Posted by: godshealingplants | September 28, 2017

WATERCRESS BENEFITS

HISTORY

Watercress use dates back three millennia to the Persians, Greeks, and Romans. The Greeks were no strangers to the health benefits of watercress, either. When Hippocrates founded the first hospital on the Island of Kos around 400 BC, he grew wild watercress in the natural springs and used it to treat blood disorders. 

ABOUT

Watercress is a cruciferous plant grown for centuries as a mineral rich green leafy vegetable. It is a rapidly growing, aquatic or semi-aquatic, perennial plant native to Europe and Asia, and one of the oldest known leaf vegetables consumed by humans. It is a member of the Brassicaceae family, botanically related to mustard, radish and wasabi—all noteworthy for their sharp flavor.

 

Small, white and green flowers are produced in clusters and are frequently visited by insects and then grow into pods with seeds. The seeds, when mature, are also edible. 

NUTRITIONAL PROFILE

Watercress contains a high amount of iron, calcium, iodine, manganese and folic acid as well as vitamins A, B6, C and K. It is also packed with omega-3 fatty acids.

Watercress is packed with phytochemicals called isothiocyanates, which demonstrate the ability to fight cancer and cardiovascular and neurological diseases. 

HEALTH BENEFITS

The health benefits of watercress include providing nutrition, boosting immunity, cancer prevention, and thyroid support.

Here are some of its additional benefits:

  • Alleviates depression – Perfect Source of Antidepressant
  • Boosts the Iron Absorption
  • Boosts Your Immune System
  • Builds Stronger Teeth
  • Contains Anti-Carcinogenic Compound
  • Excellent for Weight Loss
  • Good for Digestive System
  • Good for the Bronchitis
  • Good for the Gallbladder
  • Great for Healthy Hair
  • Has Purifying Effects
  • Has Reducing Oxidative Damage Properties
  • Healthier Pregnancy
  • Heart Benefits – Healthier Cardiovascular
  • Maintains Cognitive Functions
  • Prevents Alzheimer, healthier Brain
  • Prevents Anemia
  • Prevents Cancer
  • Prevents Cataracts
  • Prevents Strokes
  • Reduces Osteoporosis
  • Reduces the Symptoms of Asthma
  • Regulates Blood Sugar Levels
  • Regulates the Thyroid

SELECTION AND STORAGE

 

Watercress can be found in stores all year round. Fresh watercress feature deep green color, succulent and thick leaves and a nice peppery aroma. You should buy watercress that has thick, broad, and deep green fresh color leaves; the darker the color of the leaves, the better.

 

After you purchased the watercress, you should eliminate old leaves yellow in color. Then  wash, rinse it under cold running water to remove dirt .

Then soak it in salt or baking soda water for 30 minutes to get rid of any worms and bacteria that might be found on watercress as they thrive near water.

 

You can store the watercress in a glass of water to increase the storage time up to 5 days after you purchased it. But, remember that you still need to change the water everyday or the leaves start to discolor and if they do, you should trim the leaves that turn yellow every day. 

If you store it in the refrigerator it will last up to 3 days from the day of purchase. 

HOW TO ENJOY

Here are some consumption tips to enjoy watercress.

The simplest way to prep watercress, and also the way that allows its peppery green flavor to be enjoyed best—is to toss it into a salad. You can serve it on its own with a light dressing, or toss it with other greens and veggies. Either way, you’ll want to make sure you remove the thickest stems if you’re eating it raw.

 

Watercress makes for a perfect addition to a creamy soup. For a tangy, peppery watercress soup you can add potatoes and cream. You can also just add a garnish of fresh watercress atop any soup you make.

 

Add a few leaves of watercress to your next green smoothie or juice to up its nutritional profile. Be careful not to overdo it though.

 

Garnish any pizza that pops out of the oven with fresh watercress leaves. They’ll give each slice a more definitive punch and will add to its nutritional value.

 

Adding watercress to pasta along with peas and some parmesan cheese and spices turns it into a delicious entrée.

 

Just a few seconds before finishing of your omelet over the stove, add a handful of fresh watercress to the top and then fold the omelet over. As you chew, enjoy the crunch – and the added nutrition!

Adding watercress to egg salad in a sandwich gives it a nice tangy taste.

REFERENCES

Aisen, C.F., and L. Cavender. 2005. Compounds in broccoli, cauliflower, and watercress block lung cancer progression. Medical News Today September 16, 2005. Retrieved April 12, 2008.

Al-Shehbaz, I. and R. A. Price. 1998. Delimitation of the genus Nasturtium (Brassicaceae). Novon 8: 124-126.

Bender, D. A., and A. E. Bender. 2005. A Dictionary of Food and Nutrition. New York: Oxford University Press. ISBN 0198609612.

Hecht, S. S., F. L. Chung, J. P. Richie, S. A. Akerkar, A. Borukhova, L. Skowronski, and S. G. Carmella. 1995. Effects of watercress consumption on metabolism of a tobacco-specific lung carcinogen in smokers. Cancer Epidemiology Biomarkers & Prevention 4(8): 877-884.

Herbst, S. T. 2001. The New Food Lover’s Companion: Comprehensive Definitions of Nearly 6,000 Food, Drink, and Culinary Terms. Barron’s Cooking Guide. Hauppauge, NY: Barron’s Educational Series. ISBN 0764112589.

