Spelt Bread Recipe

Here is a quick recipe for making bread from one of the ancient grains, spelt. This Spelt Bread Recipe is super easy to make and is one of our favorites.


Spelt is much like our current day wheat flour when it comes to measurements and in some regards when it comes to texture as well. It does have its own unique taste, but nothing too overpowering or hard to stomach.

Because of its nature and overall characteristics, spelt can often times be substituted on a 1:1 ratio with wheat flour and the end result of baked goods be overall quite similar.




Ingredients

2 1/2 cups spelt flour

1-2 ripe bananas (optional)

2 Tablespoons Olive Oil or Coconut Oil (or canola oil)

1 tsp salt

2 cups water

1/4 cup agave syrup

2 tsp baking soda

 

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven for 10 minutes  on 350⁰F
  2. Combine dry  ingredients.
  3. Mash the bananas, then combine with wet ingredients.
  4. Mix the dry ingredients with the wet ingredients until thick dough forms.
  5. Mix dough for 10 minutes.
  6. Place dough in baking pan or loaf pan.
  7. Let dough rest for about 5 minutes or
  8. Place in preheated oven.
  9. Bake for 30 to 40 minutes or until knife inserted in the center of loaf comes out clean.
  10. Remove loaf from oven and let the loaf cool for 20 minutes. Then slice and enjoy as a side or breakfast.
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Aquafaba A Good Egg Substitute

Whether you use it in your pancakes or to make some delicious homemade vegan mayo, aquafaba is a good egg substitute, better yet a great substitute next to this egg substitute.

 

What is Aquafaba?

Well, in a nutshell, chickpea water (canned is good), but homemade is workable as well…. It can also be made from white beans and other legumes, but your best bet is chickpeas. So, the next time you cook some chickpeas, or open up a can of your favorite brand of chick peas, make sure to save the water and make good use out of it.

For those not familiar with chickpea, you may be able to recognize it as garbanzo beans, gram, or even Ceci beans. It is a very healthy and nutritious  legume that can be used in so many ways.



Chick peas are a good source of protein, especially for those who choose to avoid animal proteins and animal based proteins. They are a great source of fiber and various vita,ins like Vitamin B6, Folate, iron to list a few.

We enjoy chick peas and find that they often pair well with I ther foods.




How to Use It

You may be wondering how to use aquafaba and what sort of recipes pair well with it. Well, in our opinion any baked good that requires eggs (especially egg whites) can be workable using aquafaba.

Take for instance this brownie or a lovely cake recipe or even better, this pancake recipe. Healthy but very tasty.




How Do You Make Aquafaba?

Simply drain the water from your canned chick peas and whip it up with your egg beater. You will be pleasantly surprised.

You will have soft white peaks that will get you the fluffy, airy quality often sort after when it comes to baked goods and other egg based goodies like tha vegan mayo you may be thinking about making.

Here is how we make aquafaba:

1-2 cups of chick pea cooking liquid (cooled)

1-2 tsp arrowroot root powder (optional) dissolved in some water

Stir the aforementioned ingredients together or simply whip up into soft peaks.

Add to your recipe that calls for eggs at 2 to 3 Tablespoons for one medium or large egg.

 

Conclusion 

Aquafaba is a great egg substitute and needs more attention than it has gotten. Let us know if you have tried it. And if you feel up to it share some of your recipes with us. We would love to hear from you, so be sure to leave your comments in the comment section.

 

P. S. Don’t forget to subscribe for more health related articles like this and many more.

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Is Taking Nascent Iodine Worth the Risk

Best to ditch the iodized salt and reach for nascent iodine or should you, keep reading to find out, is taking nascent iodine is really worth the risk?

What is Nascent Iodine?

For those who may be wondering what is nascent iodine, it is atomic iodine that is readily available for the body to digest. The body quickly  accepts and absorbs this form no of iodine more so than the form available in table salt, but if you can’t find this form of iodine, then go with the table salt or preferably a more natural  form of salt.

 

Why is Nascent Iodine Impotant?

Iodine is very important to thyroid function and the production of thyroid hormones which in turn affects the function of various organ in the body.

