The Most Bitter Foods?
The list of most bitter foods includes many leafy greens, some bitter fruits that are generally less popular than others, and cocoa and coffee:
Some of the most bitter foods are leafy greens. Most leafy greens are pretty bitter and owe their bitterness to glucosinolates, a group of molecules:
Arugula owes its bitter taste to isothiocyanates, which have been shown to have anti-cancer properties. Studies have shown that these small molecules might help against cancer.
When it comes to its bitterness, it deserves a place on this list. The isothiocyanate in its leaves makes kale one of the most bitter foods in the world.
Artichokes have a bitter taste because they contain cynarin, a natural chemical that has been shown to have anti-inflammatory properties.
Glucosinolates cause bitterness in Brussel sprouts. Our digestive system breaks them down into various substances, including indoles and thiocyanates.
Broccoli rabe is the most bitter type of broccoli. The glucosinolates, which give them their bitter taste, are usually found in the plant’s leaves, stems, and flowers.
These bitter fruits have many properties that make them as beneficial as their sweet counterparts, if not more:
The bitterness of the citrus peel is due to the presence of limonin, a compound that is found in the rinds of citrus fruits.
Cranberries are a type of fruit that is native to North America. They contain a good amount of vitamin C, an antioxidant that helps protect cells from damage.
Bitter melon contains cucurbitacins, a compound that has anti-inflammatory properties. These compounds may help reduce swelling and pain.
Crabapples, also called wild apples, are a bitter fruit indeed. Crabapples have many health benefits. They are rich in antioxidants, which help fight free radicals in the body.
Spices and herbs
Although the following spices and herbs have a strong and bitter taste, the bitterness disappears when used in cooking. They are nutritional powerhouses, too:
The bitterness of turmeric is from curcumin, which is what gives turmeric its yellow color and it also has its beneficial properties.
Dandelion greens are a type of edible weed often found in green areas. Contrary to the belief, they are more than eye candy and are rich in vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants.
Peppermints are among the most bitter foods because they contain menthol. Menthol is a natural compound that has a cooling effect on the mouth and throat.
The bitterness of yarrow is due to a chemical called sesquiterpene lactones, which is found in the plant’s leaves, flowers, and stems.
Cocoa contains antioxidants that can help prevent cancer and heart disease. Cocoa owes its bitter taste to theobromine, a chemical that is found within.
Coffee beans are the seeds of the coffee plant. They are roasted to produce the coffee we drink. They contain caffeine, which makes them taste so bitter.
Radishes are a great source of vitamin C, potassium, and fiber. Just like turmeric, they too, contain antioxidants. They are low in calories and fat but high in dietary fiber.
When consumed in moderation, most bitter foods benefit our body, especially our digestive system. They also have anti-inflammatory properties and reduced the risk of heart disease and cancer.
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