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Health benefits of bitter-tasting foods

Certain foods with a bitter taste are excellent for your health

brunch Updated: Aug 12, 2017 22:29 IST
Shikha Sharma
Of all the tastes the human body can process, the most difficult to appreciate are bitter-tasting foods
Of all the tastes the human body can process, the most difficult to appreciate are bitter-tasting foods(shutterstock)

When it comes to food, we all naturally gravitate towards sweet or salty tastes. Because, of all the tastes the human body can process, the most difficult to appreciate are bitter-tasting foods. However, below are several very good reasons to ensure that your diet includes foods of this nature.

 Thanks to certain compounds, all bitter foods have a natural ability to cleanse and detoxify the liver, restoring this vital organ’s acid-alkali balance.

 Bitter foods also help clean out elements causing digestive inflammation.

 They have natural antibacterial properties.

 They can be used to balance various pitta aggravations, such as acne.

 They can also be used in high kappa conditions, such as diabetes and obesity.

Bitter foods for your diet

 Green leaves like spinach, arugula, methi leaves (fenugreek leaves), Kashmiri saag, dandelion greens, kale etc.

 Seeds such as methi and jamun

 Karela (bitter gourd) 

 Raw turmeric

 Green tea 

How it works

Bitter foods in your diet
  • Include arugula leaves, rocket leaves, sprouted methi seeds and mustard dressing in a salad.
  • Drink juiced vegetables early in the morning on an empty stomach.
  • Eat steamed or sautéed vegetables like saag.
  • Add turmeric to soups and a bit of raw grated turmeric and ginger in vegetable juices

According to Ayurveda, the liver digests sweet foods, while the kidneys excrete salty foods. When we eat an excess of either, the organs are overloaded. If the sweet foods contain trans fats, the liver cells get damaged, which leads to the serious condition of a fatty liver.

However, foods with a bitter taste increase the body’s vata element (moves toxins), and decrease the pitta (fire) and kapha (water) elements. The vitamins and minerals in these vegetables also nourish and revitalise the liver.

This explains why sprouted methi seeds are given to patients of diabetes, while a mix of karela juice and aloe vera juice is a potent anti-obesity and anti-diabetic drink, and dandelion juice is an age-old, highly-effective remedy for liver problems.

From HT Brunch, August 13, 2017

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