Top 7 Health Benefits of Kiwi

The kiwi fruit, fuzzy on the outside and bright green and sweet on the inside, is known for being extremely high in vitamin C. However did you know that kiwis are incredibly nutritious and packed with health benefits?

Top 7 Health Benefits of Kiwi

Kiwi Nutrition

This fruit originated in China. When it was first exported from China, the Europeans called it the Chinese Gooseberry. The fruit trees were introduced to New Zealand at the turn of the 20th century and cultivated there. As the fruit began to be exported from New Zealand the name was changed to kiwi, after the the kiwi bird which is also small, brown and fuzzy.

Kiwi grows on a shrubby tree that reaches a height of 30 feet. Italy is the top producer of the fruit, followed by New Zealand.

High in vitamins C, E and K, kiwi also supplies potassium, copper, folate, protein and fiber.

Top 7 Health Benefits of Kiwi

Top 7 Health Benefits of Kiwi

Kiwis are an excellent source of nourishment and nutrients and provide the following health benefits:

  1. High antioxidant food that fights free radical damage and helps to repair and maintain body tissues and systems. They are rich in polyphenols, which stimulate the immune system. The tiny seeds also possess strong antibacterial and anti-fungal properties.
  2. Regulates blood sugar while lowering fat in the bloodstream. Kiwi’s high quality glucose is bioavailable and feeds the neurons in the brain.
  3. Aids digestion and serves as a treatment for bowel and digestive disorders. Kiwi’s amino acids raise hydrochloric acid levels in the stomach, providing relief for acid reflux, Barrett’s esophagus, gas, abdominal pain, irritable bowel syndrome and bloating.
  4. One kiwi a day can lower the risk of stroke, blood clots and cardiovascular disease. The potassium in kiwi helps lower blood pressure, counteracts sodium and relaxes blood vessels throughout the body.
  5. The kiwi tree has been used as a medicinal plant in China for many years, treating ailments such as joint pain, bladder stones, and cancers of the liver and esophagus. Both the fruit and roots inhibit liver, lung and colon cancer cell growth.
  6. Kiwi contains serotonin, increasing sleep time and quality. Serotonin may also boost memory and mood and help with depression.
  7. Improves skin and respiratory health, and also prevents degenerative eye diseases. Kiwi contains an antioxidant called lutein that offers protection for these systems and the eyes, and helps to slow the effects of aging on the body.

Top 7 Health Benefits of Kiwi

How to Use Kiwi

Kiwi is readily available in the produce section at the grocery store or in the frozen foods section. Although the skin can be eaten, just like a peach skin, most people peel the fruit first.

The easiest way to peel a kiwi is to cut off each end, loosen the skin with a spoon and slide out the fruit. Enjoy kiwi raw in salads, smoothies, desserts and fruit bowls. Because kiwi has a tenderizing effect on other foods, add it last to salads and fruit bowls.

Kiwis can also be enjoyed by simply slicing one in two and scooping out the fruit. For the adventurous, wash the skin and experience eating kiwi like a peach. I have not tried this although I’ve seen others bite right into an unpeeled fruit. I’m willing to go for it, the next time I purchase this health boosting fruit!

Top 7 Health Benefits of Kiwi

Spicy Cloves Deliver Healing Benefits

I’ve always loved aromatic cloves. As a child I was most familiar with cloves as decorations on oranges and baked ham. And indeed, cloves have been used in cooking for hundreds of years.

Sweet and spicy cloves do more than flavor foods and drinks. They are full of healing benefits as well.

Spicy Cloves Deliver Healing Benefits

Origins of Cloves

Cloves are the dried flower buds of the Syzygium aromaticum tree, an evergreen that reaches a height of 30 feet. Its name originates from the Latin word “clavus,” which means “nail”. Clove trees typically grow in warm, humid climates such as Indonesia, Sri Lanka and Brazil. Tanzania leads the market, producing about 80 percent of the world’s clove supply.

Cloves are a good source of vitamins A, B1, B6, C and K. They also provide minerals such as potassium, manganese, iron, selenium, zinc and magnesium.

