You see, diabetes runs in our family. Both my grandmothers, on the paternal side and on the maternal side, has diabetes. Although both my grandfathers do not. So, we, grandchildren, always pray that we got our genes from our grandfathers instead :)
The reason my Chinese grandma always insist we eat bittermelon is because the Chinese traditional medicine believes that the bittermelon is a very effective preventive vegetable against diabetes. Counting sugar intake alone is not effective in countering diabetes. Because even if people have diabetes, they still need sugar for energy to function well. What they need is something to help their bodies process the sugar they take in. This is where the bittermelon comes in. The Chinese believe that bittermelon helps our bodies process the sugar we take it, such that our bodies can utilize the energy it provides.
My grandmother, by the way, was uneducated (in our definition of the term education). That was the way before. Their generation's parents feel that sending girls to school are useless. So, they were kept at home, to learn household management and house chores and traditional medicine as well as other things a lady of the house needed to keep the home running smoothly. So, she was not totally uneducated! In fact, she can run a household more efficiently than most post-graduate friends I know.
And many, many times, my grandma was proven correct by science. This is one of them. Latest science research has uncovered the therapeutic properties of the bittermelon that makes it a powerful treatment against diabetes. Please read the detailed study here.
When I got married, I found out that diabetes runs in my Hubby's family, too. Both his parents have diabetes. Because of this, I have always regulated the amount of sweets my children can consume. And I am very happy that they have grown up not looking for sweets deliberately. I do not add sugar to their milk and to our coffee. And I have been conscious of cooking healthy food for my family.
Like my grandmother, I am also encouraging my kids to eat bittermelon more often. So far, my Daughter has learned to eat this veggie already. I still have to work on my Son :) I am also constantly looking for ways to make the bittermelon less bitter and more appetizing for my kids. Like this quest, which was successful. Please read on that to know how to make the bittermelon less bitter. Then, you can cook the bittermelon in the following ways or in the way you prefer.
Stir-fried Bittermelon with Crabmeat
This is a very healthy vegetable dish any time of the day. It is almost a complete meal in one dish. It has protein (the egg and crabmeat), it has the super healthy veggie (the bittermelon) and it has fruit (well, technically, the tomato is a fruit!)
I am submitting these two dishes with bittermelon to Sangeeth's Eat Healthy: Fight Diabetes event. This event runs until the end of November so we've got a lot of time to learn more about anti-diabetic food. We've got to raise awareness regarding diabetes. Arm ourselves with more information. Live and eat healthily as this disease can be prevented and cured. This blog is for eating healthy. Life is too short to eat bad food.