Tag Archives: healthy

Super Foods: Spirulina

Spirulina: It’s categorized as a “superfood” because of its immense health qualities. It is a blue-green algae that is rich in protein, vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants and is said to help protect against cell damage. While much of the evidence supporting these claims are anecdotal, animal and test tube studies do suggest that spirulina can increase the production of antibodies, increase immunity, help to ward off infections and possible cancer. However, none of these tests were ever conducted on human studies, and the evidence is purely subjective to many individual experiences and a long history of use.

How Does It Help The Body?

  1. Protein Supplement: According to the University of Maryland, amino acids make up 62 percent of spirulina. Amino acids are used by the body to make proteins, helping to break down food, grow, and repair body tissue.
  2. Lipid Lowering: The hypolipidemic effects were first noticed in albino rats. The study found that HDL cholesterol was increased, while high hepatic lipids caused by a high fat diet was reduced by the consumption of spirulina.
  3. Immune Boost: Having such a high concentration of beta carotene, which the human body can make into vitamin A, helps kick start your immune system.

How Should You Eat It?

It’s a versatile product and can be added to various dishes. Here are a few ideas:

  1. Green Smoothie: A spoonful of this powder can boost the nutrients in your daily green drink or smoothie.
  2. Spirulina Pudding: Mix this into your favorite fruit pudding and enjoy.
  3. Salad Dressing: Mix this into some olive oil, lemon, a little bit of pepper, and dress your salad.

 

As always, please be sure to check with your physician before starting any supplement like spirulina, as it may interact with certain medications.

For more Superfoods and Health tips check out YahooHealth

Super Foods: Chia Seeds

In South America, as far back as 3000 BC, Chia Seeds (Salvia Hispanica) had been a staple of daily nutrition and commerce in Pre-Columbian societies. In Mayan and Aztec life, the seed was so important, it was incorporated into religious ceremonies and tribal trading, even having the harvest time for the seeds outlined in ancient Aztec calendars. It seems it only took modern day humans another 5000 years to revive the importance for these super seeds which are truly amazing and whose health benefits are still being discovered. It may be the single best all around food!

Consider these facts about Chia seeds:
– 2.5 times more protein than kidney beans
– 3 times the antioxidant strength of blueberries
– 3 times more iron than spinach
– 6 times more calcium than milk
– 7 times more vitamin C than oranges
– 8 times more omega-3 than salmon
– 10 times more fiber than rice
– 15 times more magnesium than broccoli

The Top Benefits of Chia Seeds

1. Lose Weight Without Starving

2. Balance Blood Sugar

3. Add healthy omega-3 oil to your diet

4. Nutrition 

5. Feel more energized all day long

6. Bake with less fat
Do you enjoy making baked goods at home, but hate all the butter and oil that has to go into them? Chia gel can substitute for half the butter in most recipes! The food will bake the same and taste the same (or better) from the addition of the chia gel.

Add age-defying anti-oxidants
Anti-oxidants have been in the news lately due to their super healthy benefits.

Blood Thinning Benefits

The problem of thicker blood can reduce circulation and be the precursor to various heart problems

Because they have a mild taste, the seeds can be added to any variety of meals, said Wayne Coates, author of Chia: The Complete Guide to the Ultimate Superfood. Sprinkle them on yogurt or salad, add them to smoothies or juice, use milled seeds for baking or soak the seeds until they form a gel that can be added to a variety of recipes.

Sources

PreventDisease 

superseeds.ca

theglobeandmail.com
nutraingredients.com

mychiaseeds.com
living-foods.com
icreatewisdom.com

How to … Fruit Infused Vitamin Water

It is critical to drink an adequate amount of water each day.  Water flushes toxins, cleanses the body, and it keeps skin looking healthy and vibrant.  I love drinking water, but I know that isn’t the case for everyone.  These fruit infused vitamin water recipes are perfect for someone who struggles to drink water everyday.

Homemade  vitamin water is not sugary like the varieties sold in stores.   Fruit infused water has a slight flavor of the fruit and herbs and the fruits give the water a little boost with added vitamins, phytonutrients, and minerals.  The homemade version is healthy, delicious and really easy to make.