Heart health, your body’s immune system and ability to regulate temperature, as well as, your metabolic rate are affected by your thyroid function. So, you can certainly see that a well functioning thyroid is of the utmost importance and the thyroid is one of the most important organs is your body. So, keep it healthy and happy and you will feel much better and your energy levels will definitely improve.

 

Disclaimer: 

Taking any supplementation should be done under guidance of a family physician that is well versed in your individual health care needs. 

Also, Beware that not all nascent iodine are created equally,  so do your research and select the best option for you and your health care needs.

It only takes a few drops to get your daily requirements and the benefits are seen in a short amount of time. Benefits such weight loss, increase in energy levels, prevention of goiters. This is a good option when it comes to nascent iodine and so is this supplement.

 

Other Options to Supplementation Using Nascent Iodine 

As with most supplements, nature or natural is best and this can be one of those instances; however, due to the rapid absorption, this may very well be the most feasible option when it comes to iodine intake and correcting thyroid issues in the quickest way. Now,  when it comes to hyperthyroidism or any thyroid conditions that may change for the worse if not properly managed, do consult your physician and avoid self treating.

 

Foods you can eat to boost your iodine intake are whole eggs, tuna (be mindful of the mercury content), seaweed (Wakame, Nori, and most of all Kombu Kelp are great sources of iodine), and seafood like shrimp are great places to start in boosting your iodine. If you have issues with eating shrimp, we completely understand and would highly recommend the seaweed route.

 

Keeping your diet balanced and in check will help prevent imbalances and of course minimizing your stress levels will keep your thyroid from getting out of whack to begin wit . Thereby, saving your from a whirlwind of issues.

 

Dangers of Nascent Iodine

There are dangers to using nascent iodine,  but most of them exist when used incorrectly,  so always choose to follow the recommended doseage unless otherwise instructed by your physician. So, on to the dangers….

 

Dangers of taking nascent iodine include,  but are not limited to the following: you may experience allergic reactions based on your level of sensitivity, facial swelling can be an issue.

Also, inflammation in the joints and thyroid gland can be an issue as a result of excessive intake of nascent iodine.

 




 

 

Other dangers include fluid build up in the lungs,  thyroid cancer; and a condition in which an abnormal level of the disease fighting white blood cells know as Eosinophils are present in the blood (which can be the case with severe allergic reactions to nascent iodine or due to the body reacting to resulting cancerous growth.

So, all in all do ample research and consult with your doctor, but most importantly know your body and recognize the signs. So, it so happens that this form of supplementation doesn’t agree with you, then you can you can nip it in the bud and work with your doctor on finding a better alternative.

 

Conclusion 

So, is it worth it to try nascent iodine? Absolutely! But do so only if your have thyroid issues that your physician feels can be corrected through proper supplementation. Just be sure to stay within your recommended dosage or intake to prevent overdoing it and causing negative side effects.

 

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Best Cookware for Cooking & Eating Healthy Foods

So, after some time spent researching this topic, we had an idea to write an article for all our readers out there to quickly go over all the best cookwares for cooking and eating healthy foods. After all, you have made the decision to eat healthy foods and what good is there to lose the nutrients you are trying to get from those healthy foods through using the wrong cookware?

 

So, Just What are the Options of Healthy Cookware?

If you are remotely health conscious, then you know just how important highly nutritious foods are to maintaining good health.

This brings us to our first pick when it comes to healthy cookware – earthen pots. These pots are most commonly known as clay pots or clay cookware. They are an olden way of cooking,  but a goodie. And if it works why change it?

 

Disclaimer:

Healthylivingfromheadtotoe.com is a participant of Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, which is an affiliate advertising program. It is a way for sites like ours to have the opportunity to earn advertising fees through advertising and linking to Amazon.com.

 

 

However, over the course of time, we have seen an upsurge in a variety of cookware from nonstick to a myriad of metal based cooking pots and pans. Some are natural metals, like cast iron and copper. And others are man-made blends that come in coated and non-coated varieties – think teflon coated aluminum pots and pans, carbon steel, stainless steel, and other metal cookware and bakeware. All of which are readily available to the masses.




