Author Archives: ihearthealthyfoods

About ihearthealthyfoods

Gluten free and ready to eat gourmet meals are now available in SA.
We proudly bring you a range of healthy, ready to eat meals which not only are gluten and preservative free but at the same time are so delicious and tasty.
We do understand the need for convenience with work, kids, extracurricular activities….
One doesn’t have the time to go home and cook. Whether this is a regular occurrence or a once off situation, you need a healthy and convenient meal.
What’s even more difficult is not being able to go out and buy convenient meals with a gluten/wheat intolerance as most of your choices are loaded with preservatives and processed ingredients that are simply bad for you.
We now bring you the healthy alternative which has been developed with YOU in mind.

Recipe type: dinner

Cuisine: vegan, dairy-free, gluten-free
Serves: 3 bowls

Chickpea Curry in 15 minutes – super healthy & vegan – Trinity's Conscious

Recipe type: dinner
Cuisine: vegan, dairy-free, gluten-free
Serves: 3 bowls
Author: Trinity Bourne
Recipe type: dinner
Cuisine: vegan, dairy-free, gluten-free
Serves: 3 bowls

 

Ingredients

  • 1 leek (medium sized)
  • 200g mushrooms (3 large handfuls)
  • ½ tablespoon coconut oil (or alternative)
  • 1 small sweet potato
  • ¾ can coconut milk (1¼ cup)
  • 200ml passata (between ¾ & 1 cup)
  • ¾ tin chickpeas (1¼ cup)
  • 1 teaspoon sea salt
  • 1 heaped teaspoon curry powder (or garam masala)
  • ½ inch fresh ginger
  • 10 cardamom pods (optional)
  • Large handful of fresh basil leaves

Instructions:

  1. Chop leek and mushrooms into small pieces and sauté for a couple of minutes in the coconut oil.
  2. Whilst leek and mushrooms are cooking, slice sweet potato into wafer-thin slices and then toss in the pan.
  3. Be sure to keep replacing lid on pan, to keep the heat in and allow faster cooking.
  4. Add coconut milk and chickpeas (strain the chickpeas if they are from a can).
  5. Add salt.
  6. Add a heaped teaspoon of your favourite pre-blended curry powder or garam masala. Add more if you prefer a stronger taste.
  7. Finely grate (or crush with pestle & mortar) ginger and mix in.
  8. Optional: Crush cardamom seeds with pestle & mortar - being sure to remove the pods (optional). Add other favourite spices of choice to the pan at this point (perhaps a bit of chilli or ground coriander etc. - not necessary, but nice to play with if you have time and desire).
  9. This should all cook up within 15 minutes. Tear some basil leaves and mix them in right before serving (to retain their vibrancy and taste).
  10. Enjoy!
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” We have mutant seeds, grown in synthetic soil, bathed in chemicals, then deconstructed, pulverized

to fine dust, bleached and chemically treated to create a nutritionally void industrial filler that no other creature on the planet will eat. And we wonder why it might be making us sick?” –  www.grainstorm.com

I’ve read a few articles that suggested that Gluten Intolerance was just a fad. I wonder if they are suggesting that we’re faking it or that we’ll be able to eat wheat again, once we’ve decided that it was just a silly fad. Maybe I just don’t know what the word fad really means. Let’s go over to dictionary.com and see how they define the word fad.

fad  (fæd)
— n
1. an intense but short-lived fashion; craze
2. a personal idiosyncrasy or whim

People are actually getting sick, so I can’t see how it could just be a short lived craze. We’re not just miraculously going to be able to eat wheat again, especially the over processed wheat that we’ve all been eating.

Don’t you think the fact that so many of us are getting sick, makes it worth looking into or that it’s physical proof that our food system is tainted. I mean take a look around. We all know that our modern food system is adding poisonous pesticides and preservatives to our food. So why is it so hard to believe that this food could be making some of us sick. Do you think it’s just a coincidence?  We all know someone who is Gluten Intolerant or Celiac. So why do people say things like “oh, it’s just a fad” or “She’s probably just covering up an eating disorder.”

Some people may be going gluten free just to loose weight, but at least they are trying something different. Being over weight isn’t healthy and maybe gluten is partly to blame for that. We should encourage the people around us to make positive changes in their lives, rather than trash talking their choices behind their backs. I did loose weight by cutting out the gluten but I changed what I eat completely. It’s not just a diet that I’m on for a while to try to slim down. My goal was to feel better and weight loss was just a side effect.

The wheat we eat today isn’t the same wheat that we ate years ago.

For more on this subject check out this awesome article on  www.grainstorm.com. It makes some great points about modern wheat.

The article is titled What’s wrong with modern wheat , and goes on to say…

“How we turned an ancient food staple into toxic junk food…”

” We have mutant seeds, grown in synthetic soil, bathed in chemicals, then deconstructed, pulverized to fine dust, bleached and chemically treated to create a nutritionally void industrial filler that no other creature on the planet will eat. And we wonder why it might be making us sick?” Click here to read more of this article.

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Preparation time: 10 minutes (plus 3 hours to soak)

Serves: 5 to 10 balls (depending on size)

  • 100g (about 3½ oz) almonds (raw or blanched)
  • 100g (about 3½ oz) dates (pitted)
  • 2 tablespoons cocoa powder
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 tablespoons dessicated coconut

You will also need: a food processor or good quality blender

Image result for Easy Chocolate Truffles

How to make

  1. With enough water to rise a few centimeters above, soak almonds and dates in water for about 3 hours. This will soften them to make the blending process easier.
  2. After 3 hours thoroughly drain the dates and almonds (soaking for any longer will probably make them go a little too soft). Place in a food processor along with the vanilla extract and blend until they start to bind together. This mixture doesn’t have to be super smooth, although it works best if the pieces are really small and are starting to bind together.
  3. Add the cocoa powder and mix in until evenly spread throughout.
  4. Roll into small balls in your hands; and then roll the balls into the dessicated coconut to evenly coat and finish off.
  5. Enjoy fresh, just as they are – or pop into a container and store in the fridge (they’ll keep for at least a week – if you can resist!).

Simple Variations

Nuts: this recipe works well with cashews, walnuts or pecans too. Although, you don’t need to soak these ones (unlike the almonds) as they have a natural ‘blendable’ softness anyway.

Cocoa variation: try carob or lucuma powder as a cocoa alternative.

Coconut alternative: try rolling in sesame seeds or ground almonds instead.

Other sweet treats in Trinity’s Kitchen

 

Enjoy!

How to make

  1. With enough water to rise a few centimeters above, soak almonds and dates in water for about 3 hours. This will soften them to make the blending process easier.
  2. After 3 hours thoroughly drain the dates and almonds (soaking for any longer will probably make them go a little too soft). Place in a food processor along with the vanilla extract and blend until they start to bind together. This mixture doesn’t have to be super smooth, although it works best if the pieces are really small and are starting to bind together.
  3. Add the cocoa powder and mix in until evenly spread throughout.
  4. Roll into small balls in your hands; and then roll the balls into the dessicated coconut to evenly coat and finish off.
  5. Enjoy fresh, just as they are – or pop into a container and store in the fridge (they’ll keep for at least a week – if you can resist!).

Simple Variations

Nuts: this recipe works well with cashews, walnuts or pecans too. Although, you don’t need to soak these ones (unlike the almonds) as they have a natural ‘blendable’ softness anyway.

Cocoa variation: try carob or lucuma powder as a cocoa alternative.

Coconut alternative: try rolling in sesame seeds or ground almonds instead.

Other sweet treats in Trinity’s Kitchen

If you like this then you’ll love my other sweet treats and desserts here: Delicious Desserts

Enjoy!

How to make

  1. With enough water to rise a few centimeters above, soak almonds and dates in water for about 3 hours. This will soften them to make the blending process easier.
  2. After 3 hours thoroughly drain the dates and almonds (soaking for any longer will probably make them go a little too soft). Place in a food processor along with the vanilla extract and blend until they start to bind together. This mixture doesn’t have to be super smooth, although it works best if the pieces are really small and are starting to bind together.
  3. Add the cocoa powder and mix in until evenly spread throughout.
  4. Roll into small balls in your hands; and then roll the balls into the dessicated coconut to evenly coat and finish off.
  5. Enjoy fresh, just as they are – or pop into a container and store in the fridge (they’ll keep for at least a week – if you can resist!).

Simple Variations

Nuts: this recipe works well with cashews, walnuts or pecans too. Although, you don’t need to soak these ones (unlike the almonds) as they have a natural ‘blendable’ softness anyway.

Cocoa variation: try carob or lucuma powder as a cocoa alternative.

Coconut alternative: try rolling in sesame seeds or ground almonds instead.

Other sweet treats in Trinity’s Kitchen

If you like this then you’ll love my other sweet treats and desserts here: Delicious Desserts

Enjoy!

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Bacteria within the human gut usually have a symbiotic relationship with the immune system. Gut bacteria, or flora, help promote the early development of the gut’s immune system, stimulate the production of antibodies and fight harmful bacteria. A healthy immune system is largely dependent on how the gut bacteria are functioning. When there is a disturbance in this relationship, the immune system may not respond appropriately, resulting in Crohn’s disease, ulcerative colitis and even allergic reactions.

For patients with celiac disease or gluten sensitivity, the gut has a damaged relationship with the immune system. When people with celiac disease eat gluten-containing foods, their immune system responds by damaging the small intestine, and therefore inhibiting the body’s ability to appropriately absorb nutrients. Because of this, it is easy for these patients to become malnourished. For patients with gluten sensitivity, the symptoms are similar, but the gut is not damaged.

