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Health Benefits of Grapefruit

Grapefruits are a small but sweet citrus fruit that originates in Asia, India, and Indonesia. They are also known as pomelo or sudachi and have a tangy flavor. Like other citrus, grapefruits are delicious and bursting with antioxidants. 

Let’s discover whether this citrus is as powerful as its ancestor fruits.

Empowers Your Immune System

The winning blend of vitamins A and C, which helps your immune system to function properly, as well as an antioxidant that helps protect cells from damage makes this fruit a formidable asset for your immune system. If you are craving fruit, grab some grapefruit!

Packed With Antioxidants

All varieties of grapefruits are healthy but the red and pink ones are more supercharged than the others due to their high content of antioxidants such as beta-carotene and lycopene. These antioxidants protect your cells from damage caused by free radicals.

Blood Sugar Management

If you’re trying to manage your blood sugar or lose weight, raw grapefruit is a good choice. The lower glycemic index (GI) makes it easier for the body to digest and use. It also has lots of fiber and vitamins!

Higher Vitamin A Content

Grapefruit provides a significant amount of vitamin A. One-half of a grapefruit contains about one-third of the recommended daily value of vitamin A, which is higher than the 4% in oranges.

*** As a side not – be mindful that some medications due interact poorly with grapefruit, so be sure to check that out before you indulge!

Grapefruit Avocado Salmon Salad with Poblano-Lime Dressing

Ingredients:

  • 1 grapefruit, sectioned
  • 1 blood orange, sectioned
  • 1 avocado, sliced into wedges
  • Large handfuls of spicy greens such as arugula or watercress
  • Large handful of pea shoots (optional)
  • Radish, thinly sliced
  • Toasted pumpkin seeds for garnish
  • 1/2 pound salmon; preferably wild (optional)
  • Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • Poblano-Lime vinaigrette (recipe below)

Direction

To prepare the salmon: Season the salmon with sea salt and freshly ground pepper. Heat a tablespoon of olive oil in a nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add the salmon, skin-side down, and cook for about 4 minutes; flip, and continue cooking for another 2 1/2 to 3 minutes on the other side, until medium-rare.

Assembly: Toss the arugula (or watercress) and other greens with the desired amount of dressing. Layer the dressed greens, sectioned grapefruit and blood orange, avocado, radish, and salmon on top. Drizzle a bit more dressing on top, and garnish with toasted pumpkin seeds, a sprinkling of coarse sea salt, and a few turns of freshly ground black pepper.

Poblano-Lime Dressing

Ingredients:

  • 1 large poblano
  • 1/4 cup of lime juice
  • 1 clove of garlic
  • 2 tablespoons chopped cilantro
  • 3 tablespoons thick Greek yogurt
  • 1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons good quality extra virgin olive oil
  • Sea salt and freshly ground pepper to taste

Direction:

Roast the pepper on an open gas flame, turning with metal tongs, until charred on all sides (alternatively, you can place the poblano under the broiler or roast it on the grill, turning every few minutes). Place in a paper bag for about 10 minutes. Remove from the bag, and, with the side of a chef’s knife, scrape away the charred skin. Cut open and seed the peppers.

Roughly chop the poblano and add it to the blender, along with the lime juice, garlic, cilantro, and yogurt. Blend until smooth. With the blender running, slowly add the olive oil in a steady stream. Season with salt and pepper to taste.

Adapted from Wild Greens & Sardines

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Why YOU Need a Detox this New Year

Toxins are Everywhere

You are exposed to toxins Every. Single. Day. There are approximately 80,000 chemicals registered for use in the U.S., and 800,000,000+ pounds of herbicides are used yearly on our crops. 1-3 The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reports that hundreds of these chemicals are present in our bodies. Research shows that certain chemicals may affect our immune, endocrine, nervous, and reproductive systems.

In fact, your body produces its own toxins, or waste known as endogenous toxins, simply by functioning. Your body also encounters external (exogenous) toxins, or chemicals made outside of your body. They are in the air you breathe, the food you eat, the water you drink, and the products you touch.4,5  

External Toxins

  • Air and Water Pollutants
  • Cigarette Smoke
  • Certain Personal Care Products
  • Dyes and Paints
  • Heavy Metals
  • Household Cleaning Products
  • Pesticides and Insecticides
  • Preservatives and Additives
  • Trans Fats

Internal Toxins

  • Ammonia
  • Carbon dioxide
  • Free radicals

You become what you eat

The typical America diet favors processed foods that tend to be high in refined sugar, trans fats, and salt.  Processed foods often contain pesticides, artificial ingredients, and genetically modified organisms that can contribute to toxin build up in the body.6  Exposure to these toxins can overburden your system’s natural ability to detoxify.

