PowerFoods

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8 Health Benefits (and Cautions) of Kale

By |November 12th, 2013|

kale and wood

Discover the newest superfood of the stars, its health benefits AND cautions.

“Every leaf of kale your chew adds another stem to your tree of life.” Ancient Turkish Saying

Kale was once called the ‘poor people food’ but now it’s the new trend. Celebrities like Angelina Jolie, Woody Harrelson, and Gwyneth Paltrow are all eating kale to feel better and keep the ‘sleek physique’ needed for stardom.

It is one of the my top Powerfoods!

Did you know?

  • There are over 50 varieties of kale
  • National Kale Day is celebrated on the first Wednesday of October.
  • Kale plants continue to produce late into winter. It is the perfect green for seasonal eating in fall or winter.
  • Kale needs a frost to become sweeter. The frost converts some of plant’s starch into sugar.
  • In Scotland, an invitation to “come to kale” was an invitation to dinner.
  • An adult hippopotamus at Washington D.C.’s National Zoo eats 10 pounds of kale a day!

8 Health Benefits of Kale:

1. Can help lower cholesterol levels.
The fiber fiber in kale binds bile acids and helps lower blood cholesterol levels and reduce the risk of heart disease. It’s best when kale is cooked instead of raw.

2. Kale is a detox food.
It’s filled with fiber and sulfur which are great for detoxifying your body and keeping your liver healthy.

3. Low in calories
A cup of chopped kale has only 33 calories. Great for weight loss!

4. Great at fighting many cancers
Kale is rich in organosulfur compounds which are known to figh cancer, especially colon cancer.

5. Supports a healthy immune system.
Kale is full of sulforaphane which helps which nourishes the immune system.

6. Visual Benefits.
Kale is abundant in two carotenoids, lutein and zeaxanthin, which act like sunglass filters preventing damage to the eyes from excessive exposure to ultraviolet light.

7. Supports normal blood clotting, antioxidant activity, and bone health.
The high amount of Vitamin K helps nourishes those activities in the body healthy.

8. Great for helping digestion and elimination.
It is very high in fiber.

All greens are nutritious, but kale stands way above the rest. Kale has more iron than beef per calorie. Very high in in Vitamin K, full of powerful antioxidants and much more. Read all about it: Kale Nutrition.

History:

  • “Kale is the one of the oldest forms of cabbage, originating in the eastern Mediterranean. Kale is thought to have been used as a food crop as early as 2000 B. C.” Laurie Hodges, Ph. D. Extension Specialist
  • Kale originated in Asia Minor and by the 5th century B.C., the preference was for the larger leaf that developed into the vegetable we now know as kale.
  • The plant was brought to Europe around 600 B.C. by groups of Celtic wanderers. Early historic records on the Romans called it Sabelline Cabbage.
  • Kale was a staple crop in the Scottish Islands because of its hardiness; the Scots grew it in kale yards. Almost every house had a kale yard and preserved kale in barrels of salt.
  • English settlers brought kale to the United States in the 17th century.
  • Russian kale was introduced into Canada (and then into the U.S.) by Russian traders in the 19th century.

How to Buy and Store Kale:

  • Always buy organic kale; it is grown with lots of chemicals making it one of the Dirty Dozen. The kale should be firm with fresh, with deeply colored leaves and hardy […]

Lentil Stew

By |December 17th, 2012|

Lentil soup has all the benefits of the mighty powerfood lentils Lentil Soup dreamstime_9626661plus much more.  And it tastes great.

Ingredients:

1 large onion, chopped
3-6 garlic cloves, chopped
2 pieces celery, chopped
2 tsp vegetable oil
1 cup green whole lentils: soak over night and
 cook according to directions here: Cooking Beans & Lentils
1 piece Kombu*
2 carrots, diced
3-5 tsp salt
1 tsp each of thyme and basil
3 tsp marjoram
Fresh parsley

Directions:

  1. Soak lentils overnight and follow instructions: Cooking Beans & Lentils (if you would like to have gas free lentils)
  2. Sauté onion, garlic and celery in oil.
  3. Add remaining ingredients.
  4. Simmer for 45 minutes, adding more water if necessary.
  5. Remove Kombu and chop; return to soup.
  6. Serve in bowls garnished sprigs of fresh parsley.

* Kombu is seaweed makes beans more digestible but you could easily leave it out.

Copyright © Diana Herrington  You are welcome to share this article with anyone who you think may benefit from this information as long as you give credit to Real Food for Life by including the link to the home page www.RealFoodforLife.com  or the direct link to this post.

Millet Pudding, Sugarless, Gluten Free

By |May 20th, 2012|

DSC01921

This is a simple and very nourishing alkaline pudding and it is vegan too.

