Sesame seeds in a smoothie? Yes please! Did you know that sesame seeds are a good source of iron, vitamin B1, digestive-health-supporting dietary fiber, and sleep-promoting tryptophan? They are also rich in lignin phytonutrients, sesamin and sesamolin, which have been found to have antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties. The bananas in this smoothie provide a good dose of potassium and fiber while the apple juice adds some powerful antioxidants to the mix. Give this smoothie a try today!
Sesame and Apple Juice Banana Smoothie
1 Tbsp sesame seeds (toasted lightly…if you like sesame seeds, I suggest toasting a big batch and storing them for later use)
2 bananas, cut into chunks
1/2 C fresh pineapple chunks
1 1/2 C organic apple juice
1 1/4 C almond or coconut milk
Add all ingredients to your blender and mix until smooth. Pour into a large glass. Serve and enjoy!
Not only are papayas beautiful and delicious fruit, they possess amazing healing properties. Did you know that eating papayas can improve the clarity and texture of your skin, lessen the severity of cold and flu symptoms, and help to promote a healthy digestive system? They are full of nutrients like vitamin C, vitamin A, folate, dietary fiber, potassium, and B vitamins. Green papayas are rich in an enzyme called papain which helps to aid in the digestion of protein. Pick up a papaya today!
Are you loving leeks? Leeks originated in the warmer climates of Asia and the Mediterranean but they are now grown in more temperate climates. They are celebrated as a delicious (and nutritious) ingredient to include in many different dishes. Leeks are a good source of bone-strengthening calcium, iron, and folate. They are also full of vitamin K, vitamin A, and vitamin B6. Like onions, leeks contain compounds that help to lower cholesterol. Kaempferol is the anticancer substance found in leeks. It has been shown to help block the development of cancer-causing compounds in the body. This substance also helps promote good cardiovascular health.
DID YOU KNOW:
– A half cup of chopped, boiled leeks contains only 15 calories!
– Brush your teeth after eating leeks! While they taste great in many different recipes, they do cause bad breath.
Looking to strengthen your hair naturally? Could you locks use a bit more luster and glow? Unhealthy hair can be a result of many things including stress, mineral deficiencies, lack of usable protein, poor circulation, recent illness, and liver malfunction. It can also be a result of an unhealthy diet. Try including foods like flax seeds, carrots, apples, coconuts, onions, and fresh fish in your diet. Drink organic green tea and white tea and stay hydrated with lots of water. You can always make your own hair treatments using ingredients like olive oil, coconut oil, and milk to give your locks more shine.
Are you having trouble sleeping? Do you tend to get a sweet tooth at night? Try chewing on some cherries! Dried cherries are not only a good source of sleep-promoting melatonin but they are full of serotonin-boosting carbs. Try eating a handful about 20 minutes before going to bed. Cherries are also a great source of immune-boosting antioxidants and beta-carotene for protecting your cells. Cherries have anti-inflammatory properties which have been shown to help ease rheumatoid arthritis and gout. When it comes to buying dried fruits like cherries, make sure that you are reading the label. You always want to purchase unsulfered dried fruits, especially if you are prone to allergies and asthma. Fresh is always best and fortunately it’s farmer’s market season!
What do asparagus, pumpkin seeds, and yogurt all have in common? They are good sources of zinc, a nutrient that our bodies need in order for us to stay healthy. Zinc is important for helping our blood sugar stay balanced. It’s also responsible for stabilizing our metabolic rate and strengthening our immune system. Studies have shown that zinc is responsible for regulating many genetic activities. It’s also important for helping us maintain a healthy sense of taste and smell.
How do you know if you need more zinc in your diet? If you tend to get sick a lot, feel depressed, and have a lack of an appetite, you may be deficient in zinc. You can also tell if you need zinc by looking at your nails. If your nails have white spots on them, it’s time to eat some “zinc-rich” foods, like the ones mentioned below:
Phytonutrients or “plant nutrients” are important to include in our daily diet. They come in many classes including carotenoids, flavonoids, and sulfides. Phytonutrients are responsible for the way a plant looks, smells, and tastes. When your steamed veggies start to change color (for example, your kale becomes a beautiful deep green), that reaction is centered around the plants phytonutrients. The bitter taste found in some of fruits and vegetables are also a result of these substances. Why do we need to include phytonutrients in our diet? They have been shown to help slow down the aging process, prevent cancers, promote a healthy heart and good blood pressure. They are also loaded with antioxidants to help our immune system stay strong. Try including broccoli, kale, cilantro, blueberries, oranges, tomatoes, or sweet potatoes into your meals this week for a healthy dose of phytonutrients!
Do you suffer from breakouts and acne? Are your lotions and creams just making your complexion more irritated and red? Try eating a diet full of protein (wild-caught fish, chia seeds, beans, goji berries), organic vegetables and fruits (especially ones full of antioxidants, like berries), nuts, and seeds. Also be sure that you are including plenty of “good fats” in your diet from foods like coconuts, olives, and avocados. Stay hydrated with plenty of good quality water during the day and avoid soda, caffeine, and alcohol.
I have always been a huge fan of eating watermelon! Lately, I’ve started juicing watermelon and combining it with other ingredients like cucumbers and strawberries. Yum! Watermelon is not only delicious but it is loaded with healthy nutrients. For example, watermelon is a rich source of immune-boosting vitamin C and hair-healthy vitamin A. It is also a good source of lycopene, a carotenoid that works to promote good cardiovascular health. One cup of fresh watermelon contains more lycopene than that one cup of tomatoes! In addition watermelon’s heart-healthy traits, it’s an excellent source of free-radical fighting antioxidants and B vitamins, perfect for giving your body a nice boost of natural energy. Watermelon also contains potassium and magnesium to help your body circulate your blood properly.
Did you Know:
– Watermelon has a high water content, which makes it so refreshing during the warmer months. This also makes it a great food for promoting a healthy weight because it will fill you up while giving you a big dose of nutrients.
– While you can purchase watermelon year-round, the best time to buy it is during the summer. This is when it will have the most nutrients and taste the sweetest.
You may have heard about tryptophan and it’s ability to help us fall asleep at night. While it is true that tryptophan promotes relaxation, it is also important for helping to elevate our moods and regulate our appetites! It has also been shown to help prevent a deficiency in niacin. Tryptophan is one of the essential amino acids (something that our bodies cannot produce on their own) that our bodies use to synthesize protein. Tryptophan works with many other nutrients that are important for it’s metabolism including vitamin C, B6, magnesium, and folic acid.
How can you tell if you are deficient in tryptophan? You may feel depressed and struggle with staying focued. Other symptoms include weight gain or unexpected weight loss, overeating, the craving of carbohydrates, and insomnia. Be sure you are including tryptophan in your diet by eating the following foods: