If you’re used to milder flavors and the flavor of spices like chilli, it may take your taste buds a while to adjust. Once they do, you’ll find that bitter foods are a great addition to any diet. The benefits of adding bitter foods to your diet are many! In this article, we are going to look at six reasons why eating bitter foods is good for everyone!

Where does the bitterness of certain foods come from?

The bitterness of some foods can come from a variety of sources. For example, bitter compounds are present in some fruits, vegetables, and herbs due to the presence of phytochemicals like alkaloids. Many of these compounds can have health benefits and contribute to a food’s flavor profile. Bitter flavors can also be created by fermentation processes, such as in the making of beer or wine.

Additionally, many processed foods use artificial sweeteners which have an inherent bitter taste due to chemicals added during production. Finally, some spices used for cooking and flavoring have bitter components that play on the other flavors of the dish.

Here are the 6 reasons to eat bitter foods from time to time.

Bitter foods are full of vitamins and minerals:

Many bitter foods contain a host of vitamins and minerals like vitamin C, iron, vitamin K, calcium, folate, and many more that help the body stay healthy. These nutrients are essential for the proper functioning of the body and may help protect against chronic diseases such as heart disease, diabetes and cancer.

Bitter foods can reduce inflammation:

Inflammation is linked to a number of serious diseases such as heart disease, arthritis, Crohn’s disease and many more. Bitter foods contain compounds called polyphenols which have anti-inflammatory effects. Regular consumption of these compounds can help reduce inflammation throughout the body.

Bitter foods aid digestion:

The bitterness of certain foods stimulates digestive juices like bile, which helps break down food more efficiently in the intestine. This makes it easier for your body to absorb essential nutrients from your food, helping you stay healthy!

Bitter foods can balance flavors:

Not every meal has to be sweet or savory – adding a bit of bitterness can bring different flavor profiles to a dish, which can make it more interesting! Adding bitter greens or herbs like parsley or oregano can give dishes some complexity and make them deeper in taste!

Bitter foods stimulate the appetite:

Bitter foods are known to stimulate the appetite because they are often associated with freshness and help tell the body that all the necessary nutrients have been ingested. This is especially helpful when it comes to eating nutrient-dense dishes, like salads, which may lack other flavors.

Bitter ingredients can also help promote metabolism, as they can provide an extra boost of energy needed to complete daily tasks. They also act as a mild appetite suppressant, because their flavor helps to slow down the eating process, making it possible to be satisfied with smaller portions. In summary, incorporating bitter flavors into your diet can help you better regulate your appetite and get all the essential nutrients you need.

Bitter foods can boost the microbiota:

Bitter foods are beneficial for the gut microbiota as they aid digestion and promote the presence of healthy bacteria. Bitter flavors act as a digestive stimulus, causing the release of hydrochloric acid in the stomach, which helps break down food. This acid thus promotes a more alkaline environment in the digestive tract, which promotes healthy bacterial colonies.

Likewise, bitter plants and herbs like gentian, artichoke, endive and chicory are known to contain prebiotics – fibers that feed beneficial bacteria and support the population balance of the microbiome. Not only do these prebiotics promote gut health, but they also regulate metabolism and improve insulin sensitivity, thereby reducing cholesterol levels. Therefore, adding an array of bitter herbs and savory spices to meals can be an effective way to maintain healthy gut microbial balance over time.

* criptom strives to transmit health knowledge in a language accessible to all. In NO CASE, the information given can not replace the opinion of a health professional.