“One of the most neglected concepts in Western health and nutritional theory is that of balance. Chinese medicine, on the other hand, heavily emphasizes balance when it comes to diet and strives to maintain that over all else. The human body is wired to maintain balance over all else. Imbalances, especially in diet, always cause over compensation in the opposite direction in order to maintain the yin/yang balance that keeps the body in homeostasis. That is why dietary changes are best implemented slowly, so that the body is not thrown into a state of shock and can adjust accordingly.
“In terms of dietary balance, most Westerners severely neglect the bitter flavor/taste element in favor of more appealing and ‘friendly’ choices like sweet or salty. However, this is inherently problematic as the bitter flavor is an essential component of maintaining balance and health. Bitter foods and herbs have many important functions in the body, specifically in regards to the liver, detoxification and digestion – is it not a coincidence that these areas of health are some of the most problematic for Westerners? In fact, ask any acupuncturist which disorder (read: imbalance) is most commonly seen in their practice and they will happily tell you it is liver qi stagnation, which is treated with bitter herbs and foods, among other things.
It’s understandable that people avoid bitter foods as they can be somewhat unpleasant, however, there are many time tested, delicious ways to integrate bitter foods into common recipes. What’s more is that bitter foods usually make you feel great — especially those that directly affect the liver. A few seconds of a bitter taste is very little to go through in exchange for drastically improves health if you ask me…”
– Truth The Brilliance of Bitter By Marc David | Psychology of Eating