The Bitter Truth: Bitter Foods Boost Overall Health

woman-with-bag-of-bitter-melon

When you crave something, it is typically a food that is starchy, sweet, high in fat, or salty. These foods can come in the form of chocolates, cheese, fries, or chips, and almost everyone has gotten up late at night to munch on at least one of those foods. It is quite rare, however, for people to develop a craving for bitter foods, which have health benefits and complex flavors that are often overlooked.

 

Bitter foods have steadily been removed from the human diet over the past 100 years. This removal has been the result of replacing lots of plant-based foods with excess meats and processed foods. By focusing on meats, processed foods, refined sugars, and other foods that were not typically in the human diet, people have developed cholesterol problems, food addictions, hormonal issues, and overall sluggishness.

 

What Are Bitter Foods?

Bitter foods activate our bitter taste receptors. Foods like raw cacao, leafy greens, and bitter melon have been associated with an array of health benefits. Historically, bitter foods were brewed into tonics and consumed to help improve digestion, decrease water retention or bloating, and support regular bowel movements. Traditional Chinese Medicine used bitter herbs and roots to reduce the build up of bodily fluids and promote intestinal and heart health. Recent studies have indicated that bitter foods can optimize nutrient absorption and support the gut microbiome.

 

Great Bitter Foods To Eat:

  • Arugula
  • Bitter Melon
  • Dandelion Greens
  • Chicory Root
  • Dill
  • Ginger
  • Endives
  • Saffron
  • Mint
  • Grapefruit
  • Sesame seeds
  • Brussels Sprouts
  • Broccoli Rabe
  • Eggplant

 

Control Cravings:

Bitter foods may help to eliminate cravings because they stimulate bitter taste receptors in your gut. This can trigger the release of two hormones, PYY and GLP-1, which control appetite and hunger. When you eat bitter foods, you may notice that you feel satiated for a lot longer than usual.

 

Promote Blood Sugar Balance:

The pancreas makes insulin, which is the hormone responsible for regulating blood glucose levels. The pancreas contains bitter taste receptors, which may help to secrete the GLP-1 hormone. GLP-1 helps to regulate food intake and it stimulates the release of insulin to keep blood sugar levels normal. Overall, the consumption of bitter foods may help to keep your blood sugar from spiking and crashing.

 

Improve Digestion:

The use of bitter foods to improve digestion is not recent news. New research, however, suggests that consuming bitter foods can help stimulate saliva and stomach acid production to aid with healthy digestion. Some bitter foods also stimulate bile production, which is produced by the liver to break down and digest fats. Increasing your intake of bitter foods may also help increase digestive enzyme production.

 

Maximize Nutrient Absorption:

In connection with the previous health benefit, the activation of digestive enzymes can help you maximize your ability to absorb nutrients from the foods you eat. Recent studies have shown that bitter foods are especially beneficial for helping the body absorb calcium. Not only can bitter foods help you absorb nutrients more efficiently, but they can also provide you with various vitamins and minerals that can help you avoid common nutritional deficiencies.

 

Sources:

https://vitalplan.com/blog/the-impressive-health-benefits-of-bitter-foods

https://draxe.com/bitter-foods/

http://www.onegreenplanet.org/natural-health/why-bitter-foods-are-good-for-the-body/

2019-01-16T11:35:46+00:00

Related Questions

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    Q: Do cigarettes contribute to the bitter smell and taste of vaginal secretions? What else contributes to that?

    A:

    Yes, cigarettes contribute to vaginal discharge. Anything that is consumed that is UNNATURAL has potential harmful side effects, and can contribute to vaginal discharge.

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    Q: What Are Some Natural Sweet Treats (Junk Foods) I can Consume? Under free will you can consume what you like, but healthier products are best. You will find plenty of "healthier" snack, treat, and junk foods at good health food stores such as Whole Foods Market, PCC Natural Food Stores, Erewhon, Trader Joes, Natural Grocers, New Frontiers, etc. Just make sure to abstain from salt, sugar, and other harmful chemicals in the products you buy. We list many companies of alternative foods and products (and their website addresses) in our ALTERNATIVE DIET AND LIFESTYLES MANUAL.

    A:

    Recommended: ALTERNATIVE DIET AND LIFESTYLES MANUAL

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    Q: Could you please supply me with a number of different foods that are OK to eat or a good place to shop for reasonable foods while on the Full Body Detox? I am waiting for my shipment to come and I'm not exactly sure what foods I should be eating?

