Superfoods Blog

The Superfoods Blog lists our recent page updates, recipes and DIY's.

Benefits of Citrus Fruit

Much More Than Vitamin C

Citrus trees are quite amazing in that they can produce large bright-colored juicy sweet fruits in the peak of winter. Citrus types like oranges can likewise be a reviving treat in these colder months when many people crave their immune-nourishing nutrients. Of course, one of the most famous nutritional benefits of citrus fruit is that all are very high in VITAMIN C, but there are other amazing aspects about citrus you may be less familiar with.

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What is Paprika Made Of?

12 Facts About This Household Spice

What is paprika made of exactly and is it from a particular spice plant species? Paprika can technically come from any kind of Capsicum annuum red pepper. Although is it commonly made from less pungent red chili pepper varieties, the spice doesn’t originate from one particular type. Most paprika is made from the pericarp or fruit flesh of the pepper and contains little to no seeds, giving the powder its iconic bright red color. Depending on where paprika is from, it can be sourced from a number of Capsicum annuum varietals or cultivars that are indeed created for paprika production.

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Natural Sleep Aids

Superfoods for Insomnia

This is our list of natural sleep aid including foods, herbs, vitamins and supplements to select from if you're someone who has short-term or chronic insomnia. It is estimated that between 1 and 3 people worldwide have occasional short-term insomnia and 1 in 10 people have chronic insomnia or nightly sleeplessness that lasts over several weeks. There are of course certain dietary adjuncts that can also influence better sleep.

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Health Benefits of Kale

7 Reasons to Eat It and When to Avoid

What are the health benefits of kale? Kale is a winter leafy green vegetable known for its highly nutritious large leaves. One of the most common kale types is curly kale but others like lacinato, also called cavolo nero or dinosaur kale, are also popular for their bumpy rounded leaves. Why are the many varieties of kale often called superfoods? Here are 7 reasons why you might want to eat more, plus when kale is best avoided.

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What is the Mediterranean Diet?

The Healthy Diet Series

The Mediterranean diet is a melting pot of shared lifestyle and food traditions developed over a period of centuries in locations around the Mediterranean Sea. The term "Mediterranean" diet is really in fact a misnomer as it implies that all people of the Mediterranean region eat the same, which is simply not the case. Generally, however, there are similar food, drink and diet patterns between the cultures of this environment. Unlike other popular diets, like the Keto diet, the Mediterranean diet is not strict about keeping track of daily calories, carbohydrates or protein and fat ratios.

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Albizia Julibrissin Benefits

The "Tree of Happiness"

Albizia julibrissin also called "silk tree", is known for its unique fuchsia pink-tipped silky thread-like flowers that burst like fireworks when in bloom. You may also recognize albizia as a variety of mimosa, frequently viewed as a favored landscape ornamental as well as invasive seed spreading species. It's not just called the "tree of happiness" because of its cheery-looking pom pom-like flowers that can make one smile. One of the things you may not be familiar with when it comes to Albizia julibrissin is its long history as an herbal species.

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Kiwano Melon

8 Things About

Kiwano melon (Cucumis metuliferus) is an unusual looking melon variety that you may have noticed in the tropical fruit section of your local market next to dragon fruit, jackfruit or star fruit. It is frequently called African horned cucumber which simultaneously identifies its place of origin. Likewise, it is jokingly referred to as "cuke-a-saurus" because of its cross resemblance to a lemon cucumber and a type of back-spiked dinosaur. Kiwano fruit, like other melons, is a vine-growing plant. The size averages about 6 inches (15 cm) long and 4 inches (10 cm) wide.

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Red Banana Nutrition

Comparison to Yellow Banana

The red banana is not a wild species but is actually cultivated and from the same AAA group as common yellow bananas, like the Cavendish. Both are considered "dessert bananas" rather than "cooking bananas". The most popular cultivar in North and Central America is the Red Dacca, but there are many others depending on the region grown. Red banana is usually short, straight and plump whereas the yellow banana is long, curved and slender. The unpeeled red banana can also have a more flattened look compared to yellow.

