Tag Archives: Type 2 diabetes

Organic safflower oil for weight loss

Safflower is a plant belonging to the sun flower family with yellow, red or orange flowers. The plant is 30 cm to 150 cm of height and can resist both very dry climates or intense colds. Traditionally used to produce dyes, the safflower plant produces seeds used to make oil.

Animal fats and vegetable fats

There is a distinction between animal fats and vegetable fats. Animal fats are rich in saturated fats and are therefore to be eaten in moderation. They are often the cause of increase in weight, bad cholesterol and cardio-vascular diseases. As for vegetable fats, they can result in the same complications if they are chemically treated and heated because they also contain saturated fats. On the other hand, an oil that is virgin, cold-pressed and from vegetable origin is rich in polyunsaturated and mono-unsaturated fats and will not induce the same problems since those fats are actually indispensable for proper function, nourishment and protection of the human body. A cold-pressed oil extraction is done without pre-heating of the source it is extracted from (seeds, grains, fruits).

Health benefits of organic safflower oil

There are many sources of good fats but cold-pressed organic safflower oil is extremely interesting for its therapeutic use because of its chemical composition; it is indeed very rich in polyunsaturated and mono-unsaturated fats and particularly in Omega 6 and Vitamin E. Among all the vegetable oils, safflower oil is the richest in linoleic acid, an essential fatty acid that should be included in human diet on a daily basis for good health since it is one main constituent of human cell membranes and it is valuable to strengthen the immune system. A lack of linoleic acid can result in skin disorders such as dermatitis, inflammation, acne, dry skin, dry hair and even hair loss.

Safflower oil can be used internally as part of the diet and is particularly recommended for weight loss. It is also recommended to people suffering from type 2 diabetes not only to lose weight but also to reduce blood sugar and safflower is being studied to produce insulin. It can help as well to regularize menstrual cycles and has natural anti-inflammatory properties. However, because safflower oil is very rich in linoleic acid but contains less mono-unsaturated fats, it should be taken in alternation with other oils or food sources rich in mono-unsaturated fats to benefit from a balanced diet and give the body all the nutrients needed.

Topically, safflower oil used in massages can help reduce muscular tensions and muscular pains, rheumatism conditions and intestinal disorders. As mentioned above, it is also an excellent oil against skin disorders such as eczema, psoriasis, inflammation, acne, dry skin and even dry hair. It can be added in the bath to really penetrate the skin and the hair and leave it soft and nourished. Safflower oil is odorless and can be mixed with few drops of favorite organic essential oils to make a relaxing and therapeutic bath.

Organic safflower oil can found at any local health store or online Naissance Safflower Oil 250ml Certified Organic 100% Pure like any other organic products.

Organic candies for Halloween

Halloween is just around the corner and when kids come knocking at the door this year, why not be prepared with organic candies? Colorful candies are fun and taste good but by simply reading the list of ingredients they contain, one can easily understand how harmful they are. As adults, we can chose to harm ourselves or not but feeding children with such candies is really giving them no choice but to get health complications. Indeed, regular candies are packed with not only refined sugar (a modified sugar deprived of all nutrients) or artificial sweeteners but also additives, preservatives, food coloring, pesticides, synthetic ingredients and more. Eating them once in a while is okay but the problem is that they are addictive so when a kid tried it, he/she will ask for more and the consequences will start to show. According to studies, additives and preservatives in food are linked to allergies and 20% of children now suffer from an allergy of some sort and from asthma in particularly. Further studies have even warned against the rise of ADD symptoms that have increased by 400% in the past 20 years, again because of the ingestion of food additives and preservatives. Such behavior issues are becoming problematic especially when children become adults but other studies have shown that a change in the diet that is free of chemicals and rather contains fresh and pesticides-free vegetables and fruits drastically improved the condition and behavior patterns. Besides such conditions, candies contribute to weight gain and it is not uncommon to see overweight and even obese children nowadays who will most likely develop further problems such as Type 2 diabetes or heart problems that could have been easily avoided with a proper diet.

If you want to know about what is inside the candies, just type in the ingredients one by one in your browser and look it up. Alternatively, the FDA warns against some additives that can create allergic reactions or even worse health complications and force companies to list such ingredients on the packaging so at least, we can make an informed decision as to whether we want to eat or not. There is also an excellent source to check whether your food ingredients are harmful or not: The center for science in the public interest. By simply searching for an ingredient, it will tell you if it is safe, if you need to cut back on it or to avoid it altogether.

