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Is bittermelon healthy?

Answered on August 19, 2014
Created June 10, 2011 at 4:37 PM

I just stirfried an entire bittermelon. I am trying to eat it and, after 2-3 bites, it is seriously dampening my appetite. I wonder if its bitterness is associated with any poisons, antinutrients, etc.. I mean, Grok wouldn't liked to have eaten something so bitter, I'm thinking.

3491e51730101b18724dc57c86601173

(8395)

on May 16, 2014
at 11:50 PM

Steve, do you live on Okinawa? I grew up there in the 60's. I'm dying to visit, someday perhaps.

A089b683ee0498f2b21b7edfa300e405

(3895)

on June 11, 2011
at 09:21 AM

Several people have reported reduction in fasting blood sugar after consuming its juice - but this is anecdotal, I am not aware of any studies done on this.

776cf39df980711e80fc02317eb64649

(892)

on June 10, 2011
at 07:17 PM

Wow, that's realllly interesting! It may just be that I grew up in a Chinese household, but I think there are tidbits of truth to all traditional medicinal beliefs. Do you have a background in Traditional Chinese Medicine?

776cf39df980711e80fc02317eb64649

(892)

on June 10, 2011
at 07:16 PM

So I suppose it isn't the bitterness that's related to insulin/blood sugar regulation?

776cf39df980711e80fc02317eb64649

(892)

on June 10, 2011
at 07:15 PM

Haha, I ended up eating it all anyway. It was masochistic but there was nothing else in the fridge, lol. I'll be more mindful in the future...going to have to think twice before chopping up the entire melon ;)

776cf39df980711e80fc02317eb64649

(892)

on June 10, 2011
at 07:14 PM

That's an interesting thought! I am just coming out of fasting, so it's certainly possible.

776cf39df980711e80fc02317eb64649

(892)

on June 10, 2011
at 07:12 PM

Hmmm...thanks! I'll try it out!

77877f762c40637911396daa19b53094

(78467)

on June 10, 2011
at 04:59 PM

Maybe Mei-ling has a recipe for you. I like it with ground pork.

77877f762c40637911396daa19b53094

(78467)

on June 10, 2011
at 04:56 PM

Different people will tell you different things. Personally I love bitter melon. I have always had a love for bitter things, like cicory. I don't give a damn what Grok liked. He never existed anyway. Thomas like bitter melon.

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7 Answers

3
6e01c5e248d6a30bb7cb07d536aaf5b6

(193)

on June 10, 2011
at 06:04 PM

According to Traditional Chinese Medicine, Bitter melon is an extremely cold food, and therefore must be used with caution for certain people. For example, if you are a woman they say you should avoid bitter melon before and during your period to avoid more pain and discomfort. If you have signs of excess fire in your body, such as constipation, insomnia, nervousness, anger, acne, cold sores, etc... Chinese doctors believe bitter melon will help to relieve those problems. I have been told that it is very healthy, for problems ranging from diabetes to pimples to stomach ailments.

The problem with the bitterness can be avoided if you blanch it before frying it, and also it is usually stir fried with eggs which helps to take away some of the bitterness.

776cf39df980711e80fc02317eb64649

(892)

on June 10, 2011
at 07:17 PM

Wow, that's realllly interesting! It may just be that I grew up in a Chinese household, but I think there are tidbits of truth to all traditional medicinal beliefs. Do you have a background in Traditional Chinese Medicine?

1
Medium avatar

(12379)

on June 10, 2011
at 05:05 PM

I would listen to your body - don't choke down your food. Maybe next time do as Thomas suggests and add the bitter melon to a recipe in a smaller amount - eating a whole bitter melon in one sitting is quite the undertaking!

776cf39df980711e80fc02317eb64649

(892)

on June 10, 2011
at 07:15 PM

Haha, I ended up eating it all anyway. It was masochistic but there was nothing else in the fridge, lol. I'll be more mindful in the future...going to have to think twice before chopping up the entire melon ;)

1
1568416ef28477d1fa29046218d83ddd

(6235)

on June 10, 2011
at 04:59 PM

The current use of Bitter Melon is to lower blood sugar so some people take it as a supplement, but it looks like this effect has not been confirmed.