Spicy Cloves Deliver Healing Benefits

Healing Benefits of Spicy Cloves

Cloves can be used in the culinary arts and they are beneficial for the following health conditions:

• Heals infections and inflammation due to high anti-inflammatory and antibacterial properties.

• Soothes coughs and colds with expectorant properties.

• Boosts the immune system with powerful antioxidants that fight off oxidative damage and free radicals.

• Promotes the production of gastric acids, which creates better digestion of food. Cloves ease indigestion and dyspepsia, as well as reduce gas pressure in the gut, lessening discomfort.

• Freshens breath and treats oral conditions such as gingivitis and periodontitis. The antibacterial property of cloves minimizes the growth of bacteria inside the mouth.

Clove oil can be used as a natural painkiller for toothaches. Its anesthetic property alleviates pain and discomfort that arises from cavities and other dental and gum problems.

Spicy Cloves Deliver Healing Benefits

How to Use Cloves

Cloves are readily available in grocery stores, whole or ground. Ground cloves may be used in a variety of recipes. Add dried cloves to hot apple cider or brew as a tea.

Try this healthy and flavorful hot drink:

Combine 1 whole clove, 1 stick of cinnamon (or 1/4 teaspoon of ground) with 2 cups water. Simmer on stove for two minutes. Add 1 teaspoon of raw honey if desired and 2 teaspoons non dairy milk such as almond or coconut.

Clove oil is also available.

Spicy Cloves Deliver Healing Benefits

Shiitake Mushroom Benefits

I love mushrooms. The shiitake mushroom is the most popular variety in Asia and the second most popular in the world.

Shiitakes are available in most grocery stores, because of their versatility and meaty flavor, but did you know that they’re packed with nutrients and disease fighting properties?

Shiitake Mushroom Benefits

Shiitake Mushroom Nutrition

The shiitake is part of the Lentinula edodes species. It’s an edible mushroom native to East Asia. Because of its health benefits, it is considered a medicinal mushroom in traditional herbal medicine.

Shiitakes have a meaty texture and a robust earthy flavor, making them perfect to add to soups, salads and stir fries.

This fungus contains all eight essential amino acids along with a type of essential fatty acid called linoleic acid. It’s a good source of vitamins A, B12, C and D, protein, iron, niacin, pantothenic acid, manganese, phosphorus, selenium, zinc, potassium and magnesium.

Shiitake Mushroom Benefits

Shiitake Mushroom Benefits

Shiitakes are often called the “miracle mushroom”, due to their powerful immune boosting and disease fighting properties. Bring more shiitake mushrooms into the diet for these amazing benefits:

• Contains interferons that have strong antiviral effects on the body. These natural proteins inhibit the replication of viruses, bacteria, parasites and cancer cells.

• Slows tumor growth and reduces tumor activity while lessening the side effects of cancer treatments such as chemo and radiation.

• Strengthens the blood, preventing anemia.

• Regulates blood pressure, lowers cholesterol, and thins the blood, helping to prevent strokes and heart attacks.

• Fights obesity by increasing satiety, reducing food intake, delaying nutrition absorption and reducing plasma lipid (fat) levels.

• Boosts the immune system and combats diseases by providing important vitamins, minerals and enzymes and reducing inflammation.

• Reduces gum irritation and inflammation, helping to prevent gingivitis.

• Supports adrenal function and turns nutrients from food into useable energy. They also help balance hormones naturally and eliminate brain fog, which improves focus and cognitive performance.

• Supports bone health and reduces the risk of heart disease, diabetes, autoimmune diseases and some types of cancer.

• Improves skin health, reducing the severity of acne and preventing scarring.

Shiitake Mushroom Benefits

Using Shiitake Mushrooms

Fresh shiitakes can be used raw in salads and wraps, or added to soups, sauces, stir fries and a variety of dishes. These are typically available in the produce section of the grocery store.

Shiitake mushrooms are also available in dried, powder, capsule and tincture forms. See link below.

