Monday, February 9, 2009

Ampalaya----Bitter Melon

It is a vine grown in tropical countries known for its bitter fruit and considered as the most bitter among the vegetables. Are you familiar with this medicine for diabetics called Charantia? Well, part of my research, I found out that the scientific name for Bitter Melon is, Momordica charantia. And this is not a paid review, I just wanted to share the origin of the medicine's name. Anyway, Bitter Melon is not as savoury and tasteful compared to your favorite vegetable.
Through the years I've learned to love this vegetable. It's just a matter of how one cook it. I noticed the bigger the fruit, the more bitter it is. The two Bitter Melon in the picture shown are my ideal size and shape. Still bitter, but it will surely make you enjoy your meal.
Bitter melons are seldom mixed with other vegetables due to the strong bitter taste, although this can be moderated to some extent by salting and then washing the cut melon before use. The young shoots and leaves may also be eaten as greens; in the Philippines, where bitter melon leaves are most commonly consumed, they are called dahon (leaves) ng ampalaya. The seeds can also be eaten, and give off a sweet taste, but have been known to cause vomiting and stomach upset. -wikipilipinas-
Bitter melon stimulates digestion. While this can be helpful in people with sluggish digestion, dyspepsia, and constipation, it can sometimes make heartburn and ulcers worse. It also helps maintain normal blood sugar. Bitter melon is popularly seen as a plant-insulin. It has been demonstrated that bitter melon contains a protein similar to bovine insulin.
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