A healthy digestive system is more important than many people realize. After all, this is where our body assimilates our food so it can be used to rebuild and regenerate. It is also where toxins and potentially harmful substances are swiftly removed from the body. If either of these functions can't be performed properly, the digestive journey becomes a bumpy ride. We frequently feel these effects when we experience indigestion, heartburn and bloating after a meal. On the surface, many side effects such as sluggishness or anxiety may not appear directly linked to poor digestion, but many times they are.
Modern bitters can serve as highly effective digestive aids, replacing potentially harmful antacids and other over-the-counter chemical remedies that do nothing but mask symptoms. Bitters get right down to the heart of the matter--or perhaps more accurately the stomach of it--by helping the body produce its own digestive juices. This enhances our ability to absorb nutrients from our foods.
Bitters begin their work the moment they touch your tongue. Their bitter flavor stimulates the stomach, the liver, the gallbladder and the pancreas to begin secreting vital digestive components used to assimilate nutrients in the body (such as bile, gastric juices and insulin). The liver's ability to eliminate toxins is also enhanced.
At first, the taste of herbal bitters may not seem agreeable (okay, downright disgusting). Our modern diet of processed, sugar-laden foods essentially brainwashes our taste buds into preferring only bland, sweet or salty flavors. Traditional medicine teaches us to value bitter herbs and their unique flavor. Many herbalists will tell you, if you find the taste of bitters to be particularly off-putting, it's likely because your body is in desperate need of digestive help. In these cases it helps to work up slowly to the desired potency. Over time, most people find they become accustomed to the taste of bitters and many even begin to prefer it.
Bitters were extremely foul to me when I first started using them. Taking them would almost make me gag. Now I can actually hold them in my mouth for a moment before swallowing. I consider this a testament to the healing I've gone through since discovering real food. Of course, I don't think bitters are delicious by any means, but the fact that they're no longer repulsive to me can't be ignored.
To feel the full benefits of bitters, they should be taken before meals at least once daily. Many people prefer to take bitters with each meal to ensure proper digestion. Some people experience enhanced energy and clarity right away, which others may experience a strong detoxification reaction (which can be reduced by starting small and gradually increasing dosage over time). Optimal results are achieved over a period of weeks or months depending on the state of your health. The end result of restored health and increased vitality is more than worth the bitter taste.
Find a trustworthy brand of quality herbal bitters here.
This post is a part of Fight Back Friday hosted by Food Renegade.