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Health Benefits of Cranberry

Nowadays, this berry is widely popular and mostly consumed in its liquid form due to its ability to provide reinforcements to our body and a solid remedy for UTI. But in ancient times, this fruit has been used as an alternative medicine for a variety of ailments such as poor appetite, stomach complaints, blood disorders, and scurvy for English folks; and bladder and kidney diseases for Native Americans. 

Continue reading and together, let us explore the wonders of this ruby red fruit!

A Fortress of Immunity

Snack on cranberries for stronger immunity, vibrant skin, and sturdy joints as it is abundant in Vitamin C which is known for its immune-boosting ability and an essential element in producing collagen. The Vitamin C in cranberries interferes with the bacteria that cling onto the walls of the urinary tract, therefore, helping to eliminate an infection. The same protection occurs in the stomach and mouth.

Filled with Antioxidants

This sweet-tart flavored berry is a powerhouse of antioxidants surpassing high-level foods such as broccoli, strawberry, cherry, and spinach. A cup of cranberries is charged with a total of 8,983 antioxidants.

Heart Friendly

Cranberries are rich in polyphenols, a micronutrient that fortifies cells from damage and diseases. Two glasses of cranberry juice a day could decrease the risk of heart disease and type 2 diabetes by improving blood pressure and glucose levels. If you opt for the juice variety – you’ll want to choose the REAL juice with no sugar added for these benefits – it will be very tart :).

Mighty Brain Booster

Your brain will surely stay brilliant and sharp with cranberries’ anti-inflammatory properties which enhance coordination and memory.

Keto Cranberry Streusel Bars

Ingredients:

  • Coconut oil Cooking spray

Crust

Cranberry Filling

Directions:

  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Spray an 8×8-inch baking pan with cooking spray and set aside.
  2. Pour almond flour, sweetener, melted butter, and almond extract for crust in a medium bowl and mix well. Set aside 1/3 of the mixture to be used later for the streusel topping. Press remaining 2/3 of the mixture into the prepared baking pan.
  3. Bake in the preheated oven until partially golden, about 5 minutes. Remove and set aside.
  4. Combine cranberries, sweetener, orange juice, orange zest, and arrowroot powder in a small saucepan. Bring to a boil over medium heat; reduce heat to medium-low and let simmer until all of the cranberries have popped, about 10 minutes. Remove from heat and let cool for about 5 minutes. Spread cranberry filling over the crust.
  5. Stir pecans and cinnamon into the remaining crust mixture, mixing until incorporated. Sprinkle streusel topping evenly over the cranberry mixture.
  6. Bake in the preheated oven until set, about 30 minutes. Remove from the oven and cool completely before cutting into bars, 30 minutes to 1 hour.

Adapted from All Recipes

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Naturally Moisturizing Foods for your Skin

As the days get shorter and temperatures drop, we can begin to see some changes in our skin.  No matter YOUR skin type, keeping it moisturized is very important because this allows your skin to look younger and fresh! There are a myriad of ways that you can keep your skin naturally moisturized from the inside out this winter. Here is my list of simple yet fantastic foods that can provide moisture to your skin without clogging your pores.

Coconut Oil

Coconut oil can be applied topically to your hands, and feet and you can also add it as part of your daily routine. This oil has anti-inflammatory properties and has a wide variety range of benefits from weight loss to immune enhancement. It can also support numerous skin problems such as psoriasis, dermatitis, eczema, and other skin infections.

Avocado

One way to easily treat dry skin is by consuming foods with healthy fats and oils and avocado is your go-to-food! Healthy fats provide moisture which keeps your skin supple and soft. Essential fatty acids like omega-3s and omega-6s are the building units of healthy cell membranes and they also support the skin’s natural oil barrier which is vital in keeping the skin plumped, hydrated, and younger looking. 

Salmon

Salmon contains Omega-3 fats which can reduce the redness and inflammation in your skin not to mention the rest of your body as well. The fatty acids in this fish urge your skin to clutch onto water more to keep it glowing.  If you’re not a fish fan, they opt for a quality fish oil like Standard Process’s Tuna Omega oil.

