This multicultural favorite is known as a goya by the Japanese, karela by Native Americans and ampalaya by the Filipinos. It's got almost as many names as it does health benefits! Most people think this little gem is a vegetable, but it's actually a fruit and you can find it happily growing in the tropical countries of Asia, Africa and Caribbean.
Select bitter melons that are 5-12 inches in length. Choose green melons for a more bitter taste and yellow-orange melons for a milder flavor. They are in season from April to September and you can also find them canned, dried, powdered or as a tea. When storing fresh melons, place in a paper bag in the refrigerator for 3-5 days.
**Not recommended for women who are pregnant or breastfeeding. Ask your health care provider before consuming.