Why Horseradish is a Powerful Remedy & Healthy Condiment

So I’m sitting at the kitchen table snacking on some pretzel sticks and a new delicious dip I picked up yesterday while out running errands with my Ma, an Onion Horseradish Dip. It wasn’t spicy to taste but after a few bites I noticed my sinuses started to get a burning sensation. I thought geez, this would be a perfect thing to have around if I’ve caught myself a cold and was a bit stuffy, should clear me right up! I started thinking how else can and does horseradish benefit our health, what other remedies could this food serve? It’s funny how our thought processes can come about isn’t it?

My love for root vegetables continues to grow and I’m excited to be adding this one to my list as well.

My curiosity led me to discover that horseradish has been used for many years in old traditional folk medicine to treat several ailments. Among being used to treat respiratory illnesses and sinus congestion, it was once also used as a topical application to treat inflammation and help ease pain. What we typically think as just a tangy or spicy condiment can actually be a wonderful addition to our diets to add some healthy boosts to our systems. 

  1. It boosts immunity. There are two main reasons this helps improve our immunity systems – Horseradish is a cruciferous vegetable which are known for containing glucosinolates. These help prevent cancer and help fight off illness and disease. Horseradish root also contains allyl isothiocyanate (mustard oil) which has shown to have anti-microbial and anti-bacterial capabilities also helping to fight off infection.
  2. It is high in antioxidants.
  3. Horseradish contains enzymes that stimulate digestion and it helps regulate bowel movements. This is beneficial in an overall healthy digestive system.
  4. It is high in fiber and protein which helps you stay fuller and it has been shown to boost metabolism.
  5. Horseradish contains potassium which aids in lowering blood pressure.
  6. It is a natural diuretic.
  7. The scent of horseradish has shown to increase awareness and focus, making it wonderful for improving concentration.

 

* Disclaimer: I am not a nutritionist or a medical professional. These are healthy suggestions based solely on personal experiences, personal opinions, and light research.

5 Delicious, Simple & Healthy Recipes to Make This Week

So I put in place some stricter routines for my eating to get myself back on track with healthier (and super tasty!) eating and to save some money! I spent a Saturday planning out meals, cleaning out the cupboards and fridge, and stocking up with the ingredients I needed for the week. I was tired of feeling bloated and ready to fuel my body with what it needed to be at full speed! Not only am I feeling better but I’ve really found some amazing recipes which helped add some variety to the Lean Cuisines I also picked up for quick lunches throughout the week.

5 EAsy & Delicious Recipes to Try This Week

Day 1 – Dinner: ‘Pan-Seared Salmon with Creamy Avocado Sauce’ from kitchenswagger.com

The sauce on top of the salmon was divine! It was easy to make too with the help of my little food processor. Paired with some steamed vegetables, this was a great dinner to enjoy after a busy day. 

Day 2 – Lunch: a colorful salad to take to the office

I’m getting better at blending tastes and building more creative salads and I’m loving the results! This salad has a spring mix salad mix and butter lettuce base with chopped red bell peppers, carrots, cucumbers, blackberries, and tomatoes. Top off with some fresh italian cheese blend and poppy-seed dressing.

Day 3 – Dinner: ‘One Pan Healthy Italian Sausage & Veggies’ from chelseasmessyapron.com

I loved the flavor of this dish. It was so easy to make too. Just chop everything up, toss with the seasonings, throw on the pan and cook. Wah-lah dinner is ready! 

Day 4 – Dinner: ‘One Sheet Pan Shrimp Fajitas’ from number-2-pencil.com

I let loose a little for Thursday, indulging in a healthier version of fajitas (I love fajitas!). These had such awesome flavor! I loved being able to make it all on one pan for a quick after-work dinner.

Day 5 – Lunch: ‘Sun-dried Tomato Spinach Grilled Cheese Sandwich’ from eatgood4life.com

I worked from home so I was able to cook up a warm lunch. This sandwich had the perfect blend of flavors!

