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Summer is almost here, which means that hot days are just a few steps ahead. High temperatures can affect us in more ways than we are even aware of, both physically and mentally, which is exactly why we need to give our best to get ready for them. Refreshments in all forms are more than welcome during summer, and the ones that include green tea are definitely some of the best. Stay with us and find out about the benefits of this amazing drink, and learn how to get refreshed with almost no effort at all. Enjoy!

Benefits of Green Tea

Green tea is much more than just a regular liquid – it is a powerful thing that is rich in important nutrients our bodies desperately need. Some of them are catechins, which function as antioxidants that protect our cells from damage. Drinking green tea on a daily basis will improve your brain function and increase fat burn, too. There are many different forms of this magical drink, and one of them is matcha – powdered tea that is even more powerful than regular green tea. It is very popular all over the globe today for a good reason – it reduces blood pressure and blood sugar, and slows down the process of aging.

Delicious and Healthy Recipes Perfect for the Summer

Since summer is just around the corner, you are probably interested in some yummy yet healthy recipes that will provide ultimate refreshment for hot days, right? Here are four of them:

Iced Green Tea Lemonade



Source

Take two green tea bags, place them in a container and pour some hot water over them, and leave for 3-5 minutes. Then make lemonade – mix cold water and fresh lemon juice (together with a healthy sweetener of choice, if you like it sweet). Filter the green tea drink, mix it with lemonade, and voila – your refreshing drink is all ready! Just keep it in refrigerator later on and serve it with some ice cubes.

Tasty Matcha Coconut Ice Cream


Image credit: Jason Bagley via Flickr Commons

Mix 400ml of coconut milk, 1 cup of almond milk, 2 tablespoons of matcha powder , ¼ cup of dates, and ¼ cup of honey all together, and add them to a blender. Blend until the mixture becomes smooth, and then add ¼ teaspoon of xantham gum or guar gum (from a plant). If you like a stronger flavor, you may add a bit more of matcha. Then place the blended mixture to another bowl and let it chill for several hours. When it is cool enough, scoop it into separate bowls and enjoy its fantastic taste.

Iced Green Tea with Ginger, Mint, and Honey

Take ¼ cup of peeled and sliced ginger, pour some water over it, and bring to boil. Once it boils, remove from heat and add 3 green tea bags and ½ cup of tightly packed mint leaves. Leave it that way for 15 minutes. Strain the brewed tea and then add honey and juice from half of the lemon to it. When it cools off, place it into a refrigerator. Add lemon slices into each glass before serving, as well as a few mint leaves and ice cubes.

Wonderful Smoothie Bowl





















 

According to the American Diabetes Association, there are some early signs of diabetes which can give you a heads-up that you need to visit a doctor. These symptoms include:

• frequent urination

• constant thirst and hunger

• tiredness

• blurred vision

• a slower healing process for bruises

• unexplained weight loss

People who have type 2 Diabetes may also feel some tingling sensations in their extremities, but their symptoms go generally unobserved. However, if you know you’re at risk for diabetes – perhaps it runs in your family – it’s best to prevent it. The best thing you can do is alter your lifestyle and make healthier choices. Consider eating less chocolate and candy-canes, and more fruit and vegetables.

In fact, one of the fruit deemed to have miraculous properties, even when it comes to  diabetes treatment, is the kiwifruit. One study indicates that its extract was used two times everyday for three weeks on feet-ulcers caused by diabetes, which were subsequently reduced. The reason is that the kiwifruit is rich in Actinidin, an enzyme that helps heal wounds faster.

1. It’s a low-sugar, low-calorie snack. It’s always a good idea to reduce the sugar in your diet, especially if you’re at risk of diabetes. Another reason is that sugar  promotes weight gain and overweight/ obese people have more chances to develop diabetes, so you’d better look after your weight. Remember that even  low-fat products have huge amounts of processed sugar in them, so they’re  definitely a no-no. The best option for a delicious snack is a piece of fruit. That’s  why you might consider mixing up your fruit choices, by adding the kiwifruit to  the list. It doesn’t contain a lot of sugar, and it only has about 60 calories per 100  grams, so that makes it an excellent choice if you’re trying to prevent diabetes.

