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There is definitely a growing trend of Americans that sees food as medicine. This trend emphasizes how regulation is not quick to react as the people themselves.

We have all heard the old adage “You are what you eat.” Do you believe it? How much truth is there in this adage?

According to a new report released June 17, 2016 at the FMI Connect in Chicago, nearly two-thirds of U.S. consumers today see food as medicine. This authenticated fact only serves to underscore the continued strength of the health and wellness trend recognized by grocers and food suppliers within the past decade. 

 The “Shopping for Health” report was conducted by Organic Life magazine in partnership with FMI, and revealed that today’s consumers understand the role that food choices play in health and wellness. The study also provided a look into developing trends within the healthy food movement; trends such as healthy snacks and functional foods.  The shift in this real movement to better choices is becoming more noticeable in retail as consumers reach for healthier version of conventional foods and seek out what Melanie Hansche, editor in chief of Organic Life, refers to as “food with benefits.”

“The fact that publishers like Food & Wine and Bon Appetit are doing health issues. There’s been a real ground swell in this movement.” States Ms. Hansche when interviewed for an article published in Supermarket News.

Of course, the news is not in the fact that what we eat plays a significant role in determining our level of health, because we have been cautioned about the significance of poor eating habits in relationship to disease states for quite some time. The news is in the current strong movement towards healthier choices. The “Shopping for Health” report illustrates that we get the message and that consumers are looking for foods which support our health.  It is now widely accepted that diets high in fat or low in fiber increase the risk of cancers. The connection is clear: poor dietary choices cause disease while good choices can prevent a wide range of health issues.

Staying healthy and avoiding doctors is a goal many people share. The Spice Way has been ahead of the curve of the healthy momentum with products chocked full of natural ingredients supporting better choices. Consider just one specific ingredient found in many of our spice blends, paprika. Spices such as paprika have long been used for associated health benefits. Paprika which is a product of cayenne pepper has a high concentration of capsaicin, the active component in red peppers. According to WedMD, “Capsaicin works by first stimulating and then decreasing the intensity of pain signals in the body. Although pain may at first increase, it usually decreases after the first use. Capsaicin stimulates the release of a compound believed to be involved in communicating pain between the nerves in the spinal cord and other parts of the body.”

Most of the ingredients used in our blends, mixes and of course our pure whole or ground spices, support healthy choices. Other ingredients such as garcinia, gymnema, chamomile and elderberry used in our infusions are considered functional foods for the role they play. As an example, elderberry has often been studied and found to support the immune system and upper respiratory health. Visit one of our stores for more information about healthy choices and meal preparation.

“We’ve seen the needle move a lot in the area of functional foods,” Hansche said. “There’s a perceived health benefit that is a really strong cue for consumers. A lot of people really want to avoid seeing a doctor, and if they can do that by what they’re eating, they will do that.” At The Spice Way we take these old adages and advice to heart.

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