As a safer choice to regular candies, you can go for alternatives such as dried fruits, organic chocolates, dark chocolate truffles, or organic candies that typically contain natural ingredients derived from fruits and won’t be as harmful but taking them in moderation is also recommended because they are sweet. However, organic candies are sweetened with natural sugar such as cane sugar, honey or maple syrup and they are dyed with natural plant extracts that can induce the color red, yellow or any other colors. They are free of chemicals, free of artificial coloring and flavoring and free of other harmful synthetic ingredients. However, as we always stress it out, organic products are in fashion and even when you buy organic candies, you should always read the list of ingredients to ensure that the candies are truly organic and natural.

We have listed few brands of organic candies and organic chocolates or dried fruits that are safe and can be fun to give to children for Halloween because you will ensure you are not hurting anyone!

Organic dark chocolate truffles

Organic dark chocolate truffles with goji berries

Contains organic cacao powder, organic Agave, organic cacao butter, dried bing cherries, organic cacao nibs, organic goji berries, organic vanilla beans, organic date sugar, and Celtic sea salt.
$16.95 (approx.) – CLICK TO BUY

Dried organic goji berries

Dried organic goji berries by Navitas

Dried organic goji berries are provided by the company Navitas, an innovator in organic dried fruits. Dried organic goji berries can be eaten as is and taste really good while being rich in vitamins, antioxidants, minerals, amino acids and more. They are certified organic, kosher, vegan, sun-dried and raw. Even children will like them.
$13.67 (approx.) – CLICK TO BUY

Organic assorted candies

Organic assorted candies by YummyEarth

YummyEarth Organic Candy Drops are 100% natural and certified organic candies made from real fruit extracts. They are gluten-free, chemicals and dyes-free and contain no allergens, eggs, soy, nuts, wheat or dairy. They come in different fruit flavors such as pomegranate, lemon, mango, orange and watermelon. They are the ideal organic candies for Halloween.
$21.54 (approx.) – CLICK TO BUY

Happy Halloween!!

Organic rye flour

Organic rye flour comes from rye, a cereal grain that, when growing, looks like a grass. Rye is also known as Secale cereale and belongs to the Poaceae just like barley and wheat. Rye flour is used to make pumpernickelpumpernickel bread and is a great alternative to white bread. Rye flour is milled from the whole rye berries and grains and because the germ and the bran are not separated during the milling of the flour, it is way richer in nutrients that processed white flour. Rye flour can be of very dark color or lighter color, depending on how much bran has been removed.

ryeOrganic rye flour comes from rye that has not been sprayed with chemicals and is therefore better than other rye flours. Organic rye flour is ideal to bake although it is very low in gluten, preventing bread or cakes to rise properly. You can always mix rye flour with an organic white flour to ensure that the cake won’t be a disaster and you can add other organic products to the cake such as blueberries or organic goji berries.

Rye flour nutritional benefits

Rye flour is very rich in fibers (especially soluble), proteins, vitamin B, vitamin E, iron, calcium and zinc. Therefore, it is used as a prebiotic to stimulate the growth of good bacteria and hence the digestive system. The fibers slow down the absorption of sugars and it is a good way to lower blood sugar in type 2 diabetes. Rye flour is also very low in gluten so it is ideal for people who don’t agree with gluten. It is also advised to prevent cardio-vascular conditions and to boost the immune system.

Organic maitake mushrooms

Maitake is a Japanese mushroom also known as the “Dancing mushroom” belonging to the Meripilaceae family and the G. frondosa species. The maitake mushroom grows in Japan and in North-America and has been praised for its healing properties, restoring unbalanced body systems. Maitake mushrooms are recognizable as they look like a cluster made of of multiple grayish-brown caps that are curled or spoon-shaped. It can be as big as 60 cm large and it grows at the same place for few years in a row. The maitake mushroom can weigh up to 20 kg and is dubbed as the King of the Mushrooms in Japan where it widely used for cooking purposes just like the Shiitake mushroom.

Maitake mushroom health properties

Besides being used for culinary purposes, the maitake mushroom also have amazing health properties and can be found in various forms: fresh mushroom, dry mushroom, powder, capsules, liquid or tea. In Asia, it has traditionally been used for its ability to boost the immune system thanks to its active constituent, Beta-glucan and is a good supplement/food to intake before the winter to fight colds and flu. It is also known to lower blood pressure, to lower bad cholesterol levels as well as to lower sugar levels in diabetic patients thanks to its hypoglycemic properties (naturally occurring alpha glucosidase inhibitor). It can also help manage weight loss. Maitake is rich in minerals, vitamins (B especially), fibers, amino-acids (proteins) and antioxidants and can help release inflammations.

