Aloe vera is probably the most important medical food you should have for your healing.
Aloe vera has been considered a medical plant for thousands of years, thanks for its potential of remedying many of our common human ailments.
Did you know that 2000 years ago the Greek scientists regarded Aloe vera as a universal panacea? The Egyptians named the plant “the plant of immortality”.
Aloe vera has a long history of popular and traditional use such as for digestive issues, skin issues and infections, as well as high blood pressure and diabetes.
In Chinese medicine, it is often recommended to treat fungal diseases such as Candida.
Did you know that there is a total of 75 potentially active constituents that have been reported in the Aloe Vera plant? That includes things such as essential amino acids, vitamins, minerals, sterols, saponins among many more.
Aloe Vera provides 20 of the 22-human required amino acids, and 7 of the 8 essential amino acids.
It is also a good source of vitamin A, C, E, B1, B2, B3, B6, folate and choline. It contains many immune boosting minerals such as zinc, magnesium, copper, as well as calcium, manganese, chromium, selenium, potassium and sodium.
For those of you who have ran a hair tissue mineral analysis with me and found imbalances in your minerals, this is the perfect food.
In addition, some of these minerals are antioxidants and also support phase 1 and 2 liver detox pathways.
Mode of Action
The healing property of Aloe vera is associated with a compound called glucomannans, which is enriched with polysaccharides (such as mannose).
Aloe’s polysaccharides are known to have significant immunoregulatory and immunostimulatory activities. Aloe’s polysaccharides, particularly mannose-containing polysaccharides, cellulose, and pectic polysaccharides, comprise the major part of Aloe vera gel. Acetylated glucomannan is primarily responsible for the gel’s mucilaginous properties. Glucomannan has been found in vitro and in animal studies to modulate immune function (through macrophage activation and cytokine production) and accelerate wound healing The main effects include stimulation of phagocytosis, oxidative effects, and stimulation of humoral immunity (Foster et al, 2011)
The polysaccharides mend fibroblast growth factor and encourages the activity and proliferation of these cells result in more collagen and elastic fibers production. It also improves transversal connections among these bands making the skin more elastic and less wrinkled.
Mucopolysaccharides help in binding moisture into the skin and have anti-aging effect. There are some reports of aloe having an antitumor and antimicrobial effect as well but directly and indirectly. Direct effects are due to Anthraquinone which inactivate various enveloped viruses such as herpes simplex, influenza and varicella zoster. Indirect effect involves stimulation of the immune system _Kazina et al, 2017). Some components such as salicylic acid within aloe can promote anti-inflammatory and antibacterial properties. Other antiseptic agents include slupeol, salicylic acid, cinnamonic acid, phenols and sulfur that have an inhibitory action on bacteria, viruses and fungi. And some of the compounds present in aloe mucilage inhibit the production of reactive oxygen species and free radicals from human neutrophils.
ALOE VERA FOR DIGESTION AND BLADDER
But most importantly for IC Healers is the healing potential of aloe for digestive issues. As we know, there is a link to gut health and bladder health, as I explain in my IC Self Healing Course. In fact, a good % of people with bladder issues have leaky gut, and about 40% have small intestinal bacterial overgrowth (SIBO). Research has found that aloe vera gel was safe and effective of the “wound hormone” which was later identified as Acemannan. In fact, consuming aloe orally appeared to be the best route of administration for gut health.
Aloe vera contains a natural buffer system that can restore a healthy level of stomach acid by raising the pH enough to relieve discomfort of indigestion, but not enough to trigger the release of more acid. As a result, it appears to have a modulatory effect on digestion.
Aloe also functions as a prebiotic to promote the growth of good flora to optimize digestive function. Prebiotics promote the growth of beneficial bacterial populations such as Lactobacillus and Bifidobacterium species in the colon, accompanied by the production of short-chain fatty acids (SCFAs) through fermentation processes. These events have been associated with a lower risk of nontransmissible chronic diseases, including some types of cancer such as colorectal cancer. A recent study by Quezada et al (2017)
It has been shown that human intestinal flora metabolizes polysaccharides after ingestion of Aloe vera. There is some evidence that aloe vera by healthy individuals aids in the health of the bacterial flora which in turn results in improved health of the digestive system as a whole. This was evidenced by better protein digestion when tested from urine samples.
