Today many people find bitter foods unpleasant, and many avoid bitter foods and drinks altogether. Nonetheless, it's becoming more and more clear how important bitterness is for our health. Today you'll learn the reason why, and we'll also be explaining the best way to provide your body with that bitter taste in a 100% natural way.
Often underappreciated, yet very effective
They don't get a lot of attention, and the way they're integrated into our everyday lives is subtle. We might not even be aware of how valuable they are. The topic of the day is bitter foods and drinks. It's as if nature knew that this taste is essential for people and animals alike as they are sure to be found in every part of the world. The main sources of this taste are various plants, including herbs, that support good health via their bitter tastes. Bitter is healthy! In recent years, scientists have also started researching the effects of such foodstuffs, and studies have shown that bitter foods offer a number of benefits:
- Improved digestive function
- Alkalises the body
- Strengthens the immune system
- Naturally controls hunger and the craving for sweets
What are some recommended sources of bitter taste?
As was already noted above, the primary sources of bitter are plants, among them specific herbs, spices and vegetables. Deciding which one comes down to the problem you'd like to address. Milk thistle, for example, is good for liver complaints and general detoxification. In this case, drinking milk thistle tea would be a good choice, which you should be able to find at a good druggist. Another example is sage – it's useful for throat conditions and is put to use as a general anti-viral. Broccoli and wormwood have calming effects on the stomach. Dandelion is used for overall body cleansing and is commonly enjoyed as a tea. Curcuma is often utilised for its strong anti-inflammatory qualities. Combining curcuma with a little black pepper will further increase the effectiveness.
Good any time of day – include bitter tastes from early until late
Just looking at the short list of possibilities above, it's easy to see how varied bitter food sources can be. This is all the more so when you consider that this is only a limited sample of ideas…it is in no way a comprehensive list. It's likely true that you can easily include a good amount of bitter-tasting foods in every meal if you follow our advice. For breakfast, aim for a bitter tea like sage, milk thistle or normal green tea. Lunchtime options are near limitless, for example a rocket salad with radishes and broccoli. Your midday meal is also a good time to add spices like galangal, ginger or curcuma. You can even mix things up by adding good bitter sources like olives and artichokes to your meal plan. The evening is likewise not a time to miss out on that healthy bitter taste – a nice herbal tea can be an ideal way to close out the day. It's impossible to deny that the possibilities are nearly endless. We enjoy providing you with new ideas for your time in the kitchen, and we're sure that adding more bitter taste will be a healthy and fun addition!
Source: Professor Florian Überall, PhD, Gesund mit Bitterstoffen – Den Stoffwechsel anregen und das Immunsystem stärken*, Herbig/Kosmos Publishing, Stuttgart, 2021.
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*This book is currently only available in German.