Ingredients:

2 cup cooked millet (see how to cook millet)
2/3 C sultanas
2 cup Coconut Milk or Almond Milk
1/3 cup Pecans or Almonds, left whole
1/2 cup shredded coconut (unsweetened)
2 Tbsp. Coconut oil
2/3 tsp. light liquid Stevia
2 tsp. Cinnamon
Dash of nutmeg
Dash of cardamom
Pinch of salt

Directions:

  1. Mix all above ingredients except for the pecans or almonds.
  2. Pat in baking dish.
  3. Place pecans or almonds on top of mixture.
  4. Bake at 350 for 50 min – 1 hour

To read all the health benefits of this alkaline, gluten free grain, click here: Millet

More Millet Recipes:

How to Cook Perfect Millet: 

Millet and Buckwheat with Sunflower Seeds:  a great combination.

Deluxe Quinoa Pudding (vegan & gluten free)

By |April 7th, 2012|

An extra special quinoa pudding made from my favorite grain that as we now know is really a seed.

Pears: ‘Gift of the Gods’

By |January 25th, 2012|

Homer, famous author of the Odyessy, called pears “gift of the gods. Thousands (including me) would agree!

Hermit Cookies – Gluten Free

By |January 20th, 2012|

These have a dryer texture then the ones with wheat in them so don’t be concerned.  
These cookies are not overly sweet which is why we like them.

 

Hermits

Ingredients:

3/4 cup vegetable oil or coconut oil
4 tbsp sucanat or coconut sugar (which will give a slight coconut flavour)
1 tbsp molasses
1/4 tsp stevia
4 tbsp chick pea flour or soy flour
1 cup water
1 cup white rice flour
3/4 cup brown rice flour
1/4 cup potato flour
2 tsp baking powder
1 tsp salt
2 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp nutmeg
1/4 tsp cloves
3/4 cup walnuts
3/4 cup sultanas

Directions:

1.    Preheat oven to 400 F.
2.    Combine butter, sucanat, stevia and molasses until creamy.
3.    Stir in soy flour and water
4.    Then mix in other flours, baking powder, salt and spices.
5.    Mix in fruit and nuts.
6.    Roll into 1-inch balls and flatten with a fork on a greased baking sheet.
7.    Bake for 10 to 15 minutes.

Cinnamon is one of the oldest known spices. The darker the cinnamon the better it is.

Benefits of Cinnamon:
•    In traditional Chinese medicine, cinnamon is used for colds, nausea, diarrhea and painful menstrual periods.
•    It can improve energy, vitality and circulation.
•    Recent studies have shown that cinnamon maybe have a beneficial effect on blood sugar.

Copyright © Diana Herrington  You are welcome to share this article with anyone who you think may benefit from this information as long as you give credit to Real Food for Life by including the link to the home page www.RealFoodforLife.com  or the direct link to this post.

5 Sources of Power for Powerfoods

By |October 12th, 2011|

“Before understanding the power of the foods around me, I was unhealthy, unhappy and confused. Constant visits to doctors and health food stores had little effect on my deep fatigue and constant hunger. That was 30 years ago when Western nutritional science was not as advanced as it is now.

It was the 5,000 year old Chinese herbal knowledge that made the difference for me. Using specific foods and food combinations to feed specific systems and create balance brought me back to the energy and joy I had as a teenager.

Since then I learned from all cultures. The message is always the same: Food can heal. Food can be your medicine. Food has POWER!” Randy Fritz

healthy foods 2

5 Sources of Power for Powerfoods

1. Broad chemical influences on the body.

These include:

  • Alkaline-forming vs. acid-forming
  • Organic vs. chemical-infused
  • Raw vs. cooked
  • Gluten-free vs. gluten-containing foods
  • Complex carbohydrates (smart carbs) vs. simple sugars (dumb carbs)
  • Whole vs. processed

Each of these factors has multiple influences on the body and a person will respond to these differences depending on their predisposition and levels of health.

Powerfoods are almost always whole but not necessarily gluten-free, raw or alkaline.

2. Specific Chemical Needs: The GAP Theory

Each food has different levels of specific nutrients. If a person has a particular need for a nutrient it will affect them greatly. Powerfoods tend to have very high levels of certain nutrients.

For example: suppose a person has a strong need for vitamin C.  It is winter and she is not eating enough fruits and vegetables.  An orange has vitamin C, so mandarin oranges that are popular around Christmas, have just the right chemistry to feed her immune system and prevent a cold.

3. Genetic Influences of Food

Scientists have been debating for years what is more important: your genetics given to you by your parents or your upbringing.  It turns out that the two are combined.  Your environment activates the expression of your genes. This is very powerful.

For example research has shown that a diet high in omega-3 fats reduces the expression of the Alzheimer’s gene APOE4.  We can sidestep bad genes by eating healthy.

