Foods, therapies, creepy crawlers, germs, and other things that may leave you a little nauseated: We’ve compiled a list of disturbing and gross things that are actually kind of good for you! This is not for the faint of heart. Please use the proper precautions before reading the following list.
Vomit: We know you know that vomit is actually a good thing. Vomit is your body’s way of purging what it considers potentially dangerous substances. From stomach flu to overconsumption of alcohol, be thankful to your body for getting rid of what doesn’t belong.
Maggot therapy: In 2004, the FDA approved the use of maggots for wound healing purposes. The maggots are placed into an open wound where they clean the dead tissue. No worries, the maggots are disinfected before use.
Creepy crawlers on your skin: You can’t see them, but that doesn’t mean they aren’t there. Tiny germs and bacteria on your skin are responsible for removing dead skin cells and some of them, Staphylococcus epidermidis, actually help in preventing more dangerous bacteria from settling on your skin.
Fish testicles with semen: Also called “shirako.” Yes, male fish have testicles inside their bodies. Shirako are used in soups and sushi for their omega-3s.
Mucus: Or as we like to call it, snot! A product of your nose, snot traps all kinds of intruders from the outside world and prevents them from entering your body. Think pollen, soot, ash, sand, tiny pieces of metal and dust. Some of these pollutants may cause inflammation, which leads to a runny nose or postnasal drip.
Blood sausage: It is no longer popular with most of us, but ask the generations before you, and they’ll likely tell you that blood sausage was a regular item on their menu. What’s so good about it? It’s full of protein, zinc, iron and gelatin.
Farting and burping: It’s good for you! During the digestive process, the body produces gas, and where does it go? To the nearest exit! It may sound and smell unpleasant, but it’s absolutely necessary to keep us from exploding. If you’re more prone to gas, you may consider backing off on gas-producing foods like broccoli, onions, and cabbage.
Beef brains: They may not be easy on the eyes, but they are loaded with B12, iron, vitamin C and niacin. So if the hunter-gatherer lifestyle is right up your alley, you may want to cook up some beef brains.
Caterpillars and grasshoppers: A good source of protein and quite a delicacy in some parts of the world. Just be careful before you fry up your first batch of caterpillars. Not all of them are safe for human consumption.
Cottage cheese: The food you love to hate for its taste and consistency is actually a good source of non-meat protein and curbs hunger for several hours.
Sweat: Don’t you love the scent of babies? Even young children up to the age of around 12 don’t stink as much as adults do. That’s because their sweat glands aren’t active yet. Sweat is necessary to cool off the body when you are hot. Sweat by itself is actually not smelly. Certain foods like curry and onions, plus some bacteria on your skin, make sweat smelly.
Calf’s liver: A superfood that is full of protein, vitamin A, vitamins B6 and B12, folate, riboflavin, niacin, betaine, and a number of minerals, including selenium, magnesium, phosphorus, potassium, zinc, iron and calcium. If you can’t stomach calf’s liver as is, try to hide it in burgers, paté, or freeze it in pill capsules.
Pus: Your body’s response to infection is to send an army of soldiers, or white blood cells, to fight the infection. The more of these white blood cells die in battle, the more pus will show up at the surface.
Poop: It’s not just a way for your body to eliminate unnecessary waste, it’s also an indicator of your health for you to check. Small, hard pebbles indicate dehydration, while thin poop and diarrhea are potential signs of illness or a malfunctioning gallbladder. Poop should be formed like a sausage and should be easily eliminated from the body.
Moose fat and ground fish ice-cream: Yes, we realize that’s a bit of a stretch for us Westerners. But we’re thinking that if the Inuits do it and are perfectly healthy, it can’t be bad for us either, right? Add in berries for a pleasant flavor, and you have a great and healthy recipe full of protein, healthy fats, vitamins, minerals and omega 3s and 6s.
Duck blood soup: This soup is made from a whole duck, meaning every last part of it, enriched with the duck’s blood. Popular in Vietnam, duck blood soup is a great source of protein, minerals and vitamins.
Water blisters: These usually appear when rubbing occurs on the feet, like on a long hike or when you’re wearing the wrong shoes. The top layer of your skin separates from the one below and the area between fills with serum, the clear part of your blood. This may be gross, but we suggest you don’t pop the blister open. It will heal itself if left alone.
Fecal transplants: Fecal matter from a healthy person is transplanted by enema to a sick person. They have been found to be beneficial in healing digestive disorders and infections. In a study with 317 people suffering from a gastrointestinal disease, the fecal transplants resulted in 92 percent of the cases being resolved.
Leeches: Not just a gross scene from the movie Stand By Me, leeches are quite useful during surgery to stimulate blood circulation.
Stinky soy dish: While the over-consumption of genetically modified soy may pose some risks to your health, it is also believed that this dish of fermented soy with its gooey consistency and appalling smell is actually good for your health. It provides protein and probiotics, as well as a number of vitamins and minerals.
Ear wax: Like snot, ear wax is an essential part of the body. It keeps the tubes lubricated, and it keeps germs and dust from entering the ears and causing damage.
Eye gunk: This is another one of those not-so-pleasant things you’ll find after waking up in the morning. During the day, tears drain into the tear duct and down the nose. Blinking makes that possible. At night, your eyes are closed and the tears collect in the corners of your eyes. Just be sure to see a doctor if the crusty stuff is yellow or green, because that’s an indication of infection.
Cod liver oil: The oil is extracted from the liver of fish. There are no redeeming qualities for its taste, but the health benefits should not be ignored. Take your cod liver oil as a capsule before going to bed, and you’ll avoid the unpleasant fishy burps.
Ute Mitchell is a Freelance Writer and Nutritional Therapy Practitioner located in Portland, OR, where she homeschools her kids, cooks healthy meals for her family, and hikes the forests and mountains around the Pacific Northwest. She is an avid CrossFit athlete, and loves to encourage others to live a healthy and active lifestyle.