Rachel Sixsmith. Watercress industry defends its traditions. Horticulture Week. 2009:23.http://ajcn.nutrition.org/content/85/2/504.abstract

Manchali and colleagues published their study in the Journal of Functional Foods (Crucial facts about health benefits of popular cruciferous vegetables. Journal of Functional Foods, 2012; 4(1):94-106).

 

 

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Posted by: godshealingplants | August 17, 2017

ORANGE PISTACHIO BARS – RAW

INGREDIENTS:

¾ cup cashews

¾ cup raw pistachios

½ cup chopped dried organic apricots – without sulphur dioxide

1 tbsp. raw honey

1 tsp. organic coconut oil

1 tbsp. organic chia seeds

Finely grind the peel of a small orange (zest) and then add its juice to the mixture

HOW TO PREPARE:

 

Pulverize nuts in food processor until very small.

Then add the chopped apricots

The zest of a small orange.

Add all other ingredients and pulse until blended.

Press mixture into a wax paper lined baking dish sprinkled with dried shredded coconut.

 Sprinkle more shredded coconut on top and press in lightly.

Freeze until firm then turn over and cut into squares or bars.

Keep refrigerated.  

ENJOY!

 

SOURCE: Slightly modified from – thymebombe.com

PICTURES: Courtesy of Alayna Tucker

Thank you Alayna – Blessings!

Posted by: godshealingplants | June 10, 2017

CHOCOLATE OR CAROB COCONUT BARS

INGREDIENTS

  • 1 cup raw pecans, pre-soaked (Can substitute with raw almonds, cashews or walnuts.)
  • 1/3 cup raw chocolate or carob powder
  • 1 cup dates, pitted and soaked to soften
  • 2 cups shredded coconut
  • ½ cup extra virgin coconut oil, melted but cool (When melting your coconut oil, be careful not to heat it too much. It will melt at a very low heat, so do not overheat.)
  • ¼ tsp. sea salt (Pink Himalayan salt is great because it is full of minerals)

Top Layer Ingredients

  • 2/3 cup cashews
  • ¼ cup raw chocolate or carob powder
  • 2/3 cup dates, pitted and soaked to soften
  • 1/3 cup extra virgin coconut oil, melted but cool
  • 1/8 tsp. sea salt
  • Shredded coconut for garnish

INSTRUCTIONS

  1. In a food processor with S-blade, blend pecans, carob, and salt to a coarse flour.
  2. While the machine is spinning, add dates a few at a time, until fully chopped and combined.
  3. Next add the coconut and blend until well incorporated.
  4. Finally pour in the coconut oil, and pulse a few more times until well mixed.
  5. Transfer mixture to a glass square or rectangle baking dish, and press evenly to line the bottom of the dish.
  6. Place in fridge or freezer to set.

Top Layer Instructions

  1. In food processor with S-blade, blend cashews down to a fine meal.
  2. Add in the rest of the ingredients, and blend until smooth.
  3. Spread evenly over the base, and sprinkle with extra shredded coconut.
  4. Let set in fridge for at least 3 hours.
  5. Cut into bars or squares and enjoy.

Posted by: godshealingplants | March 2, 2017

CUMIN SEED AND OIL FOR YOUR HEALTH

cumin-for-your-health

HISTORY

Cumin has been in use since ancient times. Originally cultivated in Iran and the Mediterranean region. It is cumin is mentioned in the Bible in both the Old Testament (Isaiah 28:27) and the New Testament (Matthew 23:23).  

The ancient Greeks kept cumin at the dining table in its own container, much as pepper is frequently kept today, and this practice continues in Morocco. Cumin was also used heavily in ancient Roman cuisine. In India, it has been used for millennia as a traditional ingredient in innumerable recipes, and forms the basis of many other spice blends. 

Cumin was introduced to the Americas by Spanish and Portuguese colonists. Several different types of cumin are known, but the most famous ones are black and green cumin.

 black-cumin-seeds

ABOUT

Cumin is a flowering plant in the family Apiaceae, native from the east Mediterranean to South Asia. Its seeds are used in the cuisines of many different cultures, in both whole and ground form.

 cuminum_cyminum

Cumin is the dried seed of the herb Cuminum cyminum, a member of the parsley family. The cumin plant grows to 30–50 cm (12–20 in) tall and is harvested by hand. It is an annual herbaceous plant.  

NUTRITIONAL PROFILE

Cumin seeds – are an excellent of iron, a very good source of manganese, and a good source of calcium, magnesium, phosphorus and vitamin B1. For more information click on the following link Nutritional Profile

 black-cumin-and-oil

Cumin oil – Its active compounds include crystalline nigellone and thymoquinone – believed to be what’s mainly responsible for the oil’s potent medicinal properties, along with, myristic acid, palmitic acid, stearic acid, palmitoleic acid, oleic acid, linoleic acid, arachidonic acid, proteins and vitamins B1, B2,B3, calcium, folate, iron, copper, zinc and phosphorous.  

HEALTH BENEFITS

Black cumin oil has shown to offer numerous medicinal properties, including: 

  • Anti-bacterial
  • Analgesic
  • Anti-fungal
  • Anti-inflammatory
  • Antioxidant
  • Antispasmodic
  • Antiviral
  • Anti-hypertensive
  • Hypotensive
  • Insulin sensitizing

cumin-seeds-1

Let’s take a further look at cumin’s oil and seed health benefits:

Acne: Acne is a direct result of inflammation on the skin, which causes people to break out. With powerful regenerative and anti-inflammatory properties, black seeds are your best option for clearing up your skin and giving it a soft, natural glow. It’s been used by both Kings and Queens throughout history for their most common skin ailments. 

