Everyone knows the health risks of regular table salt. For decades, the medical profession has urged us to limit our intake of the flavorful additive. But what you may not know is that all salt is not created equal.
Still not convinced why you should make the switch? Before you get all salty, read below…
Nutrients, nutrients, nutrients
Himalayan salt is so much more than its pretty pink hue. Packed with 84 minerals and trace elements, including calcium, magnesium, potassium, copper and iron, it’ll make the transition away from standard table salt seamless. Plus, it’s naturally occurring without chemical processing or refinement. Due to the high mineral content, you actually get less sodium per serving, too. Wins all around.
It’s a culinary thing
Gourmet cooks recommend the exquisite taste of wholesome, natural, pink Himalayan crystal salt for cooking and curing. Compared to table salt, it’s more easily metabolized by your body. Ready to elevate your grilled veggies? Trying cooking on a Himalayan salt slab. Your taste buds will thank you!
Look at the source
Currently, our oceans and waterways are polluted with toxic chemicals. So it’s safe to say that Himalayan salt is a healthy alternative compared to sea salt. About 250 million years ago, the Himalayan mountain range was covered by a primordial ocean. When the ocean floor rose, it created a salt lake that evaporated and formed the salt range across most of Asia where one of our favorite Himalayan salt brands are from. Some believe it to one of the purest forms of salt around.
Remember, everything in moderation – even Himalayan salt. Before you go dousing your food with it, remember to limit your sodium consumption to no more than 2300 mg per day, and if you suffer from high blood pressure, keep it under 1500 mg.
Fermentation is essentially one of the oldest forms of food preservation but did you know that consuming fermented foods can provide a lot of health benefits? When you eat fermented foods you obtain probiotics known to promote a healthier digestive system as well as enhance your immunity. Even better, some of these foods are easy to ferment at home. So, let’s present you 7 fermented foods that are easy to make at home.
Make your own yogurt. Known for its probiotic content, yogurt is perhaps the most popular fermented food. Super easy to make, there are a lot of yogurt recipes available online from the conventional ones made with milk and acidophilus to the alternative ones such as soy or coconut yogurt.
Sauerkraut is made from fermented cabbage, caraway seeds, dill or other spices, and contains natural prebiotics as well as vitamins and is known to improve overall digestion. One of the easiest fermented foods to make, sauerkraut simply requires that you add the ingredients into a clean jar and ferment for a few days.
Another popular choice, kombucha can be easily made at home. Kombucha products can be pretty expensive but you can save money by making your own sugar-tea solution fermented by bacteria and yeast commonly known as SCOBY (symbiotic colony of bacteria and yeast).
A traditional Korean sauerkraut made through the process of lacto-fermentation, Kimchi is an easy-to-make great source of probiotics. It is made in a base of cabbage but contains peppers and a variety of vegetables rich in antioxidants
Kefir contains about 10 times more probiotics than yogurt as this ancient healing beverage is known to boost the immune system and regulate digestion. If you do not tolerate dairy, you can make an alternative version of water or coconut kefir.
6. Fermented Juice
Delicious, healthy and easy-to-make, fermented apple juice is a probiotic rich drink made from fresh apples. You can find several different recipes on how to make a probiotic sparkling apple juice loaded with vitamins and minerals.
Organic cucumbers, salt and water. Simple and easy-to-make, pickled cucumbers contain probiotics as well as gut healing properties along with sources of minerals like silica which aids the health of the hair, skin, and nails.
Cream butter and coconut sugar with a mixer. Add flax seed egg, protein powder, quinoa flakes, spelt flour, baking soda, and salt and stir by hand until a dough forms. Fold in chocolate chips. Form and flatten 3-inch diameter cookies on a parchment paper-lined baking sheet, and bake at 375°F for 9 minutes. Cool and serve. Makes a dozen 3-inch small cookies or 6 large sized cookies.
Nut allergies are not to be taken lightly and these days many schools are not taking any chances. It’s becoming more and more common to see schools banning peanut products in response to the growing number of children affected by life-threatening allergies. Some schools even prohibit any products containing nuts in any form from the cafeteria (almonds, cashews, tree nuts etc). We’re used to PB&J as a foundational food in the childhood experience; a lot of parents are understandably stressed searching for alternatives for finicky children to eat. If your child is less-than-thrilled to part with the PB&J, it might be a great opportunity to introduce them to new foods and get creative when packing lunch.