 

Most of these metal based cookware provide the convenience of faster cooking, perfect searing, and great versatility which includes the ability to fry and deep fry foods, but at the cost of nutrients.

 

Earthenware Pots

Earthen pots allow foods to be cooked with the optimum amount of nutrients/ micronutrients locked in, providing a more nutritious meal.

The benefits of cooking with clay are great and far outweigh the cons.  One such con being that cooking time is a bit longer, but often times improves over the course of time.  Another con is most clay cookware need to be cured before use.

One more con when it comes to clay pot is actually dependent on whether you are familiar with cooking with clay. And if you aren’t, you might find yourself faced with quite a bit of a learning curve. But, it is very easy to overcome and you can become quite the expert when it comes to cooking with clay. So much so, that you will find out that it is certainly worth it to have at least one or two of these pots in your kitchen.

One of the major benefits of using clay cookware is that your food is that much healthier, in the sense that you are able to eliminate some of the toxins in the foods. This really comes into play if you are unable to purchase organic foods and grass fed meats on a regular basis.

The porous nature of clay pots and their negative charge or alkaline nature,  enable them to pull toxic substances that may bre present in certain foods. This can be visible in thre form of brownish or blackish sticky bubbling out of these impurities. This allows for more bioavailability of the nutritional elements in your food without the extra gunk.

According to a lab test done in India, food cooked in clay pots retain a higher percentage of micronutrients compared to foods cooked in cookware made from other materials. So, that alone should give you reason to at least give this type of cookware a try.

 

What Features to Look for when Shopping for Your Earthenware Clay Pot

You may be wondering, what features to look for when shopping for your earthenware or earthen pot; so here are some things to keep in mind.

When looking at earthenware pots or clay vessels, unglazed is best. This not only reduces the likelihood of exposing your food to lead, since it can leach into your food while cooking (the glaze process often times includes the use of lead),  but provides you with the benefits of nutrient retention and evenly cooked food. Not to mention the foods cooked in earthen pots are often times more flavorful and taste absolutely delicious. Plus your food stays warm longer (four to five hours later you will be able to have warm, not hot, but warm food).

 

If you haven’t done so, try cooking beans in your earthen pots,  the taste is absolutely fantastic! Even rice tastes more delicious when cooked in clay.

 

Stoneware Pots

Much like Earthenware Pots, this cookware is also made of clay and heats evenly. The main difference; however,  is that this clay cookware is fired in the kiln at a much higher temperature than regular clay or earthen pots. This results in a less porous cookware and a slight difference in the level of flavor acquired during the cooking process.

Soapstone or Steatite Cookware

When it comes to Steatite Cookware,  better known as soapstone, this cookware, much like earthen or clay cookware gives not only even heating,  but retains the nutritional benefits when used to cook your food.  Also, it doesn’t react or leach into foods and is a great way to prepare healthy foods and will last for a lifetime when used properly.

Although naturally a softer stone, once cured, cookware made from this stone is highly durable and can provide you with peace of mind when cooking your healthy meals.


Just be sure that the stone used for your cookware is not sourced from California as it tends to contain some strands of asbestos engrained in the rock. Which might pose a health hazard when there is damage to the pot or if it breaks and particles become airborne.

You can always take the added step of checking with the pot manufacturer (or even the retailer) to determine where the rock is sourced and whether there are tests done to ensure there are no asbestos strands occurring within the rock.

 

Cast Iron Cookware

When seasoned well these can bring added depth of flavor to meats and veggies. For the perfect seared steak, cast iron is certainly the way to and is one of two metal cookware we are willing to recommend.


Unlike clay cookware, this cookware can react with certain foods,  especially acidic foods like tomato sauce or paste when not well seasoned.

As far as leaching is concerned, the amount of iron transferred to your food is minimal and is thought to be not so readily available or lacking bioavailability. I however, believe it can be useful to the body.

The only ways you will encounter a large amount of leaching is if you are cooking on bare, unseasoned cast iron; cooking very acidic foods; or letting your food sit in iron vessels for a long time – neither of which we would recommend.

