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Health Benefits of Prunes

Prunes are dried plums that are a close relative of peach and cherry. This dried fruit is most commonly from the European Plum variety. Just like raisins, it may take time for some people to adjust to its distinctive taste, but once you love it, you just can’t get enough of it!

Let us discover the health benefits of this fruit are and pick up a nutritious recipe at the end of this article!

Builds Muscle

Exercising is a great way to build muscles along with a nutrient that promotes muscle growth and development and that is where prunes’ prowess comes in. Boron is a mineral that can be found in prune and it helps support muscle growth, muscle coordination, and a sharp mind.

Energy Food

Prunes are a delicious and sweet treat that you can snack on during the day or in between your work to energize your body. But what makes this fruit special is it can sustain your appetite and energy without spiking your sugar levels due to the union blend of fiber, sorbitol, and fructose. This is a great alternative for an energy drink!

Anti-Anemia

Prunes are rich in iron which can help prevent or treat anemia. If you are going for a vegetarian source for iron, then go for prunes!

Better Sleep

Prunes are a good snack for pre-bedtime because it contains magnesium which improves sleep by activating mechanism in your nervous system that calm you down. 

Prune Bars – Gluten Free

Ingredients

Prune Filling:

  • 8 ounces Prunes
  • 1 1/2 cups organic apple or white grape juice
  • 1 teaspoon lemon juice

Bar Crust:

  • 1 1/4 cups gluten free flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 6 tablespoons organic butter, softened
  • 1/3 cup coconut sugar
  • 1 tablespoon coconut or avocado oil
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1–2 tablespoons water

Instructions

  1. Make the Prune filling: Place the prunes, juice, and lemon juice in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Let simmer for 25-30 minutes, stirring occasionally, until the prunes are very soft and there is little liquid left (about 2-3 tablespoons.) Let cool slightly.
  2. Place the prunes and remaining liquid in a food processor and puree until the mixture is thick and jammy. Set aside.
  3. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Line an 8-inch square baking pan with parchment paper, then lightly spray with cooking spray to grease. Set aside.
  4. Make the crust: Whisk together the flour, baking powder, and salt together in a medium bowl. In a large bowl, beat together the sugar and butter until fluffy. Add in the oil, vanilla, and water and beat again.
  5. Slowly stir in the flour mixture and beat until the flour is just incorporated. Reserve ~3/4 cup of the dough, wrap in plastic, and place in the fridge until ready to use.
  6. Take the other remaining dough and press it into the prepared pan in an even layer. Place in the oven and bake for 20 minutes until golden brown.
  7. Remove the crust from the oven and spread the prune mixture over the crust. For the remaining crust- up to you! You can dollop the remaining dough onto the prune coating or, you can roll the remaining dough into a square, then place it onto the prune mixture.
  8. Place the bars back into the oven and bake until the crust is golden brown, another 25 minutes. Let the prune bars cool in the pan, then remove and place in on a wire cooling rack or the fridge to cool completely for about 1 hour.
  9. Cut into squares and serve! Store leftovers in an airtight container and keep them in the fridge.

Adapted from Delish Knowledge

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Health Benefits of Kale

This cruciferous vegetable is certainly one of the healthiest and nutritious plant foods that Mother Nature has offered. It is widely adored by the masses due to its powerhouse nutritional content and the continuous demands for this food have expanded its form of consumption from salads, to power juices, to dried chips. 

Let’s munch and crunch the factors one by one on what makes this vegetable extra special!

Fortified with Antioxidants

Kale is equipped with antioxidants that are potent in relieving inflammation and countering oxidative stress caused by free radicals. Antioxidants also help protect your DNA from damage and can slow down cancer growth and spread. 

Strengthens Bones

Kale is rich in Vitamin K which plays a significant part in bone formation, therefore, reducing the risk of osteoporosis and fractures.

Strong Heart

Kale contains bile acid sequestrants which can lower cholesterol levels, therefore, reducing the risk of heart disease.

Healthy Skin & Hair

Kale is rich in Vitamin C which is necessary for collagen production and Vitamin A, a compound retinoid that increases collagen production reducing fine lines and improves the color of the skin.