As I find myself getting back to cooking more, I am getting more and more creative and am enjoying my meals so much more. I am also finding coming home and cooking after a long, busy day has been very relaxing too! 

 

Why It’s So Important to Get Your Vitamin D

About a month and a half ago I was feeling like I hit a brick wall. I felt so drained, physically, mentally and emotionally. It was so bad that one Sunday morning I got up and started my chores…I got the toilet scrubbed and had to go back to bed. Just cleaning the bathroom completely exhausted me, took all the energy I had. The few weeks prior to that I had been feeling so tired, and each day it got worse. I heard from a friend at work that she might have Mono…could I have picked it up from her? Did we sip each other’s drinks the night we were all out? Why was I so so tired?  So tired that I struggled to think and process things happening in my day. So tired that I was having weird moments of sadness. So tired that it was a daunting task just to walk from my bedroom to the kitchen. So finally I gave in and headed to the doctor’s. Initially the thought was that maybe I was having some kind of weird flare-up of my Rheumatoid Arthritis and Fibromyalgia. But what was unusual is that I wasn’t in pain which is usually the first sign of a flare-up for me. I had no pain, no cough, no stuffy nose, no stomach ache, I was just completely exhausted. So we did blood tests…for everything she could think of, let’s just knock out the possibilities. Check thyroid, check white blood count…check vitamin levels…

We all know that we are supposed to have our daily vitamins but I have to admit I spent most of my life not putting as much thought into it as maybe I should have. I eat pretty healthy, lots of vegetables and fruit. I know I have to push myself to eat red meat and leafy vegetables from time to time to make sure I’m getting enough iron but other than that I wasn’t as responsible as I could have been about taking daily vitamins…I had them in my cabinet, which apparently doesn’t really count unless you take them. (Yeah I know, here I am a Wellness and Healthy Lifestyle Blogger admitting she wasn’t taking her vitamins…I never said I was perfect). 

I spent a few days working from home and taking naps in between meetings and office work to help keep my energy up while I waited for the test results. I found that the mini naps helped give me bursts of energy so that I could get more done throughout the day – it just turned into a weird work schedule, in a way I guess my days were sort of longer those three days because I scattered work out. My doctor’s office called with my results that Wednesday: Good news, no Mono and no other virus. Bad News: it wasn’t going to go away on its own…turns out deficiency in just one vitamin can shake your whole world up. The typical range for a healthy level of Vitamin D is 50-100…my level was 10. Whew, what?!  Vitamin D deficiency is pretty common in the NorthEast Region because of our winters but I hadn’t realized I could feel this awful and it could get that low. I started taking 5000 units of Vitamin D a day, instructed to do so for a month to get my level boosted back up. These things take some time to build up though so this was going to be a little bit of a journey to feeling better again. Three weeks later I started feeling like my spunky self again. I added in a daily vitamin…let’s stop and note just for a moment that I really hate taking pills (thank goodness that 5000 Units Vitamin D supplement was a little guy) and I’m a bit of a snob when it comes to taste (hey, we all have stubborn quirks!). I totally saw these vitamins for kids called ‘Smarty Pants’  that I was teasing saying I should get them for my son because he can be a smart butt. Well they have them for Women too – ‘Smarty Pants Women’s Complete Gummy Vitamin’ – so I picked them up. They are actually super tasty and the levels are good in them for me. (*Always check with your physician to see what’s best for you) . I feel like such a better version of me, well I feel like me again. My moral of the story: Vitamins do matter, like really, really matter! 

According to www.medicalnewstoday.com, Vitamin D is also referred to as the “sunshine vitamin”. Typically, we absorb Vitamin D from exposure to the sun, however this time of year our time outside is greatly reduced.

