Crazy (Healthy) Food Ingredients, Decoded Part II
Queen of all things “superfood,” Rachel, our Director of Sales, is at it again. After the great response we got from her March post that demystified how and why to use a few of the sometimes-intimidating healthy ingredients you might come across, she’s back at it. Ahead is her second installment of the crazy-healthy powders, tonics and capsules you should think about adding to your wellness routine. Collagen, anyone?
What it is: MSM, or Methylsulfonylmethane (say that three times fast!) is an organic sulfur compound that occurs naturally in the body and can also be found in small doses in plant-based foods like brussel sprouts and kale, and animal-based sources like eggs, fish, and milk.
Why it’s good for you: Taking MSM has a slew of benefits: Improved complexion, detoxification, allergy relief, increased energy, stronger hair and nails – the list goes on. You can find other perks here.
Trusted source: I trust anything from Pure Encapsulations.
How I use it: While it can be taken via capsule, I prefer the powdered form. I throw the recommended dose into a smoothie or other flavored beverage. (The powder has a slightly bitter taste.)
What it is: Single-cell green algae that is packed full of chlorophyll.
Why it’s good for you: Where do I begin? The insane number of benefits of this nutrient-dense superfood blow my mind. Among other things, chlorella can improve your digestive system, aid in detoxification, support the immune system, and slow the aging process.
Trusted source: I like this one from Green Foods.
How I use it: Oh boy, I really dislike like the taste of chlorella, so I make sure to sprinkle the powder into a flavorful smoothie to mask the flavor. For you more adventurous types, try out this chlorella pesto.
What it is: A mushroom that’s been used forever in Chinese herbalism.
Why it’s good for you: It can improve energy, act as a digestive aid, support immune function, and it helps with about 500 other things. I can’t get over how powerful these little guys are!
Trusted source: I love this organic one from Pharma Source.
How I use it: I like to put the recommended dosage in some tea and sip my health concerns away.
What it is: A type of collagen that’s derived from bovine bone and cartilage.
Why it’s good for you: Collagen is a super-important protein that basically holds your entire body together. It’s also what makes your skin smooth, hydrated and not wrinkled, keeps your joints healthy, and boosts metabolism.
Trusted source: Great Lakes Gelatin makes a good one.
How I use it: I stumbled on these ridiculously delicious (and healthy!) bars from Primal Kitchen on Thrive Market, which is an easy way to get your daily collagen fix. You can also add the powder form to pretty much anything that’s liquid because it doesn’t taste like anything.
What they are: Bitters are a combination of aromatic herbs, bark, roots, fruit and other natural plant matter that can help with digestion-related issues. And yes, they are the same potables that are added to create your favorite cocktails. With that noted, most bitters do contain a water and alcohol base, although you can find versions made without booze. Either version (alcohol or non-alcohol) will aid with digestion. Moreover, given the amount of bitters you’ll consume is so negligible (think a couple of drops) you don’t need to worry about feeling drunk as a result of consuming them… unless you’re going for that. In which case, seek counsel elsewhere.
Why they’re good for you: Think of bitters as a healthy, preventative alternative to Pepto-Bismol. (Added bonus: They won’t give you that scary black bismuth tongue.) They’re great for nausea, promoting digestion, relieving gas, easing constipation and bloating, and maintaining healthy blood sugar levels.
Trusted source: I really like Urban Moonshine’s Chamomile Bitters, particularly in the 15ml on-the-go spritz bottle.
How I use it: I like to spray the recommended dosage into my mouth 10-15 minutes before eating a larger meal. The bitters really get my digestive system moving and make it way easier for my body to break down and absorb what I’m about to eat.