To make the Fruit Infused Vitamin Water you will need the following:

  1. Water- distilled, purified, or alkaline
  2. mason jars of any size or glass water bottle
  3. Wooden spoon
  4. Blueberries
  5. Strawberries
  6. Blackberries
  7. Mint
  8. Cucumber
  9. Lemon
  10. Ginger

Ginger Lemon Water

Fill the mason jars with water of your choice.  Slice 1/2 lemon place in the water and add a 3 inch chunk of peeled and cut up ginger to the water.  Mash the fruits with wooden spoon and place lid on the jar.  Refrigerate the water for at least a couple of hours to let the flavors release into the water.  Ginger lemon Water is excellent to alkalize the body, and helps with any nausea.

Berrytastic Water 

3-4 strawberries or more

10 blueberries

8-10 blackberries

Slice the strawberries and place in jar of water along with blueberry and blackberries stir and mash a little with a wooden spoon.  This gives your water a delicious light berry flavor and berries are packed with antioxidants.  This water always a winner with my kids.

Cucumber mint

1/2  cucumber sliced
10 mint leaves
Tear the mint leaves and place them in the water with the cucumber slices.   Cucumber mint is a very hydrating, light,  and refreshing water.

Remember you can use just about any fruit and herb combination to make some of the most delicious infused water.  Let’s watch the video NOW to see the step-by-step instructions.  Go make some today!

Nicole

Source The Sweeter The Juice 

 

Afro Vegan Cook Book

Renowned chef and health activist, Bryant Terry shows us how we can do so by sharing some of his beautifully crafted Afro-Vegan recipes.

He presents delicious recipes that incorporate an assortment of wholesome and savory ingredients. CocoaSpiceCakeBryant adds a vegan twist to classics like Jamaican Patties, Spice Cake (pictured left) and grits as well as other dishes with unique and vibrant flavors such as Creamy Coconut-Cashew Soup with Okra, Corn and Tomatoes and Cinnamon-Soaked Wheat Berry Salad with dried apricots, carrots, and almonds all inspired by traditional cultural cuisine.

 

The book includes recipes for dishes like

Pan-Fried Grit Cakes with Crispy Leeks, Garlic and Thyme

Smothered Seitan Medallions in Mixed Mushroom Gravy

You can Order a copy of the book here at Barnes and Noble  or other online book stores  AfroVeganCover

7 Beer Benefits

The occasional pint of beer can improve many things: a bad mood, a bad day, a bad party… Pity it’s not as good for you as, say, wine. Or is it?

Actually, beer has just as many health benefits as its more sophisticated grape-y cousin… and maybe even a few more.

“Moderate consumption of beer can reduce the risk of blood clotting, gallstones and type 2 diabetes,” says Kelly Pritchett, Ph.D., RDN, CSSD, a nutritional epidemiology specialist at the Academy of Nutrition and Diatetics in Chicago.

1. It can give you shiny hair and great skin. Imagine soaking in a giant vat of bubbling lager. It’s more than just a beer-lover’s fantasy: So-called “beer spas” have popped up in a variety of places around the world. Bathers soak for around 20 minutes in a concoction of water and dark beer. The hops exfoliate the skin and detoxify the body, and the steam opens pores and boosts the absorption of beery minerals.

Beer contains proteins, vitamins, malt and yeast, which nourish the hair and balance pH. Some salons (and a few celebrity hairstylists) use “beer rinses” that make hair glossier and more voluminous. “The silicon in beer could also… strengthen the collagen protein in hair,” says Pritchett.

2. It strengthens bones. “Beer has a lot of silicon,” says Harvard Medical School professor Douglas Kiel, MD, director of the Musculoskeletal Research Center at Hebrew SeniorLife. Silicon, says Tucker, is important for bone formation, just like calcium, phosphates and vitamin D. It also stimulates bone growth, which is vital, since bone is a living tissue that is constantly breaking down and reforming.

3. It can help prevent kidney stones. Bone loss creates calcium deposits, which can result in painful kidney stones, Tucker says. Since beer stimulates bone growth, it can ward off those pesky stones. Compounds in the hops may also slow down the release of calcium from bones. And beer’s diuretic effect and high water content can also lower men’s risk of developing kidney stones, according to Pritchett.

