Blackstrap Molasses: A Nutrient-Dense Superfood & Its Health Benefits

| Modified on Apr 27, 2024
Blackstrap Molasses Health Benefits on Earth Clinic.

Blackstrap molasses, a nutrient-dense by-product of the sugar refining process, has long been heralded as a superfood, given its diverse range of health benefits.

Rich in essential nutrients such as iron, calcium, magnesium, and a variety of B vitamins, this hearty sweetener has earned a revered place in the annals of health supplementation. Further, Earth Clinic readers have been enthusiastically discussing the healing properties of molasses for over two decades, attributing it to remedying conditions like arthritis, fibroids, anemia, and heart palpitations.

This article delves into the extensive health benefits of blackstrap molasses, its historical use cases, and critical considerations regarding potential side effects and contraindications.

What is Blackstrap Molasses?

Blackstrap molasses is a byproduct of sugar cane's refining process. The sugar cane is crushed to extract juice, then boiled once to create cane syrup. A second boiling creates molasses, and after the third boiling, we're left with a dark, viscous syrup known as blackstrap molasses.

Unlike regular molasses, blackstrap molasses contains significantly less sugar. Instead, it's loaded with vitamins and minerals.

Historical Uses of Blackstrap Molasses

Blackstrap molasses has a storied past, rich with many historical uses. Its roots stretch back over 500 years, underscoring its versatility and longevity as a vital ingredient in a variety of applications.

During the transatlantic triangular trade era (roughly late 16th to early 19th centuries), blackstrap molasses was a significant commodity. Sugar cane grown in the West Indies was transported to New England and Europe, where it was refined into molasses and sugar. Molasses, especially the blackstrap variety, became a vital commodity due to its multiple uses.

Culinary Applications 

In colonial times, blackstrap molasses was a primary ingredient in food and drink. Bakers used it extensively as a sweetener in cakes, pies, and other baked goods, while brewers recognized its potential in beer-making. Moreover, blackstrap molasses was central to the production of rum, a highly valued and popular drink during the colonial period.

Traditional Medicine

The medicinal properties of blackstrap molasses have been recognized for centuries, particularly in the Caribbean and among indigenous populations. Traditional medicine practitioners praised blackstrap molasses for its high mineral and nutrient content. Given its rich magnesium levels, it was used as a remedy for various ailments, such as anemia, due to its high iron content and menstrual pain. The early recognition of these benefits led to its widespread use as a holistic treatment for malnutrition and other health issues.

Cancer Prevention 

A research paper entitled "Cancer: a single disease with a Multitude of Manifestations" cited anecdotal evidence suggesting a lower cancer incidence among sugar cane plantation workers.

"Blackstrap molasses, its most concentrated form, was used for the therapy of a variety of diseases, including cancer. Anecdotal evidence suggests that cancer was very rare among sugar cane plantation workers who were regularly consuming the raw brown sugar. Blackstrap molasses is rich in a variety of essential minerals including iron, zinc, selenium, magnesium and potassium as well as the majority of the vitamin B complex, deficiencies of which confer a major cancer risk. Molasses also contains high concentrations of amino acids and linoleic acid, an essential lipid that has a documented anti-tumor effect." 1

Agriculture and Animal Feed

Blackstrap molasses also played a crucial role in agriculture. Farmers discovered its potential as a nutrient-rich supplement in animal feed. It enhanced the nutritional value of the feed and improved palatability, encouraging animals to eat more and thus promoting their health and growth.

Industrial Uses 

In addition to its culinary and medicinal applications, blackstrap molasses also found a place in various industrial uses. It was an ingredient in ethanol production and the manufacturing of citric acid—a key component in the food, pharmaceutical, and cosmetic industries.

Health Benefits of Blackstrap Molasses

Many health problems are caused by or made worse by nutritional deficiencies. This is where blackstrap molasses shines. It is a food that is concentrated with needed nutrients. Sometimes blackstrap molasses quickly brings relief, as is often the case when you use it to treat leg cramps.

Sometimes the relief comes over time after regular use of blackstrap molasses. It can take time to rebuild the body's stores of nutrients. Anemia is a condition that will take some time to heal with blackstrap molasses.