Reducing your toxic burden can reduce your odds of asthma, cancer, Alzheimer’s, infertility, hormonal and period problems and so much more. Reducing your toxic load can help you lose weight, restore your energy levels and balance your hormones. It can help you conceive a healthy baby and raise a healthy child.

When the body is overloaded with toxins, these toxins cannot be eliminated from the body and they slow down cellular function. This translates to decreasing your body’s function; the brain won’t fire as quickly so you become foggy and forgetful. This can mean you gain weight or feel tired and/or unmotivated.  Many people experience symptoms of toxicity but don’t recognize what these signs really can mean.  How many of the symptoms below do you have?

Symptoms of Toxin Exposure

  • Fatigue or difficulty sleeping
  • Indigestion and other gastrointestinal upset
  • Food cravings and weight gain
  • Reduced mental clarity (brain fog)
  • Low libido
  • Skin issues – eczema, acne, dark circles under the eyes
  • Joint or muscle pain
  • Headaches
  • Female hormone disturbances
  • Sinus issues
  • Water retention
  • Bad breath
  • Insomnia

Your Organs of Detoxification

My 21 day Reset Detox Programs are designed to stimulate specific detoxification organs in the body—the liver, kidneys, and intestines. With help from these organs, your toxic load can decrease, and your body can concentrate its energy on detoxifying and cleaning up. This can help you achieve optimal health by cleansing your body from the inside out.  The goal is to learn how to enhance your body’s ability to detox and remove these toxins on a daily basis. No matter where start, everyone can benefit from a detox program.

Liver

  • Filters toxins
  • Aids the body in metabolizing fat, protein, and carbohydrates
  • Helps transform many toxins into harmless agents

Kidneys

  • Filter waste and excess fluid from the blood
  • Regulate and release the right balance of sodium, phosphorus, and
    potassium for the body to function properly

Small Intestine

  • Digests food so that nutrients can be absorbed into the blood and transported to the liver
  • Provides a barrier that blocks toxins from the rest of the body

Large Intestine

  • Absorbs water and electrolytes, forming waste that is excreted from the body
  • Produces antibodies for gastrointestinal health
  • Contains bacteria that create fatty acids and some vitamins for extra nutritional support

Why you may not be losing weight

If your body can’t release toxins through your intestines (poop) or kidney (urine) then they can be deposited and stored in the body.  Over months, years, or even decades these can build up in the body and create havoc.

One of the most common sites for us to deposit toxins is in our fat cells since many of the chemicals in today’s environment and food are lipotrophic, meaning that they LOVE FAT.  The challenge is that we have to release those stored toxins from the fat cells before the fat cells can shrink.  This is one reason why you may have been eating better and working out more but still seeing NO weight loss results. 

Where We Store Toxins

  • Fat Cells
  • Bone Marrow
  • Joints
  • Liver
  • Blood
  • Muscle
  • Central Nervous System

What the heck is metabolic detoxification anyway?

Metabolic detoxification is your body’s natural process of neutralizing and eliminating toxins from your body.  This three-phase process unlocks fat-soluble toxins and converts them to a water-soluble state that is easier for your body to remove. Your body needs key nutrients and phytonutrients to support each of these phases.

Three phases of metabolic detoxification

  • Phase I: Unlock – Stored fat-soluble toxins transform into an “unlocked” state that is more water-soluble, and in many cases, more toxic than its original form.  The foods and supplements recommended in the 21 day Reset Detox program delivers nutrients that activate enzymes required for Phase I reactions. It also supplies antioxidants that reduce stress on your body, such as tissue damage sometimes caused by these enzyme activities.
  • Phase II: Neutralize – The highly toxic substances produced in Phase I convert to non-toxic molecules and become even more water-soluble. The foods and supplements recommended in the 21 day Reset Detox program supplies key nutrients and amino acids needed to support Phase II enzymes. These enzymes enhance the water solubility of toxins.
  • Phase III: Eliminate – Water-soluble toxins leave your cells, and your body eliminates them. The foods and supplements recommended in the 21 Day Detox Program provides your body with plant-based fiber and water, which aid in toxin elimination.

