The Bitter Truth
Updated: Nov 10, 2021
Bitter is better! Bitter is a sign of powerfully good for you nutrients.
Look at Brussel sprouts...they are hands down one of the most hated vegetable, yet these little bitter fellas are seriously good for you....if we would actually eat them! The compounds that give Brussel sprouts their bitter taste are the same ones that have been shown to help protect against diseases such as cancer. This is true for other bitter fruits and vegetables such as mustard greens, grapefruit and broccoli rabe.
There ARE some ways we can learn to love bitter! Lets check it out...
1. TRY IT AGAIN! - Repeated exposure is the number one way to learn to enjoy bitter foods. Some studies say that it takes about 6-8 tries for your tastebuds to start to come around
2. SWEETEN THE POT - Grapefruit and tea for example, can be very bitter, so try a sprinkle of sugar on your grapefruit or add some honey to your tea
3. ADD SALT - Salt is the best way to mask bitterness. Try a finishing salt on bitter vegetables. If you add salt at the end of cooking, you'll taste the salt more and will use less overall
4. FATTEN IT UP - Take kale for instance. When you massage kale with oil, the fat masks the bitterness and massaging breaks down some of the fibres in the leaves. Also, black coffee...very bitter. When you add cream to the coffee it helps balance the flavour and improve the texture.
There are more than 500 bitter compounds that we can detect and many are packed with health benefits! For example, brussel sprouts and arugula have been shown to prevent cancer and the progression of cancer because of a compound called glucosinolates. Grapefruit contains a compound called naringin, which has shown improvements in obesity, cognitive diseases and diabetes.
Finding ways to better your health doesn't need to be overly complicated or rigid. A few simple and delicious principles can help you live a longer and healthier life!