Many studies have been conducted on the maitake mushroom and in 2009, a human trial was performed at the Memorial Sloan–Kettering Cancer Center in New-York on breast cancer patients demonstrating that the maitake mushroom could stimulate the production of immune system cells. Other studies were performed to research on prostate cancer, bladder cancer and various types of cancer cells and revealed that a portion of the mushroom called D-fraction was responsible for the anti-cancer activity. Further studies are being performed on the maitake mushroom that could become a life saver in the future.

How to take maitake?

First of all, depending where you live, it might be hard to find fresh maitake since it does not grow everywhere. However, dry maitake is commonly found in natural health stores or online and organic maitake is recommended to ensure it has grown on untreated soils. Dry organic maitake mushrooms can be soaked in warm water until it becomes soft (1 hour usually). It can then be cooked with other organic products such as olive oil and added in meat, pasta, organic quinoa or with other vegetables. The taste is quite pleasant although it is very different from the mushrooms we are typically used to eat; however, knowing what good it does to us, the taste can easily be put aside. maitake ampulesYou can also find maitake in the form of liquid in maitake ampules. You can use these ampules to do a cure of 21 days during the fall and during the spring, basically at the times when the immune system is at its lowest and needs a boost. You can also use 2 to 4 grams of maitake mushrooms to make a maitake tea. Bring to a boil and simmer for 2 to 4 hours, pass it and drink a cup in the morning and the evening. You can also easily find maitake supplements to take with a glass of water, but be always careful with the origin of the product to ensure it has not been mixed with other powders, as the effects will be lowered.

Cinnamon to boost your immune system for the winter

With the winter months coming up, it is time to boost our immune system and organic cinnamon might be one of the spice to incorporate in our daily diet.

Where is cinnamon coming from

Cinnamon, also known as Cinnamomum zeylanicum, Ceylon cinnamon or “true cinnamon” comes from a small evergreen tree of 10 to 15 meter-high belonging to the Lauraceae family and to the genus Cinnamomum. cinnamon treeCinnamon is native to South East Asia and more particularly to Sri-Lanka that supplies 90% of the cinnamon in the whole world. Cinnamon comes from the Greek kinnámomon and means sweet wood. Cinnamon was not available in Europe before the 16th century but it was already a highly praised spice in the Ancient World (Greece, Egypt, Phoenicia) where it was offered to Gods or to Kings.

The cinnamon is extracted from the roots of the trees that are grown for 2 years and then coppiced (cut down), allowing new branches or shoots to regenerate. Only the inner barks from these shoots are extracted (0.5 mm of inner bark is used) in long rolls of cinnamon strips that curl into rolls upon drying and that are then cut into smaller rolls for trade.

The strong smell of cinnamon is due to its content of essential oil (cinnamon essential oil) and more particularly its chemical content cinnamaldehyde that amounts for 60% of the cinnamon essential oil.

Real cinnamon versus cassia

Real cinnamon is often confused with cassia that looks a bit similar but that is in fact really different. Cassia is known under the latin name Cinnamomum aromaticum and also belongs to the Lauraceae family but to the genus Cassia. Cassia, especially in powder form is often sold and substituted for cinnamon while it is not and when we think we are eating cinnamon, more often we are actually eating cassia. In the past few years, this has alarmed the health authorities in Europe that are sending warnings against consuming large amounts of cassia because cassia can actually be dangerous for our health unlike cinnamon. Indeed, cassia is rich in an ingredient called coumarin. Coumarin can be toxic and create liver and kidney damages when taken constantly.

How to tell the difference between real cinnamon and cassia?

Real cinnamon stickWhen using cinnamon and cassia in the form of sticks, it is actually very easy to tell the difference. Cinnamon is made of very thin and many cinnamon bark layers like on the picture above and the stick looks much like a cigar. cassiaCassia on the other hand is a more solid, uniform and hollow stick with a darker brown color.

In the form of powder, it is more complicated to determine if you are eating cinnamon or cassia but real cinnamon has a sweet aroma while cassia has a harsher smell. Also, the origin of the product can give a clue as to whether it is cinnamon or cassia. Cinnamon is called Ceylon cinnamon and comes typically from Sri Lanka while cassia will often say Chinese cinnamon or Saigon cinnamon. In the USA, most grounded cinnamon sold is actually cassia.

