Why bitter foods are good and how to enjoy them
Bitter foods – doesn’t sound too appetizing, right? But you may be surprised to find out how useful they are. And that your body really craves a bitter taste – and hints at it in many ways.
Bitter foods have many beneficial properties. First of all, they need to be eaten to maintain the health of our liver. This organ takes a serious blow – the liver helps the body get rid of toxins – the waste products of cells and those toxins that come to us from the environment and with food. Bitter vegetables and herbs contain phytonutrients that support the liver and help it metabolize cholesterol and fat, balance hormones, and cleanse the blood.
In addition, the bitter taste helps us absorb nutrients from foods. Since bitter foods stimulate the production of digestive juices, food is better digested and absorbed.
And of course, whole bitter foods themselves are rich in vitamins and minerals. For example, arugula, which many do not like because of its bitter taste, is a good source of thiamine, riboflavin, vitamin B6, pantothenic acid, zinc and copper, dietary fiber, vitamins A, C, K, folic acid, calcium, iron, magnesium, phosphorus, potassium and manganese.
Bitter foods help fight weakness and lethargy, lower bad cholesterol, and even solve hormonal problems. In addition, they reduce cravings for sweets. And sweet foods (sugar, sweets, syrups and pastries) can lead to fatty liver disease and type II diabetes mellitus: an excess of fructose and simple carbohydrates inhibits the metabolism and causes the body to accumulate excess fat. Sweets cause cravings because of them, insulin levels become unstable, and blood sugar rises and falls, and to make up for the fall, you want to eat sweets again. Bitter foods, helping the liver to regulate its work and cleanse, balance the level of hormones.
How to introduce bitter foods into your diet
You probably already eat a lot of bitter foods, but don’t know about it. Broccoli, cale, chard, spinach, dandelion greens, cocoa powder, Belgian endive, cilantro, radicchio and arugula are just some of the most common and nutritious bitter foods. If you feel a strong craving for such bitter tastes as coffee, processed chocolate or alcohol, you most likely will not get enough healthy bitterness.
To get the most out of bitter foods, try combining them with other foods that cleanse the body and stimulate liver activity. For example, with sources of vitamin C. Here are some ways to incorporate them into your diet and love:
mix lemon juice with chopped herbs and prepare a healthy salad dressing;
stew beets or beets with garlic, ginger and chicory;
squeeze the juice from dandelion, lemon, arugula, cilantro and parsley – you get a wonderful tonic drink;
mix water with a small amount of lime, ginger root, spinach, cale, half an orange, a teaspoon of raw organic cocoa and a small amount of stevia or berries.