In addition, Aloe vera increases collagen content and degree of collagen cross linkage within the wound, therefore supporting faster wound healing
Stomach acid balancing, soothing of the gastrointestinal tract, promoting growth of good bacteria and delivery of the wound hormone Acemannan are some of the properties that have made Aloe vera the plant of choice for ages. Daily oral consumption of Aloe vera can eliminate dependence upon both types of drugs commonly used to control excessive hydrochloric acid without any of the negative side effects. To reduce potential contamination of the digestive tract from pathogens it is important to consume properly processed organic Aloe vera inner leaf gel powder from a reputable source.
More on Acemannan
As I said above, the nutraceutical properties of Aloe vera have been attributed to a glucomannan known as acemannan. Acemannan is a β(1,4)-acetylated mannan-based polysaccharide derived from the plant aloe vera (Barbadensis milleri). The reported range of biological effects of acemannan includes:
- stimulation of the production of IL-1a, TNF-a, IL-6, nitric oxide and prostaglandin E2 by macrophages
- enhanced macrophage phagocytosis
- antiviral activity
- induction of tumor cell apoptosis or necrosis
Acemannan strengthens and supports the immune system by activating the macrophages, antibodies, and the killer cells. It lowers the tendency of the body to develop allergies. Hence,
Acemannan possesses characteristics that stimulate the immune system, are antiviral, antibacterial, and antifungal. This means that Aloe Vera can prohibit Candida growth. In a study by Radha (2014), they indicated that aloe vera demonstrated antimicrobial activity against Candida paraprilosis, Candida krusei, and Candida albicans. In addition, A. vera has anthraquinones as an active compound, which is structural analogue of tetracycline. The anthraquinones acts like tetracycline that inhibits bacterial protein synthesis by blocking the ribosomal A site (where the aminoacylated tRNA enters)(Radha & Laxmipriya, 2015). Polysaccharides of A. vera gel have been attributed direct bacterial activity through the stimulation of phagocytic leucocytes to destroy bacteria. A. vera contains pyrocatechol a hydroxylated phenol, known to have toxic effect on microorganisms such as H. Pylori as well, a well known cause of gastric infection.
It is especially the Acemannan which appears to enforce the production of butyrate. Butyrate belongs to the short-chain fatty acids, which are of immense importance for the intestinal immune system.
OTHER BENEFITS OF ALOE
- Oral hygiene– A lesser known benefit of the Aloe Vera is that it helps fight gum disease. If you want a natural, chemical free solution to bleeding and tender gums, Aloe is a natural anti-inflammatory. This is especially important for those who have chronic UTI’s and embedded infections, as there are some links the Aloe has had positive results in treating ulcerative colitis.
Be warned, the taste leaves a lot to be desired. Many people have described the gel that comes from certain strains of the plant as bitter and nauseating, but the benefits outweigh the sacrifice of having the taste linger in your mouth for some time. If the taste is too much to bear, you also have the choice of using a sweetened Aloe Vera-based toothpaste.
2. Fasting, detox and weight loss- Aloe Vera has most recently been used in trendy juice cleanses and juice fast, and studies have shown that certain properties of the plant can promote weight loss. The detoxifying effect can clean out the colon and can also increase your metabolic rate. Bear in mind that healthy weight loss is only possible in conjunction with a healthy diet and a regular exercise schedule. You may also lose weight if you use Aloe Vera, as it will stop your body from retaining too much water, which causes bloating.
BEWARE OF IMPOSTER!
Despite clear beneficial effects of Aloe vera polysaccharides, some problems remain. There are virtually hundreds of different preparations on the market, vastly differing in types and quality of isolation, purity, and subsequently, their biological activities. Therefore, your aloe may not have any of the therapeutic and healing properties we mentioned.
Here are a few of the issues:
- Some commercial aloe products found in your health food store is NOT 100% aloe Vera, it is extremely filtered. The product manufacturers filtering the nutrients and antinutrients and bottling the water. That is why it doesn’t need preservatives and has an extremely long shelf life. That is also why it tastes like water. The water came out of the aloe plant. True aloe would have a very short shelf life.
- Most of your commercial aloe products does not have their own aloe firm. They are getting it from a 4th party as a powder. Often, it has been pasteurized prior to becoming a powder, which can ruin the properties of the aloe
- Pay attention when they dump in activated carbon and diamatecous earth to “purify it”. They push through a pressure filter to take it out. At the end they are testing the clear liquid. They are removing the color and odor which are the nutrients.
- Aloe vera gel often has added carrageenan that makes you think you are taking true aloe when in fact you are not.