Anemia: Cumin is very rich in iron (more than 66 mg. in every 100 grams) which is more than 5 times the daily requirement of iron for an adult. This iron is the main constituent of hemoglobin in the red blood corpuscles of blood. It is hemoglobin which transfers oxygen (as the oxide of iron) to the body’s cells and whose deficiency causes anemia. So, cumin can be a nutritious additive to daily diet for anemic people and avoid the symptoms of anemia like fatigue, anxiety, cognitive malfunction, and digestive issues. 

Back and Muscle Pain: You can reduce the need for painkillers for your back and muscle pain by applying black seed oil right on the points of pain. You will instantly feel relief as the powerful compounds go right to work. 

Bladder Infections: You can find relief and a cure for most bladder infections by taking black seed oil. Specifically urinary tract infections, which is a more common bladder infection, can be treated effectively with daily consumption. 

Boils and CarbunclesWhether it’s a single boil (furuncle) or a cluster of boils (carbuncle), black seed oil is a great way to find quick relief. As long as the boil/s are smaller than a half inch, black seed oil can help it disappear. This is because boils are caused from bacteria which the potent anti-inflammatory and anti-bacterial properties of black seeds helps to remove. 

Burns: Applying black seed oil on burns has proven to aid in the healing and reproduction of your skin (specifically 2nd degree burns). Simply rub some on burned areas for immediate relief from pain and clearing of the skin. 

Common Cold: The common cold is a viral infection which affects our body frequently when our immune system becomes weakened or vulnerable. The essential oils present in cumin act as disinfectants and help fight viral infections which can cause the common cold. Cumin also suppresses the development of coughing in the respiratory system since it dries up the excess mucus. Cumin is rich in iron and has considerable amount of vitamin-C, which are essential for a healthy immune system and keeps infections from forming or becoming worse.  

Dandruff: Not only is black seed oil great for your hair, but it also promotes hair follicle growth and even prevents dandruff. All you need to do is apply some to your hair and leave on for 30-60 minutes. 

Digestion: Cumin is extremely good for digestion. Cuminaldehyde, the main component of its essential oil, activates our salivary glands in our mouth, which facilitates the primary digestion of food. Next is thymol, a compound present in cumin, which stimulates the glands that secrete acids, bile and enzymes responsible for complete digestion of the food in the stomach and the intestines. Cumin is also Carminative, which means that it relieves from you from gas troubles and thereby improves digestion.

Eczema: Suffering from Eczema can be a painful experience and cumin oil will give you great relief decreasing inflamation.  

Fungal Infections: Fungal infections occur when bacteria grows on top of your skin, resulting in a variety of different diseases and rashes. Cumin oil has proven to be an excellent natural remedy. 

Gum Infections: Particularly Gingivitis, black seed oil is one of nature’s most potent natural remedies for suppressing and healing gum infections. The anti-oxidants and anti-inflammatory properties found in it have proven to clear the gums from bacteria and provide immediate pain relief. 

Heart Health: The rich and unsaturated Omega 6 & 9 acids as well as the phytosterols that black seeds contain offer amazing heart benefits and help reinforce elasticity in your blood vessel walls, thereby aiding in the prevention of thrombus formation and arterial pressure. It also helps lower your cholesterol and blood sugar too. 

Helps with Stomach Pain: For most stomach related pains and issues, black seeds are a great natural remedy for quick alleviation. Take 1-2 teaspoons daily after meals for quick results.

Hemorrhoids: Black seeds offer quick relief, and studies have shown it to actively prevent the spread of hemorrhoids. 

High Blood Pressure: Black seed oil for high blood pressure is one of the most common uses of black seed oil today. Although it’s not recognized as an official treatment, many high blood pressure patients noticed a significant drop in their blood pressure levels when taking black seed oil.  

Infection Killer:  Infections of all types are fought off by the immune system, specifically white cells. By targeting the immune system directly, black seed oil helps your body fight off infections from head to toe. This is a unique property that black seeds were known for throughout history, and they stood the test of time to be one of if not the most powerful natural remedies today. 

Insect Bites: Whether you were recently bitten by mosquitoes or any other insects, applying black seed oil on the affected area can help relieve pain and itchiness instantaneously. This is one of the more prevalent uses of black seed oil, and is one of the best natural remedies for insect bites. 

Insomnia: Studies have shown that taking black seed oil for insomnia and other sleep disorders can be very effective. Many have claimed that it has helped them eliminate their sleeping disorder altogether. 

Joint Pain: Of the more popular benefits and uses, treating joint pains with black seed oil is a sure way to get immediate relief. Since most of joint pain is caused by inflammation, it makes a perfect natural remedy for it. You can apply it directly onto the skin of the injured area. 

Muscle Cramps and Spasms: The anti-spasmodic and anti-inflammatory agents in black seed oil make it very helpful in preventing and easing muscle cramps/spasms. You can either consume it orally or rub some oil on the affected areas to see rappid results. 

Psoriasis: Caused mainly by inflammation, Psoriasis is an unpleasant condition of the skin that millions are affected by worldwide. Since black seed oil exhibits anti-psoriasis properties, it thereby benefits primarily diseases caused by inflammation. It is a great natural alternative to many of today’s prescription recommendations for psoriasis. 