The gluten-free diet is necessary for patients with celiac disease and gluten sensitivity; however, emerging research shows that this diet may discourage some beneficial bacteria from populating in the gut. This can have a direct impact on immune health.

There are a variety of different counseling modifications RDs can make to accommodate for this change in gut health for patients with celiac disease. Some studies indicate that increasing intake of gluten-free whole grains can improve the amount of healthy bacteria in the gut. RDs working with these patients should also recommend a balance of prebiotics and probiotics, including:

  • Live yogurt
  • Sauerkraut
  • Kefir
  • Asparagus
  • Garlic
  • Onion

htps://www.glutenfree.com

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falafel

Ingredients:

– 240g chickpeas (or 1 tin drained)

300g sweet potatoes

2 large cloves garlic

1 handful fresh coriander leaves

¼ teaspoon ground cardamon

– 1 heaped teaspoon ground turmeric (or

– 1 heaped tablespoon of freshly grated)

– 2 teaspoons heaped ground coriander

1 teaspoon heaped ground cumin

2 tablespoons olive oil

1 heaped teaspoon sea salt

2 tablespoons gram flour (chickpea flour)

Extra gram flour for rolling with

You will also need:

A blender (hand/immersion or jug type) or food processor or strong potato masher

Directions:

  1. Scrub and chop the sweet potato and boil until soft with skin still included (approximately 10 minutes). Then drain and place in a mixing bowl.
  2. Crush garlic and chop along with coriander leaves (as small as you can) with a sharp knife.
  3. Add all ingredients into blender or food processor (EXCEPT the gram flour). I find this actually works best with a hand (immersion) blender. With a hand blender, you can apply downward pressure and get in there nicely… if you use a jug blender or food processor it will work fine if you keep scraping down the sides and loosen the mixture. Alternatively you could go for the real rustic effect and use a strong potato masher to do the job instead. Blend until most of the mixture is broken down. It doesn’t need to be totally smooth; it can be quite rustic.
  4. Once blended add the gram flour and continue to mix in with a spoon. If you leave it on the side for a while (half and hour or half a day) then it will firm up a little making it slightly easier to roll. I sometimes let it stand if I have time, but that’s not essential.
  5.  Chickpea moisture varies from batch to batch. The mixture should be soft and pliable, easy to roll into a ball in your hands. Take a heaped teaspoon worth of mixture and roll a small ball (this should be smaller than a golf ball). The delightful yellowness glow of the turmeric will rub off a bit on your hands. If you’d rather now yellow-out your hands then use extra gram flour to roll with. If your mixture is too soft to roll well, then add a little extra gram flour or use gram flour to roll in.
  6. Place on a lightly oiled baking tray and bake in preheated oven at gas mark 6 or 7 (200ËšC to 220ËšC) for approximately 30 minutes or until tanned.

Enjoy!

~ http://www.trinityskitchen.com
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Beneficial gut bacteria are the latest darlings of neurological health as researchers continue to uncover new and fascinating roles they play in our level of happiness, serenity and emotional well-being. Incredibly, a lack of specific types of gut bacteria (or excess of harmful microbes) are associated with autism, irritable bowel and chronic fatigue syndrome, along with a range of mood disorders — including anxiety, depression and poor response to stress. These microorganisms are so powerful that if they become imbalanced in the gut, it can mean the difference between living a joyful life or one where we can barely drag ourselves out of bed.

On top of that, cutting edge research just released by Northeastern University in Boston discovered a species of gut bacteria that “eat” brain chemicals — in this case gamma-aminobutyric acid, or GABA. What has scientists excited about the finding is the results of the study add to a growing body of evidence that show gut bacteria profoundly effect our brain and mental health.

How GABA Works

When normal levels of GABA are present in the brain, you feel calm, at ease and sleep well. On the opposite end — when you don’t have enough of this important neurotransmitter — stress, anxiety, nervousness, irritability and insomnia take over. You can also struggle with panic disorders, depression, epilepsy, Tourette’s syndrome, hypertension, dry skin and emotional issues associated with PMS. What’s more, inadequate levels result in poor digestion, bloating, flatulence and malabsorption since GABA stimulates secretion of digestive enzymes.

One way GABA reduces stress and other health complaints is by preventing nerve impulses linked with anxiety from reaching the motor centers of the brain. It also decreases beta brainwaves, while increasing alpha brainwaves. The first are associated with concentration, attention and alertness, but become imbalanced during periods of stress, which can lead to anxiety, insomnia and depression. In contrast, alpha brainwaves are produced when we’re engaged in meditative activities like yoga, t’ai chi, focusing on one task at a time, falling asleep and, yes, during meditation.

GABA is manufactured in the body by converting L-glutamine into glutamic acid or glutamate. Next, the enzyme glutamate decarboxylase steps in and converts glutamate to GABA. But for this enzyme to do its job properly, it needs the active form of Vitamin B6 — Pyridoxal-5-Phosphate (P5P). Zinc and the amino acid taurine also support the process.

Nutrients that increase GABA levels:

L-theanine — A plant-based amino acid found abundantly in green tea which encourages alpha brainwaves and strengthens response in GABA receptors.

Inositol — Part of the B-vitamin group, it can help reduce anxiety and depression by enhancing the ability of GABA to attatch to benzodiazepine receptors.

Magnesium — An important mineral that is severely lacking in modern western diets. It’s estimated that up to 80% of women, and 70% of men, have a magnesium deficiency — which is associated with anxiety, panic disorders, apathy, poor attention span, depression, insomnia, irritability and nervousness. When magnesium levels are adequate, the mineral activates GABA receptors.

Noni fruit — Native to French Polynesia — and traditionally used to ease nervous disorders — the fruit helps to calm anxiety by binding to GABA receptors in the brain.

Chamomile — Known to balance moods, this medicinal herb has sedative properties due to the flavonoid apigenin, which attaches to benzodiazepine and GABA receptors.

Other helpful herbs include valerian, kava, ginkgo biloba, passionflower, skullcap, hops, lemon balm and magnolia bark. Moreover, cultured and fermented foods — like yogurt and sauerkraut — naturally contain GABA. The same for fava beans, reishi mushrooms, sunflower seeds and tomatoes.

GABA, Gut Microbiome and Mental Health

“Although research on microbial communities related to psychiatric disorders may never lead to a cure, it could have astonishing relevance to improving patients’ quality of life.” ~Domenico Simone of George Washington University in Ashburn, Virginia.

A 2011 study showed the gut bacteria Lactobacillus rhamnosus significantly altered GABA activity for the better in the brains of test animals, and also improved their stress response. A subsequent study found the effects vanished when they severed the vagus nerve — a “superhighway” of sorts that connects the gut to the brain — leading the team to conclude there is a strong correlation between the “gut-brain axis” and emotional health.

And now scientists at Northeastern University discovered a specific bacteria in the gut (called Bacteroides fragilisKLE1758) that actually consumes GABA. “Nothing made it grow, except GABA,” said researcher Philip Strandwitz last month. The next step is to seek out other types of gut bacteria that eat or even produce GABA. He plans to study their effect on the behavior and brains of lab animals. There’s hope such research will eventually help create effective treatments for disorders like anxiety and depression.

~ http://wakeup-world.com/2016/08/24/scientists-discover-gut-bacteria-that-eat-brain-chemicals/

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INGREDIENTS
  • 6 Tbsp. lemon juice (fresh, from 2 lemons)
  • 6 Tbsp. olive oil
  • 2 tsp. minced garlic (from 3-4 cloves)
  • 2 tsp. salt
  • 1/2 tsp. pepper
  • 2 pounds boneless, skinless chicken tenders or breasts trimmed into strips
INSTRUCTIONS
  1. Line a small/medium sized bowl with a gallon Ziploc bag, folding the top of the bag over the sides of the bowl.
  2. Add the lemon juice, olive oil, minced garlic, salt, and pepper to the bag.
  3. Seal the bag and gently knead the bag from the outside to mix the contents.
  4. Unseal and put the bag back into the bowl, again folding the top of the bag over the sides of the bowl.
  5. As you trim your chicken tenders or breasts, drop them right into the bag in the bowl. When done, seal the bag up.
  6. Again, use your hands to gently knead the bag from the outside to mix the marinade and chicken thoroughly.
  7. Put the bag in the bowl, and place the bowl in the fridge to marinate for 6-8 hours. This way, if you by chance have any leak from the bag, it will be caught in the bowl, so you don't end up with a messy fridge!
  8. After marinating, remove chicken from bag and place on grill over direct heat.
  9. Grill chicken over direct heat for 1 minute each side. Then move to top rack/indirect heat and grill for 8 minutes, flipping partway through if desired.
  10. Discard bag and remaining marinade. Do not reuse.
  11. Serve with your favorite sides!
 Recipe from: Michelle @ MyGluten-freeKitchen.
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A diet rich in grains, veggies and fish
that’s easily made gluten free

When you picture foods from the Mediterranean, you might imagine colorful fruits and vegetables, hearty breads, pasta, fish and, of course, red wine.  But did you know that the Mediterranean style of eating is one of the healthiest, if not the healthiest, in the world?

Incorporating more Mediterranean-style foods can improve the nutritional profile of the gluten-free diet, while providing other health benefits to manage or prevent chronic diseases such as heart disease and diabetes. Keep in mind that physical activity is part of the Mediterranean way of life too.

