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7 ‘Tis the Season Superfoods

7 ‘Tis the Season Superfoods

 

When it comes to food, it’s hard to beat the holiday season. There are as  many decadent and delicious foods throughout the season as there are gifts.  Let’s face it: few holiday foods are healthy. Here are my choices for the top 7 ‘Tis the Season Superfoods. They not only taste great, they add serious  nutrition as well.

Apples—We’ve all heard the adage, “an apple a day keeps the  doctor away,” and provided that apple is an organic one, the saying holds some  truth. Apples contain important vitamins, minerals, and enzymes. They contain an  important phytonutrient called malic acid that helps improve energy production  in your body.

Beets—Recommended by holistic health professionals to help  purify the blood and cleanse the liver, beets are high in folate, manganese,  potassium, and vitamin C. The phytonutrient that gives beets their rich  purplish-red hue is a potent cancer fighter.

Cranberries—Originally used by the first people of North  America to treat urinary tract infections, cranberries and cranberry juice (the  real deal, not the sugar-laden stuff most grocery stores dispense) are excellent  holiday superfoods.

Pomegranates—This delicious fruit is super health-boosting.  From cancer-protection to heart disease-prevention, and so much more,  pomegranates are definitely ‘Tis the Season Superfoods.

Squash—Like its relative, the pumpkin, squash is an  excellent source of complex carbohydrates, fiber, and beta carotene, making it a  delicious and nutritious addition to your diet.

Sweet Potatoes—High in beta carotene, C, and B6, as well as  potassium, iron, and magnesium, sweet potatoes are naturally delicious and  nutritionally superior to white potatoes.

Walnuts—Walnuts are an important addition to your diet since  they offer high amounts of Omega 3 fatty acids needed to protect your brain,  maintain a healthy immune system, balance moods, and lessen pain and  inflammation in your body.

(Leesa  recommends Chews4Health as a convenient way to enjoy the benefits of Cranberries, Pomegranates, Blueberries, Raspberries, Goji, Noni, Mangosteen, Acai, B-12, Resveratrol and more! )

Michelle Schoffro Cook

Michelle Schoffro Cook, MSc, RNCP, ROHP, DNM, PhD is an international  best-selling and 12-time book author and doctor of traditional natural medicine,  whose works include: Healing  Recipes, The Vitality Diet, Allergy-Proof, Arthritis-Proof, Total Body  Detox, The Life Force Diet, The  Ultimate pH Solution, The 4-Week Ultimate Body Detox Plan, and The Phytozyme  Cure.  Check out her natural health resources and subscribe to her free  e-newsletter World’s Healthiest News at WorldsHealthiestDiet.com  to receive monthly health news, tips, recipes and more. Follow her on Twitter @mschoffrocook  and Facebook.

 

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13 Health Benefits of Pumpkin Seeds

13 Health Benefits of Pumpkin Seeds

Pumpkin seeds are the only seed that is alkaline-forming; in this world of highly acidic diets, that  is a very good thing.

Pumpkin seeds taste so good that I add them to many of my meals. They are  easy to make highly digestible by soaking for only six hours. I have added a  video of this soaking process for you to watch on the last page.

Did You Know? History and Interesting Trivia

  • Pumpkin seeds were discovered by archaeologists in caves in Mexico that  date back to 7,000 B.C.
  • North American tribes were the very first to observe the particular miracle  in pumpkin seeds.  Pumpkins and their seeds were an important Native American  Indian food used for their dietary and medicinal properties.
  • Pumpkin seeds are called pepitas in Mexico and they are a  trademark of Mexican cuisine.
  • Pumpkin seeds were very popular in ancient Greece.
  • The nutrition in pumpkin seeds improves with age; they are among the few  foods that increase in nutritive value as they decompose. According to tests  made at the Massachusetts Experimental Station, squash and pumpkin seeds stored  for more than five months show a marked increase in protein content.
  • Pumpkin seeds are high in calories, about 559 calories per 100 g.

Nutritional Facts & Health Benefits Pumpkin  seeds:

