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Benefits of Green Tea for Detox

     Green tea, (Camellia Sinensis), is one of those wonderful drinks that can be enjoyed hot or cold.  There's nothing like the warm, grassy smell wafting through the air from a steaming cup of hot green tea on a cold, rainy day.  It is equally delicious poured over ice on a hot, summer day with a squeeze of lemon or lime to add a little zing.  And the really good news is all the wonderful health benefits of green tea you receive in return.  Why is green tea good for you?  It's loaded with antioxidant flavonoids which fight cell-damaging free radicals.  Green tea has also been shown to lower heart disease risk by lowering bad cholesterol, boosting metabolism rates, strengthening the immune system, and may even help to prevent some types of cancer.  So why not drink a cup or two of green tea per day. It certainly can't hurt, and may help to protect your long term overall health with its amazing nutrients.

     Green tea has been recognized in other countries for centuries as a powerful medicinal aid.  It is known as the magical elixir.  Green tea is a wonderful detox for cleansing the body from impurities and toxic substances. Most of its benefits come from water-soluble polyphenols, also known as catechins, extracted from the green tea leaves by steeping in hot water for approximately five minutes.  When steeped too long, tannins are released and sometimes produce a bitter tasting tea.  As shown below, it is beneficial to nearly every organ system in the body.







Liver protective

Blood vessel cleanser

Stress relieving


     Green tea contains less caffeine than coffee, but yet enough to have an effect without giving you a bad case of the jitters.  Some people find it to be a more stable energy than with the highs and lows you sometimes get with coffee.

     The amino acid, L-theanine, in green tea helps to reduce stress.  Who can't use a little stress reduction in today's fast-paced world.

     The most powerful antioxidant in green tea is Epigallocatechin Gallate (EGCG).  Although there are other antioxidants in green tea, EGCG is attributed to being the main reason for green tea's powerful medicinal qualities.

     Green tea is known for boosting the metabolic rate.  Higher metabolism increases fat burning and assists with weight loss.  Anything that can help with weight loss is definite plus.

     Green tea helps to prevent heart disease and stroke by reducing bad cholesterol levels and cleaning the blood vessels.

     Many studies have been done on the effects of green tea and the successful prevention of various types of cancer.

     So go ahead and help yourself to a delicious cup of green tea


Black Clove of Garlic vs. White Clove of Garlic

A black clove of garlic has all of the health benefits from the sulfur allicin compound like a white clove of garlic but is sweet without the strong odor and garlic breath and has even more antioxidants per garlic clove.
White and black garlic

     Nowadays, most everyone knows of the many health benefits of garlic.  A black clove of garlic is completely different from a white clove of garlic; although, they both start out from the same garlic clove.  Read on if you want to reap all of the health benefits while eliminating the pungent odor of garlic breath. Garlic, Allium sativum, is a member of the onion family: Alliaceae.  Just some of the nutrients found in garlic are calcium, phosphorus, selenium, vitamin C, vitamin B6, and manganese.  Brimming with sulfur compounds and allicin which provide precious health benefits, fresh raw garlic is the best way to preserve them.   Unfortunately, a raw clove of garlic is not one of the most palatable foods to consume. Not to mention, you may still be experiencing a very unpleasant aftertaste yet the morning after.  People that normally flock to you, suddenly run in the other direction.   In steps Japanese black garlic to the rescue.  With its soft, almost gelatinous texture; and, caramelized, smoky sweetness, you could eat it by the jarful. The best news is that no one will ever know that you just ate six bulbs of garlic.

     Black garlic is much milder and sweeter in taste than regular garlic.  It is made from the same white garlic we are all familiar with, but it has been fermented; or technically, dried and aged under controlled conditions. No additives or preservatives are necessary or used.  This aging process softens the cloves of garlic while also greatly reducing the pungent odor and flavor normally associated with garlic.  It also converts the alliin into s-allylcysteine, a water soluble compound which makes the beneficial allicin more easily absorbed in our system. This process also greatly increases the antioxidants found in black garlic.  Black garlic is claimed to have as much as two to ten times the amount of antioxidants found in regular garlic. Imagine garlic that is so good for you and no garlic breath!  So why should we eat more garlic? Let's start with:

                                         Boosting our immune system

                              Reducing our cholesterol levels

                              Preventing heart disease and stroke

                              Relieving respiratory distress

                              Combating colds and flu

                              Preventing headaches

                              Reducing blood pressure

                              Increasing metabolism

                              Detoxing heavy metals

                              Preventing cancer

                              Protecting liver and kidney health

                              Promoting colon health

                              Natural antibiotic

A clove of garlic needs to be minced, chopped, or crushed to break down the cell walls and release the sulfur allicin compound from within the cells to maintain the health benefits when cooking or roasting garlic.
Garlic minced with chef's knife

