Published on November 6, 2023, 12:44 am
When it comes to losing weight and maintaining a healthy diet, many people immediately think of incorporating superfoods like blueberries, walnuts, fresh-caught salmon, or olive oil into their meals. While these foods are certainly beneficial, there is also a group of lesser-known plant compounds that have powerful slimming properties. These compounds, known as “plant medicines,” can have a profound impact on weight loss by stimulating the gallbladder to produce bile that breaks down fats and helps eliminate them from the body.
One group of superstar ingredients in this category is bitter greens such as kale, watercress, collards, and dandelion leaves. Not only are these vegetables packed with antioxidants and fiber, but they also offer numerous health benefits including lowering blood pressure and improving blood sugar control. Moreover, bitter greens have unique advantages when it comes to weight loss.
The magic of bitter greens begins as soon as you take your first bite. Research from Sweden has shown that bitter foods can reduce sweet cravings by up to 93% when they hit the tongue. These greens contain high-nutrient, low-calorie profiles that make us feel full for longer periods. Experts believe that incorporating bitter greens into our diet could be one of the best-kept secrets for weight loss.
Unfortunately, most people do not consume enough bitter flavors in their daily meals. Women’s health expert Dr. Barbara Johnson emphasizes that bitters are essential for maintaining optimal digestive system function. She explains that our whole digestive system is designed to respond to these flavors and without them, women over 50 may struggle to keep their gastrointestinal system working properly.
One reason why bitters are so beneficial for gut health is that they contain prebiotic fiber. This fiber nourishes healthy gut bacteria while keeping harmful microbes in check. It also improves digestion and helps reduce bloating, leading to more efficient weight loss. Bitter foods are particularly effective in stimulating the gallbladder, one of the body’s detoxification organs. Harvard University researchers have found that this stimulation can lead to a 53% improvement in metabolism, further supporting weight loss efforts.
Maintaining optimal gallbladder function is crucial, especially for women over 50 who may experience reduced bile production. Bitter foods can even be helpful for those who have had their gallbladders removed, as they encourage the liver to continuously release small amounts of fat-emulsifying substances into the gut. These properties have led some to refer to Ann Louise Gittleman’s book, “Radical Metabolism,” as “The No Gallbladder Diet.”
The benefits of bitter greens extend beyond weight loss. Clinical herbalist William Siff has witnessed numerous health transformations resulting from increased consumption of these plant medicines. Dr. Johnson herself credits healing foods like bitter greens with helping to reverse her multiple sclerosis, and many others have reported significant improvements in their overall health.
To experience the benefits of bitter greens, experts recommend incorporating a serving into your daily routine for 30 days. This can be as simple as adding kale, arugula, or dandelion leaves to salads or enjoying bitter black coffee or dark chocolate. The Plant Medicine Protocol is an approach that is compatible with any diet and ensures access to the universal benefits of medicinal plants.
If you find the taste of bitter foods unappetizing at first, there’s good news – our taste buds quickly adapt to acquire a taste for these healing ingredients. Start with mild bitterness by infusing water with lemon peels or adding subtle flavors like bay leaves, horseradish, mustard, or turmeric into your meals. An enjoyable way to incorporate bitters is through Italian digestifs such as Fernet-Branca or Campari.
Stefanie Ignoffo and Andrea Kane are living proof that incorporating bitter greens into their diets can lead to remarkable weight loss and improved health outcomes. Stefanie, who had her gallbladder removed, found that consuming bitter greens helped her reduce pain and avoid knee surgery. Meanwhile, Andrea shed 50 pounds by incorporating bitter greens into her meals and experienced relief from rheumatoid arthritis.
If you have a weight loss success story of your own, we want to hear about it. Share your experiences with us at [email protected]. Remember that while adding bitter greens to your diet can be highly beneficial, always consult with a healthcare professional before making any significant changes to your eating habits.
For more information on healthy weight loss strategies for women over 50, check out our articles on adding more veggies to your meals or incorporating super fiber into your diet.