We give in to our taste buds and eat only the foods that are delicious. But there are a few foods which are not considered flavourful yet have proven to be extremely healthy. They are none other than the ones that taste bitter in their raw form. Here a few of them that can help you keep your body fit without being tasty:
1. Bitter gourd
Bitter gourd also known as bitter melon, you might hate it for its awful bitter taste. But do you know that bitter gourd is a great option if you are a fitness enthusiast. Packed with nutrients and antioxidants like vitamin A, Vitamin C, potassium and folate, this superfood promotes skin health, vision and prevents cell damage, reducing your risk of developing heart disease and diabetes. Low in calories, it also helps in reducing blood sugar level. You can choose to have bitter melon vegetable cooked in olive oil or drink a glass of its juice. (Read more about –> Bitter Melon For Diabetes)
2. Citrus Peel
While the flesh and juice of citrus fruits like lemons, oranges and grapefruits have a sweet or tart flavor, the outer peel and white pith are quite bitter. Citrus peel has a bitter flavor due to its high concentration of flavonoids. These powerful antioxidants may reduce inflammation and help protect against cancer.
Cocoa powder is made from the beans of the cacao plant and tastes extremely bitter when unsweetened.
Cocoa is rich in polyphenols, antioxidants and trace minerals including copper, manganese, magnesium and iron. Regular consumption may protect against heart disease.
Unsweetened cocoa powder, cacao nibs and extra dark chocolate contain the highest number of antioxidants and least amount of sugar. Therefore, they make for healthy additions to your diet.
Neem Tree, also known as ‘Azadirachta indica’ is a tree native to India. Neem is best known for its anti-aging properties. Due to its antioxidant properties, neem protects the skin from harmful UV rays, pollution and other environmental factors. The vitamins and fatty acids in neem improve and maintain the elasticity of the skin, reduce wrinkles and fine lines. This make you and your skin look rejuvenated and youthful.
Neem is also beneficial in fighting against fungal infection. Its anti-fungal and anti-bacterial properties keep the harmful bacteria and fungi at bay. Thus, it protects the skin and keeps the skin related diseases away.
Neem leaves are loaded with flavonoids, triterpenoid, anti-viral compounds and glycosides, which may help to manage blood sugar levels and ensure there is no surge in glucose.
Even today, many Indians in rural areas use neem twigs for brushing every morning. It has antibacterial properties and helps to keep gums healthy. It is known to reduce many gum related diseases.
(Also read –> Curry Leaves And It’s Amazing Health Benefits)
5. Green tea
If you are a fitness freak then you might be drinking green tea regularly. Not only does it help you lose weight, but also act as an important antioxidant. It has a naturally bitter flavor due to its catechin and polyphenol contents. The most well-known of these catechins is called epigallocatechin gallate, or EGCG.
EGCG in green tea helps in killing cancerous cells and prevent them from growing. Polyphenols in green tea act as antioxidants and anti-inflammatories. Together, these compounds reduce the damage from free radicals and decrease inflammation, which may reduce your risk of heart disease. Two cups of green tea daily is optimal.
(Also read –> Health Benefits Of Matcha Tea)
6. Red Wine
Red wine contains two main types of polyphenols — proanthocyanidins and tannins — which give wine its deep color and bitter taste. The combination of alcohol with polyphenols in red wine prevents heart diseases.
Studies have shown that drinking a glass of red wine daily promotes longevity and increased number of healthy gut bacteria, reducing your risk of diabetes and osteoporosis.
Only moderate consumption of wine is advised because excessive consumption of alcohol can lead to liver damage.
(Also read –> Pomegranates And It’s 7 Amazing Health Benefits)
Of all the healthful greens, kale is the king. Kale belongs to the cabbage family and is the most nutrient dense food. Loaded with antioxidants like quercetin and kaempferol, it prevents cancer and ageing. Moreover, it detoxifies your body while also fighting against the growth of tumors. You can eat boiled kale as a salad with a drizzle of lemon or add it in soups to veil its bitter taste for a better taste.
(Also read –> What Makes Mustard Greens A Winter Favourite)