14 Undesirable Vegetables Are You Misunderstood?

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Don’t be afraid to eat Houttuynia cordata because of “toxicity”.

Toona sinensis has high nutritional value and high nitrite content, so be sure to blanch it before eating.

If some vegetables only add to your negative emotions, it’s okay to eat less or not.

Long articles, especially suitable for sharing with family groups

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Vegetables and fruits are an important source of vitamins, minerals, dietary fiber and phytochemicals, so the dietary guidelines recommend that meals include vegetables, with a daily intake of not less than 300g >Vegetables, of which Dark vegetables make up 1/2[1].

Diversified foods, with reasonable combinations, ranked first in the eight balanced dietary guidelines of the Dietary Guidelines for Chinese Residents (2022). Eat more fruits and vegetables, dairy, whole grains, and soybeans came in third.

Today I’m going to talk to you about these “unpalatable” vegetables from a nutritional point of view.

Judging whether a vegetable is difficult to eat or not is a very personal subjective judgment. If you think it is unpalatable but you can still eat it, you just feel bad after eating it.

Allergies or intolerances involve pathological states. After eating, there will be objective physical discomfort or even allergic diseases, which are not discussed in this article.

Here’s a table of nutrients for 14 “unpalatable” vegetables.


First place: Houttuynia cordata (leaf + root)

Don’t be afraid to eat it because it’s poisonous

Houttuynia cordata, also known as Zheergen, is named after the strong fishy smell after breaking fresh stems and leaves. After drying, the fishy smell dissipates, and there is a slight Aromatic [3].

Thanks to the development of modern logistics, northerners can also see this vegetable produced in the south in the vegetable market, and its “unpalatable” reputation has spread more and more widely .

Overall nutrition not outstanding

Compared with other foods (cereals, potatoes, livestock, fish, eggs, milk, soybeans, nuts, etc.), vegetables and fruits are mainly rich in nutrients such as dietary fiber, Vitamin A, vitamin C, folic acid, calcium, magnesium, potassium, etc. [2].

As can be seen from the above table, whether it is leaves or roots, Houttuynia cordata is only more prominent in total calories and potassium. In the humid and hot weather in the south , after a lot of sweating can play a role in replenishing electrolytes.

The performance of other nutrients is mediocre.

Heard poison?

Houttuynia cordata, as a vegetable with the same origin as medicine and food, is rich in alkaloids and is one of the sources of its active ingredients. One of the controversial alkaloids is Aristolochia Lactams (aristololactam, AL). AL is both aristolochic acid, aStrong nephrotoxic substances) metabolites in the liver, and is an independent component widely existing in nature.

However, there are many types of aristololactams with different toxicity. The most toxic ones are aristolochic acid, aristololactam I, and fish. were not found in Ayurveda. Only aristolochia lactam B II and other components have been isolated and identified in Houttuynia cordata. At present, only in vitro cell experiments have proved that Houttuynia cordata extract contains toxic substances, which are toxic to liver cells [3].

The overall strength of the evidence for its toxicity is weak, so basically don’t worry. If you really like this vegetable, you can eat a small amount to satisfy your cravings when it is in season.

Image from reference [3]


Second Place: Toon

High nutritional value and high nitrite content

Although different regions and varieties of toon have different specific nutrients, in general, toon is indeed a food with high nutritional value.

Micronutrient rich

As a rare vegetable growing on trees, toona sinensis contains high protein, vitamin B1, B2, niacin, calcium, and zinc. It is a very good source of micronutrient intake[4,5].

A surprising amount of nitrite, but blanching removes

Toon can contain up to 1235 mg/kg of nitrite[6], almost ten times the nitrite limit in meat. Indeed warning.

Nitrite itself is not a carcinogen, but after reacting with gastric acid and protein decomposition products, it is easy to generate nitrosamines, nitrosamines are easy to induce a variety of cancers strong>[7].

However, Blanching can significantly reduce nitrite levels[6]. In addition, blanching can remove the bitter taste.

Image from reference [6]

Boil time is not too long, 15~45 seconds is more suitable. This time can not only greatly reduce nitrite, but also better retain the time for vitamin C and polyphenols in toona sinensis[6]. Seeing that the toon leaves have turned green is almost the same, and the emerald green color will also be lost by blanching for too long [8].


Third Place: Bitter Gourd

Nutrition is good, don’t eat it for “health”

Bitter melon has good overall nutritional value, especially its high content of vitamin C and potassium.

