It is unfortunate that most American diets do not include more bitter greens. We are a population that chooses mostly overcooked and doctored food, and bitter flavors are not very popular.
In Ayurvedic tradition, bitter foods are considered to help with weight reduction as well as reduce food cravings. In Traditional Chinese Medicine bitter foods are recommended for removing heat in the body.
Great for Digestion
Eating bitter greens like kale and watercress activate the taste buds causing enzyme production and the bile to flow. This helps to promote digestion. Bitter greens also contain high amounts of fiber which are important for waste elimination in the digestive tract. Many people who are following some of the popular diets that are high in fat and lower in carbohydrates could really benefit from a small addition of bitter greens every day.
Bitter green foods are loaded in vitamins, minerals and other nutrients. For example, just one cup of watercress contains 959 mg of vitamin A. Both watercress and arugula are high in isothiocyanates (organic compounds with anti-cancer properties). Dandelions have more overall nutrition in them than Popeye’s spinach.
Bitter greens are excellent for cleansing the body. They help the liver detoxify with their sulfur-based compounds. A healthy liver is very important to the overall well-being of a person. Not only is the liver very important to remove toxins from the body, it also helps to balance cholesterol levels, regulate hormones and metabolize fats. Dandelions leaves increase urine production. This helps the kidneys with their elimination chores.
We would be remiss if we didn’t also point out that bitter greens may even help you slim down. They help to reduce food cravings which are the downfall of so many people who are trying to lose weight.
Summer is the perfect season to pick up wonderfully fresh arugula or some lovely kale. They are both perfect for salads alone, or mixed with other greens. Other bitter greens like dandelions and mustard, are probably better in smaller doses. Next time you go shopping, make sure to pick up some bitter greens.
To Your Health!