Why Bitter Greens Are So Great For Our Health + Recipe

Why Bitter Greens Are So Great For Our Health + Recipe

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What Bitter Foods Do Within the Body

Liver cleansing is greatly stimulated by bitter foods, which helps not only cleanse the system but also balance cravings for sweet foods.

Over-indulging on sweet foods – which much of the population does today – can all lead to fatty liver disease and Type 2 diabetes due to an overabundance of fructose and simple carbohydrates that halt the metabolism and cause the body to store excess fat.

As too much fructose is taken in, you begin to crave more as insulin levels become imbalanced and the body is constantly on a rollercoaster of blood-sugar ups and downs.

Bitter foods help keep the liver moving and flowing as removes toxins on a regular basis, helping to balance out hormones through stage two liver detoxification and elimination. At the same time, this also controls cholesterol levels as daily toxins and built-up wastes leave the body.

Bitter greens act as a gentle diuretic to purify your blood, cleanse your system, assist in weight reduction; cleanse your skin, eliminate acne, improve your bowel function, prevent or lower high blood pressure, prevent anaemia, lower your serum cholesterol by as much as half, eliminate or drastically reduce acid indigestion and gas buildup by cutting the heaviness of fatty foods.

If you tend to crave a lot of bitter (unhealthy foods) like excess coffee, processed chocolate and even alcohol, adding healthy bitter foods like greens into your diet can play a large role in helping to detox and re-balance.

Bitter Greens Salad for Cleansing and Detox

Bitter Greens Salad for Cleansing and Detox

How to Work Bitter Foods Into Your Diet

It’s really simple to work bitter foods into your diet. You’re probably already eating many of them and don’t even know it. Broccoli rabe, kale, chard, spinach, dandelion greens (awesome to juice with), raw cacao powder, Belgian endive, cilantro, and salad greens like radicchio and arugula are all some of the most common and most nutritious.

And then there is my favourite bitter green, watercress, which is known to be the most nutritionally dense vegetable on the planet.

Cleansing Foods to Pair With Bitter Foods for More Benefits

To improve the value of bitter foods even more, consider pairing them with some other foods that detox and stimulate liver activity and cleansing.Vitamin C rich foods, along with other enzyme-rich liver cleansing food,  are some of the best to pair with bitter foods to gain maximum nutrition and improve the immune system to fight bacteria and toxic overload.

In addition to being vitamin-rich (like most greens), bitter greens are exceptionally beneficial for digestion. They have a bold flavour that may take some getting used to, but the health benefits are definitely worth the effort!

Here are some examples of ways to enjoy them:

  • Add lemon juice over some greens as a clean salad dressing option
  • Cook your broccoli rabe or kale with some sliced onion
  • Cook some beets or beet greens with some garlic, ginger and endive to make a delicious sauté
  • Juice with some dandelion greens, lemon, arugula, cilantro and parsley for a tasty tonic
  • Try a smoothie option by blending some water with a tiny wedge of lemon, some ginger root, spinach, kale, 1/2 an organic orange, a teaspoon of raw organic cacao, and a little liquid stevia or raspberries versus sugary sweeteners.

The Effects of Consuming Bitter Foods: A Balanced Body

When you regularly consume bitter foods with other healthy plant-based foods in your diet, you’ll likely notice that your body might start to feel more balanced, cravings might diminish, and even digestive or other physical issues like headaches may possibly subside.

You may notice that instead of having to ‘force’ yourself to choose the greens, you actually crave them over your typical ‘carby’, ‘stodgy’ snacks.

This it the body’s way of telling you that it’s receiving what it needs.

Bitter greens can be exactly that… bitter.

To tame bitterness, try this universal recipe: drizzle with good quality olive oil and add sea salt to reduce bitterness, enhance digestibility, and even releases nutrients for easy absorption.  You could also saute your bitter greens in a little bit of olive oil to enhance the beneficial properties.

My favourite bitter greens salad recipe – I fill a bowl with chopped radicchio, rocket and watercress (known to be the most nutritionally dense green on the planet), drizzle with olive oil, sprinkle with se salt and add some chopped calendula flowers straight from the garden for their wonderful digestive properties. 

A salad like this is perfect for a gentle cleanse or detox. 

Bitter greens salad for cleansing and detoxing.

Here is a list of bitter greens worth trying this Summer.

Amaranth greens
Broccoli Rabe
Dandelion Greens
Kale (including Dinosaur Kale, Lacinto Kale)
Mustard Greens
Turnip Greens


Why Bitter Greens Are So Great For Our Health + Recipe was last modified: January 12th, 2017 by Alice Nicholls
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