Whether your child is allergic to peanuts or loves peanut butter but isn’t allowed bring it to school, the guide below will help you explore alternatives to the classic PB&J!
Rinse rice until the water runs clean. Let the rice soak in a bowl of clean water for 30 minutes. Bring 1 and 1/4 cups water and rice to a boil in a medium saucepan. Cover, reduce heat, and simmer 15 minutes or until water is almost absorbed. Remove from heat and let stand covered for 15 minutes.
Place rice in a large bowl. Add natural sweetener, coconut milk, and salt, stirring gently until well combined. Cover and let stand 20 minutes.
Lightly coat hands with cooking spray. Divide rice mixture into 12 equal portions, shaping each into a ball (about 2 tablespoons of rice). Lightly press each rice ball into an oval between palms; place ovals on a baking sheet lined with wax paper. Top each rice oval with one kiwi slice, one mandarin orange and one raspberry slice. If the fruit doesn’t readily stick to the rice you can brush the tops of the rice ovals with honey first. Cover and chill frushi for at least one hour, up to 8 hours.
This recipe is great because you can use whatever fresh fruit you like to top the rice! What are some of your go-to, peanut-free packed lunches?
Still getting that morning brain fog, no matter how much coffee you slug? You might need an AM nutrition boost when caffeine alone isn’t cutting it. This smoothie is packed with raspberries, blueberries and acai berries rich in antioxidants that support memory. Walnuts and almonds contain omega-3 fatty acids for improved learning. Bananas that help regulate mood and support cognitive function and raw honey reduces inflammation.
I recommend using Spiru-Tein as your protein source for this recipe because it contains Spirulina, a strong antioxidant packed with energy-boosting nutrients. I always notice improved focus when I start my day with a dose of spirulina!
Place all ingredients into a blender and mix until smooth! Garnish with mint and chia seeds or drink as-is. For some added brain power and energy, I add Maca root powder to my smoothie and top with hemp seeds!
Give this recipe a try and let us know how it turns out below!
Performing regular body cleanses and detoxes are essential for good health and healing, but some people tend to think detoxing should be a one-time event, ranging from 24 hours to 2-weeks. Detoxification doesn’t always have to be a dramatic juice cleanse or intensive fasting. In fact, we should be making smaller lifestyle choices every day to continuously clear the body of toxins since we are often in contact with harmful organisms and pollutants. In order to prevent a buildup of these toxins, here are 10 easy ways to make every day a detox.
1. Natural, organic foods
Eating whole, organic foods is one of the best ways to improve your body’s detoxification process and reduce the intake of toxins. Choose fresh organic vegetables and fruits instead of fast food, processed food, GMO products and pesticide contaminated foods.
Exfoliating your skin is also a simple way to detox your body. Removing toxins present in your skin creates better circulation through daily oil massages and skin brushing. Before taking a shower, take a dry loofah sponge and brush your body to improve results.
3. Drinking water
You can purify your body by drinking lots of water. Staying hydrated all day and having adequate amounts of water is essential as your body needs water to produce saliva, help with perspiration and remove plenty of toxins each time you go to the bathroom.
Exercising helps you sweat and consequently release toxins through your skin. Sweating it out in the sauna can also help your body eliminate waste through increased body temperature and perspiration.
5. Herbal tea
Drinking herbal tea can offer different cleansing benefits as these infusions are a rich source of vitamins, minerals and antioxidants that are high on health benefits. Look for ingredients such as ginseng, ginger, peppermint, spearmint, lemongrass and cinnamon.
6. Purify the air
Breathing clean air is another way to reduce your exposure to toxins. Clean up the air in your home and keep up a high-quality, toxin-free air by reducing smoke, fumes, mold, and microorganisms.
7. Vitamin C
Increasing vitamin C intake is especially helpful for detox since it induces the production of glutathione, which is a compound that flushes toxins out. Try to eat fruits high on vitamin C such as oranges, pineapples, and papayas regularly.
Probiotic supplements are one of the best ways to enhance detoxification. These products, as well as digestive enzymes, can help your body digest and process the food you’re eating.
Hydrotherapy is an effective way to detox the body. While hot water relaxes blood vessels and dilates them, cold water stimulates them, and this process may decrease inflammation and naturally remove toxins from tissues.
