The advantages of bitter substances in our diet
What are bitter substances?
Bitter substances are all chemical compounds that are activated by T2R (G-protein coupled receptor) have a bitter taste. Sie können sowohl aus der Natur kommen als auch synthetisch hergestellt werden. Bitter substances are not a chemically uniform group, but are only distinguished by their bitter taste. 🗜(wikipedia.de)
How do bitter substances work?
Our body has many receptors that perceive the bitter substances. They are located in the mouth and all over the digestive tract, liver, bile and pancreas. If bitter substances are perceived, the body immediately begins to excrete vital digestive juices and digestive enzymes. That is why it is also important that you taste them already and not just take them as capsules. Bile, gastric juices and insulin are produced - substances that are essential for the absorption and utilization of nutrients in the body. Bitter substances also support the detoxification function of the liver. This means faster destruction of substances of concern. The improvement in digestion can even have a positive effect on our perceived stress.
Bitter foods and our modern diets
Over the last 100 years our diet has changed dramatically. Since the bitter taste is often perceived as unpleasant, bitter substances have been completely extracted from many foods or noticeably reduced. As a result, many vegetables no longer taste nearly as bitter as they originally did. However, this has a great influence on our digestion. Our current diet often consists of high-calorie sweet, starchy and fatty foods. When something bitter hits the mouth, it sends out a signal that stimulates the gastrointestinal tract to act. The receptors in the intestines then stimulate the production of enzymes that break down food, soften the stomach and stimulate movement in the gastrointestinal tract. However, this stimulation is missing by removing the bitterness from our diet.
What are the consequences of not eating enough bitter substances?
Digestive problems, cravings for carbohydrates, weight gain - and all the health problems that can accompany them.
What are the advantages of reintegrating bitter substances on a daily basis?
Waking up these often ignored receptors can help support healthy digestion and regulate other nutritional problems and functions.
Bitter-tasting foods all have their own unique health benefits, including protection against cancer, heart disease and diabetes, and reduced inflammation and oxidative stress.
Most of these benefits come from the wide range of polyphenols that act as antioxidants, anti-inflammatories and even prebiotics.
Since there are so many types of bitter foods to choose from, it is easy to include at least some of them in your diet to benefit from several health benefits.
Examples of bitter foods:
- Dark Chocolate
- Brussels sprouts
- Sesame seeds
Plants that contain a particularly high dose of bitter substances are artichoke leaves, angelica, dandelion and dandelion root, gentian root, yarrow and wormwood. You can either pick these plants outside in nature (except for gentian root, as gentian is a protected species), plant them in your garden, buy them fresh at farmers' markets or buy them as a ready-made mixture in the form of a so-called herbal bitter.
Sources: wikipedia.de and Zentrum-der-Gesundheit.de