    A:

    YOU WILL BE EATING ALL RAW FOODS. PLEASE READ OUR ARTICLE â€WHAT IS RAW FOODS†LOCATED ON OUR SITE UNDER ARTICLES. RAW FOODS IS RAW FRUITS, VEGETABLES, SEEDS, AND NUTS. NOTHING COOKED! NO MEAT, DAIRY PRODUCTS, REFINED GRAINS AND STARCHES, ETC. A GOOD PLACE TO SHOP WOULD BE WHOLE FOODS MARKET AND TRADER JOES.

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    Q: I was wondering in your list you include foods that are classified as acidic (AC). I thought we were to avoid acidic foods so we can stay alkaline or do we need some acidic foods? I am guessing that there is a better explanation but please let me know. My partner and I have changed our diet after watching your videos and Dr Sebi’s video and we are very curious about this.

    A:

    I TRUST YOU READ MY ARTICLE THAT COVERS THESE FOODS BELOW. BELOVED, ACID FOODS ARE NOT BAD (UNHEALTHY) AND IN FACT YOU NEED SOME ACID FOODS TO BALANCE OUT THE DIET. THE PROBLEM IS WITH ACID-FORMING FOODS (COOKED FOODS: MEAT, DAIRY, REFINED STARCHES, REFINED GRAINS, ETC.). SO THERE'S A DIFFERENCE BETWEEN ACID FOODS AND ACID-FORMING FOODS. AND YOU DO KNOW THAT MOST OF WHAT WE ARE EATING IS HYBRIDIZED, RIGHT? WE ARE NOT IN CONTROL OF WHAT WE ARE EATING TODAY. EVEN DR. SEBI EATS HYBRIDIZED FOODS. HE CAN'T HELP IT. WE DON'T CONTROL THE FOOD SUPPLY. REMEMBER, MA'AM: BALANCE IN ALL THINGS. SOME ACID FOODS ARE GOOD AND NECESSARY BUT ACID-FORMING FOODS ARE UNHEALTHY AS THEY CREATE MUCUS IN THE BODY.

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    Q: If I follow the raw foods diet with the WEIGHT RELEASE CLEANSE AND REGIMEN, I could possibly lose 30-40lbs. Is that safe? How much could I lose if I don’t eat all raw foods??

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    You will release weight to the amount you need to release weight and depending on what you eat. Raw foods are best and will give the best weight release!

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    Q: Hi, I have been suffering from a dull pain the testicular area for over 2 years now. I have seen 2 urologists that have confirmed that I have enterococcus bacteria in either the prostate of genital area based on semen culture. I have also done testicle ultrasound and CAT scan of the area with good results. One of the urologist said that I have an inflamed prostate (prostitis) there was some varicose veins when ultra sound was done but the urologist continues to give me long term antibiotics. Some my symptoms have been dull pain in the testicular area when I need to have a bowel movement. low energy, moody, memory loss, irritable, confused, brain fog etc. I use to have a health sex drive but now my sex drive is really low. A bit of erectile dysfunction but I think that comes more from having the pain all the time and anxiety. I don't know if this is possible but my penis seems to have reduced in size when erect. The doctor ask me to try some cialis for the ED which I did for a short while but decided I needed something natural because of the long term problems of using those medications. I have had long periods of stress from a bitter business relationship about 2 years ago. My concern is that every time I go to the urologist all they want to do it give me antibiotics and that doesn't seem to be working. I am concern of the other organ damage caused by taking long term antibiotics. Is there an alternative you recommend? I have been looking at your Anti- virus treatment. I am 30 years old.

    A:

    I would suggest you perform the FULL BODY DETOXfollowed by the TOTAL MALE CLEANSE. Read some of our free health articles too on male reproductive health. Healing begins with knowledge!

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    Q: EXACTLY WHAT ARE THE STARCHY FOODS AND HOW DO WE COMBINE THEM....I THOUGHT IT WAS MOSTLY BREAD AND PASTA.....BUT IF THAT IS TRUE THEN I WOULDNT BE FOLLOWING THE RAW FOOD DETOX??

    A:

    Correct! Don't worry too much about the starchy vegetables. Just think of grains!

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    Q: My sister suffers from excruciating migraine headaches. She is very conscious of the correct foods to eat and is careful to eat nutritionally complete foods, but I fear she may have a chemical imbalance or toxin build-up in her system, which is causing the migraines. Do you have a recommendation as to what herbs she could take to alleviate the migraine pain? Your help would be appreciated.

