When asked, What is your favorite food? It’s not a surprise if you thought about something sweet or starchy or spicy or high in fat and most of us wouldn’t even have thought about anything bitter.
Bitter foods are the ones that are always left out. We drool over desserts and comforting savory dishes, but bitter foods hardly find any chosen by any, due to their strong flavor.
But if you’re looking for food that promotes natural cleansing, which can help to improve health and protect from several diseases, bitter is actually better. From aiding in digestion to boosting energy, bitter food has several benefits which are explained in this article.
Why is bitter food vital?
Boosting immunity has always been considered crucial for better health and with the outbreak of COVID-19, people become more conscious about it. In the past year, people were looking for ways to build their natural defense system and bitter foods are the answer for it.
Bitter foods are called bitters simply because of their taste and their action of increasing saliva and stomach acids. Including these foods in the diet may help to stimulate the digestive system and improve the absorption of nutrients from the food. It is because bitters may trigger the production of stomach acid, which facilitates a variety of digestive processes when the food you’ve eaten makes its way to the intestinal region.
These foods can also prevent leaky gut and inflammation in the body. Additionally, the high nutrient content in the food can boost metabolism and immunity. Here are 5 bitter foods that you can include in your diet:
Bitter gourd is a common vegetable that always tops the list of the most disliked bitter food. But this food is filled with healthy phytochemicals like triterpenoids, polyphenols and flavonoids that have been shown to slow the growth of various types of cancers. It is also a natural medicine to lower the blood sugar levels in people with Type 2 diabetes. The antioxidant content in it can also help prevent cell damage caused by free radicals.
The cruciferous family contains vegetables like broccoli, cabbage, kale, brussels sprout, radishes and arugula. These foods contain compounds called glucosinolates, which give them their bitter taste and are responsible for many of their health benefits.
Studies suggest that people who eat cruciferous vegetables are less vulnerable to cancer. Cruciferous vegetables like broccoli and cabbage contain powerful compounds which can improve your liver’s ability to process toxins, reducing their negative impacts on the body.
People who don’t like sweet chocolates will be rare to find however not everyone loves bitter-tasting dark chocolate. But, dark chocolate is very healthy due to the presence of a high amount of cocoa.
Cocoa powder is made from the beans of the cacao plant and tastes bitter in its raw form. The bitter taste is due to the presence of polyphenols and antioxidants in it, which can widen blood vessels and reduce inflammation. It is also packed with minerals like zinc, copper, manganese, magnesium and iron.
Studies have found that people who eat chocolate at least five times per week have a 56 percent lower risk of heart disease, compared to those who don’t eat chocolate at all.
Citrus fruits like lemon and oranges are packed with vitamin C are always included in our diet due to their tangy taste. However, the peel of the citrus fruits and white pith quite bitter in taste that we discard is equally healthy and nutritious.
The outer skin is bitter due to the presence of flavonoids, which protect the fruit from pests. The citrus peel contains a higher concentration of flavonoids than any other part of the fruit. These powerful antioxidants may reduce inflammation and help protect against cancer. You can grate the zest and add them to your food for flavor and better health.
Green tea is a highly popular beverage across the world, which has a naturally bitter flavor due to its catechin and polyphenol contents. The drink has several health benefits including weight loss, better digestion, immunity and improved cardiovascular health. Choosing green tea over your regular cup of tea or coffee can help you in numerous ways.
Also Read: Best and worst snacks to satisfy your midnight cravings