Choosing seasonal, locally produced fruit is always a good idea! It means that it's usually freshly picked and hasn't been sitting in a storage fridge for months, there's less carbon footprint because of transportation and usually costs less.
We're smack in the middle of mango season at the moment and I'm going mad with all the recipes I've been trying, from breakfast bowls to spicy chicken salads, but this mango and coconut smoothie is my favourite. The base is usually the same and then I play around with different superfoods and nut butters. So, here you go!
1 cup mango
1/2 cup coconut milk
2tbsp live, double cream yoghurt
1 tbsp baobab powder
1 tbsp almond butter
1 tbsp Maca powder
1 tbsp chia seeds
1/2 cup fresh pineapple
Place all the ingredients and blend to desired consistency.
If you have any other variations please let me know, I'd love to give it a try!
Five favorite health benefits of mango:
A couple of months ago I decided to try and eat as many anti-inflammatory foods as possible. It was pretty easy working my way down the list, until I got to tumeric... To be honest I wasn't really sure how to try and eat this on a daily basis. I started Googling and Pinteresting recipes (as one does). Tumeric latte recipes kept coming up, honestly I wasn't that keen so I kind of just skipped over it for a little while. But, a few weeks ago I decided to just give it a go. The first recipe wasn't as bad as I thought but definitely wasn't sold. I tried another recipe, much better, but still not quite. I made a few changes and ended up with the tastiest tumeric latte!
Tumeric is not only an amazing inflammatory fighter, it balances blood sugar, relieves anxiety and a great energy booster. I've even given up my afternoon cappuccino and make myself one of these instead. So, here's my recipe:
250ml Almond Milk
1-2tsp Xylitol / Raw Honey
1/2tsp Organic Tumeric
1/2tsp Organic Cinnamon
1/4tsp Freshly Grated or Ground Ginger
2tbsp Coconut Oil
Heat the almond milk in a pan on the stove. Add the rest of the ingredients and whisk or blend until frothy. Enjoy!
Healthy notes: Tumeric is fat soluble, which means that it's absorbed better when consumed with fats, sometimes shop bought almond milk doesn't have enough fat which is why the coconut oil is added. If your almond milk is home made then it's not necessary to add the coconut oil.
Variations: Add 1tsp of cocoa or 1/2 a tsp of vanilla extract.
It goes without saying that lymphatic drainage has some real health benefits, especially if you’re like me and have poor circulation in your legs. Lymphatic drainage helps remove stagnant toxins, increase energy, relieve heavy legs, improve oxygen flow and (the best one!) helps get rid of cellulite.
SleekSculpt is a medical device which which uses pressure to force lymphatic fluid towards the lymphatic nodes, very much like a lymphatic drainage massage only better, more effective and less invasive (a big plus for those of us with Fibromylagia).
The treatment starts with a body peel which prepares the skin and improves it’s appearance. Then a a gel is applied which has ingredients to help improve skin texture, improve cellulite and strengthen weak capillaries. After that you’re ready to climb into the the SleekSculpt. The session lasts about 40 minutes, the machine uses pressure (very much like a massage) to slowly force lymphatic fluid to the lymph nodes where they can then be excreted. When the session is finished, you’ll rehydrate the skin with a specially formulated moisturiser.
I found the treatment very relaxing, non-invasive and I could immediately see difference in my skin tone and the measurement in my legs (demonstrating that the lymphatic fluid had move up to my lymph nodes).
The SleekSculpt treatments are offered at Cryoliving based in Plumstead, Cape Town.
These healthy date balls are a great way to add extra nutrients to your diet. Naturally sweet and suitable for vegans, they're also super quick and easy to make! They're the ideal snack, easy to eat on the go, before a workout or added to your children's lunchbox.
1 cup pitted dates
1/2 cup walnuts or macadamia nuts
1/2 cup almonds
1/2 cup desiccated coconut
1/4 cup sunflower seeds
1 tsp ground cinnamon
2 tbsp raw cocoa
1/4 tsp salt
1 tbsp raw honey
1/4 cup water
1/2 cup rolled oats
1/4 cup desiccated coconut or raw cocoa (for rolling the balls in at the end)
Place the dates, nuts, coconut, seeds, cocoa and spices in a food processor and pulse until well chopped.
Add the honey, water and rolled oats and pulse for another 30 seconds.
Take tablespoons full of the mixture and roll them into balls. Roll them in the coconut or raw cocoa (also try toasted sesame seeds as another option).
Place them in the refrigerator for about 30 minutes before serving.
This recipe is taken from the Naturally Nutritious Wholefood Cookbook by Heidi du Preez & Karen Werge Tilney, available online from myHealing Protocol.
