Tag Archives: nutrition

Mineral Monday: IRON

foodFor the next couple of months I’m completely immersed in the study of micronutrients, also known as the yummy minerals and vitamins your body needs to function optimally. So I’ll be posting some articles to shed a little more light on micronutrients, and perhaps get you thinking about supplementing with food or at the very least ensuring you are getting in your daily multivitamin. Macronutrients are the essential dietary staples the average person worries about ie: fats, carbs, and protein. However micronutrients are so incredibly essential that deficiency in certain ones can literally stop hundreds of necessary chemical reactions in the body! The danger of talking about micronutrients in isolation is that we tend to lose sight of the bigger picture. Your body needs a wide-range of nutritional goodies to keep you functioning at your best, so please do not take the focus of these articles as a sign to start supplementing in excess one particular nutrient. It’s important to get regular blood testing with a doctor to ensure you are not deficient in key minerals or vitamins your body needs.

Are you aware that iron deficiency is not only the most common deficiency in the United States, it’s actually the most common deficiency worldwide? Which means most of the people you know including the man in the mirror, may be iron deficient. Iron serves as a catalyst for many redox reactions in the body, is important for energy metabolism, oxygen delivery, oxygen transport and storage, and even DNA synthesis. It is essential for exercise and athletic endurance/performance because of its role in oxygen delivery. Female athletes or those that are endurance runners or participate in a mix of anaerobic and aerobic activities are more likely to need additional iron because of menstruation. Sorry ladies! Unfortunately because “Aunt Flow” comes to visit us every month we lose more iron than our male counterparts. The recommended daily allowance (RDA) for iron for men 19-50 years of age is 8 mg and for women in the same age range is 18 mg. If you are vegan or vegetarian you also may need 1.8 times more iron than your meat-eating friends.

How do you know if you should supplement? Symptoms of iron deficiency can include: fatigue, increased heart rate, palpitations, impaired exercise and work capacity, pica (you know those people who love to chew on ice?), spoon shaped nails, and more. The thing about iron supplementation as you may well know is that it can cause constipation, nausea,  abdominal pain and host of uncomfortable side effects. So for those that are physically active it may be best to ensure you are getting more iron from your diet and not from an over the counter supplement. When you increase iron consumption also keep in mind that vitamin C actually helps to increase iron absorption, while oxalates (found beets, spinach, etc.), calcium, and manganese can inhibit or decrease the absorption of iron. This is what makes pomegranates an iron supplying superfood, they have a rich source of vitamin C and iron the perfect combination to make sure the iron is absorbed by your body. Below are some great food sources of iron. If you are anemic, you should consult your doctor and ensure you supplement but do not overdose on the amount you need to get your levels back up to normal. -XO Raw Girl

Some great VEG food sources of (non-heme) iron include: quinoa, legumes: lentils, kidney beans, garbanzo, pinto, tofu, soybeans, soy milk, tempeh, fortified cereals, cacao, Nuts and seeds: cashews, pumpkin, pistachio, almonds, peanuts, sunflower, sesame, tomatoes, swiss chard, collard greens, kale, spinach, black strap molasses, dried figs, raisins, pomegranates, whole grains, cacao.

References

Zimmerman, M. (2001). Burgerstein’s Handbook of Nutrition. Micronutrients in the Prevention and Therapy of Disease. New York, NY: Thieme.

Alauntye, I., Stojceska, V. & Plunkett, A. (2015). Iron and the female athlete: a review of dietary treatment methods for improving iron status and exercise performance. Journal of the International Society of Sports Nutrition, 12, 38. doi: 10.1249/JSR.0b013e31829a6f6b.

WebMD: Foods High in Oxalates

Baobab, The Amazing Queen of “Superfruits”

ladies-with-baobab-fruit

Source: ethical-hedonist.com

Until my travels to Ghana, I knew nothing about one of Africa’s best-kept secrets, one of the most nutrient dense fruits on the planet, baobab. African baobab (Adansonia digitata L.) has been dubbed the “tree of life,” due to it’s exceptional nutritional profile and all parts of the tree being used for food, drinks, to feed animals, medicine, and even fibers used for weaving. Baobab grows on large and strangely gorgeous trees that look like something out of a fairy tale and take up to 200 years to mature and produce fruit. YEP that’s right, 200 years. Meaning if you planted a baobab tree today you would not live to see it grow into its full glory. Not only do they take a long time to mature, but they live long: the oldest recorded living baobab tree thus far was 1,000 years old. The fruit of baobab is football sized and the pulp of the fruit is white and powdery with a sweet, slightly tangy taste.