 

Copper Cookware

If you love making jams and would like to avoid using pectin, copper is the way to go. It reacts with fruits to naturally thicken jams and jellies for wonderful homemade treats.

 

 

Now, there is debate as to the safety of copper pots and the potential of leaching into foods; however, copper is a metal that is useful in the body, and the body doesn’t make it own, so an external source is needed….

 

Conclusion

So, whatever cookware you choose from the aforementioned list is truly up to you, but we highly recommend one of each or at least the following: a clay soup pot, a cast iron skillet, a cast iron Dutch oven, and a copper pan. These pots and pans should get you well on your way to cooking any meal you so desire with little to no health concerns.

 

If you enjoyed this and any of our other articles,  do feel free to share, like,  and also subscribe for more articles.

Thanks for reading!


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Engaging Your Kids When it Comes to Eating Healthy Foods

When it comes to eating healthy, it is highly important for kids especially since they are still growing. As parents we all know it can be difficult to get our children to eat healthy especially if we are dealing with picky eaters.So, here are a few tips to help even the pickiest of eaters and that can help with engaging your kids when it comes to eating healthy foods.

 

Introducing Your Kids to A World of Healthy Eating

Try getting your kids into gardening at an early age, especially if you like tending to a garden. It is not only a great pastime,  it is also fun and adds to quality time spent together. Plus you get a good workout while you are at it.

For little kids, cutting  fruits and veggies into fun shapes can make for a smoother transition to healthier snacks or substitutions. It sparks their curiosity and makes healthy eating less of a battle.

Plus you can enlist their help by handing them the butter knife, yes, I said butter knife (a flat, rounded knife with no sharp edge) . It may not be proper etiquette,  but for safety reasons it certain will do the trick (believe me, its personally tried and true and prevents accidents). We have tried my butter knife method to cut many fruits and some vegetables and it works just fine even with apples; however,  I would recommend limiting its use to just soft fruits.


Cookie cutters also make for a good,  quick way to safely cut fruits into fun shapes and make for healthy fast food.

Dinner knives like this with a thin serrated edge also work as well.  Also, it helps your kids feel good about themselves when they can help mommy or daddy cut up those fruits for their fruit salad or snack time.

 

 

You can also add vegetables your kids favorite meals,  spaghetti is a great one for incorporating fresh veggies whether you choose to dice them up into tiny pieces or simply puree a variety of veggies and add it into the spaghetti sauce (half a cup to a cup of mixed veggies usually makes for a tasty addition to plain spaghetti sauce or even one already packed with veggies).

 

To Dip or Not to Dip

Adding tasty (and healthy) dips can also make healthy foods fun for kids.

Next time, try a little bit of plain yogurt with a bit of agave syrup and or honey as a slightly sweetened dip for some fruits (apples,  melons, pineapples, cantaloupes,  pears, are just a few) and even vegetables (think carrots). This dip goes very well with these and will encourage your kids, especially the wee little ones to finish their fruits and veggies. Just be sure to not make it sugary as that will take over the taste and take away from the healthiness of eating fruits and veggies.

You can also switch things a bit and add a small amount of caramel for an added treat every now and then.

Fruit preserves or a simple blend of fruits are a great addition for creamy dips and yogurt blends and help make healthy snacks more appealing.

 




Tips for Making Healthy Snacking Work 

Take it slow when introducing new fruits especially when it comes to exotic fruits not just for the sake of allergies, but to give them time to get used to the taste. You can add a couple of pieces along with their favorite fruits or vegetables and see whether they notice.

If they don’t notice,  you can always make it into a game of what does it taste like and guess that  new vegetable (or fruit).

 

Wrapping It Up

Hope you find these toys and tricks helpful in engaging your kids when it comes to eating healthy foods. If you find this article helpful,  don’t forget to like and share on Facebook and other social media outlets. If you have other tips or tricks you would like to share or have us add to our article, please do take the time to post them in the comments section below we would appreciate it.

 

Thank you for reading our latest post. Be sure to subscribe so you can be notified on future articles.