As always the best way to consume this food is by eating it in your diet.  However, if you want a way to consistently add it to your daily protocol via supplement my favorite recommendation is Cruciferous Complete by Standard Process.

Kale Guacamole

INGREDIENTS:

  • 3 to 4 big leaves of curly green kale (the Tuscan/lacinato variety also works well)
  • 4 medium ripe avocados, halved and pitted
  • 3 to 4 tablespoons lime juice (about 1 ½ medium limes), divided, to taste
  • ¾ teaspoon kosher salt, to taste
  • ⅓ cup roughly chopped red onion
  • ¼ cup roughly chopped fresh cilantro, lightly packed
  • 1 small jalapeño, seeds and membranes removed, roughly chopped

NSTRUCTIONS:

  1. To prepare the kale, first remove the tough ribs with a chef’s knife and discard them. Chop the kale into small, bite-sized pieces. Sprinkle it lightly with salt, followed by a squeeze of lime juice (about 1 teaspoon). Massage the kale by scrunching it up in your hands, repeating until the kale is darker green and fragrant (this step softens the kale and makes it less bitter). You’ll need 1 cup (packed) kale for the guacamole, so measure it out and set it aside.
  2. Next, use a spoon to scoop the flesh of the avocados into the bowl of a food processor, discarding any bruised, browned areas. Add 3 tablespoons of lime juice and salt. Blend until the mixture is fairly smooth, pausing to scrape down the sides as necessary.
  3. Add the massaged kale, onion, cilantro, and jalapeño. Blend until the mixture is mostly smooth, with only tiny bits of kale and onion remaining (or completely smooth if you prefer). Taste, and add additional salt and/or lime juice, if necessary, and blend again (I usually add up to ½ teaspoon more salt and another tablespoon of lime juice). Serve immediately.

Adapted from Cookie and Kate

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Health Benefits of Papaya

This fruit was once deemed exotic, but now, you can experience the heavenly sweetness and buttery texture of papaya in both markets and restaurants! Moreover, this tropical fruit is filled with nutrients that can help improve your body’s daily performance. 


Let us unveil the health secrets of papaya along with a delicious recipe that you can prepare as a side dish or as a snack.

Powerful Antioxidants

This fruit is a fortress of nutrients but one stands out among them and that is the antioxidant beta-carotene which can reduce the risk of cancer and plays a vital role in shielding men against prostate cancer.

Improves Digestion

Papaya contains 2 key ingredients that normalize the flow of digestion which are fiber and papain. 

Fun Fact: Papain is also used as a meat tenderizer and it works by tearing down proteins through a process called hydrolysis

Supports Skin and Healing

Aside from consuming this fruit fresh, mashed papaya applied to a wound or burned skin can help improve the condition of the affected area through the power of proteolytic enzymes, chymopapain, and papain. Ointments containing papain enzyme are also now manufactured to treat bedsores.

Anti-Arthritis

People who are suffering or may want to protect themselves from arthritis might want to start incorporating papaya into their diet as it is a good source of Calcium which helps strengthen your bones and Vitamin C which keeps any inflammation at bay. 

Spicy Ripe Papaya Salad (Vegan, Gluten-Free)

Ingredients

  • 1 large ripe papaya, diced to 1 inch cubes
  • 1/2 cup chopped mint
  • 1/2 cup chopped cilantro
  • 1 red pepper, diced 1/2 inch
  • 1/2 red onion, slivered
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/3 cup fresh lemon juice
  • 1 tbsp minced hot pepper, optional
  • 1 tsp brown sugar, maple syrup or sweetener of your choice.
  • 1 tbsp minced fresh ginger root.

Instruction

  1. Place all the ingredients in a big bowl and give a good tossing. Allow the spicy ripe papaya salad to sit for ten minutes for flavors to meld. 

Adapted from Sunny Side Hanne

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Health Benefits of Dark Chocolate

The first things that usually pop up in our minds when we think of chocolate are sugar, dessert, and carbs. Despite its negative reputation, a lot of research has shown that chocolate, specifically the dark version, is rich in antioxidants and other nutrients that can help amplify your health.