Baobab_seedsThis strange but fantastic fruit packs in a jaw-dropping amount of nutrition: it has four times the potassium of bananas, two times the calcium of milk, and twelve times the fiber of an apple. Baobab is made up of almost 50% fiber that is soluble and pre-biotic; meaning ingesting it promotes the growth of good bacteria in the guy. The fruit actually has more soluble fiber than psyllium, which is used in laxatives to boost elimination and maintain a healthy digestive tract. You can consume baobab in powder form, adding it to shakes, smoothies, and even use it as a natural sugar replacement. Now that the word is spreading you will find bars and nutritional supplements with baobab as an ingredient as well. I’m sure if you have the chance to try it, you’ll understand why this unique fruit with a funny name is aptly called the “Queen of Superfruits.”

XO Raw Girl

Sunset-through-baobab-trees-Morondava-Madagascar

Pre-Order Your Copy of Thrive on VEG!

ThriveOnVeg_Cover2

After working diligently for the past few months, a release date has been set for my third e-book Thrive on VEG! The book will be available on October 15, 2014. I’m ecstatic to share it with you, because it is the resource that I wish I had when I was embarking on a plant-based lifestyle. The goal of the book is to give a simple overview of the many variations of a plant-based diet, discuss the health benefits going VEG can offer, key nutrients needed to stay optimal, tips and tools for transitioning, how to set up your plant based kitchen, and recipes so that you can begin your journey immediately. Thank you so much to all of the readers who have asked questions that prompted the idea for this book! Below I’ve included the Table of Contents so you can get a sneak peak at what topics are covered. My most recent draft of Thrive on VEG! is currently 75 pages, but I anticipate the final draft may end up being somewhere around 100 pages packed full of great information, delicious vegan and raw recipes (will be printable), and inspiring insights for anyone interested or curious about a plant-based lifestyle.

TABLE OF CONTENTS

   i.         What is a Plant-Based Diet?

  ii.         Levels of Plant Based Diet

  iii.       How to Thrive on a Plant Based Diet

  iv.        7 Habits of Highly Effective Plant Eaters

  v.         Benefits of Plant Based Diet

  vi.       How to Transition

  vii.      Setting Up a Plant Based Kitchen

 viii.     Plant Cuisine Seasoning & Substitution Tips

   ix.      Recipes

    x.      Resources

To pre-order your copy click the button below. The first ten people to order their copy in advance will receive a Free 15 Minute Health Consultation via phone with yours truly! All buyers will receive their e-book via the email provided on October 15th, 2014.

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Sprout Love: Fenugreek

fenugreek05On my weekly farmers market visit, I’ve fallen in love with my sprout guy, or rather his product, because he has around fifteen varieties of sprouts to choose from. Just in case you didn’t know, eating sprouts is wonderful for your health, and offers a nice veggie source of protein.  Each week I’ve been experimenting with different varieties to add to salads and wraps for additional nutrition. Although you can grown them easily yourself, if you’re anything like me running from one engagement to the next only to discover your budding sprouts have been neglected, having a sprout guy is so much better. Last week I was drawn to try fenugreek sprouts because of their long list of health benefits and extensive nutritional profile. If you are a sprout-pro, by all means grow them yourself: around 4 Tablespoons of fenugreek seed can be soaked for six hours, and will take three to five days to grow.

Fenugreek is a very aromatic seed, considered a sister herb to garlic, and one of the oldest medicinal herbs on the planet cultivated in Asia and the Middle East. Fenugreek in all forms is an important part of Indian cuisine and Ayurvedic traditional medicine. The seeds are generally used as a spice, the dried or fresh leaves as herbs, or the sprouts as vegetables. In addition to protein, calcium, vitamin C, iron, magnesium, phosphorous, and potassium, fenugreek also has a nice amount of B vitamins which are essential for maintaing peak energy and keeping the metabolic process running smoothly.

