitter Gourd good for type 2 diabetes

Well, it is a straight-up yes! Bitter gourd is very good for type 2 diabetic patients. It can have several benefits to the overall body and help to keep even reduce diabetes.

The goodness of bitter gourd is endless when it comes to diabetic patients. They are filled with nutrients that help the whole body’s functioning and keep blood sugar levels under control.

One of the best reasons diabetics should include bitter gourd in their diets is that it has properties similar to that of insulin. Insulin helps in the absorption of sugar to convert and use as energy in the body.

Bitter gourd can also have such effects on the body and create an environment for proper absorption and movement of sugar in the body for converting into glucose to derive energy. This vegetable’s consumption can help move the sugar to the cells in the liver, muscles, and fat.

This helps prevent the release of this sugar directly into your bloodstream, leading to risings in the blood glucose levels in the body.

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Such important and affective impacts of bitter gourd have been experimentally proved. They are often said to be nutritional therapy for type 2 diabetics.

Bitter gourd is among the green vegetable family that is deemed super healthy for the body. There are numerous benefits of bitter gourd (karela) on the human body that we will discuss in the upcoming subsections.

Bitter gourd can also stimulate insulin functioning and, therefore, encourage diabetes control. It is also good for promoting a healthy weight and keeps the body nutritionally enriched.

Bitter gourd is a natural plant product and consists of several phytochemicals, anti-oxidants, anti-inflammatory elements, which work as anti-diabetic solutions.

It is also very low in calories and higher in fiber, making it a perfect fit for one’s diabetic meal plan.

We will discuss more bitter gourd and its uses further, but now, let us look at the glycemic index of this vegetable.

What is the glycemic index of the bitter gourd?

What is the glycemic index of the bitter gourd

The glycemic index is among the measuring systems for determining the safety of specific food for diabetic patients.

It is a ranking achieved on a scale of 0 to 100. Foods are studied based on their carbohydrate contents and classified as low medium, or high glycemic index.

The following table shows the glycemic categories:

Sl. No. Glycemic Index categoriesGlycemic Index ranges
1.Low Glycemic Index (safe for diabetics) 0 to 55
2.Medium Glycemic Index (safe when taken in controlled quantities)55  to 69
3.High Glycemic Index (unsafe for diabetics)From 70 and above

Well, you might be wondering … what is the glycemic index of the bitter gourd?

The bitter gourd falls in the low glycemic index group and has a GI value of just 18. It is a hypoglycemic food option that helps in keeping blood sugar levels low. Hence, it is proved that you can have karela or bitter gourd without having to worry about hyping up your blood sugar levels above normal limits.

Can we drink bitter gourd juice daily?

Can we drink bitter gourd juice daily

If you know the praises that bitter gourd have about helping the body, you would know that bitter gourd juice is among its most appreciated form health-wise.

You can drink bitter gourd juice daily as a diabetic patient to aid in proper diabetes management.

Karela juice might not be a drink to savor, but it surely is a gift to your health. The metabolic benefits, insulin-like properties, and blood glucose-lowering effects on the body are truly commendable.

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Bitter gourd juice can be a medicinal beverage in your daily routine. A glass of bitter gourd juice every morning on an empty stomach can be numerous advantages.

It can help in activating the insulin functioning in the body. This, in turn, can help in turning the sugar into energy and prevent it from accumulating in the bloodstream to heighten blood glucose levels.

The presence of plant compounds like quarantine in it can assist in lowering glucose in the body. The natural insulin found in karela juice – Polypeptide-p can also help in diabetic reduction.

The overall anti-diabetic properties of bitter gourd are also very helpful in treating diabetes as an everyday supplement.

The habit of everyday bitter gourd juice as diabetic patients can help prevent blood sugar spikes throughout the day.

Bitter Gourd juice recipe:

Bitter Gourd juice recipe

Wondering how to make diabetic-safe bitter gourd juice? Follow these steps:

  • Take one bitter gourd, peel, and scoop out the inner seeds and flesh.
  • Cut it into small pieces
  • Add the pieces into a mixing jar with ½ cup of water and blend
  • Add another ½ cup of water while straining it out.
  • Add in a spoonful of lemon juice and some salt
  • Mix it and serve

There you have the easy recipe to help your bitter gourd juice taste better and serve health as well.

Can bitter gourd reverse diabetes?

