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Things you eat only for their "health" benefits

Today at a business breakfast with a client, the following exchange occurred.

ME: Something wrong with your grapefruit juice?

CLIENT: No, it's fine.

ME: But your nursing it like it's castor oil.

CLIENT: Oh, it's just that I don't like grapefruit juice at all. I only drink it for its health benefits. I need the Vitamin C and its antioxidants. Suppose to cure cancer!

ME [bites tongue]: Oh, ok. I was worried there for a minute.

ME [bubble thoughts]: "Cure" cancer? Doesn't he mean prevent cancer? Whatever. And don't alot of fruits have Vitamin C, as well as antioxidants. Life's too short to eat something unappetizing merely for health benefits. Who wants to be healthy, but miserable? Note to self: make sure to buy client big bottle of Vitamin C for the holidays ...

Anyhow, as I finished off my eggs benedict I sat there for a moment and thought if there was anything I ate ONLY for their health benefits. Nothing came to mind. Sure, I eat lots of things that are healthy, but those healthy things I also enjoy eating even if they weren't healthy.

So, 'hounds ... are there things you consume ONLY because of their reputed health benefits?

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  1. raw garlic it's suppose to be real good for your heart but who can eat raw garlic i can't

    8 Replies
    1. re: bigeater15

      I actually eat raw garlic cloves all the time.

      I shell them and pop them into straight into my mouth like, well, jelly beans.

      1. re: ipsedixit

        I love raw garlic, too, and add it to salad dressings whenever I can. To answer your original question, I think the reverse is more common: a lot of folks exclude (rather than include) various ingredients, dishes, etc. from their diets for health reasons (and their potential health benefits).

        I always forget to put those flax seeds in my smoothies/morning cereal, even if they're supposed to be good for you...so, I'm with you on this one, there are so many things that I enjoy eating and also happen to be healthy, that I don't see a need to intentionally add something tasteless or something that I don't like just for health reasons alone.

        1. re: jeni1002

          Sometimes I add flax seeds to oatmeal -- they fall under the category of tasteless but entirely inoffensive, so why not.

          1. re: Amuse Bouches

            Definitely true, IMO - that's why I keep forgetting them :)

        2. re: ipsedixit

          Mon Dieu! I love raw garlic but if I ate it like that, I'd be popping Altoids just as frequently.

          1. re: ipsedixit

            I put raw whole garlic cloves in a jar with jalapeno slices and the brine from the jalapeno slices. Makes the garlic cloves hot and spicy! And are they ever fun to just munch down on! :)

            1. re: Morganna

              OMG, great idea!!!! How long does it take for the garlic cloves to become pickled? A few days? I always keep a jar of jalapeno slices on door of fridge.

              1. re: Val

                Not very long. They're usually fine to start eating in a few days. I buy big containers of peeled garlic and huge cans of really hot jalapenos at Costco. I used canning jars, tossing in the pepper rings and garlic together, then pouring in the brine/juice and gave some to friends, too. :)

                I also put some in just a plain saltwater/vinegar solution in order to preserve them. I put some others into olive oil. I kept ending up with huge amounts of moldy/useless garlic. Now I have all I need and it lasts a good long time!

        3. Unfiltered, unsweetened cranberry juice. Just thinking about it makes me shudder.

          6 Replies
          1. re: adrienne156

            for those of us that love our bladder and need to take care of it! UTI's beware - - this is a necessary evil for those of us who are prone to infections. I just suck it up and gulp it down just like medicine. aaah, it sucks to be a woman.

            1. re: eebudee

              I have since switched to taking cranberry pills... up to 4 a day! No flavor and it keeps those pesky infections away.

              1. re: wino22

                yes, thank god for cranberry pills!! I used to drink the super-mega-strong cranberry juices and would shudder at each sip (even though i love "normal" cranberry juice)! I'm unfortunately very prone to UTIs, so yep, stuck with the stuff, lol.

            2. re: adrienne156

              No kidding! I got a UTI the day before a recent camping trip - a weekend so no MD for me. I won't take those sulfur pills anyway so no big deal. I had to drink 3 quarts of that nasty stuff (plus goldenseal & echanacia extract and a grapefruit seed extract) while my husband sucked down beers. Oh the injustice!

              1. re: SweetPea

                Not that I really wanted to broadcast my health to CH, but go to TJ's and buy a bottle of their unfiltered, unsweetened cranberry juice and drink the whole thing whenever you feel one coming on. It's gold.

                1. re: adrienne156

                  Last time I had that problem, all I had around was Ocean Spray, so I drank the whole bottle and it worked instantly. Lucky for me. Although maybe the vodka I added to the last few glasses helped too! (I really couldn't take it anymore plain)

            3. None whatsoever. I eat very healthily, but I enjoy every single one of those foods. I'm the girl who drools at the thought of macrobiotic meals. :-)

              The only stuff I'll consume purely for its health effects is medication.

              10 Replies
              1. re: piccola

                ahh, a kindred soul! glad i'm not alone in my belief that one can genuinely crave regular servings of vegetables and still consider oneself to be a foodie and/or chowhound :)

                we're fortunate to love healthy foods...life's too short to eat things you don't enjoy, and by regularly enjoying the healthful things, we just might be rewarded by living a little longer...

                1. re: goodhealthgourmet

                  Huh? I don't know any chowhounds who rule out any food group, veggies included. If anything, I think of people who dislike veggies as unadventurous, meat-and-potatoes anti-chowhounds. That said, one could still dislike a particular healthy item.

