Why To Eat Bitter Gourd During Pregnancy

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Why To Eat Bitter Gourd During Pregnancy

Bitter Gourd is a vegetable that has been loved by health experts and fanatics alike. The vegetable is full of nutritional values that help in providing an individual with a complete pack of energy and great health. The vegetable is also known as Balsam Pear, Bitter Melon, Karela and Karkareya in a few Asian countries. Pregnant women are often suggested to consume foods rich in nutrients and bitter gourd in Pregnancy is a definite suggestion.

Understanding how, why and when this vegetable should be consumed during the pregnancy period is very important. So, let’s find out why people suggest bitter gourd during pregnancy. And, learn more about its tangible health benefits.

Is Bitter Gourd good for Pregnancy?

While bitter gourd is one of the most popular vegetables suggested by experts to be included in the diet of a normal human being, for pregnant women the point of view keeps differing. Even though the vegetable is highly nutrient. Some experts suggest consuming Karela during pregnancy as normal on the other hand. Some may find bitter gourd food to be avoided. So, deciding whether the vegetable’s consumption by pregnant women is completely safe or not is still a controversial topic.

What are the Benefits of Bitter Gourd during Pregnancy?

Although the topic of whether Karela in Pregnancy is still debatable, there certainly are benefits to its consumption during that crucial phase. here are some notable benefits of Bitter Gourd during Pregnancy.

Image Source: vegrecipesofindia

1. Maintaining weight:

Women often complain about excessive weight gain during pregnancy, bitter gourd helps in maintaining weight. This is a reason why many fit people include bitter gourd in their diet.

2. Avoids Diabetes:

Bitter gourd contains Characin and Polypeptide – P, both the substances help in avoiding a pregnant woman from getting diabetes.

3. Boosts Immunity:

Bitter gourd has a good amount of Vitamin C and multiple antioxidants, these help in building up a strong wall of immunisation against multiple harmful components that can make you sick.

4. Full of Vitamins and Minerals:

Bitter Gourd is rich in nutrients and contains high amounts of Minerals and Vitamins. That helps in better nourishment and growth of the baby. As well as maintain good health for women.

Side Effects of Bitter Gourd While Pregnancy

Since we have found out the benefits, knowing and understanding the side effects of Bitter Gourd during pregnancy is equally important. Let’s find out what are the possible consequences.

  • Presence of Toxic substance: Glycosides, Moricizine and Quinine are present in bitter gourd. These molecular substances can be harmful to health because of their toxicity, leading to stomach aches, vomiting, fever, etc.
  • Common Stomach Problems: Bitter Gourd can also have adverse effects on the digestion of an individual, this can cause diarrhoea, stomach ache, loose stools, etc.
  • Premature delivery: The substances present in Bitter Gourd can trigger the uterus in an unhealthy way that can lead to the premature delivery of a baby.
  • Allergy/Hypersensitivity: If you haven’t consumed bitter gourd before in life. Than it is better not to consume it during pregnancy as women have suggested feeling nauseous, dizzy as well as showing several signs of sensitivity that can be harmful to mother and baby.

How to consume Bitter Gourd during Pregnancy?

Bitter Gourd during Pregnancy can be consumed in a variety of ways instead of raw or juice form. Some of the most interesting ways are,

Curry - Make your usual curry but include Bottle gourd as an ingredient. You can also make it using coconut milk or yoghurt to add more texture and flavour.
Mix Vegetable - Mix Vegetable is a common option to put together all the available vegetables. In the house to make a delicious dish but why not add Karela to this and make it healthier?

Image Source: archanaskitchen


Karela Fry – If you are lazy and just want to whip a quick meal for your pregnant self then Karela Fry is the perfect recipe for you. Toss bitter gourd with your favourite spices and add onion or potato or just bitter gourd and that’s it, eat with Chapati/Flat Bread.

Image Source: yummytummyaarthi

Stuffed Karela – One of the yummiest and interesting recipes for all. Preparation is quite time consuming, still it's nice combo with roti and rice. 


Deciding on adding or avoiding bitter gourd eventually is in the hands of the mother. Although it is better to avoid bitter gourd during pregnancy. If you have never consumed it before and are specifically thinking about trying it because of the suggested health benefits. If possible, avoid bitter gourd during the first half of pregnancy to prevent any additional health risks.

Frequently Asked Questions and Answers
1. Is it safe to drink raw bitter gourd juice during pregnancy?

A pregnant lady can consume raw bitter gourd juice during pregnancy but in a very low quantity, although most experts suggest drinking it cooked as it helps neutralise its toxic content to some extent. The quantity should always be moderate.

2. Can I take ripe Bitter Gourd while pregnant?

Bitter Gourd in ripe form should only be consumed if cooked and just in moderate amounts during the period of pregnancy.

3. What is the best time to start eating Bitter Gourd during pregnancy?

You can eat bitter gourd throughout the phase of pregnancy but in minimal amounts. Although the best time to eat Balsam Pear is the second half period of pregnancy as there are low chances of miscarriage.

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