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Boiled Bay Leaves

3 Unusual Uses

While the burning bay leaf manifestation trend is quite fascinating as a way to increase success, especially in the prosperity department which we will later discuss, there are other amazing yet unusual uses of bay leaves when prepared as a tea. This is thanks to several unique compounds and their health properties. There are different types of bay species growing worldwide, all from either the laurel or myrtle family. Being from the Western U.S., we are very familiar with the wild California Bay Umbellularia californica. However, Laurus nobilis or "bay laurel" is the one most utilized commercially and a common staple found in many kitchen spice racks.

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Constipation Home Remedies

Top Natural Favorites

Triphala powder is a specific Ayurvedic formulation composed of three dried fruits: amalaki, haritaki and bibhitaki. It is one of India's most valued and commonly utilized household herbs and supplements for constipated conditions. Used on a daily basis to improve bowel regularity, triphala powder (also called triphala churna) is viewed as a tridoshic herbal formula, considered good for many different body constitutions

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Wild Manzanita Berries and Leaves

Food and Folk Uses

We wouldn't be doing our wild foods list a favor if we didn't mention one of our local California favorites, the manzanita species. Many of you who happen to live in Western North America may be familiar with the thick dense grey-green leaves and beautiful smooth sometimes shedding bark of this magical shrub. Manzanita is a popular food source for bears, coyotes and various ground animals. Here, we will discuss the several folk uses of manzanita berries and leaves for humans and how to prepare them.

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Benefits of Chia Seeds Vs Flax Seeds

Which is Better?

Flax and chia are two fairly well-known superfoods that support body weight management. However, when it comes to weight loss diets, flax is the star of the show. Yes, chia is still good, but flax is even better. That's because golden and brown flax seeds are higher in soluble fiber, a mucilage or gel-like substance that occurs when the seeds are soaked in water. While chia is actually higher in total fiber compared to flax, chia seeds only contain about half as much soluble fiber.

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5 Sea Lettuce Facts

About Nutrition and Quality

Can You Eat Sea Lettuce? Yes, sea lettuce is an edible seaweed! A commonplace staple in many coastal regions of the globe, it is prevalent worldwide along rocky marine shorelines in both colder and tropical ocean waters. Sea lettuce is used in its raw state, either fresh or dried, as well as added to cooked foods to nutritionally fortify the diet. It is available as a dried whole leaf seaweed or as flakes.

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Herbs and Foods for Healthy Skin

A List of 12

This is our list of foods for healthy skin. By "foods" we mean everything from everyday staples to herbs, superfoods and drinks. These are our top 12 favorites; we hope you enjoy. 1) SCHIZANDRA - Schizandra berry is one of the famous "beauty tonics" highly revered throughout East Asian history, especially by women. It is still traditionally used as an important botanical in many skin-rejuvenating formulas and is often associated with the Taoist goddess Magu, a deity representing eternal beauty.

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Top 2 Health Benefits of Turmeric

What the Research Says

The amazing health benefits of turmeric root (Curcuma longa) come from its bright yellow-orange phenolic antioxidant known as CURCUMIN. This is the main component known to provide for turmeric's impressive array of useful properties. Here are the top two most profound science-based ways that adding turmeric spice and/or a turmeric curcumin supplement to the diet can be a medicinal helper on your healing journey. We'll also discuss how to take turmeric and the best ways to use it for optimal results.

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Himalayan Salt Vs Sea Salt

7 Major Differences

The first difference between Himalayan salt vs sea salt is that Himalayan is considered a type of rock salt. Different than sea salt, it has to be mined from the earth rather than collected along the sea shore. Both forms occur from the evaporation of saltwater or saline lakes. However, sea salts by comparison are newly formed salt deposits that collect on the earth's surface. Himalayan salt is an ancient salt that's been compressed over millions of years. It's believed to be one of the purest unpolluted forms of salt for this reason.

