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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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Health Benefits of Onion

Onion is a main household food staple that can enhance practically any savory dish. In the culinary world, it is considered both a spice and a vegetable, but botanically, it is a fruit. Whatever you may want to call it, one thing for sure is that the onion holds a special place in our hearts and for our overall health.

Let’s dive in and uncover the health benefits of onion.

Stabilizes blood sugar levels

Offer a healthy food infused with onions at your family gathering because this spice is known to regulate blood sugar because of its flavonoids.

Happy tummy

The sweetness and umami flavor of onion is truly a treat but the biggest takeaway is its ability to improve your digestion, therefore, strengthening your immune system and minimizing inflammation.

Nutrient overload

Onion is dense with nutrients that can improve your overall health. It is rich in potassium which increases your energy levels and metabolism, manganese promotes the creation of connective tissues, and bones.

Antibacterial properties

Be happy with the tears that onion brings because that strong smell is the compound called allicin which eliminates bacteria and toxins in our bodies.

French Onion Soup

Ingredients

  • 5 tablespoons unsalted butter, divided
  • 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
  • 3 pounds Vidalia onions (about 4 medium), halved lengthwise, peeled, and thinly sliced
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon granulated sugar
  • 1 1/2 cups dry white wine
  • 6 cups homemade beef broth or store-bought beef broth
  • 10 sprigs thyme
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1 baguette or gluten free baguette
  • 1 garlic clove, cut in half lengthwise
  • 2 teaspoons sherry, preferably Fino or Manzanilla
  • 4 ounces Gruyere cheese, grated (about 1 cup)

Special Equipment

  • Kitchen twine, six 8-ounce or four 16-ounce oven-safe ramekins or bowls (optional)

Direction

  1. In a large Dutch oven or other large pot, melt 3 tablespoons of butter over medium heat. Add the oil and onions; cook onions until softened, stirring occasionally, about 15 minutes. Add the salt, pepper, and sugar; continue to cook, stirring occasionally, until onions are deep golden brown and caramelized, and reduce heat slightly if onions seem to be browning too quickly, 35 to 45 minutes more.
  2. Add wine and raise the heat to high. Cook until almost all liquid has evaporated, 8 to 10 minutes.
  3. Tie thyme and bay leaves into a bundle with twine. Add broth and herb bundle to the pot with onions. Bring to a boil, reduce to a simmer, and cook, uncovered, until broth is thickened and flavorful, 20 to 30 minutes. Remove from heat and whisk in the remaining 2 tablespoons of butter. Taste and adjust seasoning.
  4. Heat the broiler. Cut two 1/2-inch baguette slices for every serving of soup. Place baguette slices on a rimmed baking sheet and toast in the oven until crisp and dry but not browned, about 1 minute per side. Rub one side of each toast with the garlic clove and set aside.
  5. Place ramekins or oven-safe bowls on a rimmed baking sheet, add 1/2 teaspoon of sherry to the bottom of each, and ladle soup on top. Top each serving of soup with two garlic-rubbed toasts. Divide cheese among the servings, covering the bread and some of the soup. Carefully transfer the baking sheet to the oven and broil until the cheese is melted and bubbling, 4 to 8 minutes. (Alternatively, if using regular soup bowls: Top each garlic-rubbed toast with some cheese and return to broiler to melt, about 2 minutes more. Divide sherry and soup among bowls, sprinkle with remaining cheese, and top each serving with two cheese toasts).

Adapted from epicurious

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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 Lime

Lime is a citrus fruit known for its vibrant green color and sweet yet sour refreshing taste. Many species of lime differ in characteristics (shapes, aroma, and flavor), to name a few: key lime, Persian lime, desert lime, and makrut lime. 

Beyond its flavor, this fruit contains nutrients that promote a more robust immune system, prevent kidney stones, create healthier skin, and reduce heart disease.

Let’s discover the benefits that make lime a powerhouse fruit!

Ultra Immunity

The main nutrient that citrus fruit is known for is Vitamin C and that includes lime. Vitamin C can help protect you from infection and inflammation, and enhance the healing process of your body.

Healthy Skin

Accompanied by a healthy lifestyle and proper skincare, adding lime to your water or food can improve the texture and complexion of your skin through the help of vitamin c and flavonoids. 

Reduces the risk of heart disease

Lime is rich in potassium which can lower blood pressure and improve blood circulation. It also contains magnesium which plays a significant role in the heart’s healthy rhythm.

