Tonic

Beautifying Raw Foods That Also Improve Immunity

Some of the most beautifying raw foods on the planet are also some of the best you can eat for optimal immunity, along with increased vitality and strength. That’s because many raw foods are high in minerals which are the micronutrients that your body absolutely must have for optimal health.

Without enough minerals, our skin, mood, and immunity all suffer greatly. They keep our bodies functioning on a deeper, cellular level, and the antioxidants found in many raw foods also help improve our beauty and defense mechanisms against various types of disease.

Several vitamins are also important for natural beauty and optimal immunity. So check out these 10 beautifying raw foods that are packed with nutrients that will improve your hair, skin, nails, immune system, and even your digestion and brain health too!

Pineapple

Would you believe that pineapple is one of the best sources of Vitamin C you can eat?

Pineapple’s Vitamin C content rivals that of most all fruits. The delicious sweet fruit contains over 100 percent of your daily Vitamin C needs along with high levels of the enzyme bromelain which helps break down proteins in the body. These properties not only improve digestion and immunity, but they also reduce acidity in the body which increases your body’s alkalinity to prevent inflammation.

Fresh or frozen pineapple is the kind of pineapple you’ll want to consume, though. Avoid the canned or dried varieties which have been more heavily processed and often have added sugars and/or oils. Use frozen or fresh pineapple in a smoothie, enjoy it as a snack, or pair it with a morning bowl of overnight oats if you like.

Camu Camu

Camu camu is a superfood that’s so beneficial for women that it’s even considered to be a medicinal herb in some cultures. The fruit comes from the Amazon and is the highest source of Vitamin C per serving on the planet. It’s also a good source of amino acids and several trace minerals.

Because of its high Vitamin C and amino acid content, camu berry is amazing for your skin, improving anxiety, and it can help aid in digestion. Camu camu also has antiviral properties which can help fight off candida and other fungal-related infections that demean your health.

The fruit is sold as a freeze-dried, raw powder here in the United States and it adds a sharp, tangy texture to smoothies. It pairs well with pineapple, banana, berries, and cacao, or it can be used in raw desserts, cookies, or added on top of a bowl of overnight oats. Just be sure not to heat camu camu since Vitamin C is heat-sensitive.

Raw Cacao

Speaking of cacao, it’s amazing for your health and beauty. Raw cacao is high in sulfur, a beauty-boosting mineral that also helps detoxify the liver.

Raw cacao is also high a potent source of antioxidants, flavonoids, and other minerals such as iron and magnesium. Cacao is even high in copper and zinc which improve your immunity and the strength of your blood.

Just be sure to go for the good stuff when you consume raw chocolate. You’ll want to avoid chocolate that is high in sugar and eat it raw and unsweetened, or choose dark chocolate with at least 90 percent cacao content. Or you can have raw, superfood chocolate—your choice.

Carrots

Like other orange-colored fruits and veggies, carrots are loaded with beta-carotene which is a precursor to Vitamin A, a natural beauty and immunity-boosting vitamin. Carrots are also one of the best sources of Vitamin C among all vegetables, and they’re high in water, fiber, and low in sugar.

You can eat carrots raw or cooked, but do be mindful most of the Vitamin C found in carrots is lost during the cooking process since Vitamin C is heat-sensitive. For this reason, to retain all the benefits carrots have to offer, be sure to eat them (and other fruits and veggies) in raw form whenever possible.

Carrots are also great for hormone balance, filling you up, and they can even be added to smoothies for a boost of nutrition and natural sweetness!

Acai Berry

Goji berries are an incredibly popular berry that’s great for your skin, and acai berry is another one of the top berries to consume for beauty and immunity. Acai berry is an Amazonian superfood that is a powerful source of omega-3 fatty acids which protect your brain, skin, heart, lungs, and your nervous system.

Acai is also a wonderful source of amino acids and several key minerals that improve your strength and immunity. It’s also low in sugar which makes it great for your blood sugar levels.

Acai fruit is sold as a raw, freeze-dried powder, so consume whichever you prefer. If it’s your first time using acai, pair it with blueberries and raw cacao where it takes on an especially lovely flavor.

Raw Almonds

Raw almonds are well-known for their high-protein content, but they’re also excellent for your skin. Almonds are a top food to consume to improve natural beauty because they’re rich in Vitamin E, magnesium, iron, zinc, copper, monounsaturated fats, and fiber, which slows down the release of insulin in your body.

Almonds also support collagen levels in the skin which can help to prevent and reduce fine lines and wrinkles. Almonds even improve the body’s response to stress, which can trigger inflammation if kept unchecked, and they’re alkaline foods when consumed in 100 percent raw form.

