The Bitter Truth

The Bitter Truth

CaimByArelang

This article has been researched and written by Arelang Naturals® in-house writers.

So Betty bought some butter but the butter was bitter, so Betty bought some better butter to make the bitter butter better. But did she make it better? What is the deal with bitter and why do we tend to run away from all things bitter?

We all know that our taste receptors on the tongue have 5 senses - sweet, salty, spicy, umami, and BITTER. But did you know that we have the most receptors on the tongue for ‘bitter’, a taste that we seem to love the least?

Since time immemorial, the early man considered all things bitter, poisonous. It was nature’s way of keeping us safe and asking us to “stop eating that immediately”. This taste was associated with many poisons, and that “yuck,” reaction was a natural protector. When this “unpleasant” food is placed in your mouth, hundreds of taste receptors start screaming for action. We almost imagine a full-blown movie scene each time we think about this. “Alert, Alert! defense squad, we may have a deadly invader here. Let’s kick the immune system into gear, get those digestive enzymes into hyper-drive and fight off this intruder! Thanks to years of trying to keep us safe, our body’s code puts all things bitter on the “impending danger” list to these when consumed. But is this over-the-top reaction completely justified? We think not.

To put things into perspective, it is important for you to know that plants and vegetables, just like we, have learned to protect themselves from insects, pesticides, predators, and such. Most plants evolved to have ‘phytochemicals’ to help them survive. They are made up of substances and compounds like phenols, flavonoids, isoflavones, terpenes, and glucosinolates, which almost always taste unpleasant and bitter. And believe it or not, the more bitter these substances are, the more potent they are, the better preserved your plants and vegetables are, and the better the nutrients you would derive from them. After all, it’s the survival of the fittest (and the bitterest?)

So here’s proof that these unpleasant-tasting foods are actually good for you:

  1. They help release your digestive enzymes better so you can absorb your food better
  2. They are natural digestive tonics and can help relieve stomach aches and detox your body
  3. They help cleanse your liver, reduce gas build-up, and are high in protein
  4. Most plants that are highly bitter tend to have higher antioxidants
  5. They help improve gut health and act as prebiotics
  6. They are packed with fiber, vitamins, minerals, and proteins making them extra nutritious
  7. They often help boost performance, endurance and help burn those extra calories
  8. They help control your appetite and reduce sugar cravings and help lower blood sugar

To give you an example, take the plain simple bitter gourd! We know you all hate it, but it is rich in potassium, antioxidants and makes for around 90% of your daily Vitamin C requirements. Mind-blowing right? Are you convinced that the bitter life is one to embrace? Although, bitter gourd is not the only one. There are plenty of others that you must include in your diets:

Green Tea ⭑ Cocoa ⭑ Citrus Peels ⭑Coffee ⭑ Dandelion Greens or sinhaparnee ⭑Kale/Spinach/Rocket leaves ⭑ Broccoli ⭑Bitter Melon or Karela⭑Cranberries (tart and bitter) ⭑Red Wine - (yes that's good for you too!)

But hold on now, not all things bitter are good for you. When consumed in quantities that your body cannot digest, almost anything can be bad for you, including bitter foods. But we care about you, so we extract the most potent of all phytochemicals from ingredients, (which of course makes them extremely bitter in taste) and put them in our Candyceuticals, without you having to worry about how much bitter you can consume. And to make it even more fun, we put these potent unpleasant-tasting compounds into dark chocolate (which btw, is also pleasantly bitter and oh-so-good for you, read here) center-filled and carefully crafted to mask the bitter flavors (for the most part). So now all you have to do is open, pop, and chew your way to good health.