I will be doing an interview with Dr. Haley, owner of Stockon aloe to discuss some of these and more. Stay tuned for the YouTube link below.
Here is a table that summarizes some of the many powers of aloe vera. It should be included in your healing regimen, provided that it is good quality as discussed. I strongly recommend the Stockton aloe as a medicinal food. I usually will purchase an 8-pack and freeze it to consume before my seasonal detox programs.
To order aloe, VISIT THIS LINK. I recommend you start with a 2 count first to see how you do, I am sure you will LOVE IT.
Amin K, Ozgen S, Selamoglu Z. Aloe Vera: a miracle plant with its wide-ranging applications. Pharm Pharmacol Int J. 2018;6(1):1-2. DOI: 10.15406/ppij.2018.06.00144
Foster M, Hunter D, Samman S. Evaluation of the Nutritional and Metabolic Effects of Aloe vera. In: Benzie IFF, Wachtel-Galor S, editors. Herbal Medicine: Biomolecular and Clinical Aspects. 2nd edition. Boca Raton (FL): CRC Press/Taylor & Francis; 2011. Chapter 3
Radha, M. H., & Laxmipriya, N. P. (2015). Evaluation of biological properties and clinical effectiveness of Aloe vera: A systematic review. J Tradit Complement Med, 5(1), 21-26. doi:10.1016/j.jtcme.2014.10.006
Vetvicka, (nd) Evaluation of immunological activities of an organic freeze dried inner leaf Aloe vera L powder
Butternut squash contains vitamin A, potassium, calcium, and fiber. It’s also high in antioxidants. Get out these tools: large soup pot, knives, cutting board, immersion blender
2 tbsp of ghee
1 small yellow onion, chopped
2 10-oz. bags of frozen organic butternut squash or 1 entire butternut squash, baked until slightly soft and peelable. Peel and cube it
1 tsp garlic powder
½ tsp onion powder
½ tsp sage
½ tsp basil
1 tsp salt, to taste
4 cups chicken broth
½ -1c flaxmilk
1 tsp chopped ginger
In large soup pot, melt ghee and sauté onion until translucent and soft. Add butternut squash and spices, continue to sauté over medium-high heat. Add four cups chicken broth to pot and bring to a boil, allow to simmer for ten minutes so spices and flavors can blend. Remove from heat and, using an immersion blender, blend until smooth. Add flaxmilk to the consistency you desire, then return to low heat and stir until heated through.
We love matcha tea! Here is a summary why we love it so much and drink it often.
The health benefits of green tea consumption have been reported to include: cancer inhibition, allergy relief effects, cognitive dysfunction, and preventive effects on metabolic syndrome (Fujioka et al., 2016). “In a large epidemiological study, which was based on a follow-up investigation of 82,369 Japanese people for 13 years, green tea consumption also showed positive effects such as lowering the risk of cardiovascular diseases and stroke” (Fujioka et al., 2016). Dietary polyphenols found in green have been identified as potent antioxidants. In fact, green tea polyphenols have been shown to modulate different categories of antioxidant biomarkers, such as vitamins, trace elements, and enzyme systems (Vogt & Richie, 2007). “Administration of epigallocatechin gallate (EGCG), the most abundant polyphenol in green tea, was shown to restore chemically reduced tissue levels of antioxidant vitamins A, C and E in rats” (Vogt & Richie, 2007).
Interestingly, green tea polyphenols have been shown to upregulate the endogenous synthesis of intracellular glutathione (GSH) and glutathione peroxidase, while attenuating mitochondrial oxidative stress (Basu et al., 2013). Upregulation of glutathione is a very important, since its deficiency has been implicated in aging, cardiovascular disease and cancer(Vogt & Richie, 2007). The study by Vogt & Richie observed an increase in plasma antioxidant capacity in both green tea beverage and extract groups at 8 weeks, which can be an appropriate target for people with metabolic syndrome since the scenario presents with elevated systemic oxidative stress and impaired antioxidant status.
There are two prominent methods for serving green tea. The general serving method consists of steeping the leaves in hot water and filtering them through a tea strainer. In contrast, in traditional Japanese tea ceremony, fine powdered green tea leaves (matcha) are foamed with a tea whisk in hot water. I have switched to matcha tea and also recommend it often, as I found drinking the 3-5 cups of green tea to obtain the benefits did not fit into my schedule. I also found matcha more enjobale! The consistency is very creamy with an interesting flavor. I also find the ceremony of mixing it very enjoyable.
