Bitter food

When we hear the word “bitter”, many people think of food or drink that need getting used to as they create an unpleasant taste in your mouth. It is a pity that a negative reputation dooms over bitters despite their positive effect on our general well-being – a perfectly good reason to include bitter food in our diet. But which fruits and vegetables are particularly rich in bitter substances?

Not all bitters are the same

Along with exercise and mindfulness, a balanced diet is the be-all and end-all for our general well-being. Bitters are an important component of this diet. This knowledge has existed for centuries. Since each of us has a different sense of taste, we have a different sence of bitter depending on our age, salivary composition and even psyche. Our taste buds for the perception of “bitter” are located at the edge of the tongue and are renewed every six to eight days.

You can support your body by the controlled consumption of bitter food.

For our well-being

Bitters are contained in many foods and have a wide range of effects.

Bitter food: which contains a lot of bitter substances?

Bitter food gets its taste from bitter substances. These are a group of secondary plant substances, such as naringin in grapefruit or cynarin in artichokes. In order to measure the intensity of bitter, the so-called “bitter value” is used. This describes how strongly or weakly the bitter taste of a substance is perceived. A bitter value of 10,000 means that an extract of one gram of a plant which contains bitter substances tastes slightly bitter when dispersed in 10 litres of water. The strongest degree of bitterness can be found in gentian and wormwood.¹

Food particularly rich in bitter substances


  • Artichoke
  • Broccoli
  • Fennel
  • Ginger
  • Cabbage (flower, white, Chinese and Brussels sprouts, kohlrabi, savoy cabbage, red cabbage)
  • Aubergine


  • Endive
  • Radicchio
  • Rocket
  • Chicory


  • Cranberries
  • Pomegranate
  • Citrus fruits (lemons and oranges)
  • Grapefruit

Grains and cereals

  • Amaranth
  • Millet
  • Quinoa

Herbs and spices

  • Basil
  • Savory
  • Tarragon
  • Chervil
  • Coriander
  • Caraway
  • Lovage, bay leaf
  • Marjoram, melissa
  • Peppermint, rosemary
  • Thyme

Wild plants such as daisies, dandelion and yarrow can also increase your general well-being thanks to the bitter substances they contain.

Boost your well-being

Would you like to help for your digestion? Use the power of bitter substances.

Food is not as bitter as it was in the past

Many of the fruits and vegetables listed above have been manipulated for decades in order to make them taste better to the human palate. As a result they have lost most of their original bitterness. Consequently eating bitter food alone is not enough to benefit from the positive power of bitter substances.

To increase your well-being, do not focus on a healthy diet only but also include exercise and mindfulness. In addition, introduce bitter substances into your everyday life as part of a balanced lifestyle. In addition to food, you can also take them in the form of Bitterstern herbal drops with 17 herbs.

1 Bühring, Ursel et al.: 2016 Praxis Heilpflanzenkunde DOI: 10.1055/b-0036-137710, S. 341