The key to choosing chocolate is quality over quantity. If you're a chocolate lover like me then this isn't always the easiest decision but, the best type of chocolate contains at least 80% cocoa (preferably more), contains no dairy and is sweeted with xylitol instead of sugar. The higher the cocoa percentage, the less dairy and hidden sweeteners.
So, here's the secret to why chocolate is so good for you. The cocoa in chocolate contains tryptophan, an essential amino acid used by the body to produce serotonin, better known as the body’s ‘happy chemical’. Chocolate also contains a variety of minerals, including iron and magnesium. Iron is essential for the production of haemoglobin, the pigment in the red blood cells which transports oxygen around the body. Magnesium is important for strong teeth, bones and preventing muscle cramps.
The best part is that cocoa is an amazing inflammation fighter! It's listed along with turmeric and following a Mediterranean-style diet as one of the healthiest, most natural ways to reduce the inflammatory processes underlying the chronic, degenerative diseases that affect most of population.
Did you know? Just 40g of cocoa taken daily is considered a nutrigenomic intervention when it comes to chronic inflammatory diseases including diabetes and cardiovascular disease.
Here are some of my favorite's when it comes to dark chocolate: CocoaFair Dark Chocolate 85% from Faithful to Nature and Honest Organic Chocolate 88% from Wellness Warehouse.
For more on healthy foods you probably thought were bad for you click here.
Top 5 immune boosters:
Echinacea: This herb is renowned for its excellent immune boosting properties. This herb is a great all-rounder with anti-viral and anti-bacterial properties.
Garlic: This is probably one of the best immune boosting and flu-fighting foods. It contains allicin which is a substance that has anti-viral, anti-fungal and anti-bacterial properties. It also acts as an antioxidant. Research shows that taking a garlic supplement or adding a clove of garlic to your daily diet could help prevent and shorten the duration of infections.
Vitamin C: Found in citrus fruits, berries, strawberries, broccoli, sweet potatoes, carrots and dark green leafy vegetables. This is unquestionably the most powerful immune boosting nutrient. It helps immune cells to mature, improves the performance of antibodies and it has anti-viral and anti-bacterial properties as well as able to destroy toxins produced by bacteria. It is also a natural anti-histamine.
Quercetin: Found in apples, onions and tomatoes, helps to fight viruses and stop them replicating. Especially useful in easing sinus and chest infections caused by colds, flu and allergies.
Zinc: Found in foods such as seafood, poultry, lean meat, whole grains and pumpkin seeds. It is an antioxidant vital in the production of antibodies that maintain the immune system and fight infection.
Immune Boosting veggie juice:
Help your body fight infection with this combo of powerful immune boosting vegetables.
2 large carrots
2 large cooked beetroot, halved
2 apples, quartered and cored
2 oranges, peeled and quartered
4 cm piece of fresh ginger
Juice the ingredients and drink immediately. Alternatively, you can process the ingredients in a blender, strain and dilute with fresh orange juice of necessary.
Use fresh, organic ingredients where possible.
Simple tips to boost your energy levels:
Energy reserves can be zapped for many different reasons such as illness, lack of sleep, stress and bad diet. Depleted energy levels could have a negative effect on your body, both physically and mentally. When you are tired and stressed, your digestion slows down and nutrients from your food are not absorbed as efficiently as they should. By reviewing your diet and lifestyle, you can make the necessary changes which can help boost your energy levels.
Here are some simple tips to boost your energy levels:
Eat small but regular meals. This helps to keep your blood sugar levels steady and to give you sustained energy throughout the day.
Snack between meals. Choose healthy snacks which contain protein and carbohydrates such as hummus with veggie sticks, fruit with plain white yoghurt or brown rice cakes with low fat cottage cheese.
Check your iron. Iron is a vital nutrient which carries oxygen in the blood. Depleted iron levels can cause exhaustion and fatigue. Women with heavy periods are especially vulnerable. Vitamin C aids in the absorption of iron and also helps to boost energy levels. Iron can be found in foods such as spinach, red meat (choose free range / organic where possible), green leafy vegetables, beans and lentils.
Note: You should only supplement with iron if you have been diagnosed with iron anaemia.
Get your daily dose of B-vitamins. B-vitamins, especially riboflavin, aid the conversion of carbohydrates to energy. Vitamin B6 is essential for energy metabolism and vitamin B12 is required for forming red blood cells which, like iron, carry oxygen throughout the body. B-vitamins are also essential for a health functioning nervous system which helps to reduce stress. Foods to include are whole grains, rolled oats, pulses, eggs and fish.
