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7 Health Benefits of African Superfruit Baobab

Here at Holistic Wellness we believe in always adding in a variety of foods and switching things up on a regular basis! So, I was shopping the other day and was looking for a new superfood to try out… something packed with a ton of nutritional benefits and easy enough to throw into my morning smoothie.  

I came across this superfruit called Baobab. A bit of a funny name, but besides the funny name I thought I’d do a bit of research on this African super fruit.

I have travelled to Africa and have a special place in my heart for this divine country!  I soon learned the Baobab is one of Africa’s most recognizable trees and this is where the baobab fruit grows. These trees are around 200-500 years old (some even reported of being 1000 years old!) and are often referred to as the “Ancient Tree of Life.” 

From my research, I discovered 7 health benefits of this magical little fruit:

  1. 6 times more potassium than a banana.
  2. One of the highest antioxidant levels than any fruit in the world- more than goji berries!
  3. Source of prebiotics promoting growth of healthy bacteria in the gut.
  4. Contains 14 essential vitamins and minerals.
  5. High in Vitamin C, Magnesium, Manganese, B1, B2, B3, B6, Iron and amino acids.
  6. Excellent source of dietary fibre.
  7. Contains twice as much calcium as milk.

Baobab3

Not sure how to use this superfruit?

I bought it as an organic fruit pulp powder. This makes it super easy to add into smoothies, juices, salads, dressings, yogurts, ice cream or cereal. Sprinkle it in and voila, this superfruit will help protect against free-radical damage, boost the immune system, balance mood, increase energy, stress and help achieve healthy glowing skin. The powder also has a lovely sweet flavor to it, which makes a great addition to any of your smoothies, juices or dressings.  

A few questions to consider when purchasing the Baobab fruit pulp powder:

◦   Is it certified organic?

◦   Is it certified fair trade?

◦   Has it been heated or sprayed during the drying process?

◦   Has it been dehydrated naturally?

◦   Is there any added ingredients (especially sugar!)?

◦   Are there any fillers added?

◦   Is it packaged in its most purest and raw form?

◦   Has it been sustainably harvested?

◦   Has it been ethically produced?

Superfoods are packed with super high nutritional content, and adding several superfoods into your diet can contribute in improving your overall health and wellness.  

Now, go get your superfruit on!

 

Stephanie xo

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5 Reasons to Drink Beet Root Juice..like the Aussies!

I was first introduced to the incredible health benefits of beets while living in Australia. They enjoy putting beets on everything! It is a common food that is added to so many of their dishes! Over here in North America we don’t tend to explore with beets as much as the aussies! The Australians know what’s up when it comes to beets, so here it goes… 5 reasons to drink beet root juice like the aussies!

[Photo Credit: Anna Verdina]

  1. Antioxidant Protection – Many foods contain antioxidant protection. However, what is unique about beets is the unusual type of antioxidants it contains! The colour of beets comes from the antioxidant called betalain, an antioxidant not commonly heard of. It also contains other antioxidants such as manganese and vitamin C. Research is only in the beginning stages to determine the effects of these antioxidants on eye health and nerve tissue health. 
  1. Detoxification – This same unique antioxidant called betalain supports the body in its Phase 2 detoxification process. What does that mean? Well, this is the step that our cells use to attach unwanted toxins to small nutrient groups. This link is critical as it neutralizes the toxins and allows them to pass through our urine, being excreted from the body safely instead of remaining in the body. An important link in Phase 2 is the role of glutathione (another super antioxidant). Beets trigger production of  glutathione-S-transferase, an enzyme  which hooks toxins in the body to glutathione for removal from the body. As you can see, Beets lovingly help support the bodies natural detox process!
  1. Anti-inflammatory – Betalains, along with other phytonutrients in beets such as isobetanin and vulgaxanthin (yes, those are a mouthful!) contain many amazing anti-inflammatory properties. These anti-inflammatory benefits aid in the prevention of conditions that are associated with chronic inflammation, such as eczema, diabetes, heart disease, irritable bowel disease and anything ending in “itis,” (ie. Colitis, arthritis, etc). 
  1. Anti-cancer – The combination of antioxidant and anti-inflammatory effects in beets makes this food a probable option for decreasing the risk of several forms of cancer. Lab studies have even proved this on human tumor cells for colon, stomach, nerve, lung, breast, prostate and testicular cancers!
  1. Fiber – Beet fiber and carrot fiber are two food types of fiber that provide unique health benefits that contributes to the health of our digestive tract, colon health and cardiovascular system. 

