Q:

What are examples of bitter foods?

A:

Coffee, dark chocolate, tea, bitter gourd melon, rapini, turmeric, nettles and even dandelions are all examples of bitter foods. Although dandelions are considered weeds, they are still edible and have plenty of calcium.

Despite the taste, naturally bitter foods are usually very healthy. For instance, coffee is not only a popular drink despite its bitterness, but it also improves mood. Dark chocolate is bitter tasting, but it also has powerful antioxidants. Rapini, a bitter green, is full of vitamins and minerals such as folic acid, vitamin C and vitamin K. Turmeric is a root that is often used as a spice and helps reduce the risk of certain diseases. Nettles, a leafy green, is full of fiber, calcium, iron and potassium. The bitter gourd melon has medicinal properties. Certain types of tea help people to maintain their weight.

Some foods are bitter because they contain certain amino acids that have a naturally bitter taste. However, people differ on how bitter they consider these foods to be; for instance, people with a certain taste receptor gene think a bitter taste in food is stronger than those who do not have that gene. Other people are less sensitive to the bitter taste.

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