Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Strange Things I Have Been Eating

Eating for health has led me down interesting paths and I have found myself eating things that I wouldn't have dreamed of eating a few years ago. A few of the interesting things I have started adding to my diet:

  • Chia seed gel- "Ch-ch-ch-chia!" It's good for more than just growing curly leaves on a ceramic sheep. Chia seed is very nutrient dense and very filling. They are a good source of protein,  iron, omega fatty acids, potassium, and calcium. The best way to consume them is to soak them for 20+ minutes to make a gel. You can add them to smoothies or just take a couple of spoonfuls of it straight up.
  • Aloe- The gel from the plant NOT Solarcaine from the supermarket. If you've ever rubbed Solarcaine on a sunburn though, you know how soothing aloe can be to inflammation. Many people (like my Malamute) have intestinal inflammation and aloe is a big help for this. Aloe is controversial and many people think it's poisonous. It's actually not. The FDA has determined that when taken in highly concentrated doses, aloin (a naturally occurring compound in aloe vera plants) is toxic. Consuming an inch or two once a day in a smoothie has never been shown to have any poisonous effects. 
  • Whole apples- This is another one people sometimes mistake for being poisonous. While apple seeds do contain cyanide, it's not the same type of cyanide referenced in murder mysteries. The cyanide in apple seeds is an organic nitrile which has very low toxicity because it doesn't release cyanide ions easily. Cyanide gas and poison pills, etc. are actually cyanide compounds, meaning other elements have been added. Curiously enough, apple seeds actually contain amygdalin, and the cancer treatment drug laetrile is a semi-synthetic derivative of amygdalin. Go figure. Every once in a while, I throw a whole apple into a smoothie. I don't like eating apple cores because the tough parts get stuck in my teeth.
  • Parsley- I'm not talking about adding teaspoons of the herb here. I found a couple of recipes for parsley green smoothies and I've been trying them out. They are quite the energy boost. With the right amounts of fruit, it's actually not too bad.
  • Cilantro- I know a lot of people gag over cilantro, but I like it in salsa. I never thought I could handle a smoothie with it, but I did find a recipe that I like. It's definitely a very hard core green smoothie though. There has been some evidence that cilantro is good at pulling mercury and other heavy metals out of the body, so I figured, why not? The first time I tried a smoothie with cilantro, I thought I would pass out drinking it down. Afterwards, I felt AMAZING. It helps to blend it up extra. When properly blended, it's not so thick and tough.


  1. Love these suggestions!

    I always ate the whole apple as a kid and I'm fine ;)

  2. I love cilantro! I have chia seeds at home and I never eat them, I need to get on eating them, adding them to my salads or smoothies would be good. Sometimes it's hard to remember everything to eat!