Suffering is not healthy

If you like to eat, it’s fine to eat more, but everyone places too much “health” needs on bitter gourd, such as weight loss, blood sugar lowering, blood lipid lowering, anti-cancer…

I do not recommend that people eat more of a certain food for the purpose of curing or relieving pain. Food mainly plays the role of providing nutrients to maintain physiological functions, and it is definitely very effective for some nutritional deficiency diseases and metabolic diseases. In addition, Treatment of diseases should be Worked by drugs.

The various biologically active ingredients (including triterpenoids, saponins, polypeptides, polysaccharides, flavonoids, etc.) contained in bitter melon have potential health effects, but The effective and safe dose in humans has not been verified, and animal experiments have also been used to extract and concentrate the dose, which is different from eating bitter melon directly[9-11].

In fact, many “bitter” things are poisonous, and bitter gourd is indeed one of the safer foods among many bitter foods.

However, just eat it normally as a vegetable, don’t eat too much, and don’t delay normal treatment because of high expectations for it.

3 tricks to get rid of hardship

After eating too much oil, salt and big fish, bitter gourd’s refreshing plant aroma and astringent sweetness will be particularly pleasing, and it can absorb and balance the taste of other ingredients well .

What’s more, bitter gourd can be less bitter. Here are 3 tips to make bitter gourd less bitter:

Use a spoon to scoop out the flesh of the bitter gourd, which is the most bitter part.

Marinate with salt for a short time and rinse with water, or soak the bitter gourd directly in salt water for a few minutes, or use osmotic pressure to force out a bitter juice . A similar effect can be achieved by adding a small amount of salt when blanching.

Cold bitter melon chilled also reduces the tongue’s perception of bitterness. But I think scrambled eggs and stuffed meat with bitter gourd are more delicious.


Fourth to Fourteenth: Each has its own highlights

These unpopular vegetables certainly have their own nutritional value, but none of them are irreplaceable.

If some vegetables will only give you negative feelings such as “unpalatable”, “nauseous” and “nausea”, and eating them will only make you unhappy, then no need to force yourself It’s okay to eat less or not.

Just eat more of other foods.


In addition to being rich in carotene and folic acid, coriander also contains a variety of vitamins and minerals, and 100 grams contains vitamin C 48mg, slightly higher than lemon, calcium101mg, similar to milk.

But since we mostly use it as a condiment, if you’re not obsessed with cilantro, don’t expect to sprinkle it on What can that cilantro add, just know that it is a vegetable with good nutritional value.


Fennel scientific name “Feniculum vulgare Mill” (Foeniculum vulgare Mill) is an herbaceous plant of the genus Fennel in the family Umbelliferae. Eat as a vegetable, especially for stuffing stuffing dumplings.

Fennel is superior in carotene, folic acid and calcium content compared to pak choi, chrysanthemum, lettuce, and lettuce, which are also dark green vegetables. But fennel, like coriander, has a special smell. People who love love it, and people who don’t love it, want to die…


The content of carotene in leeks is fairly good, while the content of several nutrients related to male reproductive health, such as vitamin E, zinc, and selenium, is not outstanding. Leek really has no “aphrodisiac” effect.

Even these nutrients can only be said to be very important for maintaining reproductive health. If they are lacking, there may be problems. It does not mean that eating more will help sexual performance. Too much can be poisonous.

Leeks are a member of the Allium family of Liliaceae, like shallots, garlic, and onions, which are also strongly scented [12].

Humans have polarized taste evaluations of Alliums, mainly due to the strong “aroma” composed of various sulfur-containing compounds. These volatile flavor substances will undergo some changes after refueling and heating, so that the spicy and pungent smell of leeks is weakened and the roasted and fried taste is enhanced. This may be the reason why fried leeks and roasted leeks are very popular [13].


Broccoli is a dark vegetable, so you can eat more of it every day if you like it. It is high in dietary fiber, which is helpful for promoting bowel movements and relieving constipation. Broccoli is low calorie and suitable for weight loss.

As a cruciferous vegetable, “anti-cancer” is probably the most prominent health label of broccoli. Indeed, multiple studies have demonstrated that increased intake of cruciferous vegetables reduces the risk of several cancers [1].

However, to meet a person’s nutritional needs and maintain the healthy operation of the body, it depends on daily diverse diet, don’t rely on one or a few food.