2. Its extract helps regulate the function of fat cells. A 2010 study showed that a  substance named Kiwifruit Methanol Fraction (KMF), which is basically a mixture from a kiwifruit extract called Actinidia deliciosa, regulates adipogenesis. Actually, if adipocytes don’t function properly, your body becomes more insulin resistant, which will put you at more risk for diabetes. These adipocytes are in fact fat cells, and their main function is to take care of the energy balance in your body. But if they don’t work properly, you might end up with more sugar in your system without knowing why. As a direct consequence, it is always a good idea to include more kiwis in your diet. They help increase the sensitivity to insulin and control your blood-sugar levels. As such, this Actinidia deliciosa extract may not exactly cure diabetes, but it’s a good way to prevent it.

3. Rich in fiber. You may have already heard that fiber is good for you, but you may not know why it can actually prevent diabetes. Since fiber is a carbohydrate that can’t be digested by your body, that means it can’t be transformed into sugar. Studies show that people who don’t consume enough fiber, while also eating foods with a high glycemic index, can double their chances of developing diabetes. More to the point,  kiwi is a great source of fiber, which turns it into the best choice when it comes to the prevention of diabetes. By consuming more such fiber, you won’t have to worry so much about your blood-sugar spiking. What’s more, you’ll also be less hungry. Since fiber is digested at a slower rate, you will feel satiated longer.

4. It has vitamin C. Vitamins are a great way to keep your body running at optimal levels. One of the most important vitamins in question is Vitamin C, which has been shown to effectively reduce blood-sugar levels. Vitamin C is supposed to interfere with the production of glycated hemoglobin, an indicator of high blood-sugar. This is why some specialists recommend a supplementary daily dose of 1000mg of Vitamin C for patients with type 2 diabetes, which is shown to reduce their symptoms. As the kiwifruit is a great source of Vitamin C, its daily consumption can be of great aid both in the prevention and treatment of diabetes.

Conclusion:

To sum up with, if you can manage to eat kiwis on a regular basis, you will reap the benefits they have to offer in regards to preventing diabetes, but particularly in regards to having a healthier lifestyle. You may also consider upping your daily portion of other fruits and vegetables which have the same benefits: vitamins, minerals and fiber.

References

https://www.consumerhealthdigest.com/general-health/10-things-to-eat-if-you-are-suffering-from-diabetes.html

http://www.everydayhealth.com/diabetes-pictures/best-fruits-for-diabetes.aspx

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October 28th is National Wild Foods Day, hence it's the perfect time to explore the WILDLY (pun intended) under-rated benefits of eating wild foods.

What is a wild food?

While most of our food supply is brought to the table via modern farming methods - wild foods grow freely without intervention by man. They don't require fertilization, irrigation, pruning, pampering and assistance to propagate; on the contrary, they thrive completely without any fuss whatsoever. These are plants who have stood the test of time, adapting to shifts in their environment, and growing more robust as a result. The term "wild food" can encompass many different types of plants from leaves and shoots to berries, nuts, fungi and even types of sap. Many common "weeds" that society tells us we need to pull out of the soil and dispose of (or worse yet, spray with herbicides) are actually completely edible, and not only that, they are are often packed full of nutrition and medicinal properties.

Our Top 5 Wild Edibles

1. Bitter Greens - Don't toss out those weeds - make a salad instead! Many of the greens growing with robust vigor in your garden or back yard can be added right to your salad bowl, and with amazing benefits to your health (more on the nutritional benefits below)! Think dandelion, purslane, lamb's quarter's, mallow, watercress, horsetail, nettles, and red clover.