  1. For energy – from my experience if you are deficient in Vitamin D you can end up feeling super drained and exhausted.
  2. It is important for healthy bones. Vitamin D helps with the regulation of calcium and in maintaining healthy levels of phosphorus in the blood.
  3. It helps reduce the risk of catching the flu – which is super helpful during flu season!
  4. Good levels of Vitamin D help reduce muscle and bone pain.
  5. A deficiency can put you in a funk. You may be feeling kind of depressed or sad if you are low in Vitamin D.
  6. It promotes stronger, healthier teeth.
  7.  It increases your mental clarity and sharpness.
  8. Some studies show reduced amount of abdominal fat in people that were sufficient in Vitamin D. That sounds like a good perk to me!

So where do we get Vitamin D when we can’t get in the sunshine? I found this one a bit challenging to solve with changing my diet. Vitamin D is a tricky one to find in a lot of foods. My best advice is to talk to your doctor and pick up a supplement that is suited for you. Here are some foods that will also help (sorry, the list is a bit short).

  • Look for fortified dairy foods such as Vitamin D fortified yogurt, cheese, milk, cereal, etc.

  • Cod Liver Oil, if you dare…this one isn’t for me.

  • Egg Yolks

  • Fatty fish like salmon, mackerel, and tuna

  • Beef liver…another one that I don’t think is going to make it to my plate.

This week, I’ll down my dose some. Down to one 5000 Unit Vitamin D supplement a week and two (chewable, yay!) 400 units of Vitamin D a day. This little ‘adventure’ was eye-opening for me. We all know what we should be doing but putting it into action sometimes takes a little push, I got mine! 

 

* Disclaimer: I am not a nutritionist or a medical professional. These are healthy suggestions based solely on personal experiences, personal opinions, and light research. All opinions are my own. This post contains affiliate links, which means I receive payments for leads/sales. For more information please reference my disclosure page.  
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7 Super Reasons Parsnips Help You Get Healthier

I have always had a love for root vegetables – potatoes, carrots, fennel, and more – but over the past few years I have truly come to love parsnips. Not quite as common as their closely related cousin the carrot, parsnips are an easy vegetable to add to many recipes and are a perfect dish to enjoy during colder months.

7 Health Benefits of Parsnips

1.) High in dietary fiber. Parsnips are packed with soluble fiber which helps reduce cholesterol levels and helps maintain healthy digestive function.

2.) Is a great resource of folate which is needed for the formation of red and white blood cells in bone marrow, is important for the development stages, and aids in energy metabolism.

3.) Contains high level of potassium which is needed for skeletal, cardiac and smooth muscle function. This nutrient is important for healthy heart function.

4.) Are high in Vitamin C which helps improve eye health, helps repair and regenerate connective tissues, protect against heart disease, and aids in the absorption of iron.

5.) Good resource of manganese and Vitamin K which helps with digestive health and wound healing.

6.) Due to high dietary fiber content, parsnips are great at helping you stay fuller longer.

7.) They are packed with antioxidants, vitamins and organic compounds which helps fight against disease.

Some Delicious Recipes to Try

Oven Roasted Parsnips with Thyme from FoodnessGracious

Paleo Risotto with ‘Parsnip “Rice” from Empowered Sustenance

Baked Parsnip Fries from Sweet as Honey

Roasted Parsnip Salad from Girl Gone Gourmet

Roasted Parsnip & Garlic Soup from Sharing Our Food Adventures

 

* Disclaimer: I am not a nutritionist or a medical professional. These are healthy suggestions based solely on personal experiences, personal opinions, and light research.
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10 Health Benefits of Chestnuts

I remember collecting all the spiky seed pods from the trees at my Grandparents’ house, sitting on the porch watching my Grandfather peel the shells off with his pocket knife. Eating chestnuts is a past time for me, a family tradition, a rite of passage that I was able to pass onto my son. I look forward to these robust nuts every year when the months turn colder. Chestnuts are a great mineral, nutrient and vitamin rich low calorie snack. 

10 Health Benefits of Chestnuts

 1.) High in fiber which is helpful for digestive health and helps you stay fuller.

2.) Higher in carbohydrates compared to other nuts which helps maintain energy levels and blood sugars.