 

#kids eating healthy #live a healthy life #veggies rule

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Reishi Mushroom Tea | Healthy Mushroom

Reishi Mushroom is known in the world of Chinese medicine as Ganoderma lucidum (Lingzhi) and is considered to be a very powerful medicine. For those who are against using mushrooms, Reishi mushroom is not a psychoactive mushroom. This is one healthy mushroom, so you certainly do not need to worry about hallucinating or going out of your mind.

 

 

Best Way to Use this Mushroom

Reishi mushroom can be used in many ways. The best way being its use as a tea.

This is one strong mushroom we do not recommend you try to blend it, especially when it is dried. This is due to the cellular structure of this mushroom. It has very strong polysaccharide chitin structure that makes it very resistant to breaking down. It feels like rubbery cork like material.

Reishi is a mushroom that is readily available dried and looks like beefy slices of mushroom.

To make a good, potent tea, you can simply make a tea by getting eight to ten dried slices of Reishi and adding them to a quart (32 ounces) of boiling water.

Let your Reishi mushroom slices simmer in your tea kettle or pot full of hot water for about 20 minutes to get a strong brew. Ten minutes or less if you want a medium strength tea.

Now, be forewarned, the taste is uniquely bitter because along with the excessive bitterness is a moderate earthy undertone.

Personally speaking, although I am not a fan of bitter foods; however, I have grown accustomed to the bitterness of this tea and have learned to like it. And in fact find it highly palatable and now look forward to drinking it as part if my cleansing regimen.

 

Benefits of Reishi Mushroom

Reishi mushroom has many healing properties and is great for bolstering or boosting your body’s immune system.

Mushroom Tea is great for lung related conditions such as asthma, bronchitis, chronic cough, to list a few.

Reishi mushroom tea is alkaline, so it helps
neutralize acid in the body and can be
great for counteracting stress related issues and conditions that have negative effects on the body.

Reishi mushroom has also been shown to help with high blood pressure so it may prove useful include it in your daily regimen if you suffer from high blood pressure. But do be sure to consult with your doctor.

Disclaimer: We are not certified to give you medical advise. We are just sharing information we find to be useful.

 


Other ways you can Use Reishi Mushroom

There is certainly other ways to use Reishi. And you are only limited by level of creativity.

You can also cook with it and remove prior to serving. Simply put three to four slices in your broth if you are cooking chicken or beef or use freshly brewed Reishi tea to cook your meats. It will add some depth tho the flavor of your foods, and can even enhance them.

You can also use the brewed tea in place of juice or water in certain smoothies.

 




Summary

So, there you have it, plenty of ways to use Reishi and reap the incredible health benefits. Certainly give Reishi Mushroom Tea a try, it is definitely one healthy mushroom worth adding to your regimen.

Hope you enjoyed our article. If you did, be sure to comment below and help us by sharing it and don’t forget to subscribe. Please feel free to check out this article by the National Center for Biotechnology Information for addition information on Reishi Mushroom.

 

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Magnesium and Your Body

Magnesium is a crucial mineral and is very important to many processes in your body, but can taking Magnesium hurt your body?! Well, the answer is it all depends on your body. Keep reading to find out more.

 

 

The skinny when it comes to Magnesium

Magnesium is an absolute must when it comes to overall health. For instance, it is important in bone building and growth. But taking magnesium in large doses can result in some serious side effects. Magnesium can negatively affect various organs in your body your heart being one of them, as well as, your kidneys.

Side effects of having too high a level of Magnesium include, but are not limited to irregular heart beats, confusion, breathing issues, and possibly death.

 

So What Exactly is Magnesium Good For?

Your blood pressure, maintaining and ensuring proper functioning of your muscles, controlling your blood sugar levels. These are just a few of the processes regulated by magnesium. Other side effects include nausea which can range from subtle to extreme nausea. The severity of taking too much Magnesium can vary from person to person. So always remember to be aware of the signals your body sends you. And this goes for all supplements as well.

 

Know your Body Well

If you have negative reactions within and or without, you should notate them and immediately consult with your doctor.

Also, always consult with your doctor before including magnesium as a part of your daily supplement. And be mindful of the percentage of Magnesium contained in your multivitamin supplements.