                  1. re: tatamagouche

                    no, no, it's not about ruling out a food group. i just meant that i typically enjoy healthier preparations. i'd rather have my salad with just a squeeze of lemon than a heavy dressing, and to me, cooked vegetables usually taste better steamed with fresh pepper, herbs and a hint of salt & than they do slicked with oil, butter or cream.

                    the point i was trying to make was that i don't feel the need to force myself to eat 'healthy' foods, because i actually enjoy - and often prefer - the things others feel nutritionally obligated to choke down.

                    1. re: goodhealthgourmet

                      I was wondering about that, can't imagine a true gourmet not appreciating the beauty of fresh veg... But it is true, I usually prefer vegetables stir-fried in a wok (with a scant amount of oil) than steamed, and find them easier to digest. Idem a bit of extra-virgin olive oil on salad, though I also love lemon and hate heavy dressings.

                      1. re: lagatta

                        I'd take a nice roasted salmon fillet over any steak, I'd take roasted veggies over any fried starch, I'd take steamed broccoli over any potato (except maybe a baked sweet, lol). I love healthy food, and can't imagine it any other way. My favorite (quick easy no prep) lunch at work is a can of amy's split pea soup with a bit of chili powder added, and a salad i create myself with some green garlic (raw garlic included) dressing. I seriously eat it every day. Add a veggie stirfry for dinner (no oil) and I'm a happy girl. Oh and for breakfast? scrambled egg whites with spinach, tomatoes, onions, and cremini mushrooms. But..... I do force myself to add flax seed oil to stuff, even though its a bit off putting for me

                    2. re: tatamagouche

                      as for your contention that chowhounds don't rule out entire food groups, jnstarla just posted on this very board that she hates fruit...

                      1. re: goodhealthgourmet

                        There are a lot of things I do that "no self-respecting chowhound does!!!!" :)

                  2. re: piccola

                    Same here. Except I'm not sure what macrobiotic means. I like to eat almost everything (love fruit and veg), so I don't see any reason to eat/drink anything I don't like. And there are other sources of vitamin C than grapefruit juice!

                    1. re: Kagey

                      macrobiotic refers to a specific type of 'whole foods' lifestyle. i don't follow a macribiotic diet, but certainly do apply some of the principles to my nutritional lifestyle. [then again, i'm a nutritionist, so most foodies/hounds think i'm nuts anyway.]

                      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Macrobio...

                      1. re: goodhealthgourmet

                        Yeah, I'm certainly not macro - for one thing, I'm veg, which rules out fish - but for some strange reason I crave those big whole grain-beans-steamed veggies-seaweed bowls...

                    1. re: hrhboo

                      Indeed. I hear it does wonders for cholesterol.

                    2. Green tea...I really don't like it and am buying Sen-cha green tea now which I find more palatable...I alternate that with my beloved oolong tea which I drink straight...I have to add a little honey to the green tea in order to drink it...oolong I love just straight, no sweeteners...the green tea I just don't like very much...not a big deal, though, as long as I alternate between the two. I believe green tea is still considered the more healthy of the two.

                      10 Replies
                      1. re: Val

                        Same for me with the green tea although I did just find a blueberry green tea at Trader Joe's that's much more palatable to me than the regular stuff.

                        1. re: mollyomormon

                          wow...no kidding? Blueberry green tea? Very interesting (we don't have Trader Joe's here in SW Florida! alas!) ..ginger green tea I also like but cannot find it everywhere, sister in law sent me an assortment of Wissotzky Teas from Home Shopping Network--Hey! I really liked it!...I like plain ginger tea just fine, in fact I LOVE it when I have a cold or just don't feel good which isn't often...combining ginger with the green tea is okay, at least more acceptable...get my drift? I just don't like green tea unless I ADD something else to it! hee! I've tried and tried...the Sen-cha is about the closest I can come to drinking it straight...and I STILL need a little honey added to it!

                          1. re: Val

                            adding a few drops of pure, undiliuted juice or concentrate might do the trick for you. you can try blueberry, pomegranate, cranberry, black cherry...

                            1. re: goodhealthgourmet

                              Thank you; the concentrates I CAN find at a local health food store...I always feel like I'm "cheating" by adding a little (1/2 teaspoon) honey to the green tea but I believe it is better than white sugar; see that? I can't find much justification of what I just said..honey vs. white sugar; if you research it, it really isn't THAT different...I just don't look forward to drinking it but I try to have some every day instead of coffee in the afternoons.

                              1. re: Val

                                just know that you'll still want to sweeten your tea...the concentrates are typically very tart. but they will enhance the flavor and add fruity notes, likely making it much more palatable and enjoyable for you.

                                cheers!

                                1. re: goodhealthgourmet

                                  Heh, reading this thread again made me want to update: I tried genmaicha tea while in San Francisco in January and really loved it...that toasted rice flavor clinched the deal. So I bought a large bag of loose genmaicha and have been enjoying green tea this way ever since, no more honey needed; plus, it expanded my horizons, brewing loose tea now. <snerk> There's hope for me yet!

                                  1. re: Val

                                    i love genmaicha. you're so right - the toastiness is what makes it!

                            2. re: Val

                              I know exactly what you're saying. It tastes a little like drinking dirt to me which I don't find enjoyable.

                                1. re: mollyomormon

                                  I tink it tastes like smelly old gym socks. :)