The health benefits of cinnamon

If you want to take advantage of the health properties of cinnamon, ensure that you are actually getting real cinnamon, otherwise, it will not work. Cinnamon is known to boost the immune system and will help ward off colds and flu thanks to its anti-bacterial and anti-microbial properties and antioxidant activities. A teaspoon of cinnamon contains as much antioxidants as a pomegranate juice glass. It may help the digestive system and bowel movement disorders. A recent study published in the Diabetic Medicine: A Journal of the British Diabetic Association October 2010 showed that taking 2g of cinnamon a day can help lower blood sugar in Type 2 diabetes as well as lower blood pressure. Cinnamon can also help with blood circulation and as a sexual stimulant. It can be used in case of tooth ache and bad breath. It is great to repel insects.

Of course, cinnamon is mainly used in cooking and incorporating cinnamon in your meals, desserts, beverages will have the positive effects listed above. You can for example incorporate cinnamon in your breakfast by blending 2 fresh oranges with a tea spoon of cinnamon and drink as a morning boost.

If you want to refresh your home and take advantage of the anti-bacterial properties of cinnamon, you can also get cinnamon essential oil and pour a few drops in the filter of your vacuum cleaner. It will leave your house free of bacteria while smelling really good. However, be careful when using cinnamon essential oil as this oil is very strong and can be irritating to the nose or to the skin if improperly used.

Organic quinoa

Organic quinoa is one of the nutritious superfood that can be incorporated in breakfast, lunch, diner.

The origin of quinoa

Quinoa is a seed whose origins come from South America where the plant Chenopodium quinoa has been cultivated for more than 6000 years. It is also called the “Gold of the Incas”. It was considered the “Mother seed” because of its exceptional nutritious properties and was a sacred food. However, with the arrival of the Spanish conquistadors, the cultivation of quinoa became prohibited and the use of the seed slowly disappeared until recently when it started being grown again in the USA. Indeed, quinoa health benefits were rediscovered and people started to show interest in the seed again.

quinoa plant
Quinoa belongs to the Chenopodium genus and is therefore closer to the spinach or beet rather than grains. Quinoa is usually of light-yellow color but other varieties exist with red, orange or black color. The taste is rather pleasant with a nutty flavor.

Quinoa health benefits

Quinoa is an exceptionally complete food rich in proteins and in all the essential amino-acids, fiber, phosphorus, magnesium, manganese, copper, calcium, iron, zinc, vitamin B and E. It is also gluten-free for people with gluten-intolerance. Quinoa is an amazing food source for vegans. Also, thanks to its nutritional properties, quinoa is a great food to increase energy levels (complex carbohydrates) and contains unsaturated fat (good fat). Its amino-acids content (especially lysine) helps promote the growth and repair of body tissues. It is said to be beneficial to people prone to migraines thanks to the magnesium (blood vessel relaxer) and vitamin B2 content (promotes energy production and synthesis of steroids and red blood cells) but also beneficial to promote a healthy heart. It has antioxidant activities to fight body toxins and the fiber content (soluble and insoluble) helps fight bad cholesterol levels, promote a healthy heart, lower the blood sugar in type 2 diabetes and contribute to a regular bowel movement.

easy quinoa recipes

Easy quinoa recipes

First of all, you should choose a brand of certified organic quinoa to ensure that the seeds have not been sprayed with chemicals. Where to find organic quinoa? You can find certified organic quinoa at your local health store or online just like any other organic products, in regular quinoa bags or quinoa in bulk or even in quinoa flakes. Quinoa is usually covered with saponins and therefore should be thoroughly washed in water before cooking to avoid the bitter taste but also toxicity. Most companies now pre-wash quinoa but wash it anyways to have peace of mind. Use:

– 1 cup of quinoa
– 3 cups of water
– Make the water boil, add the washed quinoa and cook for 10 to 15 minutes. Let it absorb the remaining water and voila.

Even though quinoa has a very pleasant taste, you can make it a amazing dish by adding salt, rosemary, chopped onions, cooked peppers, tomatoes. You can even make a sort of couscous using pieces of lamb, pork, chicken and a mix of vegetables.

As a morning breakfast, you can add other grains of your choice (flaxseeds, pine nuts, walnuts, sesame seeds) to your quinoa along with superfruits such as blueberries, rasberries, acai berries, tart cherries, goji berries, etc…..

Organic quinoa is an organic product that can become part of your balanced diet and that will contribute to your general well-being.