Have you heard about the current Karela juice trend? It’s currently sweeping the nation as the best way to get all your nutrients and lose weight. People swear by it as a power juicer.
Think you want to try it out for yourself? It could be beneficial, but you want to make sure you have all the information you could possibly need. With our guide, you’ll not just learn about all the benefits but also the best way to use karela juice in your diet. You’ll also learn about some of the dangers of having too much of the juice on a regular basis.
Are you ready to learn everything you need to know about the karela juice trend?
What Exactly Is Karela Juice?
Karela is a fruit, also known as momordica charantia. It’s extremely bitter, which is why it’s also sometimes referred to as bitter melon or bitter gourd. You may also hear it called bitter cucumber and carilla fruit. All the names are about the same type of fruit, so try not to get confused! To help avoid any confusion throughout this piece, we’ll keep calling it karela.
You’ll find the bitter fruit in Indian, the Caribbean, and parts of Africa. It’s been used in Eastern medicines for centuries, due to its multiple healing properties. Many cultures still opt for it as a medical item, especially when the fruit is unripe.
This is something that you’ll find in most of the Eastern cuisine. It can help to add flavor to curries, soups, stir-fries, and much more. When combined with other vegetables, the bitterness can be masked, which is why it’s so popular with the spices and herbs. However, eaten raw the bitterness can be too much and leaves a nasty taste in the mouth for many. Therefore, it hasn’t quite reached the Western world.
Karela juice is made just like any other fruit juice. The juice of the fruit is extracted, with the pulp left behind. It’s not that surprising that karela juice has become a trend, considering there are many experts that recommend juicing for energy boosts, weight loss, and more. Like other fruits, karela can be added with other ingredients to help lessen the bitterness, but it is more popular on its own.
Eating or drinking raw karela juice is the best way to get all the nutrients. Even boiling can lead to the destruction of some of the nutrients. It’s best to play it safe.
Health Benefits of Karela Juice
If it’s so bitter, why are so many people opting for this juice? Well, the simple answer is the health benefits. Eastern medicine isn’t the only type that can benefit from it.
However, it’s worth pointing out that while patients have noticed these health benefits, studies haven’t proven them just yet. There is still research needed and there are some downsides to consider before you start stocking up on the fruit.
Here’s a look at the health benefits of drinking karela juice.
Treat and prevent Type II diabetes. One of the main reasons people drink karela juice is because of the abilities to treat and prevent Type II diabetes. This is a condition where the body doesn’t react to insulin properly, leading to high or low blood sugar levels. Having incorrect glucose levels could leave you with many health problems.
Studies have considered the claims that karela juice can help treat and prevent Type II diabetes. After all, a fruit juice is full of natural sugars, right? Scientists have found that there are compounds that can help activate the AMPK enzyme. This is a protein that you can naturally active through exercise, but you can do it throughout the day with karela juice, too.
The research is still in early stages. If you are taking medication to activate the AMPK then you will still want to take them. Adding a natural treatment can help further activate them and reverse your diabetes.
Reduce the risk of cancer. Another powerful benefit is the protection against cancer. When cancer spreads through the body, cells grow and form abnormally throughout. They take over and it can be hard to kill off all damaged cells. Doctors still know little about the formation of the cancerous cells, although there are toxins and chemicals blamed.
Karela juice can help prevent the formation of some cancer cells. This is especially beneficial for pancreatic cancer, which is still one of the most dangerous types of cancers around.
Scientists are doing studies into the effects, but again they’re still in the early stages. The good news is the early stages are proving beneficial.
Treating HIV and AIDS. Some studies have shown that the karela juice may help to treat HIV and prevent the formation of AIDS. HIV remains as one of the most dangerous viruses if you don’t get it under control. Medication to help prevent the development of the disease is available. There’s currently nothing to reverse it and get rid of it entirely.
Studies show that karela has a phytonutrient compound that could help to fight the HIV infection. So far, the lab tests look good, but the studies still have a long way to go before becoming a definite replacement for pharmaceutical medication.
The drugs can offer numerous side effects, so there are patients waiting for trial karela juice. It is something that could work alongside your current medication.
Protect against liver damage. Liver damage will affect your whole health. The liver is needed to get rid of toxins in the body, so if it doesn’t work properly all your organs are affected by toxins. Karela juice shows positive effects in protecting the liver from damage through the antioxidants. It’s these antioxidants that help to prevent the cancers mentioned above.
The studies are currently carried out in lab rats. Human studies are still to take place, but since there are minimal risks to adding karela juice to your diet it could be worth trying.
