Dr Akilah – Celestial Healing Wellness Center

The Natural Health and Holistic World According to Dr Akilah

Tag Archives: vegetables

Learn which fruits and vegetables have the most pesticides

by Jess Zimmerman

 The Environmental Working Group has released an updated list of the Dirty Dozen, the fruits and vegetables with the worst pesticide levels. Drumroll please:

  1. Apples
  2. Celery
  3. Strawberries
  4. Peaches
  5. Spinach
  6. Nectarines (imported)
  7. Grapes (imported)
  8. Sweet bell peppers
  9. Potatoes
  10. Blueberries (domestic)
  11. Lettuce
  12. Kale/collard greens

If you can, it’s worth shelling out a little extra for the organic versions of these. You can offset it by pinching your pennies on the Clean Fifteen, the produce with the lowest pesticide levels:

  1. Onions
  2. Sweet Corn
  3. Pineapples
  4. Avocado
  5. Asparagus
  6. Sweet peas
  7. Mangoes
  8. Eggplant
  9. Cantaloupe (domestic)
  10. Kiwi
  11. Cabbage
  12. Watermelon
  13. Sweet potatoes
  14. Grapefruit
  15. Mushrooms

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Okra Cure for Diabetes

By Herba Linch

Raw Okra Power

My close friend, Toots, had problems with his blood sugar. He’s diabetic. But one day he excitedly announced to us his recent find–okra could help normalize blood sugar levels dramatically. And he swore he was benefiting from it himself. He told us how–which I’ll share with your later.

 Okra can be seen everywhere. Both in the US and in Deeper Asia, it is called Okra. Some call it Ladies’ Finger or Gumbo. It is said to have originated from Southeast Asia. Some say from Ethiopia or West Africa. Here in Deeper Asia, it is commonly seen in wet markets and some grocery stores. We love it grilled or mixed with other veggies in meat or fish soups. It’s been traditionally seen as a good source of fibers, but that was before my friend discovered its medicinal use. 

Okra Nutrition

The okra treatment my friend discovered uses raw okra. Well, when cooked, okra can give us the following nutrition benefits: Protein, niacin, riboflavin, phosphorus,  zinc, copper,potassium, Vitamins A, B6, C, and K, thiamine, magnesium, folate, calcium, and manganese.

In addition, some studies say it is proven to be helpful in normalizing cholesterol and blood sugar levels, healing asthma due to the special Vitamin C in it (which is an antioxidant and anti-inflammatory), removing atherosclerosis, and healing some cancers. If you’re worried about eye cataracts or acne and pimples, try okra–eat lots of it.

But this still was not Toots’ wonder discovery. He read somewhere that raw okra is more powerful than boiled or steamed okra. The secret was to get two fresh and nice looking okra pieces, wash thoroughly, nip both ends, pierce with a fork on two sides, and soak in clean water in a glass overnight.

That’s it? That’s it.

Well, of course, you drink the water with the okra sap in the morning, and you do that religiously everyday. And that’s what Toots did after a month or so. Then he checked his blood sugar and it dramatically stayed on normal levels. Amazing. He’s been sharing the good news to friends since. 

The Pitfall

Now, be careful not to fall into the trap. Most people who discover wonderful all-natural secrets like this abuse the blessing and make it a license to eat forbidden food. Just because the okra trick does wonders to your blood sugar, doesn’t mean you can eat sweets and sugars all you want. All-natural plant or herbal treatments should be accompanied with a proper and disciplined diet.

And you should never tire doing it daily. Some folks, after getting good results, become carefree and eat forbidden food again and often forget about the okra ritual. Thus, the blood sugar acts up again, and they conclude that the remedy isn’t quite effective after all. All roads to healing require constancy, patience, and discipline. 

What If You’re on Medication?

Folks ask, “What if I’m on medication for diabetes? Is the okra sap safe for me?” Well, okra is pure vegetable. It’s not a synthetic medicine. Ask your doctor if eating okra is good for you. If it is, then I don’t see how its sap can harm you in any way. If you like, ask your doc about the sap, too. My guess is, he’s going to give you a silly grin. “A what?”

Overall, it’s good to have okra regularly in your diet. I often eat it boiled or steamed. I mix it with other souped viands. I find it specially appetizing when eating fish or chicken. 

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Easy Ways to Eat More Veggies

Whether you’re trying to lose weight or just maintain a healthy lifestyle, it’s important to include a variety of vegetables in meal planning. There are many health benefits of eating vegetables, including reducing the risk of stroke, type 2 diabetes, coronary heart disease, and certain cancers, such as mouth, stomach, and colon cancer.