A Simple, Effective Answer is HERE!

You can create more efficiency around detoxification by modifying your daily food choices, and habits to support your body’s natural ability to detoxify.  If you are experiencing any of the symptoms listed above or feel like it’s just time for a reset, I encourage you to check out my upcoming Virtual Group 21 Day Detox Reset Program. The 21 Day Group Detox Program is designed for balancing hormones, resetting your digestive system, weight loss, improved energy, better sleep and so much more!

My hope is to provide you with easy, effective tools to help you liver YOUR. BEST. LIFE.

Cheers,

Author:

Dr. Stephanie Zgraggen, DC, MS, CNS, CCN is a licensed chiropractor, certified clinical nutritionist, and owner of Lime and Lotus, LLC with offices in both Charleston, South Carolina and Atlanta, Georgia.  She utilizes saliva testing, herbs, and whole food supplements to correct female hormones imbalances in her patients.  Download her free guide: Dr. Stephanie’s Naughty List – The Top Five Foods that Wreck Your Hormone Health here

References:

  1. “About,” National Toxicology Program, US Department of Health and Human Services, accessed March 13, 2018, https://ntp.niehs.nih.gov/about/index.html.
  2. Arthur Grube, David Donaldson, Timothy Kiely, and La Wu, “Pesticides Industry Sales and Usage 2006 and 2007 Market Estimates,” Washington, D.C.: United States Environmental Protection Agency, February 2011, PDF e-book, http://www.epa.gov/sites/production/iles/2015-10/documents/market_estimates2007.pdf.
  3. Michael N. Antoniou et al., “Concerns Over Use of Glyphosate-Based Herbicides and Risks Associated with Exposures: a Consensus Statement.” Environmental Health 15, no. 1 (2016): 1-13. https://doi.org/10.1186/s12940-016-0117-0.
  4. Romilly E. Hodges and Deanna M. Minich, “Modulation of Metabolic Detoxification Pathways Using Foods and Food-Derived Components: A Scientific Review with Clinical Application,” Journal of Nutrition and Metabolism (2015): 16. http://dx.doi.org/10.1155/2015/760689.
  5. Joseph W. Thornton, Michael McCally, and Jane Houlihan, “Biomonitoring of Industrial Pollutants: Health and Policy Implications of the Chemical Body Burden,” Public Health Reports 117, no. 4 (2002): 315-23, https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC1497458/pdf/12477912.pdf.
  6. Ian A. Myles, “Fast Food Fever: Reviewing the Impacts of the Western Diet on Immunity,” Nutrition Journal 13 (2014): 1. https://doi.org/10.1186/1475-2891-13-61.

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Health Benefits of Cayenne Pepper

These long, vibrant, thin peppers have mid-level spiciness with an earthy and smoky flavor. If you are brave enough to kick start your palate with a breeze of spice, then you are in for a ride that is loaded with nutrients that can help improve the condition of your blood.

Let’s discover the secrets of this spice by reading more about it below.

Improves Metabolism

Cayenne contains an active ingredient called capsaicin that stimulates the body’s metabolic activity by increasing the blood flow and heat in our body, which is called thermogenesis. The average increased rate of metabolism is about 20% and the effect can last for several hours after consumption.

Lowers Blood Pressure

This pepper is low in sodium and along with its vasodilation properties, this food can help lower your blood pressure. Also, regular consumption of cayenne can lower your risk of getting cardiovascular disease and stroke.

Circulatory Stimulant

Cayenne pepper facilitates blood circulation by dilating your blood, therefore, regulating the flow.

If you are taking medication for high blood pressure, always consult your medical specialist first.

Relief for Pain

The active ingredient capsaicin can diminish the substance p which is a neurotransmitter that sends pain signals. This works for both short-term and chronic pain.

This pain-killing effect is also linked to relieving joint pain along with the anti-inflammatory power of capsaicin.