     Black garlic can be consumed by simply peeling and eating or adding to your favorite recipe.  White garlic can be cooked and still retain most of the health benefits when prepared properly.  If you enjoy the pungent flavor of regular garlic in your recipes, then please learn the proper way to prepare it while still reaping all of its benefits.  Heat and improperly prepared garlic destroys nearly all of the health benefits, so pay close attention. It's really very simple.  Just what is a garlic clove?  The solid white cluster is called a bulb of garlic.  When you break it open the individual pieces are called the cloves.  Start by breaking the cloves away from the bulb. Peel each individual clove.  Now break down the garlic cloves by:  chopping, mincing, slicing, grinding, grating, pounding, stomping, crushing, mashing, smashing or jumping on top of it. Or all of the above.  The point is to break it up and allow it to 'rest' for 10-15 minutes before throwing it into a hot frying pan.  Crushing the garlic ruptures the cell walls. During this short time period, naturally occurring enzymes mingle to create the desired sulfur compound allicin.  The garlic is now minimally effected by heat, and most of the wonderful health benefits are retained.  For further protection and maximum flavor, it is recommended that garlic be exposed to heat for as little time as possible at the lowest temperature possible.  Overcooking or scorching garlic tends to make the flavor bitter.

Chicken with 40 Cloves of Garlic

     The ever popular recipe, chicken with 40 cloves of garlic, can be made much healthier.  Simply pierce or crush the cloves. and allow them to rest, before placing them into the cavity of the chicken.  Optionally, add some sliced onions in with the garlic along with some fresh herbs.  Rosemary, thyme, or sage go well with chicken.  Rub down the breast and legs of the chicken with some olive oil, garlic and sprinkle with herbs.  Add salt and pepper if desired.  Sprinkle with some paprika for the finishing touch.  Roast in the oven at 350 degrees for 1-1 1/2 hours or until the internal temperature reaches 165 degrees.  If you have a crock pot, slow cooking is even better.  More of the juices are retained in the meat of the chicken, and the lower temperature is more favorable for the garlic benefits.    Once again, just be sure the internal temperature of the chicken reaches 165 degrees.

Roasted Garlic

     The same rules apply for roasting garlic.  Removing any loose skin and cut away the top of each bulb. Then either pierce the individual cloves, or roll and press the whole bulb against a cutting board to release the allicin. Allow it to rest, then drizzle with olive oil.  Place in foil or garlic roaster in a 400 degree oven for approximately 40 minutes.

Garlic Storage

An unglazed clay garlic keeper works best for garlic storage because the moisture from the bulb of garlic is absorbed into the clay.
Unglazed Clay Garlic Keeper
     When purchasing garlic, choose bulbs that are white, firm and not sprouting.  Properly stored, unbroken garlic bulbs, can last up to eight weeks.  Individual cloves will last 8-10 days.  After that they begin so soften and deteriorate and should be discarded.

       Good air circulation is the key to storing garlic.  Wire baskets, paper bags, or hung in netting work well.  The very best thing for storing garlic is a garlic keeper made out of unglazed clay.  These types of garlic keepers work so well because any moisture in the bulb of garlic is absorbed into the clay. 

     Store fresh garlic at a cool room temperature of around 60 degrees.  Garlic should not be refrigerated as it can cause mold growth.

     To avoid sprouting, store garlic away from sunlight in a dark place:  a cupboard, cellar, or shady area of kitchen.

     Freezing fresh garlic is not recommended as it changes the texture and flavor of the garlic.  Roasted garlic has already softened and does retain more of the flavor when frozen. 

Organic white garlic bulbs should be purchased when firm, white, and not sprouting,



Chia Seed Nutritional Powerhouse Detox Food

     Chia seeds are a great way to detox your body.  Full of vitamins and  antioxidants, these amazing seeds deliver nutrients directly to the cells.  Their gelling properties allow them to hold water aiding hydration.  Chia seeds swell to nine times their original size when added to liquid. And yes, chia was the seed used to grow chia pets.  Unfortunately, no one knew the potency of the seeds or they would have been eating them instead of growing them for the novelty.  The Aztecs carried a pouch of chia seeds when running as their sole nutritional support.  They provided them with stamina and endurance to travel for many miles.  There's so many great things to say about chia, where does one begin? Antioxidants, vitamins, strength, fiber, energy, detox, etc., and the list goes on:

Essential fatty acids reduce high blood pressure for cardiovascular health.

Stabilize blood sugar levels for diabetics.

Anti-inflammatory properties reduce pain caused by inflammation for arthritics.

Boost metabolism and promote lean muscle mass.

Essential fatty acids improve brain function through efficient nerve transmission.

Regular consumption improves stamina and endurance.

Rid the digestive tract of toxins by collecting them and carrying them away.

Enhance hydration and retain electrolytes present in body fluids.

High protein for healthy hair, skin, and nails.