Farmers cultivate matcha by covering their tea plants 20–30 days before harvest to avoid direct sunlight. This increases chlorophyll production, boosting the amino acid content and giving the plant a darker green color. Once the tea leaves are harvested, the stems and veins are removed and the leaves are ground up into a fine powder known as matcha.
Matcha also seems to have more potent health benefits than its steeped counterpart. Here are some of the benefits I found in research:
- Reactive oxygen species-Powder teas showed the tendency of higher inhibitory effect on ROS than the same amount of leaf teas (Fujioka et al., 2016). The powdering process increased the EGCG extraction by more than 3 times, which likely contributes to the higher antioxidant activity.
- More catechins- Matcha also has more catechins and antioxidants, as much as 137 times greater than steeped green tea (Healthline, n.d.).
- Liver protection-Matcha can significantly reduce liver enzymes as observed in studies with people with non-alcoholic fatty liver disease.
- Cognitive performance-some research indicates that match can elevate cognitive performance. Researchers found that matcha caused improvements in attention, reaction time and memory, compared to the placebo (Healthline, n.d.). This can be attributed to some of the caffeine content, but also l-theanine that is found in matcha tea, which can promote alertness and mitigate the stimulatory effects of the caffeine. I have found the “buzz” from matcha to give me an alert and calm feeling at the same time…it’s actually quite amazing.
- Cancer prevention-The higher content of EGCG can have potent anti-cancer properties, as seen in vitro studies using prostate, skin, liver and lung cancer cells (Healthline, n.d.).
- Improve lipid status-Some studies show that matcha can reduce LDL cholesterol and triglycerides, and also prevent the oxidation of LDL as well. This associates matcha tea with a reduce risk of heart disease and stroke.
- Weight loss-The constituents of green tea are associated with aiding in weight loss. Since matcha comes from the same plant as green tea and has comparable nutrient profile, it can be inferred that matcha would also aid in weight loss.
As a side note, matcha can have heavy metals and pesticides, so it is best to use organic and a brand that removes most of the contaminants. I did a bit of research and found that Teavana brand was a good brand and this is the brand we use. Matcha is great as a latte. You can use flax milk and sweeten with raw honey to make this into an enjoyable, health boosting treat!
Basu, A., Betts, N. M., Mulugeta, A., Tong, C., Newman, E., & Lyons, T. J. (2013). Green tea supplementation increases glutathione and plasma antioxidant capacity in adults with the metabolic syndrome. Nutr Res, 33(3), 180-187. doi:10.1016/j.nutres.2012.12.010
Fujioka, K., Iwamoto, T., Shima, H., Tomaru, K., Saito, H., Ohtsuka, M., . . . Manome, Y. (2016). The Powdering Process with a Set of Ceramic Mills for Green Tea Promoted Catechin Extraction and the ROS Inhibition Effect. Molecules, 21(4), 474. doi:10.3390/molecules21040474
Healthline (n.d.). 7 Evidence –Based Benefits of Matcha Tea. Retrieved (2018, February 22) from https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/7-benefits-of-matcha-tea
I am starting to really love my semi-vegan way of eating! I have been experimenting with cooking with various healing herbs, and ginger has been on my plate lately. I also got this new Num-Num sauce from the health food store and wanted to try a new recipe with broccoli slaw. Broccoli contains a compound called sulfurophane which can be beneficial in the prevention of various cancers such as breast cancer and colon cancer. Even more interesting is that sulfurophane can impact NrF2-meediated phase II antioxidant genes, turning on cancer detoxification systems.
- Bag of broccoli slaw (you an use any amount you want)
- 1″ piece of fresh ginger, chopped
- 1 tsp ghee
- 1-2tbsp Num Num Sauce
- 1c chopped onion
In a saucepan, slightly sautee the broccoli slaw and onions with the ghee and ginger until you reach your desired texture. Add in Num-Num sauce. Enjoy with topped avocados or olives and a side of anti-oxidant blueberries
Benefits of ingredients:
Ginger-it is a rhizome plant that has been used in medicine for 4700 years! IT is a potent antioxidant and anti-inflammatory agent which can improve CVD, indigestion, immune system, respiratory function, and bacterial infections. “The Journal of Microbiology and Antimicrobials published a study in 2011 that tested just how effective ginger is in enhancing immune function. Comparing the ability of ginger to kill Staphylococcus aureus and Streptococcus pyogenes with conventional antibiotics, Nigerian researchers discovered that the natural solution won every time!” (Axe, n.d.)