Mushrooms contain a moderate amount of purines, a chemical compound that breaks down into uric acid. A diet rich in purines may raise uric acid levels in the body, which could lead to gout. If you already experience the symptoms of gout, limit purine intake.

What’s your favorite shiitake mushroom recipe? I’ll be trying a new stuffed mushroom recipe next Tuesday!

Shiitake Mushroom Benefits

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Brussels Sprouts Health Benefits

Brussels sprouts are cruciferous vegetables, a member of the brassica group. Other veggies in this family include cauliflower, broccoli and cabbage. Many people think they dislike Brussels sprouts, partially because they look like miniature cabbages.

Not only are they full of flavor, they are packed with nutrients as well. Learn more about this versatile vegetable and give them another try.

Brussels Sprouts Health Benefits

Brussels Sprouts Facts & Nutrition

These little vegetables became popular in Brussels, Belgium, which is where they get their name. They grow in clusters on a large single stalk. Brussels sprouts have been eaten regularly in Belgium since the 13th century, although it’s possible they go way back to Ancient Rome.

Brussels sprouts grew well in areas with cool climates, such as the Netherlands. Eventually these crops spread throughout the cooler parts of Northern Europe. Today, Brussels sprouts are enjoyed across Europe and North America. Several thousands of acres are planted in coastal areas of California, the US state that produces the highest yield of Brussels sprouts due to its coastal fog and cool temperatures year around.

High in antioxidants, Brussels sprouts are anti-inflammatory, and rich with vitamins A, C and K. They also contain folate, manganese, potassium, thiamin, fiber, omega-3s and iron.

Brussels Sprouts Health Benefits

Brussels Sprouts Benefits

The many health benefits of these veggies and their ease of acquiring and preparing should put them at the top of a grocery shopping list. Bring more Brussels sprouts into the diet to boost health in these ways:

• Sulfur compounds in Brussels sprouts cleanse the liver as they loosen old toxins and poisons in the cells. The sulfur bonds to the toxins and stays with them as they are flushed from the body.

• Lowers risk of cancer as they protect against free radical damage, or oxidative stress, and DNA-mutation.

• Strengthens bones. The high vitamin K content keeps the skeletal structure healthy and helps to prevent conditions such as osteoporosis or bone fractures due to loss of bone mineral density. Vitamin K also helps with blood clotting, bone calcification and turning off inflammation in the body.

• Boosts the immune system. Vitamin C acts as a protective antioxidant in the body, reducing inflammation and cell damage which results in protection against bacteria, viruses, toxins and other harmful invaders that can cause diseases.

• Reduces risks for heart disease, stroke, diabetes and neurodegenerative disorders. Vitamins C and K, antioxidants and omega-3s in Brussels sprouts work together to keep arteries clean from plague buildup, to lower cholesterol levels, to fight high blood pressure, to increase blood flow and to maintain healthy, strong blood vessels. These benefits reduce the chance of heart attack and other cardiovascular complications.

• Restores digestive health. Glucosinolates found in Brussels sprouts protect the sensitive lining of the digestive tract and stomach, reducing the chances of developing leaky gut syndrome or other digestive disorders. Sulfurs help to detoxify the digestive system while a high fiber content keeps it running smoothly.

• Protects eye and skin health. Vitamin C fights UV light damage that can lead to skin cancer and aging, while vitamin A offers protection against damage to the skin as well as the eyes. Consuming Brussels sprouts helps to slow aging, boost the skin’s immunity, and fosters new cell growth.

• Improves brain health. Brussels sprouts’ powerful antioxidants, vitamins C and A, and other nutrients stop oxidative stress and inflammation that are capable of damaging brain cells.

• Balances blood sugar and fights diabetes. Brussels sprouts contain an antioxidant known as alpha-lipoic acid, which has been shown to lower glucose levels. This compound increases insulin sensitivity and prevents pre-diabetes from turning into diabetes. It also helps reduce complications for those with existing diabetes by managing blood glucose and preventing further oxidative stress and inflammation.