Here is a list that is surely not all-inclusive, but still impressive, of the conditions that blackstrap molasses have reportedly helped:

Anemia and Energy Levels

Rich in iron, blackstrap molasses can help increase red blood cell production, alleviating anemia. The surge in red blood cells translates into improved energy levels, potentially reducing fatigue and weakness.

Cardiovascular Health 

Its high potassium content supports heart health and may help regulate heart rhythms, potentially benefiting conditions like atrial fibrillation.

Menstrual Health 

Blackstrap molasses may be beneficial for heavy menstrual bleeding and fibroids. It's rich in iron, replenishing the iron loss during menstrual periods, and its high magnesium content may help alleviate menstrual cramps.

Skin Health 

With its anti-inflammatory and antimicrobial properties, blackstrap molasses might assist in managing acne. Topical application, in combination with its dietary inclusion, has been reported to improve skin conditions.

Bone and Joint Health 

High in calcium, magnesium, and other minerals, it may contribute to bone health and potentially alleviate arthritis symptoms.

Hair Health

Though more research is needed, some believe that the high copper content in blackstrap molasses may prevent premature graying of hair.

Digestive Health

A natural laxative, blackstrap molasses can help relieve constipation, ensuring smoother digestion.

Hot Flashes and Mood Health 

The richness of essential minerals and vitamins in blackstrap molasses might help manage symptoms of menopause, like hot flashes. The significant levels of vitamin B6, known to aid in mood regulation, might also relieve anxiety.

Neurological Health 

Its significant levels of B6 and magnesium may help in conditions like carpal tunnel and restless leg syndrome, supporting nerve health.

Nose Bleeds 

The high iron content aids in red blood cell production, potentially reducing the frequency of nose bleeds.

Pubmed reports on a study that made connections between nutritional deficiencies and cancer.  According to the article, "Cancer: a single disease with a multitude of manifestations?" research found that:

Nutrient Composition of Blackstrap Molasses

Blackstrap molasses is a veritable treasure trove of essential nutrients. While the exact quantities can vary based on the manufacturer, it typically contains:

  • Calcium
  • Iron
  • Magnesium
  • Potassium
  • Phosphorus
  • Zinc
  • Manganese
  • Selenium
  • Pantothenic Acid
  • Thiamine (Vitamin B-1)
  • Vitamin B-2
  • Niacin (Vitamin B-3)
  • - Vitamin B-6

With such an impressive nutrient profile, blackstrap molasses indeed stands as a nutrient-dense food. It's also important to note that when these vitamins are consumed as part of a food product, they may be better assimilated into the body than supplemental pills.

Recommended Daily Intake

Incorporating blackstrap molasses into your daily diet can be as simple as taking a tablespoon of it each day. However, for some, even a teaspoon or two can boost energy and nutrition.

For those managing diabetes or other blood sugar-related issues, it's advisable to begin with no more than a teaspoon at a time to mitigate potential blood sugar fluctuations. After assessing the impact of blackstrap molasses on your blood sugar levels, you can adjust your intake accordingly.

Incorporating Blackstrap Molasses into Your Diet

While some individuals relish the distinct taste of blackstrap molasses, others may need to get a bit more creative to enjoy their daily serving. Fortunately, this versatile sweetener can be used in a variety of ways. Enjoy it straight off the spoon, stir it into your morning coffee or tea, or mix it with milk for a nutrient-rich drink. It adds a unique sweetness and robust flavor that can elevate your beverages.

Iced Molasses Recipe

This refreshing drink lets you enjoy blackstrap molasses in a chilled, creamy concoction.


- 1 tablespoon blackstrap molasses
- Hot water
- 3/4 cup milk or dairy alternative
- Ice


Add the molasses to a glass and pour enough hot water to cover it. Stir until it dissolves. Add ice, then fill the rest of the glass with your choice of milk or dairy alternative. If you prefer a non-dairy option, consider vanilla or chocolate almond milk, coconut milk, or soy milk. For a frothy twist, try blending the mixture.

Banana Blackstrap Breakfast Smoothie

Start your day with a nutrient-packed smoothie, combining the goodness of blackstrap molasses with other superfoods.


- 1 frozen ripe banana
- 1 tablespoon blackstrap molasses
- 1/2 tablespoon raw cacao powder
- 1 cup milk, yogurt or kefir
- 1 tablespoon of chia seeds for an extra protein boost

Note: If you're consuming blackstrap molasses to combat anemia, consider taking some vitamin C around the same time. Vitamin C enhances iron absorption, helping your body to utilize the iron-rich benefits of blackstrap molasses more effectively.

