{“6 Health Foods That Kind of Look Like Illegal Drugs”} Client: WorldLifestyle

ImageKale Chips Cup Cheese

Your body is a temple, and you fuel it with potent greens, colorful juices, and energizing superfoods. Just don’t mistake these healthy foods for their illegal substance twins.

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On the Left: Kale Chips

Unless you’ve been living under a rock, you know that the popularity of kale has exploded in the last five years, including kale chips— a crunchy, healthy alternative to chips you can buy or bake in the oven yourself. Kale’s super-high concentration of phytonutrients and vitamins A, C, and K, make it one of the healthiest veggies on the planet.

Not to be confused with …

On the Right: Marijuana

Marijuana has long been the most popular drug in America. Nearly 19 million people use marijuana — 7.3% of the population — according to RAND Corp. studies. When smoked or ingested in food or drink, marijuana produces an assortment of symptoms, ranging from calm feelings of wellbeing and euphoria, to paranoia, dry mouth, and an increased desire to eat cookie dough straight from the package.

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On the Left: Feta

A crumbly white cheese traditionally used in Mediterranean cuisine, feta offers tons of tangy, salty flavor, but less fat and calories than almost any other cheese out there. We like to sprinkle it across salads, in soups, and on top of burgers.

Not to be confused with …

On the Right: Cocaine

The National Institutes of Health pretty much sums of cocaine use in a nutshell: “Cocaine speeds up your whole body. You may feel full of energy, happy, and excited. But then your mood can change. You can become angry, nervous, and afraid that someone’s out to get you. You might do things that make no sense.”

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On the Left: Raw Cacao

Praised as an even healthier version of dark chocolate, and more versatile for cooking, raw cacao is sugar free, contains 9 grams of fiber per ounce, and is packed with iron, magnesium, and antioxidants. Raw food enthusiasts use it for raw desserts, and it’s lovely blended into smoothies.

Not to be confused with …

On the Right: Hash

Like marijuana, hash, or hashish, is a form of cannabis, although the THC content in hash is typically much higher than in marijuana. Hash has been used for recreational and religious purposes for thousands of years — traces of hash have been found in ancient tombs dating back to 300 BC, and the Sufis (a branch of Islam) are said to have used hash for spiritual exploration in early Persia.

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Pink Himalayan Salt

Mined from deep within the Himalayas, this pink sea salt is said to be the purest on earth. With more than 80 natural minerals and less sodium per serving than regular table salt, it’s become a favorite of fancy-schmancy gourmet cooks everywhere.

Not to be confused with …

Bath Salts

First investigated by Dateline and 20/20 in 2011, bath salts didn’t become known in the mainstream until a 31-year-old Miami man chewed off another man’s actual face while high on the drug. While bath salts contain synthetic chemicals similar to illegal amphetamines, they also contain legal properties, which have allowed the drug to be sold legitimately at smoke shops and some independent gas stations in the past. In the U.S., 45 states have already banned some or all of the chemicals found in bath salts.

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On the Left: Beet Juice

Brightly hued beet juice has a long history as a liver-cleanser and digestion aid, and has been found to lower blood pressure and fight anemia. Raw beets’ benefits are powerful, especially when juiced with other fruits and vegetables.

Not to be confused with …

On the Right: Sizzurp

Also known as “Purple Drank,” this mixture of prescription codeine cough syrup, Sprite or Mountain Dew, and “optionally, a Jolly Rancher candy thrown in for extra sweetness,” according to Wikipedia, causes a mellow but euphoric state — and sometimes violent seizures.

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On the Left: Spinach

A classic health superfood, the flavonoid compounds in spinach — more than a dozen — fight cancer, inflammation and intestinal issues. Spinach also contains more than a full daily dose of vitamin K, important for bone health. We like it as a salad base, sautéed with heaps of garlic, and blended into green smoothies.

Not to be confused with …

On the Right: Ahayuasca

The newest member of the recreational drug crowd, ahayuasca is a psychedelic drink made from the Banisteriopsis caapi vine. In South America, shamans have been overseeing ahayuasca rituals for thousands of years, said to create intense periods of clarity, introspection, and self-healing or purging, often called “the work.” Also, purging, literally — ahayuasca-drinkers typically experience long periods of intense shaking, vomiting and diarrhea. Still, ahayuasca has grown increasingly popular stateside in recent years, from Silverlake to Brooklyn.

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