    A:

    Have your sister first perform the Full Body Detox. After this kit, have her take Headache & Pain formula, Brain Tuner formula, Bowel Mover, and Headache Tea.

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    Q: I have heard things about starch not being good for you, but foods such as potatoes, rice, and corn naturally contain starch. So should these foods be avoided?

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    Just don't eat a lot of them, if you can't avoid them completely. Moderation in all things (within reason)!

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    Q: I have incorporated fish into my diet because I have been craving. Is moderation okay.... meaning my fruits for breakfast a regular lunch with salad and a salad for dinner okay to pretty much moderate other foods? It is challenging for me to become a vegan. Do you have any suggestions on how to still eat healthy to maintain an alkalized body with certain foods with moderation that are not raw? I still drink my green veggies at least twice a day. I am praying that my results will be negative.

    A:

    FISH IN MODERATION IS OKAY FOR YOU. TO MAINTAIN ALKALINITY, DESPITE THE ACID-FORMING THINGS YOU EAT, JUST MAKE SURE TO EAT AS MANY GREEN FOODS AS POSSIBLE. YOU CAN ALSO TAKE 6 CAPSULES OF ELECTRIC GREENS CELL FOOD TOO! YOU’RE DOING GOOD SO KEEP YOUR THOUGHTS POSITIVE AND ON YOUR DESIRES.

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    Q: I have a quick question. Is it absolutely imperative that I eat ONLY raw foods if I am doing the full body detox? Is it pointless for me to do the detox if I'm eating cooked foods?

    A:

    YOU CAN ONLY EAT RAW FOODS DURING THE DETOX. COOKED FOODS WILL SABOTAGE YOUR CLEANSE.

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    Q: What are the various foods that I should eat for my melanin and also to reduce mucus in my body?

    A:

    For melanin consciousness, eat all natural foods (fruits and vegetables), especially all green-colored plants that you like to eat. get plenty of nutritional copper (mineral) as well. Make sure you are sleep between the hours of 12 a.m. - 4 a.m when you pineal gland is secreting most of your melatonin which is very anti-aging in nature.

    Simply eat ALKALINE (raw fruits and vegetables) and this alone will combat mucus and prevent mucus buildup. Mucus comes from cooking food and eating unnatural things, like meat and dairy products and other refined things (i.e. refined bread, pastries).

  • Click here to view in a new window

    Q: I have a quick question. Is it absolutely imperative that I eat ONLY raw foods if I am doing the Full body detox ? Is it pointless for me to do the detox if I'm eating cooked foods?

    A:

    YOU CAN ONLY EAT RAW FOODS DURING THE FULL BODY DETOX. COOKED FOODS WILL ONLY SABOTAGE YOUR CLEANSE.

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    Q: I am trying to stop ingesting unhealthy foods. I am trying to get rid of my large fibroids. In one of your articles you mentioned about the uterus. I am curious as to what happens to the uterus when the doctor performs an hysterectomy? Also, is there a daily regimen that I should follow to rid myself of the toxins in my body? Is there anything that I can take to get rid of my cravings for sweets? (I am not diabetic).

    A:

    The Full Body Cleanse is a great way to help rid yourself of toxins and naturally heal your body from adverse conditions and symptoms that are affecting your health.

     

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    Q: I am looking for foods that will help to burn and speed up my metabolism. Also foods that are comforting. I have a problem with constipation please help in that area also. Thanks

    A:

    Thanks for the question.I will answer the constipation question later. Here are five foods that will naturally speed up your metabolism. The more efficient your metabolism the more efficient your body will burn fat. Who doesn't want that?! 

    1: Grapefruit. Due to it's high alkalinity and high nutrient density it is a great food to rev up your metabolism. Have you heard of the grapefruit cleanse? It works! It's possible it works because you are consuming less calories and fat. However, I feel it also helps the body stay alkaline and allows your body to shed fat.

    2: Spices, especially cayenne pepper! All spices and herbs have an alkaline effect making them super foods for weight loss. One Canadian study found the use of spices enabled people to burn up to 1,000 more calories daily than those not incorporating spices into their diet. Cayenne pepper can raise metabolism up to 25 percent in another study.

    3: Apples: Apples have 80 calories in them. It takes nearly 100 to digest them. What does that mean for you? that you are getting a ton of nutrients while getting negative net calories. Sounds awesome to me! Also studies have shown that women who eat three apples a day burn more calories than those who didn't. Consider pears in the same category.