The list of health benefits from consuming fenugreek are wide an varied. Fenugreek naturally lowers cholesterol and promotes heart health, is a rich source of antioxidants which helps with beauty and anti-aging, can boost weight loss thanks to being 75% comprised of soluble fiber, improve digestion, beautify the skin and hair with nutrients that can ward off dandruff and increase hair growth, and get this ladies can help regulate menstrual cycles and symptoms that plague women during PMS and menopause. Although fenugreek is not recommended for pregnant women, it is beneficial for mothers who are nursing because it stimulates the production of milk. Add to all of these wonderful benefits the fact that fenugreek is a well known aphrodisiac which can boost libido and sexual performance, and you’ve got one pretty hot sprout! The sprouts are slightly bitter and do taste best when you mix them with another variety. Hope you will give this little known sprout some love. I’ve never found fenugreek in a grocery store, but it may be possible. You can also order the seeds and grow them yourself, or find your own personal farmer’s market sprout guy. -XoXo Raw Girl  

7 Habits of Highly Effective Health Enthusiasts

coachcalorie.com

coachcalorie.com

1. Embrace Moderation. We all have our vices. For some it may be sugars, refined carbs and flours, or salt. If you’re a raw foodist, you may need to chill on the nuts. Moderation is about overcoming the urge to binge eat or overeat any one thing, no matter how great it is for you. Our bodies desperately need diversity in our diets in order to function optimally and our digestive systems always work better when we know and listen to the voice that says: “Put the fork down.”

2. Don’t Preach to the Choir. I know you are super excited about your new raw, vegan, or macrobiotic lifestyle but that doesn’t mean you have to go around proselytizing it like an evangelist. One size doesn’t necessarily fit all; our bodies are so varied and so it’s always more attractive and better for your blood pressure levels if you avoid debating whose diet is the best over dinner. The best persuasion: gracing others with your energetic presence and letting them come to you with questions about how you get your all-natural glow on.

3. Be a DIVA. Generally we can be discouraged from having standards because it makes us look like, well, DIVAS. But if your mission is to be energized most of the time, there are certain things you should not except as acceptable food. Drink lots of pure or energized water. Find the freshest organic produce available. Just say no to GMOs. If you eat non-organic fruit from time to time it won’t kill you, but if you minimize this or at least avoid the fruits and vegetables in the “dirty dozen,” it’ll keep your body from being loaded with yet another toxin in the form of pesticides.

4. Practice Adequate Additional Supplementation. B vitamins, magnesium, manganese, iron, sulfur, and biotin are all extremely important in bodies’ process of converting our food to energy. It’s important to consume whole food sources and super foods that contain these nutrients and also find high quality supplements you can take to ensure daily optimal nutrition.

5. Live La Vida Toxin-Free. Nowadays, there are a million and one ways to “cleanse.” Heavy metal cleanses, parasite cleanses, colon cleanses, liver flushes, you name it and you can find it in your local health food store. These are all great from time to time if your body is out of balance or you need to address a pressing health concern. But a veteran health enthusiast knows that having daily lifestyle practices really can boost his or her health that extra mile like: shower filters, regular juicing or fasting, avoiding products with chemicals. Engaging in regular cleansing of the colon, the bodies’ sewage system, is a must for staying healthy and avoiding chronic diseases. There is so much toxicity in our world today so it’s important to stay well informed and then take whatever little steps you are comfortable with that keep you toxin-free. Even if it’s just biting the bullet and throwing out any toxic cleaning and beauty supplies in your bathroom.

6. Get Off The Couch. Just in case you missed the memo, research has show that those who love to move their bodies are around nine years younger than their non-exercising counterparts. Fitness King, Jack LaLanne, who stayed active into his nineties once said: “Exercise is king. Nutrition is queen. Put them together and you’ve got a kingdom.” If you are a highly effective health enthusiast you know that staying at the top of your game means that you must refuse to neglect your workout regimen. Worse case scenario you fall off every now and then, but you always find yourself back in the gym, at the yoga studio, or on the trail with renewed commitment because you love the payoff in vitality.