Here are some tips to help you eat more vegetables each day…

1. Make veggie noodles
I think this is a super idea. You’ll need a mandolin slicer or a spiral slicer to create your vegetable noodles; zucchini and eggplant are good vegetable choices.

Or, if you want to try spaghetti squash, boil or bake until tender, then pull a fork through the squash to tear out spaghetti-like shreds.

2. Drink a smoothie
Smoothies are a brilliant option, especially when you’re lacking in time.

Blend roughly 60% fruit, 40% green leafy vegetables, then add water, and voila! you’ve got yourself a healthy, great tasting snack, which you can enjoy on-the-go.

3. Make some soup
Try making chunky vegetable soup with wholegrain pasta added, or put your favorite vegetables into a blender with some spices, cayenne pepper or curry powder for something a little different.

If you’re trying to cut down your calorie intake, eating soup (or salad) before your main meal is a really effective way to do this.

4. Eat with the seasons
It’s so easy to pick the same vegetables over and over again, and therefore limit your diet and your taste buds.

Instead find out what’s in season and go for that instead.

Don’t be put off if you’re unsure how to cook a particular veg. If you’re like most people, you’ll have a sack of unused cookbooks taking up room on your bookshelf. So, dust them off, and take your taste buds to another level!

5. Get marinating
We normally associate marinating with meats, but vegetables also taste great with this extra bit of care.

Mushrooms, asparagus, broccoli, cauliflower, and string beans take to marinating particularly well.

A tasty choice for marinating is a mix of olive oil, crushed garlic, grated fresh ginger and some soy sauce.

6. Make a veggie sauce
If you usually buy readymade pasta sauce, instead blend a selection of your favorite fresh vegetables to make a healthier option.

7. Swap pasta and rice for sweet potato
I find potatoes to be an extremely comforting food. And, if you’re after a little extra nutritional boost, sweet potatoes are a good choice (they are slightly more nutritious than white potatoes).

When you’re stuck for time, pop them in the microwave to cook through, and then crisp the skins in a hot oven for a few minutes.

8. Munch on raw vegetables
This is my favorite way to eat vegetables now. When my hubby was young he would only eat vegetables raw, and still prefers them this way. As a result, this is how we eat them most of the time in our house.

I usually dip my raw veggies into hummus; almond or peanut butter is also good choices. Celery, broccoli, cauliflower, cherry tomatoes, and carrots are some of my favorites.

9. Add veggies to your grains
I like to add broad beans to my rice. All you need are a couple of handfuls of frozen beans, then add them to the water as you cook the rice.

Fresh herbs such as coriander or dill added at the end of cooking finish this dish really well.

You could do this with any grain (quinoa, brown rice, barley), and any vegetable would work, so be creative.

10. Wrap them up
Whether as an entree or main dish, wraps and veggies make a delicious option.

You could choose wholegrain tortilla wraps, or a cabbage or lettuce leaf, then simply heap in the vegetables (raw or cooked), roll up and enjoy!

For extra flavour, top with some natural and salsa.

11. Eat vegetables at each meal
To make sure you are meeting your veggie quote each day, have them at each meal, not just as a side dish.

So, for breakfast perhaps mushrooms and tomatoes with wholegrain bread. At lunch a salad wrap, or vegetable soup. And, for dinner at least two sides of vegetables. Don’t forget snacks, they can also be veggie rich.

With a little thought and effort, vegetables can take center-plate in your diet. Your
body will thank you for it later.

Akilah M. El, N.D. is a Naturopathic Doctor and certified Master Herbalist with a private practice in Atlanta Georgia and Berlin Germany. Join Dr Akilah El on Facebook and Twitter

For More Health Tips Like This Check Out Our Health Tips Page

Foods That Fight Wrinkles

food that fight wriklesIf you love the white stuff — we’re talking sugar, folks — your sweet tooth could be making your skin sag, crinkle, and wrinkle before its time. Blame glycation. That’s what happens when sugar hits your bloodstream, gloms on to proteins, and forms the aptly named AGEs, oradvanced glycation end products. AGEs are bad news for your skin. They damage the collagen and elastin fibers that keep it strong and supple.

While scientists aren’t ready to say “sugar causes wrinkles,” docs know from observing people with poorly managed diabetes what out-of-control blood sugar does to skin — and it isn’t pretty. Bluntly put, it causes “premature” aging.