Toothache: Another effective remedy for toothaches is black seed oil. To relieve the pain and soreness, all you do is rub the oil on your gums for 20 seconds. Then sit back and feel the anti-oxidants go to work.

cumin-2 

SELECTION AND STORAGE

Whenever possible, buy whole cumin seeds instead of cumin powder since the latter loses its flavor more quickly, and the seeds can be easily be milled using a hand mill.

 cumin-seeds-and-powder

Even through dried herbs and spices are widely available in supermarkets, explore the local spice stores or ethnic markets in your area. Oftentimes, these stores feature an expansive selection of dried herbs and spices that are of superior quality and freshness compared to those offered in regular markets. Just like with other dried spices, try to select organically grown dried cumin since this will give you more assurance that it has not been irradiated.

cumin-seeds-organic

Cumin seeds and cumin powder should be kept in a tightly sealed glass container in a cool, dark and dry place. Ground cumin will keep for about six months, while the whole seeds will stay fresh for about one year.  

COOKING TIPS AND HOW TO ENJOY

To bring out the fullness of their aroma and flavor, lightly roast whole cumin seeds before using them in a recipe.  

 cumin-tea-2

Make a cup of warming and soothing cumin tea by boiling seeds in water and then letting them steep for 8-10 minutes.

green-beans-with-shallots-and-cumin-seeds

Add the taste of cumin as a great complement to the flavor of legumes such as lentils, garbanzo beans, black beans and green beans.

cumin-rice-recipe

Take plain brown rice and magically give it special pizzazz by adding cumin seeds, dried apricots and almonds.

vegetable-slaw-with-cumin

Make a cabbage and carrot salad and add cumin to give it an exotic flavor.

You can experiment with many other recipies as you enjoy the cumin seed and oil benefits in your diet.

 cumin-chickpea-lentil-salad

REFERENCES

Ensminger AH, Esminger M. K. J. e. al. Food for Health: A Nutrition Encyclopedia. Clovis, California: Pegus Press; 1986. 1986. PMID:15210.

Fortin, Francois, Editorial Director. The Visual Foods Encyclopedia. Macmillan, New York. 1996.

Grieve M. A Modern Herbal. Dover Publications, New York. 1971.

Martinez-Tome M, Jimenez AM, Ruggieri S, et al. Antioxidant properties of Mediterranean spices compared with common food additives. J Food Prot 2001 Sep;64(9):1412-9. 2001. PMID:12440.

Wood, Rebecca. The Whole Foods Encyclopedia. New York, NY: Prentice-Hall Press; 1988. 1988. PMID:15220.

https://www.drugs.com/npc/cumin.html

https://web.archive.org/web/20050527134308/http://pages.unibas.ch/mdpi/ecsoc-3/d0002/d0002.html

http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/life-style/health-fitness/diet/Health-benefits-of-cumin/articleshow/12327526.cms

Posted by: godshealingplants | February 2, 2017

COCONUT FLOUR PIZZA CRUST

coconut-pizza-crust

Coconut Flour Pizza Crust Ingredients:

  • 3 pasture-raised eggs
  • ¼ cup of grassfed butter or coconut oil, melted
  • ¼ cup + 2 tbsp. coconut flour
  • 1 clove crushed or minced garlic
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1 tsp aluminum-free baking powder
  • ¼ tsp pink Himalayan salt

coconut-crust

Coconut Flour Pizza Crust Instructions: 

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F

Line a pizza sheet with parchment paper

Mix together the wet ingredients in one bowl and the dry ingredients in another

Combine the wet and dry ingredients

Roll batter onto parchment paper until about ½-3/4 in thick

Bake for 20 minutes

Take the crust out and top with favorite ingredients.

Place back in oven to bake for another 2-3 minutes or just until the cheese has melted.

coconut-crust-with-tomato-sauce

Comments:

Coconut flour is a low-carb, fiber rich flour source. It bakes differently than typical wheat or even almond flour. You typically need more eggs and butter than the other flours because the coconut flour soaks it up.

We added garlic and oregano to the pizza crust to add anti-microbial, anti-oxidant rich nutrients. The grass-fed butter adds butyric acid which is a powerful anti-inflammatory fat as well as key anti-oxidants and conjugated linoleic acid (CLA). CLA strengthens our immune system and improves fat burning.

Pasture-raised eggs are rich in phophatydlcholine, which is a key nutrient for healthy brain and nervous system function. Eggs are also great sources of clean protein and anti-oxidants such as retinol and vitamin E.

You will love this crust! You can add in some organic tomato sauce and grass-fed raw cheese along with pizza herb seasoning for a traditional plain pizza. Add whatever toppings you like such as mushrooms, bell peppers, anchovies, onions, etc. Enjoy!

voila

SOURCE: This coconut flour pizza crust recipe is from  Megan Kelly.  She is a Licensed Estheticain specializing in holistic nutrition.

THANK YOU MEGAN!

Posted by: godshealingplants | September 7, 2016

Banana Bread Cookies

banana-bread-cookies

Ingredients

1/2 cup coconut flour
1/4 cup almond or nut butter
4 tablespoons maple syrup
1/2 cup mashed banana
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
dark chocolate chips

Recipe Cooking Instructions

  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees
  2. Melt nut butter with maple syrup
  3. In a blender, combine the coconut flour and banana nut butter and syrup and blend gently until batter is formed.
  4. Add chocolate chips if desired.
  5. Form into balls and transfer to the lined cookie sheet. Press into a cookie shape and bake for 12 minutes.
  6. Remove and allow to sit for 10 minutes to allow them to firm and not fall apart.