Potential Side Effects and Contraindications of Blackstrap Molasses

While blackstrap molasses boasts many health benefits, it's crucial to be aware of potential side effects and contraindications, especially for those with certain health conditions.

Side Effects

Blackstrap molasses is generally safe for most people when consumed in food amounts. However, in some cases, it can lead to minor side effects. These may include loose stools or diarrhea, particularly when consumed in large amounts. This is due to its high mineral and sugar content.

Blood Sugar Levels 

Because blackstrap molasses contains sugar, it can raise blood sugar levels. Individuals with diabetes or those who are managing blood sugar levels should be cautious when adding blackstrap molasses to their diet. It's always advisable to monitor blood sugar levels and consult with a healthcare professional before making significant dietary changes.

Iron Overload

While the iron content in blackstrap molasses can benefit those with iron-deficiency anemia, it could pose a risk for individuals with conditions that lead to iron overload, such as hemochromatosis.

Potential Drug Interactions 

If you're taking any medication, especially diabetes medication, blood thinners, or certain antidepressants, consult your healthcare provider before adding blackstrap molasses to your diet. It has the potential to interact with these medications, affecting their efficacy.

Please continue reading to find our readers' experiences when they consumed blackstrap molasses for their ailments. Have you tried blackstrap molasses for your health? We would love to hear what you think of it!

Related Links:

Blackstrap Molasses for Diabetes Type II Treatment
Blackstrap Molasses for Heavy Menstrual Bleeding
Blackstrap Molasses for Mentrual Issues
Blackstrap Molasses Recipes
Blackstrap Molasses Side Effects
Effective Natural Anemia Remedies
Effective Natural Arthritis Remedies: Relief & Healing
Managing Heart Palpitations Naturally: Tips and Remedies
Top Natural Remedies for Fibroids

Acid Reflux

2 User Reviews
5 star (2) 

Posted by Sweet Cales (Bridgetown) on 06/07/2018

I used to suffer from acid reflux then I found out about using blackstrap molasses and baking soda that did wonders for me thank God that was years ago don't have any reflux anymore but still use the molasses sometimes because of its benefit.

The thing is I knew about molasses long before because I use to give to the animals, chickens and pigs I had, healthy animals but at that time did not know it was even better for humans.

Acid Reflux
Posted by Kita (Detroit, Michigan) on 08/19/2007

I had acid reflux bad for the past two years. Oneday my aunt went to a health food store. Her and a lady got to talking about blackstrap. The lady had tried everything for her acid reflux so the doctor finally told her about blackstrap molasses. My aunt brought some for me and within days the acid reflux started to go down. Now I have been taking it for4 months now. It is just about cured! It is the best thing for acid reflux. I took two teapsoons of it everyday in april and now I take less because it doesnt bother me. One or two teaspoons will help get you through the whole day.


7 User Reviews
5 star (6) 

Posted by Moogs (La, Usa) on 02/03/2013


I tried BSM for the first time last week. Had a terrible experience, thought it tasted awful anyway I tried it; coffee, milk, oatmeal, made it into a fudge with cocoa powder, coconut oil, coconut macca, cinnamon, and agave. Although the fudge was actually decent tasting. Anways, my face completely broke out and my eczema was out of control all last week. Suddenly today, one full week after starting on one tblspn per day, my skin is clear and no more itching. So I'm glad I've stuck with it. I am now forcing myself to drink it straight from the spoon with some warm water right after to take away the taste. I'm slowly getting used to the taste but can't imagine I'll ever like it.

Replied by Keymah Yashaahla

Try squeezing fresh lemon juice (half or whole) with your blackstrap and a hint of cayenne red pepper. I use this everyday with other ingredients such as; turmeric, apple cider vinegar, black pepper and honey (optional). Love this drink. I do this every morning before eating or drinking anything else.

Posted by Kristen (St. Peters, Mo) on 05/07/2010

Organic BlackStrap Molasses
(2 Tbl's per day - one in coffee, one with EARTH CLINIC'S ICED MOLASSES RECIPE)

37 years old, have been plagued with oily, cloggable skin my entire adult life, antibiotics make me feel sick so I won't take them. Within 2 hours of first tbl spoon I percieved changing skin (flushed, drier) within 2 days (4 Tbls)no new acne and quickly healing. I think I can go without any makeup already! IS AMAZING!!