I really don’t like it, and I don’t need to force myself. It’s okay to eat more of other dark vegetables.


Celery stalks are high in potassium and sodium, and moisture is also high, so they can be eaten raw or in cold dishes as a “relief from the heat” “The choice of dishes.

Celery leaves are among the top vegetables in the content of carotene, vitamins B1, B2, niacin, dietary fiber, zinc, potassium , magnesium, selenium, not bad.


The content of calcium, folic acid, and dietary fiber in okra is relatively high, and the small stars in the cross-section are also very cute.

The reason okra is unpopular with some is the sticky, slippery juice in it, which tastes subtle…

I really like the taste of this one, but if it weren’t for the high price, I’d probably buy it more often.


The most prominent nutrients in carrots are naturally carotene and vitamin A.

Vitamin A is involved in the metabolic processes of multiple eye tissues, including the synthesis of corneal glycoproteins and the promotion of wound healing and repair. It is also closely related to the secretion of mucin.

Vitamin Adeficiencywill cause hyperkeratosis of epithelial cells, atrophy of lacrimal glands, and dryness of corneal epithelium and conjunctiva resulting in dry eye disease and keratomalacia.

If you have dry eyes, eat more carrots. If you eat carrots for a period of time, you will also become “minions”~

Green peppers

Green peppers, also known as sweet peppers, can be said to be the King of Vitamin C in the vegetable world, higher than most fruits, including citrus.

Of course, vegetables will lose some vitamin C during the cooking process, and cooking methods such as steaming, sautéing, and microwaving can retain some more vitamin C.

Is your hated vegetable on the list? What is your most hated vegetable?


[1] Chinese Nutrition Society. Dietary Guidelines for Chinese Residents (2022) [M]. 1st Edition. Beijing: People’s Health Publishing House, 2022.

[2]Yang Yuexin. Chinese Food Composition Table (Standard Edition)[M]. 6th Edition. Beijing Medical University Press, 2018.

[3] Gao Bin, Li Guifeng, Sun Qiaosheng, Ma Yanhong, Liu Wenhua. Study on hepatic cytotoxicity and chemical constituents of Houttuynia cordata[J]. China Traditional Chinese Medicine Science and Technology, 2021, 28(04 ):564-567.

[4]Tang Xiaozhen, Wang Minglin, Qiao Julin, et al. Nutrition and health care effects of Toona sinensis[J]. Chinese Food and Nutrition, 2003(2):48-49.

[5] Zhang Yali, Zhang Le, Gao Han, et al. Analysis of nutritional components of Toona sinensis in different areas of Beijing [J]. Quality and Safety of Agricultural Products, 2019 (1): 75-81.< /p>

[6] Zhao Mingye, Dai Yunqing, Su Chunyuan, et al. Effects of drying and blanching on the quality of Chinese toon[J]. Anhui Agricultural Sciences, 2012, 40(21):11070- 11072.

[7] Chen Ruowen, Wu Xiaojun, Zhou Xuemei, et al. Effects of different storage conditions on the changes of nitrate and nitrite content in celery and cowpea [J]. China Food and Nutrition, 2016 , 22(3):15-19.

[8] Ma Zhengqiang, Cui Lingshu, Zhang Beibei, et al. Effects of blanching on chlorophyll and color of Toona sinensis [J]. Chinese Journal of Food Science, 2017(1).

[9]Joseph, Baby, and D Jini. “Antidiabetic effects of Momordica charantia (bitter melon) and its medicinal potency.” Asian Pacific Journal of Tropical Disease vol. 3,2 (2013 ): 93–102.

[10]Tumkiratiwong, Panas et al. “Reproductive toxicity of Momordica charantia ethanol seed extracts in male rats.” Iranian journal of reproductive medicine vol. 12,10 (2014): 695-704 .

[11]Dans, Antonio Miguel Limcaco et al. “The effect of Momordica charantia capsule preparation on glycemic control in type 2 diabetes mellitus needs further studies.” Journal of clinical epidemiology vol. 60, 6 (2007): 554-9.

[12] Flora of China, Allium, http:https://www.iplant.cn/info/Allium?t=z

[13] Wang Shuwei, Sui Xinping, Li Meng, Zhang Ning, Sun Baoguo, Chen Haitao. Comparative analysis of volatile flavor compounds in raw and fried leeks [J]. Fine Chemicals, 2019 ,36(07):1375-1386.