Dr Akilah El – Celestial Healing Wellness Center

The Natural Health and Holistic World According to Dr Akilah El

Category Archives: Food

The Health Benefits of Cucumbers

Most people are unaware of the immense health benefits of cucumber and would avoid eating cucumber where possible. Fresh cucumber may taste “bland” to some but its thirst-quenching and cooling properties are refreshing. It acts as an anti-oxidant when taken together with fried and barbequed foods.

Here’s a list of health benefits of cool cucumber:

Acidity:  The alkalinity of the minerals in cucumber juice effectively helps in regulating the body’s blood pH, neutralizing acidity. The juice is also soothing for the treatment of gastric and duodenal ulcers.

Blood pressure:  Like celery, this colorless drink can help regulate blood pressure because of its minerals and traces of sodium.

Connective tissues, building:  The excellent source of silica contributes to the proper construction of connective tissues in our body as in the bones, muscles, cartilage, ligaments and tendons.

Cooling:  During dry and hot weather, drink a glass of cucumber + celery juice. It wonderfully helps to normalize body temperature.

Diuretic:  Cucumber juice is diuretic, encouraging waste removal through urination. This also helps in the dissolution of kidney stones.

Fever:  The temperature regulating properties in cucumber juice makes it a suitable drink when you have a fever.

Inflammation:  The Chinese think that cucumbers are too “cooling” and not suitable for people with rheumatism. But we know now that cucumber can help counter uric acids that are causing inflammation in joints. When cucumber is taken it does its cleaning work at the joints, thus stirring up pain as it eliminates the uric acid. This means it also help other inflamed conditions like arthritis, asthma, and gout.

Hair growth:  The silicon and sulfur content in cucumber juice makes it especially helpful in promoting hair growth. Drink it mixed with carrot, lettuce or spinach juice.

Puffy eyes:  Some people wake up in the morning with puffy eyes, probably due to too much water retention in the body (or having cried to sleep). To reduce the puffiness, lie down and put two slices of cucumber on the eyes for a good ten minutes.

Skin conditions:  The high amount of vitamin C and anti-oxidants in cucumber makes it an important ingredient in many beauty creams for treating eczema, psoriasis, acne, etc.

Sunburn:  When there is a sunburn, make cucumber juice and rub it on the affected area for a cooling and healing effect.

Water retention: It supplies the necessary electrolytes and restores hydration of the body cells, thus reducing water retention.

Consumption Tips

Choose cucumbers that are dark green in color and firm to the touch. Avoid those that are yellowish or are wrinkled at either ends. Thinner cucumbers have fewer seeds than those that are thicker.

Store cucumbers in the fridge to retain its freshness. Cut cucumbers should be kept wrapped up or in an air-tight container and kept in the fridge. Consume within a day or two.

Caution

Where possible, buy organic as cucumbers may be waxed or have pesticides.

 

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A List of Plant Based Foods to Boost Your Protein Intake

vegan-plantbased-protein

Ask most people for a list of high protein foods and they will probably mention meat, fish, eggs and dairy products. However, if you are a vegan or vegetarian these sources are not normally part of your everyday diet.Many people think that getting enough protein while on a vegetarian or vegan diet can be difficult at best. You just have to adjust what you are eating to ensure that you are incorporating enough plant protein into your meals. Plant protein are quality protein that you should add in your every meal.

Proteins are found in all living cells and they are sometimes called the “building blocks of the body” as they are essential for growth and repair. However, we don’t necessarily need enormous quantities of protein in our diet – a well balanced diet contains all the macronutrients, which includes fats and carbohydrates as well as protein.

So if you are eliminating animal products from our diet where can you find protein sources? Below is a list of foods that are suitable for this situation.

Quinoa:
There is not enough good things that you can say about quinoa. It is a super food and it is loaded with protein. You can switch out quinoa in any meal that calls for rice. You can add some to pancake batter to get a little extra flavor, consistency and some added protein.

Beans:
How many smoothies are you making with beans? Very likely none! Why not? You can add some high protein (preboiled) beans into your favorite smoothie and get an instant pop or protein. They will not change the flavor of the smoothie but will add a little thickness. It is a great way to add protein to your meal!

Kale:
Kale has been making the news quite regularly in regards to its many healthy qualities, and protein is definitely among them. It’s not everyday that you find a vegetable that provides almost a tenth of what you need each day in a single serving.

Seeds:
Chia seeds and hemp seeds are ridiculously high in protein. Sprinkle them liberally on salads, dressed greens and in smoothies. Just use them as much as you can, to get a high dose of protein in your meals. Some other seeds that you can use to sprinkle in your meals are sesame seeds, pumpkin and sunflower seeds.

