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Health Benefits of Turmeric

Turmeric is an esteemed herbal food in Asia that specifically flourished in the traditional valley of India. It is a family relative of ginger and can be consumed dried or fresh. Its flavor is characterized as musky, earthy, and a tad bitter. Through its health benefits, this golden spice goes beyond just being a food and flavor enhancer.

Slimming Concoction

Exercising regularly and healthy eating are the best ways to trim your waist to achieve the healthy weight that you desire. But consuming turmeric in its raw or liquid form can help boost your body’s ability to change your body composition by regulating lipid metabolism and targeting fat by repressing various processes in charge of the growth of adipose tissue. 

Skin Protection

Skin is the largest organ of our body and it acts as a defense against physical injury and harmful microbes that attempt to attack our internal system. Through this, we must take care of our skin and turmeric can improve skin tone and texture as well as the healing capability due to its anti-inflammatory properties.

Alleviates Joint Pain

Turmeric helps relieve inflamed joints with its anti-inflammatory power. You can also apply and massage it directly in the affected area by mixing it with other spices in a steamed pot to create a paste-like texture. This will help revitalize the blood flow. 

Add it to your Daily Regimen

Turmeric is best utilized by the body if taken daily and we are so excited that our favorite herbal company Medi-Herb has created a fantastic product in the form of Turmeric Forte. This particular product contains a bioavailable form of Turmeric rhizome and Fenugreek seed to support a healthy inflammatory response.  My suggested dose for this product is 2 tablets per day.  

Turmeric Forte

Turmeric Forte contains a bioavailable form of Turmeric rhizome and Fenugreek seed to support a healthy inflammatory response. These herbs and their constituents:

  • Support a healthy inflammatory response
  • Maintain and support healthy joints
  • Support healthy liver function and healthy digestion
  • Provide antioxidant activity

Check out the Turmeric Fact Sheet here.

Want to try it out?  Place your orders here.

Healing 5-Ingredient Turmeric Tonic

Ingredients:

  • 1 Tbsp fresh grated turmeric 
  • 1 Tbsp fresh grated ginger 
  • 1 whole lemon (juiced // ~3 Tbsp or 45 ml juice as original recipe is written // plus leftover rind)
  • 1-2 tsp maple syrup (optional // can sub stevia or raw honey if not vegan)
  • 1 pinch cayenne pepper (optional // or cracked black pepper which many readers have commented helps with the bioavailability of the turmeric!)
  • 3 cups of filtered water

Directions:

  1. To a small saucepan, add turmeric, ginger, lemon juice and leftover lemon rind, maple syrup (optional), cayenne (optional), and filtered water. I personally didn’t think it needed any sweetener, but sweeten to taste.
  2. Bring to a simmer (not a boil) over medium to medium-high heat (~3 minutes). Then turn off the heat.
  3. Set a small strainer over serving glasses and divide between two mugs. Enjoy. If the tonic is too potent for you, dilute with more hot/warm water.
  4. Store (strained) leftovers in the refrigerator for up to 2-3 days. Reheat on the stovetop until just warm.

Adapted from Minimalist Baker

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Health Benefits of Sweet Potato

Sweet Potato is a root vegetable that is sweet in flavor and has a starchy texture. It is most favored consumed as part of breakfast meal or in-between snack due to its abundance in healthy Carbohydrates, Fiber, and Vitamin A.  Despite its name, it is unrelated to white potato because botanically speaking,  white potato stands with the nightshade family while the sweet potato is affiliated with the bindweed or morning glory family.

Let us explore what makes this root vegetable special in the health-conscious community.

Enhanced Immunity

Whenever our body detects a viral or bacterial infection, the immune system comes to the rescue! Sweet Potato is your friend when it comes to protection and repair as it garners 52% of your daily value for vitamin C. It also contains Vitamin A, a potent nutrient against infections and tumors.

Powerful Gut

You need to take care of the good bacteria in your stomach too and the ”resistant starch” in sweet potato helps keep the good bacteria strong by feeding on them.  Your digestive system’s amiable nutrient is present in sweet potato — the fiber which helps prevent stomach diseases such as colon cancer.

Healthy Mind

Accompanied by choline and manganese, your brain can function at its greatest! Manganese binds neurotransmitters and supports in mobilizing electrical impulses to your body faster while Choline is a vital nutrient for brain growth and development.