Rich in history and health

Ancel Keys, Ph.D., was the first researcher to promote the Mediterranean style of eating, following the Seven Countries Study conducted shortly after World War II. The study examined the eating habits of almost 13,000 men in different areas of the world.

Keys and his colleagues found that people who lived in areas such as the Mediterranean, where it was common to eat a diet high in fruits, vegetables, fish, grains, beans, herbs, spices and healthy fats, had better cardiovascular health than those in the United States.

Since then the Mediterranean diet has been proven to offer many health benefits, particularly in the areas of heart disease and diabetes. A 2015 study from Harokopio University in Greece showed that a Mediterranean-style diet can reduce the risk of heart disease by 50 percent, an effect even more protective than exercise. There is some evidence that metabolic syndrome, a precursor to diabetes and heart disease, can be reversed by the Mediterranean diet.

A 2015 analysis of nine studies that involved nearly 1,200 patients found that people with Type 2 diabetes who ate a Mediterranean-style diet had improved blood sugar control, better cholesterol and triglyceride levels, better control of blood pressure, and improvements in weight. A 2014 Italian study found that the Mediterranean diet can slow the progression of diabetes, and yet another study showed a reduction in the development of diabetes-related eye disease.

But the benefits don’t end there. Additional studies have shown the Mediterranean diet improves cognitive function, eye health, sleep apnea and weight-to-body-mass index. The diet also reduces the risk of developing Alzheimer’s disease and inflammation in the body and helps prevent cancer.

Back to basics

The Mediterranean diet emphasizes whole grains, fruits, vegetables and healthy fat, but fish and seafood are eaten frequently, with poultry, eggs and cheese allowed in smaller amounts. Red meat and sweets are meant to be treats and aren’t eaten regularly.

Red wine is allowed in moderation—one five-ounce drink for women and two for men—along with plenty of water. Daily exercises, both strenuous and light, are important additions. And the diet encourages the social experience of eating shared meals.

 

Health benefits for those with celiac disease

The health benefits of the Mediterranean diet extend to those with celiac disease. “A Mediterranean diet is a great way to supply some of the nutrients that a standard gluten-free diet might otherwise be lacking,” says Kelly Toups, R.D., program manager for  the Whole Grains Council and Oldways, a nonprofit food and nutrition education organization.

A small study published in January 2016 in the European Journal of Clinical Nutrition found that those with celiac disease who followed gluten-free and Mediterranean-style diets were able to improve their nutritional status without becoming overweight or obese.

Weight gain can be an unwelcome consequence of following the gluten-free diet, but adoption of a Mediterranean diet can counter this side effect.

Med Diet Pyramid

And a 2010 study published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition showed that the diet reduces weight gain thought to be related to aging. Toups advises patients looking to lose weight to base their meals on the Mediterranean diet pyramid, making vegetables, whole grains and pulses including peas, lentils and chickpeas the basis for each recipe. Olive oil should be used as the primary fat, and fruits, nuts and fish added for flavor.

“There is no need to count calories or grams of different nutrients if the diet is based on filling, nutrient-dense foods,” she says.

In addition, the Mediterranean diet may have benefits for those with anemia, a common problem for those newly diagnosed with celiac disease. A 2009 study in theInternational Journal of Food Sciences and Nutrition found that adolescent boys who switched from a regular diet to a Mediterranean diet had increased absorption and retention of iron, even though the amount of iron in their diet did not increase.

As always, anyone who has anemia should work with their medical provider or dietitian to determine if an iron supplement is necessary. However, a Mediterranean diet can go a long way in keeping iron stores at proper levels,
even without red meat.

“The traditional recipes and food pairings of the Mediterranean diet serve as a blueprint for nutritionally balanced meals,” Toups notes. For example, not only are lentils, spinach, chickpeas and sardines all good sources of iron, but they are staples of the Mediterranean diet. They are also usually prepared with vitamin C sources, such as tomatoes or red peppers.

“Combining these foods can help increase the absorption of the non-heme iron,” according to Toups. Non-heme iron, the type of iron available in plant foods, is less absorbed than iron from animal foods. Other Mediterranean staples are even more impressive. A cup of canned white beans, for example, provides nearly half of the recommended daily value for iron.

Great grains

Whole grains play a big role in the Mediterranean diet, and though they are usually wheat based, it’s easy to substitute gluten-free choices.

In general those on the gluten-free diet have trouble getting the recommended amounts of whole grains. .

While more gluten-free products are now made with whole grains, many products still rely heavily on rice flour. And gluten-free consumers are just beginning to work whole grains into their diet plans.

Toups recommends polenta made from whole-grain cornmeal. “It was a staple in Italian and Greek Mediterranean traditions and is the perfect vessel for any assortment of legumes or seasonal vegetables,” she says.

You can also toss quinoa with tomatoes, olive oil, lemon juice and parsley for a gluten-free twist on the classic tabbouleh salad. Toups also recommends using whole-grain gluten-free breads and crackers for spreads such as hummus and utilizing gluten-free whole-grain pasta for a quick weeknight meal.

“Gluten-free steel-cut oats are my favorite secret weapon for making creamy, whole-grain risotto, although parboiled brown rice makes a suitable stand-in,” Toups notes. A gluten-free label on grain products is assurance that they meet the Food and Drug Administration standard for gluten-free food.

Oil change

Olive oil is used daily in the Mediterranean diet as the primary source of fat. It is high
in monounsaturated fats, as opposed to the saturated fats that are found in animal
fats such as butter.Butter-Olive oil substitution chart

The American Heart Association says that while the Mediterranean diet may contain as much as 25 to 35 percent fat, more than half of those fat calories
come from monounsaturated fats—due largely to the extensive use of olive oil.

For a light flavor for salads or vegetables, select extra-virgin olive oil. For frying and roasting, virgin olive oil works well. When purchasing olive oil, look for the bottling date and avoid any that is more than 18 months old. Additionally look for the words “cold pressed” because cold pressing oils keeps all of the health benefits and preserves flavor. Olive oil should be stored in a dark, cool place at home.

Olive oil can be used to toss gluten-free pasta, sauté vegetables or cook scrambled eggs. Add it to popcorn in place of butter and use it to marinate poultry or fish and as a dip for gluten-free breads. Olive oil can also be used instead of butter in gluten-free baking.

 Ideas for busy people

Adding another diet on top of the gluten-free diet may seem complicated, but it’s actually quite easy. Both use naturally gluten-free foods as building blocks.

Lentils can be added to soups or stir-fry or substituted for rice in stuffed peppers. You can make your own veggie burgers with lentils, quinoa, gluten-free oats and spices. Use whole-grain gluten-free pasta to make traditional spaghetti or baked ziti. Leftovers are great for a quick lunch the next day.

Canned salmon can be made into fish cakes by combining it with onions, egg, salt and pepper. Hold the mixture together with mashed potatoes or gluten-free panko crumbs.

Avocados are a versatile Mediterranean “superfood” full of healthy fats. Spread mashed avocado on a slice of gluten-free whole-grain toast or add diced avocado to omelets, vegetable salads or fruit salad made with berries, apples and mango. You can also slice avocados and layer them on sandwiches or in wraps.

Hummus, which is made from chickpeas, makes a great substitute for mayonnaise on sandwiches and in tuna and chicken salad or deviled eggs. It also works as a dip for vegetables instead of more fattening ranch dressing. Spread hummus on a gluten-free tortilla or bagel. To make a healthier pizza, top gluten-free crust with hummus, add vegetables and olives, and top with feta before baking. Serve hummus with gluten-free whole-grain crackers for a quick snack.

Greek yogurt is a good option for those who have lactose intolerance, as it is lower in lactose than other dairy products. Use it as a topping for vegetables or a bowl of gluten-free oatmeal finished with a layer of fruit. Substitute Greek yogurt for sour cream in dips or as a topping for baked potatoes. It also works in smoothies and can be topped with honey and walnuts for a delicious dessert.

If you rethink your approach to snacks, you’ll soon find that healthy nuts and seeds are as quick and portable as the packaged products you’re used to eating. And they can easily be incorporated into recipes.

Add chopped peanuts to gluten-free pasta or roasted vegetables for extra flavor and crunch. Spread peanut butter on gluten-free waffles, or combine with Dijon mustard and honey to create a dipping sauce for gluten-free chicken tenders. Add walnuts to gluten-free oatmeal or cooked buckwheat cereal, or make a morning
smoothie with Greek yogurt, peanut butter, honey and walnuts.

A happy table

One of the joys of the Mediterranean diet is its emphasis on eating as a social activity. For those who are gluten free and often feel left out when others gather around the table, this part of the Mediterranean diet can be refreshing.

“An important aspect of the Mediterranean diet is sharing food in the company of friends and family, savoring the social interaction as much as the delicious flavors,” Toups says. “The Mediterranean diet is about food from a simpler time, where unfussy mixed dishes brimming with seasonal vegetables were the norm.

“Don’t overlook a nice soup and salad combo. Soups and stews were a very resourceful way for Mediterranean families to incorporate local or leftover produce into healthy, hearty meals.” Toups also encourages people with celiac disease to select gluten-free pasta when it’s available at a restaurant. Ask to have it topped with olive oil, tomato sauce, veggies, or seafood and fresh herbs.

Small steps

Research shows making even the smallest steps toward a Mediterranean-style diet can lead to benefits.

