Bitter melon or karela may not be everyone’s favourite. In fact, it is number one on many of our most hated food lists! But this humble vegetable is so beneficial to our health that it is no wonder that our mothers and grandmothers have insisted on us eating these regularly. From bitter melon sabzi to bitter melon juice and stuffed karela to bitter melon curry, you can have bitter melon in any form you wish. Here are some reasons to love bitter melon.

Diabetes: Ever noticed how almost all Ayurvedic or other natural medicines for diabetes have bitter melon in them. Karela has strong anti-diabetic properties because it is able to lower blood sugar. Bitter melon contains an insulin-like protein called Polypeptide P that mimics the action of insulin produced by the pancreas. A compound called vicine also has blood sugar-lowering effects. This is why diabetics are always told to eat bitter melon or have bitter melon juice.

Obesity: Bitter melon is known as a fat burner. Regular consumption of bitter melon can help with faster fat metabolism in your body. Bitter melon has compounds in it which help in the secretion bile acids. Besides, karela is also very low in calories. This makes it excellent for those looking for weight loss.

Indigestion: Full of fibre, bitter melons can help ward off digestive problems including constipation. Karela can also help fight intestinal parasites and keep stomach infections away.

Flu and fever: Do you suffer from cold, cough, flu and fever frequently? Your immunity may be very low. The best way to up your immunity is to increase your intake of Vitamin C. One of the best natural sources of Vitamin C is bitter melons. Bitter melons can also help fight inflammation. Its antiviral properties make it one of the healthiest vegetables you can have.

Wrinkles, dull skin and other age-related skin problems:  The high levels of antioxidants in karela can help you fight and delay signs of ageing. The compounds in karela can help your skin look healthy and beautiful by fighting free radical damage. Some studies have also shown that bitter melon might be helpful in preventing acne. Bitter melon has bacteria-fighting properties that can keep your blood pure and infection-free and thus, free of acne. Consume a glass of bitter melon juice daily to see the effects.

Remember that bitter melon cannot be used as a substitute for any of your medicines. Consult with your doctor for dietary guideline recommendations.