Increase fiber intake as the kidney and liver are crucial for the filtration of the toxins in the body and thus promote overall cleansing.
What are some little steps you take every day to keep your body as toxin-free as possible? Let us know in the comments.
Convenient and tasty, it’s no wonder meal replacement supplements are popular right now. They’re a great choice for people on weight-loss diets, and also help folks on a fitness program as well as those running on a tight schedule. With so many options flooding the shelves, it can be hard to choose the best for your needs.
The majority of top-quality meal replacements contain most if not all of these ingredients but some products may adjust the quantities to target a specific nutritional need. If you are interested in trying out a meal replacement and perhaps joining this eating trend, let’s look at 5 key ingredients to look for in a meal replacement.
Protein is essential for maintaining muscle mass and muscle repair but it also plays an important role on fat burning and metabolic rate. Every single meal replacement product contains protein but some of them may come from vegan sources.
2. Vitamins and Minerals
The importance of vitamins and minerals requires no explanation but its addition to meal replacement supplements ensures that you are not missing nutrition required to keep your body healthy. Low sugar carbs are a main source of vitamins and minerals.
3. Healthy Fats
Healthy fats are extremely important to maintain a healthy lifestyle as they can improve joints, control inflammation, support brain health and maintain eyes and skin in great condition. Good sources of healthy fats include coconut oil, olive oil, flax seed oil, almond butter, almonds, and walnuts.
4. Low Sugar Carbohydrates
Low sugar carbohydrates provide sustained energy for your body as they are loaded with vitamins and minerals. Low sugar carbohydrates are broken down slowly to minimize peaks and troughs in blood glucose levels and are often a valuable source of fiber too.
Considered a plus in many meal replacement supplements, probiotics keep you healthy by topping up the bacteria in your gut. Adding probiotics to your meals can help minimize digestive upsets, weight gain and issues digesting food properly. Look for foods high in probiotics such as natural yogurt, Greek yogurt, raw cocoa powder, dark chocolate, and acidophilus.
This recipe is one of my all time favorites. Growing up I was a candy fiend and could never get enough of the gummy, chewy sweets. When I finally decided to cut out sweets and focus on healthier foods, I scoured the Internet in search of healthy ways to get a candy fix and keep my diet on track. Although the conventional, Fruit Roll-Up branded snacks invoke nostalgic memories of grade school cafeteria lunches, I knew the excess sugar and artificial flavors would only worsen my candy cravings!
Luckily, Alvita has provided an easy-to-make, healthy fruit roll-up recipe using their hibiscus tea! These roll-ups are fun to make and customizable depending on your fruit flavor preference. Bake up a batch on Sunday to keep the kid’s (or your own) lunches stocked for the whole week!
Can you think of a supplement which offers a variety of proven health benefits but it has yet to become popular in the United States? Hempseed oil comes to mind as this intriguing oil perfectly fits the label of a multi-purpose natural remedy.
Hemp oil is still considered sketchy to some as its association with cannabis has kept it from common use by many people. However, it’s important to understand that hemp is a health food and not marijuana. Hempseed oil contains virtually no THC, the psychoactive element in cannabis, and will not make you high!
Hemp seeds are rich in protein, polyunsaturated fatty acids, omega 6, and omega 3 as well as tocopherols, and vitamin E antioxidants. Plus, hemp seeds are packed with minerals such as potassium, magnesium, iron, zinc, calcium, and phosphorus. A great source of high-quality nutrients, hemp can certainly provide a lot of health benefits. So, let’s look a 4 surprising health benefits of hempseed oil.
Considered a great product to promote proper cardiovascular function, hempseed oil can help lower cholesterol by accelerating metabolic processes as it contains an optimal 3:1 ratio of omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids. Higher metabolism ensures that fats burn at a quicker rate and are not deposited on the artery walls. An excellent vegetarian option for omega-3 and omega-6, hempseed oil is also a safer, mercury-free fatty acid supplement.
Hempseed oil is a great product to boost the immune system. The essential fatty acids in hempseed oil have been shown to promote and regulate healthy flora in the intestines and support immune system response and function, increasing the resilience of the body against the common cold and flu.