If it seems overwhelming to make a wholesale change, try one step toward the Mediterranean diet every week. For example start by using olive oil for cooking instead of vegetable oil. Then add more beans and nuts over the next few weeks. Since these foods contain more fiber, be sure to drink more water to avoid constipation.

The Mediterranean diet can help relieve the culinary boredom some people feel on the gluten-free diet because it includes such a wide variety of foods prepared in simple but flavorful ways. Before long you’ll be enjoying your food more and feeling better than ever at the same time you are improving the nutritional quality of your diet.


 

Sorghum Pasta Salad with Oregano, Feta Cheese and Cucumbers

SERVES 12

 

Sorghum pasta salad

Ingredients
• 9 cups water
• 1 tablespoon sea salt, plus a dash for boiling
• 3 cups sorghum
• ¾ cup chopped fresh oregano
• 6 scallions, white and tender green parts, chopped
• ¾ cup extra-virgin olive oil
• 9 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
• 3 tablespoons grated lemon zest
• 3 cups chopped English cucumbers
• 1 cup toasted pine nuts
• 3 cups crumbled feta cheese
• ½ teaspoon ground red pepper

 

Directions
Bring the water and a dash of salt to a boil in a large saucepan and add the sorghum. Simmer uncovered for 30-40 minutes or until all the water is absorbed and the sorghum is the consistency of cooked rice. Cool to room temperature, fluffing with a fork occasionally.

In a medium bowl, combine the oregano, the scallions, olive oil, lemon juice, lemon zest, cucumbers, pine nuts, feta cheese, red pepper and salt. Add the cooked sorghum and mix.

Recipe courtesy of Oldwayspt.org

~ Extracted from

http://www.glutenfreeliving.com/gluten-free-foods/diet/follow-mediterranean-example/

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Clean Eating Made Easy (Really!)

Embrace fresh, whole ingredients by following these smart tips.

1. There is no one ideal diet.

You don’t have to eat the superfoods that seem trendy. Everyone’s diet will be a little different, based on your individual makeup. The most important thing is to eat whole, organic, fresh foods that make your body feel good.

2. If a food makes you feel lousy, it’s not for you.

Forget the trends or whatever the buzziest superstar is doing. You are the expert on what you can eat. No matter what anyone says, if something doesn’t make you feel good when you eat it, you can choose to eliminate it from your diet.

It’s a lesson the gluten-free diet teaches well. For those who have celiac disease or gluten sensitivity, cutting out gluten is the only treatment and is the key to getting rid of symptoms and achieving good health. For a long time lack of gluten-free processed food meant that those who followed the gluten-free diet almost automatically relied on fresh, natural foods. The introduction of many processed gluten-free products has changed that, but you can still decide to follow a simple, clean gluten-free eating plan.

Real, clean food should never make you feel lethargic, bloated or irritable. It should make you feel energized and amazing. Trust me, I don’t advocate deprivation. You can still create incredible flavor with whole foods and enjoy every bite without feeling deprived.

3. Feed your body, not just your belly.

You do not subsist on calories alone. You need a whole spectrum of nutrients and vitamins. A 100-calorie snack pack is not the equivalent of 100 calories from an avocado. Choose foods with one ingredient, such as avocados, bananas, walnuts and spinach, and you’ll be feeding your body, not just satisfying your hunger pangs.

4. Processed food can’t hold a candle to one-ingredient foods.

Food in its whole form is the healthiest version. That’s my rule of thumb, and it should be yours, too. The more a food is processed, the less of its original nutrients remain. Do more of the processing yourself, be it heating, blending or chopping, and leave less of it to food manufacturers.

5. Your diet should change with the seasons.

Through the magic of the modern food economy (and I say that slightly tongue-in-cheek), you can get plenty of food year round. But the healthiest diets shift throughout the year. There’s a reason you want bright, juicy berries in the summer and crave hearty butternut squash in the fall. That’s when these foods are at their peak and when you should be eating them.

Part of the fun of clean eating is the anticipation of enjoying foods in season. I can barely wait for August when tomatoes are at their ripe, perfumed best. I love the fall for its rich, caramelized root vegetables, such as parsnips and carrots.

6. A healthy diet gives you more options, not fewer.

Eating clean is not restricted eating; it’s adventurous. It pushes you to try new fresh foods that you otherwise might bypass on your way to pick up something boxed or bagged. Look for probiotic-rich foods, such as sauerkraut, kimchi and chickpea miso, and prebiotic-rich foods, such as onions, garlic, asparagus and leeks. Reach for turmeric, whole mustard seeds, fresh ginger, unsweetened cocoa powder and cinnamon, all of which can contribute to good health.

Clean Eating Basics

What you put in your shopping cart matters

One of the first steps toward clean eating is clean food shopping. Here’s how:

Try a new food. Try one new whole food ingredient each week; it will encourage you to get a little creative with your meals. And you may find a new ingredient you love.

Buy only what you need. This is the best way to stock your refrigerator while saving money. For fresh foods that spoil quickly, don’t buy larger quantities than you and your family can eat. Nothing will turn you off from clean eating faster than vegetables and fruits that go soft and slimy and have to be thrown out. Also be mindful of foods you know you’ll never eat. If you really aren’t going to eat kale after that first try, don’t buy it again just because everyone else is.

Make a list. Organize your shopping list according to where you’ll find items such as produce, gluten-free whole grains, spices, frozen veggies, etc. Include the new food you want to try, and mainly stick to the list to avoid making spur-of-the-moment impulse buys.

Get creative. You might have kale on your shopping list, but collards are on sale. Go for the collards; sometimes you have to let your wallet do the talking.

Stock your freezer. Keeping ready-to-eat homemade foods in your freezer is like  finding ten dollars in your coat pocket. Just when you couldn’t figure out what to do for a meal, you have that nice, perhaps forgotten, back up. Roast or grill veggies and freeze them in small batches. Keep frozen berries for morning smoothies all year round.

Watch out for hidden ingredients. Learn how to identify any ingredients you are trying to avoid. They’re not always as obvious as you may think.

Look for organic. Check out the little stickers on your fresh produce.

Shop online for bulk. Buying staples such as legumes and grains in bulk can save you money. Online shopping for larger quantities will enable you to take advantage of lower costs without exposing you to the cross-contamination that commonly occurs in bulk bins in supermarkets and health food stores.

~ http://www.glutenfreeliving.com/gluten-free-foods/gluten-free-nutrition/clean-eating-made-easy-really/

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  • Yield 16 marshmallows
  • Prep Time 5 mins | Cook time 30 min
Ingredients
  • 1 cup(ish) (about 225 grams) powdered sugar
  • 1 cup cold water, divided
  • 3 (1/4 ounce) packets of unflavored gelatin
  • A small amount of green food coloring (optional)
  • 2 cups (400 grams) sugar
  • ? (315 grams) cup light corn syrup
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon mint extract
  • 2 cups (1 – 12 ounce bag or 340 grams) semi sweet chocolate chips

Directions

  1. Grease an 8×8? (I used a 7×11?) cake pan and shake the powdered sugar inside so that you have a light coating of powdered sugar. (Like you are greasing and flouring a cake pan) and set aside. Put the extra powdered sugar in a bowl, you will need it again.
  2. In the bowl of a stand mixer fit with the whisk attachment, place the gelatin and half the water into the bowl and add a small amount of food coloring if you would like (I like my mint chip items green).
  3. In a medium sauce pan over medium heat, combine the granulated sugar, corn syrup, salt and the remaining half cup of water. Stir gently until the sugar is dissolved, and then with the help of a candy thermometer, boil the sugar mixture until it is 240 degrees. You know you are getting close when it starts to foam up and then settles back down. Do not over cook the sugar or you will have caramel.
  4. BE CAREFUL! You are going to be handling hot sugar.
  5. You are going to pour this into the gelatin mixture in about 4 small additions, whisking the previous amount in completely and then stopping the mixer and adding a little more. You could stream it in down the side, but it wont hurt anything to stop and start, and you will end up with less sugar on the sides of the bowl.
  6. Once all of the hot sugar has been added, you are going to slowly increase the speed on your mixer to high and then let her rip for about 12 minutes. The marshmallow will start to be thick and glossy.
  7. Add the mint extract and beat on high for about 3 more minutes.
  8. If your mixer has a glass bowl, adding the mini chips now will make them melt. You want the mixture to be only slightly warmer than your hands before you add in the chips.
  9. Spread the mixture into the pan, and smooth with an offset spatula. If it is sticking too much, wet the spatula.
  10. Sprinkle the top with powdered sugar and let sit for at least 4 hours.
  11. Cut into 16 pieces if you are using the 8×8 or 24 pieces if you are using the 7×11.
  12. You can toss them in a little more powdered sugar to keep them from sticking together, but you will want to make sure that any excess is tapped off. You only want enough to make them not sticky. You can skip this part if you plan on dipping them in chocolate.
  13. They will keep, tightly sealed at room temperature for…well they were all consumed within 48 hours

Courtesy:  Mary Fran Wiley, Frannycakes

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fermented-foods

 

Fermented food has made a comeback in recent years, partially thanks to the popularization of Weston A. Price teachings. Fermented foods like sauerkraut and kimchi aren’t considered to be the most appealing types of food; however, research exploring these and other fermented products on gut, brain, and body health has revitalized public interest.