2. Sea Vegetables - Sea vegetables are a delicious and easy way to add a very well-rounded array of trace minerals into your diet. Depending on where you live, you may not be able to harvest these yourself,  so opt for sustainably harvested sea vegetables which are thoroughly tested for contaminants.



3. Wild Nuts - Tree nuts offer delicious flavor, a hearty texture, and valuable oils and nutrients. See if the following types are available in your region, check when they come into season, and try out some foraging: chestnuts, filberts (hazelnuts), black or white walnuts, beech nuts, and hickory nuts. If you find a tree but it happens to be on someone else's land, ask them permission to harvest - they'll likely be more than happy to let you! Fun Fact: brazil nuts, while not local for most of us (unless you live in South America!) are most often harvested from the wild, not from plantations. 

4. Wild Berries- While also dependent on where you live and the season, wild berries can be the most abundant, most delicious, and definitely juiciest of the available wild foods. Think blackberries, huckleberries, salmon berries, elderberries, black cherries, wild strawberries, wild blueberries, snowberries, dewberries, and more!













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Winter is the season of gluttony. Why yes, the irresistible (and unhealthy) holiday treats and dipping temperatures are sure to make even the healthiest of us forego our fitness regimen and diet plans. No surprises why the season leaves behind a mark on our waistlines, our moods and even on our skin and hair. As the gloomy winter gives way to blooming spring flowers, replace your unhealthy diet with healthier alternatives that will positively impact your overall health and wellness. A raw food diet is known to work wonders in managing weight, improving mood, increasing stamina and healing ailments like arthritis, cancer, asthma, thyroid and diabetes, among many others. Here is a list of the top 5 raw foods that you must add onto your plate, this season:

1. Berries - All the berry lovers out there, unite! Considered a gourmet favorite by chefs and food lovers across the globe, berries aren’t just delicious but are also extremely beneficial for the human body. The high polyphenol content in organic berries, especially blueberries make them a good source of fiber and an excellent brain boosting food. They are also packed with vitamin C, B complex, vitamin E, vitamin A, copper, selenium, zinc and iron. These immune boosting nutrients help the body fight infections and prevent the formation of free radicals. Blueberries also help regulate blood sugar levels. According to studies , baking blueberries can change its polyphenol content and impact its health benefits, so it is suggested to enjoy the fruit raw than having it in a pie, a cheesecake or a muffin.

2. Leafy Greens – Leafy green vegetables are known far and wide for their dense nutrient content and subsequent health benefits, but did you know they are even more healthful when consumed raw? Vegetables such as cabbages, Brussels sprouts and broccoli contain anticancer compounds such as isothiocyanates and glucosinolates. A research newsletter published by the Oregon State University suggests that boiling cruciferous vegetables for 9-15 minutes can result in 20-60% decrease in their total glucosinolate content. A joint study conducted by University of California and Louisiana State University found that raw vegetables contain higher amounts of antioxidants like folic acid, vitamin C, lutein and zeaxanthin as compared to cooked vegetables. Vitamin C, lutein, and zeaxanthin help reduce the risk of cataracts and macular degeneration. Vitamin C is also known to improve skin health by boosting production of collagen. Folic acid, on the other hand, helps in the formation of red blood-cells and ensures proper functioning of the brain and nervous system.

4. Garlic – The idea of munching on a raw garlic clove may seem unappetizing to most of us. But, did you know it produces allicin, a DNA-protecting compound? Cooking can inactivate this enzyme resulting in no absorption of the same. According to Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center, consuming raw garlic helps reduce risk of colorectal, prostate, stomach and uterine cancers.

