Indian Bitter Melons, botanically classified as Momordica charantia, are bitter, hanging fruits that grow on a climbing vine belonging to the Cucurbitaceae family, ntaive to parts of Asia, African and other subtropical regions throughout the world. There are two main types of bitter melon, labeled as Indian and Chinese, and Indian bitter melons are widely cultivated around the world for their uniquely shaped fruits. Indian bitter melons are grown in tropical and subtropical climates and are used as both a culinary and medicinal ingredient.
All parts of the bright orange cucumber-sized fruit are edible, even the seeds when they’re soft enough. The fruit is commonly stuffed, boiled, curried, or pickled, and is most often enjoyed cooked in some capacity. Bitter Melon is rich in Vitamin C, Vitamin A, and Folate. It’s a great source of antioxidants and is low in calories but high in fiber. In Ayurvedic medicine, bitter melon has been used for centuries to help regulate blood sugar levels in diabetic patients, aid in digestion, and reduce symptoms associated with migraines.
Bitter Melons are also known as the Bitter Gourd, Bitter Cucumber, Bitter Squash, Balsam-Pear in English, Nigauri and Goya in Japanese, Karela in Hindi, Peria in Malay, and Ampalaya in Tagalog. This listing is for the Indian variety of Bitter Melon, which has a more narrow and jagged appearance than the Chinese variety.
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