Can bitter gourd reverse diabetes

Bitter gourd helps treat diabetes due to its many anti-diabetic qualities. It has been used over hundreds of years to treat blood sugar ailments.

But one important thing to always keep in mind is that every individual has different diabetic conditions and needs. No single technique or medicine can be assured to cure or reverse diabetes among everyone.

Similarly, bitter gourd can help in improving your diabetic health. But to aid its reversal, you have to pair it with other healthy additions in your diet, good exercise, proper medication, etc.

There have been experiments that have deduced the effects of bitter gourd consumption to aid diabetic reduction. The quarantine extract is useful in stimulating the B cells in the pancreas that give rise to insulin production.

There are medical supplements of it are out there as well. But it should be used upon expert prescription only.

What is the nutritional value of Bitter gourd?

What is the nutritional value of Bitter gourd

The table below shows the type and quantity of nutrients available in bitter gourd:

Sl. No.Nutrients available in 100g bitter gourd Amount available
1.Calories17
2.Carbohydrates3.70g
3.Proteins1g
4.Fats0.17g
5.Dietary fiber2.80g
6.Folate72µg
7.Niacin0.0400mg
8.Pantothenic acid0.212mg
9.Pyridoxine0.043mg
10.Riboflavin0.040mg
11.Thiamine0.040mg
12.Vitamin A471IU
13.Vitamin C84mg
14.Sodium5mg
15.Potassium296mg
16.Calcium19mg
17.Copper0.034mg
18.Iron0.43mg
19.Magnesium17mg
20.Manganese0.089mg
21.Zinc0.80mg
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Now let us see what the benefits of these nutrients are.

What are the benefits of eating bitter gourd in Diabetes?

What are the benefits of eating bitter gourd in Diabetes

  1. It is very low in calories and promotes weight loss and management.
  1. Bitter gourds are excellent for women, especially pregnant women, because of their richness in Folate.
  1. It is an amazing source of vitamin C that helps in protecting the body from free radicals and assists in immunity strengthening.
  1. It also has many flavonoids that offer overall protection to the body.
  1. The presence of fiber in it helps smooth digestion and helps avoid cases of constipation, indigestion, etc.
  1. It has many minerals like potassium, calcium, magnesium, etc., that help keep the heart healthy. It is also efficient in managing blood sugar levels.
  1. Bitter gourd also has to purify properties that help in cleansing the blood.
  1. The consumption of bitter gourd helps in collagen formation and keeps the skin healthy and smooth.

What are other bitter foods that can reduce blood sugar?

What are other bitter foods that can reduce blood sugar

Apart from bitter gourd, several other foods are bitter and can benefit blood sugar level reduction similarly. Bitter foods can assist in diabetes control.

Here is a list of some other bitter foods that can reduce blood sugar:

  • Sesame seeds: a handful of sesame seeds daily can have major impacts on diabetes reduction and many other potential health benefits. 
  • Spinach: spinach is among the green leafy veggies that have numerous health benefits. It is also nourishing several necessary vitamins and minerals that assist in diabetes management.
  • Kale: Kale is a very healthy green leafy vegetable that is among the super-foods for diabetic individuals.
  • Fenugreek seeds: these mixed in water can be had every morning for diabetes management.
  • Green tea: this is a great beverage choice for diabetics to include blood sugar control.

References

  1. https://academic.oup.com/nutritionreviews/article/64/7/331/1887627?login=true
  2. https://link.springer.com/article/10.1007%2Fs11130-005-6837-x
  3. https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S2225411017300147
  4. https://www.cambridge.org/core/journals/british-journal-of-nutrition/article/antidiabetic-effects-of-bitter-gourd-extracts-in-insulinresistant-dbdb-mice/E8BEFA79BD3827420B4936B6A35E4C28
  5. https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/abs/10.1111/j.1365-2230.2008.03117.x
  6. http://nopr.niscair.res.in/handle/123456789/5523
  7. https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/abs/pii/S2222180813600523
  8. https://www.cambridge.org/core/journals/british-journal-of-nutrition/article/antidiabetic-and-hypoglycaemic-effects-of-momordica-charantia-bitter-melon-a-mini-review/178D6AD854F78BC646ED1D761A394D6D
  9. https://www.cabdirect.org/cabdirect/abstract/20143049227

 

Dr Sharon Baisil MD
100 Best Foods for Diabetes

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