Bitter Gourd

Bitter Gourd

bitter gourd

Bitter gourd is a member of the Cucurbitaceae family same as melons,gourds.It is commonly found in Africa,Asia and Caribbean.It is considered as one of the most bitter fruits available with certain culinary benefits.The benefits of the fruit are found in the flesh,which has the consistency of cucumber or green pepper before it ripens.

It is mainly used to help manage diabetes,improves respiratory health and boost skin health.It also reduces the symptoms of cancer.It also has anti-inflammatory,anti fungal qualities.

Nutrition Facts Of Bitter Gourd:

Bitter gourd has anti-inflammatory,anti-fungal,antibiotic,anti-allergic,antiviral properties.Because of all these reasons,it is considered as a staple in various cultural cuisines across the world.

Nutrients as per serving size= 100g

Nutrient Value
Water 94.03
Energy 17
Protein 1
Total Lipid 0.17
Carbohydrate 3.7
Fiber 2.8
Calcium 19
Iron 0.43
Magnesium. 17
Phosphorus 31
Potassium 296
Sodium 5
Zinc 0.8
Vitamin C 84
Thiamin 0.04
Riboflavin 0.04
Niacin 0.4
Vitamin B-6 0.04
Folate 72
Vitamin B-12 0
Vitamin A 24
Vitamin D 0
Fatty Acids 0
Cholesterol 0

Health Benefits Of Bitter Gourd:

1.Diabetes treatment:

Bitter melon is one of the most potent fruits for managing diabetes.Components such as charantin and alkaloids helps in reducing the blood sugar levels.

2.Blood Purification:

Bitter melon is known as an effective blood purifier.The antimicrobial and antioxidant properties of the gourd help in purification of the blood,thereby promoting skin care.

3.Asthma relief:

Bitter melon helps in getting relief from respiratory conditions like asthma,bronchitis.It’s anti-histamine,anti-inflammatory,antiviral properties make it an ideal booster for respiratory health.

4.Anti fungal Agent:

The anti fungal and antibacterial qualities of bitter melon make it ideal for fighting off various fungal infections.These properties also helps to get rid of any toxins in the bloodstream before they can cause any more damage.

5.Skin Care:

As bitter melon is rich in anti-inflammatory properties which helps to reduce the irritating itchiness which is linked with akin conditions and infections such as ringworm and psoriasis.

Fun facts about bitter melon:

1.Bitter gourd tastes bitter but is “tasty” to our health as it helps to lower the glucose level in both urine and blood.

2.Bitter gourd is a creeping plant that primarily grows in humid and hot climates,especially in most Asian countries and South America.

Side Effects of bitter gourd:

Bitter gourd has many health benefits but it has side effects also.

Side effects may include:

1.Abdominal pain and diarrhea
2.Headache,fever and coma.
3.Worsening low blood sugar.

How to buy and store bitter gourd?

Select firm,unblemished melons which are still green for a bitter flavour.Bitter melons can also be purchased,canned or dried.

We can store melon loose in a paper or plastic bag in the refrigerator for about 3 to 5 days.Slice the melon immediately before use.

North Indian Dish:
Stuffed Karela:

The delicious and low fat stuffed bitter gourds recipe which is going to be liked by all.The spicy onion masala stuffing in the slit bitter gourd work wonders and is best enjoyed with parathas.

1.4 bitter gourds
2.1 large sized onion ,finely chopped
3.1 green chilli,finely chopped.

  1. 1/2 piece of ginger,garlic finely chopped.
  2. 1tbsp chopped coriander.
    6.oil as per requirement
    7.2 tsp besan.

1.1/2 tsp chilli powder
2.Salt to taste
3.1 tsp coriander powder
4.1/4 tsp turmeric powder
5.1/2 tsp dried mango powder
6.1/2 tsp cumin seeds
7.Pinch asafoetida.


1.Wash the karelas thoroughly with water.
2.Keep the skin aside.Slit the karelas length wise.Remove the seeds and discard the seeds if very hard,otherwise mix them with the skin scrape.
3.Take 1 tsp salt and apply it thoroughly to all the pieces of karelas.Keep aide for about 1 hour.
4.Mix 1 tsp salt to karela skin and keep aside for about 1 hour.
5.Heat oil in a pan and add 2 tsp oil.When the oil becomes heat add cumin seeds and asafoetida.
6.Add onions,green chilli,ginger and garlic.Cook for about 2-3 minutes and add all the species and besan.Stir well and cook until the mixture turns light brown.
7.Wash the karelas with water and fill the mixture in each karela.
8.Heat oil in a pan and place all the above karela in the pan and cover with the lid and reduce the stove to low flame.Let them cook for about 5-7 minutes.Turn the karelas and again cook for about 5 min.
9.Garnish with coriander leaves.

Nutrients present as per 1 serving = 100g

Nutrients value
Total Fat 7.95g
Sodium 637.03mg
Potassium 1048.21mg
Total Carbs 29.01g
Protein 4.41g
Vitamin C 99.1mg
Iron 0.8mg
Calcium 77.2mg

South Indian Dish:

Karela curry

A spicy and slightly bitter tasting karela curry can be enjoyed as a side dish along with rice or roti.

1.250 gm bitter melon
2.50 gm tamarind soaked in water
3.1/2 tsp turmeric powder
4.1 tsp mustard seeds
5.1 tsp chana dal
6.1 tsp cumin seeds
7.2 tbsp jaggery
8.4 red chilies
9.Pinch of asafoetida
10.2 tsp masala powder
11.Oil as required
12.Few curry leaves


1.Heat the oil in a pan and add mustard seeds, jeera and chana dal.
2.When the mustard seeds starts spluttering add the red chilies,asafoetida,turmeric powder,curry leaves and the diced bitter melon.
3.Saute for about 10 minutes and add tamarind pulp,masala powder,jaggery and salt.Boil for 5 minutes and garnish with coriander leaves.

Nutrition Facts as per serving size = 1

Nutrient Value
Calories 118
Fat 4g
Saturated Fat 1g
Carbohydrates 6g
Sugar 0g
Fiber 2g
Protein 4g
Cholesterol 0mg
Sodium 180mg

Best time to eat bitter gourd:

Bitter melon is a very healthy vegetable and it should be eaten at-least once in a week as it reduces the risk of diabetes,purifies blood.But daily consumption of bitter gourd may lead to liver inflammation due to thickening of blood vessels of the liver.
Try to avoid eating bitter gourd during night time.

Note : As this is very powerful fruit,it is highly recommended that you speak with your doctor before adding it to your diet.

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