Herbal Concoctions

Drinking plenty of water to keep your skin hydrated is a must but to boost your hydration to the next level, I recommend drinking caffeine-free herbal blends. One herbal blend that can help heal dry skin is a marigold and rose infusion due to the plant’s healing and moistening properties.

Probiotics Foods

Prevention is better than cure and eating probiotics can be a key to a healthier body! Probiotics are live bacteria which keeps your gut healthy and when you are healthy on the inside, it will show up on the outside especially to your skin. Choose options like komboucha, kimchi and sauerkraut.  Don’t want to eat those foods, then take a quality full spectrum product that has both pre and probiotics, like the Standard Process ProSynbiotic.

No matter what kind of skin problems we have, we can always count on Mother Nature’s natural resources!  I would love to hear what your favorite foods for your skin are – drop your favorites in the comments section below.

Cheers,

Dr Stephanie Zgraggen

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Health Benefits of Okra

Protects Your Heart

Okra contains a sticky substance called mucilage which helps bind the cholesterol, therefore, instead of being absorbed, it will be excreted in your body keeping your heart healthy.

Powered with Antioxidants

One of the key nutrients found in Okra is the protein called lectin which discourages the growth of human cancer cells. 

Major antioxidants can be found in okra such as polyphenols, flavonoids, isoquercetin, Vitamins A and C, and they are known to improve your body’s protection against free radicals.

Weight Control

Eating okra can help make you feel full in a longer period. Okra also has a low glycemic index which helps control sugar levels, and it is rich in soluble fiber which keeps the digestive system smooth sailing. 

Dietary Fiber

Okra is high in dietary fiber which supports better digestion, glycemic control, and insulin sensitivity.

There is an estimated 3 grams of fiber in an eight medium-sized pods of okra.

Medium for Beauty

Apart from consuming okra, you can also create a facial mask out of this fruit by blending it until it becomes a paste (you can add lemon or honey). Apply the okra paste your face and let it sit for 15-20 minutes. This mask will help moisturize your skin, improve the appearance of dark spots, and minimize wrinkles. 

Options for Okra

The best option for getting okra into your system is always by including it into your diet and in your meals but if you need more of a therapeutic dose you can always add it in supplement form. My favorite go-to okra product is Okra Pepsin E3 from Standard Process.

Okra Pepsin E3 supports intestinal function.

  • Supports mucosal tissue in the intestines
  • Supports bowel function
  • Provides bowel cleansing

Check out the fact sheet on okra pepsin here.

Oven Roasted Okra

Ingredients:

  • 1 lb. Okra
  • Drizzle Avocado oil
  • Drizzle Balsamic vinegar
  • Juice of ½ Lemon
  • Garlic and onion powder

Directions:

  1. Prepare the okra by washing well and slice off the tops. Continue to slice the okra into about 4-5 slices per piece of okra and set aside.
  2. Add the okra to the baking sheet and top with oil, balsamic, lemon juice, and seasonings. Toss to coat.
  3. Transfer to the oven and roast for 20-25 minutes, flipping halfway through.

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Healthy Back to School Lunches

Happy Fall!  It’s that time of year when summer festivities are winding down and we all regain a more routine schedule even if we do not have children that are heading back to school or maybe you are virtually teaching from home this semester.  

Your nervous system as well as your brain requires whole food fuel – specifically fat and B vitamins in order to thrive.  If fatigue, memory, or mood are issues for you or your child, be sure to check out my easy tips to improve your health and probably your grades too! For overall health I recommend a chewable multivitamin for kids and chewable Catalyn is both my and my little patients favorite choice.

Tips for Healthy Back to School Lunches

  • Avoid refined sugar, genetically modified grains, poor quality dairy products and other highly processed foods like poor quality lunch meat. The foods on this list will have an array of negative health effects ranging from brain fog, fatigue and inflammation from sugary or processed GMO grains, to digestive upset from dairy products or poorly processed meat. To make sandwiches, replace your store bought bread with better ingredients like Bob’s Red Mill flours or make a lettuce wrap instead! Replace your lunch meats with a healthy meat like grilled chicken or a nitrate and preservative free brand. Buy and cook your own meat from a market or local farm where animals are raised in healthy and grass fed or pasture raised conditions. Cook your roast or breast and then slice it thin for your own, healthy lunch style meat.