Feel free to check out this post on the effectiveness of supplements if you would like more details on whether you should be supplementing.

How common is magnesium deficiency?

Deficiency in this mineral is quite rare, therefore magnesium supplementation may not be needed. This is another reason why you should consult your doctor before taking magnesium supplements…since you may be doing more harm than good in the long run.

Women tend to be more prone to having Magnesium deficiencies, but it often times is easily fix through the right dietary changes.

In most cases your doctor will order testing to determine any vitamin deficiencies (Magnesium included, of course). This is absolutely the best way to approach vitamin supplementation. Multivitamin and or vitamin supplementation is not a one size fits all regimen. This is because we all have different things going on within our bodies. …different stress levels, as well as, other factors that can contribute to our need for various elements and minerals.

It is also best to periodically get tested to make sure that your deficiencies have been corrected or are at least maintainable with the current supplementation you may be taking.

 

 

Can You Avoid Taking Magnesium Supplements Altogether?

The Absolute best way to avoid having to take magnesium supplement Asian all the supplements for that matter is through your diet. Eating these foods can help ensure you are getting enough magnesium, consider adding the following to your diet: nuts (almonds, peanuts, cashews) and various food such as spinach, beans (especially, black beans since they contain higher percentage of this mineral in comparison to other bean varieties). Various cultured dairy foods like Kefir, Amasai, yogurt, etc. can prove to be great sources of Magnesium, as well.

So if your daily diet is rich in plants, more so than meat you are more than likely good to go when it comes to your magnesium levels.

 

Conclusion

Over all, supplementation should be on a need to basis and you should always consult with your physician to ensure that you are doing your body good and not creating an issue or issues in the long run. If you do find this article informative or helpful to share with others (thanks in advance). And be sure to subscribe for more posts in the near future.

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Dietary Thermogenesis | Fat-Burning Foods

Thermogenesis is the act of generating heat. This happens in every warm-blooded organisms it is what keeps them alive. Dietary thermogenesis on the other hand is as the name implies, diet based – it is the process of using foods to induce thermogenesis. Certain foods create or bring about thermogenesis in the body resulting in fat burning. Fat-burning food, are foods that help your body to undergo thermogenesis and to do so in a much more efficient manner and are they are highly effective.

What Happens During Thermogenesis

During thermogenesis, your body is able to “burn up” the food you eat in order to release its stored energy this often times can involve burning up fat stores (those extra calories) within the body.

Using Thermogenesis to Increase your Weight Loss

It is so important to stay within the appropriate weight range in relation to your height, if you want to remain free of dis-ease.

 




 

Shedding those extra pounds can really help bolster your health and prevent any issues with your health down the road. By losing those extra pounds, you can avert pre-diabetic symptoms and even get rid of diabetes if it is already present. Taking a preemptive strike and preventing issues such as diabetes, especially if you already have pre-diabetes can prove to be a life-saving accomplishment.

 

Foods to Eat to Increase Fat Burning through Thermogenesis

Thankfully there are so many foods present in nature to help us accomplish the goals that we want to attain when it comes to maintaining our health. Below are some foods that you can easily come across that will help you burn those extra calories while giving you the added benefit of losing unnecessary or excess pounds.

Foods like rooibos tea, white tea, green tea, matcha tea, berries, lemon, grapefruit, cayenne pepper/ chilli peppers, ginger, apple cider vinegar, coconut oil or coconut derived MCT Oil, cruciferous vegetables such as cauliflower, broccoli, Brussels Sprouts, and leafy greens such as spinach, chard, kale, collard greens are all foods present in nature that can help you with fat burning by making thermogenesis that much more effective.

Other foods (more so animal based) that can help you in the fat burning process in respect to your diet are mackerel, salmon, eggs, Kefir, Greek yogurt, Amasai or Amasi (a fermented milk product chuck full of probiotics and similar to Kefir in tartness & consistency, though slightly different in taste) – these are all wonderful additions you can make to your diet to ensure that you are burning fat not just through regular exercise, but through what you eat as well.