Broccoli-Broccoli is high in fiber, amino acids like tryptophan (Seratonin precursor) and vit A, thiamine, riboflavin, niacin, pantothenic acid, B6, folate (B9), vit C, Vit E, Vit B1 and Vit K. Also calcium, Mg, zinc, sodium, potassium, chromium, selenium, manganese, phosphorus and choline. Broccoli contains phenolic compounds that are important for your health. It has anti-inflammatory, anti-aging, anti-diabetic properties and it can aid in digestion.
Ghee-Ghee is truly delicious in vegetables and gives it a buttery taste without the inflammation. It is packed with fat soluble vitamins (E, K) and are highly absorbing in a leaky gut. It is free of lactose, casein, contains conjugated linolenic acid (CLA) and is loaded with butyrate, which is a short chain fatty acid that plays a role in gut health. ome studies have suggested that it may help support healthy insulin levels, fight off inflammation, and provide relief for individuals suffering from conditions like Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis (Axe, n.d.). This important fatty acid is made when you eat fiber, so eating ghee with vegetables seems like a dazzling duo. It is food for your microbiome and may help fight inflammation
Num Num sauce-“Num Num Sauce is a specialty craft condiment that originated in the backwoods of the deep south as a family hidden country secret. Today it’s still produced in small batches and contains just as much love as it did in the early 1940’s. But this time around, it’s a heathier version because it’s low in sodium, fat free, gluten free, soy free and preservative free”.
Onions-Onions are loaded health benefits such as vitamin C, B6, iron, folate and potassium. The manganese content in onions provides cold and flu relief with its anti-inflammatory abilities. It also contains allium and allyl disulphide, that convert to allicin when the bulb is cut or crushed due to enzyme activation. Studies show that these compounds have cancer and diabetes-fighting properties, while decreasing blood vessel stiffness by releasing nitric oxide. This can reduce blood pressure, inhibit platelet formation and help decrease markers of cardiovascular disease. Onions are also an excellent source of flavonoids and phytochemicals. One in particular is quercetin, which is an antioxidant that may be linked to preventing cancer.
Adapted from Maryland University of Integrative Health
o 1 ½ pounds cauliflower, trimmed and cut into 1-inch florets
o 6 Tbsp. freshly squeezed lemon juice ( I used Lime!)
o 6 Tbsp. EVOO
o ½ tsp. ground turmeric
o ¼ tsp. ground coriander
o ¼ tsp. ground cumin
o 1/8 tsp. ground cinnamon
o Sea salt
o ¼ tsp. freshly ground pepper
o 1 cup tightly packed coarsely chopped parsley
o ½ cup coarsely chopped tightly packed mint
o 1 medium cucumber, peeled, seeded, and diced o 12 cherry tomatoes, halved (I skipped this due to food sensitivity)
Method of preparation:
Place the cauliflower florets in a steamer basket and steam until just tender-crisp, 5 to 6 minutes. Remove from the heat and let cool slightly.
Place the cooked cauliflower in the bowl of a food processor and pulse about 15 times, until the texture is fine, with pieces about the size of rice grains.
In a large bowl whisk together lemon juice, olive oil, turmeric, coriander, cumin, cinnamon, 1/2 teaspoon of salt, and pepper. Add the cauliflower and toss well to coat. Taste, and adjust with a couple of pinches of salt if needed.
When the cauliflower has completely cooled, fold in the parsley, mint, cucumber, and tomatoes. Serve at room temperature.
Notes: Cauliflower just like walnuts, visually reminds us of the brain. Nutritionally is a brain-boosting superstar, filled with B vitamins, omega-3s, phosphorus, and manganese. It helps with the liver detoxification; happy liver makes a happy brain. Cauliflower comes also in deep purple higher in anthocyanins brain boosting antioxidants and orange color has more beta carotene.
This recipe I stumbled upon in the Candida summit I attended in summer of 2018. One of the doctors was discussing the role of the microbiome in immunity and in the context of candida. He introduced me to a recipe I though was easy enough to implement. Cooked apples. All you need is a stainless steel pot, 5-6 organic apples, washed and chopped (do not peel), filtered water and manuka honey.
- 5-6 apples
- 2tbsp manuka honey
- filtered water
Place the chopped apples in the pot. Fill enough water to cover the apples. Add the honey. Bring to a boil and let simmer for 8 minutes or until the apples are soft.