7. Insist on Beauty Sleep. Sleep is another precious commodity we undervalue in our culture. We are obsessed with “grinding” to get ahead and often sacrifice much needed R&R for promotions. Effective health enthusiasts are willing to get a little gangsta about their sleep. Lights off, phone off, and do not disturb signs will be used if necessary. Adequate amounts of rest and relaxation always lead to a more productive, happier version of you. Not only does sleep affect performance, learning retention, and brain functioning, sleep plays a major role in boosting our immunity, weight loss, and preventing the onset of many diseases. The best way to get adequate sleep is to attempt as much as possible to stick to a sleep schedule and go to bed and wake up around the same time daily.

-XoXo Raw Girl 

The Art of Eating for Beauty

Healthy Living Photo shootI’m sure you have at some point in your life heard the saying: “you are what you eat.” If you truly take that statement to heart you realize that with every meal you have the opportunity to reinvent yourself; the nourishment you choose can either fuel your body or leave you feeling and looking like you’re running on empty. When considering optimal health, we have to think about food for the mind, body, and spirit. We all want to feel beautiful or appreciated for the uniqueness that we are but beauty is much deeper than a pretty face. True beauty could be considered the fullest most energetic expression of one’s soul. Below are some simple ways you can step into your true beauty and fill yourself up with spiritual and physical nourishment. -XoXo Raw Girl 

Eat Whole, Unprocessed Foods. If you are what you eat do you want to look like a stale bag of salt encrusted potato chips? Or would you prefer to radiate the energy from a fresh bowl of organic leafy greens? Sounds like an easy choice, but sometimes our taste buds get the better of us. Nowadays it is more important than ever to know that what you are eating is actually food, because the majority of packaged and to-go meals out there are full of chemicals, preservatives, harmful additives, or even hormones. Consuming these toxins does not only diminishes your outward appearance, it also has a direct effect on your emotional stability and joie de vivre.

Get Your Beauty Vitamins In. Food is one of the most powerful tools we have at our disposal to alter our physical body, increase our magnetism, and boost our overall sexy factor. As David Wolfe so eloquently sums up in his book “Eating for Beauty,” there are a number of nutrients that are essential for maintaining and cultivating an attractive appearance including vitamin A, C, E, silicon, sulfur, and zinc. In addition to these you’ll want to make sure you get enough magnesium, manganese, iron, and B vitamins which are all essential for the proper functioning of metabolic pathways that convert our food into energy.

Embrace Silence. Meditation, in whatever form you choose to practice, is the ultimate food for the soul. Not only is meditation a stress reliever, it can actually boost your mental performance. Research conducted at the University of California, Santa Barbara found that college students trained in mindfulness performed better on verbal reasoning sections on the GRE and also had improvements in retention of material. The outcome of the study suggests that mindfulness improves overall cognitive function. In addition meditation helps to balance out emotions and moodiness, and has been shown in numerous studies to reduce the risk of depression.

Do Yoga. Not only is yoga is healing modality that can help release bodily toxins, improve flexibility, boost your immune system, and improve blood circulation, it is another incredible way to give your soul the food it needs. On your mat as your learn to focus, breathe, and move through challenges without letting your mental chatter get in your way, you slowly but surely free yourself up to be the fiercest most beautiful version of you, outside in the real world.

Pursue Your Purpose. When someone contracts a serious illness or chronic disease, they expect their doctor to prescribe medication, and if their lucky some lifestyle changes. Often times in addition to those recommendations, the best prescription is to simply find what you love and do it daily. It is far too common to find ourselves living a life that is not our own and neglecting our true passions and calling. To be the best, healthiest version of you, find what it is that makes your heart sing and do it NOW. Not next week, ten years from now, when you have more money etc. When you love what you do and are walking in your purpose you will be happy, and a good dose of happy is an essential ingredient for optimal health.

Want to get your vegan glow on just in time for spring? The 7 Days of Raw challenge begins on March 1st! Like the Facebook Page for details and updates.

