Are you one of those people who have problems with heartburn, burping, gas or bloating? It could be you need to support your digestive system. Specifically, your hydrochloric acid in your stomach may be low. This can happen as we age, or as our health gets compromised due to our poor eating choices over the years. As a result, many people have turned to apple cider vinegar to support them. Read my article HERE for more information. Some people basically get tired of the vinegar flavor. So I looked for more appetizing choices. Here is my favorite idea for supporting your hydrochloric acid and your stomach: bitters.
What are bitters?
Historically, humans have eaten plants foraged from the environment, which are mostly bitter in flavor. Scientists have found many of these bitter components contain phytonutrients which are essential in our digestive process. Modern agriculture has mostly bred out the bitter flavors from our foods, as well as those important phytonutrients. What these bitter components do is stimulate the brain to produce hydrochloric acid and digestive enzymes to begin the digestive process of breaking down our food.
In more recent times, many cultures have found ways to incorporate “bitters” into their diets. Italians have what they call a “digestivo” before or after their meals, the French have an “aperitif” often before their meals. Even in the US, we have a product we put in our cocktails, called “bitters”. Herbalists in Europe and the US have what they call “bitters”. Most of these are “tinctures”, or herbs infused in alcohol (as is vanilla), or vinegar.
Where can I get bitters?
I am sure there are many of these bitters in the marketplace, but when I found one I really liked, I stopped. I get no kickbacks from this company, I just happen to really love their products. Urban Moonshine is a company out of Vermont that has some great tasting bitters (but they are definitely bitter!), and you can get alcohol tinctures and alcohol free apple cider vinegar bitters. You can find them at urbanmoonshine.com. If I find other companies that I like as much as this company, I will let you know. However, as I said, I just simply stopped here.
You can eat your bitters!
There are even other options to get bitter elements into your diet: you can eat those bitter plants, even a few bites of arugula will make a difference. I just find it easier to convince people to squirt a few drops onto their tongue before their meal, as opposed to looking for bitter foods to eat.
One more thing….if you have problems with heartburn, belching, gas and bloating, the other thing you can to do is slow down while you eat your food. This will help more than you realize. Taking breaths between bites also helps; your body needs oxygen to use the food it is breaking down.
If you enjoyed this information, please go to my Facebook page and leave a comment. Please tell me if you have tried bitters and let me know if they helped at all.