4. Subtle Influences of Food

Many healthy systems around the world have different ways to conceptualize health with very powerful results.  Instead of interpreting food in terms of vitamins and minerals and proteins they talked about principles like heat, cold, fire, water and air, which they could directly perceive.

These principles are understandable within chemistry or physics to a degree but often the complete use of these systems relies on the idea of subtle energies that modern science has not been able to consistently measure – energies like chi and prana in food, our bodies and the environment.

These cultures have produced large numbers of remarkably healthy individuals. They picked out certain foods (powerfoods) that were particularly balancing for various needs.

5. Social and Cultural Influences of Food

Growing, preparing and eating food takes more time and energy than any other facet of man’s life. In all societies there have evolved intricate cultures around food which affect how we think, how we act and what kind of lives we will live.

Older cultures also discovered foods and combinations of foods that were particularly healthy.

The Mediterranean diet is one example.  At first nutritionists did not understand how everyone could be so healthy consuming so much oil.  It turned out that mono-unsaturated olive oil has many properties that are just now being understood and appreciated. The Italians did not understand the chemistry of various levels of saturation of fats.  They just knew olives grew well and over time, through trial and error, […]

Tofu with Zucchini & Almond Cream

By |October 5th, 2011|

This Tofu with Zucchini & Almond Cream recipe is very yummy and easy to make for dinner and filled with #Powerfoods

Quinoa a Powerfood for You

By |September 20th, 2011|

Quinoa is pronounced keen-wa. This grain comes from South America with it's origins from the Inca civilization making it a truly ancient powerfood grain.

Cabbage – the Big Powerfood

By |September 12th, 2011|

If you want beautiful glowing skin, and an immune system powerful enough to fight off just about anything, don’t forget this highly nutritious but common vegetable.

Cabbage is powerful. Ancient healers thought it contained moon power because it grew in the moonlight. Modern nutritional science understands its power comes from its high sulfur and vitamin C content. Either way – it’s worth adding to your weekly diet.

8 Healthy Benefits of Cabbage:

  1. Ideal for weight loss because it has only 33 calories in a cup of cooked cabbage and is low fat.
  2. It is a brain food! It is full of Vitamin K and Anthocyanins that help with mental function and concentration. These nutrients also prevent nerve damage improving your defense against  Alzheimer’s disease, and dementia.  Red cabbage has the highest amount in it.
  3. High in sulfur, the beautifying mineral. It helps dry up oily and acne skin. Internally sulfur is essential for keratin, a protein substance necessary for healthy hair, nails, and skin.
  4. Helps detoxify the blood. The high content of vitamin C and sulphur in cabbage removes toxins (free radicals and uric acid); which are the main causes of arthritis, skin diseases, rheumatism, and gout.
  5. Has well-known cancer preventative  compounds (lupeol, sinigrin, and sulforaphane) known to stimulate enzyme activity and inhibit the growth of cancer tumors. A Study on women showed a reduction in breast cancer when cruciferous vegetables like cabbage were added to their diet.
  6. Helps keep blood pressure from getting high. The high potassium content helps by opening up blood vessels, easing the flow of blood.
  7. Cabbage for headaches:  a warm compress made with cabbage leaves can help relieve the pain of a headache. Crush cabbage leaves, place in a cloth, and apply on the forehead.  Also, drink raw cabbage juice 1-2 oz. (25-50ml) daily for chronic headaches.
  8. Hangovers from heavy drinking were reduced by using cabbage, since Roman times.

cabbage baby 450

Cabbage Trivia

  • Some children’s legends say babies come from ‘Cabbage Patches’.
  • Cabbage is considered Russia’s national food. Russians eat about seven times as much cabbage as the average North American.
  • Chinese scrolls from1000 BC declare white cabbage as a cure for baldness in men.
  • “It will make you feel as if you had not eaten and you can drink as much as you like.”  Said Cato, a Roman who lived till he was 80, ate it before and after meals.
  • Babe Ruth used to wear a cabbage leaf under his hat during games which he would switch out for a fresh leaf halfway through each game.
  • See the world’s biggest cabbage, prize winning cabbage over 125 pounds with leaves over 5 feet. Big Cabbage

 growing cabbagesCabbage History

  • Cabbage is one of the oldest known vegetables.
  • Cabbage dates back to 4,000 B.C. in Shensi province in China.
  • Around 600 B.C. the Celts brought cabbage to Europe from Asia.
  • In 1536 French navigator Jacques Cartier brought cabbage to the Americas.
  • In  Captain Cook’s famous first voyage, (17 century) many of the crew members were saved from gangrene when the ship’s doctor made poultices of cabbage to apply to their wounds.

nappa cabbage chinese 450Types of cabbage:

There are many different types of cabbages with different taste and uses.
They include: green cabbage, red cabbage, savoy cabbage, bok choy, and brussel sprouts.