Brussels Sprouts Health Benefits

Ways to Enjoy Brussels Sprouts

Brussels sprouts can be enjoyed raw in salads and slaws or run through a juicer with other veggies and fruits. They can also be lightly sautéed, steamed or roasted. Cooking Brussels sprouts lightly brings out a sweeter flavor while retaining crunch and nutrients.

This vegetable pairs well with other veggies such as onions, carrots, and garlic. There are many excellent recipes that can be found on Pinterest.

Try these Garlic Brussels Sprouts as a side dish or pair with roasted potatoes and sweet potatoes for a healthy and satisfying main dish. Just try them. Again. And reap amazing benefits.

Brussels Sprouts Health Benefits

Top 6 Reasons to Eat Carrots

Most of us know that carrots are considered good for the eyes. However this versatile and popular root vegetable is packed with nutrition and healing properties that go beyond eye health.

Check out these top 6 reasons to eat carrots.

Top 6 Reasons to Eat Carrots

Carrot Nutrition

Carrots are one of the best sources of vitamin A, and they provide ample amounts of vitamins B, C, D, E and K. Carrots are a rich source of vital minerals such as magnesium, potassium and calcium. They are highly cleansing due to their fiber content, and an excellent source of omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids.

Carrots have been cultivated for thousands of years. They originated in parts of Asia and the Middle East. Western carrots, common in the US, are primarily orange in color and sometimes called carotene carrots.

Top 6 Reasons to Eat Carrots

Top Healing Benefits

Bring more carrots into the diet, for the following benefits.

• Good for the liver. Carrots deliver important glucose to the liver, along with crucial vitamins and minerals. Raw carrots are high in antiseptic phytochemical compounds that inhibit the growth of unhealthy microorganisms.

• Protect the brain. Carrots help to prevent Alzheimer’s, improve memory, and protect against other types of cognitive decline. This is due to carrots’ ability to lower oxidative stress in the brain, which can weaken nerve signaling ability.

• Defend against cancer. Consuming high amounts of carotenoids from fruits and vegetables can protect against cancer recurrence. Studies show that the antioxidants in carrots lower inflammation, which fights leukemia cells and reduces the risk of ovarian and breast cancers.

• Lowers the risks of heart disease and strokes. Eating more deep orange colored vegetables, such as carrots, decreases the risk of cardiovascular disease, especially in women. Carrots lower oxidative stress which improves the body’s defense against cardiovascular disease. Carrots also lower cholesterol and boost bile production, which increases the body’s ability to digest fat. This aids the digestive system in properly absorbing nutrition from food.

• Improves skin health. Beta carotene is important for healing wounds. Carrots have been used for hundreds of years in poultices. They heal infections, cuts, and other wounds by increasing the skin’s ability to heal faster and to fight infection, irritation and inflammation.

• And, carrots are important for eye health. Beta carotene, lutein and zeaxanthin support eye health and help to prevent macular degeneration and even blindness. Lutein and zeaxanthin work to reduce the risk of age-related vision loss.

Carrots contain very high amounts of vitamin A in the form of beta carotene. This vitamin is necessary to protect the eyes, especially as the body ages.

Top 6 Reasons to Eat Carrots

How to Consume Carrots

There are several ways to benefit from the healing properties in carrots.

• Raw carrots have a higher fiber content. Look for organic carrots. They don’t have to be peeled, as there are nutrients in the skin. Just scrub the carrots with a brush to eliminate dirt and debris. Eat raw carrots as snacks, dip into hummus, add to salads or grate and add to veggie rolls.

• Cooked carrots may have higher antioxidant properties than raw. Add carrots to soups, stews, mixed veggie dishes, sautés and stir fries or steam them as a vegetable side dish.

• Juice carrots. Add carrots to juice blends or juice alone. Juicing delivers live enzymes and concentrated nutritional benefits to the body in an easily digestible format. Carrot juice boosts immunity, raises energy levels, and aids digestion.

There are many juice combinations that are not only healthy but extremely tasty. Try juicing carrots with apples, celery, ginger and lemons. Check out these two juice recipes HERE that contain carrots.