Treating psoriasis. There are many people around the world struggling with psoriasis, a skin condition that makes the skin look red and scaly. It’s annoying, painful, and unsightly. You just want rid of it as soon as possible. But there are very few skin products that can help, as usually something interacts with the skin and causes more problems.
Karela juice appears to be one of the best options. It inhibits the guanylate cyclise enzyme, which is partial to blame for the development of psoriasis in the body. Again, studies still need to be carried out, but you can just drink a glass of the juice a day and get all the vitamins into your diet. You can also use karela juice as a base for skin creams to apply directly.
The juice has also been used to treat skin abscesses and wounds in the past. So far doctors haven’t been able to prove these claims.
Improve stomach complaints. Feel nauseous or unwell? Karela juice can help. Many Indian remedies for stomach upsets have included karela juice. Sometimes the whole fruit has also been used. The juice has been considered good for treating constipation and indigestion and helping to get rid of stomach aches and flatulence.
However, it’s important to note that karela is an emetic. This means that it can cause vomiting. While you wouldn’t usually want to do this, in cases of poisoning it can be beneficial.
There are side effects of diarrhea and some stomach pain, so it’s not going to be the best option for stomach issues!
Get rid of kidney stones. Your liver isn’t the only organ that gets help. Your kidneys can too. Karela can be used to treat kidney stones, although studies are still underway to test these claims. The juice can help to cleanse the body and keep the kidneys functioning.
There’s also the hydration benefits. You get fluid in some sort of way, which can help to improve your bladder and urination health.
Claims of a Weight Loss Cure
There are some claims that karela juice is the perfect weight loss cure. It’s supposed to increase your metabolism, helping to get over metabolic syndrome and burn more calories throughout the day. However, there are currently no studies to support this.
It’s worth pointing out that the body doesn’t always recognize calories in the form of liquid. That is, the body doesn’t recognize the calories as food. While the calories are there, the body will still tell you that you’re hungry after drinking juice. This can lead to an overconsumption of calories throughout the day and lead to weight gain.
Finding Karela Juice in Your Local Town
Because of its bitterness, the fruit tends not to be sold in normal grocery stores. There isn’t enough of an uptake like there is with many other Eastern fruits. Unless you have a specialist section, you will likely need to visit your local Indian or Asian markets for the fruit. You can then juice it in the way you would with any fruit.
You may also find karela juice in your local Indian or Asian stores. Look out for juice that has no additives and preservatives. You want it as pure as possible for all the health benefits.
It is also possible to get the juice in supplement form. This isn’t as good for the health, but it can help you get rid of the bitter taste of the fruit.
When you opt for the fruit to juice yourself, you want to find the unripe options. These offer the best health benefits. If the fruit isn’t grown locally, it can be difficult to get exactly what you want. Look out for green skin with minimal yellow. The skin turns yellow as it ripens. Think of it as a banana that goes from green to yellow as it ripens! The karela should also feel firms and have a crisp, watery texture when cutting; almost like a cucumber!
The Side Effects of Karela Juice
While there are health benefits, there are also noted side effects of using karela juice. This is especially if you have more than one glass of karela juice a day.
Some studies show that the juice lowers the blood sugar levels. While this should be good for helping to treat Type II diabetes, if your blood sugars are at normal levels, you could end up suffering from levels that are too low. This is called hypoglycemia and is just as dangerous as hyperglycemia. It can also cause hypoglycemia in diabetes patients, especially those who take medications. If you are going to try adding it to your diet, let your doctor know so they can make sure your medication is the right dosage.
Doctors don’t advise karela juice for pregnant women. It can lead to some uterine contractions and bleeding. There are risks of hemorrhaging, early labor, and other complications for both you and your baby. Your doctor will offer alternatives if you are worried about any of the conditions karela juice can help to treat or prevent.
Your doctor will be interested in hearing about any herbal remedies you are trying. They don’t want to shoot your attempts to improve your health down but want to make sure you really do benefit from them. There is still very little known about all the benefits and side effects of karela juice, which can make it dangerous. Before you try any herbal remedy, you should discuss with your doctor.
Should You Try the Karela Juice Trend?
There are certainly many benefits to karela juice. This is something that could help to reduce your risk of Type II diabetes and cancer. You could even protect against kidney stones and liver disease, and treat HIV if you have it. However, it’s not the perfect cure. There are dangers to including it in your diet, especially if you are currently pregnant. The best thing to do is discuss the fruit with your doctor to determine the best way to look after your health.