Nuts:
Nuts are excellent sources of protein. Eat a handful of nuts before a meal or whenever you feel like snacking. Almonds, walnuts, pecans, pistachio, cashew are some healthy nuts that you can benefit of their protein content.

Spinach:
Perhaps this is why Popeye ate so much spinach and got stronger as a result. Spinach is an excellent source of protein for a vegetable, which can help you build lean muscle when mixed with resistance training.

When you eat spinach, you don’t need to focus on any one feature it has, you can simply be content knowing that you’re eating one of the most nutrient-dense veggies on the planet. It’s packed with minerals and phytonutrients that will help your body in many ways.

Organic sweet peas:
Add sweet peas to your meals, smoothies and wherever else you can stick them in. They pack a wallop of protein at 8 grams a cup.

 

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7 Ways To Add Protein To Your Morning Smoothie

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Here are 10 ways to add protein to your morning smoothie to boost weight loss without relying on protein powder.
1. Hemp Seeds

Hemp seeds are a great source of protein, along with iron, magnesium, and omega-3 fatty acids. They have a slightly nutty flavor that pairs well with just about any fruit or vegetable. Use two tablespoons of hemp seeds to receive about 9 grams of protein.

2. Almonds

Like most nuts, almonds are a good source of protein and monounsaturated fats. You can either use whole almonds or almond butter. This hearty nut can also help curb sugar cravings. Use one ounce of whole almonds for 6 grams of protein or two tablespoons of almond butter for 7 grams of protein.

3. Pumpkin Seeds

Pumpkin seeds are incredibly nutritious, yet many people simply toss them when they scoop a pumpkin. They contain magnesium, which is needed for strong bones and muscle growth, along with 5 grams of protein per two tablespoons.

4. Tahini

Tahini is a paste made from ground sesame seeds and is commonly used as an ingredient in hummus recipes. It has a creamy texture, a healthy dose of fat, and an adequate amount of protein. Scoop two tablespoons of tahini into your smoothie to add 5.2 grams of protein.

5. Chia Seeds

Chia seeds can be used for more than growing your own grass in a terra cotta pot in the shape of a cartoon character. They are nutritious seeds and a good source of protein. Two tablespoons of chia seeds provide about 4.7 grams of protein.

6. Oats

Rolled steel oats are a hearty ingredient with a moderate amount of protein; though, they also provide an abundance of fiber.

Studies show that eating oats can help you control your appetite. Use a ½ cup of oats to add 3 grams of protein to your smoothie.

7. Avocados

Avocados provide healthy fats and protein that will help you stay full for a longer period of time. This makes avocados a great ingredient for your morning smoothie. A ½ cup of avocado has 2.3 grams of protein.

Pair with spinach, dates, almond milk, and a small amount of cocoa powder to create a healthy chocolate smoothie.

These 7 foods provide a simple way to add more protein to your smoothies. Protein powder is definitely not your only option when it comes to creating a filling smoothie that offers the protein you need to maintain your muscle mass or develop stronger muscles.

 

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10 Foods You Need To Include In Your Daily Diet To Help Burn Fat

Sugar and carbohydrates cause fat. There are certain foods you can eat that will help melt tummy fats and extra weight in your arms, legs and butts. Take a look through this list to see which of these fat-busting foods you already eat, and which you need to eat more of.

1. Water

Although last on the list, drinking sufficient water daily may be the best thing to help reduce body fat.  Drinking water can boost your metabolic rate by 30%. Drinking warm lemon water first thing in the morning really enhances your daily digestive process.

Water helps move food and waste through your body. Your body is mostly water, and when you sweat, sleep, or otherwise deprive yourself of this essential fluid, your body has a harder time breaking down food and will ultimately retain more water.

2. Green Leafy Vegetables

Of course dark, leafy green vegetables will show up on this list. Vegetables are a great food for melting away fats, especially when consumed as juice. They have almost no carbs or calories, and still makes you feel full.

With an abundance of phytochemicals and nutrients, vegetables don’t just help you cut fat, it also helps improve your gut health, immune system and general health. Start including at least one glass of juice in your diet every day.

3. Chili Pepper

Capsaicin, the compound that makes hot peppers hot, enhances calorie burning even when you aren’t working out. Capsaicin also has the ability to reduce hunger, meaning that peppers will help you eat less and burn more.

4. Flaxseeds

Flaxseeds are a great source of Omega-3s and alpha-linolenic acid and can be mixed into dinners, salads, and juices. These omega-3s have been found to stimulate fat-burning and slow fat storage.

You can add flaxseeds or the oil in your smoothies or salads.

5. Oatmeal

A good, natural carb, oatmeal is rich with fiber and digests slowly, keeping your blood sugar and insulin levels low. Your body will burn more fat during exercise when you’ve had oatmeal earlier in the day.

Research has shown that athletes who consume slow-digesting (complex) carbs in the morning burn more fat throughout the day than those who eat faster-burning (refined) carbs.