 

 

Part 3 – Why Fad Diets Don’t Work

Healthy Living Photo shootThe deeper I get into my study of nutrition the more I have come to embrace bio-individuality as the best term to sum up my personal beliefs about healthy eating. You may have heard the saying “one man’s food is another man’s poison.” Well, bio-individuality is the concept that best summarizes this because it is essentially saying there is no one perfect way of eating for everyone. Every single human being, including you and I, have unique genetic make-ups, blood types, ancestry, metabolism, and food intolerances.

Part of your job, when walking the healthy living path, is to be your own health guru and figure out what makes your stomach and your body happy and healthy. Some bodies metabolize carbs better, and some proteins. Some people cannot be optimally healthy on an animal based diet or diet that includes dairy. Some people may not thrive on a vegan or raw diet, either because of improper supplementation, eating a diverse group of foods, or because their body is simply not getting the levels of essential nutrients or fat soluble vitamins it needs to function at its best. When this happens individuals find themselves with candida imbalances, tooth decay, fatigue or other signs that something is off-balance in the body.

I am a firm believer that optimal health should always be the end goal, and sole focus. This means that rather than clinging to a diet like a religion that leads to illness and eventually disease, each of us should carefully mine the information we hear about different food choices and diets and filter out by testing on our own body, and discovering what is appropriate for us. So how do we avoid falling into the fad diet trap?

As the ancient Egyptians put it: “Know thyself.” You have to know your ancestry, learn what foods your body does and does not like, and decipher what any imbalances that arise are trying to tell you. Most doctors can’t do this for you. It takes some personal initiative and perhaps some digging with the help of non-traditional and traditional health practitioners along with a nice dose of intuition. But when you put in the work it’s well worth it. My idea of a healthy and balanced world is one is which bio-individuality is embraced fully, where all of us avoid the factory and embrace the field, and where dietary labels don’t need to exist because everyone eats whole fresh good karma foods that support their unique and incredible body. -XoXo Raw Girl 

Click to read Part 1 and Part 2 of Make Your Health Your Best Accessory.

5 Foods and Beverages You Should Avoid Like the Plague

junk-food1

Photo from www.memorise.org

Soda: Sodas used to contain 9 teaspoons of sugar, which is an enormous amount to consume, especially on an empty stomach. But sodas today are sweetened with an equivalent amount of high fructose corn syrup (HFCS), which leads to obesity and fatty liver disease ( aka non-alcoholic cirrhosis of the liver) because it is not used like sugar by the body, but rather gets stored as fat.  On top of the HFCS, sodas contain phosphoric acid, which cause calcium to be leached from your bones, teeth, and soft tissue, setting you up for osteoporosis, cavities, arthritis and other disease states.

What to do? Drink home-made herbal iced tea sweetened with stevia or sparkling mineral water with lemon/lime or plain coconut water, or try kombucha, a delicious, fermented carbonated beverage with liver-detoxifying properties that you can buy or make at home.

Grain-fed beef from CAFOs:  What is grain-fed beef from CAFO (concentrated animal food operations)?  It is the beef you eat in 99% of all restaurants and at home. It is also the beef from cows that have been fed an unnatural diet of corn and animal by-products in cruel, unsanitary and disease-causing environments.  The meat from these cows is void of conjugated linoleic acid (CLA), a potent protector from cancers.  The meat also has the wrong omega 3 to omega 6 ratio, causing inflammation in the body. It is low in riboflavin and other important B vitamins as well as having less Vitamin E, Vitamin K, and trace minerals like magnesium, calcium, and selenium.

What to do? If you want to eat beef, eat 100% grass-fed beef from health food stores, organic butcher shops and from local farm buyers’ clubs – go to www.eatwild.com and check out their directory.

Processed snacks and baked goods:  What kind of snacks are we talking about?  It’s the candy bars, Oreos, muffins, pastries, Cheez Whiz, and chips. Most processed snacks contain trans fats of some kind.  Trans fats get incorporated into your cell structures when you eat them and take two years to cycle out. The incorporation of trans fats into cell walls leaves them incapable of important chemical reactions.  As a result, there is chaos and dysfunction on the cellular level.  Over a period of time, this leads to cancer, heart disease, diabetes, immune dysfunction, disrupted fetal growth, and obesity.

