Biting into a bitter food or fruit causes most people to grimace. This disapproving facial expression, which is also called gustofacial stimulus, documents the fact that humans are actually programmed from birth to taste “sweet”. Since poisonous plants in particular contain a large number of bitter substances, the aversion to the taste of “bitter” is a natural warning sign for the human body.
In the meantime, however, the healthy effect behind the taste has been recognised and many a food that tastes bitter is described as a real fat burner.

The development of bitter taste is variable

So while our ancestors depended on plants tasting bitter, over time the development of taste sensors on the human tongue has progressed to the point where we can distinguish between thousands of bitter substances. Especially in today’s sugar- and salt-dominated world, these substances provide the body with a balance to opulent meals that it would otherwise find difficult to process and digest. As healthy as the bitter taste is for the organism, it is increasingly foreign to our palate. This is because industrially produced food is increasingly programmed to be “sweet” or “salty” and is based on breeding bitter substances out of fruit and vegetables. The disadvantage is that by breeding out the bitter substances, many of the positive effects of the vegetables are also lost.
An old saying goes: “Bitter in the mouth, healthy in the stomach” – and this is exactly what the effect of bitter food is based on. The liver absolutely needs bitter substances to stay healthy and to provide us with the vital enzymes for digestion and metabolism. Apart from that, bitter substances help the liver to detoxify. To ensure that you get enough natural bitters in your diet, go for old, original varieties of organically grown fruit and vegetables. The particularly intense colours – the rich green of broccoli or dandelion, the bright orange of grapefruit or the extremely dark purple of radicchio – ensure a high content of secondary plant compounds that are responsible for the bitter substances.

Unfortunately, however, there is also a trend in the organic sector to cultivate more and more bitter substances, which is why it is good and increasingly necessary to provide oneself with good bitter substances:


Bitters stimulate digestion and curb appetite

The bitter taste helps human digestion right from the start. Already when chewing in the mouth, the digestive juices are activated and stimulated accordingly. This promotes metabolism and enables us to digest food more quickly in the stomach. The faster transport through the intestine ensures a whole range of benefits:
– gas formation is prevented
– minerals can be better absorbed
– The immune system is strengthened
– The metabolic process is stimulated
– the liver is strengthened and detoxified
– The breakdown of harmful substances is promoted
In addition to this positive effect on digestion, it is also said that bitter substances in food act as a natural fat burner and can therefore help us lose weight. This is because foods that have a bitter taste basically have few calories. Another advantage: by eating bitter substances, the feeling of satiety sets in faster, so that we achieve a doubly positive effect when losing weight. By the way: women are said to react much more sensitively to bitter substances in food than men.


Which foods contain bitter substances?

There are numerous herbs, fruits and vegetables for the daily diet that contain bitter substances. One of the healthiest, for example, is the artichoke, which contains the secondary plant substance cynarin. This is responsible for the bitter taste and stimulates the production of gastric juices. It also supports the detoxification work of the liver, which means that artichokes in food have a favourable effect on blood fat levels and even counteract free radicals.


Chicory and radicchio also promote liver detoxification, with the secondary plant compounds intybin and lactucin being responsible. These two vegetables can be prepared raw as a salad or cooked, because even when heated or steamed, the secondary plant compounds are not lost.
Anyone who has ever eaten a grapefruit knows what a bitter taste it can have. The secondary plant substance naringinin from the flavonoid group is responsible for this. This is not only healthy for the stomach and intestines, but also has an antioxidant effect, which fights cell-damaging free radicals. The fruit is excellent for burning fat, as in addition to the bitter substances it also has a high fibre content. These stimulate the movement of the intestines and the formation of gastric juice. In addition, saliva production is stimulated. The “relatives” of the grapefruit, i.e. lemons or limes, can also keep up in terms of bitter substances and prove to be an important support in the fight against too many kilos.



Cereals and spices also contain natural bitter substances that are considered fat burners. Among them, for example:
– Amaranth
– millet
– Thyme
– Marjoram
– rosemary
– Bay leaves
– Sage
A tea made from herbs with bitter substances supports digestive activity in the stomach and also helps you lose weight. We particularly recommend bitter clover, mugwort, but also galangal root and sage. Yellow gentian helps with digestive complaints that arise when there is too little gastric juice and is the plant with the highest natural bitter substance content that exists in nature.



Those who cannot or do not want to cover their need for bitter substances through diet alone can, however, also resort to remedies at this point. First and foremost, there are various forms of herbal bitters, such as sage herbal bitters, gentian herbal bitters, green tea, wormwood or nettle herbal bitters or a mixture of these. It is recommended to take 1-2 teaspoons per day in a little water, before or directly after a meal. If you want to use the herbal bitters primarily as a fat burner, we recommend taking the herbal bitters about a quarter of an hour before a meal. In this way, you can put together a healthy mix of foods in a diet plan for losing weight, which will help your digestion, keep cravings at bay and at the same time do something good for body and soul.
By the way, you can find a selection of tasty herbs and valuable bitter substances in our online shop or directly in our retail shop. If you have any questions about losing weight with bitter substances, please feel free to contact us at any time. We look forward to hearing from you.