Non-Alcoholic Mojito

Ingredients:

  • 1 lime
  • 1 Tbs honey, more to taste (optional)
  • 10 to 15 mint leaves
  • 4 to 6 ounces of sparkling water, or club soda
  • 1 mint sprig, for garnish

Direction:

  1. Gather the ingredients.
  2. Cut the lime into wedges (about 4 or 5), reserving one for garnish. Add the remaining wedges along with the honey syrup to a tumbler. Muddle well to release all of the lime juice.
  3. Add the mint, tearing each leaf into smaller pieces, and muddle gently to release the herb’s essence.
  4. Fill the glass with ice then sparkling water or soda. Add more honey syrup, if desired. Stir well to incorporate the lime and mint into the ice.
  5. Garnish with the reserved lime wedge and a sprig of mint. Serve and enjoy.

Adapted from The Spruce Eats

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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 of Lychee

Lychee, also known as ‘Litchi’ or ‘Lichi’, is a native fruit of Southeast Asia. Since ancient times, this fruit has been a favorite of the Cantonese and is eaten fresh or dried. 

In the present day, Lychee is now enjoyed worldwide due to its refreshing, aromatic, and sweet flavor which makes it an ideal fruit to savor during a busy day!

The most important factor why you should consider trying out this fruit is because it is rich in health benefits that will help strengthen your immunity and together; we will discover those benefits in this blog.

Fortifies Your Immunity

The first thing that pops into your mind when you think of “healthy” is “immunity”. Well, you are in perfect luck because Vitamin C is lychee’s most significant vitamin and it contains more than 100% of the daily Vitamin C requirement. Vitamin C is an antioxidant that helps stimulate the activity of white blood cells and promotes cell regeneration.  

Smooth Digestion

Indulge your snack time with lychee and expect your toilet time to be easier and more comfortable! This fruit is rich in dietary fiber that bulks your stool and stimulates peristaltic motion of the smooth small intestine muscles for a smoother bowel movement. Lyche also increases the efficiency of the absorption of nutrition by promoting the production of gastric and digestive juices.

Improve Blood Circulation

Lyche contains a considerable amount of copper, a nutrient that is integral in the formation of RBC therefore, it amplifies blood circulation and increases the oxygenation of the organs and cells.

Lychee-vanilla coconut cooler

Ingredients:

  • 10–12 fresh lychees, peeled
  • 2 cups coconut milk
  • 1 1/4 cups almond or hemp milk
  • Pinch of salt
  • 1-inch piece of vanilla bean, scraped
  • 1/2 to 3/4 cup black tapioca pearls

Direction:

  1. Bring four cups of water to a boil in a small saucepan. Throw in the tapioca pearls and boil for about 3 minutes. Reduce the heat to medium, cover, and simmer for 5 minutes more. Remove from the water and place into a container. Cover with fresh water and place a lid on it and refrigerate until you are ready to use it.
  2. Combine all of the other ingredients in a blender and puree until smooth. Transfer to a container and place in the refrigerator to chill.
  3.  About an hour before serving, place it in the freezer. Add some of the tapioca pearls to the cooler before serving.

Adapted from Olives For Dinner

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Health Benefits of Ginger

Ginger is a flowering plant that flourishes in Southeast Asia. It has been used as a traditional and alternative medicine in several forms for many years, therefore earning its title as one of the world’s healthiest spices!

Let’s find out what makes this spice special!

Immune Booster

Ginger contains gingerol, a compound that makes up its spicy and pungent flavor, and it contains antioxidant properties that help boost your immune system. 

Prevents Heart Disease

Ginger contains an antioxidant called phytonutrient and it is known for its anti-inflammatory prowess. This compound can lower blood pressure & cholesterol, therefore, protecting you from heart-related diseases. 

Relief for Upset Stomach

Ginger has been linked to numerous digestive benefits, particularly acting on parts of your GI tract responsible for feelings of nausea, stomach upset, and vomiting. So if your tummy feels off the charts, try sipping on a hot ginger tea. 

Ease Period Pain

Ginger tea can work wonders in relieving pain and period pain is no exception! A sip of ginger tea can also soothe nausea during that time of the month. 

Carrot Ginger Soup

Ingredients:

  • 1 yellow onion
  • 4 cups chopped carrots (1 3/4 pounds or about 12 large carrots)
  • 1 ½ tablespoon peeled and minced ginger root (about 1-inch nub)
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 4 cups vegetable broth
  • ¼ teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 pinch cinnamon
  • ½ teaspoon kosher salt
  • ½ cup full fat coconut milk

Instructions:

  1. Dice the onion. Peel and chop the carrots. Peel the ginger with a spoon, then mince it.
  2. In a large pot, heat the olive oil over medium high heat. Add the onion and sauté for 5 minutes. Add the ginger, carrots, vegetable broth, garlic powder, cinnamon and salt and bring to a boil. Then simmer until the carrots are tender, about 15 to 20 minutes.
  3. Carefully transfer the hot soup to a blender using a ladle (or use an immersion blender). Add the coconut milk and blend until smooth and creamy. Taste and adjust seasonings as desired. Serve swirled with a drizzle of coconut milk and topped with fresh cilantro.

Adapted from A Couple Cooks