The magnesium in Sweet Potato can help relieve stress and anxiety by calming your brain.

Regulates Blood Sugar

Sweet potato is enriched with Potassium that substantially drives away extra sodium and fluid out of the body, therefore, reducing the strain on the heart and lowering blood pressure.

Sweet Potato and Sage Pancakes Recipe

Ingredients:

  • 3 tablespoons ground flaxseed
  • 1/3 cup hot water
  • 1 cup firmly packed shredded unpeeled sweet potato
  • 3/4 cup Homemade Applesauce
  • 2 tablespoons unrefined extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • 2 teaspoons dried sage
  • 1 cup brown rice flour
  • 3/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon sea salt

Direction:

  1. Preheat the oven to 400°F.
  2. In a small bowl, whisk the flaxseed with water and set aside for 5 minutes.
  3. In a medium bowl, mix sweet potato, applesauce, olive oil, lemon juice, sage, and the flaxseed slurry
  4. In another medium bowl, mix the flour, baking soda, and salt.
  5. Add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients and stir well to combine.
  6. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and grease it with ghee or olive oil.
  7. Scoop out slightly less than 1/2 cup batter and roll it in your palms to form a ball.
  8. Place it on the baking sheet and press down to form a 1/4-inch-thick pancake. Repeat the process.
  9. Bake for 20 minutes or until brown. Serve topped with a dollop of coconut yogurt or whipped coconut cream, a drizzle of Grade B maple syrup, and a sprinkle of ground cinnamon.
  10. Keep refrigerated in an airtight container for up to 3 days. Reheat in a skillet with a dash of ghee.

Adapted from Epicurious

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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 Pomegranate

The fruit that shines among others because of its jewel-like brilliance and rich ruby color. Pomegranate is more than just what you see. Pomegranate is filled with delicious seeds that can be eaten raw or juiced plus it is also packed with vitamins and minerals to re-energize your health!

Antioxidants

Pomegranate contains two powerful antioxidants: Punicalagins (juice and peel) and Punicic Acid (seed oil). Both of these antioxidants help protect your body against free radicals and are responsible for the overall health benefits of Pomegranate.

Anti-inflammatory

The high-level content of punicalagin makes pomegranate a powerful fruit that drives inflammation down and other diseases such as arthritis, cancer, and diabetes.

Prevents Blood clot

There are two types of a blood clot, the good one which helps your injury recover fast and the other one is fatal because it can clog your arteries, heart, and any parts of your body.

Pro Oxygen

By fighting off free radicals, bad cholesterol, and blood clots, the antioxidant in pomegranate regulates the flow of your blood thus enhancing the level of oxygen in your body.

Avocado Pomegranate Salad (AIP/Paleo/Refined Sugar-Free)

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup dino kale cut into 1/4 inch strips
  • 4 small ripened avocados, diced
  • 1/2 cup pomegranate seeds
  • 1/2 cup cucumber, chopped
  • 1.5 tbsp fresh mint, finely chopped

Dressing:

  • Juice of a lemon
  • 2 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 1 tbsp avocado oil
  • 1/2 tsp pink salt
  • 1 tsp honey

Instructions:

  1. Whisk dressing ingredients together, set aside.
  2. Add all other ingredients to a large bowl. Pour dressing over and toss.
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Health Benefits of Black Eyed Peas

The name is commonly associated with the musical group due to their catchy and electronic beats, but one thing for sure is that a serving of this legume can make your body bust a move! Black eyed peas served with a side of veggies are the perfect substitute if you are looking for some meatless Monday options and it is delicious which will surely fill both your hunger and your body’s nutritional needs.

Anemia No More

Black eyed Peas are enriched with Iron which prevents the cause of anemia. It also contains folate, one of the B Vitamins that is essential to form normal red blood cells.

Good for Digestion

The abundance of fiber in black eyed peas absorbs the water in the digestive tract and delivers the waste product out of the body for a smooth bowel movement. A high fiber diet is also a form of detox since it helps excrete waste and toxins in our bodies.

Healthy Skin and Eyes

A cup of these peas can fill-in a quarter of your daily Vitamin A needs. The Vitamin A content of black eyes peas is as rich as carrots which not only support healthy skin but also produce the pigments in the retina of the eye.