What to do? Eat whole fruit/veggies and cheese or hummus for snacks, as well as raw and unsalted nuts, plain yogurt (sweetened with stevia if you like), and home baked goods made from almond flour.

Juice:  You were always told that fruit was good for you, and what is fruit juice but lots of fruit?  So it must be very good for you, right?  Wrong!  Commercially produced juice has relatively little vitamin and mineral content, and it has had all the fiber taken out, so it sends your blood sugar sky high without giving you much of anything in return.  It causes over production of insulin and weight gain, and also causes sugar crashes with accompanying energy lows, inability to think, and mood swings including irritability, anger, anxiety and sadness – yuck!  As if impaired mental function weren’t enough, all of these symptoms are just little steps on the road to diabetes – nothing to laugh about.

What to do? Drink herbal iced tea sweetened with stevia or sparkling mineral water with lemon/lime or plain coconut water, or try kombucha, a delicious, carbonated fermented beverage with liver-detoxifying properties.  You could also enjoy freshly squeezed vegetable juices with small amounts of fruit added in, and very occasionally treat yourself to fresh-squeezed straight fruit juice if you want, but have it with protein and fat to limit the effects of.

Cereal: All cereals except granola and muesli are extruded at extremely high temperatures (over 500 degrees Fahrenheit), altering the molecular structure of the grains in the slurry and burdening your body, which doesn’t know what to do with this strange food.  Add in sugar or aspartame, food dyes, preservatives, and the worst quality commercial vitamins sprayed onto it, and you have an extremely artificial food that gives your body no real nutrients and all the burden of figuring out how to incorporate it.  According to Paul Stitt, biochemist and industrial food critic, in an unpublished study conducted by a cereal company, lab rats lived two weeks only when given a diet of extruded cereal, while rats given only water lived significantly longer.  In spite of all the marketing around it, as revealed by the autopsy in this study and others, the truth is that extruded cereal is terrible for your body, leading to dysfunction of the pancreas, liver and kidneys and degeneration of the nerves of the spine, all signs of insulin shock.

What to do?If you must have cold cereal, eat granola or muesli in plain yogurt and add raw, unsalted nuts and fresh fruit.

– Babette

To learn more about Babette, click here

Moringa: The Miracle Tree to Combat HIV, Purify Water, & Save the New World

Dearest Readers: We live in a world where fear rules all. We are taught to believe and accept that sickness, degenerative aging, disease, and war over resources can only be the norm. I am very excited about this post by my lovely contributing writer Nicola. I really encourage you to share this article with people you know. The more that I continue along my path to live optimally, the more I believe that the Divine force that governs all has created the human body to heal itself, and has provided plant life that can address any sickness, ailment, or disease. Even those caused by our own neglect and abuse of our body temples. It’s up to us to believe, to choose courage over the fear and pharmaceuticals. I believe Moringa has a special place in a new world, where the majority of us begin to choose optimal health and sustainable living. I plan to write a sequel to this post which elaborates on the incredible and scientifically proven anti-aging power of Moringa. -XoXo Raw Girl

So I’ve come across another amaaazing plant, which is not only nutritious but highly sustainable and increasingly relevant (basically, what we NEED right now). The Moringa tree also known as Moringa Oleifera, is known by hundreds of other names in different languages, “la libertad” and “mothers best friend” are just two recognized in the Dominican Republic. With a name like that, this miracle tree is not likely to fall short of goodness, cause as you know…MAMA DON’T PLAY. Moringa Oleifera contains more than 92 nutrients and 46 types of antioxidants. Moringa  is said to cure about three hundred diseases and contains almost all the vitamins found in fruits and vegetables in a larger proportions. All of its nutritional benefits easily make it the most nutritional herb on the planet. There are no side-effects which also has tried, tested, documented and proved evidence to support the same. Moringa is being considered as a plant which has the potential to virtually wipe out worldwide malnutrition. This is due to its ability to grow under adverse subtropical conditions, such as that in Sub Saharan Africa and South East Asia where it is easily cultivated and grows abundantly.