Notes for Banana Bread Cookies

  • Can use honey or maple syrup
  • Feel free to add chopped nuts

 

Thank you Megan for this delicious recipe.

Banana Bread Cookies

Posted by: godshealingplants | June 25, 2016

PEAS FOR YOUR HEALTH

Peas GHP

HISTORY

Archeologists and historians believe the garden pea originated in either Egypt or China, and it has been a part of their diet for 5,000 years. Peas were apparently consumed in dry form throughout much of their early history, and did not become widely popular as a fresh food until changes in cultivation techniques took place in Europe in the 16th century. Peas are now grown throughout the world in nearly every climatic zone, and are widely consumed in both fresh and dried form.

ABOUT

The pea is a quick growing, annual herbaceous vine which requires trellis to support its growth. It flourishes under well-drained, sandy soil supplemented with adequate moisture and cool weather conditions. Short stalked, green pods appear by late winter or early spring.

Sweet peas vines

Each pod measures about 2-3 inches long, filled with single row of 2-10, light-green, smooth edible seeds.

Sweet pea pods

In general, the pods harvested while just short of reaching maturity, at the point when their seeds are green, soft, sweet and edible as raw. Allowing the pods to mature further would make seeds less sweet, bitter and turn light-green to yellow.

NUTRITIONAL PROFILE

Green peas are a very good source of vitamin K, manganese, dietary fiber, vitamin B1, copper, vitamin C, phosphorus, and folate. They are also a good source of vitamin B6, niacin, vitamin B2, molybdenum, zinc, protein, magnesium, iron, potassium, and choline.

HEALTH BENEFITS

Many people think peas are just a poor man’s meat. But peas are really little powerhouses for your health. Let’s look at some of them:

Peas in a basket

Anti-aging, Strong Immune System and High Energy: This comes from the high levels of anti-oxidants including:

  • flavinoids = catechin and epicatechin
  • carotenoid = alpha-carotene and beta-carotene
  • phenolic acids = ferulic and caffeic acid
  • polyphenols = coumestrol

Blood Sugar Regulation: High fiber and protein slows down how fast sugars are digested. The anti-oxidants and anti-inflammatory prevent or reverse insulin resistance (type 2 diabetes).

Good for Your Eyes: The lutein and vitamin A in peas also protects your eyes. Lutein, a natural plant pigment, is concentrated in the eye, and its antioxidant activity can protect you from both cataracts and macular degeneration by preventing oxidation. Vitamin A helps keep the surface of your eyes healthy. A 1/2-cup serving of peas contains 1,610 IU of vitamin A.

Healthy Bones: Just one cup of peas contains 44% of your Vitamin K which helps to anchor calcium inside the bones. Its B vitamins also help to prevent osteoporosis.

Heart Disease Prevention: The many antioxidant and anti-inflammatory compounds support healthy blood vessels. The formation of plaque along our blood vessel walls starts with chronic, excessive oxidative stress and inflammation.

The generous amounts of vitamin B1 and folate, B2, B3, and B6 reduce homocysteine levels which are risk factor for heart disease.

Prevents Constipation: The high fiber content in peas improves bowel health and peristalsis.

Prevention of Wrinkles, Alzheimer’s, Arthritis, Bronchitis, Osteoporosis and Candida: These come from peas strong anti-inflammatory properties. Excess inflammation has also been linked to, heart disease, cancer, and aging in general. These properties include:

  • Pisumsaponins I and II and pisomosides A and B are anti-inflammatory phytonutrients found almost exclusively in peas.
  • Vitamin C and vitamin E, and a good amount of the antioxidant mineral zinc
  • Omega-3 fat in the form of alpha-linolenic acid (ALA).

Reduces Bad Cholesterol: The niacin in peas helps reduce, the production of triglycerides and VLDL (very low-density lipoprotein), which results in less bad cholesterol, increased HDL (“good”) cholesterol, and loweres triglycerides.

Stomach Cancer Prevention: Peas contain high amounts of a health-protective phytonutrient called coumestrol. A study in Mexico City determined you only need 2 milligrams per day of this phytonutrient to prevent stomach cancer. A cup of peas has at least 10.

Weight Management: Peas are low fat but high in everything else. One cup of peas has less than 100 calories but lots of protein, fiber and micronutrients.

And last but not least, peas are healthy for the environment:

  • Peas work with bacteria in the soil to ‘fix’ nitrogen from the air and deposit it in the soil. This reduces the need for artificial fertilizers since one of their main ingredients is nitrogen.
  • After peas have been harvested the remaining plant easily breaks down to create more organic fertilizer for the soil.

Super Sugar Snap

  • Peas are also able to grow on minimal moisture so they are a perfect crop in many areas not needing irrigation or using up valuable water supplies.

