Five Nutritional Powerhouses That Can Revolutionize Your Health
Let me begin this blog by telling you that what you are about to read is probably a bit untraditional. Some of the items I mention could possibly make you turn up your nose in disgust. But know this… the information below will take your health to the next level.
So, if you’re feeling like it’s time to step away from a season of antibiotics, steroids and trips to the doctor’s office- feast your eyes on my top 5 nutritional powerhouses that you should be eating.
Let’s ease our way into this….
As you know, oranges are a fabulous source of vitamin C. Vitamin C is the primary water-soluble antioxidant in the body. Its job is to disarm free radicals and prevent DNA damage to the inside and outside of our cells. Vitamin C is also vital for the proper function of a healthy immune system. Oranges protect us from cardiovascular disease and cancers; and compounds in the peel of an orange may even lower cholesterol as effectively as statin drugs.
Speaking of the peel, a good portion of an orange’s nutrients reside in the peel- DoTerra’s Wild Orange Essential Oil is made from these precious peels, and can be added to your water for a nutritious and delicious boost. Try to eat an orange or drink orange juice rather than depending upon a vitamin C supplement. Research has repetitively indicated that you do not get the same protective benefits from a supplement as you do from a whole food source.
Did you know that winter squash is a superfood? The anti-inflammatory properties found in winter squash such as acorn, butternut, kabocha and spaghetti squash, can help alleviate some of the symptoms associated with arthritis. Plus, a serving of butternut squash has thirty-five percent of the recommended daily value of vitamin C. Cancer can’t grow if it can’t oxidize- and winter squash is super high in Beta-carotene which makes them important in preventing various forms of cancer- especially colon cancer. My hands down favorite is the kabocha squash. It is bright orange on the inside (read-TONS of nutrients) and has a sweet and nutty flavor.
Of all the super healthy greens, kale is the king- in fact, kale is among the most nutrient dense foods on the planet.
Science has supported many pro-health properties in kale, but these are my favorite:
- The special antioxidants in kale (quercetin and kaempferol) make it cardioprotective, blood pressure lowering, anti-inflammatory, anti-viral, anti-depresseant and anti-cancer.
- One cup of raw kale contains more vitamin C than a whole orange, and it contains necessary nutrients to synthesize collagen (the most abundant structural protein in the body)
- Kale can help lower cholesterol, which may reduce the risk of heart disease.
- Kale is one of the world’s best sources of vitamin K- an important nutrient that is involved in blood clotting.
- Kale is a good source of minerals- like calcium, potassium and magnesium. These are the minerals that most people lack in the modern diet.
I once saw a bumper sticker that said nothing but the word “Kaleaholic” on it. I wish that could be said of us all.
Recipes to make homemade bone broth are all over Pinterest, and in the nutrition world, “bone broth” seems to be the buzzword for 2015. This is for good reason!
Bone broth is one of the most valuable sources of hard-to-get nutrients like collagen, glucosamine, chondroitin, and minerals -like calcium, magnesium, phosphorus.
Bone broth has been prepared in kitchens and around campfires throughout history, and creating this “health elixir” is as easy as slow cooking the bones, skin etc. of a chicken in water. As the bones cook in water- especially if that water has been made slightly acidic by adding cider vinegar- minerals and other nutrients leach from the bones into the water. These minerals are easily absorbed by the body and can immediately begin to improve the health of an individual. Here are my favorite pro-health properties of bone broth:
- The glucosamine, chondroitin and gelatin in the broth help fight against degenerative joint disease, and it supports the connective tissue in the body, helping the fingernails and hair to grow well and strong. My favorite hair mask is a mixture of collagen protein (can be bought in powder form here ) coconut oil and essential oils.
- It heals and soothes the digestive system. The gelatin in bone broth coats and acts like a salve to the mucosal lining in the intestine.
- Bone broths are extraordinarily rich in protein.
- Glycine is also found in bone broth and it supports the body’s detoxification process and is used in the synthesis of hemoglobin, bile salts and other naturally-occurring chemicals within the body. Glycine also supports the digestion process and the secretion of gastric acids.
- Bone broth is powerful medicine against colds flus and upper respiratory infections. Turns out Mama was right when she turned to chicken soup when I was a kid- but not the kind from a can!
How to use it???
Bone broth will have the most impact on your overall health if you drink it daily. Think of it as a savory hot tea- or maybe good medicine if you have leaky gut syndrome. One bone broth enthusiast I know, says that each person in your family should drink a pint of bone broth a day! I’d say, GO FOR IT!
You can also freeze the bone broth in an ice cube tray. Then you can take out what you need to add to recipes. Lastly, if you are struggling to be able to make your broth each week, you can add the powder form of gelatin and collagen protein to your smoothies etc. As with most supplements, the powders do not offer the comprehensive health benefits that the whole bone broth would, but they can help.
COD LIVER OIL
Yep… that’s right…fish fat/oil from the liver of a cod. Believe it or not, extracting oil from fish is an old world practice that may go back as far as biblical times. I know my grandma used it for EVERYTHING, and it turns out, she was on to something. Cod Liver oil is a profound source of fat soluble vitamins and omega-3 fatty acids (both are nutrients that are severely lacking in the American diet).
Cod liver oil is special because it provides vitamin A to the body in a form that is more readily absorbed that beta-carotene, vitamin D, DHA and EPA.
It’s an excellent natural supplement. My favorite is Green Pastures Fermented Cod Liver Oil & High Vitamin Butter Oil Blend.
I'll leave you with an easy bone broth recipe. Try it on- let me know what you think.
Easy Crockpot Bone Broth Recipe
- A mixing bowl of chicken bones and cartilage (preferably from a pastured chicken)
- Coarsely chopped carrots, celery and onion
- 2 bay leaves
- 2 tbsp raw apple cider vinegar
- Filtered Water
- Salt & Pepper to taste
Add vegetables, bones and seasoning to crockpot. Fill the crock with filtered water and add the 2 TBS of apple cider vinegar. Cook on low for at least 24 hours. Strain and store
If you have cooked a crockpot chicken, keep all of the drippings and vegetables in the pot. When you are done eating, add the bones back to the pot along with a fresh onion or two, fill with filtered water and 2 tbsp of vinegar and cook on low for 24 hours. (courtesy of www.ohlardy.com)