When asked about the common foods we love to eat, most of us will pick something sweet, salty, or sometimes sour. Only a few people will say that they enjoy the bitterness of some veggies. But, there are numerous reasons to eat bitter foods. Remember, these products are rich in nutrients that can strengthen your body. So, what are the health benefits of bitter foods?
1. Natural Energy-Boosters
A lot of bitter-flavored products are popular for their energy-boosting effects. One example is cacao. This healthful food has caffeine, iron, and magnesium that can help reduce fatigue, fight stress, and improve your focus. Because of these effects, cacao nibs or dark chocolate make a good afternoon snack, especially if you’re feeling a bit sluggish. However, when buying dark chocolate, always choose products with at least 70% cacao.
If you want something without caffeine, you can also opt for a green smoothie with kale, spinach, or swiss chard. These leafy veggies are packed with energy-promoting nutrients like iron, magnesium, and vitamin B.
2. Supports Your Liver
One of the most valuable reasons to eat bitter foods is to help your liver. This major body organ has numerous functions such as breaking down drugs and converting macronutrients into energy. Aside from that, this body part is also responsible for the detoxification process. As you know, a healthy liver is capable of removing harmful substances. But, you can also help your liver to function more efficiently by adding bitter foods to your diet.
Cruciferous vegetables like kale and mustard greens are the best examples of foods that support your liver. These veggies have glucosinolates that are responsible for their bitterness. Aside from that, these sulfur-containing substances can also provide numerous health benefits like supporting the detoxification process. Other products you can consume are dandelion and bitter gourd.
3. Fights Free Radicals
Some of the most important benefits of bitter foods are due to their powerful antioxidants that can fight free radicals. As you know, these unstable compounds can cause serious damage to the body, eventually leading to ailments like inflammation and cancer. The good news is that you can neutralize these harmful molecules by eating bitter-flavored products.
Basically, the glucosinolates in cruciferous vegetables have strong antioxidant effects that can reduce inflammation, deactivate carcinogens, and protect your cells against the damaging effects of the free radicals.
Aside from cruciferous vegetables, there are other bitter-flavored products rich in antioxidants. Some popular products are cacao, green tea, and bitter melon.
4. Stimulates Digestion
Another valuable benefit in this list of reasons to eat bitter foods is stimulating your digestion. Keep in mind that your body can only absorb a food’s nutrients once the food is broken down into simpler substances.
Fortunately, bitter foods can aid in breaking down your food in numerous ways. First, these veggies excite the tongue’s taste receptors, eventually leading to an increase in bile flow and enzyme production. Aside from that, consuming bitter-flavored products can also boost your stomach’s gastric acid production.
Because of these effects, some health experts recommend starting your meal with a salad of bitter greens. This is especially true if you are experiencing digestive problems. You can also try adding some dill to your meals. This amazing herb can also help relieve some common digestive issues.
5. Reduce Food Cravings
A lot of people crave sugary products. One reason is that we often associate the sweet flavor to a pleasant experience. But, not all foods that contain saccharine are good for your body. Refined carbohydrates, for example, are the common cause of health problems such as obesity and diabetes. Thus, health experts recommend avoiding these types of products, which is easier said than done.
Our bodies may sometimes consider the bitterness in foods as a sign of poisoning or toxicity. As a result, your appetite or food craving may subside after eating bitter-flavored products. Thus, instead of sugary products, you can opt for cacao nibs, green tea, or dandelion tea.
Aside from that, people trying to shed some pounds can eat bitter foods before their meals to help control their appetite.
Overall, the best way to improve your health is to eat a variety of foods, including those with an unfavorable taste. Hopefully, the above-mentioned reasons to eat bitter foods have enlightened you to start enjoying nutritious products with a tinge of bitterness.