Apples-These apples cooked like this brings out the pectin, which is great for your gut bacteria. Pectin can also significantly lower cholesterol levels and triglycerides. Apples are low in calories and sugar, and they have potassium, vitamin K, B6, manganese and vitamin C. Apples contain antioxidants and anti-inflammatory phytochemicals. Apples also contain natural sources of boron, that is important for sex hormones.
Manuka Honey-A superfood indeed! There are components in manuka honey that aid in digestion and improve microbial balance. That is because manuka contains prebiotics that is food for your gut. Manuka in itself has anti-bacterial properties, due to a compound called methylglyoxal. It is not found in all honey, mostly in manuka. This makes it an effective antibacterial agent against pathogens in the stomach, such as H. pylori that is very commonly found in gastritis and peptic ulcers, or C. diff, a common cause of chronic diarrhea. And Manuka does not have the problem antibiotics do, it does not cause bacterial resistance! Manuka honey is great on skin infections as well.
Manuka honey can also stimulate your immune system because it contains arabinogalactans and apisimin, that can stimulate macrophages to produce compounds to fight infections. Manuka can stimulate monocytes to release cytokines. Manuka is thought to be able to produce large amounts of TNF-a. Manuka can modulate inflammation though various mechanisms that reduce free radical damage and oxidative stress. Interestingly, Manuka is being used to treat other GI conditions such as GERD, IBD, ulcers, and dyspepsia.
Axe, J. (n.d.) 10 Health Benefits of Apples. Retrieved https://draxe.com/apple-nutrition/
The Superfoods. (n.d.) 6 Benefits of Manuka Honey in Digestive Health. Retrieved https://www.thesuperfoods.net/manuka-honey/6-benefits-of-manuka-honey-in-digestive-health
Recently my daughter was diagnosed with iron deficiency anemia. Although this came by surprise, I was really not surprised. First of all, there is a hereditary component to it, as I have been iron deficient for most of my life. Second, she really does not eat a lot of foods high in iron. We are not big meat eaters. Although she does enjoy some spinach, the form of iron in vegetables is a non-heme form and is not as bioavailable as the heme-form of iron found in meat. Adding in foods that include the heme from of iron can enhance absorption of plant foods that contain sources of nonheme iron. For example, according to (Hurrell and Egli, 2018), the addition of beef, chicken or fish can increase nonheme absorption 2-3 fold. I would also include sources of vitamin C in her diet to enhance iron absorption, which is why I try to serve this meal with fresh kiwis. Did you know that one cup of kiwi provides almost 275% of the daily recommended allowance of vitamin C (Axe, n.d.)? She loves the Golden Kiwis. “The enhancing effect is largely due to its ability to reduce ferric to ferrous iron by is also due to its potential to chelate iron (Hurrell and Egli, 2018).
Please note: kiwis are very high oxalate, so if you have oxalate issues, swap it out with a lemon juice you can squirt on your meatballs
- 1lb organic grass fed beef
- 2-4 cloves fresh garlic
- Fresh parsley
- Fresh cilantro
- Fresh basil
- ½ large onion
- Pink Himalayan sea salt
- ½c raw lactino kale (low oxalate)
In a small food processor bullet, mix together the herbs and spinach with the garlic and onions until you have reached the desired texture and size. Mix them completely with the meat mixture. Form the meat into 1-1.5” meatballs. In a baking pan, sprayed with avocado or grapeseed oil, place them about 1 inch apart. Cook at 425 for approximately 20-30 minutes. Make sure to check them halfway and flip them so one side does not burn. Enjoy with a side of spinach salad and fresh kiwi to enhance the bioavailability of the iron, and the synergistic combination of non-heme and heme iron.
Axe (n.d.) Kiwi Nutrition: 10 Surprising Benefits + More Vitamin C than Orange. Retrieved (2018, Sept 19) from https://draxe.com/kiwi-nutrition/
Berg, R. L., & Shaw, G. R. (2013). Laboratory evaluation for vitamin B12 deficiency: the case for cascade testing. Clin Med Res, 11(1), 7-15. doi:10.3121/cmr.2012.1112
Ballas, S. K. (1979). Normal serum iron and elevated total iron-binding capacity in iron-deficiency states. Am J Clin Pathol, 71(4), 401-403.
