My Fibrous Fig Tree

Capelas variety

     My fig tree blessed me with a bountiful harvest this year. I’ve always wanted a fig tree in my yard.  Once my husband and I closed on our first home, that same week I had my mini-potted fig tree planted in my back yard.  The first summer it didn’t produce much, but this year, it quadrupled in size and bared the sweetest fruits.  Fresh figs are extremely delicious to eat and very full of fiber. Eating fiber-rich foods have great advantages for losing weight and even reducing your breast cancer risk.  I came across a study done on postmenopausal women.  The results of a prospective study involving 51,823 women for an average of 8.3 years showed a 34% reduction in breast cancer risk for those consuming the most fruit-fiber compared to those consuming the least. 

     In addition, in the subgroup of women who had ever used hormone replacement, those consuming the most fiber, especially cereal fiber, had a 50% reduction in their risk of breast cancer compared to those consuming the least. Fruits richest in fiber include apples, dates, figs, pears and prunes. When choosing a high fiber cereal, look for whole grain cereals as they supply the most bran (a mere 1/3rd cup of bran contains about 14 grams of fiber). Adding these fiber-rich fruits to your cereals will boost your fiber intake. 

Resources: Study – Dietary fiber intake and risk of postmenopausal breast cancer defined by estrogen and progesterone receptor status–a prospective cohort study among Swedish women.

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Raw Foodists For Three Days

I just decided today for the rest of this week, I will only eat raw foods. Eating a raw food diet is vey beneficial to your body. According to The Best of Raw Food website, when your diet consist of more than 75% raw foods, these are some of the improvements likely to happen to you.

  • More energy
  • Up to 3 hours more sleep
  • Weight loss
  • More beautiful skin
  • Clarity of mind and better memory
  • Improved immune system
  • Improved fertility
  • Prevent or even reverse diabetes

  • Raw plant foods are rich in oxidizing, alkalinizing chlorophyll. Live foods contain a specific balance of natural forces. Plant foods like vegetables, fruits, sprouted legumes, and nuts have a collection of proteins, enzymes, minerals, and vitamins found within them. But, what is raw foods? According to The Best of Raw Food, it consist of raw foods that hasn’t been cooked or heated above 42 C/118 F degrees and preferably:

    Unprocessed – as fresh (or wild) as possible
    Organic – no irradiation, preservatives, pesticides or GMO.

    So to kick off my three day raw diet, I started my morning with a fresh organic juice. It had carrots, kale, oranges, ginger and a lemon. Most of these items came from my local farmers market. Please go out a support your local farm.

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    Now raspberries are in season. I was able to get a small batch of blueberries last weekend, so I had some of that for breakfast. My lunch will be a fresh garden salad jazzed up with some raw nuts.

    In between my meals, I’ll drink white/green organic teas, fresh juices and my lemon water.

    If you are interested in a raw food diet. Check out this website. I think it has the best step-by-step raw diet plan that’s easy to follow. Click here for The best of Raw Food website. They also have fabulous raw food recipes to help you along the way.

    References:
    Raw Food – One of Your Keys to Outstanding Health by Wes Peterson, Mercola.com

    My Healthy Breakfast Trio

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    Oat meal with 3 tsp of wheat germ added and bananas. My favorite antioxidant powerhouse smoothie with spinach, blueberries, raspberries, strawberries, watermelon, OJ and ice. Lastly, my fresh lemon water. Simple, yet packed with an adequate amount of my daily natural vitamin intake.

    The additional wheat germ will give me more fiber on top of the oats, vitamin B, folate, niacin, calcium, zinc, and iron.

    Bananas are packed with potassium, fiber, vitamin C and B6, and manganese.

    My spinach berry smoothie has: antioxidants, vitamin C and K, fiber, folate, omega-3, copper, magnesium, vitamin E, potassium, vitamin A, iron, vitamin B6, B3, B2, B1, E, protein, selenium, choline, calcium, phosphorus, and manganese.

    Spinach is so rich in vitamins and minerals. It’s also concentrated in health promoting phytonutrients such as carotenoids and flavonoids that will provide you with powerful antioxidant protection.

    Day 5: Breakfast and Lunch

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    Breakfast this morning consisted of my usual as you can see 7 whole grain bread with peanut butter, my berry/spinach smoothie, organic grapefruit, and a cup of organic white tea. This was very filling although it doesn’t look like much.

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    I decided on Indian food for lunch today. My favorite Indian restaurant is Agra. The food is authentic and amazing. There’s also a business lunch special that’s very reasonable. I got the curry vegetable dish (eggplant, carrots, potato, and cauliflower), 2 potato samosas appetizers (I ate one before I took the pic), curry cabbage, and basmati rice. I went a little off my diet today. I had white basmati rice and I shouldn’t have. I tried to get brown but they didn’t have. It’s not the worst thing. I figured it was Friday, so why not!

