Status: 22.09.2023, 05:00 a.m.
By: Ines Alms
Not everyone likes bitter substances in food, but they more than deserve their place on the plate. They are a boon for the digestive organs and strengthen the body's defenses.
1 / 10Artichokes contain many different bitter substances. These support the liver in detoxification, they relieve flatulence and bloating. © Westend61/Imago
2 / 10Whether radicchio or chicory – the chicory family is united by a healthy bitterness that can be mitigated with a short water bath. © Westend61/Imago
3 / 10The endive or friseé salad tastes a bit milder, which can score above all with the bitter substance lactucopikrin, which promotes digestion. © Shotshop/Imago
4 / 10There is a reason why many children disdain cabbages such as broccoli or Brussels sprouts: the bitter substances they contain and a sulphurous taste. But at least the substances stimulate intestinal activity. © BE&W/Imago
5 / 10As a salad (especially the stems) or tea, dandelion stimulates the flow of bile and helps the liver detoxify. If you can't find a young dandelion in the meadow, you can look for it in Turkish grocery stores. © Viewing angles/Imago
6 / 10Turmeric root can do more than just color curries: its bitter substances promote fat digestion. The tart taste becomes clear if you season it too much. © Science Photo Library/Imago
7 / 10Many people can agree on oatmeal, and even this trendy product contains bitter substances. The saponins can probably even help to lower fever. © YAY Images/Imago
8 / 10A bittersweet treat for the liver: grapefruits and grapefruits contain naringin. The bitter substance is so effective that it can influence the absorption of medication. © Panthermedia/Imago
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9 / 10Who would have thought, chocolate also has its good side. The saponins it contains strengthen the body's defenses with their antibiotic effect. It is important that the chocolate contains at least 70 percent cocoa. © photothek/Imago
10 / 10From bogeyman to liver favorite: Black coffee contains caffeic acid, which reduces the appetite for sweets and has an antioxidant effect. © Design Pics/Imago
Bitter substances are among the secondary plant substances that are becoming more and more important despite their often unpopular taste. Over the years, the flavor has been strongly bred out of many vegetables and fruits so that they taste good even to the most sensitive palate. You can approach them quite well if you slowly increase the amount of bitter foods in the diet.
This would make sense, because bitter substances send signals to the stomach, liver, gallbladder and pancreas via receptors in the oral cavity, so that they produce gastric juices or insulin, for example. This supports digestion and lowers blood sugar levels. In addition, bitter substances have an anti-inflammatory, antibacterial effect and are a natural antioxidant, i.e. protect the cells. Thus, they are a valuable aid for the immune system.
This picture gallery shows which foods you can use to give your digestive organs and immune system great pleasure. So much in advance: Bitter foods can also be sweet and you can nibble a bit.
This article contains only general information on the respective health topic and is therefore not intended for self-diagnosis, treatment or medication. It is in no way a substitute for a visit to the doctor. Unfortunately, our editors are not allowed to answer individual questions about clinical pictures.