The fermentation process encourages essential bacteria such as Lactobacilli and Bifidobacteria to flourish. This makes fermentation a good source of probiotics for vegans, since many fermented foods are plant based. Vegetables are submerged in a salty brine during preparation to kill off dangerous, pathogenic bacteria. The good bacteria break down lactose and other sugars and starches in the food, making digestion easier. And once they reach your gut, they continue to help break down food and keep out bad guys like E. coli and C. difficile.

The Best Fermented Foods

When it comes to fermented foods, your options aren’t limited to sauerkraut or fermented soy. There’s other fantastic options that are considered “fermented,” including tea, yogurt, and various vegetables. Here are the 9 best fermented foods you should be eating for your gut.

1. Yogurt

Yogurt has many benefits, mostly due to its rich probiotic content. Brands of yogurt that contain billions of live active cultures may support digestion, and some research indicates it could even benefit the skin. [1] Raw, unpasteurized yogurt is ideal if you can handle dairy. Personally, I tend to skip dairy altogether, but you can find dairy-free yogurt options at many stores these days, some of which are made from coconut and almond milk. Be sure you’re choosing yogurt that contains live active cultures, and try to choose plain, full-fat versions in order to avoid sugar. Yogurt that contains sugar can be counterproductive, as sugars feed pathogenic bacteria and contribute to sugar overload.

2. Natto

Natto is prepared with soybeans and is fermented so it forms the beneficial bacteria Bacillus. It’s an excellent source of calcium, iron, dietary fiber, and vitamin K2. You may not have heard a lot about it, but K2 is essential for heart health as it keeps calcium out of your arteries and gets it to your bones where it’s needed. Natto also contains nattokinase, a powerful anti-clotting agent that protects your heart and brain and lowers your blood pressure.

3. Kefir

Kefir is a bit like yogurt, except that it’s more of a drinkable consistency. Researchers report kefir may reduce irritation in the intestines, preventing toxins and other pathogens from getting into the blood. [2] If you’re choosing to drink dairy kefir, make sure it’s organic and isn’t loaded with refined sugar. There are options for making your own dairy-free water kefir, and many health food companies online sell kefir grains specifically for this purpose. You can also check out our recipe for making coconut milk kefir.

4. Kombucha

Made from tea, clean water, sugar, yeast, and bacteria, kombucha has become popular recently for its probiotic qualities. Its fizzy bite is also popular among those used to drinking soda. Research finds this fermented tea fights off E. coli and Staph bacteria in the digestive tract, possibly protecting against illness and aiding digestion. [3]

How to Make Kombucha - Copy
Learn how to make your own homemade Kombucha here.

5. Sauerkraut

Traditional sauerkraut preparation uses water, salt, and cabbage, and very little heat is applied to the final product in order to prevent killing off beneficial microbes. The sour taste comes from lacto-fermentation, or the breakdown of lactose by the probiotic bacteria native to the cabbage. A serving gives you a powerful dose of healthy probiotics that aid digestion, and research has found raw sauerkraut prevents cancer cells from forming. [4] Be sure to purchase raw sauerkraut, or better yet, make it yourself with organic cabbage and Himalayan salt.

6. Kimchi

This spicy Asian fermented cabbage, similar to sauerkraut, provides you with loads of probiotics. Extensive research indicates it contributes to colon health, lower cholesterol, better thinking, a stronger immune system, healthy skin, and weight loss. Additional research also shows it has anti-oxidative, anti-aging, and immune-supporting properties.

7. Tempeh

This Indonesian ‘cake’ has a nutty flavor and chewy texture, and because of this it is often used as a replacement for meat in many vegan recipes. Traditionally made from soybeans and a yeast starter, it undergoes controlled fermentation that makes it a great source of probiotic bacteria. Tempeh is also a great source of calcium, iron, and magnesium.

8. Pickles

Raw pickles, much like sauerkraut, makes for a great introduction to fermented foods. Pickles made by lacto-fermentation makes this a delicious snack and a great food for aiding digestion and supporting a strong immune system.

9. Lassi

Yogurt and fermented dairy play an important role in Indian cuisine. Lassi is made by combining yogurt and milk (or water) and sometimes fruit and spices to create a great probiotic-rich drink. It digests quickly, helps restore friendly gut bacteria, and soothes irritation in the colon. Again, I don’t recommend consuming conventional dairy, especially from cows. If you are going to drink lassi, it’s best to find a product using grass-fed, free-range goat milk. Goat milk tends to digest more easily. If you’re vegan, try finding or making lassi with organic coconut or almond milk yogurt.

Digestion-01

Other Tips to Support Digestion

Each of these 9 probiotic foods will help restore balance to your intestinal ecosystem, but they’re not the only way to support digestion. Prebiotics, or foods containing inulin, sustain your current gut bacteria by providing them the foods they need to thrive. Probiotic supplements, digestive enzymes, and colon and liver cleansing are also great ways to support your digestive system.

What probiotic foods do you eat? Share your tips and recipes with us!

– Dr. Edward F. Group III, DC, NP, DACBN, DCBCN, DABFM

By Dr. Edward Group

Guest Writer for Wake Up World

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3 cups cauliflower, riced (1 medium head run through the food processor)
1 teaspoon dried basil
1 teaspoon garlic powder
1/4 teaspoon kosher salt, plus a bit more
2 tablespoons hazelnut, cashew or almond meal
1 tablespoon flaxseed meal or tapioca starch
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 egg
additional:
1/4 cup of sauce
desired toppings
Preheat oven to 450 degrees. Line a baking sheet or pizza stone with greased parchment or a Silpat.
Place the cauliflower in a microwave-safe bowl and cover. Microwave on high for 4 minutes. Line a colander with cheesecloth or a dish towel and pour the hot cauliflower on top. Once the the cauliflower has cooled and started to drain, wrap it up in the towel and squeeze out as much moisture as possible. This is a critical step, don’t skip it.
Add cauliflower and all other ingredients to a large bowl, and mix until thoroughly combined. Turn the dough onto the parchment or Silpat, and spread into desired shape, leaving the crust about 1/4 inch thick. Bake for 12-15 minutes, or until edges are beginning to look crispy and brown.  Remove from oven and add sauce and desired toppings, bake for 5-8 minutes more.
Allow to cool for at least 5 minutes, and enjoy!
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In functional medicine, we believe that every system in the body is connected. Your digestive and hormonal systems, for example, aren't independent of one another. At the center of it all is a properly functioning digestive system.

When your gut is unhealthy, it can cause more than just stomach pain, gas, bloating, or diarrhea. Because 60-80% of our immune system is located in our gut, gut imbalances have been linked to hormonal imbalances, autoimmune diseases, diabetes, chronic fatigue, fibromyalgia, anxiety, depression, eczema, rosacea, and other chronic health problems.

10 Signs You Have an Unhealthy Gut

1. Digestive issues like bloating, gas, diarrhea

2. Food allergies or sensitivities

3. Anxiety

4. Depression

5. Mood swings, irritability

6. Skin problems like eczema, rosacea

7. Diabetes

8. Autoimmune disease

9. Frequent Infections

10. Poor memory and concentration, ADD or ADHD

The 4 R Program

 

1. Remove

Remove the bad. The goal is to get rid of things that negatively affect the environment of the gut, such as inflammatory foods, infections, and irritants like alcohol, caffeine, or drugs.

Inflammatory foods, such as gluten, dairy, corn, soy, eggs, and sugar, can lead to food sensitivities. I recommend an elimination diet as the starting point to identify which foods are problematic for you, in which you remove the foods for two weeks or more and then add them back in, one at a time, taking note of your body’s response.

Infections can be from parasites, yeast, or bacteria. A comprehensive stool analysis is key to determining the levels of good bacteria as well as any infections that may be present. Removing the infections may require treatment with herbs, anti-parasite medication, antifungal medication, antifungal supplements, or even antibiotics.

2. Replace

Replace the good. Add back in the essential ingredients for proper digestion and absorption that may have been depleted by diet, drugs (such as antacid medications), diseases or aging. This includes digestive enzymes, hydrochloric acid, and bile acids that are required for proper digestion.

3. Reinoculate

Restoring beneficial bacteria to reestablish a healthy balance of good bacteria is critical. This may be accomplished by taking a probiotic supplement that contains beneficial bacteria such as bifidobacteria and lactobacillus species. I recommend anywhere from 25 -100 billion units a day. Also, taking a prebiotic (food for the good bacteria) supplement or consuming foods high in soluble fiber is important.

4. Repair

Providing the nutrients necessary to help the gut to repair itself is essential. One of my favorite supplements is L-glutamine, an amino acid that helps to rejuvenate the gut wall lining. Other key nutrients include zinc, omega-3 fish oils, vitamin A, C, and E, as well as herbs such as slippery elm and aloe vera.

