A couple weeks ago in Vegas during Leader’s Conference, I sat in on a discussion with some of the best herbalists in the world. One topic that they brought up was the importance of the taste of bitterness in some foods and herbs. The “bitterness” on our taste buds alone is a nutrient, in a sense. The bitterness sends a chemical reaction throughout out bodies and has numerous health benefits. When you sweeten bitter foods, you often destroy the majority of the health benefit of that particular food.
Many nutritionists, herbalists, and other health experts believe that far too many modern industrialized humans are deficient in bitter substances, which in part contributes to our epic rise in digestive related illnesses, inflammatory conditions, immune challenges, diabetes, and more. Source.
In a recent article by the Wall Street Journal, “One study found that only 5% to 8% of the calories we eat are bitter. But the compounds that make foods taste bitter (carotenoids in sweet potatoes and spinach, flavonoids in cranberries and kale, polyphenols in wine) also make them good for us. Consider the initial taste shock of bitter foods such as cranberries, cocoa and kale to be positive, rather than negative. Bitter = healthful.
Here are a few of the health benefits of bitter foods.