Conclusion

Thermogenesis is a natural occurring process that our bodies go through each and every day. It is what helps us make use of stored energy, so we might as well make use of it to the fullest extent. By using the foods we eat to help burn fat stored up in our bodies we can make sure that what we eat helps and encourage the process of thermogenesis, thereby, making it that much more effective.

 

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Benefits of the Bitter Leaf Plant

The benefits of the Bitter Leaf plant (not to be confused with Betel Leaf which also has awesome benefits) are incredibly amazing and make this a highly beneficial plant to have. It is a fantastic  plant to grow or at least have in your arsenal of go to healing plants. Based on it’s medicinal properties, this plant has many uses as a tea, in juice mixtures, antiseptic uses, soups and stews, as well as, as a salad or chewed fresh….. This African plant is a wonder when it comes to all of its medicinal benefits and uses. Keep reading to discover the various potential health benefits of this plant.

 

Bitter Leaf Plant

Origin

This shrub like plant is scientifically known as Vernonia Amygdalina, originating from the tropical regions of Africa. It is extremely popular in West Africa, where it is used in soups & stew, as well as, tea tonics, and as a medical aid in the form of an antiseptic dressing for cuts and wounds, among other uses.

 

Can I Grow This Plant or Does It Only Grow in Tropical Regions?

This plant is truly resilient and can be grown in various zones, including zones that experience wintery weather. Do keep in mind that if you live in one of the zones that do experience winter, you will have a dormant plant until spring comes around.




The best way to ensure that this plant survives winter is to make sure you have a well-established plant with very good drainage when it comes to the soil. Typically, this plant loves loamy soils, but will grow in any soil environment.

Although this plant is very resilient, it is possible to kill this plant especially if you over water it. All other factors considered, this plant is quite resilient and will survive almost any adverse condition.

If you want to err on the side of caution, then you can always have a potted cutting (yes, cutting is best as opposed to growing from seeds) of this plant growing indoors, especially when temperatures dip into the 30s (Fahrenheit).

Just so you know, in case you choose to grow this plant, there are a couple of pests that will eat the leaves. In my experience various pests from caterpillars to leaf hoppers have chosen to eat the leaves of this plant. Even snails have reportedly been attracted to this plant, so beware and be on the lookout for these pests as they can damage this plant greatly and in some cases spread disease (leaf spots, leaf curling, etc.).

 

This plant is capable of reaching heights of 17 ft and sometimes more. Bitter Leaf is a plant that is rich in various vitamins and is well-known and used for medicinal purposes in Africa.

 

How Healthy is your cookware?

What are the Health Benefits of Bitter Leaf Plant?

This plant is a great digestive aid and helps in the digestive process. So if you are often faced with digestive issues such as bloating and indigestion, then you may want to consider using the bitter leaf plant to settle those discomforts. Just be sure to brew it as a tea and do your best to skip the sweetener and drink it straight. Bitter leaf is all around great for amping your digestive juices and getting everything flowing smoothly.

This plant is fantastic when comes to aiding the liver and helping ensure that it is functions optimally and is in great health provided there are no pre-existing conditions, such as a liver that is already failing.

Regular use of this plant helps with the detoxification of various organs in the body, as well as, cleansing the blood.

It is also useful in clearing the body of parasitic infections. And curing or stopping various ailments such malaria (a mosquito transmitted disease that is often common in tropical areas) pain, headaches, diarrhea, etc.

 

The Good and the Bad

If you like bitter foods then drinking tea made from bitter leaves will not be an issue. Better yet you can simply chew the leaves raw and reap the benefits of the bitter leaf pkant that way. But if you are trying it for the first time, a little nibble would save you from being completely taken aback by how bitter it is.

However,  if you absolutely detest all things bitter, then this plant may not be great for you as a tea. You can still reap the benefits of it though by doing the following: Blend 2-3 fresh leaves in your fruit smoothie or any smoothie for that matter. You can also, add some natural sweetener like raw honey or agave syrup to freshly brewed tea if you choose to take it in tea form. Or you can add it to your salad or greens in small quantities so it does not over power your mix.