Regulates Blood Pressure

Potassium is an essential mineral that lowers blood pressure, therefore, lowing your risk of coronary heart disease. Your 20 percent daily requirement of potassium can be acquired in a cup of black eyed peas.

Let’s do a black eyed peas concert at the kitchen, healthy style!

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Health Benefits of Potato

Potatoes were first cultivated in the South America Region around 7,000 to 10,000 years ago. They are the 4th largest food crop all over the world with one-third of the world’s potatoes being cultivated in China and India which helps explain the demand in both countries’ cuisines.


Potatoes are one of the vegetables that are loved by many because of their flavor and how easily they blend into different types of foods. Let us explore the hidden gems beyond the flavor of this tuber.

Gut-Friendly

They are rich in carbohydrates and fiber which facilitates smooth digestion making them good food for people who have a hard time digesting solid foods but requires plenty of energy.

Minimizes Inflammation

They are easy to digest and they hold a lot of Vitamin C for added protection again infection and diseases which is good for you and your children. Yams and sweet potatoes can also relieve inflammation in the digestive system and may ease the suffering in those with gout.

Rich in Carotenoids

Carotenoids help maintain your heart and other internal organs for healthy functioning. But always make sure to watch out in over-consuming potatoes as they can also raise your glucose levels. One way to combat this is by adding a good fat such as butter to those taters.

Skincare Potion

Potatoes are rich in Vitamin B and Vitamin C which supports healthy skin and a crushed potato pulp mixed with honey can be used as a skin mask. For people who are suffering from pimples or sunburn, apply a potato pulp on the affected area for faster healing.


We won’t end this article without a delicious and surely healthy potato recipe that you can serve for your friends or family!

RED POTATO, ASPARAGUS, & ARTICHOKE SALAD

Ingredients:

  • 18 small red potatoes
  • 3 pounds fresh asparagus, trimmed
  • 2 (14 ounce) cans artichoke hearts, drained and quartered
  • 3 tablespoons Dijon mustard
  • 1/4 cup fresh lemon juice
  • 3/4 cup olive oil
  • salt and ground black pepper to taste
  • 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper, or to taste
  • 5 tablespoons minced fresh chives

Instructions:

  1. Place the potatoes into a large pot and cover with salted water. Bring to a boil over high heat, then reduce heat to medium-low, cover, and simmer until tender, about 20 minutes. Drain and allow to steam dry for a minute or two. Allow to cool completely before cutting into bite-size cubes. Transfer to a large bowl.
  2. Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil over high heat. Add the asparagus spears, and cook until tender, about 3 minutes depending on size. Drain and immediately plunge into cold water to stop cooking. Cut the asparagus spears into 1-inch pieces. Place in the bowl with the potatoes. Stir in the artichokes, breaking them apart slightly as you put them in the bowl.
  3. Combine the mustard and lemon juice in a bowl; whisk the oil gradually into the mustard and lemon juice until smooth. Season with salt, pepper, and cayenne pepper to taste. Drizzle over the vegetables; toss to coat. Sprinkle with chives to serve..

Adapted from: https://www.allrecipes.com/recipe/65164/red-potato-asparagus-and-artichoke-salad/

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No Tricks – Healthy Halloween Treats

The hunt begins for a wickedly delicious and hauntingly healthy Halloween dessert this spooky festive season. The cascade of leaves from the branches of the hollow trees may be the start of our demise, but surprise! We are not going on that route because we will enjoy this holiday with an array of festive and flamboyant treats that will feast not only our eyes but also our guts and health!

Chocolate Pumpkin Cups

Less carving and more baking for pumpkin! A luscious chocolate cups that are flavored with festive ingredients which are maple and cinnamon for a spark of brilliance and excitement.

Ingredients:

Chocolate Layers

  • 1/2 cup melted coconut oil
  • 1/2 cup cacao powder
  • 2 tablespoons maple syrup

Pumpkin Layer

  • 2 tablespoons melted coconut oil
  • 1/2 cup pumpkin purée (not pumpkin pie filling)
  • 3 tablespoons almond butter (or your favorite nut butter)
  • 2 tablespoons maple syrup
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon

Instructions:

  1. Line a muffin tin with cupcake liners.
  2. Combine all ingredients for the chocolate layer in a small bowl. Mix until well combined. I found that measuring out about 1/2 tablespoon (or a little less) into each cupcake liner was just enough to fill both chocolate layers. These layers are very thin! I made 10 chocolate cups. You may have to spread out the chocolate so it fills the whole liner. Freeze for 15 minutes.
  3. Meanwhile, prepare the pumpkin layer. Combine all ingredients for the pumpkin layer in a small bowl. Mix until well combined. I measured out about 1 tablespoon for each cup. Layer over the chocolate and freeze for 20 minutes or until firm.
  4. Finish by layering the leftover chocolate over the pumpkin layer and freeze for an hour or until firm.
  5. Transfer cups to a sealed container and store in the freezer.

Adapted From: The Glowing Fridge

Candy Skull Crushers

Let’s take the spooky level a little further by creating a field of creepy mini happy skulls. They are an amazing nibs of healthy treat that you can share with the children and will surely put a smile on their faces.

Ingredients:

Equipment/Materials

  • A blender / food processor
  • A candy mold or ice cube tray

For the “white chocolate” coating

  • 1/2 cup coconut oil
  • 1/2 cup cashew nuts
  • 1 tbsp raw honey
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 tbsp raw almond milk

For the berry filling

  • 1/4 cup goji berries
  • 1/4 cup fresh blackberries (can be substituted with other berries)
  • 1/4 cup cashew nuts
  • 2 tbsp raw almond milk or milk of choice
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract

Instructions:

  1. To make the “white chocolate” coating, mix all ingredients in a blender or food processor until completely smooth. Add a tiny bit more milk if it’s hard to blend.
  2. Make the berry filling by separately mixing all ingredients in a blender or food processor until smooth and resembles a thick sauce.
  3. Fill your mold up to about 1/3 way with the white chocolate and freeze for a few minutes. (Should only take about 10 minutes for it to firm up.)
  4. Then spoon in about 1/2 tsp full of the berry filling, keeping it in the center of the mold. And freeze for a further 10 minutes.
  5. Now fill up to the top with the white chocolate and freeze or refrigerate to set for at least 30 minutes.
  6. Keep in the fridge or freezer so it will keep a nice solid texture. Will be fine at room temperature for about 15 minutes before it softens.

Adapted From: Wallflower and Kitchen

Be creative and go EXTRA as much as you want because after all this season is meant to celebrate the characters that made us feel happy, surprised, inspired, and confident.

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What Should I Eat?

I am asked at least on a weekly basis, “What should I eat to maintain or improve my health?”  Although the answer to this question can be very specific for each individual’s needs, there is definitely an underlying theme for all of us in order to eat for health and wellness. 

The first and most obvious answer is EAT! The harder follow up question is WHAT DO I EAT?  To put it simply, we need to eat REAL FOOD, meaning foods that are free of preservatives, artificial flavors, dyes, colors, sweeteners, etc.  Many of these preservatives and additives have been shown to have undesirable effects on us like hyperactivity, increased heart beats, decreased energy, and much more.  Unadulterated foods like fruits, vegetables, pure dairy, butter, meat, fish, are all great places to start.

The beautiful thing about Charleston, South Carolina is that we have many outlets for us to enjoy where we can purchase unadulterated foods.  These include farmer’s markets, health foods stores, CSA’s (community supported agriculture), and even most big chain grocery stores are now carrying local and/or organic food choices.  There are also many chemical free farms in the area that you can drop by and even pick your own fruits and veggies.  For example, I love going blueberry picking at the beginning of summer.  I freeze them and use them throughout the year; this is a great way for me to support local business as well as receiving a high quality product at a reasonable price!

When shopping the grocery stores, I also suggest shopping around the perimeter of the store; meaning that you do not purchase anything that is in the aisles as these are where most grocery stores keep all of the processed foods.  By shopping the perimeter, you will find fresh fruits, vegetables, fish, meats, seafood, dairy, and eggs.

So to reiterate, get out of your house this summer and travel to one of the many local farmers markets in your area, or take a family outing to visit a local farm and pick your own fruits and vegetables.  You will see a difference not only in taste, but also in your bank account and most importantly, your health.

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.