Homemade Cayenne Pepper Sauce Recipe

Ingredients

  • 10 ounces cayenne chili peppers
  • 5-6 cloves garlic
  • 1/2 cup white wine vinegar (or more, as desired – use 1 cup for a thinner sauce)
  • 1 teaspoon salt + more to taste

Direction

  1. Chop up the cayenne peppers along with garlic cloves and add them to a pot with the vinegar and 1 teaspoon salt.
  2. Bring the mix to a boil, then reduce the heat to low and simmer everything for 20 minutes.
  3. Cool the mixture slightly, then transfer it to a food processor or blender. Process it until the sauce is nice and smooth. Adjust to taste with more salt if desired.
  4. Strain the sauce through a fine sieve if you’d like a smoother sauce, or pour it into bottles as-is for a thicker sauce.

Adapted from Chilipeppermadness

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Health Benefits of Fennel

This bulbous vegetable may not be as familiar as some of the other veggies, but its flavor, texture, and benefits surely deserve to be a part of your list of healthy foods. What does fennel taste like? Well, it has a light, bright, and licorice-like aroma but is not overpowering. Incorporate this vegetable into your diet and you’ll surely reap the benefits as it boasts an abundance of health-protective nutrients.

Let’s discover the benefits of this vegetable and make sure to stay tuned till the end of this article to uncover the recipe perfect for this veggie!

Food for the Guts

Fennel is your digestive system’s best friend! Snacking on some fennel seeds (1/4 tsp.) or drinking fennel tea can help provide relief to your stomach. This is due to fennel’s abundance in prebiotics which is the food source for probiotic bacteria which it restores balance in the gut. Also, this veggie is rich in fiber which softens your stool.

Prevents Anemia

Iron is a vital component of hemoglobin which transports oxygen from your lungs to various parts of your body. Fennel is rich in iron therefore it helps replenish your body’s iron needs.

Source of Vitamin C

Vitamin C is an antioxidant known for its ability to improve your immune system, keep your skin healthy, prevent macular degeneration, and shield your body from oxidative stress. The good news is, fennel is rich in Vitamin C, and now is the time to munch on these veggies!

Roasted Fennel with Garlic & Herbs

Ingredients:

  • 2 large bulbs of fennel
  • 3 tbsp olive oil
  • 2 cloves garlic minced
  • 3/4 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp black pepper
  • 1 tsp thyme

Direction:

  1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit.  Remove any of the stalks from the fennel bulbs and then cut them in half lengthwise. Cut each halved fennel bulb into 1/2-inch thick slices and arrange the slices on a parchment paper-lined baking sheet ensuring that they are all laid out evenly and do not overlap.
  2. In a bowl combine the olive oil and minced garlic and brush it over the sliced fennel and then sprinkle the thyme, salt and pepper overtop to ensure they are all well-seasoned.
  3. Roast the fennel in the oven for 25 minutes. After 35 minutes of baking, the fennel should be tender and caramelized on the edges (cook for another 5-8 minutes if it’s not yet tender). Serve warm.

Adapted from Every last Bite

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Health Benefits of Green Beans

Green beans are one of the most common vegetables that we see in the market and they are also easy to grow whatever the climate is. Their abundance is a blessing to humanity and the earth because like all other legumes, they are rich in nutritional value and they can fix the nitrogen from the air, therefore, improving the soil that they grow in.

Time to cultivate more knowledge about this vegetable by reading more about it below.

Anti- Cancer

Green beans are abundant in chlorophyll. This green pigment can reverse the carcinogenic effects of heterocyclic amines which are produced by foods grilled at high temperatures.

Improves Mood

This veggie can help you meet your daily folate need which is essential for regulating the homocysteine in your body. Homocysteine can prevents the blood from reaching your brain affecting the distribution of nutrients and the production of feel-good hormones.

Bone Booster

Consuming green beans along with other food can help strengthen your bones. A cup of green beans contains 20% of the Vitamin K daily requirement, and 4% of Calcium needed every single day.

Superior Immunity

These goodies are also rich in Vitamin C which is an antioxidant that amplifies your immune system and is necessary for your body’s development, growth, and repair.