Cabbage Nutrition:

Cabbage is packed with vitamins, minerals, and fibre. It also has phytonutrients which is said to prevent cancer. Cabbage will not only help you lose weight it will also strengthen your immune system for it contains vitamin […]

9 Health Benefits of Almonds – King of Nuts

By |July 18th, 2011|

almond gluten free from Real Food for Life

Do you know how beneficial almonds are for your health?

Almonds are my favourite nut; most mornings I add 7 to 10 almonds to my breakfast.  Almonds are tasty and nutritious as most people will agree.

9 Health Benefits of Almonds:

  1. Reduce Heart Attack Risk:  A study showed those who consumed nuts five times a week had a 50% reduction in risk of heart attack according to the Loma Linda School of Public Health.
  2. Lowers ‘Bad’ Cholesterol:  One clinical study showed that almonds added to the diet had a favorable effect on blood cholesterol levels and that none of the study groups experienced weight gain in the study by Dr. Gene Spiller, Director of the Health Research and Studies Center, Inc.
  3. Protects artery walls from damage:  It was found that the flavonoids in almond skins work in synergy with the vitamin E thus reducing the risk of heart disease. (Research at Tufts University)
  4. Build strong bones and teeth with the phosphorus in almonds.
  5. Healthy fats helps in weight loss:
  • Although nuts contain lots of fat frequent nut eaters are thinner on average than those who almost never consume nuts. (data from the Nurses’ Health Study)
  • Those who ate nuts at least two times per week were 31% less likely to gain weight than were those who never or seldom at them in a study involving 8865 adults. (WHFood’s article on almonds)
  1. Almonds lower the rise in blood sugar and insulin after meals.
  2. Good brain function:  Almonds contain riboflavin and L-carnitine, nutrients that boost brain activity which may also reduce the risk of Alzheimer’s disease.
  3. A nutrient for the nervous system according to Ayurveda; they help to increase high intellectual level and longevity.
  4. They alkalize the body.
    Almonds are the only nut and one of the few proteins that are alkaline forming.  When your body is not alkaline enough, you risk osteoporosis, poor immune function, low energy and weight gain.
    To read the benefits of an alkaline body and the dangers of being too acid click here:  Balance Your Body with Acid/Alkaline Balance

Did you know?

  • Almonds are actually stone fruits related to cherries, plums and peaches.
  • 2.51 million tonnes of almonds were produced in 2010 according to Food and Agriculture Organization.
  • United States is the largest producer of almonds. Unfortunately, it also demands that almonds are pasteurized or irradiated. Read more at:  The Killing of California Almonds
  • From ancient Egypt to modern times, almonds have always been a popular ingredient in lotions and potions.

almonds - alkaline nut and protein

Almond Nutrition:

This is one very nutrient-dense food which we call a Powerfood.

  • Packed with protein; almonds are 13 percent protein.
  • One ounce (or about 23 almonds) is an excellent source of vitamin E, magnesium, fibre and protein.
  • Filled with minerals such as magnesium, copper.
  • Filled with B vitamins.
  • Provide 266mg (27% DV) of calcium per 100g serving, 367mg (37% DV) per cup.
  • Full of potassium, phosphorus and iron.
  • Cholesterol-free.
  • One-ounce serving of almonds contains about the same amount of antioxidants as a serving of broccoli.
  • One of the best whole food sources of vitamin E, with about one third of the daily value per ounce.
  • Heart-healthy with monounsaturated fat; one-quarter cup of almonds contains about 18 grams of fat, 11 grams is heart-healthy monounsaturated fats.
  • 20-25 almonds contain as much calcium as 1/4 cup of milk.

Almond History:

Almonds are thought to have originated in western Asia and North Africa; they have been written about in many historical texts, including the Bible.

 The almond tree is one […]

Power Spinach Salad

By |July 11th, 2011|

spinach salad with walnuts

Greens are the highest alkaline forming foods and they are full of vitamins A, K, and D. Adding spinach to your meal is an excellent way to alkalize your diet.

This is very simple and tasty salad is full of powerfoods ; everyone I have served it to enjoys it very much.

Ingredients:

1 pound fresh Spinach
2 tablespoons lemon juice
1/4 cup Olive Oil
few drops of Stevia
Tamari or Braggs to taste
1 avocado, diced
1/4 cup chopped Walnuts, roasted till golden
2 mandarin orange sections

Directions:

1.    Wash and trim spinach; pat dry with paper towels.
2.    Combine lemon juice, oil, stevia and Tamari or Braggs in large bowl; add avocado cubes, coating well with the dressing.
3.    Toss spinach and walnuts with avocado and dressing.
4.    Add mandarin orange sections and toss spinach salad again.