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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

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Health Benefits of Beets

What lies beyond the fertile ground is a purple root vegetable filled with valuable nutrition and detoxifying properties that every single person on this planet can surely love!

It’s time to uproot the secrets of beet and uncover a special recipe inside this article.

Anti-Cancer Pigment

Beets or Beetroot is rich in a purple-crimson pigment called betacyanin. This agent is a powerful asset of the plant as it can suppress the development of cancer including bladder cancer. 

Anti-inflammatory

The betacyanin in beets remains one of the mightiest antioxidants in a vegetable due to its high anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties which protects cells from damage that can cause heart disease and cancer.

Energy Support

Looking for a shot of energy boost? Well, beat it because beetroot is the answer! The nitrate in beetroot helps deliver more oxygen to the muscles, therefore, it will help the muscles to recover faster. 

Digestive Support

Beets are a wellspring of glutamine, an amino acid that is crucial in maintaining and keeping our digestive system healthy. It is also abundant in fiber which keeps the bowel movement smooth and supports the beneficial bacteria that surrounds the gut.

Don’t like to eat beets?  If you’d like to get the benefits of beets without the taste, my favorite go-to beet supplement is Betafood by Standard Process – I use this to help support the liver and as a part of my protocols for my athletes to assist with endurance!

Mushroom and Root Vegetable Stew [Vegan, Gluten-Free]

Ingredients:

  • 1 chopped onion
  • 4 Chioggia beets
  • 4 yellow beets
  • 4 red beets
  • 2 carrots, cut into pieces
  • 5 Jerusalem artichokes
  • 1 tablespoon tomato paste
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1 cup of red wine (vegan)
  • 6 cups of vegetable stock
  • A pinch of salt
  • 15 mushrooms of your choice
  • Parsley, for garnish

Directions:

  1. Start by finely chopping the onion and fry over medium heat in a heavy saucepan.
  2. Peel and cut the beets, carrots, and artichoke. When the onions are lightly browned add the beets, carrots, and artichoke and fry for a few minutes. Add the tomato purée and stir, then pour over the wine and broth. Let simmer for 40 minutes.
  3. Wash and cut the mushrooms into fine pieces. Fry in a frying pan, without oil first, and then when the mushroom water cooks out (takes a few minutes), pour in a little vegetable oil and fry so that they get a nice golden color.
  4. Taste the stew and add salt and pepper, if needed. Garnish with parsley and fried mushrooms.

Adapted from One Green Planet

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Health Benefits of Yam

Mostly mistaken as sweet potato, yam is running on a league of its own. Yam’s distinct characteristics include a cylindrical shape, bark-like skin texture, and its color varies from pink to purple to white or even yellow. It has over 600+ varieties and most of them are still grown in Africa where it originated. 

Let us unearth the health treasures that this tuber has to offer!

Cancer fighter & anti-inflammatory

Yams contain an impressive amount of cancer-fighting properties, namely the antioxidants, in addition to their vitamins and minerals. These antioxidants also provide anti-inflammatory properties which fortify the ability to reduce colon cancer, ulcers, and irritable bowel syndrome. 

Rich in iron and heart-friendly minerals

Yams keep your heart healthy by flushing out the excess sodium, therefore, reducing your risk of getting long-term diseases such as stroke, hypertension, and heart attack. Other minerals that support your heart are manganese and potassium which improve the condition of your blood vessels.

High iron and mineral contents make yams your companion in protecting you against anemia. The trace minerals can also improve your blood flow. 

Sharp eyesight

One of the many functions of Vitamin C is it safeguards your ocular (eye) health that further prevents the risk of macular degeneration.

Strong hair and nails

Yams are known to promote collagen production which keeps your skin firm and elastic; and your hair strong. Antioxidants along with Vitamin C, protect your body from free radicals preventing your skin from premature aging. 

Healthy Candied Yams

Ingredients

  • 1 yam cubed
  • 1/4 cup organic orange juice
  • 2 T maple syrup
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp nutmeg

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 400. 
  2. Slice the yam into 1-inch cubes.
  3. Throw them in a pot of boiling water for about 5-7 minutes until they are slightly underdone.
  4. Transfer then yams to a greased baking pan. (For this recipe I used an 8X8 glass dish) 
  5. In a measuring cup, mix the orange juice, 1T maple syrup, cinnamon, and nutmeg. 
  6. Pour the mixture over the yams. 
  7. Bake in the oven for about 25 minutes. 
  8. For the last 2 minutes of cooking, pull the dish out and brush with the last T of maple syrup. Enjoy!

Adapted from My Whole Food Life

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Health Benefits of Salmon

This fish has lured people’s palate across the globe through its soft texture, delicate flavor, and versatility when served on a plate. Beyond its culinary wonders, let’s journey to discover the nutritional value of this amazing and healthy food.

Repairs damaged tissues

Salmon is abundant in protein, a significant nutrient in building muscles, cartilage, bones, blood, and skin. Protein also supports building and restoring damaged tissues when injured, maintains muscles, cartilage, bones, and promotes metabolic rate. 

Amplifies Brain Health

In association with Vitamin A, Vitamin D, and Selenium, the high levels of DHA, salmon boosts brain function keeping your memory and concentration sharp. 

Protection Against Joint Inflammation

Aside from its heart-friendly properties, Omega-3 Fatty Acids are known to alleviate joint inflammation. Salmon also contains a bioactive peptide called calcitonin which helps regulate, increase, and stabilize collagen synthesis in human osteoarthritic cartilage. So say goodbye to wrinkles with this yummy food.