Dark Cherries

Dark, sweet cherries should be one of the number one foods you eat to beautify your skin and improve your immunity. Cherries contain dark compounds of antioxidants that promote longevity and decrease inflammation in the body and are very similar in nutrition to berries.

Dark cherries can be bought fresh or frozen, and they pair wonderfully with cacao, greens, berries, and other superfoods in a smoothie. Dark, sweet cherries can also decrease joint pain, improve sleep, and help protect the heart and skin from oxidative stress.

Romaine Lettuce

That’s right, one of the most simple greens that’s not kale is also one of the best you can eat! Sweet and hydrating romaine lettuce is incredible for your beauty and immunity because it’s one of the top sources of Vitamin C among all greens, it’s high in water to hydrate the cells, and it’s even a natural source of omega-3 fatty acids, believe it or not.

Use romaine in raw juices, smoothies, or make a huge salad with it and enjoy its naturally hydrating and beautifying benefits!

Pumpkin Seeds

If your skin and nails could use some help quickly, add some pumpkin seeds to your diet and consider yourself brand new! Pumpkin seeds are one of the best sources of zinc, protein and iron, three nutrients that improve skin health, blood sugar levels, immunity, and energy levels extremely quickly.

Pumpkin seeds can even improve your mood and blood sugar levels since they’re one of the best sources of magnesium among all nuts and seeds. And, they’re one of the best seeds you can eat to improve alkalinity due to their naturally high chlorophyll content.

Hemp Seeds

Hemp seeds are an incredible source of omega-3 fatty acids, they’re one of the best sources of iron and zinc you can eat, and they’re a complete source of protein making them great to consume in place of animal products. Hemp seeds are also a great source of chlorophyll which improves alkalinity, immunity, digestion, and the look of the hair, skin, and nails.

And of course, all raw fruits, vegetables, and greens are amazing for your beauty and immunity. Consume as many as you desire along with these 10 raw foods above, and enjoy the fall season with a greater sense of well-being and great skin too!

Article written by Heather McClees of The Soulful Spoon

Master Cleanse – Lemon Diet

Daniel and I are going to try this diet. It’s supposed to work wonders for your body, clearing and detoxing, and giving you a fresh new start.

Here’s the Lemon Drink recipe for a Master Cleanse

  • 2 tablespoons FRESH squeezed lemon or lime juice (approx. 1/2 lemon)
  • 2 tablespoons genuine organic maple syrup, Grade B (the darker the better)
  • 1/10 teaspoon (a small pinch!) cayenne pepper, gradually increase (the more BTUs the better)
  • 10-14 oz pure water

Important notes:

  • Use fresh lemons or limes only, never canned or frozen lemon juice (organic, vine ripened – if possible).
  • Use only real (and organic, if possible) grade B or C maple syrup. (Don’t use Grade A maple syrup or maple-flavored syrup. They are over-refined, which means that they are mostly refined sugars and lack essential minerals.)
  • It’s best to make each drink fresh, but if that is not possible (or practical) you can make a larger batch to drink throughout the day. Just be sure to make it fresh each morning.

For larger batches, in a 2 liter bottle mix together the following:

  • Juice of 3 lemons
  • 6 oz of grade B or C maple syrup
  • 1/4 tsp of cayenne (or more)
  • Spring or purified water (fill bottles to the top)
  • Mix all the ingredients by thoroughly shaking

Wish us luck! I think we’re going to need it!

A Healing Bone Broth

Bone broth is the most accessible “cure-all in traditional households and the magic ingredient in classic gourmet cuisine, stock or broth made from bones of chicken, fish and beef builds strong bones, assuages sore throats, nurtures the sick, puts vigor in the step and sparkle in love life–so say grandmothers, midwives and healers.

For chefs, stock is the magic elixir for making soul-warming soups and matchless sauces. Stock contains minerals in a form the body can absorb easily-not just calcium but also magnesium, phosphorus, silicon, sulphur and trace minerals. It contains the broken down material from cartilage and tendons–stuff like chondroitin sulphates and glucosamine, now sold as expensive supplements for arthritis and joint pain.

It works great as a base for soups, sauces, grains, beans or add some kraut and a bit of miso for a delicious and easy lunch. A warm cup in the morning is a simple and nourishing tonic to begin the day. This is the flavor of love!

Here’s a simple recipe:

Every time you come upon a beef bone, like when you have steak, keep it. Collect leftover bones in a gallon bag in the freezer. Eventually, you’ll have enough for a pot of stock. If you like, you can buy some bones as well, or instead.

