Why You Should Be Sweet On Bitter Foods

Yet another way to love your liver!

Yes, I talk about loving our livers A LOT. But your liver is seriously an all-star and does so much for you – so it’s only fair that you take care of it in return.

Why bitter foods?

Bitter leafy greens, herbs and other bitter foods all contain sulfur and fat-soluble vitamins like A, D, E and K, which are all necessary for your liver and its little sidekick, the gallbladder, to produce bile. This bile helps your stomach and liver break down the different things you eat for nutrient assimilation for the good stuff, or removal for the bad stuff. Bitter foods not only enable the production of bile, but stimulate it.

Bitter foods have also been shown to moderate hunger and stabilize blood sugar. (You can learn more about that from Dr. Weil here.)

Bitter foods also fight free radicals and stimulate your metabolism.

Some bitter food super-stars

So what foods give you the most bitter for your buck?

  • green tea
  • cacao (so high-quality, low-sugar dark chocolate)
  • dandelion greens, beet greens
  • arugula
  • cilantro, parsley
  • brussels sprouts, broccoli rabe
  • radicchio

To get the most out of your bitter foods, pair them with antioxidant and enzyme rich foods like lemon juice, onions and garlic.

An easy way to get your fix

One of my favorite ways to get my bitter on is with, well, bitters – you know, like the ones that you usually fine in your cocktail glass. There are tons of different ones out there and they are all made with high concentrations of bitter herbs.

My personal favorite is Urban Moonshine’s Citrus Digestive Bitters. I put about a half dropper full into a glass of sparkling water and add a wedge of lime. This has become my evening drink of choice when I’m giving my liver a break from the wine. It’s also great to sip on about a half hour before dinner (like when you’re cooking) to get that bile going!

So go get your bitter on 🙂