Ibrahim, R., Khan, A., Raza, S., Kafeel, M., Dabas, R., Haynes, E., . . . Zaman, M. (2012). Triad of iron deficiency anemia, severe thrombocytopenia and menorrhagia-a case report and literature review. Clin Med Insights Case Rep, 5, 23-27. doi:10.4137/CCRep.S9329
Hurrell R., Egli, I. (2018). Iron bioavailability and dietary reference values. Am J Clin Nutr (suppl), 1461-7
Kahn Academy (2014). Chronic disease vs. iron deficiency anemia. Retrieved (2015, Sept 15) from https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tVNRn4srPUI&feature=youtu.be
This delicious side dish can be paired with anything. It is filling, nutritious and just plain old yummy! And very simple to prepare
- 1 small or medium acorn squash, sliced in half with the seeds scooped out
- 1/4 c ghee, melted
- 1 tbsp coconut sugar
- Apple pie spice
- Preheat oven to 450
- Cut the acorn squash in half and scoop out the inside until it is clean
- Mix the coconut sugar and apple pie spice in the ghee until dissolved
- Drizzle the ghee mixtures inside the acorn squash until it is covered well with the mixtures
- Flip the sides upside down in a glass baking dish.
- Bake at 450 degrees for 30-45 minutes or until the acorn squash is soft but not mushy.
- Slice or scoop and enjoy !
Acorn squash is not just delicious, it is very good for you. Acorn squash is high in antioxidants which are great for fighting free radicals. They contain carotenoids that can help prevent different types of cancers, and beta-carotene which can be converted to vitamin A, an important nutrient for your immune system. Beta-carotene can also fight against oxidative stress caused by free radicals. And best of all, acorn squash can decrease inflammation and boost your immune system, because it has a good quantity of vitamin C. Vitamin C not only can support immunity, but it can also combat chronic inflammation. Vitamin C can also help promote great looking skin by boosting the production of collagen. As many of you know, many chronic diseases associated with autoimmunity and aging are due to inflammation. This is why foods like acorn squash are recommended on an anti-inflammatory diet. Acorn squash is rich in potassium, which is essential in maintaining optimal blood pressure levels.
Some of the nutrients in acorn squash include Vitamin C, potassium, manganese, thiamine, B6, magnesium, Vitamin A, iron, folate, niacin, calcium, phosphorus, and copper, to name a few! Make sure to use organic acorn squash since it can be susceptible to the absorption of pesticides.
I absolutely LOVE this recipe. You can use this with ground turkey or ground beef, it goes well with both!
A few notes about this recipe: This allergy friendly recipe is delicious and omits some of the traditional ingredients in meatloaf such as milk and bread crumbs. This recipe is great for those on AIP diet because you can omit the almond flour and substitute for flax meal. The garlic, green pepper, fresh herbs and onions really give this a healthy twist with a punch of flavor. Since coconut flour absorbs so much liquid you don’t need a large amount to hold this meatloaf together. You can decide how you’d like to bake your meatloaf. You can bake it directly in a loaf pan…or you can shape your mixture into a loaf and bake it on a larger pan. I prefer this method because it browns the entire meatloaf and ensures that the fat and liquid drain off during baking.
- 2 lbs. pasture raised organic ground turkey or grassfed beef
- 2 tbsp almond flour or flax meal
- 2 tbsp coconut flour
- 4-5 garlic cloves, chopped finely
- ½ onion, chopped finely
- 1/4c fresh chopped cilantro
- 3-4 leaves fresh basil
- 1 tsp sea salt
- 1/4tsp pepper
- 1 organic, pasture raised egg, lightly beaten
- 1 tbsp coconut aminos
- 1 tbsp dairy free milk (coconut or pea milk work great)
- 1/2c tomato sauce or BBQ sauce (for topping, optional)
- Preheat oven to 350. You can use a 9×5” loaf pan or baking dish. I like to spray some avocado oil on the bottom to grease it a bit for easy serving
- In a small food processor like a bullet, chop the onions, garlic and herbs
- In a small bowl, mix the flours with the salt and pepper. Add the chopped herb mixture and beaten eggs
- Add the meat and mix thoroughly with your hands until well blended.
- Put your mixture in your prepared baking pan
- Bake at 350F for 45-60 minutes, covered is suggested.
- After 20 minutes (halfway through baking), add your tomato sauce or approved BBQ sauce topping and return to oven to continue cooling until the internal temperature reaches 155F.
- Remove and let sit for 5 minutes before serving.
Serves: 6 Delicious with the glazed acorn squash recipe and/or a side salad or grilled vegetables.
This soup is not only delicious, but healing in so many ways. Read below to read about the healing properties of this soup. Food really is thy medicine!
