by star nutritionist Lydia
How often do you think about your gallbladder when deciding what to eat? Do you still even have your gallbladder?
So many adults and even young adults today suffer from gallstones and inflamed gallbladders resulting in the whole thing having to be removed. Even if it is not as drastic as that, gallbladder malfunction can be as subtle as simply feeling nauseous after eating fats or finding it hard to lose weight.
The gallbladder is tucked up inside the liver and is most famous for storing bile and breaking down fats. Read my third installment of guide to good gut health to find out more about the gallbladder.
There is a huge link between having an undernourished gallbladder and a sluggish “metabolism”. If you eat barely anything and still find it hard to lose weight, this may be your achilles heel (so to speak).
So what are the best foods for your gallbladder?
BITTER FOODS! The foods that make your nose crinkle and stimulate saliva in your mouth.
The most common sentence I hear in clinic is “No, I don’t like that food!” and therefore, it is not eaten. Before I go into a list of some of the best bitter foods to start including in your diet, I would like to first challenge you. How often would you voluntarily eat something that you don’t like the taste of?
This is how we are trained as children “Do you like the taste of this?” Based on the answer, this food is then added or removed from the menu.
I am sorry to say, that being driven by your taste buds alone, when it comes to food choices, does not end well! Of course, we all love the taste of sugar, salt and fat! It’s delicious, moreish and available everywhere you go (in excess)! I am not saying don’t enjoy your food. What I am saying is look for other flavours in foods, don’t just expect the flavour to find you! Sit with discomfort of bitter foods and find a different kind of enjoyment from this food. The enjoyment of nourishing your health, stimulating your gallbladder and supporting your detoxification pathways!
Okay now that I have challenged you, here we go with some of my favourite BITTER FOODS:
Watercress – this can be made into a soup or as a salad.
Spices are the …spice of life? Ginger, cinnamon, cardamom, cassia, caraway…Wow, I didn’t realise how many spice names started with the letter C. It’s important to cook with these spice and make yummy teas and elixirs!
Grapefruit – remember the grapefruit diet of the early 2000s? Eat a grapefruit every morning and you’ll lose weight?! Well, this is kind of true in that it supports your gallbladder to process food efficiency!
Angostura bitters – didn’t see this one coming did you? If you HAVE to drink over the silly season go for gin and bitters with lime. I would of course prefer you make the bitters yourself (orange peel and some of the above mentioned spices in liquor).
Sunflower Lecithin – contains appropriate levels of the gallbladder food choline. Choline is also found in eggshells, but we tend to avoid eating these in most recipes. Soy lecithin also contains choline and is a common ingredient in most processed foods, even the “healthy” ones. I tend to prefer recommending Sunflower Lecithin for therapeutic use as soy is a high allergen.
I have one last point before you run away, if you are still avoiding fat and seeking low fat foods this is not helping your gallbladder. Bile is formed in response to a need, the more good fats (basically most fats except form trans-fats!) you consume the healthier your gallbladder can be. Some good fat ideas are hemp oil, pine nut oil and toasted sesame oil, these can be used to dress your salads or added to smoothie!
P.S If you have had your gallbladder removed, you must focus on increasing your stomach acid and supporting your liver.
Love Your Guts,