Bitter, really, who likes the taste of bitter or wants it in their diet? Today we will explore why maybe the addition of a little bitter in your life may do you so good. The other day we covered the 6 tastes that your tongue has, and today we’ll look at an overlooked (sometimes I think on purpose) flavor. Bitters are used by plants to protect itself from damage. It seemed we detected this, and not until the threat of scarcity did we start incorporating them into our diet. Small doses of bitter over time helped us build a tolerance for them, allowing us to benefits from them. What are these?
- Inhibit the growth of microbes
- Protect against oxidation
- Decrease inflammation
- Lessen the symptoms of poor digestion (gas, bloating, constipation, loose stools, and food allergies)
- Enhance vitamin and mineral absorption
- Promote blood sugar balance
- Protect the liver
- Heal inflammatory damage of the gut wall
Cultures all over the world have used them for centuries to strengthen digestion, cleanse the body and build vitality. But what about the ‘bitter reflux’? Over time it will actually strengthen the function and structure of all of the digestive organs. How so?
- Begins with increase in saliva to breakdown complex starches
- In the stomach gastrin is stimulated (helps break down protein, enhances the bioavailability of minerals and destroys harmful microbes), stimulates pepsin and intrinsic factor that is needed to absorb B12 (check out our post)
- In the small intestine it prompts production of bile and the gallbladder’s increased excretion (necessary for fat digestion and absorption of fat-soluble nutrients. Healthy bile flow helps the liver get rid of oxidized cholesterol and prevent gall stones)
Ways to increase your bitters?
- Nutrient dense greens: chicory, dandelion, arugula, radicchio, endive
- Common herbs: angelica, chamomile, goldenseal, horehound, milk thistle, peppermint, rue, wormwood, yarrow
It’s an interesting topic and prompts one to consider increasing their bitter intake. Start out with a little bit, and build your tolerance up over time. For more on our fat-burner weight-loss programs check out our website at bodychange.net.