Hmmm… Hummus!

 

Photo by KEKO64

Photo by KEKO64

Hmmm…. who knew that garlic, chickpeas and tahini puréed together could be so sublime and addictive? While most of us grab a container of hummus whenever we’re at the store to go with whatever veggies, chips and pita we have in our kitchen, this simple, lovable Mediterranean staple is also healthy, fun, easy and inexpensive to make yourself.

Hummus, a spread made from beans, contributes fiber and a little olive oil, both of which help fight hunger pangs. Additionally, this snack is rich in protein — but the benefits don’t stop there!! Chickpeas are known to be effective in preventing build up of cholesterol in the blood vessels, they are energy boosters and can fill you up without making you feel sluggish. The tahini in this recipe is a great source of calcium. Another healthy ingredient found in hummus is olive oil. As most people know, olive oil is a healthy fat. It has high monounsaturated fat content but low in saturated fat. This oil can help regulate cholesterol and protect the heart from various diseases. And, I won’t forget to mention the garlic and lemon juice, which are filled with antioxidants that reduce oxidative stress in the body. They also work to improve immune functions and fight of bacteria and viruses.

So, there you have it –humus is loaded with nutrients that can contribute to a healthy lifestyle. Include this in your diet by using it as spread on sandwiches and wraps, as dressing to your salad or pasta, as dip for raw vegetables, or as side dish for main courses. How do you like your hummus?

Here’s a yummy recipe to try:

Ingredients

      1 Can of Chick peas
      3 garlic cloves
      juice from 1/2 lemon (more or less to taste– yes, use fresh lemon!)
      1 tbs. Tahini (sesame seed paste)
      salt to taste (I use Himalayan salt)
      drizzle of olive oil

Directions

Add all ingredients to a food processor or blender and mix to a creamy texture – makes approximately 12.5 servings (2 tbs each). Add a smidgen of olive oil if too thick or for additional flavor.Enjoy!!
In health,
Johanna
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Par up a Pom Pom!

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Tis the season! Hustle and bustle, cold weather and cold season. You make your list and check it twice — Flu shot, check. Hand soap, check. Window washer fluid, check. Pomegranate, what?

Yes, you read that right! Put this strange fruit with red little seeds on your list! Below I’ve listed oodles of reasons why you need more Pom in your life!

Pomegranates are filled with more antioxidants than other superfoods like acai berry juice or green tea. They are high in vitamin C — containing 16 percent of a person’s daily requirement! These juicy seeds also contain high amounts of vitamin K that helps to support bone health and vitamin B5 that helps the body metabolize protein, carbohydrates and fats.

Pomegranates are filled with manganese which helps to form bone structures during the metabolic process and potassium that helps to maintain cellular functions and balance fluid levels. The fruit is also high in phosphorus, magnesium, calcium, zinc and iron.

But, aside from the benefits to your body– pomegranates improve your health!

Benefits of Pomegranate

1. Beauty Benefits

Regenerate Cells. Pomegranate protects the epidermis and dermis by encouraging skin cell regeneration, aiding in the repair of tissues, healing wounds and encouraging circulation to skin that is healing.

Protect from the Sun. Consuming pomegranate provides the skin with compounds that help to protect against free radical damage which can cause sun damage, cancer and sunburn. The oil of a pomegranate contains the antioxidant ellagic acid that can help to inhibit skin tumors to protect the body from skin cancer.

Slow Aging. Pomegranates can help to prevent hyperpigmentation, age spots, fine lines and wrinkles that are often caused by sun damage.

Produce Youthful Skin. Because pomegranates help to soften the skin and produce additional elastin and collagen it can make your skin look more firm, smooth and youthful.

Help with Dry Skin. Pomegranates are often added to skin care products because they have a molecular structure that can penetrate deep layers of most skin types to provide additional moisture.

Use for Oily or Combination Skin. Oily or combination skin types that are acne prone can use pomegranate to sooth these outbreaks and minimize burns or scarring that can occur during breakouts.

2. Heath Benefits

Protect Cardiovascular Health. Pomegranate juice can act as a blood thinner and helps to remove plaque from the arteries that will help to minimize the risk of atherosclerosis. Consuming pomegranate juice can help lower LDL cholesterol and increase HDL cholesterol to improve heart health and reduce the risk of cardiovascular problems.

Fight Cancer. The antioxidants in pomegranates are effective in clearing away some types of cancer, including breast, prostate and skin cancers.

Improve Bone Quality. The enzyme inhibitors in pomegranate juice can help to prevent damage to the cartilage. It can also help to control cartilage degeneration to prevent osteoarthritis.

Boost Digestive Condition. Pomegranate juice helps to secrete enzymes with anti-bacterial properties that aid digestion and help to fight off hemorrhoids, nausea, dysentery, intestinal parasites, piles and diarrhea. You can also use pomegranate juice as a laxative to treat constipation.

Increase Appetite. Children that do not have a strong appetite can drink a glass of pomegranate juice to get an appetite stimulant.
Cure Anemia. The high amounts of iron in pomegranates will raise hemoglobin levels in your blood to help correct anemia.
Reduce Inflammation. The anti-inflammatory properties of pomegranates stems from its high vitamin C content that will help to manage asthma, sore throat, cough and wheezing.

Promote Blood Circulation. Pomegranates are often used to help relieve blood clots and can help to create a more youthful appearance.
Help Lose Weight. People are finding that pomegranates have a natural property that provides you with additional energy and cleanse the body, making it easier to lose weight.

3. More Benefits for Men

Decrease Risk of Impotency. Those that have a risk of prostate cancer, impotency or atherosclerosis can consume the pomegranate juice to reduce these risk. The high antioxidants will help to manage arteriosclerosis that can lead to impotency and increase your risk of prostate cancer.

Treat Prostate Cancer. Consuming pomegranates has been found to reduce prostate specific antigen in clinical trials. Research is ongoing to see if pomegranates can be used to treat people that already have localized prostate cancer. During these trials the juice was found to inhibit the growth of the cancer cells and lower its risk of metastasizing. The high phytochemicals in the juice seem to have a distinct effect on delaying and stabilizing the growth of PSA in men.

4. More Benefits for Women

Aid in Pregnancy. Pomegranate juice is high in niacin, folic acid, potassium, calcium, vitamin C, iron and fiber that help to maintain a pregnant woman’s health and encourage cell growth. Consuming pomegranate wine instead of alcoholic beverages helps to curb the craving for these hazardous materials while preventing the damage that often comes with consuming alcohol while pregnant.

Consuming pomegranate juice during pregnancy has also been fund to reduce cramps and sleep difficulties that often appear during pregnancy. It has also been found to increase blood flow to the baby which reduce she risk of brain damage.

Inhibit Breast Cancer. Studies have found that the ellagitannins in pomegranate juice will prevent estrogen responsive breast cancer cells from growing. This phytochemical inhibits aromatase that is used to create estrogen, increasing your risk of breast cancer.

So now you know why to buy pomegranate— but how do you peel this thing??? I got you covered! Here’s a fool-proof method.

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Enjoy!

In health,
Johanna