It’s interesting how health and wellness almost needs to come from something foreign that we haven’t yet discovered. Take quinoa for example, a seed that hails from South America, years after we have been sprinkling quinoa on everything from salads to puddings we come to the conclusion that it is not dissimilar to good old fashioned freekeh. There are plenty of other examples, the moral of the story is, it’s not really about the variety you consume but rather the consistency and purity. We’ve gathered six ingredients that we need to rethink in the hope of reaping the benefits of.
Cayenne Pepper in Your Smoothie
Hot and spicy flavors are generally reserved for savory lunch and dinner options, in the case of cayenne pepper this needs to change.. Cayenne pepper when consumed in the earlier hours of the day is actually extremely beneficial. Cayenne pepper is a super ingredient that has powerful stimulating properties. It helps circulate blood flow and assists in metabolism as well as the removal of toxins from our system. Additionally cayenne pepper is scientifically proven to remove unwanted bacteria from one’s gut. Including cayenne pepper into one’s smoothie helps to stimulate our salivary glands and really amps up our digestive system, and it is a major detox supporter as well. Our capillaries actually open up when they are exposed to cayenne and this powerhouse even helps eliminate acidity, suppress hunger, regulate sugar and stabilize glucose levels.
Coconut Oil is Not Just for Suntanning (who still does that anyway 😉
If coconut oil still reminds you of your summers by the clubhouse pool, that’s ok, you can store these beautiful memories of literally rotisserie-ing your body with all your other high school memories. Coconut oil today is considered a MCT oil, a medium-chain triglyceride which is easier to digest than other fats, it also helps curb food cravings, so yes coconut oil in all its glorious fat can actually help you lose weight. Enter the trending bulletproof coffee, a hot drink comprised of coffee, MCT oil (such as coconut oil) and butter. Among the benefits of Bulletproof coffee is its ability to trigger weight loss by way of ketosis, a metabolic state triggered by a lack of carbs that kicks fat-burning into overdrive. It also helps eliminate pesky cravings, and boosts cognitive function, which will help you maintain an impressive dose of mental clarity. Regular coffee will give you a buzz at the beginning but can lead to a crash later on. Bulletproof coffee will allow you a steadier and longer boost of energy.
If you are still not convinced with the benefits of the once cosmetic coconut oil, perhaps give teeth pulling a try. Relax, this has nothing to do with damaging your teeth. Essentially when bathing the inside of your mouth with coconut oil, (swish it around for around 30 seconds as you would mouthwash) the toxins and dirt from the surface of your teeth and between your teeth is ‘pulled’ into the oil, leaving you with a cleaner mouth once your spit out the coconut oil. It’s important to remember that you cannot swallow it, it will make you feel lousy for days..
Tahini Isn’t Just For Kofta
I find it particularly interesting how the many uses of tahini came from the West.. although tahini is as Eastern as can be. It’s true that we have always understood the superpower of tahini, but we haven’t always utilized it to its greatest potential. This acknowledgment of tahini’s power happened when the vegan trend started in earnest a decade or so ago. Unable to consume dairy products, tahini came in as a substitute given its high levels of calcium. It is also a great source of healthy fat. Perhaps also, in the East our perception of tahini is that of a seed that is added to certain foods, such as humus to offer a bitter kick. Where as the West considered tahini a sesame seed paste, just like almond butter and peanut butter, which when added to a sweet ingredient offers an interesting sweet and savory flavor. And yes halaweh tihiniyeh is yummy but not too good for you or your waistline. Today tahini is included in a variety of salad dressings, desserts and smoothies. Due to its powerful taste, a little goes a very long way.
Turmeric Deserves All The Hype
Turmeric is probably the buzzword of the decade and for good reason. The spice that hails from India was for the longest time used in curries only in the Western world. The Asians however have better understood the power of turmeric for centuries, infusing not only their food but also their skincare with it. One of its major properties being its skin-whitening benefits. Turmeric and especially its most active compound curcumin have many scientifically-proven health benefits, such as the potential to prevent heart disease, Alzheimer’s and cancer. It’s a potent anti-inflammatory and antioxidant and may also help improve symptoms of depression and arthritis. Well fast forward to the last decade and turmeric has been cropping up almost everywhere. From the golden milk hot drink, to a healthy smoothie and even desserts.
The word cacao is often associated with chocolate and although they both make us feel good, raw cacao is so much better for us than chocolate, and so going forward you should probably associate chocolate with the mighty cacao and not the other way round. Raw cacao is basically the unprocessed cacao bean which chocolate is made of. The chemical processing however of the bean destroys 60-90% of the antioxidants and flavanols in the cacao. So why should you consider cacao? Well the mighty Amazonian superfood contains 40 times the antioxidants of blueberries. It is also the highest plant-based source of iron, has more calcium than milk, and is a natural mood elevator and anti-depressant, need we say more!
We all know that garlic is good for you. For its size, garlic is a power pack of vitamin c, selenium, manganese and iron. Garlic is known to boost our immunity, may reduce the risk of certain cancers and improve heart health. The issue is the way in which we consume it.. It is important to note that the health benefits of garlic, primarily in the allicin, are most potent briefly after the clove has been chopped, crushed or chewed. It is estimated that the allicin in garlic peaks 10 minutes after chopping and is destroyed at temperatures above 60 Celsius, which means that it is imperative that we add the garlic to the dish minutes before serving in order to preserve as much allicin as possible.