Health Benefits of Bitter Gourd

bitter gourd

You Are What You Eat:  Written by The Art of Living Foundation.

Health Benefits of Bitter Gourd: Also Know as Karela or Ampalaya

1.Relieves Cold:
Ampalaya or Karela is used in treating fever and cough caused by cold. It has anti-inflammatory properties and that is why it is used against mucus accumulation and chest congestion.

2.Disinfectant:
It is used against bacteria as it has strong powerful antibiotic properties. It can be used as a disinfectant for minor wounds, burns and scrapes.

3.Lowers Blood Sugar Level:
Karela is used against diabetes. It is able to reduce the blood sugar level and prevents other side-effects caused by high blood sugar.

4.Immunity Booster:
Bittergourd removes free radicals from the body and fights infections which can lead to tissue and organ damage.

5.Lowers Blood Pressure:
It lowers the blood pressure because it is able to relax the vascular system. Lowering the high blood pressure is an important function because it can protect people from having a heart attack or stroke.

6.Headache Relief:
When the muscles around brain are under pressure, they cause headaches. Ampalaya reduces the pressure and alleviates headaches. Stress usually causes the pressure but ampalaya also helps in relieving tension and stress.

7.Improves Psoriasis:
People who suffer from psoriasis have confirmed that this plant has helped them a lot. Ampalaya juice can also help with fungal infections as athlete’s foot and fungi.

8.Spleen and liver Protection:
Overuse of alcohol and toxins can lead to damaged spleen and liver. This vegetable can regenerate and repair tissues in the body which were damaged by toxins. Ampalaya contains useful enzymes which maintain proper spleen and liver function.

9.Weight Control:
Obesity is linked with numerous health problems like diabetes, high blood pressure, heart disease and many others. A study showed that Karela juice is effective in preventing fat cells from forming.

10.Eye Problems:
Karela is rich in beta-carotene and other minerals which help with eye problems.

Punjabi Karela Sabzi Recipe

prep time: 10 mins cook time: 20 mins total time: 30 mins
serves: 2-3

karela sabzi – dry bitter gourd curry made in north indian style.
ingredients (measuring cup used, 1 cup = 250 ml):
5-6 medium sized karela/bitter gourd
2 or 3 medium sized onions
½ tsp turmeric powder or haldi
¼ tsp red chili powder
¼ tsp garam masala powder
¼ or ½ tsp amchur powder or dry mango powder
2 tbsp oil
salt
how to make the recipe:
Peel the karelas. Wash them in running water. Chop them. You can even slice them. Remove the seeds.
Slice the onions too.
In a kadai or pan, heat oil. Add the chopped or sliced bitter gourds.
Saute the bitter gourd on medium heat for 2 minutes. Lower the flame and saute for 2-3 minutes more.
Add the sliced onions.
Mix the sliced onions with the bitter gourd.
Saute for 2-3 minutes.
Now add the turmeric powder, red chili powder and salt.
Stir. Cook the sabzi without any lid for 7-8 minutes till the both the karela and onions are cooked and sauted well. The onions will become brown. Keep on stirring in between. Check the seasoning. Add more red chili powder or salt if required.
When the Karela sabzi is ready, sprinkle the amchur and garam masala powder. Mix it with the entire sabzi.
Garnishing Karela Sabzi with chopped cilantro/coriander leaves is optional.
Serve Karela Sabzi with phulkas, parathas and a bowl of fresh plain curd/yoghurt or sweetened curd/yoghurt. Karela Sabzi also goes very well as a side vegetable dish or accompaniment with the combination of dal rice or kadhi chawal ( punjabi curd kadhi with rice)