by: Leanne Ely
Winter is here!
There may be snow on the ground, there is colder weather, lots of soups and stews, and then of course the stuffed up noses. It all sounds great until you’re blowing your nose every two seconds and your throat could pass for sandpaper. And if all that wasn’t enough, your lungs have to fight the losing battle of a cough so aggressive you feel as though the wind is constantly being knocked out of you.
Sometimes these are just symptoms of a small cold, but other times they could be the flu (and you’ll be able to tell since the flu symptoms are nearly 10 times harsher than a simple cold). But let’s look at some home remedies for these health violators before resorting to chugging a bottle of Dayquil.
We all know that vitamin C is a good thing to keep in your system when fighting a cold. You can make sure of that by taking your daily vitamins and maybe increasing the dosage of vitamin C for the duration of the cold or flu. A great herb to help combat your cold is Echinacea. Echinacea is a notable immune system booster and will also help take up arms against the germs with your white blood cells to help insure a victory.
There are also some very standard steps to taking care of yourself that I think we often neglect and opt to buy medicine instead. According to WebMD you must: blow your nose, rest, gargle, and shower. You have to blow your nose regularly because half the time we’ll only blow our noses when we can no longer breathe out of them, but try to do it a couple times an hour to keep that mucus out of your system. Stay rested because your body won’t have enough energy to keep to your regular routine while fighting off a sickness. I once got over a cold by simply spending an entire day in bed, drinking tons of water and sleeping a lot instead of pushing myself. Believe me it works.
Next time you feel a cold coming, get the upper-hand and try all the above. And I’ll leave you with one last little tip. If you have a sore throat that is distractingly painful and you lose your voice, I would recommend an herbal throat coat. Traditional Medicinals tea makes a great throat coat. Steep it and throw in some honey, you’ll feel noticeably better right away. It’s my quick fix if I need immediate relief. I wish you all a natural victory in this upcoming cold war!
By: Leanne Ely
They’re juicy and sweet, they’re featured in fruit baskets everywhere and they’re the unofficial poster-fruits of cold prevention. Let’s talk about oranges!
Oranges are an excellent snack, but they’re not quite as easy to peel as a banana when you’re on the go. But what they lack in peel appeal, they make up for in nutrition. (Tip: Oranges are easier to peel if you roll them around on a flat surface with the palm of your hand to help loosen the peel from the fruit!)
So sweet and juicy, oranges are one of nature’s most indulgent desserts.
Sugary sweet and readily available year-round, oranges are a taste of sunshine anytime you need one. We’re very lucky, considering that once upon a time, oranges were very expensive and, as such, were enjoyed by the wealthy and only eaten by paupers on very special occasions.
Now we know that oranges are full of Vitamin C (one orange gives you more than 115% of your daily recommended dose of the stuff!), but why is Vitamin C so important? Because it’s great for our immune systems, it can reduce the risk of colon cancer and it can prevent colds. And scurvy (though that disease doesn’t seem to be a very big concern anymore! LOL).
But did you know oranges also have anti-inflammatory properties and can help lower blood pressure and cholesterol? If that’s news to you, then you’d also probably be interested to know that oranges have also been shown helpful in aiding against Crohn’s, ulcerative colitis, cataracts, gingivitis, cholera, MS, gallstones, diabetes, Parkinson’s, Alzheimer’s disease, asthma and arthritis.
Let’s take a closer look at the nutritional benefits we can gain from these beautiful orange orbs:
Cancer prevention. Besides that Vitamin C helping to reduce the risk of colon cancer, citrus fruit can also protect against esophageal, stomach, laryngeal and phayngeal cancers. The beta-cryptoxanthin in oranges can help protect against lung cancer.
Antioxidants. There are more than 170 different phytonutrients in an orange and over 60 flavonoids. These have anti-tumor and antioxidant properties.
Fiber. An orange can give you 12.5% of your daily recommended amount of soluble fiber. That helps keep your blood sugar levels in check and helps keep you regular!