3. Nuts - The next time you indulge in a pack of roasted nuts as an evening snack, ponder over the benefits you’d be missing out on and the calories you’d be piling on. Raw and organic nuts have low sodium content, but packaged nuts often have added salt, which is a bummer for those suffering from high blood pressure. Oil roasted nuts also have higher calories as compared to raw nuts. Raw nuts on the other hand are a source of healthy fats that lower the LDL (bad) cholesterol and reduce risk of blood clots, nervous weakness and cardiovascular diseases. Deep roasting nuts (over 170 degrees) raises levels of carcinogenic acrylamides and breaks down the disease-fighting fats into free radicals that increase plaque, thus resulting in heart diseases.

5. Cacao – We often thank the person who brought the delightful chocolate into existence, but always ignore the wonders of the main ingredient, cacao. Raw cacao contains a hoard of essential vitamins and minerals that pump up the feel good neurotransmitters in the body. They are also rich in flavonoids, antioxidants that help destroy free radicals in your cells and tissues, preventing diseases like arthritis and cancer. Cacao, cooked and processed to make chocolates loses its nutritional value. The added sugar only increases its calorie count.

If you are considering going on a complete raw food diet, consult your doctor for any precautions. Keep yourself well hydrated and ensure you include a good mix of all food groups so as to avoid depriving your body of essential nutrients. Good luck on your quest to a healthier way of life!


Author Bio : Vineetha Reddy

Being a regular practitioner and adviser of everything related to nutrition, fitness, health and wellness, I also have begun to write and contribute to this knowledge ecosystem on sites like StyleCraze.com, MindBodyGreen.com and LifeHacker.co.in. I strongly believe that the organic food you find in your pantry provide the best benefits for good health. Follow me for my best ideas and solutions :

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Long gone are the days when animal products were viewed as the only and best way of getting adequate protein levels. We now know that the plant kingdom not only offers the human body sources for complete protein but that these sources are often ideal because they are less taxing on our digestive systems, livers, and kidneys, and are easier for us to assimilate. For most of us the quality and quantity of protein that we consume on a daily basis plays a huge role in how we feel, how we look, and the level of health and fitness we enjoy. If you're looking for the best way to get a little extra protein action in a convenient and delicious way look no further than Epic Protein by Sprout Living. 

All Epic Protein is formulated with a base of highly nutritious, organic, sprouted, and bio-fermented whole grain brown rice. This brown rice is low-temperature processed in such a wayas to maximize protein content and seriously enhance its overall digestibility. Through this unique process starches and carbohydrates are minimized and the texture becomes very silky, lightweight, and refined, making it blend flawlessly into protein shakes and smoothies. 

Within Epic Protein you'll find all 9 essential amino acids, including the "branch chain amino acids" isoleucine, valine, and leucine which are crucial for muscle endurance and overall athletic performance. These amino acids are quick to digest, have 98.2% bio-availability for the human body, have a 98% correlation to mother's milk, and are naturally 100% free of gluten and non-allergenic. Epic Protein is also free of ALL chemical and "natural" additives, flavors, and refined or artificial sugars, and wont negatively effect the endocrine system like many proteins made from a base of dairy or soy. 

While pure brown rice protein is the only ingredient in Epic Protein's original formula, they've taken it many steps further by blending in some of the world's tastiest and most nutritious superfoods to create 3 additional flavors: Vanilla Lucuma, Chocolate Maca, and their newest and super exciting addition: Green Kingdom. Together they form an absolutely delicious and dynamic quartet of raw plant-based, protein-rich goodness! 

So, which flavor is best for you? Choose one or try them all! 

Original  contains sprouted and bio-fermented whole grain brown rice protein powder with nothing else added. The taste is mild and pleasant and will add a hint of brown rice flavor toyour recipes. This formula packs the most protein content of the bunch with 23 grams per serving. 

Vanilla Lucuma  is perfect if you love the flavor of real vanilla bean, caramel, butterscotch, and maple. It is subtly sweet and blends seamlessly with fresh almond or coconut milk,protein shakes or fruit smoothies, and can easily be incorporated into vegan baked goods such as muffins and cookies, breakfast foods such as pancakes or oatmeal, frozen desserts such as banana ice cream and vegan milkshakes, and more. Other than sprouted and bio-fermented brown rice protein you'll find lucuma fruit powder, mesquite pod meal, actual whole vanilla bean power (not extract or vanilla flavor) and baobab fruit. 