 Those are merely some of the top health benefits of beets. Beets are a true nutritional powerhouse and definitely worth adding to your diet!

Try our Sweet Beets & Greens Recipe or our Morning Zinger Fresh Beet & Veggie Juice! 

Stephanie xo

 

Source: www.worldshealthiestfoods.com, The World’s Healthiest Foods

 

 

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9 Reasons Why You Need Spirulina In Your Life!

Spirulina is a blue-green algae and is in fact probably the most well known of the blue-green algae family. There are about 1,800 species of blue-green algae, but spirulina is by far the best selling and the best known!

This powerful superfood has a pretty crazy amount of health benefits and it is indeed a TRUE superfood! This is why I believe sea vegetables and algae’s should definitely be apart of people’s diets.

spirulina

Here are my top reasons why you can’t live without a little spirulina in your life….

  1. Immune Booster – Spirulina contains chlorophyll, which is a natural energy and immune booster. It helps remove toxins from the blood and has the ability to bind to heavy metals and remove them from the body. Many people report feeling more energized once they begin introducing spirulina into their diet.
  1. High in Iron – Spirulina contains subsequent amounts of bio available iron. This is a fantastic and simple way to increase your daily iron consumption.
  1. Amino Acids – It contains all 22 amino acids, which means it is a complete protein product. Ideal for all those vegetarians and vegans out there!
  1. Other Nutrients – Some of the other nutrients present in spirulina include, high levels of calcium (26 times more than what is found in milk!), vitamins A, C, E, D, B vitamins, zinc, potassium, chromium, copper, manganese, phosphorus, selenium, magnesium and sodium.
  1. Enzymes – Spirulina has naturally occurring enzymes that are necessary for healthy digestive metabolism.
  1. EFA’s – It is high in essential fatty acids, containing both omega-3 and omega-6.
  1. Alkalinizing Effect – Every food affects the pH levels in the body. As majority of people eat a highly acidic diet (processed foods, poor quality meat and dairy), it’s important to try and consume less acidifying foods. There are many studies that explain disease can only grow in an acidic environment and the more acidic the body the greater the chance of disease. This goes to show that eating alkalinizing foods more often such as spirulina is important for our longevity and overall health.
  1. Anti-inflammatory – Some studies show the positive effects of spirulina on arthritis because of the anti-inflammatory effect. It is used in many treatments for arthritis to support cartilage production and its ability to reduce swelling.

     9.   Decreased Hunger – When you begin adding spirulina regularly into your diet, you will most likely find your hunger becoming suppressed. This is
            because of the high amount of nutrients found in the algae. These nutrients meet the nutritional and biochemical needs of the body. You are feeding
            your body what it needs which equals the feeling of satiation! How cool is that?  

How to Enjoy Spirulina?

An easy way to enjoy this nutrient dense food is to toss it in your smoothies or juices! Start with 1 teaspoon and work your way up to 1 tablespoon or more, if well tolerated. If you don’t have time to throw it into a smoothie you can simply put a tablespoon in a nice tall glass of water, mix it up and drink it (I actually enjoy the taste, but you may have to work your taste buds up to it!). You can even try putting it in your salad dressings. Alternatively, if you don’t like the powder form, you can buy spirulina in tablets.

Contraindications

There are high levels of vitamin K present in spirulina, therefore is not suited for individuals on anticoagulant medications or treatments. Spirulina does contain trace amounts of vitamin B12, however not suitable as a single only source for individuals with B12 deficiency.

How do you enjoy your spirulina? What does this superfood do for you? We’d love to hear from you. Share with us below!

Health, Happiness and Spirulina!

Stephanie xo

 

References
Staying Healthy with Nutrition, Elson M.Haas, MD
The World’s Healthiest Foods, George Mateljan 
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