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5 Bitter Foods That You Better Eat for Good Health and Immunity

Updated on November 16, 2017
ChitrangadaSharan profile image

Chitrangada writes to spread awareness regarding common health problems and suggests solutions. Prevention definitely is better than cure.

Bitter gourd or Karelia
Bitter gourd or Karelia | Source

Bitter But Healthy Foods, because, "Bitter Is Better!"

© Chitrangada Sharan June 2014,

All Rights Reserved,


  • Who likes to eat bitter food items!

I don't think anyone. Most of us either love sweet food or salted or spicy food.

When my kids were younger, it was a tough task to feed them something healthy, but not sweet enough. And they used to ask me, why good and healthy food has to taste so terrible and bitter.

  • Here I am going to talk about some bitter foods, which are so essential to eat for the general health of our internal organs.

Doctors and Nutritionists, in fact feel that the deficiency of bitter foods in our food habits today, is to a great extent responsible for growing diseases among humans.

How to make Bitter gourd or Karela Juice source: You tube

Bitter Gourd or Karela!

Something which can be so bitter, but extremely beneficial---Bitter Gourd or Karela, is the best example for that.


It can be eaten as a veggie but there are some specific ailments, for which it is used as a home remedy.

Properties:

  • Provides coolness,
  • Good for digestion/Improves digestion,
  • Purifies blood,
  • Very effective in urine related diseases,
  • Eliminates worms,
  • Detoxifies,
  • It helps to keep the sugar level under control for Diabetics,
  • The raw juice of bitter gourd or Karela, is very effective in the treatment for Acne/ Pimples, as it has the property of purifying the blood.
  • Regular consumption helps in eliminating smaller stones through urine.

Note: Please read Nellieanna's comment below, to know more about Bitter Gourd!

Fenugreek herb / Methi saag
Fenugreek herb / Methi saag | Source
Fenugreek seeds or Methi daana
Fenugreek seeds or Methi daana | Source

Health benefits of fenugreek seeds (methi) , Source: YouTube

Fenugreek Seeds or Methi!

Methi or Fenugreek is bitter but a healthy food. Its fresh leaves are also eaten as veggies or in paranthas in India. But the seeds are available throughout the year and is an important part of Indian cooking and spices.

You can take it either raw, or roast it and powder it.

Benefits:

  • Cures Constipation,
  • Effective in treating acidity or heartburn,
  • Very beneficial to women in the post natal period. Helps to shrink back the Uterus and eliminates all the impure blood,
  • Methi is considered very effective for lactating mothers, as it increases the milk produce,
  • Helps to regulate bile, cough and gases and the disease related to them,
  • Helpful in providing relief to joint pains and Arthritis,
  • Helps in reducing bad cholesterol and increases good cholesterol,
  • Good for treating thinning of hair and dandruff.

Neem tree, leaves and Nimboli(its seeds)
Neem tree, leaves and Nimboli(its seeds) | Source

Amazing benefits of Neem leaves, Source:YouTube

Neem or the Indian Lilac!

  • Neem tree is found in most of the Asian countries. Almost all parts of this tree is used for medicinal purposes. Neem tree has loads of properties, not only to provide good health but also prevention from diseases.
  • Neem is anti fungal, anti bacterial, anti diabetic and anti inflammatory. Its seeds, flowers, leaves and the tender stems all are used for medicinal purposes. Since it is found in abundance, it is very inexpensive even for the poor people.

Neem benefits:

  • The tender apex leaves are boiled and administered to the patient having ordinary fever or even malarial fever.
  • Neem tablets and syrups are available in Ayurvedic shops.
  • Neem leaves are boiled in water and then mixed in buckets. The same water is used to take bath for skin related diseases, such as chicken pox.
  • Neem leaves are chewed first thing in the morning by patients of Diabetes, to keep their blood sugar level under control,
  • In addition it works wonders for your teeth and gums and fights and cures diseases related to them,
  • Neem tablets are very effective in treating constipation and joint pains,
  • Neem oil is beneficial in providing relief to gout patients.

Raw Turmeric or Kachchi Haldi
Raw Turmeric or Kachchi Haldi | Source

Health benefits of Turmeric, source: YouTube

Turmeric powder is very commonly used in Indian cuisine
Turmeric powder is very commonly used in Indian cuisine | Source

Turmeric or Haldi!