That should be extra inspiration to skip the cakes, cookies, and sugary drinks and fill your plate with wrinkle fighters. Here’s even more: There is plenty of scientific proof that certain nutrients help nourish the fibers that keep skin stretchy and healthy, says Manhattan dermatologist Amy Wechsler, MD, RealAge expert and author of The Mind-Beauty Connection. Step right up to the beauty buffet and serve yourself this way:

Lists of such foods are given below

1. Blueberries: These fruits are considered to be one of the good anti-wrinkling foods. They have natural fructose sugar and enough fiber which absorb the extra calories from foods. They contain phytochemicals known as flavonoids. It is powerful antioxidants which help in reducing the damage of cells.

2. Beans: Legumes like peas, beans are the best source of plant protein. They are high in potassium but low in sodium. Eating other whole grain foods like rice, wheat and corn provide the amino acids which complete the full protein cycle. It also helps in reducing the cholesterol levels.

3. Avocado: Avocado is a good source of Vitamin E and contain good amount of potassium in it which prevents aging. It also contains healthy monounsaturated fat which reduces the cholesterol in body.

4. Cruciferous Vegetables: Vegetables like cabbage, cauliflower, broccoli, radish, turnip helps to fight against toxins and cancer and also keeps your skin away from aging.

5. Omega-3 eggs: These eggs are produced by chickens that have been fed with alfalfa, corn, soy beans and flaxseeds. The presence of Omega-3 in eggs helps to keep the skin nourishes and also prevents heart diseases.

6. Tomatoes: This item contains a chemical known as lycopene. It reduces the skin cell damage and redness. A mix of some extra-virgin oil with tomato will help to absorb the lycopene further.

7. Sunflower seeds: These contains a lot of fat-soluble vitamin, Vitamin E. It prevents cell damage from free radicals. Application of Vitamin E oil also helps to prevent skin from damage of the sun rays.

8. Fish oils: Fishes like salmon and tuna are full of omega-3 oils which are necessary to maintain beautiful skin. Buying of distilled fish oil which is made of smaller fish such as anchovies and sardines are highly suggested since they contain low amount of toxic wastes.

Some other prevention can be taken like:

• Hydrating your body by taking a good amount of water or herbal tea during the day. Drinking water or watery fruits will also do.

• Avoid taking alcohol and coffee, since it makes the body dehydrated which is bad for anti-wrinkling issue.

 

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Akilah M. El, N.D. is a Naturopathic Doctor and board-certified Master Herbalist with a private practice in Atlanta Georgia and Berlin Germany. Join Dr Akilah El on Facebook and Twitter

 

For More Health Tips Like This Check Out Our Health Tips Page

 

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5 Foods That’ll Make You Look Younger

The key to glowing skin lies in your stomach.

1. Sweet Potatoes

Beta-carotene, which makes these tubers orange, balances your skin’s pH, helps combat dryness, and promotes cell turnover, all resulting in smoother skin.

2. Wild Salmon

The pigment that makes the fish pink, astaxanthin, is a powerful foe of free radicals, rogue molecules that damage cell membranes and DNA and cause skin to age. A study found that eating one serving every five days can prevent actinic keratoses—ugly rough patches that are precancerous.

3. Tomatoes

The fruit’s red pigment, lycopene, is a potent antioxidant that shields skin from sun damage—like sunscreen, but from the inside out. To best absorb lycopene, eat tomatoes with olive oil.

4. Citrus Fruits

Vitamin C is essential to building collagen, a vital component of young-looking skin, which starts breaking down in your twenties. Citrus also contains bioflavonoids, which protect skin from UV rays and help prevent cell death.

5. Leafy Greens

Spinach, kale, and other greens contain lutein, which protects skin from sun-induced inflammation and wrinkles.

Stay Away From White Foods

Need another reason to avoid white bread, pasta, rice, and other refined grain products? They’re quickly broken down into the ultimate white food: sugar. Once in the bloodstream, sugar bonds with protein and creates advanced glycation end products (aptly abbreviated AGEs), which cause collagen to become inflamed and stiff, leading to wrinkles.

Why Food Is Always Better Than a Pill

“There are so many factors in food that haven’t been studied. It’s very likely that these unknowns work synergistically for a bigger benefit than what you can find in a supplement.”
—Nicholas Perricone, dermatologist

According to dermatologist Leslie Baumann, red wine contains skin-friendly grape-seed extract and resveratrol, two powerful antioxidants. Hops in beer, it turns out, may also offer antioxidant benefits.