Powered With Antioxidants

promotes healthy cardiovascular health, immune system, anti-inflammatory, and protection from neurodegenerative diseases.

Another antioxidant present in salmon is Vitamin A and it preserves the quality of your skin and protects your eyes from age-related macular degeneration (AMD) symptoms.

Salmon-Stuffed Avocados

Ingredients:

Marinade:

  • ½ cup diced celery
  • 2 Tablespoons chopped fresh parsley
  • 1 Tablespoon lime juice
  • 2 teaspoons mayonnaise
  • 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
  • ⅛ teaspoon salt
  • ⅛ teaspoon ground pepper
  • 2 (5 ounce) cans salmon, drained, flaked, skin and bones removed
  • 2 avocados
  • Chopped chives for garnish

Direction:

  1. Combine yogurt, celery, parsley, lime juice, mayonnaise, mustard, salt, and pepper in a medium bowl; mix well. Add salmon and mix well.
  2. Halve avocados lengthwise and remove pits. Scoop about 1 tablespoon flesh from each avocado half into a small bowl. Mash the scooped-out avocado flesh with a fork and stir into the salmon mixture.
  3. Fill each avocado half with about 1/4 cup of the salmon mixture, mounding it on top of the avocado halves. Garnish with chives, if desired.
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Glorious Backyard Gardening

Being stuck inside these past few months has given many people pause to examine ways to re-engage in hobbies as well as be active outdoors while still maintaining social distancing standards.  Gardening is one of those hobbies currently on the rise.

Gardening is more than just digging in the dirt, carrying pots, and planting seeds; it is an art and a science as well. Many people do not recognized the numerous benefits that you can reap in planting these green and colorful patches! For some, gardening is a way for them to relax, restore, and renew their outlook in life while others use this hobby as an additional holistic food source.

Here are the benefits of gardening in the mental and physical aspects of your life.

Exercise for the Win

Just by walking while carrying pots of plants is already a form of cardio exercise and core training for balance. Depending on the weight of the load, pushing a wheelbarrow is a good form of strength training and can also improve your grip and strength in the lower arms.

Pushing, gardening, trimming the hedges, they might sound simple but they can leave you out of breath and 10 minutes of it, at least once a day, can help protect you from high blood pressure and other cardiovascular diseases.

Bye Bye Blues

Let there be light, in your life! Soak up all those Vitamin D but make sure to cover your skin with a reliable sunscreen. Vitamin D helps our body to absorb calcium and it also boosts our immune system and blocks depressive mood.

Mental Therapy

After a long day or week at work, gardening at last 30 minutes or an hour can diffuse your anxieties and stress. Vitamin D alone can already help improve your mood but more than that, gardening also gives you a sense of purpose and puts your priorities in perspective.

If you have been experiencing a major setback in your life, gardening can spark a sense of hope and optimism within you.

Preserving the Environment

Gardening is also a way for us to give back to Mother Nature and in return, it helps us back. Plants are known to purify carbon emission preventing global warming and they produce oxygen which is very important to humans. The root system of the plants helps prevent erosion by keeping the soil in place. Aside from providing shade and beautifying our surroundings, they also shield our garden from the outside world giving as tranquility and privacy.

One of the best ways you can do in order to enjoy gardening is to invite your friends over and do it together. It is fun, interactive, less expensive, and therapeutic!

Cheers to growing some veggies, herbs or plants this summer!

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Got Veggies?

Grow your own, grab some at your local Farmer’s Market, Local CSA Farm or even the Organic Produce section

 As the farmer’s markets are getting into full swing and everyone gets their gardens planted, this is a great time to talk about adding more veggies into our diets. I know, sometimes you get sick of hearing ‘eat more vegetables’ but without them you’d end up sick and we definitely don’t want that. The reason it’s so often repeated is simple–they pack a nutritional punch. A variety of vegetables in your diet will ensure adequate fiber (while skipping the grains) which keeps you feeling full (and less prone to snack on the bad stuff.) And, of course you know about all the vitamins and minerals, but did you know there’s a whole bunch of veggies that give you protein too?   Kale, for example.

But in case you need further motivation to ‘go green’ ,  cruciferous veggies like broccoli, kale, bok choy and cabbage also supply important nutrients the liver needs to help clean toxins out of the body.  Garlic is also detoxifying to the liver and the kidneys, plus it’s great for heart and circulatory health.

 When it comes your food – you are what you eat and quality does matter! Homegrown and local, farm grown is best. Even if your local farmer is not certified organic you can usually ask the farmer how it was grown and if he uses herbicides, pesticides or chemical fertilizers.  You’ll often find small, local farmers have higher quality and freshness standards than certified ‘organic’ produce at your grocery store but the USDA certification is just too costly for him (or her.) Get to know your farmer…and your food. Your health will thank you for it. 

But, however you do it, getting more vegetables into your daily diet is essential to good health. Salads for lunch are a good start. But challenge yourself to find more ways to sneak them in. My favorite breakfast is eggs with sauteed spinach. In the summer, we put vegetables on the grill in a saute pan or skewer them as kabobs.The addition of more greens (and yellows, reds, oranges, even purples) into your diet will guarantee better results with your health improvement program, and you may be pleasantly surprised at how much you actually enjoy them!!

Here’s to Healthy Noshing this Summer…