Sharper Mind

Dark chocolate is rich in flavanols which improves the blood flow in the brain, therefore, amplifying cognitive functions. A study has also shown that a high content of flavanol enhances the activity in the dentate gyrus part of the brain which plays a critical role in memory preservation. 

Fierce Protector

Dark chocolate may have been the most delicious medicine that you will ever snack on because it is high in antioxidants that helps amplify your body’s protection against diseases as well as stimulating the lining of the arteries to manufacture nitric oxide, to help regulate blood pressure.

Heightened Energy

If you need an alternative morning boost from coffee, you might want to try a hot cup or a bar of dark chocolate. This food’s ability to improve blood flow allows the oxygen to be carried-out faster through the muscles.

Guilt-Free Happiness

Aside from its truly delectable taste, dark chocolate contains a chemical component called phenylethylamine which makes it irresistible and it stimulates the same feeling as falling in love! Eating dark chocolate can amplify your mood along with the naturally produced in our body dopamine, theobromine, and tryptophan content.

Healthy Dark Chocolate Mousse

  • 2 avocados (220 g) only the flesh
  • 50 g pure cocoa powder
  • 2 Tbsp honey
  • 1/2 cup (75g) cup almond milk 
  • 1/4 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1/4 tsp salt

Instructions

  1. Place all the ingredients in a food processor and blend until completely smooth.
  2. Leave to set in the fridge for 1-2 hours.
  3. Garnish your chocolate mousse with: fresh currants, mint, coconut flakes, pomegranate seeds.

Adapted from Shoo the Cook

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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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Health Benefits of Apple

Glorified as the food that keeps the doctor away, apple is a staple fruit for every American household. The abundance of apples can be found all year round and it is one of the most cultivated fruit. Because of that, it has been produced in different forms such as juices, purees, and fruit cocktails. The real question is, does its Welsh proverbial quotation live up to the benefits for our bodies? Together, let’s find out!

Stronger Guts

In order to keep the good bacteria that support your digestion healthy, feeding them with a type of fiber called pectin keeps them in nourished and that type of compound can be found in apple. 

Excellent for your Brain

Some might doubt that apple juice may have fewer health benefits than eating the whole fruit but to debunk that notion, apple juice has the ability to preserve acetylcholine which is a neurotransmitter which can decline through aging and lower level of acetylcholine is associated to Alzheimer’s disease.  Just keep your juice intake to a maximum of a few ounces at a time because of the high sugar content.

Rich in Antioxidants

Apple is packed with Vitamin C which acts as an anti-inflammatory and immunity booster, and it also keeps your skin healthy and smooth. This fruit is also loaded with Polyphenols that regulate digestion, prevent and improve the condition of diabetes and cardiovascular diseases.

We also have a delicious and truly delectable apple recipe for all of you. Check it out and enjoy this snack with your friends and family!

SPICED APPLE MUFFINS

Dry Ingredients:

  • 1/2 cup of coconut flour
  • 3/4 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon medium grind sea salt (if you use fine, use 1/4 teaspoon)
  • 3/4 cup of shredded apples (wash, and core the apples, and then shred, peel and all)
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cloves

Wet Ingredients:

  • 1/3 cup of coconut oil
  • 1/4 cup of honey
  • 3 large eggs

Instructions:

  1. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Prep the muffin tins or the baking cups.
  2. In a medium-size bowl combine the dry ingredient and briskly whisk until all lumps are removed.
  3. Add coconut oil and honey.
  4.   Melt together on the stove-top, just until melted (don’t get it hot, otherwise, it could cook your eggs prematurely).
  5. Add the eggs while lightly whisking the mixture. Whisk until everything is well combined, and then add the shredded apples.
  6. Divide between ten muffin tins, and bake for about 25 minutes or until the tops are lightly browned and a toothpick comes out clean when poked in the middle of the muffin.
  7. Allow to cool for a few minutes and take out of the muffin tins and serve!
  • Add a bit of lemon juice or vinegar and baking soda in place of the baking powder to make these Gaps Friendly.

Adapted from: https://www.thenourishinggourmet.com/2009/09/spiced-apple-muffins-gluten-grain-and-dairy-free.html