Kidney stone prevention. Eat an orange every day to help prevent the formation of painful kidney stones.
In addition to all of these nutritional benefits, oranges are also a rich source of calcium, potassium, Vitamin A, folate and thiamin.
Health benefits aside, oranges are high in sugar, so don’t overdo it on your daily fruit consumption!
Anyone else craving an orange right now?
When it comes to selecting the perfect orange, make sure you select organic oranges, especially if you’ll be zesting them. And avoid oranges with any trace of mold. Eew!
The oranges you bring home should be nice and heavy for their size that means they’re juicy!
Here is a fantastic recipe using oranges from our new Holiday Bundle!
Orange Cream Cheese Pound Cake
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 50 minutes
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
3/4 cup unsalted butter, at room temperature
1 (8-ounce) package cream cheese, softened
2 tablespoons orange zest
1 3/4 cups granulated sugar, divided
4 large eggs
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
3 tablespoons fresh orange juice
COOKING INSTRUCTIONS: Preheat oven to 325 degrees.
Butter and flour a standard bundt pan, and set aside.
In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder, and salt. Set aside.
In the bowl of an electric stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, cream together softened butter and cream cheese on medium speed. Stop the mixer occasionally to scrape down the bowl to ensure even mixing. Add the orange zest and sugar to the butter and cream cheese mixture, and beat on medium speed until smooth and creamy, about 3 minutes.
On medium speed, beat in one egg at a time, beating for one minute after each addition. Stop the mixer and scrape down the sides of the bowl as necessary. Beat in vanilla extract and orange juice.
Add dry ingredients all at once and beat on low speed until completely incorporated.
Pour batter into prepared pan. Bake for 40 – 50 minutes, until a skewer inserted in the center comes out clean, or with just a few crumbs.
PS–To get more amazing holiday recipes, just like this one, check out our Holiday Bundle featuring BRAND NEW seasonal recipes!
By: Leanne Ely
If you ever find yourself lost at sea, you better hope you packed some limes in your carry on or that there’s a lime tree near by! Limes were believed to have saved many a sailor from dying of scurvy (a disease cause by a Vitamin C deficiency) way back when.
There are two different types of limes: sour and sweet. Sweet limes are difficult to find in the United States. You’re probably most familiar with one of the sour varieties—Key limes (known for making delicious pies) or Tahitian limes (the larger, egg-shaped variety).
It so happens that sour limes are more nutritious than their sweeter relatives.
For a small fruit, limes pack a big nutritional punch:
Vitamin C. Lime juice is extremely high in Vitamin C. If you could stomach an entire cup of the stuff, you would get more than 100% of your daily recommended amount of this essential nutrient. Vitamin C is required to develop connective tissue, support blood vessel walls and heal wounds. Vitamin C is also a key ingredient in preventing colds.
Citric Acid. The citric acid content of limes helps to protect your body against harmful bacteria. Research suggests that lime juice might actually prevent some bacterial infections.
Flavonoids. Limes are high in flavonoids, which act as antioxidants in the body. Antioxidants help to protect our bodies from damage caused by unstable molecules known as free radicals. Flavonoids are also linked to prevention of cardiovascular disease, cancer and degenerative nerve disease.
Anti-carcinogens. Liminoids are special compounds found in citrus fruits, effective in fighting colon, stomach, breast, lung, skin and mouth cancer. Scientists have discovered that the anti-carcinogenic properties of limonoids can remain in the body for up to 24 hours after consumption! To put this into perspective, the powerful anti-carcinogens found in green tea only remain active in the human body for 4–6 hours post consumption.
When you’re at the market, look for limes that feel heavy for their size. They should also have a deep green, glossy skin. Store your limes out of direct sunlight at room temperature for up to a week.
