Bitter Greens For Better Health

Bitter greens are some of the most nutrient-packed vegetables on the planet. Kale, collards, chard, arugula, dandelion greens, beet greens, mustard greens, turnip greens, watercress, and other bitter leafy greens are packed with phytonutrients, antioxidants, vitamins, minerals and fiber.

Why eat bitter-tasting foods? Bitters help you digest everything better. Bitters stimulate your body’s digestive response by triggering the production of digestive enzymes and bile. Bitters help balance HCl levels in the stomach and can relieve digestive issues. Including bitters before meals can also help curb sugar cravings, support a healthy appetite, nourish the liver and promote fat loss.

Get adventurous with veggies by including more bitter greens in your daily diet. Easy to prepare, greens are a quick and colorful addition to juices, shakes, side dishes, wraps, salads, soups, stews, tacos, omelets, chili and casseroles. Lightly steaming or sautéing greens and pairing them with a healthy fat and sea salt helps reduce bitterness, improve digestion and increase nutrient absorption.

7 Ways To Savor Bitter Greens

1. Tea
Bitter herbal teas, such as Dandelion, Burdock or Nettle Leaf, are a great way to start the morning or sip on throughout the day.

2. Veggie Juices
An easy way to include bitter greens is to add a few leaves of spinach, kale, dandelion, beet greens or watercress to freshly made veggie juices. With the mixture of other veg and fruits you’ll barely taste them!

3. Side Dish
Incorporate bitter greens with meals by enjoying them as a tasty side dish. They’re especially delish with a touch of balsamic, caramelized onions or grated cheese. Try balsamic braised radicchio, sautéed mustard greens with caramelized onion, or kale with parmesan.

For optimal health, it’s best to include a full spectrum of flavors, including sweet, salty, sour, bitter, unami, pungent, and astringent.

4. Wraps
Bitter greens make a great nutrient-dense alternative to bread. Lightly steaming greens ahead of time will make them more pliable and less bitter. Try kale wrapped chicken with hummus and olives, collard wrapped turkey with tomato and avocado, or endive “boats” with shrimp, pineapple salsa and guacamole.

5. Salads
Spruce up your salads by adding fresh bitter greens and tossing them with a homemade vinaigrette, Ripe Avocado Ranch or zesty Zukay dressing. Try a Tuscan Kale Salad, arugula salad with grapefruit and avocado, watercress salad with beets and feta, or an escarole salad with apple and pecans.

6. Soups & Stews
Sneak in bitter greens by chopping finely and stirring into soups and stews. They’ll add lots of color and complement other flavors well. Try sausage, sweet potato and spinach soup or beef, carrot and kale stew.

7. Snacks
Along with the simple wraps listed above, Baked Kale Chips make for a finger-friendly, grab-and-go snack. Baking kale with a pinch of sea salt will make this crunchy treat less bitter.

For optimal health, it’s best to include a full spectrum of flavors, including sweet, salty, sour, bitter, unami, pungent, and astringent. Other great bitter foods to enjoy include: bitter melon, broccoli rabe, brussels sprouts, cabbage, coffee, cumin, dark chocolate, cacao/cocoa, eggplant, fenugreek, green bell peppers, licorice, rhubarb, tea, turmeric, walnuts, red wine, and zucchini.

Don’t like bitter foods? Try Urban Moonshine for an easy supplement option.

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