4. It’s good for your heart. A team of Greek researchers discovered that beer boosts the health of the major blood vessels around the heart, making arteries more flexible and dramatically improving blood flow within just a few hours of consuming a pint. This is only true for nonsmokers (smoking does the opposite to blood vessels), but: Moderate beer drinking can lead to better cardiovascular health later in life. Studies show it can also reduce your risk of dying from heart disease.

5. It promotes better digestion and lowers cholesterol. The barley in beer contains soluble fiber — about 0.75 grams in lighter beer, and up to 3.1 grams in the darker variety. “All that soluble fiber helps decrease [bad] LDL cholesterol and increase [good] HDL cholesterol,” says Pritchett.

6. It helps ward off dementia. Recent research has found that moderate alcohol consumption (whether that involves drinking beer, wine or spirits) could lower your risk of developing dementia and Alzheimer’s later in life.

7. It might improve post-workout recovery. The makers of one soon-to-be-released beer in particular claim that drinking their brew can make your workouts more effective. Lean Machine Ale, created by a Canada-based beverage company, is a so-called “recovery ale” which is light on alcohol but rich in electrolytes and nutrients, so it reportedly replenishes lost fluid instead of dehydrating you like a regular beer would.

Remember: Beer isn’t exactly a health food. It only has the potential to benefit your health if you drink it in moderation. (That amounts to one 12-ounce bottle a day for the ladies, and two per day for men.) Drink any more than that on a regular basis, and you’ll likely do some serious damage to your body in the long run.

Source Upwave

History and Health of Coffee

The history of coffee

Coffee goes at least as far back as the thirteenth century with a number of myths surrounding its first use. The original native population of coffee is thought to have come from East Africa, and it was first cultivated by Arabs from the 14th century.[1] The earliest credible evidence of either coffee drinking or knowledge of the coffee tree appears in the middle of the 15th century, in the Sufi monasteries of Yemen.[2] By the 16th century, it had reached the rest of the Middle East, Persia,Turkey and northern Africa. Coffee then spread to Balkans, Italy and to the rest of Europe, to Indonesia and then to the Americas.[3]

The health of coffee 

Energy Booster

Coffee is basically a great energy booster and it is highly recommended for people who needed the pepping up in work or other activities. Coffee is vital for those who are working longer hours or those who needed to stay awake or wake up early in the morning. It boosts your energy level as well as sharpens your memory and brain. Thus, it is a great way of avoiding certain memory-related ailments such as Alzheimer’s disease or memory gaps.

Antioxidants Fight Disease

Coffee also helps in preventing serious ailments and health risks such as cancer, heart diseases, type 2 diabetes and liver damage among others. Caffeine is known to have antioxidants which help in battling free radicals in the body. Free radicals are known to increase cell damage which eventually results to cancer or liver damage such as cirrhosis. Moreover, coffee has chromium and magnesium which helps in regulating the insulin level of the body and basically stops type 2 diabetes.

Weight Loss Aid

Another important impact of coffee in your health is on weight loss. There are certain conceptions that coffee is a great way or instrument in losing weight. For instance, coffee increases the level of energy in the body which helps you endure longer hours of workout. Thus, the more and the longer you exercise, the more calories you shed or cut off your system which is done through boosting energy and drinking coffee.

Most coffee types are with a natural sweetness to the palette hence if you drink full-bodied coffee with lesser calories, your appetite craving is affected. You could significantly cut on your desserts which are main sources of calories and result to obesity and overweight.

Many Myths Are Not True

There are undoubtedly lots of health implications in drinking coffee especially in moderating or balancing your consumption. Nevertheless, there are also myths and misconceptions which could ruin the reputation of coffee and its supposedly good impact on your health. Some of the coffee myths include its hazardous effects on your health however there are also countering facts that could discredit the myths proliferating in the healthcare industry today.

Source:  CoffeeFacts and Wiki 

Spiced Lentil, Chickpea and Fava Bean Soup

Girl Cooks World 

This soup combines lentils, chickpeas and fava beans in a tomato broth spiced with ginger, turmeric and cinnamon- some of the best warming spices out there.  IMG_4791This soup has been passed down and refined from the original gruel that the Berbers used to warm themselves during the cold winters in Morocco’s Atlas mountain range.  If you’re short on time, feel free to used canned chickpeas or frozen fava beans.