  • Eat foods for function! Foods that help sharpen your focus include a side of celery, sliced peppers, or carrots. These great veggies provide your body with Luteolin which helps to reduce inflammation and improve memory.

  • Don’t forget your B vitamins! Packing a side of steamed broccoli and cauliflower, eating eggs for breakfast, and packing a healthy meat can all provide a healthy source of Choline which can assist with brain development, boost cognitive function and improve learning and memory! Eggs, beef, and fish will also give your brain a B12 boost and help with memory!

  • Blueberries are a good option for fun finger fruits. Blueberries are rich in antioxidants and phytochemicals that improve learning, thinking and memory. If you or your child are a “hand-to-mouth snacker” – eating blueberries, one at a time, and thoroughly enjoying them may be a good side for your lunch! Add almonds for additional vitamin B and an enjoyable crunch!

  • Walnuts and pumpkin seeds provide an easily packed snack that is high in Omega 3’s which are good for the brain and memory. Another way to get omega 3’s easily into kids diets is chewable tuna oil capsules – I promise it’s not as fishy as it sounds.

  • Get to BED! No one will function well, have clear memory, feel energized, or be in a good mood if he/she is lacking the proper rest. Be sure that everyone in your household gets the appropriate number of sleep hours each night. Infants are recommended to have 16 hours; teenagers are recommended to have 9 hours; and adults are recommended to have 7 to 8 hours.

  • Finally, remember that vitamin D is important for the brain function and to combat stress. Ask your practitioner if you are consuming adequate vitamin D or if it needs to be supplemented throughout the winter. Vitamin D has also been linked to stronger immune systems which is always helpful with back to school!  Cod Liver Oil is one of my favorite and efficient ways to obtain Vitamin D for the body!

Dr. Stephanie Zgraggen, DC, MS, CCN, CNS is a licensed chiropractic physician, certified clinical nutritionist, and owner of Lime and Lotus, LLC.  Dr. Zgraggen has developed a successful method for determining the root causes of many of her patient’s health concerns, and she uses a combination of whole food and herbal protocols to restore health.

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Health Benefits of Flaxseed

The world was forever shaken when a flock of diet fads was flying around the news and social media but this particular food was never a secret since the dawn of time. Let us discover the secret on what makes flaxseed special!

Fiber Enriched

Not only one, but two types of fiber are enriched in flaxseed which is soluble and insoluble fiber. Soluble fiber softens the stool so it can pass smoothly through the GI tract while the insoluble fiber encourages a healthy digestive system and promotes bowel regularity.

Radiant and Healthy Skin

Flaxseed contains healthy fats which can help improve skin’s hydration and smoothness by strengthening the skin barrier and cell membrane.

Rich in Potent Antioxidant

Polyphenol is known as a health-protective antioxidant because of its ability to shield our body from oxidative stress which causes cancer, heart disease, and premature aging.

Stronger Heart

Omega-3 is an essential nutrient that helps protect your heart from any diseases and one of the best producers of a plant-based Omega-3 (ALA) is flaxseed. 

Add it to your Regimen

Want to add some Flaxseed therapeutically to your regimen?  If so, check out Standard Process’s Linum B6.

Linum B6 contains flaxseed oil, a natural source of alpha-linolenic acid, and vitamin B6. This product is designed to support hormone production and nerve tissue, as well as systems such as the cardiovascular and immune systems.*

  • Approximately 50 percent of flaxseed oil is made up of alpha-linolenic acid, which is a precursor of EPA and DHA
  • Supports the formation of eicosanoids
  • Promotes healthy skin
  • Supports cognitive function
  • Excellent source of vitamin B6*

You can now order Standard Process and MediHerb products from our office’s personalized website here.