I add chopped carrots to simple stir fries, along with onion, garlic and celery. This weekend I’ll be trying a vegan shepherd pie, containing lentils, carrots, onions and garlic, topped with dairy free mashed potatoes.

Watch for the recipe next Tuesday!

Top 6 Reasons to Eat Carrots

Health Boosting Acorn Squash

I’ve eaten a lot of summer squash…the yellow kind and zucchini. However a less than successful attempt, years ago, to prepare a big spaghetti squash left me leery of the many other varieties available.

My desires to try new things, to eat nutrient dense foods and to come up with something fresh for holiday meals all coalesced when a cashier at Natural Grocers handed me a recipe card featuring stuffed acorn squash. Not only did the recipe turn out great, I also discovered that acorn squash is full of health boosting properties.

Health Boosting Acorn Squash

What is an Acorn Squash?

Named for its acorn shape, this winter squash is part of the Cucurbita family of vegetables. It was a staple in the diet of many Native American tribes. Acorn squash, like the butternut squash, is packed with essential nutrients that include: vitamins A, B6 and C, potassium, manganese, thiamine, magnesium, iron, niacin, folate, calcium, phosphorus and copper. It’s also high in protein and fiber.

Most acorn squashes are dark green with a hint of orange near the top, but they can also be golden yellow or white.

There is a difference in the nutritional value of raw acorn squash versus cooked. In baked acorn squash, the quality increases significantly for almost every vitamin and mineral. However, three important antioxidants found in raw acorn squash…beta-carotene, lutein and zeaxanthin…drops to zero when cooked. For that reason, it’s good to eat acorn squash both raw and cooked.

Health Boosting Acorn Squash

Health Benefits of Acorn Squash

Winter squash is known for its disease fighting, immunity boosting properties. Include more acorn squash for these benefits:

• Fights free radical damage. Acorn squash is high in antioxidants, which helps to maintain a healthy body. Free radicals cause inflammation, increasing the risks for diseases such as cancer. The carotenoids in acorn squash help prevent and fight various types of cancer, including skin, breast, lung and prostate cancer.

• Boosts the immune system due to its high vitamin C content and antibacterial and antiviral properties. Not only can extra vitamin C help fight off the common cold and flu, it also keeps the body from becoming even more ill due to complications from common illnesses such as pneumonia. Vitamin C lowers inflammation in the body, fighting infection and disease.

• Reduces high blood pressure, due to its potassium content.

• Protects against neurotoxicity, a toxicity from natural or chemical substances that can lead to permanent nervous system damage. One cause of this condition is exposure to conventional treatments for cancer, such as chemotherapy and radiation. Eating acorn squash helps protect against lasting injury as a result of these treatments.

• Improves skin for a healthier, more youthful glow. Vitamin C promotes the production of collagen, which helps skin stay clear and wrinkle free. The potassium found in acorn squash reduces the appearance of cellulite in the skin by eliminating the fluid retention common in high-sodium diets.

• Supports prostate health by increasing urinary tract flow and decreasing the swelling of the prostate gland. Another related benefit of acorn squash is its ability to improve prostate health in patients with diabetes. Diabetes is linked to other types of damage caused by oxidative stress. High amounts of vitamin C regulate the function of antioxidants within the prostate and improve the body’s defense against damage to the prostate.

• The high fiber in acorn squash supports healthy digestion and the efficient absorption of nutrients from food. This results in a significant reduction of high blood pressure and improves the levels of fats and cholesterol in the bloodstream, lowering the risks for heart disease, diabetes and stroke.

Health Boosting Acorn Squash

How to Prepare Acorn Squash

Select firm acorn squash, without soft spots. Slice in two, length wise, and remove seeds, which are similar in appearance to pumpkin seeds. And like pumpkin seeds, acorn squash seeds are edible.

It’s easy to bake the squash halves. Rub the flesh with olive oil and sprinkle with salt, pepper and nutmeg or cinnamon. Bake on parchment covered baking sheet, cut side down, for 30 – 40 minutes. The squash can be eaten plain or stuffed with rice and veggies. Try this Stuffed Acorn Squash recipe.

