When you’re used to the sweet life, bitter foods can be hard to swallow. But if you’re looking for food that promotes natural cleansing, which can in turn help boost your performance in the gym, bitter is actually better.
From aiding in digestion to improving energy and endurance, incorporating some (or all) of these bitter foods into a balanced diet will help naturally sweep your body clean and uplift your fitness game.
If you ever see a salad green referred to as “rocket,” it’s simply another name for arugula, or roquette in French.
Arugula leaves are tender and bite-sized with a tangy flavor. Along with other leafy greens, arugula contains very high nitrate levels (more than 250 milligrams per 100 grams).
High intakes of dietary nitrate have been shown to lower blood pressure, reduce the amount of oxygen needed during exercise, and enhance athletic performance. Arugula is loaded with vitamins and minerals that in some way bolster the defenses of the body’s immune system.
It’s bitey, peppery flavor has a way of cooling the body at the same time hydrates.
Studies have shown that coffee may have health benefits, including protecting against Parkinson’s disease, type 2 diabetes and liver disease, including liver cancer. Coffee also appears to improve cognitive function and decrease the risk of depression.
Coffee contains theobromine, theophylline, and caffeine that increase bile flow for better digestion. Note however that coffee should be consumed in moderation.
Dandelion greens belong to one of the largest plant families – the Sunflower – which include more than 22,000 species, including daisies and thistles. The first reference of dandelions being used as a medicine was written by Middle Eastern physicians in the 10th and 11th centuries.
After gathering this plentiful, easily recognizable herb – preferably the younger, paler leaves – rinse them gently, pat them dry, and store them in plastic bags in a low-moisture refrigerator drawer. Blanching them by immersing them in boiling water for 20 to 30 seconds helps reduce a sometimes-present acrid taste before adding them to salads or sandwiches. Try adding dandelion greens to soups, stews and casseroles, as well as to herbal teas and coffee.
Dandelion greens also give the body 112 percent of the daily minimum requirement of vitamin A as an antioxidant carotenoid, which is particularly good for the skin, mucus membranes and vision.
Iron weed (Popularly known as Bitter leaf) is, as the name implies is a bitter leafy green or sometimes gray vegetable known in Nigeria as onugbu by the Igbos, ewuro by the Yorubas and chusa-doki shawaka by the Hausas.
Bitter leaf offers many health benefits including but not limited to blood sugar regulation, helping with repair of the pancreas and may also help reduce the risk of breast cancer amongst other things.
Unknown to most people, Bitter leaf may reduce the risk of breast cancer, can reduce cholesterol which in turn helps reduce the risk factors associated with Stroke, Heart Attack and Alzheimer’s and contains Antioxidants in abundance which helps to check oxidation thereby increasing the body’s disease fighting properties. It aids digestion and also helps in maintaining the liver and kidney