3. Healthy Skin
Hempseed oil can support healthy skin and promote beautiful hair and nails as it helps increase the skin elasticity and water retention capacity in tissues. Hemp oil has a composition similar to skin lipids, which makes it an excellent natural emollient and moisturizer. Plus, the antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties from hemp may protect against the aging process while soothing the skin, reducing skin dryness to alleviating itching and irritation.
4. Hormonal Balance
Hemp is the only edible seed that contains gamma-linolenic acid which can help regulate hormonal balance. Gamma-linolenic acid is eventually converted to the protective hormone prostaglandin PGE1 that regulates the hormonal balance and supports menopausal health.
Adding antioxidants to your diet is essential for overall good health. Antioxidants are molecules that stop the process of oxidation, a common chain reaction in a cell that eventually leads to the damage or death of the cell. Foods rich in antioxidants can help to reduce this oxidation process, keeping the cells healthy. Measured by the ORAC scores, let’s look at 10 great sources of antioxidants to add to your diet.
Blueberries are one of the best antioxidant foods and can be easily added to your breakfast. Loaded with antioxidants, particularly wild blueberries which have a 14,000 ORAC score, blueberries can also be added to your diet in juice, smoothie, and yogurt form.
2. Goji Berries
A popular superfood, goji berries have a 25,000 ORAC score and have become a staple source of antioxidants. Goji juice is one of the best ways to enjoy the benefits of this amazing berry.
3. Kidney Beans
Beans contain cysteine, which is an antioxidant that helps flush out free radicals from the body. Kidney beans in particular are one of the best sources of antioxidants among all types of beans.
Cranberries are known for their high antioxidant properties, especially flavonoids that may increase the antioxidant activity in the body, but the fresh fruit isn’t so easy to add to your diet. The best option is cranberry juice, when the fruit is usually processed to supply the juice in the market.
5. Dark Chocolate
Some people may be surprised by this but dark chocolate has a 21,000 ORAC score and is a delicious option of a high antioxidant food.
Nuts are rich sources of vitamin E, which in turn are a great food source to supply antioxidants to your body.
Broccoli contains a high amount of vitamin C, making it another food source rich in the amount of antioxidants. Plus, broccoli has selenium which helps fight the damage to human body cells.
Fish has high amounts of selenium, which helps to save the cells of the human body from getting ruptured or damaged in any form. Among fish, you can consume various types like shellfish, salmon, and cod to keep the adequate amount of antioxidants flowing in the body.
Yes, a good cup of coffee is a rich source of antioxidants. Like many teas which contain lots of antioxidants, coffee is an easy way to get antioxidants on a daily basis.
10. Ripe Bananas
Did you know that the riper a banana is, the higher is the antioxidant property? That’s right. A ripe banana plays a big role in controlling the oxidation process in the body.
Looking for a delicious way to get your daily dose of turmeric? Golden milk has taken over the wellness world for it’s creamy, spicy flavor and health benefits, and its calming effect has made it a nighttime beverage of choice.
Did you know you can make golden milk with tea? So convenient! This amazing recipe from Alvita is super anti-inflammatory and makes for a wonderful, healthy nightcap.
In a small saucepan, heat almond milk until hot, but not boiling, about 3-5 minutes. Add tea bags and let steep for 5-8 minutes. Remove tea bags and add in ginger powder, black pepper and collagen powder, stir until combined. Pour into mugs, add honey if wanted and drink immediately.
Have you ever tried golden milk? What are your thoughts? Let us know in the comments!
If you are looking for a new superfood to add to your diet, look no further. Originally from the Andes Mountains of Peru, Maca is a vegetable related to radishes and turnips that contains high levels of protein, fat and minerals. Maca can be eaten baked, dried, or mixed with vegetables, and its popular powder version can be used for delicious and refreshing maca shakes. Let’s look at what makes maca powder a very special superfood.
1. It’s packed with nutrients
Maca is it a natural source of healing nutrition. Loaded with nutrients, maca has a higher calcium level than milk and is very nutrient dense. Maca root powder is comprised of approximately 18% protein, 75% carbohydrates, and 5% fiber. It has over 20 amino acids, including 8 essential amino acids and a rich source of phytonutrients. Maca also contains 20 free-form fatty acids (such as lauric, linolenic, palmitic acid, oleic, and steric acid), vitamins B-1, B-2, C and E, and a variety of minerals such as calcium, magnesium, potassium, copper, zinc, manganese, phosphorus, selenium, sulphur, sodium, and iron.
