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Gross But Good: Things Worth Getting Over The “Ick” Factor For

When we think of using a product or making a recipe; it’s only partially based on what we think our experience of that item will be. While that’s a factor – if you hate tomatoes then it’s unlikely you’re going to choose a huge tomato-based recipe – it’s not necessarily the whole truth.

Some of the time, we make choices about everything – from life, to wellness, to nutrition; because we like the idea of them. There’s something about them that we find appealing, that tickles our sense of adventure, makes us want to sample it. We’re halfway to the idea of enjoying it before we have even thought about what it will actually be like.

If things go one way, then, of course, they go the other. In this instance, that means we can convince ourselves that we won’t like something; purely because there’s something we don’t like the sound of. It’s the “ick” factor, the thing that makes us wrinkle our upper lip and think: “actually, I’ll give that a pass”.

It ranges across everything, from the food we eat to the items we use in our home; a whole range of things dismissed because we just don’t like how they sound. We don’t care if sauerkraut is meant to be good for you – the mere idea of it is gross; compost tea might be good for the garden, but those are two words that shouldn’t ever go together so we won’t think of it; as for vinegar Okay, so we’re jumping right into the deep end. This one is a two-parter. “Fermented” – as in, food that’s gone off? And then “cod liver oil” – which alone is bad enough to contemplate, but gone off cod liver oil?

While this attitude is understandable – no one can control their gut reaction to anything – it also might be preventing you from getting the best of life. So hold your nose and think about which of the following you might be able to handle, all in the pursuit of the huge benefits they contain…

Fermented Cod Liver Oil

It sounds bad, but it’s actually hugely beneficial for a myriad of reasons. If you have any aching joints, aren’t as supple as you’d like, or just want your skin to glow a little more, then cod liver oil alone is good for you. If you want to ratchet it up a notch, then fermented cod liver oil has all of the benefits of regular cod liver oil but even moreso.

Plus if you’re thinking that you have to swallow down spoonfuls of what is, in essence, rotten fish gunk, then don’t worry: capsules are the easy answer! They may be a little more pungent than the non-fermented variety, but take them holding your nose and store in an airtight container to avoid this.

Seaweed

Even if you’ve enjoyed sushi every now and again, the idea of deliberately consuming seaweed just doesn’t sound palatable. Part of this is in the name itself: it’s a weed. Who’d go out of their way to eat a weed?

Well, anyone who truly cares about getting the most out of their nutrition would! There are all sorts of goodness to be found in seaweed, from vital amino acids through to a boatload of the standard letter vitamins. There’s also good evidence that it helps to stabilize blood sugar, which is perfect if you want sustained energy for a workout.

Consuming seaweed isn’t as simple as loading up on as much sushi as you can eat. If you make your own sushi, that’s not as much of a problem – but store bought sushi is often packed with added sugar. It’s ridiculous, but true: a nice healthy snack that’s ruined by excess sugar. Even if you are making your own, it’s only a small amount of seaweed per time.

There are thousands of recipes online that are designed to make seaweed more palatable. Try it in a stir-fry or just add a few strips to a casserole; then you can start reaping the benefits.

Blood Sausage / Black Pudding

Well, we’ve gone from the quite disgusting and back to the extremely disgusting and weird, haven’t we?

There’s good reason for doing it, though! Blood sausage (which is also known as ‘black pudding’ – don’t be confused into thinking they are different things…) is pretty much what it says on the, er, sausage. It’s animal blood made into a consumable solid.

Don’t like the sound of it? You’re not alone; a lot of people have never tried blood sausage, but they’d still swear they don’t like it. That’s a real shame, given how good it is for you. Not only is it rich in iron, it’s rich in protein, low in carbohydrates, and relatively low in terms of calories.

The best method of cooking is to fry it, ideally in a beneficial oil like coconut or grass fed butter. The crispier it is, the easier you’ll find it to eat – when it’s soft, it’s particularly poor. So crisp it up by frying or using a halogen oven; then eat with some scrambled eggs for an incredibly nutritious breakfast.

Liver

So that’s the blood, what about the internal organs?

For many years, the idea of eating offal – that is, the kidneys or liver – of an animal was considered to be something that peasants did. The high members of society wouldn’t consume such things!

Well, more fool them: offal, and liver particularly, is incredibly good for you. It’s rich in three of the B vitamins – cyanocobalamin, riboflavin, and folate; as well as nutrients such as selenium and potassium.

If you fancy giving it a try, then the traditional liver and onions dish is probably the best way to go. Alternatively, if you’re good with pastry, then liver makes an excellent filling alongside a more succulent meat such as chicken.

What’re Your Thoughts

So there we have it; disgusting sounding food that is actually extremely good for you. It might be a mental hurdle to eat these foods for the first time, but when you leap over it, there will be no looking back.

Ally Gonzales is the founder & editor-in-chief of RunningSoleGirl. Along with blogging she is also juggling attending college and majoring in Exercise and Sports Science.

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