In the culinary world, bitter foods are the ones that are always left out. We drool over desserts and often crave comforting savoury dishes, but bitter foods hardly find any takers due to their strong flavour.
However, bitter foods are incredibly nutritious and can improve your health and protect you from several diseases. In this article, we will tell you why it is vital to eat more bitter foods and what are the best options.
How bitter foods can improve your immunity
Boosting immunity has always been considered crucial for better health. In the past year, people have become more conscious about it and often seem to be looking for ways to build their natural defence system. If you too are worried about your immune health, bitter foods are the answer to all your problems.
The food with a strong taste is referred to as bitter as they increase saliva and stomach acids. Including these foods in the diet may help to stimulate the digestive system and improve the absorption of nutrients from the food. These foods can also prevent leaky gut and inflammation in the body. Additionally, the high nutrient content in the food can boost your metabolism and immunity. Here are 5 bitter foods that you must include in your diet.
1. Bitter gourd
Bitter gourd is a common vegetable that always tops the list of bitter and most disliked food. But it is packed with healthy phytochemicals like triterpenoids, polyphenols and flavonoids that are known to slow the growth of cancerous cells. It is also a natural medicine to lower the blood sugar levels in people with Type 2 diabetes. The antioxidant content in it can also help prevent cell damage caused by free radicals.
2. Cruciferous vegetables
The leafy green cruciferous vegetables also come under the category of bitter foods. The cruciferous family contains vegetables like broccoli, cabbage, radishes and spinach. They have a distinctly strong taste due to the presence of compounds called glucosinolates, which is also responsible for many of their health benefits. The study suggests that people who eat cruciferous vegetables are less vulnerable to cancer.
Not everyone loves bitter-tasting dark chocolate. But dark chocolate is very healthy due to the presence of a high amount of cocoa. Cocoa powder is made from the beans of the cacao plant and tastes bitter in its raw form. The bitter taste is due to the presence of polyphenols and antioxidants in it, which can widen blood vessels and reduce inflammation. It is also packed with minerals like zinc, copper, manganese, magnesium and iron.
4. Citrus peel
Citrus fruits like lemon and oranges are packed with vitamin C and often find a place in your diet due to their tangy taste. However, the peel of the citrus fruits that we discard is equally healthy and nutritious. The outer skin is bitter due to the presence of flavonoids, which protect the fruit from pests. In fact, they contain a higher concentration of flavonoids than any other part of the fruit. You can grate the zest and add them to your food for flavour and better health.
5. Green tea
Green tea has numerous health benefits including weight loss, better digestion, immunity and improved cardiovascular health. It has a naturally bitter flavour due to the presence of catechin and polyphenol. Replacing your regular cup of tea or coffee with green tea can help you in numerous ways. Two cups of green tea in a day is all you need to stay healthy.