  • Haldi or Turmeric is a common ingredient in most of Indian cuisine. Its powder is used in making veggies and daal or pulses.
  • Besides the common turmeric used in cooking, there are 3 other types of turmerics, used only for medicinal purposes, namely---Kapoor haldi, vana haldi and daaru haldi.
  • Haldi or turmeric can be consumed in powder form or by mixing in water.

Benefits and properties:

  • Turmeric or Haldi is loaded with nutrients such as protein, vitamins, calcium, potassium, sodium, fiber and minerals like Iron, zinc, copper, magnesium etc.
  • Turmeric is excellent for skin care. In India there is a tradition of applying Turmeric or Haldi paste to the bride to be, because it brings a definite glow to her face and keeps the skin free from spots and blemishes.
  • One teaspoonful of turmeric powder in a glass of warm milk, cures cough and sore throat.
  • Turmeric or Haldi powder, if taken regularly in food, keeps your immune system strong.
  • It also helps to fight many diseases related to skin, bile, cold and cough, urine or urinary tract related diseases.
  • It purifies blood, heals wounds and cures pains due to its anti inflammatory properties.
  • It helps to cure wounds faster if applied on the affected part as a paste and also helps to clot blood faster.

Saffron or Kesar
Saffron or Kesar | Source

Benefits of Saffron, source: YouTube

Saffron or Kesar!

One of the world's best Saffron or Kesar is cultivated in Kashmir, India. Good quality Saffron is of dark orange color and they must be preserved in cool place, preferably in refrigerators. Otherwise they loose all their goodness.

  • Saffron or Kesar has such components and properties, which make it antiseptic, an antioxidant, anti depressant and digestive.
  • It contains the major Vitamins and minerals, which helps to cleanse and detoxify the internal organs.
  • It is very effective in regulating heart rate and blood pressure.
  • It is considered a boon for digestion related problems, such as acidity and heartburn.
  • It purifies blood and prevents clots.
  • Saffron is taken in a little amount only, almost a pinch. It should be soaked in 1 tablespoon milk or water, before consuming it.
  • It is popularly used in sweets or Pulav or Biryani and only a little amount should be used.

Which of these bitter food you prefer to include in your daily diet?

See results

Bitter Is Sometimes Better! To Sum up:

According to Ayurveda, there are six types of tastes, namely--sweet, sour, bitter, pungent, spicy and astringent. And it is good to include all these tastes in our daily diet, according to our body type.

1. Bitter foods are responsible for cleansing our internal organs.

2. Bitter food is anti bacterial, anti viral, anti inflammatory and anti toxic.

3. Bitter food reduces itchiness of the skin and cures cold and cough.

4. It improves bone health and reduces fat.

5. Is excellent for digestion and issues related to acidity and constipation.

Therefore make a point to include some bitter taste in your daily diet, for natural cleansing of your whole system.

TAKE CARE!

© Chitrangada Sharan 25th June, 2014

All Rights Reserved.

PROTECTED: PLEASE DO NOT COPY!

“To a hungry person, every bitter food is sweet. When the preferable is not available, the available becomes preferable!”

― Israelmore Ayivor

© 2014 Chitrangada Sharan

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    • ChitrangadaSharan profile image
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      Chitrangada Sharan 8 months ago from New Delhi, India

      Thanks Peg Cole for reading and appreciating the hub!

      Glad you liked the information. Turmeric is almost a regular in Indian cooking. And Saffron is included in Sweets and milk shakes.

      It's always easy to include these super foods in our daily diet if one is conscious of their immense health benefits.

      Thanks for the positive feedback and comments!

    • PegCole17 profile image

      Peg Cole 8 months ago from Dallas, Texas

      Great information here. I've heard of a couple of these foods: turmeric and saffron. The yellow rice we prepared years ago had a packet of saffron to add during the cooking process. These days, that has been replaced by a less potent mixture. My sister has seen great results in taking turmeric supplement that has reduced her upper arm swelling following lymph node removal surgery.

    • ChitrangadaSharan profile image
      Author

      Chitrangada Sharan 3 years ago from New Delhi, India

      Thank you aviannovice, for reading this hub and your positive feedback!

      Ginger has antioxidants as well. Yogurt is a must in my diet too, everyday.

      Thanks for appreciation!