SELECTION AND STORAGE

Green peas are winter crops. Fresh peas are available and sold from December until April in the markets. However, dry, mature seeds, and split peas, flour…etc., are available in markets year round. Split peas

While shopping for green peas look for fresh pods that are heavy and brimming with seeds. Avoid those with wrinkled surface, or over-matured, yellow color pods.

 pea pods 1

Green-peas are at their best soon after harvest since much of sugar content in them would rapidly convert into starch. If you have to store at all, place them inside vegetable container in the refrigerator set at high relative humidity where they keep fresh for 2-3 days. Frozen peas, however, can be kept frozen for several months.

frozen Peas

Only about 5% of the peas grown are sold fresh; the rest are either frozen or canned.

canned peas

Overall, we recommend the selection of frozen peas over canned peas. However, we always encourage you to consider fresh peas whenever possible.

TIPS FOR PREPAREING AND COOKING

Before you remove the peas from the pod, rinse them briefly under running water and then gently pull off the “thread” that lines the seam of most peapods.

Washing peas

For those that do not have “threads,” carefully cut through the seam, making sure not to cut into the peas. Gently open the pods to remove the seeds, which do not need to be washed since they have been encased in the pod.

Snow peas and snap peas can be eaten raw, although the cooking process will cause them to become sweeter. Either way, they should be rinsed beforehand.

Of all of the cooking methods we tried when cooking green peas, our favorite is to sauté. We think that it provides the greatest flavor and is also a method that allows for concentrated nutrient retention.

Saute snow peas

To sauté green peas, heat 3 TBS of broth (vegetable or chicken) or water in a stainless steel skillet. Once bubbles begin to form add green peas, cover, and sauté for 3 minutes. Transfer to a bowl and toss with your favorite dressing.

HOW TO ENJOY

avocado-snowpea-salad

Add fresh peas to green salads.

pea-asparagus-salad
Sauté peas with asparagus and onions.

Snap peas, ginge and chicken
Sauté green peas pods with chicken, diced onions and ginger to make a delicious and colorful side dish.

Fresh peas
Eat fresh pea pods as a healthy snack.

Split Pea Soup
A bowl of hot split pea soup tastes delicious during the winter months.

INDIVIDUAL CONCERNS

Green peas contain naturally-occurring substances called purines. Purines are commonly found in plants, animals, and humans. In some individuals who are susceptible to purine-related problems, excessive intake of these substances can cause health problems. Since purines can be broken down to form uric acid, excess accumulation of purines in the body can lead to excess accumulation of uric acid.  

The health condition called “gout” and the formation of kidney stones from uric acid are two examples of uric acid-related problems that can be related to excessive intake of purine-containing foods. For this reason, individuals with kidney problems or gout may want to limit or avoid intake of purine-containing foods such as green peas.

Posted by: godshealingplants | July 28, 2015

CHAYOTE FOR YOUR HEALTH

Chayote GHP

HISTORY

Chayote squash is native to the cultural and regional areas of Mesoamerica, specifically central Mexico. It is one of the earliest cultivated plants within the New World.  

The Chayote squash’s global presence now places it on nearly every continent throughout the world besides Antarctica. Central America continues to be the leader in Chayote production with fruit coming out of Mexico, Costa Rica and Guatemala.  

ABOUT

Like the tomato, chayote squash is actually a fruit that is used as a vegetable. It is small and pale green, resembling a large pear. In fact, it is also called vegetable pear. Chayote is related to the cucumber and zucchini and has a mild, somewhat sweet flavor. It is in season from May to September, however, you can find chayote in some supermarkets year-round.

 chayote vine

Chayote prefers a warm climates, moist soil and long summer days (at least 6 hours of full sunlight are needed for the plant’s to flower). Its roots can run deep and wide and its vines can grow up to 50 feet in length.  

The whole plant including the fruit, stem and leaves contains multiple nutrients and has anti-inflammatory properties that can aid in the treatment of high-blood pressure, kidney stones and indigestion. Chayote can also help support weight loss efforts, as it is low in calories and contains fiber. 

NUTRITIONAL VALUE

Several important vitamins and other nutrients can be found in chayote squash. It is an excellent source of vitamin C, folate, thiamin, riboflavin and pyridoxine and potassium.

 chayote fresh

Chayote also contains antioxidant flavonoids that help to destroy harmful free radicals. And it has fiber which helps control blood sugar levels and is particularly helpful for diabetics and to lowers cholesterol, which promotes a healthier cardiovascular system. 

HEALTH BENEFITS

ANEMIA – Anemia is caused by Vitamin B2 and iron deficiency. Chayote is packed with Vitamin B2 and iron which are required by body for the production of red blood cell and thereby increase hemoglobin levels.  chayote 11

GOOD FOR THE HEART – Chayote is rich in folate, magnesium and potassium which are necessary for heart health. Folate decrease the homocysteine levels in the blood and thereby reduces the risk of coronary heart disease and stroke.  chayote 10

HEALTHIER SKIN – You can get healthy skin easily just by incorporating chayote in your diet. Chayote contains Vitamin E, Folic acid/folate, Vitamin C and zinc which help you to get healthy skin. Zinc controls the skin’s oil production and keeps the skin acne free, Vitamin C delays the aging process, Vitamin E protects and repairs the skin while Folic acid increases firmness of the skin. chayote 9

HELPS PREVENT CANCER – There are various vitamins and minerals in this fruit helps to prevent cancer.  chayote 8

HELPS PREVENT CRAMPS – Chayote also contains magnesium, an electrolyte and a mineral which helps prevent muscle cramps.

 chayote 7

KIDNEY STONES – A tea made of the leaves is reported to dissolve kidney stones as well as a treatment for arteriosclerosis and hypertension.  chayote 6