Acorn squash can be peeled, cubed and steamed. Or cut into bite sized pieces and added raw to salads. I’m excited to try an acorn squash soup recipe next!

Health Boosting Acorn Squash

Top 7 Dragon Fruit Benefits

I’ve heard of this tropical fruit, exotic in its strangeness. I’d read about the amazing health benefits. Until today, however, I’ve never eaten one before. I’m glad I remedied that!

Top 7 Dragon Fruit Benefits

What is Dragon Fruit?

Also called pitaya or cactus fruit, dragon fruit is a member of the cactus family and originated in Southeast Asia. The fruit is oval or pear shaped. The inside is white or red…more like a purplish pink…with seeds that resemble sesame seeds. Dragon fruit has a mild, sweet flavor or sometimes a sour flavor, depending on the variety.

Today it is grown primarily in south Florida, Hawaii, the Caribbean, Taiwan and Malaysia.

Dragon fruit supplies protein and fiber, vitamins B1, B2, B3 and C, iron, niacin, phosphorus and calcium.

Top 7 Dragon Fruit Benefits

Health Benefits of Dragon Fruit

This delicious superfood delivers support and healing to the body in the following ways:

• Boosts the immune system. Dragon fruit is one of the top vitamin C foods. It also ranks high in antioxidants, which help to fight free radicals in the body.

• Improves cardiovascular health by lowering bad cholesterol while raising good cholesterol. Plus the little black seeds inside the dragon fruit provide omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids. These omegas can decrease triglycerides, lowering the risk of heart disease.

• Can prevent cancer. Dragon fruit contains phytoalbumin, which when combined with its vitamin C, minerals and lycopene, makes the fruit highly valued for cancer preventing qualities. Lycopene, also found in tomatoes, creates the vivid color, and studies show that it may contain chemo-preventive effects for prostate, breast, lung, liver and skin cancer.

• The red pigment in red fleshed dragon fruit rejuvenates the liver by helping it to produce cells faster. It also slows liver aging and helps to prevent liver disease.

• Creates youthful skin. The high vitamin C content keeps the skin healthy, tight and firm, while the phosphorus repairs skin cells and prevents premature aging.

• Aids digestion. The fruit’s prebiotics improve gut health and digestion while the fiber helps to eliminate constipation and irritable bowel syndrome.

• Prevents diabetes. The high fiber also helps to stabilize blood sugar levels and maintain normal blood sugar. And dragon fruit prevents  sugar spikes after eating high glycemic index foods.

Top 7 Dragon Fruit Benefits

Top 7 Dragon Fruit Benefits

How to Use Dragon Fruit

Look for dragon fruit in the produce section at the grocery store. Or check the frozen food section, especially for the red dragon fruit, which can be more difficult to find. Dried or powdered dragon fruit is available as well.

It’s simple to prepare dragon fruit. Slice in two, lengthwise or across the fruit, and scoop out the soft insides using a spoon or melon baller. Eat plain, include with other fruits, or add to fruit smoothies.

This was my smoothie this morning:

2 bananas • 1 dragon fruit • 1 cup wild blueberries • 2 inch section of fresh aloe vera gel • 1 teaspoon hemp seeds • 1 teaspoon Hawaiian spirulina • 1 teaspoon Atlantic sea dulse

It was wonderful!

Top 7 Dragon Fruit Benefits

Benefits from Cherries

These sweet little fruits, often associated metaphorically with a phrase that means “something special added”, are not only fun to eat, they are packed with nutrients that enrich health. The benefits from cherries range from cleansing the liver to aiding sleep to relieving pain.

Benefits from CherriesWhat are Cherries?

Both varieties of cherries, sweet and sour, grow on trees native to the United States, Europe and Asia. They are one of the first trees to bear fruit in the spring. The fruits can be susceptible to damage from rain and hail, making cherries slightly higher in price at the market, however their delicious flavor and healing properties are well worth the cost.