- 2 tbsp ghee
- 2 onions, peeled and chopped
- 4 cloves garlic, chopped
- 6c vegetable broth or organic chicken broth
- 2 pounds carrots, peeled and sliced
- 1/4c fresh grated ginger (you can use less if you like, but this is the healing part of this soup!)
- 1c flax milk or any other dairy alternative
- 1 tsp clove powder
- 1 tsp nutmeg
- In a 6-qt pain, over medium heat, add the ghee and onions and cook, stirring often until onions are limp. Add broth, carrots, garlic and ginger. Cover and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer until carrots are tender when pierced.
- Remove from heat and transfer to a blender. Don’t fill the blender more than half way, do it in batches if you have to. Cover the blender and then hold a kitchen towel over the top of the blender*. Be careful when blending hot liquids as the mixture can spurt out of the blender. Pulse the blender to start it and then puree until smooth. Return to the pan and add cream, stir over high heat until hot. For a smoother flavor bring soup to a boil, add salt and pepper, to taste.
- Ladle into bowls and garnish with dollop sour cream and parsley sprigs.
Benefits of Ingredients:
1. Ginger- it is a rhizome plant that has been used in medicine for 4700 years! IT is a potent antioxidant and anti-inflammatory agent which can improve CVD, indigestion, immune system, respiratory function, and bacterial infections. “The Journal of Microbiology and Antimicrobials published a study in 2011 that tested just how effective ginger is in enhancing immune function. Comparing the ability of ginger to kill Staphylococcus aureus and Streptococcus pyogenes with conventional antibiotics, Nigerian researchers discovered that the natural solution won every time!” (Axe, n.d.)
2. Carrots-Carrots are high in beta carotene, which gives them that beautiful color. Beta carotene is a precursor to vitamin A, which is important for healthy vision but also for a strong immune system. Carotenoids found in carrots are potent antioxidants that can reduce your risk of disease due to free radicals, bacteria, viruses and inflammation. he antioxidants that are responsible for carrot and carrot juice benefits include: vitamin C, beta carotene, lycopene, lutein, zeaxanthin. “Carrots are one of the highest natural sources of carotenoid phytochemicals and antioxidant beta carotene,both of which fight cancer by stopping DNA damage, levels of inflammation and cell mutation” (Levy, 2015). Did you also know that carrots can improve your oral health as well? That’s right, certain minerals in carrots can be anti-bacterial and help prevent cavities and tooth decal, remove plaque and stains and boost digestion (Levy, 2015.). And finally, carrots can improve memory and defend against cognitive decline.
3. Onions-Onions are loaded health benefits such as vitamin C, B6, iron, folate and potassium. The manganese content in onions provides cold and flu relief with its anti-inflammatory abilities. It also contains allium and allyl disulphide, that convert to allicin when the bulb is cut or crushed due to enzyme activation. Studies show that these compounds have cancer and diabetes-fighting properties, while decreasing blood vessel stiffness by releasing nitric oxide. This can reduce blood pressure, inhibit platelet formation and help decrease markers of cardiovascular disease. Onions are also an excellent source of flavonoids and phytochemicals. One in particular is quercetin, which is an antioxidant that may be linked to preventing cancer.
4. Ghee-Ghee is truly delicious in vegetables and gives it a buttery taste without the inflammation. It is packed with fat soluble vitamins (E, K) and are highly absorbing in a leaky gut. It is free of lactose, casein, contains conjugated linolenic acid (CLA) and is loaded with butyrate, which is a short chain fatty acid that plays a role in gut health. ome studies have suggested that it may help support healthy insulin levels, fight off inflammation, and provide relief for individuals suffering from conditions like Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis (Axe, n.d.). This important fatty acid is made when you eat fiber, so eating ghee with vegetables seems like a dazzling duo. It is food for your microbiome and may help fight inflammation
5. Garlic-the benefits are most when eaten raw after they have been chopped. Or left out for 10 minutes before cooked. The key is to chop them! Garlic is high in manganese, B6, Vit C, selenium and fiber. Garlic also has potent antimicrobial, anti-viral, and anti-inflammatory properties. The active compounds can also reduce blood pressure, lowers LDL cholesterol, and help enhance liver detox pathways.
Axe,John. (n.d.) 12 Medicinal Benefits of Ginger. Retrieved from https://draxe.com/10-medicinal-ginger-health-benefits/
Levy, J. (2o15) Top 7 Ways Carrots & Carrot Juice Benefit Your Body. Retrieved (2019, December 29) from https://draxe.com/carrot-juice/