3.) Rich in folates which is essential for the formation of red blood cells.

4.) Chestnuts contain 22% of the recommended daily value of copper. This helps improve bone strength, nerve functions, red blood cell formation and boosts the immune system.

5.) Contain potassium which increases blood flow to the brain improving concentration, retention and memory.

6.) Contain high levels of essential fatty acids which are important for heart health.

7.) Contain antioxidants.

8.) Higher in B vitamins which helps produce red blood cells, enhance brain function and promotes healthy skin.

9.) High in Vitamin C which boosts the immune system.

10.) Because of the high dietary fiber that chestnuts contain, they aid in the prevention and management of diabetes by helping prevent spikes and drops in blood sugar levels.

 

* Disclaimer: I am not a nutritionist or a medical professional. These are healthy suggestions based solely on personal experiences, personal opinions, and light research.
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Why I Eat Brussels Sprouts Now

My first experience with Brussels Sprouts was not a pleasant one. They were tough and they were bitter. I vowed to never eat them again…that was when I was sixteen…seventeen years later and I love them. I remember the second time I tried Brussels Sprouts. My mom and I were at a local farm to table restaurant and they were a featured appetizer that night. They were cooked perfectly with crumbled bacon and a balsamic glaze over top. Since that day I look for them on menus now! Brussels Sprouts are a very particular food, packed with health benefits but a bit touchy on taste – they only taste amazing if they’re cooked and prepared right! They’re also great raw, pull the leaves off and throw into a salad.

Not only have I come to love the taste but I feel a little bit of pride knowing I’m chowing down on a top Power Food!

I was super excited to partner up with The Jen Reviews Team to bring you some awesome benefits of eating Brussels Sprouts:

Here’s My Top 5 Most Pleasing Health Benefits That I Get From Brussels Sprouts:

1.) High in Fiber

2.) High in Vitamin C

3.) Full of Antioxidants

4.) Can Act as an Anti-inflammatory (which is great for my Rheumatoid Arthritis)

5. Promotes Healthy Digestion

Want to know more great benefits of Brussels Sprouts? Want some tasty recipes to try?

Visit Jen Reviews and read more on 15 Health Benefits of Brussels Sprouts +8 Delicious Recipes!!!

 

* Disclaimer: I am not a nutritionist or a medical professional. These are healthy suggestions based solely on personal experiences, personal opinions, and light research

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10 Amazing Benefits of Rambutans

I am totally that girl that has all kinds of yummy, exotic fruit on her desk…the strange to some folks…kumquats, lychees, and one of my favorites – Rambutans! 

Rambutans are those spiky red fruit that you may see popping up time to time. They are native to the Malay-Indonesian region and some other regions of tropical Southeast Asia. Packed with sweetness and lots of nutrients, these make a fantastic power snack!

I was super excited when they arrived in my SuperFood Box last week…fresh and ready to eat. Usually their a bright, vibrant red but they had faded a little in their travels but still wonderfully delicious when I cracked them open. Though they look a bit intimidating, they are an easy fruit to pop open. Just press on the seam and pull the spiky exterior off. The fruit encases a pod – I just oddly munch the juicy fruit off of the pod (Yup I’m that girl).

10 Amazing Health Benefits of the Rambutan

  1. They’re high in fiber.
  2. Packed with vitamin C.
  3. Good source of Copper which is necessary for the production of white and red blood cells.
  4. They contain a high amount of antioxidants.
  5. Good source of phosphorus which helps remove the waste in kidneys.
  6. They contain gallic acid which eliminates free radicals and helps prevent and fight cancer.
  7. They are a great energy booster.
  8. They are rich in water content so they are very hydrating and are good for your skin.
  9. Good source of iron.
  10. They also have antiseptic properties which helps the body fight off infections.

Stay tuned this week for my full review of my Superfood No Worries Box!