Cherries are a high fiber food, rich in potassium, carotenoids and melatonin. They also contain vitamin C and the trace minerals zinc and iron. In the produce section at the store, look for cherries that are dark red in color, as they have the most healing benefits.

Benefits of CherriesHealing Benefits from Cherries

Add cherries to the diet, in small daily amounts, to benefit in the following ways.

  • High source of antioxidants, easing inflammation and reducing pain. Sour cherries have been shown to inhibit tumor development. They are especially effective against non-Hopkin’s lymphoma, melanoma and glioblastoma.
  • Cleanse the digestive tract, relieving constipation, and cleanse the bladder too, alleviating spastic bladder and bladder prolapse.
  • Boost the endocrine system, stimulating or suppressing the appetite, making them beneficial for weight loss or weight management.
  • Reduce the risks for cardiovascular disease.
  • Treat gout, a painful arthritic condition of the big toe, and provide symptom relief for osteoarthritis.
  • Regulate the sleep-wake cycle and promote a better night’s sleep.
  • Protect the brain from Alzheimer’s, dementia and brain tumors.
  • Phytochemical compounds in cherries remove radiation and repair myelin nerve damage. Remove toxins from the reproductive system, reducing fibroids and ovarian cysts.
  • Cleanse and rejuvenate the liver, drawing out petrochemicals and toxins from deep within the organ.

Benefits from CherriesEnjoying Cherries

When in season, add fresh cherries to salads, smoothies and fruit bowls. They can be eaten alone as well. Easily remove the pit by slicing the cherry in two.

Cherries freeze well and can also be purchased dried, which are great to include in home made granola. Add cherries to healthy treats such as frozen banana nice dream, or drop into freshly made, sugar free lemonades and limeades. Cherry juice is also available. Look for brands without added sugar.

I enjoy adding cherries to fruit smoothies. The rich, sweet or tart taste blends perfectly with other fruits. However, my favorite way to snack on cherries is to grab a handful…and savor each delightful cherry.

Benefits from CherriesYou can order Life Changing Foods and Liver Rescue, both by Anthony William, by clicking links below.

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Protein Rich Peas

These veggies may be tiny, but they are packed with nutrients, protein, fiber and health supporting goodness. For years my favorite way to enjoy peas was smothered in cheese sauce. Since ditching the cheese, and the butter and milk, I’ve come to appreciate peas just as they are.

Protein Rich Peas

What Are Peas?

Peas are actually classified as a fruit, because they form from a flower. The peas are the seeds of the pod-fruit Pisium sativum. Pods contain clusters of small peas that are either green or yellow in color. Even though they are technically a fruit, most people consider peas a vegetable.

Rich in protein, one cup provides a whopping 8.6 grams. This puts green peas protein up there with other top plant based protein foods, such as hemp seeds and quinoa. Green peas also provide fiber, antioxidants and micronutrients such as vitamins C and K, and manganese.

Protein Rich Peas

Health Benefits of Peas

Bring more peas into the diet to reap these benefits:

• Aids in weight loss. Their high protein and fiber help to create a full feeling, warding off cravings and reducing appetite.

• Manages blood sugar levels, helping to prevent diabetes.

• Promotes healthy digestion due to high fiber content. Fiber moves through the intestinal tract undigested, adding bulk to the stool to increase stool frequency and promote regularity. Fiber is also beneficial in the treatment of digestive disorders such as gastroesophageal reflux (GERD), stomach ulcers, diverticulitis and hemorrhoids.

• Helps to protect against cancer. Peas are packed with antioxidants that can help fight free radicals to relieve inflammation and reduce oxidative damage to cells. Thanks to the high concentration of antioxidants in green peas, they have even been shown to have anticancer properties.

Saponins, in particular, are a type of antioxidant found in peas that may help inhibit tumor growth and kill off cancer cells.

• Antioxidants in peas also slow the aging process and age related disorders.

• Aids liver function.

• Boosts the immune system.

Protein Rich PeasPeas, chickpeas and sweet potatoes over short grain brown rice.