     There's nothing magical about chia seeds when it comes to weight loss.  Quite simply, the bulk of this very low calorie food gives you a feeling of fullness, while also helping to regulate blood sugar levels avoiding food cravings caused by sugar spikes highs and lows.
     Since they're really quite tasteless, chia seeds can be added to just about anything you eat.  Smoothies, cereals, salsas, yogurt, salads, soups, and dips.  Add them to muffins, pancakes, breads and cakes for extra nutrition.   They can even replace oils or butter in baked goods.  Just mix one tablespoon of chia with 9 tablespoons of water.  Stir to prevent clumping and wait 15 minutes for it to gel.  Measure the same amount you would normally have used of butter or oil and substitute the chia gel in your recipe.    

--Chia Seed Facts:

                                           2.5 times more protein than kidney beans  
                               3 times the antioxidant strength of blueberries
                               3 times more iron than spinach
                               6 times more calcium than milk
                               7 times more vitamin C than oranges
                               8 times more omega-3 than salmon
                              10 times more fiber than rice
                              15 times more magnesium than broccoli


                      And in case you're still more interested in watching chia seed grow rather that eating it:


Goji Berry Nutritional Powerhouse

     Goji berries (Lycium barbarum) are one of the most nutritionally dense fruits known on the planet and exhibit amazing properties.  Also known as wolfberries, they are native to the Himalayan mountains of Tibet and Mongolia, but now grown in many other countries as well. Used for both medicinal purposes as well as a popular culinary ingredient, Goji berries have been consumed for thousands of years in Tibet and China.  They are wonderful way to flush toxins from the body and improve your overall health without a lot of effort.  With a score of over 25,000 on the ORAC scale and heavy duty anti-inflammatory, antibacterial and anti-fungal properties, just a small amount of goji berries pack a powerful punch of health benefits.  Gojis are unique among other fruits because not only do they have the highest concentration of protein of any fruit, they also contain all of the essential amino acids.  They are packed with vitamin C, contain more carotenoids than any other food, have 21 trace minerals, and are very high in fiber and iron.  It's no wonder they are considered a nutritional powerhouse:

          High in antioxidants to remove cancer causing free radicals in the blood.

          Lowers bad cholesterol levels and protects the heart from disease.

          Protects eyesight with vitamin A, zeaxanthin, and beta-carotene.

          Reduces insomnia and improves sleep patterns.

          Relieves stress and promotes a sense of calm and well-being.

          Consuming foods high in antioxidants can slow the aging process.

          Raises energy levels with B complex vitamins which convert food into energy.

Goji berries are high on the OREC scale and high in antioxidants, vitamins, polysaccharides, amino acids, carotenoids, trace minerals, fiber and iron for immune support and detoxification of the human body.
          Strengthens the immune system.

          Detoxes liver and kidneys.

          Normalizes blood pressure.

          Regulates blood sugar levels.

          Slows hair loss and graying.

     Goji berries contain unique Lycium barbarum polysaccharides which assist immune cells in communicating and functioning.  They provide a good fuel source for supporting healthy intestinal bacteria. These polysaccharides also act as a detoxification aid in the removal of metabolic waste products such as lactic acid accumulated during muscle exertion.  The Goji berry is used medicinally in Asia for inflammatory disorders such as asthma, allergies, chronic pain and cancer.

     With a score of 25,300 on the ORAC scale per 100 grams, you can see that it would only take 20 grams or about a heaping tablespoon of goji berries to reach the suggested consumption of 5000 units per day for maximum benefit.  On the other hand, you would have to eat 22 apples to reach the same daily dose of 5000 units.  It is still important to eat a wide variety of fruits and vegetables daily because they all supply different benefits.

     In Western countries goji berries are most commonly available in dried or powder form or juice.  The whole dried goji berry can be soaked for a couple of hours and added to smoothies and the liquid can be consumed as a delicious juice.  The dried or soaked whole berries can be added to trail mix, cereal, oatmeal,  salads, and baked goods.   The powder can be added to smoothies, sprinkled over cooked or cold cereals, salads or even added to soups.  Goji powder is also delicious in tea.  The whole dried berries are also a great snack right out of the bag.  It is very important when purchasing goji berries to look for the organic label as some imports in the past have been found to have high concentrations of pesticides.


    Goji berries are a member of the Solanaceae (nightshade) family of plants.  Any reactions such as nausea or rash are usually attributed to detoxing.   If you have sensitivities to nightshade plants such as tomatoes, potatoes, peppers, or eggplants or have allergies to pollen you may want to  discuss with your allergist whether or not to try goji berries.

Note:  Those taking medications for diabetes, blood pressure, or blood thinners such as warfarin (Coumadin) should avoid goji berries or consult with their physician before consuming them as they may interact with some medications.  They should also not be used by pregnant or lactating mothers as they can be a uterine stimulant.