* Disclaimer: I am not a nutritionist or a medical professional. These are healthy suggestions based solely on personal experiences, personal opinions, and light research. 
All opinions are my own. This post was sponsored by Yogi Surprise in which I received compensation for my review. For more information please reference my disclosure page
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15 Sweet Healthy Benefits of Honey

We all have that occasional sweet tooth…I know…but there are many healthy options out there. One of my favorite sweet treats is honey. I remember eating spoonfuls of honey with my Grandpa on a Sunday afternoon. It always brings so much warmth to my heart. 

Honey:

  • Studies have shown that replacing sugar with honey has helped with weight management and with lowering blood sugars.
  • It has also been shown that raw honey can trigger certain hormones that will help suppress the appetite.
  • Honey is a natural energy source. It has been nicknamed, “the perfect running fuel”, containing carbohydrates that can be easily processed into energy.
  • It’s packed with anti-oxidants that helps boost memory.
  • Honey contains no fat or cholesterol.
  • It holds anti-inflammatory properties.
  • It can help with allergies due to the small amount of bee pollen it contains and can also help reduce sinus inflammation.
  • Honey coats the throat which can act as a natural cough suppressant.
  • Some studies shows it can aid in a good night’s rest.
  • It can reduce acid reflux and heartburn.
  • Honey boosts your immune system.
  • It helps cleanse and strengthen your digestive system.
  • It is a natural aphrodisiac.
  • It has antimicrobial properties which can help fight gum disease.
  • And honey has carcinogen-preventing properties that aid in cancer prevention.

Honey is a natural sweetener…but be weary of processed honey, raw honey is the best way to go. Remember that honey still contains fructose so be sure to use it in balance and moderation.

* Disclaimer: I am not a nutritionist or a medical professional. These are healthy suggestions based solely on personal experiences, personal opinions, and light research. 
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13 Healthy Reasons To Eat Peaches

Why not celebrate this fuzzy, sweet fruit this month?

August is National Peach Month and for good reason with all the farmers markets bringing them to the table. This sweet fruit is more than just yummy to eat, it is packed with vitamins and nutrients to help you get going each day!

1.) High in fiber which aids in digestion and helps you stay full longer.

2.) Filled with antioxidants.

3.) High in phenolic and carotenoid compounds which help prevent cancer.

4.) High in vitamin C which helps maintain healthy skin.

5.) Also high in beta-carotene which helps improve eye health.

6.) Useful in pregnancy because they are packed with many essential vitamins and minerals.

7.) Contain magnesium which can help in managing stress and anxiety.

8.) Studies have shown that peaches have some anti-inflammatory properties.

9.) Peaches boost your immune system.

10.) Are a great source of zinc, which has anti-aging properties.

11.) Contain phosphorous which aids in strengthening bones and teeth.

12.) Peaches are great at detoxifying the body.

13. Are a good source of iron.

 

* Disclaimer: I am not a nutritionist or a medical professional. These are healthy suggestions based solely on personal experiences, personal opinions, and light research. 

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12 Benefits of the Sweet Summer Melon Cantaloupe

Who doesn’t love some delicious, sweet melons? Especially on a hot summer day! This has to be one of my favorite things about summertime! 

1.) They have a high water content which provides a refreshing treat.

2.) Cantaloupes contain Vitamin C which is important for a healthy immune system.

3.) Because of their great amounts of fiber, Vitamin C and choline they help support a healthy heart.

4.) Cantaloupes have nutrients that help prevent cancer.

5.) The beta-carotene found in cantaloupes helps aid in healthy skin.

6.) They are a good source of potassium.

7.) The nutrients found in cantaloupes have anti-inflammatory properties.

8.) The high fiber content aids in digestion.

9.) Cantaloupes contain carotenoids which help maintain healthy eyes.

10.) Studies have shown that nutrients found in cantaloupes can improve insulin metabolism.

11.) They help maintain kidney health.

12.) Cantaloupes provide a natural energy boost.

 * Disclaimer: I am not a nutritionist or a medical professional. These are healthy suggestions based solely on personal experiences, personal opinions, and light research.