10 Signs You Have An Unhealthy Gut & How To Heal It!

~ http://www.mindbodygreen.com/

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Healthy eating is not about strict dietary limitations, staying unrealistically thin, or depriving yourself of the foods you love. Rather, it’s about feeling great, having more energy, improving your outlook, and stabilizing your mood.
If you feel overwhelmed by all the conflicting nutrition and diet advice out there, you’re not alone. It seems that for every expert who tells you a certain food is good for you, you’ll find another saying exactly the opposite.
But by using these simple tips, you can cut through the confusion and learn how to create a tasty, varied, and healthy diet that is as good for your mind as it is for your body.
How does healthy eating affect mental and emotional health?
We all know that eating right can help you maintain a healthy weight and avoid certain health problems, but your diet can also have a profound effect on your mood and sense of well being.
Studies have linked eating a typical Western diet—filled with processed meats, packaged meals, takeout food, and sugary snacks—with higher rates of depression, stress, bipolar disorder, and anxiety.
Eating an unhealthy diet may even play a role in the development of mental health disorders such as ADHD, Alzheimer’s disease, and schizophrenia, or in the increased risk of suicide in young people.
Eating more fresh fruits and vegetables, cooking meals at home, and reducing your intake of sugar and refined carbohydrates, on the other hand, may help to improve mood and lower your risk for mental health problems.
If you have already been diagnosed with a mental health problem, eating well can even help to manage your symptoms and regain control of your life.
While some specific foods or nutrients have been shown to have a beneficial effect on mood, it’s your overall dietary pattern that is most important.
That means switching to a healthy diet doesn’t have to be an all or nothing proposition.
You don’t have to be perfect and you don’t have to completely eliminate foods you enjoy to have a healthy diet and make a difference to the way you think and feel. 

     Healthy eating tip 1: Set yourself up for success

To set yourself up for success, think about planning a healthy diet as a number of small, manageable steps—like adding a salad to your diet once a day—rather than one big drastic change. As your small changes become habit, you can continue to add more healthy choices.

  • Prepare more of your own meals. Cooking more meals at home can help you take charge of what you’re eating and better monitor exactly what goes into your food.
  • Make the right changes. When cutting back on unhealthy foods in your diet, it’s important to replace them with healthy alternatives. Replacing dangerous trans fats with healthy fats (such as switching fried chicken for grilled fish) will make a positive difference to your health. Switching animal fats for refined carbohydrates, though (such as switching your breakfast bacon for a donut), won’t lower your risk for heart disease or improve your mood.
  • Simplify. Instead of being overly concerned with counting calories, think of your diet in terms of color, variety, and freshness. Focus on avoiding packaged and processed foods and opting for more fresh ingredients.
  • Read the labels. It’s important to be aware of what’s in your food as manufacturers often hide large amounts of sugar or unhealthy fats in packaged food, even food claiming to be healthy.
  • Focus on how you feel after eating. This will help foster healthy new habits and tastes. The more healthy food you eat, the better you’ll feel after a meal. The more junk food you eat, the more likely you are to feel uncomfortable, nauseous, or drained of energy.
  • Drink plenty of water. Water helps flush our systems of waste products and toxins, yet many people go through life dehydrated—causing tiredness, low energy, and headaches. It’s common to mistake thirst for hunger, so staying well hydrated will also help you make healthier food choices.

     Healthy eating tip 2: Reduce sugar

Aside from portion size, perhaps the single biggest problem with the modern Western diet is the amount of added sugar in our food. As well as creating weight problems, too much sugar causes energy spikes and has been linked to diabetes, depression, and even an increase in suicidal behaviors in young people. Reducing the amount of candy and desserts you eat is only part of the solution as sugar is also hidden in foods such as bread, cereals, canned soups and vegetables, pasta sauce, margarine, instant mashed potatoes, frozen dinners, low-fat meals, fast food, and ketchup. Your body gets all it needs from sugar naturally occurring in food so all this added sugar just means a lot of empty calories.

Tips for cutting down on sugar

  • Slowly reduce the sugar in your diet a little at a time to give your taste buds time to adjust and wean yourself off the craving.
  • Avoid sugary drinks. Try drinking sparkling water with a splash of fruit juice instead.
  • Don’t replace saturated fat with sugar. Many of us make the mistake of replacing healthy sources of saturated fat, such as whole milk dairy, with refined carbs or sugary foods, thinking we’re making a healthier choice. Low-fat doesn’t necessarily mean healthy, especially when the fat has been replaced by added sugar to make up for loss of taste.
  • Avoid processed or packaged foods like canned soups, frozen dinners, or low-fat meals that often contain hidden sugar that quickly surpasses the recommended limit.
  • Be careful when eating out.  Most gravy, dressings and sauces are also packed with salt and sugar, so ask for it to be served on the side.
  • Eat healthier snacks.  Cut down on sweet snacks such as candy, chocolate, and cakes. Instead, eat naturally sweet food such as fruit, peppers, or natural peanut butter to satisfy your sweet tooth.
  • Check labels and choose low-sugar products.

     

    Healthy eating tip 3: Enjoy healthy fats

    Despite what you may have been told, not all fats are unhealthy. While “bad” fats can increase your risk of certain diseases, “good” fats are essential to physical and emotional health. Foods rich in certain omega-3 fats, for example, can reduce your risk of cardiovascular disease, improve your mood, and help prevent dementia.Good fats

    • Monounsaturated fats from avocados, nuts (like almonds, hazelnuts, and pecans), and seeds (such as pumpkin and sesame).
    • Polyunsaturated fats, including Omega-3s, found in fatty fish such as salmon, herring, mackerel, anchovies, sardines, and some cold water fish oil supplements. Good vegetarian sources of polyunsaturated fats include flaxseed and walnuts.

    Bad fats

    • Trans fats, found in processed foods, vegetable shortenings, margarines, crackers, candies, cookies, snack foods, fried foods, baked goods, or anything with “partially hydrogenated” oil in the ingredients, even if it claims to be trans-fat free.

    The debate about saturated fats

    Saturated fats are mainly found in tropical oils, dairy, and animal products such as red meat, while poultry and fish also contain some saturated fat. The latest news in the nutritional world studies—with old and new studies to back them up—suggest that not all saturated fat is a dietary demon, either. While many prominent health organizations maintain that eating saturated fat from any source increases the risk of heart disease and stroke, other nutrition experts take a different view. The new argument is that saturated fat contributes to weight control and overall health.

    Of course, not all saturated fat is the same. The saturated fat in whole milk, coconut oil, or salmon is different to the unhealthy saturated fat found in pizza, French fries, and processed meat products (such as ham, sausage, hot dogs, salami, and other cold cuts) which have been linked to coronary disease and cancer.

    Healthy eating tip 4: Watch your salt intake

    Sodium is another ingredient that is frequently added to food to improve taste, even though your body needs less than one gram of sodium a day (about half a teaspoon of table salt). Eating too much salt can cause high blood pressure and lead to an increased risk of stroke, heart disease, kidney disease, memory loss, and erectile dysfunction. It may also worsen symptoms of bipolar disorder.

    • Use herbs and spices such as garlic, curry powder, cayenne or black pepper to improve the flavor of meals instead of salt.
    • Be careful when eating out. Most restaurant and fast food meals are loaded with sodium. Some offer lower-sodium choices or you can ask for your meal to be made without salt.
    • Buy unsalted nuts and add a little of your own salt until your taste buds are accustomed to eating them salt-free
    • .

    http://www.helpguide.org/articles/healthy-eating/healthy-eating.htm

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INGREDIENTS
For the Dill Greek Yogurt Sauce:
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • 1 cup chopped fresh dill, stems removed
  • 1¼ cup Greek yogurt
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • Juice of ½ lemon or lime
  • Pinch cayenne pepper, optional
  • Salt, if needed
For the Grilled Chicken:
  • 10 garlic cloves, minced
  • ½ tsp paprika
  • ½ tsp allspice
  • ½ tsp ground nutmeg
  • ¼ tsp ground green cardamom
  • Salt and pepper
  • 5 tbsp olive oil, divided
  • 8 boneless, skinless chicken thighs
  • 1 medium size red onion, sliced
  • Juice of 1-2 lemons
INSTRUCTIONS
  1. First make the dill Greek yogurt sauce. Combine the minced garlic, fresh dill, yogurt, olive oil, lemon juice and cayenne pepper in a food processor. Run the food processor until all the ingredients are well blended and a smooth thick sauce or dip develops. Test and add salt if needed. Transfer to a small bowl or container, cover and refrigerate for at least one hour or until ready to use.
  2. In a small bowl, mix together the minced garlic, spices and 3 tbsp olive oil. Pat the chicken thighs dry and rub each with the garlic-spice mixture.
  3. Place the spiced chicken thighs in a large tray on a bed of sliced red onions with lemon juice and the remaining 2 tbsp olive oil. Cover and refrigerate for 2-4 hours or overnight.
  4. When ready, heat a gas grill to medium-high. Place the chicken thighs on the grill. Cover for 5-6 minutes, then turn the chicken over and grill for another 5-6 minutes covered.
  5. Serve with a side of the dill Greek yogurt dip you prepared earlier!
  6. To complete this light meal, add Greek potatoes or pita bread and a salad like Fattoush Salad.
NOTES
- The dill Greek yogurt sauce will keep well overnight, but you may have to discard any extra        moisture that shows up on top. Give it a quick stir before serving.

- You can use chicken breasts if you prefer, adjust the cooking time accordingly.

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Five Ways to Improve your Microbiome1. Eat organic vegetables and fruits

Vegetables and fruits that are sprayed with chemicals that are designed to kill microbes, also kill the healthy microflora in our digestive tracts. Organic vegetables and fruits are not sprayed with these pesticides, herbicides and insecticides, therefore we are not consuming these harmful chemicals and killing off healthy microflora in our gut.

2. Drink filtered water

Tap water has chlorine in it. Chlorine is designed to kill harmful microbes in our drinking water, but when we drink that water we kill off healthy microbes in our digestive tract. Therefore it is important for us to filter the chlorine out of our water before we drink it.