The Moringa trees powerful qualities come in large part from but are not limited to it’s leaves. Moringa leaves are a solid rich green but not dark in appearance, that contain all eight essential amino acids and 18 of the 20 amino acids absolutely essential for good health! Not only that, it has seven times the Vitamin C content of oranges, four times the Vitamin A of carrots, four times the calcium of milk,  and three times the potassium of bananas. It also contains high amounts of iron, and phytochemicals. These humble but giving leaves are a complete protein in perfect proportions, which in plant form makes it super bio-available to your body and easy to assimilate. Some see Moringa as an ideal for a multivitamin supplement. While it is a very reliable source of whole nutrition, I would prefer the term “superfood” because supplement to me sounds so…manufactured. And Moringa, is grown naturally in even the harshest of climates.  In a three-week study, researchers saw a complete turnaround in the health in a Sub Saharan African community who used Moringa as food, as a water purifier, and for healing external wounds. Its durability is what’s making it a hot topic in fighting hunger and malnutrition around the world. Moringa contains high nutrients, low calories, and low sodium, and this makes it an ideal high energy food. I personally, have a friend whose mother started using Moringa to treat HIV/AIDS symptoms, and months later her HIV test has come back UNDETECTABLE. Yes, UNDETECTABLE! The high vitamin A content may be in part attributable to this, because it acts as an antioxidant, anti-infection, and strengthens the immune system. Moringa is not completely understood in its totality but it is indeed, a miracle tree.

What I found to be most amazing about Moringa in my research, is that it can actually PURIFY water. As we all know, clean water is becoming harder and harder to come by, and studies have shown that the Moringa seeds not only remove solid contaminants, but greatly reduce amounts of harmful bacteria. Moringa is a treasure. I could write a whole dissertation it seems on the Moringa tree and why this tree seems to be a savior of sorts for the future of our world. Below are some more of Moringa tree uses and benefits. -XoXo Nicola, signing in for Raw Girl

The Vitamin Component of Moringa Leaves

Moringa has Vitamin A (Beta Carotene), Vitamin B1 (Thiamine), Vitamin B2 (Riboflavin), Vitamin B3 (Niacin), Vitamin B6 Pyrodixine), Vitamin B7 (Biotin), Vitamin C (Ascorbic Acid), Vitamin D (Cholecalciferol), Vitamin E (Tocopherol), Vitamin K, High in Oleic acid (raises good cholesterol), Complete Protein

The Leaves

*Anti-inflammatory, anti-aging, strengthens immunity, high Vitamin A content keeps the eyes, nose, mouth, and digestive tract strong.

The Seeds

*Water purification (how to: http://www.treesforlife.org/our-work/our-initiatives/moringa/other-uses/water-purification)

*Oil- great for hair, skin, and preparing food in, which also contains even more phytochemicals to boost your immunity

*External wound healer (rub on wounds)

The Root

*Use as a tea (treats colds), natural antibiotic, an aid in childbirth (lubricant/tea), used for treating liver disorders, and more.

Divinely Delicious Raw Green Goddess Yogurt

Mostly due to the fact that I heart spirulina, I created this quick raw recipe that can be used as an early morning pre or post-gym meal or dessert.  For those of you who cringed at the thought of green yogurt, it’s green of course because of the spirulina, and a great way to get a nice dose of nutrition and dessert in one meal. The spirulina tends to boost my energy (even more—scary), so I try not to eat this too late in the evening.

Ingredients: (makes 2 servings)

2 ripe organic bananas, diced pineapple, 3 dates, 6 pitted & dried prunes (preservative free), purified water, 1 tablespoon of spirulina powder

Put all in high speed blender, add a little water and blend until a creamy, thick consistency. (Make sure not to add so much water that it beomes runny, unless you want to drink it as a juice, which is also good. I messed up in the video and had to add more dates) Pour into bowl and sprinkle with diced fruit and or shredded coconut. Enjoy!

The copyright of this recipe is owned by Esosa Edosomwan (AKA Chef Eazy E.) Permission to republish this recipe in print or online must be granted by the author in writing.