Replied by Sandy
(Il, US)

For Kristen the oily skin has improved, does that mean BSM is not good for dry skin? Can somebody please tell me? I have issues like digestive problems, (specially in winters because it is so cold here that I can not go for walk during winter and it really effects me both mentally and physically), keep burping all the time if I eat something with skin like soy beans or kidney beans. Need help.

Replied by Mama To Many

Dear Sandy,

Often herbs and foods have a normalizing effect. So, Blackstrap helped someone with oily skin, but it doesn't necessarily mean it will make dry skin worse. For examle Cayenne pepper is good to help bleeding stop, but it also can help to increase circulation.

I have had only good results myself when using Blackstrap for a variety of things in my family.

Have you tried Castor Oil for your dry skin? I use it at night on my face and love it. One of my sons has very dry hands and it works for him, too. Drinking plenty of water will help to keep cells hydrated, also.

~Mama to Many~

Posted by JEM (Fort Worth, TX) on 02/15/2009

I kept getting breakouts on my chin and around my mouth. I somehow stumbled onto blackstrap molasses. I take two tablespoons a day (in Stash's double spice chai tea- really good) and it really seems to help. No new breakouts. Just the fading red marks from the old ones. I pretty certain it's the molasses because I stopped taking it for about a month while I was on vacation and the acne came back within a week.

I also did some research- blackstrap contains copper which helps skin repair itself and a bit of zinc which when taken consistently has the effect of an antibiotic/anti-acne prescription. Just make sure you get the right ratio of zinc and copper- they block the absorption of each other and can cause an imbalance.

Posted by Nathan (Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam) on 07/24/2006

Supplementing my diet with molasses has decreased my acne about 97% in two weeks. I take two tablespoons when I wake up in the morning, and two before I go to bed at night. It eases digestive problems, so if your acne is related to constipation, it's a sure-fire bet. It also supplements you with minerals such as Chromium, which about 90% of Americans are deficient in.

Replied by Nathan
(Vung Tau, Ho Chi Minh City)

Update: Since experimenting with other possibilities, I find that Aloe Vera works well at night, and Blackstrap Molasses in the morning. Raw Aloe works best. One or two tablespoons should be all you need. A perfect cure!

Replied by Meron

How in the world can you take two tablespoons? Wow I wish!! I tried half a teaspoon in hot chocolate and it still makes me gag, first time I tried BSM I took it straight, 1Tbs and I was vomiting all night😳

Replied by Jt

Meron, I am guessing it's one of those flavors that some automatically like and others cannot stand (and all areas in between). The first time I had a tbsp. of BSM I was amazed at the flavor...and then instead of taking a tbsp. when I dosed with it I just drank it straight from the little bottle I bought; I LOVE the flavor of BSM.

Posted by Anonymous (USA)

2 teaspoons of black strap molasses with one teaspoon of sulphur once or twice daily to cleanse the blood. Skin eruptions may increase initially -- an indication that the blood is being cleansed.

Replied by Alice
(Whitestone, New York/usa)

aahh.... Thank you for that. I recently read how wonderful blackstrap molasses is for you but I noticed that I started breaking out. Wasn't sure if it was or could even be the molasses but that was the only new thing I added to my diet. So I stopped for a couple of days and no breakouts. Had two teaspoons yesterday and today another breakout. I'm 51 and should have acne. So should I just keep with it? And how long should it take before the acne stops?

Replied by Liz
(Boston, Massachusetts)

I would stick with it because it will likely pass. I am almost the same age as you and was never acne-prone, not even in my youth. I don't think I've had even one random pimple in over 20 years.

About two or three days into taking BSM, I woke to find a small whitehead on my cheek. I thought 'What the... ?? A ZIT??' Then it hit me - molasses. :)

That was close to a year ago. I've never had one since.


35 User Reviews
5 star (32) 
4 star (1) 
1 star (2) 

Posted by ANNA (PA) on 11/19/2023

I COULDN'T BELIEVE how much better my husband's blood results were after just 7 days of 1 tbsp of blackstrap molasses mixed in half cup of warm almond milk. ONCE A DAY! No more iron deficiency! Red blood cells were 3.59 - now 4.16!

