Bitter Melon – Anecdotal Evidence it works – just ask me I’m a Pilipina
What is bitter melon (or bitter gourd) and why do western cultures care now? Bitter melon is a ‘fruit’ that really tastes like a vegetable that the Indian and Asian countries have been using in recipes since the beginning of time.
Ampalaya is what Filipinos call bitter melon. Growing up I do recall hating it, being FORCED to eat it, and then (in time) LOVING IT. The name strongly suggests its flavor. It is bitter. Most elders in the Filipino community largely agree that this fruit, when added to other vegetables and protein is very healthy for you. We cook dishes such as Ginisang Gulay, Denengdeng or Ampalaya with Egg. Some of these recipes are hard to understand because they use the Filipino words for the vegetables – except for the Ampalaya with Egg recipe – so try this first!!!
Health Bennies (not yet scientifically proven)
There have been so many tales from my elders of the great benefits of Ampalaya, both from the fruit and the leaves. The bitter flavor masked all of the amazing benefits to your body they said! With proper cooking you will come to enjoy the bitter taste. My body craves this stuff sometimes – my cells must know what’s up.
- Ampalaya contains a chemical that acts like insulin that helps reduce blood sugar levels
- Anecdotally – prevents risk of getting respiratory infections like Pneumonia
- prevents inflammation
- boosts immunity
- helps with abdominal pain, constipation and cramps
- helps with menstrual problems
- treats skin illnesses like eczema
- the leaves of the Bitter Melon are boiled to create an astringent used in the Philippines
- See and read reviews here for this super food!!
It is necessary to note that WebMD and other sources have published that there no good science to back these claims but of course that is not stopping supplement companies from putting Bitter Melon into pill form and selling the stuff like mad. Equally as important to mention is that other countries do stand behind many of the fruit’s seemingly great benefits. At Stuart Xchange, for example, they mention many more benefits than what I’ve mentioned here and also sourced the studies that back up these claims. Check this out here http://www.stuartxchange.org/Ampalaya.
PLEASE NOTE: the claims in this post are anecdotal only. I am not a trained physician, nor a scientist. Studies are also present that the proteins and/or chemicals may actually cause harm to some folks. Be mindful and read more here for the harmful effects of bitter melon (ampalaya).
Happy adventure eating!~