How to Include Peas in the Diet

Peas are readily available in grocery stores, canned and frozen. They can also be grown in gardens as a cool weather crop.

There are several varieties of peas, such as sweet peas, snap peas and sugar peas. These little veggies can be eaten raw, cooked, or made into soups, sauces, purées, pesto, and they can even used to make hummus.

Try adding peas to salads, stir fries, or vegetable hash, or simply serve alongside a plain baked potato.

My favorite recipe that includes peas is Aloo Matar. This peas and potato dish in a mild curry sauce is easy to make and so nutritious and delicious. I make it once a week and savor it every time. And I don’t even miss the cheese sauce.

Protein Rich Peas

Powerful Cranberries

As October gives way to November, I begin to anticipate the holiday season. After switching to a plant based lifestyle one of the most frequent questions I continue to get is “What about eating during the holidays?”

I happily, and healthily, eat plant based during the holidays, even during Thanksgiving and Christmas meals that are traditionally laden with the foods on my “no” list. I stick to seasonal produce and lots of veggies. One food that shows up in grocery stores this time of year becomes a staple during the holidays.

Powerful Cranberries

What are Cranberries?

Cranberries grow on low, creeping shrubs or vines up to 7 feet long and 2 to 8 feet in height. The plant’s dark pink flowers become berries that are a bit larger than the leaves of the plant. Initially light green, the berries turn red when ripe. They are edible with a tart taste that can overwhelm their sweetness. The majority of cranberries are harvested in the US, Canada and Chile.

Most cranberries are processed into products such as juice, sauce, jam, and sweetened dried cranberries, with the remainder sold fresh to consumers. Cranberry sauce is a traditional accompaniment to turkey at Christmas dinners in the United Kingdom, and at Christmas and Thanksgiving dinners in the United States and Canada.

Canned cranberry sauce was my introduction to this tart fruit. It has been a joy to create my own cranberry relish for the holidays, and find other uses for fresh cranberries.

Powerful Cranberries

Health Benefits of Cranberries

Most people know that cranberries have antiseptic properties that aid in healing urinary tract infections and yeast infections. That power comes from the cranberry’s ability to fight the streptococcus bacteria, which is most often the underlying cause of such infections.

These bright red berries offer so much more, health wise. Cranberries help with these conditions and ailments:

• Reverse gallbladder disease and dissolve gallstones.

• Cleanse the liver and aid the passing of kidney stones.

• Dislodge earwax and restore hearing.

• Due to antioxidant properties, they heal cardiovascular disease and arteriosclerosis.

• Destroy toxic hormones, easing premenopausal symptoms, and helping with weight loss.

• Draw radiation out of the body.

• Protect connective tissue, detoxify organs, halt the growth of bacteria and viruses, and provide stress assistance when needed.

• Help to prevent seasonal allergies.

(Info from Life Changing Foods by Anthony William)

Powerful Cranberries

Ways to Enjoy Cranberries

Add fresh or frozen cranberries to smoothies, smoothie bowls, juices, and gluten free oatmeal. Include them in stir fries or chop and sprinkle atop salads.

My two favorite ways to enjoy cranberries are in hot apple cider and raw cranberry relish. Both recipes are from Anthony William.

Get the recipe for the fragrant, health boosting cider HERE.

The cranberry relish is so easy to make and one of my all time favorite dishes.

Using a food processor, combine 1 cup of fresh cranberries, 2 cups of coarsely chopped apples, 1/2 cup of orange segments, 1/4 teaspoon of orange zest and 4 tablespoons of raw organic honey or coconut sugar. Pulse until roughly combined. Chill in refrigerator for at least 30 minutes. The relish can be garnished with chopped mint right before serving.

This relish makes a great accompaniment to any holiday meal or it’s perfect on its own.

Of all the foods on the table during holiday meals, cranberries are the most nutritious and beneficial. Even if it’s canned cranberry sauce, give these powerful berries a try! And for a real treat that ups the healing properties, create the relish or add cranberries to hot apple cider or a cup of hot herbal tea.

Powerful Cranberries

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