AND HE likes it!

Posted by Maria (Tampa, Florida) on 03/01/2018

I had low iron for quite some time and I was beginning to get concerned because every time I tested, my levels would be lower than the prior test. I read about blackstrap molasses and gave it a try. In only two months of taking 1/2 a teaspoon of molasses mixed in warm water daily, here are my test results. Ferritin shot up from 19 to 48 and Iron shot up from 50 to 129! I'm so excited and wanted to share my results.

Posted by Cory (Hamilton, Mt) on 06/05/2015

I think that molasses has helped my anemia quite a bit. I mix 1 tbs. peanut butter, a little chocolate syrup and 1 tbs. molasses in a small dessert type dish and microwave for about 15-18 seconds, stir well and ENJOY!!! Tastes great and gives you a bit of a lift.

Replied by Vonita

You're killing yourself slowly by using a microwave. The sugars in all your ingredients can burn at the molecular level and cause more harm than good. If you like this preparation warm take the time to warm it slowly on a little pot or a Teflon free frying pan.

Replied by Suzie

You're right about the microwave. I got rid of all mine (3) years ago after reading about how it was changing all food at the molecular level.

Replied by Cynthia

I also reckon that microwaves are the cause of cancer. I remember when microwaves came on the market there was a massive increase of cancer. I have never had a microwave and won't have one. My brother got rid of his and my neighbour has just biffed his out . We all have benchtop ovens and they are fantastic!!!

Replied by Kelly

Vonita's comment that 'You're killing yourself slowly by using a microwave', along with the others speculations are simply not true. Many studies have shown no difference between cooking, and especially reheating foods in a microwave, compared with other methods.

Here's just one of many studies:

Pam. E.
(SW California)
139 posts

I strongly suspect that they didn't test thoroughly for EVERY possible change ... because 1 time I reheated some dinner left over form the night before that had meat in it, and that meat tasted like no meat I had ever tasted before ... totally different than what we'd eaten the night before!

Posted by Jules (Canada) on 05/31/2015

Hi, can anyone please let me know how much Blackstrap Molasses one is supposed to take for anemia? Thanks!

Replied by Mmsg
(Somewhere, Europe)

Jules, personally, I took a Tablespoon twice a day, at the beginning. Later I tapered down to a Tablespoon once a day, and now, for maintenance, I take it once or twice a week.

Replied by Dave
(Fountain Inn, Sc)

Hello Jules,

When I think I need Blackstrap Molasses, I take a tablespoon a day. I have to drink water immediately to wash it down! Some people warm a cup of water and dissolve the BSM in that and drink like a tea.

Posted by Arn (Kenmore, Wa.) on 01/29/2013 20 posts

We need to understand the difference between elemental iron and organic iron. The reduced iron in your breakfast cereal and enriched flour is nothing more than iron filings. An anemic friend got a prescription from her doc that was nothing more than powdered rust in glycerine. Elemental iron actually causes pernicious anemia, according to the PDR. It's the inorganic iron that builds up in your system and acts as a free radical.

In contrast, the iron compounds in molasses are in an organic form compounded by the plant to be useful to living things, and safe. I wouldn't worry about overdosing on molasses.

By the way, molasses is a superfood indeed. They start with a field of plants, remove the water, fiber, sugar, and what's left is concentrated organic minerals! If such a thing were formulated in a lab it would be ridiculously expensive. But here it is, dirt cheap and delicious.

Replied by Kelly

"By the way, molasses is a superfood indeed. They start with a field of plants, remove the water, fiber, sugar, and what's left is concentrated organic minerals! "

Again, with all due respect, this is simply incorrect information that can be confirmed by doing a simple google search. The water, sugar, and even small amounts of fiber aren't "removed" -- molasses has a moderate sugar content and thus a glycemic index of 55, compared to say, meat, which has a glycemic index of 0.

While the sugar content is less than 'sugar', it's definitely in there.


I agree Kelly. Thanks for setting the record straight. There is definitely a glycemic impact from ingesting BSM but not a serious one especially if a person is taking it infrequently.