PREVENTS CONSTIPATION – People suffering from constipation should include chayote in their diet in order to promote bowel regularity. The fruit contains dietary fiber that prevents constipation and irritable bowel syndrome. Fiber softens the stools by drawing water into them & making them smooth. Thus, it prevents constipation. chayote 3

WEIGHT LOSS – Chayote is rich in dietary fiber and very low in calories which make it a perfect food for weight loss. It also has no saturated fats or cholesterol. Dietary fiber produces a feeling of fullness so you feel fuller for longer period. This helps you to prevent overeating.  chayote 4

OTHER BENEFITS: 

  • Decreases irritability, insomnia and gingivitis
  • Enhances the health of teeth, gums, lung and spine
  • Improves wound healing and immune system
  • Prevent bone loss as it has Vitamin K
  • Prevents Alzheimer’s disease, cells damage as well as frequent colds & infections
  • Protects you from depression and fatigue
  • The copper and manganese in chayote help to keep the thyroid healthy.
  • Vitamin B6 in the fruit helps to improve memory performance

 Chayote 2

SELECTION AND STORAGE

Chayote has become popular in the U.S. and is found in many large markets. They are being cultivated in Florida, California, and Louisiana. They are very common in Latino grocery stores.

 chayote at the market

Select firm, smooth, unwrinkled chayote.  Old chayote become wrinkled and become dry and tough.  Chayote will keep refrigerated for many days but it is best to use as quickly as possible.

PREPARATION

To prepare, wash chayote thoroughly in cold running water just before cooking. Sometimes its fruits may require light scrub at places where prickles or dirt attached firmly.

 peeling chayote

Peeling of skin is not required in young, tender pears. However, larger and over-mature fruits need light peeling using a vegetable peeler. Raw chayote exudes a sticky liquid (sap) when peeled that can cause skin irritation. You may want to peel them under cold running water or to use protective gloves.

HOW TO ENJOY

Chayote squash can be eaten both raw and cooked and at various stages of maturity.

chayote salad
When young they are ideal sliced in salads along with fresh herbs.

chayote quiche
You can make a delicious quiche with chayote

chayote burrito
You can incorporate it into a burrito

Chayote taco
Or into a taco

chayote stuffed
You can also stuff chayote with you favorite mix.

cooking chayote
Chayote squash can be prepared similar to that of other summer squashes and can be grilled, stir-fried, boiled, steamed or halved and baked.

chayote soup

Chayote squash soups are delicious

chayote torte
In Brazil they make a delicious chayote pie with onions, cheese, eggs and several other spices of your choice. 

SOURCES

Various

Posted by: godshealingplants | July 12, 2015

ARUGULA, GRAPEFRUIT AND AVOCADO SALAD

Argula salad GHP2

WHY IS GRAPEFRUIT AND ARUGULA SALAD WITH AVOCADO GOOD FOR YOU?

Aside from its refreshing flavor, the wide range of nutrients that the ingredients of this salad offer makes this a truly wholesome addition to your diet.

ARUGULA

Arugula contains glucosinates that offer antioxidant benefits and enzymes that can help with detoxification. Arugula is also an excellent source of fiber, vitamins A, B6, C, and K, calcium, folate, iron, magnesium, phosphorus, manganese, and potassium. You can also get high levels of zinc, copper, protein, thiamin, and pantothenic acid from this vegetable. 

Argula leaves

Arugula is said to help raise good cholesterol levels and lower bad cholesterol levels. It also has a high flavonoid content that can prevent cholesterol from sticking to arteries, increase blood flow, improve blood vessel function, and lower inflammation. 

GRAPEFRUIT

Grapefruit is a good source of vitamins C and A. It also offers dietary fiber that decreases that transit time in the colon, as well as potassium, which is crucial for the re-building of cells and body fluids and helps control heart rate and blood pressure. You can also get folate, vitamin B6, thiamin, magnesium, calcium, and phytonutrients from this citrus fruit. 

However, grapefruit may interfere with certain medications. It contains furanocoumarins, which block an enzyme that normally breaks down drugs in your body that, if left unchecked, can reach toxic levels in your body. So if you are taking any prescription drugs, check with your doctor first before consuming grapefruit. 

AVOCADO

Avocados are rich in monounsaturated fatty acids. Not only is monounsaturated fat  burned by your body for energy instead of storing it, but it also enables your body to absorb fat-soluble nutrients (such as alpha- and beta-carotene and lutein) more efficiently in other foods eaten in conjunction.

 avocado-pic

Avocado is also a low-fructose fruit, and is actually helpful for regulating your blood sugar levels – a definite boon for people suffering from diabetes or pre-diabetes. This super food also contains close to 20 essential health-boosting nutrients, including:

  • Fiber
  • B-vitamins
  • Vitamin E
  • Folic acid
  • Potassium (it actually has more potassium than a banana, which is essential for balancing your potassium-sodium ratio)

OLIVE OIL

Olive oil is also rich in monounsaturated fatty acids that can help lower your risk of heart disease. It also benefits your insulin levels and blood sugar control, which may help lower your risk of type 2 diabetes.

olive oil

High-quality olive oil also contains important vitamins, nutrients, and antioxidants and is very gentle on your digestive system. It can even help prevent gallstones and soothe ulcers. 