3. Stop using hand sanitizers and anti-bacterial soaps

Hand sanitizers and anti-bacterial soaps can kill off infectious agents but as they make their way into our digestive tracts, they kill off the healthy microflora in our digestive tract. How does it get ingested, you may ask? We use the hand sanitizers/anti-bacterial soap then we touch our food, eat our food and there it is making its way into your digestive tract, that’s just one example.

4. Avoid food additives, preservatives and genetically modified organisms (GMOs)

Environmental toxins in our foods such as food additives and preservatives and GMOs disrupt the microbiome. These chemicals throw off our natural mirobiome as they really should not in our digestive tracts. Avoiding these chemicals helps to keep our microbiome in balance and our digestive tract in good health.

5. Replace processed sugar with natural sweeteners such as raw honey, real maple syrup, coconut palm sugar and stevia.

Processed sugars are food for the unhealthy bacteria and fungi, leading to overgrowths of unhealthy bacteria and fungi in the digestive tract. Natural sweeteners do not have this ill-effect on the microbiome and still allows you to have sweeteners in your cooking and baking, without disrupting the healthy microflora balance in the digestive tract.

These tactics will help to keep your microbiome in balance, which will help to keep you healthy as well, as there is a direct correlation between a healthy gut and a healthy body.

 How is your gut health?

 ~ http://foodmatters.tv/content/five-ways-to-improve-your-microbiome
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Practiced for thousands of years by cultures around the world –detoxification is about resting, cleansing and nourishing the body from the inside out. By removing and eliminating toxins, then feeding your body with healthy nutrients, detoxifying can help protect you from disease and renew your ability to maintain optimum health. These foods will assist in boosting your metabolism, optimizing digestion, while allowing you to lose weight and fortify your immune system.

1. ARTICHOKES

Artichokes help the liver function at its best, which in turn will help your body purge itself of toxins and other things it doesn’t need to survive. It ups the liver’s production of bile, and since bile helps break down foods which helps your body use the nutrients inside them, an increase in bile production is typically a good thing.

2. APPLES

Apples are full of wonderful nutrients. You get fibre, vitamins, minerals and many beneficial phytochemicals such as D-Glucarate, flavonoids and terpenoids. All of these substances are used in the detox process. One flavonoid, Phlorizidin (phlorizin), is thought to help stimulate bile production which helps with detox as the liver gets rid of some toxins through the bile. Apples are also a good source of the soluble fibre pectin, which can help detox metals and food additives from your body. It’s best to eat only organic apples as the non-organic varieties are among the top 12 foods that have been found to contain the most pesticide residues. Organically produced apples also have a 15 percent higher antioxidant capacity than conventionally produced apples.

3. ALMONDS

Almonds are the best nut source of Vitamin E. In fact, just one ounce contains 7.3 mg of “alpha-tocopherol” vitamin E, the form of the vitamin the body prefers. They’re also high in fiber, calcium, magnesium, and useable protein that helps stabilize blood sugar and remove impurities from the bowels.

4. ASPARAGUS

Not only does asparagus help to detoxify the body, it can help you wage the anti-aging battle, protect you from getting cancer, help your heart to stay healthy, and is a general anti-inflammatory food. It’s also known to help with liver drainage, which might sound like a bad thing, but since the liver is responsible for filtering out the toxic materials in the food and drinks we consume, anything that backs up its drainage is not doing you any favors. Asparagus also helps reduce risk of death from breast cancer and increase the odds of survival.

5. AVOCADOS

This wonder fruit is packed with antioxidants, lowers cholesterol and dilates the blood vessels while blocking artery-destroying toxicity. Avocados contain a nutrient called glutathione, which blocks at least 30 different carcinogens while helping the liver detoxify synthetic chemicals. Researchers at the University of Michigan found that elderly people who had high levels of glutathione were healthier and less likely to suffer from arthritis. Consuming avocados is associated with better diet quality and nutrient intake level, lower intake of added sugars, lower body weight, BMI and waist circumferences, higher “good cholesterol” levels and lower metabolic syndrome risk.

6. BASIL

Basil has anti-bacterial properties, and it’s full of antioxidants to protect the liver. The active ingredients are terpenoids. It is also wonderful for digestion and detoxification, too. It supports the functioning of the kidneys and also acts as a diuretic to help the body expel unwanted toxins. Basil has been known to have anti-ulcer qualities as well as antimicrobial effects that guard against bacteria, yeast, fungi and mold. Basil seed can also help with constipation. The anticancer properties of basil may also relate to its ability to influence viral infections.

7. BEETS

A single serving of beets can do more for your health than most foods in the produce isle. Not only can they boost your energy and lower your blood pressure, but eating beets in the long-term can help you fight cancer, reduce arthritic pain, boost your brain as well as help you lose weight. Beets contain a unique mixture of natural plant chemicals (phytochemicals) and minerals that make them superb fighters of infection, blood purifiers, and liver cleansers. They also help boost the body’s cellular intake of oxygen, making beets excellent overall body cleansers. When you’re detoxing, beets will help by making sure that the toxins you’re getting out actually make it out of your body. Many detox cleanses go wrong when toxins are reintroduced to the body because they don’t make it all the way out.

8. BLUEBERRIES

Blueberries contain natural aspirin that helps lessen the tissue-damaging effects of chronic inflammation, while lessening pain. Just 300 grams of blueberries protects against DNA damage. Blueberries also act as antibiotics by blocking bacteria in the urinary tract, thereby helping to prevent infections. They have antiviral properties and are loaded with super-detoxifying phytonutrients called proanthocyanidins.

9. BRAZIL NUTS

These tasty treats are packed with selenium, which is key to flushing mercury out of your body. The body uses selenium to make ‘selenoproteins’, which work like antioxidants preventing damage to cells and there is growing body of evidence to show it has a key role in our health. The consumption of brazil nuts has been found to be inversely associated with risk of pancreatic cancer, independent of other potential risk factors for pancreatic cancer.

10. BROCCOLI

Broccoli specifically works with the enzymes in your liver to turn toxins into something your body can eliminate easily. If you’re stuck for ways on how to make broccoli taste better try dehydrating or consider eating it raw. But don’t microwave it as this destroys both the nutritional and detox potential. Broccoli contains a very powerful anti-cancer, anti-diabetic and anti-microbial called sulforaphane which helps prevent cancer, diabetes, osteoporosis and allergies.

11. BROCCOLI SPROUTS

Broccoli sprouts can actually provide more benefit than regular broccoli as they contain 20 times more sulfurophane. They contain important phytochemicals that are released when they’re chopped, chewed, fermented, or digested. The substances are released then break down into sulfurophanes, indole-3-carbinol and D-glucarate, which all have a specific effect on detoxification. Add these to your salads and get creative with them in your meals. Researchers have found that an oral preparation made from broccoli sprouts trigger an increase in inflammation-fighting enzymes in the upper airways.

12. CABBAGE

In addition to cleansing your liver, cabbage will also aid in helping you go to the bathroom, which in turn helps you expel the toxins, getting them out of your system so you can start fresh. It contains sulfur, which is essential when it comes to breaking down chemicals and removing them from your body. Along with other cole crops, cabbage is a source ofindole-3-carbinol, a chemical that boosts DNA repair in cells and appears to block the growth of cancer cells.

13. CILANTRO

Cilantro, also known as coriander, Chinese parsley or dhania, contains anabundance of antioxidants. Cilantro helps mobilize mercury and other metals out of the tissue so it can attach to it other compounds and allow it to be excreted from the body. It also contains an antibacterial compound called dodecenal, which laboratory tests showed is twice as effective as the commonly used antibiotic drug gentamicin at killing Salmonella.

14. CINNAMON

The oils from cinnamon contain active components called cinnamaldehyde, cinnamyl acetate, and cinnamyl alcohol. Cinnamaldehyde has been well-researched for its effects on blood platelets helps prevent unwanted clumping of blood cells. Cinnamon’s essential oils also qualify it as an “anti-microbial” food, and cinnamon has been studied for its ability to help stop the growth of bacteria as well as fungi, including the commonly problematic yeast Candida. Cinnamon’s antimicrobial properties are so effective that recent research demonstrates this spice can be used as an alternative to traditional food preservatives. It has one of the highest antioxidant values of all foodsand its use in medicine treats everything from nausea to menstruation and energy to diabetes.

15. CRANBERRIES

While they are more popular as fruits that help prevent urinary tract infections, cranberries are antibacterial and are known to remove many different toxins from your body. Cranberries feature a rich profile of anti-inflammatory nutrients, provide immune and cardiovascular support, as well as promote digestive health. Consuming cranberry products has beenassociated with prevention of urinary tract infections (UTIs) for over 100 years.

16. DANDELIONS

Dandelions are considered a powerhouse food full of nutrients that are essential for anyone regularly eating processed foods. Dandelion root (taraxacum officinale) is known to act on the liver and pancreas bystraining and filtering toxins & wastes from the bloodstream and its beneficial effects on liver complaints have been well documented by both Asian practitioners and American physicians. They’re a rich source of minerals and provide a variety of phytonutrients. They’re super antioxidants that support cleansing of the digestive tract. Try adding dandelion leaves to your salad.

17. FENNEL

The fennel bulb is high in fiber may also be useful in preventing colon cancer. In addition to its fiber, fennel is a very good source of folate, a B vitamin that is necessary for the conversion of a dangerous molecule called homocysteine into other, benign molecules. The vitamin C found in fennel bulb is directly antimicrobial and is also needed for the proper function of the immune system.