INGREDIENTS:

* 3 Tablespoons olive oil
* 2 onions, sliced
* 4 cloves garlic, thinly sliced
* 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
* 1/2 teaspoon ground turmeric
* 1 teaspoon cinnamon
* 4 cups canned diced tomatoes, in their juice
* 1/2 teaspoon sugar
* 3/4 cup lentils, rinsed and drained
* 6 cups vegetable or chicken broth or stock
* 1 cup dried chickpeas, soaked overnight, boiled until tender, and drained (or substitute a 15 oz can of chickpeas)
* 1 cup dried fava beans, soaked overnight, boiled until tender, and drained
* 1/2 cup chopped cilantro
* salt and pepper to taste

DIRECTIONS:

Heat the oil in a stockpot or very large saucepan over medium heat. Add the onions and garlic and cook until the onion has softened. Add the ginger, turmeric, cinnamon and stir to mix. Stir in the diced tomatoes, sugar and lentil and pour in the broth or stock. Bring the mixture to a boil, then reduce heat and simmer, covered, until the lentils have softened, about 25 minutes.

Add the chickpeas and fava beans and simmer another 10 minutes to allow the flavors to meld and the soup to heat through.

Add the cilantro and add salt and pepper to taste

More great gluten-free recipes at Girl Cooks World 

Gloomy Day Smoothie

One thing i love is oranges…. So juicy and fresh especially when they are nice and cold. When I came across this recipe I had to give a try and test out the blend. It was delicious I tell you!

Ingredients

  • 1 mango – peeled, seeded, and cut into chunks
  • 1 banana, peeled and chopped
  • 1 cup orange juice
  • 1 cup vanilla nonfat yogurt

Directions

  1. Place mango, banana, orange juice, and yogurt in a blender. Blend until smooth. Serve in clear glasses, and drink with a bendy straw!

For more great recipes check out the site here

Sea Moss Dem Gals

“So, does Sea Moss really work? there’s no debating the drink’s strong nutritional value. Sea Moss has a rich mix of vitamins and minerals, most notably potassium, calcium and magnesium, that make it a favored elixir for treating everything from digestive disorders and ulcers, to depression, anxiety and even ADD. More popularly, though, Sea Moss is known to add a little extra potency to the main male ingredient required for baby-making. Guys, if you’re having a little trouble conceiving, a healthy helping of Sea Moss will ensure that your boys will swim!” – Taste of the Caribbean

INGREDIENTS

  • 1 cup Sea Moss gel
  • 2 cups of water (depending on thickness desired)
  • 1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/2 small can sweetened condensed milk or rice milk/almond milk  (7 oz)
  • Pinch of nutmeg for flavor

Phase 1: Preparing Sea Moss Gel

Soak the dried Sea Moss in cold water for 15 minutes. Wash algae thoroughly, but do not soak it overnight, as the algae will lose much of its nutritional value and potency. Next, fill a pot with two quarts of fresh water. Add the clean Sea Moss and two cinnamon sticks. Bring pot to boil. Once boiling, cover and simmer on low for 20-25 minutes. The algae will soften and the water will thicken. Remove from heat and discard cinnamon sticks. Allow the solution to cool and place it in the refrigerator overnight, allowing it to gel.

Phase 2: Preparing Sea Moss Drink

Combine all ingredients in a blender and mix on low speed until pieces of algae are finely chopped. That’s it!

Serve chilled, or over ice. Also, for an additional flavor boost, add a shot of rum.

According to Andrew, this recipe serves two… though there’s no telling how many it will produce!

For those of you who can’t find the raw Sea Moss ingredient at your local grocery store, check health food and nutritional retailers

More great Taste of the Caribbean: Here 

Other issues that Irish moss can help with include the following.

* Varicose veins
* Halitosis (bad breath)
* Dysentery
* Inflammation
* Problems with the urinary system
* Duodenal and peptic ulcers
* Strengthens connective tissues
* Strengthens hair, skin, and nail
* Swollen joints
* Thyroid conditions
* Glandular problems
* Tuberculosis
* Influenza
* Mumps viruses