You can buy soup bones at a butcher store or your supermarket’s butcher counter. They might be labeled soup bones, marrow bones, or even “dog bones,” although people can eat them, too! If you don’t see them on display, ask the nice folks behind the counter, and they’ll set them aside to sell you when they remove them from the meat they process, or even order them for you.

Ingredients:

  • Beef bones, about 3 quarts, or 3 pounds – you can use any mix of leftover bones or soup bones, marrow bones or bones sold for dogs
  • Water

Equipment that bears mentioning:

  • Tall stock pot (ideal), or any big pot
  • Tongs
  • A big bowl or another big pot
  • Several freezer-safe containers

In a nutshell:

Roast bones until browning and fragrant. Simmer bones 6 to 12 hours. Cool and strain. Lift off tallow when completely cool.

Yield:

About 1 gallon.

Temperature and time:

  • Oven: 350 F : 45 minutes.
  • Stovetop: Low : 6 to 12 hours

In detail:

Heat water. Fill a stockpot or other large pot with water about halfway and set on the stove on high heat. It takes a while for this to get to the boil, so you might as well get it started while the bones are roasting.

Roast bones. Set oven to 350 F. Spread bones out on a shallow baking sheet or rimmed cookie sheet. Place in oven for 45 minutes, or until browned and sizzling. Don’t allow them to burn or get singed, or the whole batch will taste burnt.

Remove the pan of bones from the oven and set it near the pot. Use kitchen tongs to transfer the bones carefully into the water. The bones will be sizzling hot — up to 350 F (think about it) — so don’t drop them in so that they make a splash that could burn you. Slide or place them carefully.

Simmer bones. Add water, if there’s space in the pot, so that there approximately a gallon plus a quart of water. That’ll give you a gallon of stock, after about a quart of loss to evaporation, absorption into the bones and clinging to the bones. The precise amount of water is not important. If you don’t have a pot big enough for this amount of water and/or bone, just use less.

Bring the water to the boil. Turn the heat to the lowest setting possible that will maintain a gentle simmer. The surface of the water should be waving gently and making many tiny bubbles. It should not be frothing crazily.

Over the course of the next several hours, check the soup every hour or so to see that the simmer level is good.

After six to twelve hours, turn off the heat. The amount of time depends on your convenience. You could cook this overnight, but the strong cooking aroma might disturb your sleep, despite being wonderful.

Cool and strain. Let the stock cool. This will take an hour or two. Pour the stock through a strainer into a big bowl or another big pot.

Skim tallow. If desired, cool it long enough that you can easily lift the tallow (beef fat) that has collected and solidified atop the liquid. Store this separately in the refrigerator. It makes an excellent, stable and tasty cooking fat with a high smoke point.

Store stock. Ladle the stock into individual containers and store in refrigerator or freezer.

Variations:

  • Use any other kind of animal bones you like, chicken especially will take less time due to smaller pieces.
  • Add a splash of vinegar when simmering the bones. (The acidity will help extract more minerals from the bones).
  • Add chopped veggies like carrots, celery and onions for more flavor or variety.

A crock pot makes this recipe super-simple, but you can also use a large stock pot (hence the name) or an enameled cast-iron dutch oven type of pot.

Recipe from: How To Cook With Vesna

Spiced Milk and Honey Tonic

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The secret to restoring healthy breathing is found in this spiced tea. Milk and honey are demulcents that coat dry, irritated respiratory passages. These coating properties also help you expectorate mucus lodged in the lungs. Spices in this tea liquefy mucous, so it flows freely, flushing out pathogens along the way. Finally, the warmth encourages sinuses to dilate, so you can breath easy. For added respiratory support, add 1 teaspoon of ghee to your hot milk.

Ingredients:

  • 1 leaves Bay Leaf
  • 3/4 tsp Black Pepper
  • 3/4 tsp Cardamom
  • 1 pinch Cinnamon
  • 3/4 tsp Ginger (Dried)
  • 1 tsp Honey
  • 1 cup Milk
  • 1 pinch Star Anise

Preparation:

Bring milk to medium heat and, lower heat to a gentle simmer and add all spices. Cook for 5 minutes stirring frequently. If the milk becomes foamy, lower heat quickly or remove completely. Milk easily boils over the side of the pan when it gets too hot. It should look shiny on the surface with tiny bubbles. Remove from heat and add honey to taste.

Source: Joyful Belly

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"Diet has the distinction of being the only major determinant of health that is completely under your control. You have the final say over what does and what does not go into your mouth and stomach. You cannot always control the other determinants of health, such as the quality of the air you breathe, the noise you are subjected to, or the emotional climate of your suroundings, but you can control what you eat. It is a shame to squander such a good opportunity to influence your health." ~Andrew Weil, MD
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