Keto Flaxseed Chips

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup Flaxseed Meal (Golden or Brown)
  • 2 teaspoons Garlic Powder
  • 2 teaspoons Onion Powder
  • 2 teaspoons Chili Powder Mix (Cayenne, Paprika, Chili) *optional
  • ½ cup Water

Directions: 

  1. In a bowl, mix ground flax meal and seasonings well. Add water and mix till combined with a spatula. Cover and set the dough aside for 10 minutes.
  2. Pre heat oven to 400°F.
  3. Once the dough is ready, roll it out between 2 parchment papers as thin as you like. (cooking times will vary according to thickness).
  4. Gently pull apart parchment paper from each side of the rolled dough onto the other (this is to make sure it does not stick to the paper while baking).
  5. Place the rolled dough with parchment paper onto a baking sheet and use a pizza cutter to cut into cracker sized pieces.
  6. Bake chips for 10-15 minutes (longer if thicker). Once chips are baked, turn off the oven, remove and break the crackers. Spread the crackers on the baking tray and return to the oven for another 10 minutes with the oven door slightly opened. (this is to dry it out so it gets crispy).
  7. Allow crackers to cool completely before storing them.

Adapted from Adapted from Maken With Cherry

*These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. These Products are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease.

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Watermelon Lemonade

Summertime is here and I love all of the summer bounties that surround us during these months.  One of my favorite treats is watermelon – I love it raw, grilled, in beverages, you name it.  

This month I wanted to recreate a childhood treat of mine and combine it with my love of this yummy fruit – Instead of using the powdered chemically-laden mixes, opt for this fresh, quick and easy recipe.  

Watermelon Lemonade

Ingredients:

Instructions:

  1. Place watermelon in a blender and pulse until you have a nice puree. 
  2. With a mesh strainer, strain the watermelon into a bowl so that you just use the juice.
  3. In a large pitcher add, watermelon juice, lemon juice, water, coconut sugar and mix until blended.
  4. Pour over ice and garnish with a mint sprig
The Ingredients
On ice and ready to enjoy!!!
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Health Benefits of Peach

The sweet and summery goodness of peach is more than just a culinary treat to the world. Let’s unwrap the health benefits of this fruit with a delicious recipe for your indulgence!

Sweet and Hydrating

This fruit is a good supplement to your daily hydration needs. It contains 85 to 89 percent water, a perfect way to satisfy both your thirst and palate at the same time.

Optimized with Fiber

Eat the whole fruit to maximize the fiber content which is good for digestive support and regulating sugar levels. One-medium sized peach contains 3 grams of fiber when you include the skin.

Your Vitamin C Buddy

Unlikely it may seem, but the peach is going for the citrus fruit gig. This fruit contains 10 milligrams of vitamin c for every medium-sized peach which are about 13 percent of your recommended daily intake. Vitamin C is a powerful antioxidant known to protect your body against oxidative damage.

Healthy Gut

While Vitamin A is known for keeping your skin and eyes healthy, it is also a primary nutrient that keeps your organs and gut lining healthy thus, fending off the pathogens that we absorb through food. 

Paleo Peach Crumble

Ingedients

  • 5 cups diced peaches – (approximately 3 large peaches)
  • 1 Tbs honey
  • 1 Tbs lemon juice
  • 2 cups almond flour
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp nutmeg
  • 1 Tbs melted coconut oil
  • 2 Tbs maple syrup

Instructions

  1. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Grease an 8×8 inch square pan.
  2. Place the diced peaches on the bottom of the pan. Top the peaches with 1 Tbs of honey and 1 Tbs of lemon juice. Mix the peaches around with a spoon so that the honey and lemon become evenly mixed into the peaches.
  3. In a separate bowl, mix the almond flour, cinnamon, and nutmeg together with a fork and set aside.
  4. In another separate bowl, mix the melted coconut oil and maple syrup together with a fork until well mixed.
  5. Pour the coconut oil/maple syrup mixture on top of the almond flour mixture and mix with a fork until clumps form and there are no real “dry” areas of the mixture left.
  6. Evenly pour the almond flour mixture on top of the fruit in the pan. Using a fork, distribute the almond flour topping across the peaches, forming a “crumble” texture.
  7. Bake for 30 minutes or until the crust is crisp and the edges are lightly golden.
  8. Eat warm or Cold. Enjoy!