18. FLAXSEEDS

When detoxifying your body, it’s essential to ensure toxins are eliminated properly. Ground flaxseeds provide a wonderful source of fibre that helps to bind and flush toxins from the intestinal tract. They’re also a great source of health promoting omega 3 oils. Try consuming two tablespoons of ground flaxseeds in lemon water every morning. University of Copenhagen researchers report that flax fiber suppresses appetite and helps support weight loss. Men should be cautious when consuming flax as the lignans are similar to the female hormone estrogen as can cause problems for some men.

19. GARLIC

Many detox diets list garlic as a crucial piece of the puzzle. The reason is that garlic boosts the immune system as well as helping out the liver. One good thing about garlic is that you can up your intake without having to worry if your body is going to get used to it or build up a resistance.Sulfur is found in high quantities in garlic — which makes it a good detox food and its antibiotic properties heal your body. Garlic is proven to be 100 times more effective than antibiotics and working in a fraction of the time.

20. GINGER

Along side turmeric, ginger is one of the world’s most potent disease-fighting spices. Ginger spikes your metabolism, flushes out waste, is thought to help liver function, and has some astringent properties. Some detox diets ask you to chew on ginger root. You may also find that adding it to hot water makes the water taste better. Basically any way you can think of it get it into your system is going to be beneficial, especially if you’re suffering from a fatty liver caused by too much alcohol, or too many toxic foods and drinks.

21. GOJI BERRIES

Replace raisins with nutrient-dense Goji berries to boost your vitamin C and beta-carotene intake. Gram for gram, goji berries pack more vitamin C than oranges and more beta-carotene than carrots. Vitamin C can help remove waste from your body, while beta-carotene improves liver performance.

22. GRAPEFRUIT

Grapefruits can prevent weight gain, treat diabetes, lower cholesterol, fight cancer, heal stomach ulcers, reduce gum disease and even keep stroke and metabolic syndrome at bay. Grapefruits can treat disease as well as pharmaceuticals without the side effects. The rich pink and red colors of grapefruit are due to lycopene, a carotenoid phytonutrient. Among the common dietary carotenoids, lycopene has the highest capacity to help fight oxygen free radicals, which are compounds that can damage cells. The big takeaway on grapefruit is that it gets your liver fired up and ready for action, while infusing the rest of your organs with nutrient-laden fruit juice.

23. GREEN TEA

Green tea is often thought of as a great addition to any detox program because of its high antioxidant value. It is the least processed tea and thus provides the most antioxidant polyphenols, notably a catechin called epigallocatechin-3-gallate (EGCG), which is believed to be responsible for most of the health benefits linked to green tea. According to 17 clinical trials, green tea is linked with significantly lower blood sugar.

24. HEMP

Hemp might just be one of nature’s most perfect foods since it is full of antioxidants like Vitamins E and C, as well as chlorophyll which is wonderful for cleansing the body from toxins of all kinds, including heavy metals. The soluble and insoluble fiber in hemp can also keep the digestive tract clean and therefore, reduce the toxic burden on other internal organs. Hemp could free us from oil, prevent deforestation, cure cancer and it’s environmentally friendly.

25. KALE

Kale is now recognized as providing comprehensive support for the body’s detoxification system. New research has shown that the ITCs made from kale’s glucosinolates can help regulate detox at a genetic level. This vegetable is so good for you that it is often recommended to patients that are following a doctor recommended diet when fighting kidney disease. It’s packed with so many antioxidants and has anti-inflammatory properties as well, not to mention all of the vitamins and minerals it contains. Leafy greens are likely the number one food you can eat to regularly help improve your health. They’re filled with fiber along with crucial vitamins, minerals, and plant-based phytochemicals that may help protect you from almost every disease known.

26. LEMONGRASS

This is an herb that is used in Thailand and other parts of the world as a natural way to cleanse several organs at once. It not only helps the liver but also the kidneys, the bladder, and the entire digestive tract. Benefits of using it in your cooking, or drinking it as a tea include a better complexion, better circulation, and better digestion. It is most often used as a tea in the world of detoxing, and there are several recipes you can try until you find one that suits your tastes best.

27. LEMONS

This wonderful fruit stimulates the release of enzymes and helps convert toxins into a water-soluble form that can be easily excreted from the body. In addition, they contain high amounts of vitamin C, a vitamin needed by the body to make glutathione. Glutathione helps ensure that phase 2 liver detoxification keeps pace with phase 1, thereby reducing the likelihood of negative effects from environmental chemicals. Drinking lemon water, which is alkaline-forming, first thing in the morning will help to balance out the acidity of foods we’ve consumed. They also have an incredible effect in detoxing the liver. Fresh lemon juice contains more than 20 anti-cancer compounds and helps balance the body’s pH levels. Here are 45 uses for lemons that will blow your socks off.

28. OLIVE OIL

Some liver cleanses out there call for olive oil mixed with fruit juice in order to trigger your liver to expunge its gallstones. But aside from that olive oil should be your go-to oil when you’re trying to detox the body. That’s because it has a lot of healthy properties, and makes for a better choice of fat than most of your other options. Just be sure not to cook with it at high heat. Use it as a salad dress to help things like dark leafy greens go down. Your best choice is always ice-pressed olive oil, but if you can find a very high quality cold-pressed olive oil, although not as nutritious, it will suffice provided the quality is high and not adulterated.

29. ONIONS

This ubiquitous kitchen staple is as healthy as it is tasty. It’s brimming with sulfur-containing amino acids, which efficiently detox the liver. Raw onions deliver the most health benefits. Even a small amount of “overpeeling” can result in unwanted loss of flavonoids. For example, a red onion can lose about 20% of its quercetin and almost 75% of its anthocyanins if it is “overpeeled”. Onions will soak up arsenic, cadmium, lead, mercury and tin in contaminated foods. The total polyphenol content of onion is not only higher than its fellow allium vegetables, garlic and leeks, but also higher than tomatoes, carrots, and red bell pepper. Onions have been shown to inhibit the activity of macrophages, specialized white blood cells that play a key role in our body’s immune defense system, and one of their defense activities involves the triggering of large-scale inflammatory responses.

30. PARSLEY

Those pretty green leaves don’t just make your plate look great. Parsley boasts plenty of beta-carotene and vitamins A, C and K to protect your kidneys and bladder. Diuretic herbs such as parsley prevent problems such as kidney stones and bladder infections and keep our body’s plumbing running smoothly by causing it to produce more urine. They also relieve bloating during menstruation. The flavonoids in parsley–especially luteolin–have been shown to function as antioxidants that combine with highly reactive oxygen-containing molecules (called oxygen radicals) and help prevent oxygen-based damage to cells. In addition, extracts from parsley have been used in animal studies to help increase the antioxidant capacity of the blood.

31. PINEAPPLES

This tropical delight contains bromelain, a digestive enzyme that helps cleanse your colon and improve digestion. Excessive inflammation, excessive coagulation of the blood, and certain types of tumor growth may all be reduced by bromelain. Two molecules isolated from an extract of crushed pineapple stems have even shown promise in fighting cancer growth.

32. SEAWEED

Seaweed may be the most underrated vegetable in the Western world. Studies at McGill University in Montreal showed that seaweeds bind to radioactive waste in the body so it can be removed. Radioactive waste can find its way into the body through some medical tests or through food that has been grown where water or soil is contaminated. Seaweed also binds to heavy metals to help eliminate them from the body. In addition, it is a powerhouse of minerals and trace minerals. Seaweed extracts can help you lose weight, mostly body fat.

33. SESAME SEEDS

Sesame seeds’ phytosterols have beneficial effects which are so dramatic that they have been extracted from many foods and added to processed foods, such as “butter”-replacement spreads, which are then touted as cholesterol-lowering “foods.” But why settle for an imitation “butter” when Mother Nature’s nuts and seeds are a naturally rich source of phytosterols–and cardio-protective fiber, minerals and healthy fats as well? Sesame seeds contain minerals important in a number of antiinflammatory and antioxidant enzyme systems. Sesame representsone of the top 10 healthiest seeds on Earth.

34. TURMERIC

Curcumin is the active ingredient in the spice turmeric, which gives it its yellow color. The rate at which your detox pathways function depends on your genes, your age, lifestyle and a good supply of nutrients involved in the detox process. Curcumin is used a lot in Ayurvedic Medicine to treat liver and digestive disorders. Turmeric has specifically been studied in relation to the positive effect that it has on the liver. As a high antioxidant spice, turmeric protects the body and prevents disease more effectively than drug based treatments and without the side effects.

35. WATERCRESS

Give your liver a big boost with cleansing action of watercress. If you’re into making smoothies for your detoxing this is a great one to blend up and drink down. This helps to release enzymes in the liver that clean it out and help rid it of toxic buildup. Eating watercress every day helps prevent breast cancer.

36. WHEATGRASS

Wheatgrass restores alkalinity to the blood. The juice’s abundance of alkaline minerals helps reduce over-acidity in the blood and thus also Is a powerful detoxifier, and liver protector. It increases red blood-cell count and lowers blood pressure. It also cleanses the organs and gastrointestinal tract of debris. Wheatgrass stimulates the metabolism and the body’s enzyme systems by enriching the blood. It also aids in reducing blood pressure by dilating the blood pathways throughout the body. Pound for pound, wheatgrass is more than twenty times denser in nutrients than other choice vegetables. Nutritionally, wheatgrass is a complete food that contains 98 of the 102 earth elements.

~ http://themindunleashed.org/2013/12/36-foods-help-detox-cleanse-entire-body.html
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