At Healthy Hildegard, we are big advocates of the use of healthy bitters for digestive health. And, while Hildegard’s teachings encompass a variety of herbal remedies, fasting techniques, spiritual beliefs, and more, we find her interest in bitters among the most relevant nutrition contributions for our times today.
When people think of the health benefits associated with the adequate consumption of fruits, vegetables, and herbs / spices, they typically think of the vitamins and minerals provided. Seldom do they think about the health benefits associated with flavors, such as natural bitters found within the plants. Not until recently have we considered the effect of flavors, including digestive bitters on our day-to-day health and general long-term well-being.
Changing Attitude Toward Digestive Bitters
Bitter flavor profiles have low appeal in most modern flavor palates. With an abundance of sweet and salty foods, we tend to limit our consumption of natural bitters in our daily diets. Most of us have become accustomed to the scarcity of bitter flavors, and have lost any appreciation for digestive bitters. As a result we must consciously tweak our diets to include natural sources of bitters or supplement our diets with a healthy bitters tablet like Hildegard’s Original Bitters Tablets. But why would someone go out of their way to include bitters in their diet?
In this post, we explore 10 benefits of digestive bitters that might make you want to consider incorporating more bitter fruits, vegetables, herbs, or natural bitters tablets within your diet.
What Is The Issue? Weak Digestion.
Bitters represents a healthy and natural digestive aid that at one point in history appeared very prominently in our human diets. As preferred flavor profiles have shifted over the past centuries, the amount of natural bitters incorporated within our diet has declined.
The common affliction of weak digestion corresponds with fewer bitter flavors found in modern diets. Today, we experience bloating, nausea, indigestion, heartburn, and constipation as “naturally occurring” bodily functions. These symptoms and functions are not a natural consequence of eating. Instead, we can take control of our improved digestion using natural digestive bitters.
Whether sourced from natural plant consumption or from a supplemental bitters tablet, try incorporating bitters in your diet.
The Solution: Digestive Bitters
Whether sourced directly from the plant or made into a bitters tablet, digestive bitters work as an excellent remedy against bloating, nausea, indigestion, heartburn, and constipation. Natural bitters, when consumed, stimulate bitter receptors in the tongue, stomach, pancreas, and gallbladder to promote the development of healthy digestive juices like bile, stomach acid, and enzymes that contribute to the breakdown of food and the absorption of healthy nutrients.
We consider 10 individual factors influenced by the consumption of healthy bitters, and which contribute to overall well being.
The 10 Benefits of Healthy Bitters
Below, we have briefly outlined 10 benefits that you might experience if you mindfully include natural bitters in your diet or supplement digestive bitters with healthy bitters tablets.
Benefit 1: Improved Protein Digestion & Mineral Absorption
Studies show that the increased consumption of healthy bitters can actually speed-up the digestive process. This is particularly true for the digestion of of proteins, and to stimulate the increase of mineral absorption from consumed foods. Natural bitters signal the tongue, gallbladder, pancreas, and stomach, to produce healthy gastric secretions of bile and stomach acid. This process accelerates the digestive process, making it faster and more efficient. All this, while promoting the healthy absorption of vital minerals and nutrients that might have otherwise been wasted.
Benefit 2: Improved Breakdown of Fats & Fat-Soluble Vitamins
As we increase the quantity of natural bitters in our diets, we benefit from an increased breakdown in fats and fat-soluble vitamins. Bitters promote an optimized digestive process, resulting in fats broken down and processed faster. This allows our bodies to make the best of healthy fats, while processing unhealthy fats as waste. In addition to helping our bodies process fats better, digestive bitters also stimulate the digestive system to absorb fat soluble vitamins like vitamins A, D, E, and K. These improvements result in fortifying our vision, immune system, bone health, premature aging, and cardiovascular system.
Benefit 3: Reduced Gas & Bloating
If there is one symptom of a bitters-deficient diet that nobody wants, it’s bloating and overall gasiness. When we introduce digestive bitters to the body, they signal the tongue — which in turn signals the brain to release oral and gastric secretions that aid the digestive system in the breakdown and management of food. By aiding the digestive system, we reduce overall gasiness and bloating, by eliminating reasons for our bodies to respond negatively to diet.
Benefit 4: Reduced Acid Reflux
Acid reflux is classified as a chronic disease, but it can be managed by maintaining a strict diet or in some cases the use of medication. Essentially, acid reflux forms as a negative reaction to the food we eat. When the body becomes irritated, stomach acid and bile flow into the food pipe where our throat sends food to the stomach — causing a burning sensation. The inclusion of natural digestive bitters to a healthy diet allows our bodies to break food down more efficiently, increase blood flow, and control and slow gastric movements. These factors help prevent acid reflux.
Benefit 5: Promotes Bowel Movements
As we have stated among the above benefits of including natural bitters in your diet, bitters have a direct effect on your digestive system and digestive process. Because bitter herbs aid in the process of digestion and the absorption of healthy fats and minerals and the waste of bad fats and proteins, it results in a quicker, more efficient digestive process. In turn, a quick digestive process results in the quicker delivery of food byproducts and waste to your bowels.
Benefit 6: Reduced Food Sensitivities
Food sensitivities represent a direct response to foods we are incapable of properly digesting. When a food that someone is sensitive to is ingested, it usually results in gastric distress, inflammation, nausea, and a number of other chain-reaction symptoms. By introducing healthy bitters to your diet and increasing the digestive function of your body, you are better prepared to process the food that might have made you uncomfortable before.
Reason 7: Increased Breakdown of Microbes & Prevention of SIBO
In order to properly regulate how the body functions, everyday microbes get broken-down in our bodies from the foods that we eat. Bitters for digestion serve as balancing tools to help our bodies balance gut microbes and intestinal bacterial. SIBO, or Small Intestinal Bacterial Overgrowth, is a common bodily response to the imbalance of bacteria in the small intestine. Because bacterial overgrowth results from excess food or the presence of partially broken down food in the intestine, bitters serve as a natural solution for regulating and preventing mild forms of SIBO.
By including natural bitters and bitters tablets in your diet, you can curb your appetite and sugar cravings — leading to the reduction in small intestinal bacteria growth.
Reason 8: Reduction of Cravings & Overeating
Bitters are a known dietary supplement used to curb sugar cravings and suppresses appetite. Because bitters influence the body to eat less sugar and prevent overeating by curbing long-term pangs of hunger, the digestive system is not overworked. According to Hildegard, reducing the volume of food that we digest relieves the digestive system. And, we reduce the complex sugars included in the foods we tend to overeat.
Reason 9: Promotes Liver Health
The liver is one of the hardest working organs in the human body. As the body’s “filter,” the liver deals with regular information by collecting and eliminating toxins, regulating metabolism, and producing valuable hormones in the process. When we incorporate natural bitters within our diets, they influence the production of beneficial hormones, antioxidants, and a healthy metabolism.
Reason 10: Digestive Bitters Are Easy To Include In Your Diet
At Healthy Hildegard, we have always advocated for the inclusion of bitters in the modern diet. That being said, there has been such a fundamental shift in what the modern diet consists of, and it is unlikely that people will start eating naturally bitter plants like gentian root, angelica root, artichoke leaf, ginger root, and milk thistle seed.
That’s where Hildegard’s Original Bitters Tablets come in. Hildegard’s Original natural bitters tablets include eight bitter herbs. Simply take two before each meal by melting the tablets on your tongue, stirring the tablets into hot tea, or by dissolving them in soda water.
*None of the above claims have been evaluated by the Food and Drug Association.