    Day 3: Breakfast and Lunch

    It’s day three of my vegan diet, and its going amazingly great. I’m not craving for any animal proteins or sugars at that. I substitute sugar and add cranberries and honey if I need something sweet.

    As you can see here my breakfast and lunch consisted of whole grains, mixed raw and cooked vegetables. I sprinkled wheat germ on my peanut butter for some extra fiber.

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    Just One Cup of Oats!

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    What’s a better way to gain the strength and energy to carry you through a hectic morning schedule than with a steaming bowl of freshly cooked oatmeal.

    According to a study published in the Archives of Internal Medicine, confirmed that eating high fiber foods, such as oats, helps prevent heart disease. Just one cup cooked oats have 15.7% magnesium, 18% selenium, 68% manganese, 18% phosphorus, 15.9% fiber and 15.6% of zinc. If you add 1 cup of blackberries like I did here, you’ll be adding 30 mg of Vitamin C. Plus, 7.6 g of fiber, 184 mcg of beta carotene, and 1.68 mg of vitamin E.

    These antioxidants protect your cells from free radicals, which are molecules that cause damage to your cells and increase your risk of heart disease, cancer, stroke and possibly Alzheimer’s disease.

    Oats also contains vitamin E, calcium, iron, and vitamin K. When I start the day off with a bowl of oats it holds me until lunch time. It’s very filling!

    Source:
    http://archinte.jamanetwork.com/article.aspx?articleid=215976

    What are the Health Benefits of Wheat Germ?

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      The health benefits of wheat germ are enormous. It is a grain fortified with vitamin E, folate (folic acid), phosphorus, thiamine, zinc, magnesium and essential omega-3 fatty acids and fatty alcohols. It is an excellent source of fiber.

    The grain of wheat which gives rise to a new plant when sowed is called the wheat kernel or wheat berry. It is the seed which gives birth to the embryo. The germ is that part of the wheat grain which helps in reproducing the plant and therefore has a high concentration of all the nutrients. The good healthy fat in the grain is mostly found in this part. The bran is the outer fibrous layer. The middle layer between the germ and the bran is known as the endosperm. It is this part which is actually milled for flour. When wheat is processed to make everyday all purpose flour, the germ and bran is removed and thrown.

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    THIS IS THE BRAND I BUY!

      More and more research shows the advantages of incorporating the germ in our daily diet. Due to high levels of nutrients, the germ is separated from the grain and made into health supplements. I love adding wheat germ to my oat meals, pancake mixes, muffins, and cake batters.

    Nutrients Behind the Health Benefits of Wheat Germ
    The nutrients which are found in the germ of wheat are as follows:

    •Fiber
    •Iron
    •Magnesium
    •Manganese
    •Protein
    •Omega-3 fatty acids
    •Phosphorus
    •Potassium
    •Selenium
    •Vitamin E
    •Zinc
    •Complex Carbohydrates
    •B Vitamins such as folate, Niacin, Thiamine and Vitamin B6
    •Calcium

    Health Benefits of Wheat Germ
    Vitamin E found in it, is a powerful antioxidant when it comes to skin health and beauty. Vitamin E boosts immunity and has anti-aging properties and can prevent heart diseases and even cancer. It can help control LDL cholesterol and triglycerides and promote cardiovascular health. Wheat germ protein aids in muscle development and does wonders to overall energy, stamina and wellbeing. It contains octacosonal which improves mental agility and alertness. It is used in supplements, especially the ones used in weight loss.

      It also improves metabolism and balances the hormones in the body which in turn helps to cope with stress. Vitamin B boosts immunity, aids digestion, gives healthy skin and enables the body to heal quicker from wounds. Folic acid brings down the homocysteine levels in blood and prevents damage to the arteries.

    Wheat Germ Oil
    The unsaturated oils extracted from wheat germ are a rich natural source of vitamin E. Wheat germ oil can be used as a supplement to boost your intake of this vitamin, which promotes red blood cell formation and supports your immune system. Vitamin E may have antioxidant properties which counteract cellular damage and reduce the harmful effects of environmental toxins. Some cosmetics companies promote wheat germ oil as a product ingredient that may moisturize skin and hair, diminish the effects of aging and reduce the appearance of scars.

    Resources:
    http://health.howstuffworks.com/wellness/food-nutrition/natural-foods/natural-weight-loss-food-wheat-germ-ga.htm
    http://www.mayoclinic.com/health/health-tip/HT00375/rss=6
    http://www.hsph.harvard.edu/nutritionsource/what-should-you-eat/health-gains-from-whole-grains/index.html