Posted by Claudia (Orange, Ca/usa) on 10/23/2012

Don't try this at home, but... Back in the early '80's I was expecting my 5th and 6th children (twins). In my fourth month my blood work came back with the iron a little low. My ob-gyn gave me a RX for some iron pills. I went home and started a regimen of 4-6 tbl. of unsulphered black strap molasses and didn't fill the RX. The next week the doc said, "Boy, those iron pills really work! " My iron levels were good throughout my pregnancy (had healthy babies) and I kept up the daily dose of molasses.

Replied by Tonya

How are you consuming the molasses? I've put a tbsp in distilled water but doesn't taste the greatest.

EC: You will find a number of recipes that can make taking your blackstrap molasses more palatable on this page


Try as a hot drink: 1 Tblsp. molasses, 12oz. hot water, tad half and half or milk to your taste. Delicious. Great alternative to coffee in the morning.

Replied by Marilyn

When I was a child, my Dad and I would have couple of tablespoons of molasses in a bowl with a couple tsp of carnation evaporated milk and eat it with some toast.Taste great, and I still eat it that way today and I am 74 years old, with no pain anywhere in my body..One of my children eats it that way also.

Replied by Robert Henry
(Ten Mile, Tn)

MARILYN,,,,,,, I'm sure you are aware that molasses and Black Strap Molasses are two different syrups. The Black Strap Molasses has gone through 3 different boilings and contains a far greater amount of nutrients, especially iron.

My PT instructor was not aware of that. She is low on iron, but the prescription causes her stomach pain. Thus, she did did not address her deficiency until I told her about BSM.

I think some of this site did not realize the difference in molasses and BSM.


Replied by Marilyn
(Northern Calif)

Yes, I know that..Back in the sixties I read a book called "Back to Eden" and I cured my sinus problems with Vit C and also only bought BSM, because I like it, it reminded me of my Dad.

Replied by Robert Henry
(Ten Mile , Tn)

MARILYN,,,,,,, did organic gardening back in the 70's and it was very labor intensive and I gave up on that chore. Watched the Garden of Eden video that you mentioned and got pumped again. I have access to lots of chips.

Since we only plant half of our 100' X 100' garden, I'm going to take the half we don't plant and do the Garden of Eden thing. Glad we got to know one another. As the ole saying goes, you are never too old to learn a new trick.

I thank you. ======ORH=======

Replied by Marilyn
(Northern Calif)

Hi Robert, I read a book called "Back to Eden", didn't know about the video, will check it out... Thanks for the info.. I have being growing stuff for years, and clay can be little work, but I enjoy it..When I was about twenty and working in a hosp in northern Canada I met a military guy who told me if I held my stomach in while I took care of patients, or just walking around I would never have back problems, so I did/do and so yard work is no problem. TYG for Earthclinic.. Marilyn

Replied by Heidy

Hi, how did you cure your sinus with Vit C?

Replied by Marilyn
(Northern Calif)

In the early seventies I read a book by Dr Linus Pauling about Vit. C .and at the time I tried steam and or aspirin for the pain. I started taking 500 units of vit .C in the morning before work and them in the evening every day until I started to feel better.I up it to a couple thousand units every day and instead of getting a sinus infection every couple of months it would be every 6 months and it finally went away completely.I haven'y had a sinus infection in 40 years..I still take Vit. C nearly every day..Marilyn_TYG

Replied by Marilyn
(Northern Calif)

It should read 500 mg of Vit c, not 500 units of vit c,, sorry for the error. Marilyn

Replied by Debbie
(Okanogan, Washington)

I love it in milk too, I used to take a tablespoon and then drank water to wash it down, then I tried a tablespoon in a glass of milk sooooo yummy they say it's good to take before bed and now I have real vivid dreams. Make sure to take a vit c with, helps your body to absorb Happy BSM

Posted by Dee (Atlanta, Georgia) on 08/16/2011

I visited the emergency room when my blood level was low and feeling faint and the emergency room doctor suggested Brer Rabbit Black Strap Molasses. It really does work better than any other blackstrap molasses that I have tried.

Posted by Anna (Pittsburgh, Pa) on 12/08/2010

I just started taking BSM about two weeks ago and can already feel a difference in energy! Even my period seems a lot lighter than usual. The funny thing is, that I didn't even know I was iron deficient until reading about the same symptoms I've been having for years! I really thought its normal to feel so tired all the time.. Its so important to listen to our bodies and make use of what nature provides for us to be our healthiest-inside and out!