CRUNCH TIME

The next time you reach for a bag of chips, think twice.

By Emma Whalen

Eat this: veggie chips
Not that: potato chips
Says who: Lauryn Lax, nutritional therapy practitioner, doctor of occupational therapy and functional medicine practitioner at Thrive Wellness and Recovery
Why: “Many of us have conditioned our taste buds to like fake foods such as chips, crackers, sweets and other packaged items in the stores. Most of these contain additives and chemicals that light up the neurotransmitters in our brains, [similar to] a drug. They can also irritate our digestive systems, spurring a case of bad bacteria over time to ferment in our guts. Gut bacteria especially love foods like sugar and additives, so in turn, we crave more. It’s a perpetual cycle.”

Benefits of this:
“Your best bet nutritionally is to make homemade veggie chips. The health benefits vary, depending on which vegetables you use.” 

  • Sweet potatoes are high in vitamin A. Also known as beta-carotene, vitamin A is good for eye health, brain health and healthy fat absorption. Sweet potatoes also contain vitamin C, which acts as an immune-system booster. 
  • Kale is high in magnesium, vitamin K, calcium and vitamin C. Magnesium helps aid digestion, heart health, anxiety and PMS relief. Vitamin K helps prevent blood clotting and encourages the absorption of healthy fats, while calcium helps strengthen the bones.
  • Beets are high in folate, which encourages cell-tissue growth and repair. They also contain betalin pigments that help support the body’s detox process and antioxidants that fight off disease.
  • Zucchini is high in vitamin B-6, which helps regulate mood and brain health and prevents anemia. It also contains vitamin K and vitamin C. 
  • Plantains are high in prebiotics that help boost healthy gut bacteria, fiber to regulate bowel movements, vitamin B-6, vitamin A and vitamin C. Bonus: Plantains contain more potassium, vitamin A and vitamin C than bananas.

Drawbacks of that:
“Most regular, processed potato chips are made in bulk in a manufacturing factory, away from human hands, on a conveyer belt. It’s a long process that pretty much eliminates any trace of real food by the time they are finished.” 

The recipe for regular potato chips includes:

  • chemicals to enhance color
  • hydrogenated oil
  • powdered seasonings 
  • Check the label: oils and flours 

“If you want to buy veggie or tortilla chips at the grocery store, look for brands that don’t process their chips in hydrogenated, soybean or canola oil. These oils can irritate your gut and disrupt digestion. Keep an eye out for tortilla chips with coconut flour because your body can absorb it more easily than traditional flour or corn. You’ll get the most vitamins from homemade veggie chips, but  if you buy, look for brands like Siete Foods Tortilla Chips, Jackson’s Honest Sweet Potato Chips or Boulder Canyon Avocado Oil Potato Chips.” 


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Food & Drink

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