Split Green Bean and Pea Soup

Ingredients

  • 1 yellow onion
  • 1 cup green beans chopped
  • 4 carrots
  • 4 cloves garlic
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 pound of split peas
  • 8 cups organic vegetable or chicken broth
  • Kosher salt
  • Fresh ground pepper

  1. Chop the onion and carrots. Mince the garlic.
  2. In a large soup pot or Dutch oven over medium-high heat, heat the olive oil. Add the onion, green beans, and carrots and sauté for 2 minutes. Add garlic and split peas and sauté for 1 minute.
  3. Add the broth. Bring to a boil, then simmer for 45 to 55 minutes, until the split peas fall apart and the soup becomes thickened. If you’d like, with a hand-held immersion blender, pulse a few times to yield a smoother yet still chunky texture. 
  4. Stir in the kosher salt, and fresh ground pepper. Garnish with smoked paprika if desired.

Adapted from A Couple Cooks

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Health Benefits of Pineapple

When we think of summer vibes, tropical vacations, and beaches, one of the first fruits that pop up in our mind is the crowned queen herself, the pineapple!

Pineapple is more than just a refreshing snack or dessert. It is a great source of many nutrients such as Vitamin C and B, and minerals like manganese. This fruit is available all year round so whatever season you are in, you can always enjoy this vibrant juicy fruit.

Here are some health benefits of pineapple:

Charged with Vitamin C

A powerful antioxidant that amplifies the immune system, encourages healing and growth and is a vehicle for faster absorption of iron in our body.

Supports Digestion

Pineapple contains an enzyme called bromelain which can help reduce inflammation and supports the healing of wounds and burns. Moreover, this enzyme is linked to supporting digestion and minimizing the effects of diarrhea.

Fortifies Bones

Average consumption of pineapple can help strengthen your bones and prevent osteoporosis. This is because, along with calcium and other trace minerals, this fruit is rich in manganese which improves mineral and bone density.

Energy Booster

Feeling down lately? Get your natural energy booster from this manganese-rich fruit! Manganese is a cofactor in energy production, reproduction, and the regulation of brain activity.

Pineapple Curry

Ingredients:

  • 1 Can Organic Pineapple Chunks 20 Ounces
  • 1 Cup Almond or coconut Milk
  • ½ Cup Pineapple Juice reserved from can
  • 1 onion diced
  • 2 Cloves Garlic minced
  • 2 Tablespoons Olive Oil
  • 2 Tablespoons Curry Powder
  • 1 Tablespoon all-purpose flour or your favorite gluten-free flour
  • 2 Teaspoons ground Cumin
  • 1 Teaspoon Turmeric
  • 1 Teaspoon Black Pepper
  • 1 Teaspoon Paprika
  • Salt to taste

Direction:

  1. Heat olive oil in a pan over medium heat.
  2. Sauté the onion, garlic, and pineapple until the onions are translucent, about 3–5 minutes.
  3. Add spices to the pan and continue to cook and stir for a minute or two.
  4.  Slowly add the milk and juice while stirring. Let the mixture simmer until it starts to thicken, about 10 minutes. Salt to taste.
  5. Serve over rice and enjoy!

Adapted from ohmyveggies

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Health Benefits of Fig

This fruit is a member of the mulberry family and it is a fruit of the ficus tree. Figs are delicate and their taste is described as syrupy liqueur sweet, with a chewy and soft texture and slightly crunchy.

Let’s climb into the ficus tree and discover what makes this fruit special and brilliant!

Healthy Digestion

Figs are enriched with fibers & prebiotics which are the perfect combo for a healthy tummy! It can also aid in shedding weight due to its high soluble fiber content and it can make you feel full for a longer period.

Anti-Parasitic

Figs have also been shown to help kill parasites and are one of the main ingredients in Dr Z’s recommended parasite protocol.  It can be found in the Zymex II product which she recommends for parasite detox and support.

Fertility Fruit

Figs have been a symbol of fertility since ancient Greek times. They are rich in iron which plays a major role in the ovulation process in females. 

Beneficial to your Heart

Fig contains fiber and potassium which can assist with decreasing fat from your body and pressure in your heart. This goodie is also fortified with antioxidants that protect your body from free radicals and reduce triglycerides and bad cholesterol.

Strong Bones

With the presence of calcium and potassium, figs can help improve the density of your bones which can protect you from bone diseases such as osteoporosis. 