Adapted from Perchance to Cook

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Glorious Backyard Gardening

Being stuck inside these past few months has given many people pause to examine ways to re-engage in hobbies as well as be active outdoors while still maintaining social distancing standards.  Gardening is one of those hobbies currently on the rise.

Gardening is more than just digging in the dirt, carrying pots, and planting seeds; it is an art and a science as well. Many people do not recognized the numerous benefits that you can reap in planting these green and colorful patches! For some, gardening is a way for them to relax, restore, and renew their outlook in life while others use this hobby as an additional holistic food source.

Here are the benefits of gardening in the mental and physical aspects of your life.

Exercise for the Win

Just by walking while carrying pots of plants is already a form of cardio exercise and core training for balance. Depending on the weight of the load, pushing a wheelbarrow is a good form of strength training and can also improve your grip and strength in the lower arms.

Pushing, gardening, trimming the hedges, they might sound simple but they can leave you out of breath and 10 minutes of it, at least once a day, can help protect you from high blood pressure and other cardiovascular diseases.

Bye Bye Blues

Let there be light, in your life! Soak up all those Vitamin D but make sure to cover your skin with a reliable sunscreen. Vitamin D helps our body to absorb calcium and it also boosts our immune system and blocks depressive mood.

Mental Therapy

After a long day or week at work, gardening at last 30 minutes or an hour can diffuse your anxieties and stress. Vitamin D alone can already help improve your mood but more than that, gardening also gives you a sense of purpose and puts your priorities in perspective.

If you have been experiencing a major setback in your life, gardening can spark a sense of hope and optimism within you.

Preserving the Environment

Gardening is also a way for us to give back to Mother Nature and in return, it helps us back. Plants are known to purify carbon emission preventing global warming and they produce oxygen which is very important to humans. The root system of the plants helps prevent erosion by keeping the soil in place. Aside from providing shade and beautifying our surroundings, they also shield our garden from the outside world giving as tranquility and privacy.

One of the best ways you can do in order to enjoy gardening is to invite your friends over and do it together. It is fun, interactive, less expensive, and therapeutic!

Cheers to growing some veggies, herbs or plants this summer!

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Health Benefits of Zucchini

Despite being treated as a vegetable, zucchini is biologically considered a fruit. It is rich in fiber and water and it contains a plethora of nutrients. Let us discover the nutritional factors behind this fruit’s success among the health-conscious community!

Fountain of Youth

Long term exposure to toxins and free radicals can increase the aging process of your body. Zucchini is enriched with antioxidants and anti-inflammatory phytonutrients that help protect and purify your body from free radicals and inflammation.

Energy Booster

Zucchini is fortified with Vitamin B6, riboflavin, and Folate which help improve mood and reduce fatigue. B-Vitamins also support brain function, including cognition.

Bone Builder

Calcium is not the only nutrient that can strengthen bones!  Zucchini is lavished with Magnesium, Vitamin K, and antioxidants Zeaxanthin and Lutein, all of which help build stronger bones.

Enhances Digestion

Zucchini is your best friend when it comes to better digestion because of its richness in water and fiber. Regular consumption of this fruit can help reduce colon cancer and ulcers.

Supports Collagen Formation

For more supple, soft, and elastic skin, you might want to start including zucchini in your favorite dishes. Zucchini is rich in Riboflavin which influences the maturation of collagen and it contains 3 major components for collagen formation: Potassium, Zeaxanthin, and Folate.

Powerful Brain Function and Sharp Memory

An adequate amount of water in your system exhibits higher brain activity by effectively delivering nutrients to other parts of your body including your brain.  Folate also helps improve brain function and emotional health.

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Zucchini Hummus

Ingredients:

  • 2 Medium zucchini
  • ¾ Cup tahini
  • ⅛ Cup olive oil
  •  ¼ Teaspoon cayenne pepper
  •  5 Cloves  garlic, minced
  • 1 Teaspoon paprika
  • ½ Cup fresh lemon or lime juice
  • 1 Teaspoon ground cumin
  • ¾ Cup sesame seeds
  • Sea salt and pepper to taste

Instructions:

  1. Place all ingredients in a high powered blender.
  2. Blend on high until smooth.
  3.   Serve immediately with cut veggies.