6. Walnuts

Another food rich in monounsaturated fats, walnuts are super-high in omega-3s. Just 1 ounce of these nuts gives almost 3 grams of alpha-linolenic acid, a healthy fat that your body can’t produce on its own.

Alpha-linolenic acid is one of the healthy fats your body needs to help your metabolic system work at top-notch. These essential fats can only be obtained through foods, and walnuts are one of the best foods for it.

7. Ginger

Ginger is great to be added into your juices and smoothies. It’s been used for centuries to help with digestive problems, inflammation, and blood flow issues. Ginger is anti-inflammatory and can help with muscle recovery—which makes it a great post-exercise food.

8. Olive Oil

Like avocados, olive oil is another great source of healthy fats. Olive oil lowers bad cholesterol and helps your heart pump oxygenated blood throughout your body.The monounsaturated fats in olive oil are burned as energy instead of stored as fat in your midsection.

9. Grapefruit

A study at Scripps Clinic in San Diego reported that eating half a grapefruit or drinking 24oz of grapefruit juice daily helped subjects lose an average of 4 pounds over 12 weeks. There was no change to their diet, and some even lost more than 10 pounds without dieting.

How does it work? Grapefruit lessens the level of insulin your body needs to use, and has a compound called naringin which prevent fat from being stored. So a little grapefruit every day can go a long way.

10. Avocado

Avocado is full of monounsaturated fats and mannoheptulose, a carbohydrate that enhances your body’s calcium absorption and encourages fat burning. You’ll easily get the nutrients and fuel from avocados—especially when exercising. You can add avocado to breakfast, lunch, or dinner—even to your smoothies.

 

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11 Surprising Benefits of Cayenne Pepper

Cayenne pepper, known scientifically as Capsicum frutescens, is a chili pepper that originated in French Guiana and gets its name from the territory’s capital city of Cayenne. For those who love spicy foods, cayenne, also available in powdered form, adds a fiery note to the dishes in which it’s used. Capsaicin, the plant-based compound that accounts for cayenne’s intense heat, also endows it with a surprising array of healing properties, many of which have been confirmed in research studies.

Here are 11 health benefits of cayenne pepper:

1: Fights Irritations

For ulcers, sore throats, diarrhea and coughs, cayenne pepper is a sure remedy. It offers relief from any of the mentioned irritations.

2: Cure for Cold and Flu

Cayenne pepper helps in getting rid of congested mucus in the nasal cavity, hence offering relief from flu and cold.

3: Fungal Remedy

For cases of attack from fungal pathogens such as phomopsis and collectotrichum, cayenne pepper has been found to effectively prevent their formation.

4: Prevents Migraine

Cayenne pepper is capable of triggering a response in a different part of the body hence reversing brain’s focus to the ‘new pain’ region. As a result of this ‘false alarm’, nerve fibers loses the substance P which is responsible for pain and the anticipated pain is lowered to a great deal.

5: Assists in Digestion

By stimulating the digestive tract, cayenne pepper helps in improving enzyme production as well as gastric juices. As a result, the body is able to break down food as well as toxins. If you suffer from intestinal gas by promoting intestinal peristaltic motion necessary for both assimilation and secretion of waste products of digestion., aiding in both assimilation and elimination.

6: Assist in Blood Clotting

Cayenne pepper aids in lowering atherosclerosis by encouraging fibrinolytic action and warding off factors that cause blood clotting. Consequently, risks of heart attack or stroke are minimized.

7: Detoxifier

Cayenne pepper is a stimulant in a class of its own. It speeds up lymphatic processes as well as the rhythmic reaction in the digestive system. As we know, the heating up process in the body leads to detoxification. Moreso, cayenne pepper stimulates sweating hence loss of body waste through the skin is initiated.

8: Relieves Joint-Pain

Cayenne is rich in a compound known as capsaicin. This substance triggers a certain pain momentarily on the skin. A chemical message is triggered into the joint from the skin, resulting in relief from pain.

9: Fights Cancer

It has been found through studies that cayenne pepper fights certain types of cancers such as lung cancer in smokers due to their capsaicin content. The study elucidated that capsaicin halts tumors which form as a result of tobacco smoking, in the lungs.

10 : Weight Loss

Cayenne pepper has been linked to weigh loss due to its ability to improve metabolism which means burning excess fats to release energy. Cayenne eaters have been observed to eat less due to loss of appetite especially if they took it as breakfast.

11: Prevents Hypertension

Cayenne pepper helps to restore blood pressure levels normal. In the same mechanism it uses to fight artherosclerosis, it unblocks arteries hence improving blood flow. This way, the blood pressure is kept on check. Pepper reduces the risk of arthrosclerosis; it simultaneously lowers the risk of hypertension.

 

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