GINGER

The therapeutic benefits of ginger have been known for at least 2,000 years. It actually has broad-spectrum antioxidant, antiviral, antibacterial, and anti-parasitic properties. This versatile rhizome has also shown promise in fighting cancer, and research found that it has anti-tumor activity that may help defeat colon, lung, breast, ovarian, pancreatic, and skin cancers.

 

Ginger has also been found to have beneficial effects on insulin release and action, as well as improved lipid and carbohydrate metabolism, which makes it potentially helpful for people suffering from diabetes. 

INGREDIENTS

5 ounces baby arugula

2 grapefruits, peeled and sectioned

1 avocado, sliced

FOR THE DRESSING:

2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar

1 tablespoon grapefruit juice

1 tablespoon grated fresh ginger

1 teaspoon grated grapefruit zest

½ teaspoon sea salt

¼ cup extra virgin olive oil

Freshly ground black pepper

Avocado, Agurla, Grapefruit Salas

HOW TO PREPARE 

  • Grate 1 teaspoon of zest from the grapefruit, reserving for the salad dressing.
  • Peel the grapefruit by cutting off each end then working your knife around the perimeter. This method removes the membrane from all outside edges. Hold the peeled grapefruit in one hand over a bowl. Use a paring knife and in a sawing motion, cut each segment from the membrane on both sides. Let the juice drip into the bowl and place segments in another bowl.
  • When all segments have been removed from both grapefruit halves, squeeze the remaining juice from the membranes and reserve 1 tablespoon of the juice for the dressing.
  • To prepare the dressing, combine all ingredients except the oil in a bowl. Whisk to combine then slowly drizzle in the oil, whisking constantly until fully emulsified. Set aside.
  • To prepare the salad, place the arugula in a large salad bowl. Toss with about half the dressing. Divide the greens among salad plates; top with grapefruit segments and sliced avocado. Drizzle with the remaining dressing. 

This recipe makes 2-4 servings. 

Argula, grapefruit, avocado salad

HOW TO CHOOSE YOUR INGREDITENTS

We recommend choosing the freshest greens and vegetables for you to truly appreciate the refreshing flavors of this recipe.

 grapefruit and haves

When choosing grapefruit, look for those that are firm but give a bit when pressed – they should not be too spongy. It’s best to keep them at room temperature, if you’re sure to consume them within a week. If you plan to store them longer, keep them in the fridge.

Before peeling the grapefruit, wash the skin thoroughly, as any germs on the peel may transfer onto the fleshy part of the fruit.

 Argula in a bowl

Make sure you choose fresh organic arugula with unblemished green leaves that do not have any signs of wilting or yellowing. Store it in a produce bag in the fridge to keep it from wilting. It will last for a week.  Tip: if you cannot find baby arugula in your local farmers’ market, you can substitute with spinach, which will taste just as great.

 avocado 1

Avocados should be slightly soft to the touch. Remember that the dark green fruit closest to the inside of the peel has the greatest concentration of beneficial carotenoids.

 

NOTE: You can also add nuts to your salad.

 

SOURCE 

http://mercola.com (From Healthy Recipes for Your Nutritional Type)

Posted by: godshealingplants | July 3, 2015

GUACAMOLE STUFFED EGGS

Guacamole stuffed eggs GHP

This recipe is loaded with a good dose of healthy fats and perfect for any dietary restriction – vegetarian, gluten-free, weight watchers, low-carb, paleo diet, and more!

 Eggs-protect-against-diabetes

Hard-boiled eggs provide good fats called monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats. Replacing saturated and trans-fats as much as possible with monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats stabilize your blood cholesterol levels and lower your overall risk of heart disease. These heart-healthy fats also regulate insulin in the blood, which keeps the blood sugar within a healthy range – especially beneficial if you have type 2 diabetes. More than two-thirds of the fat content of hard-boiled eggs comes from good monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats.

 avo

Avocados also provide monounsaturated fat, which is a “good” fat that helps lower bad cholesterol, as long as you eat them in moderation. They are a source of a multitude of necessary vitamins including vitamins A, B6, niacin, C, K, and folate, and they have a full range of minerals and other trace elements including magnesium, iron, copper, and calcium – all of which boost brainpower and support the immune system.

 guacamole-eggs 2

INGREDIENTS 

  • 6 large eggs, hard boiled
  • 1 medium avocado
  • 2-3 tsp fresh lime juice
  • 1 tsp red onion, minced
  • 1 tbsp minced jalapeno
  • 1 tbsp fresh cilantro, chopped
  • Himalayan salt and fresh ground pepper, to taste
  • 1 tbsp diced tomato
  • Pinch of chili powder (for garnish)  

DIRECTIONS 

Peel the cooled hard boiled eggs. 

Cut the eggs in half horizontally, and set the yolks aside.

 avocados-and-eggs

In a bowl, mash the avocado and 2 whole egg yolks. Mix in lime juice, red onion, jalapeño, cilantro, salt and pepper and adjust to taste. Gently fold in the diced tomato.

 guacamole-with-eggs

Scoop heaping spoonfuls of the guacamole into the 12 halved eggs. Sprinkle with a little chili powder for color and arrange on a platter. 

NOTE: You will need only 2 whole egg yolks for this recipe, and can use the remaining ones in another recipe of choice. 

This recipe will make 12 one piece servings

 ENJOY!

SOURCE

This recipe and some pictures are courtesy of http://www.skinnytaste.com

 

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