Citrus & Fresh Fig Chia Seed Pudding

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup almond milk (organic and unsweetened)
  • 1/4 cup organic chia seeds
  • 3-4 fresh figs, stem removed and chopped
  • 2-3 tbsp maple syrup
  • 1 tsp tangelo zest (or other citrus)
  • To garnish: 2 quartered fresh figs, 2 tbsp chopped walnuts, and additional maple syrup

Directions:

  1. In a medium bowl, whisk together the almond milk, chia seeds, citrus zest, and maple syrup. Let the mixture sit at room temperature for 10 minutes or so. Add in the chopped figs and stir again.
  2. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 8 hours or overnight until it’s thick and pudding-like. When ready to serve, stir the pudding well and divide between two small bowls. Garnish each pudding with a quartered fig, a tablespoon of chopped walnuts, and a drizzle of maple syrup, to taste. Eat.
  3. The pudding can be refrigerated for up to 3 days. 

Note: Feel free to substitute your citrus of choice – oranges, tangerines, and clementines would all work well.

Adapted from Veggies and Gin

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Health Benefits Broccoli

One of the top foods that pop into mind when you think of healthy eating is probably broccoli! This cruciferous vegetable is good for all the right reasons. It is delicious, easy to incorporate with other dishes, and it contains powerful nutrients that are healthy for people of all ages. 

Read on and learn about the health benefits of broccoli along with an appetizing recipe.

Powerful Antioxidants

Broccoli can counter the negative effects of UV rays through its antioxidant compounds. It also contains lutein and zeaxanthin which protect the eyes from macular degeneration and cataracts.

Fights Inflammation

Cruciferous veggies including broccoli are powerful foods that fend off inflammation and reduce the risk of developing chronic diseases. Existing inflammatory conditions are no exception from this benefit which includes type 2 diabetes, obesity, bowel disease, rheumatoid arthritis, and skin conditions. 

Fiber For Life

Stronger guts, more glory! Broccoli is rich in fiber which fortifies the ability of your digestive system to smoothly digest and excrete waste. This can lead to a stronger immune system and a swifter response to inflammation. 

Pro eyesight

Just like carrots, broccoli is rich in lutein which can help protect your eyes from macular degeneration and cataracts.

Vegan Broccoli Soup

Ingredients:

  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, more for drizzling
  • 1 small yellow onion, diced
  • ½ cup chopped celery
  • ⅓ cup chopped carrots
  • 1 lb. broccoli, stems diced, florets chopped
  • 1 small yukon gold potato, diced (1 cup)
  • 4 garlic cloves, minced
  • 4 cups vegetable broth
  • ½ cup raw cashews
  • 1½ teaspoons apple cider vinegar
  • 1/2 teaspoon Dijon mustard
  • ¼ cup fresh dill
  • 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
  • 3/4 teaspoon sea salt
  • freshly ground black pepper

Instructions

  1. Preheat the oven to 350°F and line 2 small baking sheets with parchment paper.
  2. Heat the oil in a large pot or Dutch oven over medium heat. Add the onion, celery, carrots, broccoli stems, salt, and pepper and sauté until softened, about 10 minutes. Add the potatoes and garlic and stir, then add the broth and simmer for 20 minutes until the potatoes are soft. Let cool slightly.
  3. Set aside 1 cup of the broccoli florets to roast as a topping for the soup. Place the remaining florets in a steamer basket, and set over a pot with 1-inch of water. Bring the water to a simmer, cover, and let steam 5 minutes, until the broccoli is tender.
  4. Meanwhile, place the reserved broccoli florets on the baking sheet. Toss with a drizzle of olive oil and a pinch of salt and roast until the broccoli is tender and browned around the edges, 10 to 15 minutes.
  5. Transfer the soup to the blender and add the cashews, apple cider vinegar, and mustard, and blend until creamy. Work in batches, if necessary. Add the steamed broccoli florets, dill, and lemon juice, and pulse until the broccoli is incorporated but still chunky. The soup should be thick; if it’s too thick, add 1/2 cup water to thin to your desired consistency.
  6. Season to taste and serve the soup in bowls with the roasted broccoli.

Adapted from: Love and Lemons

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Health Benefits of Rosemary

Rosemary is a well-known culinary aromatic and its usage stretches far beyond the kitchen due to a myriad of health benefits. As the health industry continues to push its research on safer alternative medicine, rosemary is no exception as one of the best candidates in this matter. In fact, more companies are manufacturing this herb in different forms from essential oil to capsules. 

