“To keep the body in good health is a duty. Otherwise, we shall not be able
to keep our mind strong and clear.” – Buddha
Though seemingly mysterious, bitters were once a common remedy. Despite a substantial dip in popularity, modern research confirms that bitter-tasting herbs and vegetables still carry many health benefits—detoxifying the liver, stimulating digestion, balancing blood sugar, and even regulating hunger. Therefore, you may substantially improve your health simply by consuming a small amount of bitters every day.
1. Managing Appetite
One of the most amazing benefits of daily bitters is the effect on appetite. Bitter herbs stimulate the secretion of the same hormone that produces hunger, increasing your appetite. It also increases your secretions of cholecystokinin (CCP) and glucagon-like peptide-1 (GLP-I). These substances reduce the speed of gastric emptying. While you’ll feel hungry at first, you’ll also find that you consume less overall because you’ll feel fuller for longer
2. Improving Digestion
Bitter flavors stimulate your vagus and glossopharyngeal nerves. These nerves are responsible for switching your body out of “rest mode” and into “digestive mode.” As a result, your body will secrete more digestive fluids throughout the entire system. Priming your body to digest and absorb all the wonderful nutrients from the wholesome foods you consume
3. Preventing Indigestion
Bitters have a tonifying effect that tightens the sphincter at the top of your stomach. This prevents the rise of gastric secretions that would typically result in heartburn or acid reflux. Bitters also regulate stomach acid production, stimulating digestion and reducing the sensation of nausea after a meal.
4. Balancing Blood Sugar
If you have a sweet tooth, consuming bitters may decrease your sugar cravings. Bitters temporarily block the sugar receptors in your brain. Bitters also slow the digestion of simple carbohydrates while encouraging glycogen storage by the liver. This means you may develop significantly better control of your blood sugar.
5. Detoxifying the Liver
Are you familiar with the traditional dandelion spring tonic? Like dandelions, most bitters are effective at detoxifying the liver. This is a very gentle and natural detox. The phytochemicals found in plant bitters stimulate the production of antioxidants and bile within the liver. Thereby eliminating any stored toxins. Did you know that a healthy, detoxed liver also promotes clear, glowing skin? You’ll feel better and look better too!
What Bitters Are Best?
Though modern diets are essentially void of bitter flavors, they really aren’t uncommon. Familiar bitters that you can consume daily to improve your health include radish, kale, dandelion, dark chocolate, artichoke, arugula, chamomile, and even coffee. A few lesser-known options include herbs like gentian, wormwood, or bitter melon. Ginger, though not a traditional bitter, also provides similar digestive stimulation.
Remember, you just need a small amount each day in order to reap all these amazing benefits. A little ginger or chamomile tea would do the trick while providing a good opportunity to slow down, relax and check in with yourself.
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What To Remember:Bitters were once a traditional remedy.
Studies confirm bitters detoxify your liver, stimulate digestion,
balance blood sugar, and regulate hunger.
Consuming a small amount of bitters every day can really improve your health.
Badger, Aisling. (April, 2018). Which Bitters Are Best For Me? Retrieved from UrbanMoonshine.com.
Grossmann, Kayla. 10 Reasons to Use Digestive Bitters. Retrieved from RadiantLifeCatalog.com
Stephens, Carissa. (February, 2019). The Ultimate Guide to Bitters. Retrieved from Healthline.com.
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