    • aviannovice profile image

      Deb Hirt 3 years ago from Stillwater, OK

      Nice material! Recently, I have been drinking ginger tea, which is anti fungal. I have also been eat probiotic yogurt, which has gotten my stomach and intestinal bacteria back to normal. I no longer crave sweets as a result.

    • ChitrangadaSharan profile image
      Author

      Chitrangada Sharan 3 years ago from New Delhi, India

      Thank you Hady Chahine, for your kind visit and comments!

      After reading your comments, I did a little bit research and asked one of my friend, who has good knowledge of Ayurveda. And I am happy to tell you that Bitter gourd and Neem are very effective in the treatment of Psoriasis. Fresh leaves and juice is best, but the Ayurvedic tablets and cream is available Online as well, if you are not getting them fresh.

      I wish your friend all the best of health. Thank you!

    • ChitrangadaSharan profile image
      Author

      Chitrangada Sharan 3 years ago from New Delhi, India

      Thank you Nithya, for your kind visit and positive comments!

      Yes, bitter gourd is slightly difficult to eat, but I have seen people maintaining their blood sugar level by consuming bitter gourd juice everyday. It has also helped many, whom I know had acute acne problems and this and neem juice combined helped them to get rid of this stubborn problem.

      Thank you for your continued support!

    • Hady Chahine profile image

      Hady Chahine 3 years ago from Manhattan Beach

      Interesting hub! A friend of mine suffers from psoriasis, so it is possible these foods might help with his condition. I will forward this hub and report back what I learn.

    • Vellur profile image

      Nithya Venkat 3 years ago from Dubai

      Great hub about bitter foods that are good for health, bitter gourd is a bit difficult to eat and the juice is very very bitter! Thank you for sharing this.

    • ChitrangadaSharan profile image
      Author

      Chitrangada Sharan 3 years ago from New Delhi, India

      Thank you teaches12345, for reading and commenting!

      Glad you liked the hub. Thanks for your support!

    • ChitrangadaSharan profile image
      Author

      Chitrangada Sharan 3 years ago from New Delhi, India

      Hi Nellieana!

      I am honored to see you visit my hub and share your valuable and insightful comments!

      Thanks for doing all the research about the bitter gourd. Definitely others will benefit from this. I have edited my hub and added to read your comments below, to understand the food I am talking about.

      As you mentioned, many Indians are living in your country and they must have managed to bring these foods there also. Some of my relatives living there tell me that they get everything in Indian and other stores.

      Thank you so much for your wonderful comments!

    • teaches12345 profile image

      Dianna Mendez 3 years ago

      I must boost my consumption of saffron. It sounds like a wonderful aid for digestion. Thanks for the information on these bitter foods.

    • Nellieanna profile image

      Nellieanna Hay 3 years ago from TEXAS

      What a valuable article! Like my fellow countrymen here, I've never seen any of the 5 except turmeric and saffron in this country, and saffron is VERY expensive. But I've not shopped in stores which cater to Indian cooking and preferences, and no doubt there are some, since there are many of your countrymen living in my city. Also they may be sold in health-food stores. If sold in powdered form, they may also be found in the gourmet or foreign departments of our everyday grocery stores. I'll be looking!

      I just love turmeric, ginger, curry and cumin and use them very frequently and liberally. I'm something of a health-nut and focus on healthy food, anyway, so their good health values attracts me, as well as tastes I love.

      By the way, I looked up bitter gourd and learned it is known by other names, an awareness of which might help people looking for it in the stores and in different locations. Here is what I learned:

      "Momordica charantia often called bitter melon, bitter gourd or bitter squash in English, has many other local names. Goya from the indigenous language of Okinawa and karavella from Sanskrit are also used by English-language speakers.

      It is a tropical and subtropical vine of the family Cucurbitaceae, widely grown in Asia, Africa, and the Caribbean for its edible fruit, which is extremely bitter. Its many varieties differ substantially in the shape and bitterness of the fruit.

      Bitter melon originated on the Indian subcontinent, and was introduced into China in the 14th century."

    • ChitrangadaSharan profile image
      Author

      Chitrangada Sharan 3 years ago from New Delhi, India

      Thank you rasta1, for your kind visit and positive comments!

    • rasta1 profile image

      Marvin Parke 3 years ago from Jamaica

      Bitter Melon and aloe vera grows wild in Jamaica. Those two are the main bitters used in Jamaica. It works exactly as you have described.

