Bitter Foods & Why they’re so good!January 18, 2016
Auntie Julie & the Bitter Gourd Juice
When my mum was growing up, she had an aunt named Julie. Auntie Julie was a wonderful, hilarious & fierce woman – who’d been known to sweep people off her porch (grown men and children alike) if they didn’t behave themselves.Auntie Julie’s husband has pretty high blood pressure and as the years went by his blood pressure crept up and up. Now Julie loved her husband a lot and so it was out of pure love that she served him up a massive glass of bitter gourd juice every morning. Uncle Alan wasn’t convinced by the juice… but given that Julie was fierce, he drank it every day. His blood pressure is steady and he gets to hang out with Auntie Julie every day. Living. The. Dream.
If you’ve not heard of bitter gourd, it’s that green bumpy looking cucumber like vegetable. My mum has been known to make her Sri Lankan bitter gourd curry and my sister and I would always shun it. But given how great my mum looks and feels, I’ve started have a bite or two now and then.
The Facts about Bitter Foods:
If you’re a bitter-phobe, you’re missing out. Here’s why:
- Research shows that bitter foods have an opposite effect to sugar.
Bitter foods keep your hunger & blood sugar at a moderate level which helps to prevent diabetes & obesity.
- Bitter foods encourage the production of bile.
Bile is a hugely important factor in good healthy digestion. It emulsifies fats and draws out vitamins such as vitamin A, D, E and K.
- Bitter foods make your liver work and this keeps your liver healthy.
Just like any muscle in your body, if the muscle doesn’t do any work it will be weak and flimsy. Foods that are high in sugar make your liver lazy.
The Best Bitter Foods
- Bitter Gourd or Bitter Melon
You can make this into a juice, a curry or even stuff them.
- Brussels Sprouts
Try our brussel sprout & gorgonzola salad recipe – it’s scrummy.
Coriander is a pretty strong flavour found commonly in Mexican & South East Asian cooking. Why not give our Thai Mussaman Rice a try?
- Jerusalem Artichoke
This is a pretty unknown veggie, but it’s so good for you. I adore Ott0lenghi’s roasted chicken with jerusalem artichoke & lemon.
- Dandelion greens
Bored of your normal leaves? Try these by checking out 10 ways to use dandelion greens.
- Bitter tonics
Having a sweet drink? Why not try some Angostura Bitters or bitter tonics and your body will thank you!