Bitter cucumbers are a type of cucurbits which have been picked with the intention to make them taste sour or salty. They are often used in Chinese cuisine. However, they may cause stomach upset if eaten regularly. Bitter cucumbers contain high levels of acidity and the bitterness is caused by the presence of oxalic acid (a form of calcium). These types of vegetables are known as “acidophiles”.
How do I prevent my body from reacting to bitter cucumbers?
The best way to avoid stomach problems due to eating bitter cucumbers is not to consume them at all. If you must eat some, try to choose ones that are less acidic such as green peppers, onions, leeks or garlic. Avoid pickled foods as these will increase your risk of developing stomach issues due to the vinegar in them. You can also drink water instead of drinking soda pop.
I am allergic to anything! How can I reduce my chances of getting sick from eating bitter cucumbers?
If you are allergic to any kind of food then avoiding bitter cucumbers is going to be difficult. There are many different types of foods that can cause symptoms in those who suffer from allergies. One common example would be peanuts, which could trigger asthma attacks in someone suffering from hay fever. Other examples include wheat, dairy products, soybeans and eggs.
What is the difference between regular cucumbers and bitter cucumbers?
Bitter cucumbers are just one of many types of cucumbers. They are part of the gourd family and can come in several different shapes, sizes and colours. The most common type of bitter cucumber is green in colour and has a smooth exterior. These types of bitter gourds are popularly used in Asian dishes. Mexican dishes also make use of bitter types of gourds.
Is it possible to be allergic to normal cucumbers but not bitter ones?
Yes, it is entirely possible to be allergic to one type of food and not another. For example, one person might suffer from anaphylaxis when exposed to peanuts. Another individual might have a severe reaction to a bee sting but consume peanuts without any ill effects. Each person responds differently to various types of allergens.
Is it possible to overdose on bitter cucumbers?
If you consume too many bitter gourds then you are at risk of developing stomach upset and/or diarrhoea. There is no upper limit for the recommended intake for bitter gourds because they are very low in calories and have no cholesterol content. If you suffer from an underlying health condition then you should ask the advice of a medical professional before eating bitter gourds or any other form of vegetable.
If you have consumed too many bitter gourds or another type of vegetable then you are at risk of developing stomach upset and/or diarrhoea. If you experience vomiting, fever, severe bleeding, lightheadedness or unconsciousness then you need to seek immediate medical attention.
Will bitter cucumbers make me go blind?
No, this is a myth that has been spread around for quite some time. There is zero evidence to suggest that eating bitter gourds can cause blindness.
Can I eat the skin of the bitter gourd?
Yes, the skin of bitter gourds is safe to consume but it does have a bitter taste. Most people prefer to peel bitter gourds before eating them.
Are bitter cucumbers a fruit or a vegetable?
Bitter gourds are classified as a fruit but they are used in a similar way to vegetables. They can be eaten raw, pickled or cooked in soup. They can also be dried to preserve them for longer periods of time.
Are bitter gourds from the same family as pumpkins and squash?
Bitter gourds are part of the cucurbitaceae family, which also includes pumpkins and squash. These crops all originate from the African continent. Bitter gourds are believed to have originated in India before spreading to other parts of the world including Africa and Asia.
How many calories are in a bitter gourd?
There are only nine calories in one cup of peeled and sliced bitter gourd. This amount of bitter gourd also provides you with some vitamin C. One cup of bitter gourd also contains 2g of carbohydrate and 0.2g of protein.
How many vitamins and minerals does a bitter gourd contain?
One cup of bitter gourd contains some vitamin C, vitamin B6, folate, pantothenic acid, potassium and choline. There is no fat, cholesterol or sodium in this type of gourd.
How do I select bitter gourds?
It is recommended that you choose bitter gourds that are heavy for their size and have a dull skin free from blemishes or soft spots. When you tap the bitter gourd you want to hear a solid, not hollow, sound. The spines of the bitter gourd should be firm to the touch.
Can I can bitter gourds?
Bitter gourds do not require any canning process. This vegetable does have a long shelf life when it has been dried or pickled.
How do I store bitter gourds?
It is best to store bitter gourd in a dark, cool place that is around 60 degrees Fahrenheit. You should keep bitter gourd away from other produce because it can absorb flavors and give other produce a bitter taste.
How do I prepare bitter gourds?
Bitter gourd may be eaten raw after a thorough washing. It may also be cooked in a variety of dishes. Bitter gourd can be stir-fried, stewed, or curried. It can even be pickled to make it last longer.
Can I eat the Seeds of a bitter gourd?
The seeds of the bitter gourd are best discarded. They have an inedible shell around them and are filled with a white, bitter seed. Some people do choose to crush the seeds to make a paste but this is not commonly done.
Is bitter gourd good for you?
Yes, bitter gourd is good for you. It provides some essential vitamins and minerals that your body needs on a daily basis.
Sources & references used in this article:
Resistance of Cucumber Varieties to Tetranychus urticae: Genetic and Environmental Determinants by F Gould – Journal of Economic Entomology, 1978 – academic.oup.com
Segregation and linkage of several genes in cucumber by SA Walters, NV Shetty, TC Wehner – Journal of the American …, 2001 – journals.ashs.org
Relationship between the occurrence of bitter fruit in cucumber (Cucumis sativus L.) and the contents of total nitrogen, amino acid nitrogen, protein and HMG-CoA … by Y Kano, H Goto – Scientia horticulturae, 2003 – Elsevier
… microbial antagonists and oilcakes in the control of Fusarium solani, the cause of seed rot, seedling and root infection of bottle gourd, bitter gourd and cucumber by N Sultana, A Ghaffar – Pak. J. Bot, 2010 – pakbs.org
Role of Cucurbitacin C in Resistance to Spider Mite (Tetranychus urticae) in Cucumber (Cucumis sativus L.) by AG Balkema-Boomstra, S Zijlstra… – Journal of chemical …, 2003 – Springer
Molecular basis of cucumber fruit domestication by G Che, X Zhang – Current opinion in plant biology, 2019 – Elsevier