There are certain products that I find myself using every single day that I love and wouldn’t want to do without! I thought I would share a bit about each of them and why I use them and find them helpful in supporting a healthful lifestyle.
1. Nutritional Yeast
Okay, okay, I know that some people do not care for the taste, especially if they had been led to believe it would taste just like cheese and it doesn’t. There might be a cheese-like hint, but you couldn’t replace your parmesan and expect not to notice.
I personally really like the taste and love using nutritional yeast as a way to enhance the flavor of a lot of my recipes. It goes especially well in soups, stews, chills, and roasts. I have also been known to whisk some into my homemade salad dressings.
In addition to the taste, I like to use it for its nutrient profile as it supplies Iron, B1 (Thiamine), B2 (Riboflavin), B3 (Niacin), B6, B12, Zinc and Selenium. It can be a helpful way to boost those B vitamins if you may be struggling to get enough. The B vitamins are necessary for reproductive function, metabolism, digestive tract function, mood stability and the formation of blood cells among other things.
2. Desiccated Liver
I’ve talked before in my post, Is Offal Really All That Awful?, about the nutrient density of organ meats, and especially liver. When sourced from grass-fed, grass-finished cattle, liver can be one of the most nutrient dense foods you’ll find and a great addition to a diet that is lacking in organ meats. I get mine from Radiant Life. The desiccated liver is a way to essentially “hide” this powerful ingredient in recipes as it comes in a powdered form and can be spooned into soups, curries, sauces, casseroles and the like. This can be handy when feeding a family who may not be keen on “undisguised” liver. Of course, fresh is always optimal but the desiccated variety still supplies the nutrients I want my family to be getting like Vitamin A (the most concentrated source), all the B vitamins (including Folate B9), Iron (bioavailable), Zinc, Copper, Chromium and CoQ10. Along with its impressive nutrient profile, I personally take liver because it supports my own liver. The liver does over 500 jobs for us and processes all of the toxins we come into contact with, both exocrine (outside of the body) and endogenous (inside the body). Therefore, it is an important organ to make sure is supported.
3. Apple Cider Vinegar
Speaking of things that people don’t like the taste of…or smell of for that matter, Apple Cider Vinegar is absolutely amazing. It has been touted as a detox agent, skin treatment, blood sugar regulator, weight loss aide, and a great base for a natural cleaning spray; but I primarily use it for a different reason. I use it before meals to increase the hydrochloric acid in my stomach to help me digest foods better and make sure that my digestive system as a whole runs smoothly. (See my post, Digestion Begins in Your Head for more detail on this). I put about a shot’s worth of ACV along with a splash of lemon juice in 12 oz of water about 3-4 times per day and drink this mixture before meals. This has really helped me and I recommend it to anyone as a relatively cost effective way to improve their digestion. It’s important to note that when you are going to buy ACV, look for brands that say on the label, “With the mother”, to get the unpasteurized, unfiltered variety. “The mother” is a colony of beneficial bacteria, similar to a SCOBY (symbiotic culture of bacteria and yeast) in kombucha.