With so many nutrients, it’s no surprise Maca offers a lot of health benefits. Maca has a positive effect on hormone balance as well as energy levels and it can also help to enhance the immune system, stamina, memory and focus.
2. It tastes great
Maca flavor is another highlight as this pleasant tasting root is usually available in powder form after being harvested and grounded down. Maca has an earthy taste with a nutty flavor, making it a perfect complement to smoothies. Like the rest of the roots in the cruciferous family, it’s low in calories as one teaspoon of maca powder has only 10 calories.
3. It’s incredibly versatile
Versatility is another good word to describe maca. Considered an “adaptogen”, a name given to certain herbs and plants that help the body naturally adapt to stressors like a busy schedule, illness, or stressful situations, maca has been considered a very potent aphrodisiac with the ability to increase sex drive and improve fertility, increasing semen volume and sperm counts. Consuming maca often makes people feel more energetic, and help them to restore proper hormone balance and elevate “feel good” endorphins.
Wondering the best way to get Maca in your diet? It’s an excellent choice for smoothies and shakes, and maca beverages can taste really good. Check out this easy-to-make peanut butter and banana Maca smoothie below!
These days, everyone is on the hunt for antioxidant-rich, nutrient-packed superfoods—and it’s no surprise why! Purchasing food with the most benefits is not only great for your health but also ensures the most bang for your buck. Acai berries are increasing in popularity—you’ve probably seen vibrant, Instagram-worthy acai bowls all over social media—but are they worth the hype? While new and trendy in American culture, these berries have been used for their medicinal properties in Central and South America for centuries. Let’s explore some of the properties of acai and how you can reap all of their sweet, juicy benefits.
1. Antioxidants, antioxidants, antioxidants…
Acai’s best quality is its amazing antioxidant content. While a lot of berries contain high levels, none quite pack the free-radical fighting punch of acai. According to a study done by the Natural Standard Research Collaboration (NSRC), acai has one of the highest antioxidant levels of all fruits in the world. Because of this, acai has powerful healing properties that earned them the superfood title. Adding Acai berries to your diet will help boost your body’s ability to fight free radicals, helping to prevent cancer and other diseases.
2. Skin health & anti-aging effects
Another amazing result of Acai’s high antioxidant content is its effect on the skin. It can help slow down the aging process caused by oxidative damage to the cells. It also increases the regrowth and regeneration processes in the body due to ample amounts of vitamin C and Iron and can help skin stay firm and youthful due to its fatty acids content.
3. Healthy digestion
If you’re in the process of switching over to a healthier diet, incorporating acai into your new routine can help cleanse the body of toxins collected from unhealthy eating habits. Like other berries, they’re a great source of fiber which helps keep the digestive system functioning properly.
4. Immune system booster
Due to its high vitamin C content, Acai berries are helpful at boosting your immune system. Their phytochemicals and antioxidants help increase the functionality of immune cells, making it easier to fight infections and ward off free radical damage.
5. Energizing effects
Acai berries can help increase the body’s energy levels and stamina. They contain amino acids which are incredibly helpful in boosting energy, as well as other properties that help improve cognitive function and focus—reducing fatigue and brain fog.
The best way to get acai…?
I’m all about the acai bowl craze. Not only do they taste as amazing as they look, but they’re an easy, versatile way to work the beneficial berries into your diet. I opt for the dried powder acai, but frozen works just as well!
Energizing Acai Bowl Recipe
1 tbsp acai powder
1 cup spinach or kale (or another leafy green you prefer)
1 serving of plant protein (This one is my favorite)
1 dash vanilla extract
3-4 drops of stevia if you like extra sweetness
1/2 cup frozen strawberries or blueberries
Assorted fruits, nuts & seeds for toppings (i.e bananas, strawberries, blueberries, almonds etc)
Add all ingredients together and blend away! The mixture should be thick enough so that you can eat it with a spoon. Pour into a bowl and top with whatever you like. I like to keep my sugar intake low, so my go-to toppings are chia seeds, hemp seeds, and sliced almonds, but many people add additional fruits like bananas & blueberries. It’s highly customizable to your nutrition needs!
Have you tried acai berries and experienced the benefits? What are your favorite ways to eat them? Let us know below!