However if it does do this, it seems like there might possibly have a mechanism for your body to reject it when your blood sugar is already low?

776cf39df980711e80fc02317eb64649

(892)

on June 10, 2011
at 07:14 PM

That's an interesting thought! I am just coming out of fasting, so it's certainly possible.

0
3491e51730101b18724dc57c86601173

(8395)

on May 16, 2014
at 11:47 PM

I grew up on Okinawa and Okinawans love it. They also liked to laugh at gaigins like me trying to eat it. I still pucker up at the thought. Shivering in disgust as I post this. You can buy it at our local farmers markets here in Northern California-- notice I'm not rushing out to stock up on it? [email protected]

When they talk about the longevity and health of Okinawans, it's not because they are "virtually vegetarian" (they are NOT), and it's not because they eat "mostly starch" (they eat about as much rice and noodles as mainland Japan and apparently some sweet potato too (I don't recall that), but they also eat plenty of meat, fat, seafood, and vegetables). I think it might be the health properties of the Goya and all the green tea they eat, IN ADDITION TO their generally omnivorous healthy diet and healthful lifestyle (when they stick to the traditional diet).

0
F940f7ad86e92295b000dfce534fb69d

on May 16, 2014
at 09:34 PM

Wow, people really do call goya "bitter melon" outside of Okinawa. I eat goya raw or stir fried. I love the flavor! I eat it with other sweeter vegetables to balance the flavor, and I typically split one big goya (abashi-goya) between 6 or 7 meals, more than that and it'll start making your tongue numb!

3491e51730101b18724dc57c86601173

(8395)

on May 16, 2014
at 11:50 PM

Steve, do you live on Okinawa? I grew up there in the 60's. I'm dying to visit, someday perhaps.

0
83b7329d43c4dac89a5477e8b7f82a4a

on August 20, 2011
at 08:12 PM

I've been juicing it (2 oz a day) and have noticed a significant improvement in my night vision, my sinuses are very clear and I could feel it cleaning out my blood, the same way I could when I did a heavy metal cleanse a few years ago. After ten days of continuous juicing, my tongue had a black/purple tinge to it (a sign of detoxification). Two days later the black is almost gone. I also have cataplexy (I go paralysed just for the fun of it every once in a while - it's something many narcoleptics experience), and since I've been taking it, I have not had any symptoms of cataplexy. For the first time in years, I feel like my body is strong and I can do anything I want, like everyone else who doesn't have a physical disability. I just got my period (don't worry, I'm a woman) and my cramps are less than usual, but then so is my flow, which has gotten quite heavy over the years — I didn't know about the menstruation thing mentioned above, so didn't stop, because I read it helps with uterine and menstrual problems.

I was just intuitively drawn to it one day, then started researching it. My Chinese friends all said the same thing..., "Eeewwwww!!!" but I continued to drink it (it's quite refreshing juiced). The things that got me excited about it was when I read it helps auto immune disorders (this is what narcolepsy is), it cleans out the liver, removes heavy metals, from the blood, cleans the colon, helps with fibroids and menstrual problems, and removes parasites. And I'm getting all of this, plus my eyesight, as I mentioned, has improved. Bonus!

0
A089b683ee0498f2b21b7edfa300e405

on June 10, 2011
at 05:21 PM

It is widely used in South and south east Asia. According to grandmother's tales, it is eaten because even bland food eaten with it tastes sweet.

Only raw or the juice is used for apparent reduction of Blood sugar, cooked it is used as a regular vegetable.

A089b683ee0498f2b21b7edfa300e405

(3895)

on June 11, 2011
at 09:21 AM

Several people have reported reduction in fasting blood sugar after consuming its juice - but this is anecdotal, I am not aware of any studies done on this.

776cf39df980711e80fc02317eb64649

(892)

on June 10, 2011
at 07:16 PM

So I suppose it isn't the bitterness that's related to insulin/blood sugar regulation?

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