Because it’s difficult to drink straight lime juice (can you say sour?!), try to reap those nutritional benefits by incorporating a little lime juice into as many dishes as you can. Squirt lime juice on your salads and into your marinades. Squeeze some into your daily juice or smoothie. Add lime juice to your avocado before eating it, or squirt some into your drinking water.
If you do drink a lot of lime juice in your water and other beverages, try drinking from a straw. The acid in the limes is hard on tooth enamel, and a straw limits the amount of time spent directly between the acid and your pearly whites.
So limes are great and are amazingly helpful with blood sugar levels. You want to make a great paleo margarita?
– 1 shot quality tequila (made from agave)
– 3 shots sparkling mineral water
– 1 lime quartered and squeezed into your drink
By: Leanne Ely
I love seeing sweet little clementines all over the place this time of year. These deep orange little citrus fruits are easy to peel and absolutely delicious. I love eating clementines out of hand, and they’re also wonderfully delicious tossed into a green salad. (I adore foods that come in biodegradable packaging!)
Clementines are also known as Christmas oranges, and you can consider yourself a lucky boy or girl if Santa leaves some clementines in your stocking this Christmas because they are chock full of health benefits.
• Clementines contain potent antioxidants and prevent free radical damage.
• Like other citrus fruits, clementines are rich in vitamin C which will help keep your immune system healthy.
• The dietary fiber in clementines keeps your digestive system functioning smoothly.
• The beta carotene and ascorbic acid in clementines helps aid in good eye health as research suggests these substances can help prevent age-related vision loss.
• If you’re feeling lethargic, sniff a clementine. Might sound crazy, but the scent of a clementine triggers the secretion of a neurotransmitter that helps relieve stress and make you feel energetic and refreshed.
• Eat clementines for healthy-looking skin!
In addition to these health benefits, clementines contain essential minerals and vitamins including Folate, Calcium, Iron, Potassium and Copper.
I can’t think of a single negative thing to say about clementines—the candy of the fruit bowl–except that you might want to have a glass of water after eating one so the acid doesn’t damage your tooth enamel.
Clementines are one of my faves, but still need those greens! Here’s how to get them in regardless of the holiday madness: Just Juiced Greens–fabulously easy and FOUR servings of veggies and fruit in every serving! This is a must have for every household–I’m never without it.
By: Leanne Ely
Once upon a time, radishes were of such value in Greece, that statues were made in their image…out of gold!
Radishes with their spicy flavor, are related to wasabi. So, if you enjoy the kick of wasabi, you will probably also enjoy the heat of radish.
These days, radishes don’t receive as much fanfare as they should, as far as I’m concerned. These pretty pink spring veggies are not only widely available, but they are absolutely packed with nutrition.
Let’s take a gander at the health benefits in radishes.
Fiber. Since radishes are most often served on salads, they are generally surrounded by fiber, but radishes also contain about a gram of fiber per serving. Fiber, of course, can reduce your risk of developing diabetes, diverticulitis, heart disease and colon cancer. So eat up!
Vitamin C. There is a ton of vitamin C in radishes, especially considering their size. You can get 14% of your daily recommended amount of vitamin C from a 1/2 cup serving. Vitamin C is important for our overall health. It’s not stored by the human body, so we need to take in lots of vitamin C in our daily diet to replenish our supplies.
Cancer prevention. There are compounds in a radish root that can actually induce cell death. That’s right. Radishes have the power to kill cancer cells.
Minerals. Besides fiber and vitamin C, from a serving of radishes, you’ll receive good amounts of folate, vitamin K, B vitamins, manganese, potassium, iron, magnesium, calcium, copper, zinc and sodium.
Radishes are delicious sliced into salads and eaten raw, but they also add a nice spice to a pot of vegetable soup. Radish sprouts are amazing in a salad, giving it a nice peppery heat. Mmm mmm.
Store your radishes in the crisper drawer of the fridge for no more than one week after bringing them home from the market.
What’s your favorite way to enjoy radish? Let us know on our Facebook page!