Avoid energy zapping foods and drinks. Although caffeinated drinks, sugary drinks and other energy boosting drinks boost your energy, it is only temporary and the exhaustion felt when your energy dips again is more severe than before. Especially avoid sugary foods, including cakes, biscuits and chocolate which have a similar effect to energy boosting drinks. Avoid alcohol in large quantities as this drains the body of energy. Also, avoid simple carbohydrates such as white bread, pasta, white rice, etc. as these cause your blood sugar levels to de-stabilize.
Exercise. This may be tough to start with but exercise is well-known for its energy boosting and mood boosting effects. Start a regular exercise program and stick to it! You will soon see the positive results.
Glandular fever is a type of viral infection. It is caused by the Epstein-Barr (EBV) virus which is one of the most common viruses affecting humans. Most EBV infections occur during childhood and produce few or no symptoms. The virus will remain in the body for life, lying dormant in a number of throat and blood cells. When EBV infection occurs in teenage years or early adulthood, it will lead to the development of glandular fever. During infection, the immune system makes antibodies to fight the virus, this makes your body immune to the virus for life. This is why it is rare to have more than one bout of glandular fever.
The virus is contagious and can be passed on by coming into contact with the saliva of someone who is infected with the condition. A person remains contagious for at least two months after the initial infection. Some people can have the EBV in their saliva for up to 18 months after infection.
Flu-like symptoms such as fever, aches and headaches
A red, un-itchy skin rash
Loss of appetite
Mild pain in the upper left side of the abdomen caused by swelling of the spleen
Swelling around the eyes
Many people will also experience inflammation of the liver accompanied with symptoms such as alcohol intolerance, loss of appetite and nausea
Some people experience no symptoms at all, this is called sub-clinical infection.
Follow an excellent energy boosting and immune conditioning diet and lifestyle programme
Avoid Tea, Coffee, alcohol and other stimulants
Supplement with nutrients and herbal formulas which help to cleanse the liver and lymphatic system
Lithium is a mineral salt which was discovered in the 1800’s. Its name comes from the Greek word lithos which means ‘stone’ because the lithium crystals are a beautiful and hard rock. Lithium is chemically very similar to sodium and is able to displace sodium (and vice versa) in many bodily processes. This could account for its therapeutic uses in support of people with manic disorders since the 1950’s. Its acceptance however, has been extremely slow. This could be because it is a natural mineral and is not as profitable for pharmaceutical companies as synthetic drugs. Despite this, recent studies have shown that lithium may be an essential nutrient needed in trace amounts. Our bodies only require about 2-3mg of lithium. People who suffer from mania often absorb lithium very well.
Lithium aspartate is commonly used as a natural treatment for hypothyroidism and other thyroid diseases as it helps to spread iodine evenly throughout the body. Lithium aspartate is supposedly good for dementia and Alzheimer’s. It also helps improve memory and reduce anger and rage. Lithium is known to be effective in the treatment of manic depression/ bipolar disorder when taken in high doses. It helps to control symptoms of mania such as rushed speech, poor judgement and reduced need for sleep. It has been helpful in reducing aggressive behaviour in adults and children.
Bipolar is a severe mood disorder characterised by manic and depressive cycles. Lithium has been a recurring treatment of choice for bipolar disorder serving as an effective mood enhancer in 70-80% of bipolar patients. Context Lithium is one of the most common prescriptions for bipolar despite its well known risk of toxicity.
Lithium in its elemental form has never shown any major side effects. Lithium aspartate is a health supplement and has a higher bioavailability than the forms of lithium prescribed for the treatment of clinical depression.
Sources of Lithium:
- Dairy is a good source of lithium. As Lithium is a salt, it is absorbed by dairy cattle from their food and water and released into the milk.
- Water contains traces of lithium as a natural mineral however the location of the source would determine the amount present in the water.
- Herbs are a great source of Lithium. Seasoning your foods with herbs as well as drinking herbal teas (such as camomile tea) can increase your Lithium intake.
- All vegetables contain Lithium to some degree; however vegetables which contain the highest amount of Lithium are the nightshade vegetables such as potatoes, peppers and tomatoes.
- All grains are a good source of Lithium as the salt from the earth is absorbed by the grains.
- Some other sources which have been shown to contain lithium are sugarcane and seaweed.
In conclusion, Lithium aspartate is used in the treatment of hypothyroidism and other thyroid diseases. It can help with mood swings, depression, Alzheimer’s as well as ADHD. Although Lithium aspartate has no side effects, it is important that you take it under the supervision of a qualified health practitioner.
The information and material provided is representative of Megan Bosman's opinions and views. It is meant for educational and informational purposes only, and is not meant to prevent, diagnose, treat or cure any disease. This article is owned by Megan Bosman and may not be copied in whole or part without the permission of Megan Bosman.