Chocolate Maca  builds on the original formula with an antioxidant-rich and chocolatey dose of truly raw cacao powder, a dash of energizing and hormone-balancing Peruvian maca root, mesquite pod meal for its sweet (yet low glycemic) caramel-like flavor, and baobab for its incredible array of nutrients including epic levels of Vitamin C and more iron than red meat.Epic Protein Chocolate Maca tastes absolutely amazing in fresh chocolate nut milks, chocolate milkshakes and smoothies, and chocolate treats of all kinds such as cookies, truffles, actual raw chocolate, and more! Both raw chocolate and maca are natural aphrodisiacs too, shhh don't tell…

Green Kingdom  is the newest addition to the line up and is absolutely packed with nutrition. If you love your green superfoods and love the benefits of brown rice protein you will love this flavor. Within the Green Kingdom formula you will find several powerful, mineral-rich and alkalinizing grass powders, protein and nutrient-rich algae and seaweeds such as spirulina, kelp, and dulse, greens such as spinach and alfalfa leaf, detoxifying liver support ingredients such as dandelion leaf and beetroot powders, a powerful dose of bioflavonoids from gingko leaf, lemon and orange peel, along with another dose of the ever-potent mineral and antioxidant-rich baobab. With an ingredient list like that you're probably wondering how it tastes? Actually, quite mild and yummy! The addition of lucuma fruit powder gives it a subtle sweetness and faint maple-like flavor, and there is also a pleasant earthy sweetness that comes through from the grass powders. The flavor is truly mild enough to blend well with a variety of smoothie recipes, especially ones with a little cacao thrown into the mix (coming from a self admitted choco-phile) 

Maybe you're a nutrition and fitness fanatic looking for  the best products to enhance your lifestyle. Or maybe you're new to raw foods and are looking for ways to boost your protein intake. Perhaps you've been disenchanted by conventional protein powders loaded with less-than-ideal ingredients and are looking for a more pure option. Or maybe you are vegan whose sick of the protein question and want something convenient to throw at the next person who asks (just kidding!) Epic Protein is the cream of the crop in terms of plant-based protein powders and could very well be the answer you've been looking for! 

Experience the profound difference and benefits for yourself…. 

Click HERE  to purchase Epic Protein! 


Lucuma and Greens Protein Shake 
Serves 1

12 oz fresh nut mylk 
1 tbs Dastony almond butter 
1 tbs RawGuru lucuma powder 
1 tbs RawGuru hemp seeds 
1 scoop Epic Protein in vanilla lucuma (or green kingdom!)
1 frozen banana 
1 fresh banana 
4 strawberries, fresh or frozen, always organic 
2 leaves green kale 
1 tsp spirulina 
2 pinches vanilla bean

1. Blend until smooth and fuel up!

Click HERE  to purchase your superfood ingredients.


The hot sun is shining, and it’s the season for sweet, cold treats. That means it’s time to start putting together some raw ice creams and sorbets! Here is my simple recipe for banana ice cream that is sure to hit the spot. The great thing about this treat (beyond that fact that it is SO easy to make) is that even your non-raw family and friends will enjoy it. Only a few ingredients and a few brief minutes in the kitchen. Just my style!

First you will need to freeze lots of perfectly ripe bananas. They should be starting to get little brown freckles on them. This ensures the creamiest, sweetest tasting banana ice cream. You will also need a good blender, preferably a Blendtec or Vitamix. You can also run the frozen banana’s through the Hurom Juicer (our favorite here at RawGuru) or Champion Juicer with the blank screen on. This will make a more soft-serve style ice cream. I personally use my Blendtec, this way i can add a few other ingredients like vanilla bean.