    4: Leafy greens including green tea. Green tea has special metabolism boosting powers. That why you see the green tea extracts everywhere. However, the extracts do not work. There is something special about using the whole food. You need synergy and so does your food. Spinach, kale, collards, etc are super healthy (what a revelation!!) metabolism amping powers. Obviously are negative calorie foods that go along way.

    5: Seeds! Add seeds to greens, smoothies, salads, or just about anywhere. All seeds are potent but the ones that we are talking about here are the tiny ones. Flax, chia, hemp, sesame, etc. They all have wonderful balances of essential fatty acids and in nature the best way to break down fat is with another fat.

    Hope this answers your question.

    I run a 6 month online health coaching course and a 3 month online fitness coaching course. Please check out my site and the other blogs. If you are interested in having a free consultation with me please fill out the health history forms found here http://the-vegan-effect.healthcoach.integrativenutrition.com/forms and then we can set up a time to meet over skype.

    Thanks again,

    Gary Gibson HHC CPT

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    Q: For the last 2 weeks, I've been eating only raw foods. My daily intake mainly consist of snow beans, green beans (string beans), kale, carrots, a small amount butter and crackers, bananas, apples, pears, lettuce, tomatoes, dates, spinach and filtered water. My question is: Am I getting the required nutrients and how would I know if I were not and specifically, how would I know what nutrient was missing. I also take the MALE HORMONAL FORMULA and JACKRABBIT FORMULA (regardless of whether I intend to engage in sexual activity).

    A:

    OF COURSE! WHAT TO KNOW FOR SURE? GO GET A MINERAL TEST DONE. FIND SOMEONE IN YOUR TOWN WHO DOES NUTRITIONAL TESTING OR LIVE BLOOD CELL MICROSCOPY.

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    Q: What foods can I juice to get the proper daily amount of minerals, vitamins? I dont want to take supplements. Feel free to direct me to a link or website etc. Thank you for your time! Peace!

    A:

    You can juice fruits and vegetables for nutrition, Beloved. Jucie fruits and vegetables separately though! They all provide nutrition. Fruits and vegetables are the best

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    Q: What types of grains are allowed with the raw foods diet during the FULL BODY DETOX? Are whole grain breads and cereal bars ok? Please clarify. Also, should I stop taking my birth control pill while on the detox? I hear it will cancel out anyway?

    A:

    IN REFERENCE TO GRAINS, ONLY SPROUTED GRAINS. NO CEREAL AND CREAL BARS! OF COURSE STOP TAKING YOUR BIRTH CONTROL PILL BECAUSE THE FULL BODY DETOX TARGETS ALL TOXINS AND POISONS AND MAN-MADE/PHARMACEUTICAL BIRTH CONTROL PILLS ARE TOXIC AND POISONOUS. IT WILL MOST CERTAINLY CANCEL OUT.

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    Q: When your are doing the cleans you are suppose to eat raw foods. I want to know if o.k. eating a raw potato. I didn't see it on your list of things you can eat.

    A:

    If you can handle it, sure! As long as it's raw!!!!!!!

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    Q: As a diet controlled diabetic I question being able to change my diet(to raw/live foods) while I keep up the same rigorous exercise and fitness program without suffering from too many low readings of which I am prone.The program has gotten me off insulin.I also have diverticulitis and seeds and nuts have been a problem for me in the past. Any suggestions?

    A:

    Thanks for the question. I hope this helps. If you are under a doctors supervision I am forbidden to give you any advice that may alter a doctors advice. They have little to no nutritional training but their word trumps everyone. 

    What I can do is point you in the direction of programs getting the results you desire. Those three are Dr. Neil M. Barnards "program for preventing and reversing diabetes" (DVD,book), Dr. Gabriel Cousins "Raw in 30" program (DVD) and "There is a cure for diabetes" (book), and recently The Gerson Therapy has released a program for diabetes (book). 

    The common denominator in all three programs is a low fat vegan diet. The differences are that Barnard's program is a cooked vegan diet while Cousins' and Gerson's program are raw. All get results but the raw programs have a 75 percent success rate in 1 month where as the cooked version of Barnards get results in 6 months. Big difference.

    I have gotten people off of insulin in around 2 months using a high raw and low fat vegan diet. I use no oils and nuts. I do encourage avocados and seeds for fats. However, with diverticulitis you must avoid seeds until your body repairs itself through a high alkaline diet. I suggest getting a bulk of your fats from avocados and coconut. I usually limit myself to a half an avocados worth of fat a day. 

    I would look into those books first and if you are under a doctors supervision bring those materials to him/her and see what they say.

    I hope this helps.

    Gary Gibson HHC CPT BMI VLC