Here are the health benefits of rosemary:

ANTI Power

Sometimes, anti has a negative connotation but in this case, this is what makes this herb highly potent due to its antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, and anti-microbial abilities. The antioxidant and anti-inflammatory prowess of rosemary is largely ascribed to polyphenolic compounds like rosmarinic acid and carnosic acid which help protect your body from oxidative damage and inflammation.

Memory and Mood Enhancer

Drinking rosemary tea or inhaling the scent of this herb can boost your mood and reduce anxiety. Moreover, rosemary extract helps balance out the good bacteria in your guts and reduces inflammation in your hippocampus, a part of your brain that is linked to your memories, learning, and emotions.

Regulates Your Blood Sugar

An unhealthy level of blood sugar can affect numerous sections of your body such as the eyes, kidneys, heart, and nervous system. This is why it is imperative to monitor your blood sugar level.  

Rosemary contains carnosic acid and rosmarinic acid which promotes the absorption of glucose into muscle cells, lowering blood sugar.

Festive Rosemary Beet Phyllo Bites

Ingredients:

  • 1 jar (16 ounces) whole beets, drained and chopped
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 2 teaspoons minced fresh rosemary
  • 1 teaspoon grated orange zest
  • 2 cups fresh arugula, torn
  • 72 frozen miniature phyllo tart shells
  • 3/4 cup crumbled feta cheese

Directions:

  1. Pat beets dry with paper towels; place in a small bowl. Add the olive oil, rosemary and orange zest; toss to combine.
  2. Divide arugula among tart shells; top with beet mixture. Sprinkle with feta cheese.

If you’re gluten-free and want a great recipe to make your own GF phyllo dough check out this link.

Adapted from Taste of Home

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Health Benefits of Turkey

Thanksgiving is right around the corner and do you ever wonder why turkey is the most served food during this special occasion? It actually traces back to the 19th century when the turkey become a favorite first because it was plentiful and second because hens and cows were more useful for their produce (eggs, milk) rather than their meat; and third, a single turkey can feed a whole family. 

Beyond the bountiful history of this food is a flock of nutrients waiting to be discovered including a healthy turkey recipe! 

Reinforces your Immune System

Turkey is rich in selenium, an antioxidant that promotes a healthy heart and thyroid. 

Source of Protein

Aside from reinforcing your muscle growth, this abundance in protein also assists in regulating insulin levels and preventing fatigue.

Sleep inducing

Ever wonder why after a hefty bite of turkey makes you feel sleepy? That’s because this meat is rich in the amino acid L-tryptophan which promotes serotonin and melatonin. So if you are having a hard time sleeping, you might want to have a mouthful of turkey-enriched food beforehand. 

Improves Vision

Not recognized for vision like carrots or squash but turkey can help improve your eyesight and protect your eyes from cataracts due to the zinc and the B-vitamin Niacin. 

Slow-Cooker Turkey Chili with Butternut Squash

Ingredients

  • 1 pound lean ground turkey
  • 1 (28 ounces) can no-salt-added organic crushed tomatoes
  • 1 (14 ounces) can organic kidney beans, rinsed
  • 1 large onion, diced
  • 4 cups cubed butternut squash
  • 1 cup water
  • ¼ cup tomato paste
  • 3 tablespoons chili powder
  • 1 tablespoon ground cumin
  • 1 tablespoon finely chopped fresh garlic
  • ½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • ¾ teaspoon salt
  • ¼ teaspoon cayenne
  • ½ cup sliced scallions, for serving
  • Hot sauce, for serving

Directions

  1. Coat a large nonstick skillet with cooking spray; heat over medium-high heat. Add turkey and cook, breaking it up into chunks, until no longer pink, 5 to 6 minutes. Transfer to a 5- to 6-quart slow cooker.
  2. Add tomatoes, kidney beans, onion, squash, water, tomato paste, chili powder, cumin, garlic, cinnamon, salt and cayenne to the slow cooker; stir to combine. Cover and cook on High for 4 hours or Low for 8 hours.
  3. Remove lid and stir to combine. Serve hot, topped with scallions and hot sauce, if desired.

Adapted from eatingwell.com