The only con to this plant is the palatability – it is so bitter! I truly have not come across a more bitter plant. The first time I chewed the raw leaves, I had a very hard time making it through the chewing process. Fast forward almost a year later, I am growing this wonderful plant and enjoying its benefits. I prefer it in soups, but there are days when I prefer to eat the raw leaves, because I crave the bitter flavor…never thought I would ever say that (ex-sugarholic here!).

 

 

Other Health Benefits This Plant May Hold

This plant is also a good source of antioxidants, which have been known to get rid of free radicals. Therefore, this plant may prove very helpful in preventing various cancers, as well as, helping boost healthy cells in the body and keep them from becoming cancerous.

Because of its blood cleansing properties, this plant can also aid in preventing heart disease, as it capable of helping remove plaque from blood vessels and lowering cholesterol levels that create heart dis-ease.

Brewing the leaves of this plant and drinking it as a tea can also be helpful in lowering blood sugar levels and in turn reduce the risk of diabetes, as well as, stabilize  and better control the sugar levels of someone who is diabetic.

Bitter leaf is also good as a sleep aid, helping you get better rest through the night, by relaxing your body and mind.

 

Conclusion

Based on its medicinal uses and properties the Bitter Leaf Plant is a super versatile plant and is a fantastic plant to have in your arsenal of highly beneficial plants when it comes to maintaining good health. So, if at all possible,  make sure to include this herb in your rotation of health boosting herbs and foods in order to reap all the benefits held within it.

Click here if you would like to purchase the leaves of this plant (Note: I am not the seller of this plant; however I might earn commission if you click through one of my links on this post and make a purchase…this helps keep our website going thank you).

 Disclaimer: Please note that the statements made in this article in regards to health benefits are done as a result of research and as always your doctor or personal physician should always be contacted in regards to any changes or implementations in addition to your regular treatment(s) to avoid any adverse effects or interactions with your medications. This is not meant as an article to give medical advice (I am not a doctor), but to purely inform the public of what is out there and various options that you may want to consider discussing with your physician.  

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The Verdict Is In – Vitamin Supplements Are Placebos

The verdict is in, vitamin supplements are placebos at least under normal conditions…. According to a study published in the Journal of the American College of Cardiology concerning the effectiveness vitamins commonly taken, these powerful supplements are not yet proven to be effective at disease prevention, such as stroke or heart disease, with exception to folic acid which proved to be somewhat effective in reducing the risk of stroke. The efficacy of several supplements  were tested such as Folic Acid, Calcium, Vitamin C & D. They along with multivitamins that were tested neither helped nor hurt the individual taking them. The study was carried out for a little over 5 1/2 years – from January 2012 to October 2017 – and involved 179 controlled trials.

 

 

Most of us take vitamins thinking it helps us feel better; however, most studies conducted over the past few years have proven this to not be the case and seem to further reinforce that no health improvements result from taking vitamins unless a nutritional deficiency or condition requiring supplementation exists. So unless you have been told by your physician that you are deficient in a particular vitamin, then your best bet is to skip the supplements and opt for healthier food choices – lots of fruits and vegetables and very little meat.

 

Bright Greens

 

Healthy foods coupled with regular exercise for at least 20 minutes, 4 to 5 times in a week, can prove very beneficial to improving your overall health, especially, your heart, as opposed to using supplements (with exception to folic acid). A Meditarrean diet (note: as of June 2018 findings of inconsistency in the study performed claiming health benefits of the Mediterranean diet has )or plant based diet with a small amount of animal protein is the best way to go when it comes to providing your body with the best vitamins and minerals available.

Nature offers the best options, as opposed to synthetic / lab manufactured vitamins and minerals. The body better understands and is able to use nutrients from natural sources, so investing in natural food sources may prove to be better than costly supplements.





NOTE:

As of June 2018, due to findings of inconsistency in the study performed on the health benefits of a Mediterranean Diet, there has been a retraction of this claim, but the Mediterranean Diet is still a great example to follow in regards to building and living a healthy lifestyle.

 



Disclaimer:

This article is based on research done and on published data from scientific studies conducted. I am not a doctor and the information provided should be used at your discretion. Consult with your physician before making changes that may impact your health negatively or otherwise. 




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