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.
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.
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
- 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
- Chop up the cayenne peppers along with garlic cloves and add them to a pot with the vinegar and 1 teaspoon salt.
- Bring the mix to a boil, then reduce the heat to low and simmer everything for 20 minutes.
- 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.
- 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
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.
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
- 2 large bulbs of fennel
- 3 tbsp olive oil
- 2 cloves garlic minced
- 3/4 tsp salt
- 1 tsp black pepper
- 1 tsp thyme
- 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.
- 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.
- 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
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.
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.
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.
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.
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
- 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
- Chop the onion and carrots. Mince the garlic.
- 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.
- 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.
- Stir in the kosher salt, and fresh ground pepper. Garnish with smoked paprika if desired.
Adapted from A Couple Cooks
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.
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.
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.
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.
- 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
- Heat olive oil in a pan over medium heat.
- Sauté the onion, garlic, and pineapple until the onions are translucent, about 3–5 minutes.
- Add spices to the pan and continue to cook and stir for a minute or two.
- Slowly add the milk and juice while stirring. Let the mixture simmer until it starts to thicken, about 10 minutes. Salt to taste.
- Serve over rice and enjoy!
Adapted from ohmyveggies
Strawberry is one of the fruits that is loved by many due to its juicy, summery, and sweet flavor! This fruit is considered a superfood and it is jam-packed with a list of antioxidants and nutrients which makes it even lovelier!
Here are the health benefits of strawberries:
Vitamin C is important in your daily vitamin requirement and strawberry is an excellent source of vitamin c. One serving of strawberry contains 51.5mg of vitamin c, and doubling the serving to a cup can help you achieve 100 percent of your vitamin c needs.
The abundance of Vitamin C in strawberries promotes the production of collagen, therefore, maintaining your skin’s elasticity and resilience. This fruit also contains ellagic acid which is known to be a wrinkle-fighter and it helps prevent the destruction of collagen in the skin.
Rich in Fiber
A lack of fiber can cause constipation and inflammation in the intestines known as diverticulitis which affects over 50 percent of people over 60. Include strawberries in your daily snacks to boost your fiber intake.
Vitamin C is an antioxidant and aside from its anti-inflammatory properties, it can also protect the eyes from the damages caused by free radicals. Vitamin C also plays a significant part in strengthening the eye’s cornea and retina.
Paleo Strawberry Souffles
- 8 ounces organic fresh strawberries
- 2 teaspoons lemon juice
- 3 Tablespoons honey, divided
- 3 egg whites, divided
- 6 6-8 ounce ramekins
- Preheat your oven to 350 degrees F.
- Place a fine-mesh strainer over a large mixing bowl or the bowl of a stand mixer.
- Blend the strawberries in a blender or a food processor. Pour the puree into the strainer to remove the seeds and use a rubber spatula to press the puree through the holes, getting as much puree out as you can. Discard the seeds and thick pulp.
- Add lemon juice, 2 tablespoons of honey, and 1 egg white to the strawberry puree. Whip for about 5 minutes or until the mixture is very fluffy and has reached a soft peak phase. (If you remove a beater, the mixture should stand up on its own with the “peak” of the mixture flopping over a little.)
- In a separate, medium-sized bowl, whip the remaining 2 egg whites with a hand mixer until it gets bubbly, then drizzle in the remaining tablespoon of honey. Continue to beat the egg whites until they reach a soft peak as well.
- Gently fold the white egg white mixture into the pink mixture. Don’t over stir or you’ll lose volume.
- Place the ramekins on a baking sheet. (DO NOT GREASE THEM.) Divide the fluffy strawberry mixture among the ramekins. They’ll be very full.
- Bake them on a rack in the center of the oven for 15-16 minutes. Or until the top of each souffle is stiff and has golden brown spots — like a toasted marshmallow.
- Remove from the oven and serve as soon as they’ve cooled off enough to eat. Serve as is or top with a little whipped cream.
Adapted from Perry’s Plate
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!
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.
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.
- 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
- Gather the ingredients.
- 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.
- Add the mint, tearing each leaf into smaller pieces, and muddle gently to release the herb’s essence.
- 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.
- Garnish with the reserved lime wedge and a sprig of mint. Serve and enjoy.
Adapted from The Spruce Eats
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!
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.
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.
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.
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
- 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
- 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.
- 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.
- 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
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.
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
- 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
- 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.
- Combine all of the other ingredients in a blender and puree until smooth. Transfer to a container and place in the refrigerator to chill.
- 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
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:
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
- 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
- Pat beets dry with paper towels; place in a small bowl. Add the olive oil, rosemary and orange zest; toss to combine.
- 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