    • ChitrangadaSharan profile image
      Author

      Chitrangada Sharan 3 years ago from New Delhi, India

      Thank you lilmissmontana, for your kind visit and comments!

      I hope you get some of these bitter foods at your place. In India these are found in abundance. You can also get tablets prepared from these foods, at some Herbal or Ayurveda stores.

      Thank you!

    • lilmissmontana profile image

      Erin Nichols 3 years ago from Montana

      I have never heard of most of these. I guess that means I need to do a little research and shop around. I don't mind bitter stuff too much and perhaps I will try to include a few of these in my daily routine. Thank you for sharing.

    • ChitrangadaSharan profile image
      Author

      Chitrangada Sharan 3 years ago from New Delhi, India

      Thanks tmbridgeland, for your kind visit and comments!

      I believe it may be available in some places. Although in India, it is so readily available that it is easier.

      Thanks for sharing your thoughts and have a good day!

    • ChitrangadaSharan profile image
      Author

      Chitrangada Sharan 3 years ago from New Delhi, India

      Thank you suzettenaples, for your kind visit and positive comments!

      I am sure you can get some of these or some similar foods at your place. If not you can get tablets from Herbal or Ayurvedic shops prepared from these bitter foods.

      Lemon is not bitter but surely healthy because of its Antioxidant properties.

      Thanks and appreciate your continued support.

    • ChitrangadaSharan profile image
      Author

      Chitrangada Sharan 3 years ago from New Delhi, India

      Hi Hezekiah!

      Thanks for your kind visit and comments!

      I know it is very difficult to love the taste of these bitter food. But for the sake of health and prevention from chronic diseases we should take them at least once a day.

      l am sure these foods must be available in Japan.

      Thank you so much!

    • ChitrangadaSharan profile image
      Author

      Chitrangada Sharan 3 years ago from New Delhi, India

      Hi Nell!

      Thanks for reading and commenting! I am sure you can get at least some of these bitter food at your place. Ayurveda or Herbal products shops sell tablets or powder prepared from these foods, so that they are available round the year.

      Appreciate your votes, support and share!

    • tmbridgeland profile image

      tmbridgeland 3 years ago from Small Town, Illinois

      Bitter gourd is available in at least some grocery stores in the US. It is good sliced thin and stir-fried with any meat. This is a common food in Japan, especially Okinawan dishes. I have tried many times to grow it in my garden, but no luck. The seeds are very fragile, and shatter easily.

    • suzettenaples profile image

      Suzette Walker 3 years ago from Taos, NM

      I never stopped to think about including bitter foods in my diet. These are great suggestions. Other than turmeric and saffron, I don't know if we have this in the U. S. I do use lemon and limes in my cooking. I don't know of these are what you consider as bitter foods. Thanks for and interesting and informative hub!

    • Hezekiah profile image

      Hezekiah 3 years ago from Japan

      Thanks for the Hub and yes indeed there are some bitter foods that are really good for us. The only problem is the ability to stomach them.

    • Nell Rose profile image

      Nell Rose 3 years ago from England

      Hiya, not sure what we can buy over here, but I will certainly be looking out for these, great information Chitrangada, thanks! voted up and shared, nell

    • ChitrangadaSharan profile image
      Author

      Chitrangada Sharan 3 years ago from New Delhi, India

      Thank you Devika, for your kind visit and comments!

      Appreciate your continued support!

    • ChitrangadaSharan profile image
      Author

      Chitrangada Sharan 3 years ago from New Delhi, India

      Thank you billybuc, for stopping by! Appreciate your comments!

    • ChitrangadaSharan profile image
      Author

      Chitrangada Sharan 3 years ago from New Delhi, India

      Thank you Ericdierker, for your visit and comments!

      Appreciate your support!

    • DDE profile image

      Devika Primić 3 years ago from Dubrovnik, Croatia

      Turmeric is my favorite and have always used it in my cooking. A very useful hub.

    • billybuc profile image

      Bill Holland 3 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Only one of them is available here, but I will keep looking for the others. Thank you for the information.

    • Ericdierker profile image

      Eric Dierker 3 years ago from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A.

      I am all on board here. Funagreek and Neem (Take) are not so available here with consistency. Great hub, Thank you