  • Are filled with lots of minerals including phosphorus, magnesium, manganese,  iron and copper.
  • Are a good source of vitamin K.
  • Contain phytosterols, compounds that that have been shown to reduce levels of LDL cholesterol.
  • Contain L-tryptophan, which helps with good sleep and lowering depression.  Tryptophan is converted into serotonin and niacin. Serotonin is also very  helpful in helping us to have a good night’s sleep.
  • Are high in zinc, making them a natural protector against osteoporosis. Low  intake of zinc is linked to higher rates of osteoporosis. In a study of almost  400 men (age from 45-92) published in the American Journal of Clinical  Nutrition they found a correlation between low dietary intake of zinc, low  blood levels of the trace mineral and osteoporosis at the hip and spine.
  • Are a good source vitamin E; they contain about 35.10 mg of tocopherol per  100 g.
  • Are the most alkaline-forming seed.
  • Are an excellent source of vitamin B group (thiamin, riboflavin, niacin,  pantothenic acid, vitamin B-6 (pyridoxine) and folates).
  • Contain good quality protein. 100 g seeds provide 30 g.
  • According to studies, pumpkin seeds prevent calcium oxalate kidney stone  formation.
  • Reduce inflammation for arthritis without the side effects of  anti-inflammatory drugs.
  • Are used in many cultures as a natural treatment for tapeworms and other  parasites.
  • Are good for prostate health! The oil in pumpkin seeds alleviates difficult  urination that happens with an enlarged prostate.

How To Soak Your Pumpkin  Seeds

Soak the  seeds for six hours.  To learn more about soaking nuts and seeds click here: Sprouting Nuts and Seeds

Pumpkin Seed Recipes:

Pumpkin seeds are so valuable we put them in the category of powerfoods!

By Diana Herrington

Diana Herrington, now living in Northern Canada, turned a debilitating health  crisis into a passion for helping others with healthy, sugar-free, gluten-free,  eating and cooking. After testing and researching every possible healthy therapy  on her delicate system she has developed simple, powerful principles which she  shares in her recent book Eating Green and Lean, and as host to Care2  groups: Healthy  Living Network and Healthy  Cooking. She is the head chef at Real  Food for Life, where she shares recipes and tips. Catch her on Facebook  or  Twitter @DancinginLife.

You’ve Come a Long Way, Kombucha

You’ve Come a Long Way, Kombucha

You’ve Come a Long Way, Kombucha

Years ago I was told about a mushroom shaped fungus that people in the health food “know” were calling Kombucha, and using for medicinal purposes. At the time I was working with a pioneering medical doctor who insisted that we find some of this elixir and make it ourselves. Having the right connections brought this slimy little bugger to my kitchen where I placed it in a bowl of water with some sugar and bags of tea and let it do its thing. Not only did it ferment the water, but it grew another baby Kombucha, and therein lies the dilemma of making home brewed Kombucha, what to do with all the babies?

Needless to say, I spread the word to my friends and family, who, by now, knew my unorthodox interest in all things odd and alternative where food and medicine was concerned. At the time there was very little information as to how Kombucha worked, just that it was a great blood detoxifier that had emigrated from Russia and could heal a multitude of ills in a small amount of time. One unproven claim was that this odd looking mass of gelatin could heal cancer, which would only elicit a succession of raised eyebrows and unbelieving groans. Undeterred I continued to soak the Kombucha, drink the elixir, and give away the babies.

Having already spent years dancing around the media hype of the just-blossoming-health-food industry, I knew to take it all with a grain of sea salt and do my own research. Which usually means, to first try it out on myself in order to test the claims. The good doctor happily offered his body for additional research and for several months we soaked and sipped Kombucha until, seeing little or no results, we just could not take another sip of the vinegary solution. Alas, the last remaining baby was laid to rest in the woods and we all returned to drinking elixir from the green tea family.

Now, some 20 years later, and Kombucha appears to be one of the most popular health drinks on the market to the tune of $295 million dollars last year. Naturally, this means that the taste has to have greatly improved with the addition of cranberry, mango, ginger or berry flavors; but what hasn’t changed is that people still claim that they feel much better after drinking the Kombucha elixer. Even with that sharp vinegar taste devoted Kombucha fans find relief from a number of ailments, in particular digestive, intestinal issues.

But I make no claims here, only that if you are a Kombucha drinker you might like to know that you can make that four-something-a-bottle health soda into a delicious summer drink by adding:

  • a few ice cubes, and sparkling mineral water for a Kombucha Spritzer.
  • a few scoops of non-dairy ice cream for a delicious Kombucha Ice Cream Float.
  • 1-2 ounces of botanically infused Gin or requisite Vodka with a splash of flavored Kombucha for a liver bracing Kombucha Martini.

As the Irish are want to say when raising a glass or two, Slainte, “To Your Health!”

 by Delia Quigley

Delia Quigley is the Director of StillPoint Schoolhouse, where she teaches a holistic lifestyle based on her 28 years of study, experience and practice. She is the creator of the Body Rejuvenation Cleanse, Cooking the Basics, and Broken Bodies Yoga. Delia’s credentials include author, holistic health counselor, natural foods chef, yoga instructor, energy therapist and public speaker. Follow Delia’s blogs: brcleanse.blogspot.com and brokenbodiesyoga.wordpress.com. To view her website go to www.deliaquigley.com

Leesa’s favorite is GT Dave’s Multi~Green Organic Raw Kombucha!  Which is your favorite flavor?

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