Role of bitter melon (karela) in diabetes

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QUICK BITES

  • Bitter melon has been used to treat diabetes for centuries.
  • According to studies bitter melon probably lowers blood sugar.
  • Drink about 1/4 to 1/2 cup daily.
  • Before taking bitter melon for diabetes to lower blood sugar levels consult your doctor.

Bitter melon (karela) is a vegetable that is grown in several parts of Asia, East Africa, and South America. In India and China bitter melon has been used to treat diabetes for centuries.

bitter melon

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How it works

According to studies bitter melon probably lowers blood sugar by increasing the activity of enzymes that help in metabolism of glucose (helps to convert glucose or blood sugar into glycogen). Glycogen is stored in liver and used later as required for energy. According to experts, bitter melon can help to lower blood cholesterol as well. But the evidence to support effectiveness of bitter melon in lowering blood sugar is still not very convincing.

 

How to take it

You can take bitter melon juice, remove the seeds of bitter melon and then blend and puree it with equal amount of water to make juice. Drink about 1/4 to 1/2 cup daily. Or you can eat it after steaming it, slice the unpeeled fruit and remove the seeds and steam or boil it till it is well cooked. Natural liquid extract of bitter melon is also available. Take 1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon up to three times daily or as recommended. The bitter gourds that are firm and green in colour should be preferred while those with orange spots should be ignored.

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