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Is Stevia Healthy?

The Truth About This Sugar Substitute

Yes, stevia sweetener is considered a healthier option, but not all stevia is created equal. We will further discuss the best stevia to use, plus why it was banned, any potential side effects and if stevia will break ketosis when following a keto diet. But first, why is stevia healthy? Stevia (pronounced stee-vee-ah) comes from the green leaves of the plant Stevia rebaudiana. Highly marketed as a "zero-calorie" sweetener, stevia is considered a good choice for those looking for a natural sugar substitute, replacing artificial sweeteners as well as other high-calorie sugars.

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The Power of Clove Tea

And Clove Oil for Hair Growth

What is the power of clove tea? It's been used for many things both internally and topically throughout the ages. Often valued for its most aromatic and potent antioxidant compound known as EUGENOL, this is one of the secrets to clove that give it exceptional qualities above others. Many herbs and spices, like nutmeg and allspice, also contain eugenol in smaller amounts, but cloves or the Syzygium aromaticum species is by far the #1 source. Clove tea is a traditional herbal anti-inflammatory, antibacterial, respiratory and immune supporting ally. However, the external application of clove tea and clove oil for hair growth is probably one of its most famous uses.

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Nutritional Yeast

Top 5 Benefits Simplified

Is nutritional yeast vegan? Yes, it's an inactive dried yeast that has a unique flavor similar to Parmesan cheese but doesn't contain dairy. It is, therefore, most well-known among those adhering to a vegan or vegetarian diet, especially as a food topping. It's also a source of naturally occurring glutamic acid, which provides benefits as a taste enhancer, giving it a mouth-watering umami flavor that can make it hard to stop eating. Wondering how to make nutritional yeast?

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Cleansing with Lemon Water

5 Benefits for Detox

What detox drink is incredibly inexpensive to make yet comes with loads of benefits? It's plain and simple lemon water! While long-time health enthusiasts have been drinking it for decades, lemon water is now a popular way to encourage one of the fundamental basics of health... the release of accumulated wastes and toxins. We give instructions on exactly how to make lemon water below for best results, but first, let’s discuss what makes lemon juice especially beneficial when added to water from a detoxification standpoint.

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Kudzu Root, Is It Arrowroot?

Benefits for Alcohol Addiction

Kudzu root (Pueraria lobata) comes from one of the fastest growing vines on the planet. Introduced to control soil erosion, it is now considered an invasive legume species in many subtropical regions of the Southern United States. Known to completely take over and kill other neighboring plants, it is especially aggressive along country roadsides or developed suburban locations. One good thing that you can achieve by pulling up its roots, aside from stopping its growth, is to use it as an edible wild food. The starchy oblong root tuber beneath the ground has in fact been utilized as both a vegetable as well as a healthful herbal ally for many centuries.

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Mustard Seed and Prepared Mustard

6 Facts and Benefits

When using the term "mustard", frequently the smooth yellow paste-like condiment comes to mind. "Mustard" however can also refer to the seeds that it is made from. Mustard seed is a type of spice, used whole or as a ground powder. The three types of seeds identified by their color are yellow, brown and black. Yellow mustard seed, sometimes called white mustard, is the one most popular for use as a type of culinary seasoning. Interestingly, however, all mustard seed is yellow on the inside, despite the exterior pigmentation. When mustard seeds are soaked in liquid, they become slightly mucilaginous and the perfect consistency for making what is commonly called "prepared" mustard.

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What is Sorghum?

12 Things About This Lesser-Known Grain

Sorghum is a common multipurpose crop grown for its use as a fodder plant, grain and sweetener. The Sorghum bicolor species is the main one used as a minor cereal in the same grass family as sugarcane, corn, wheat and rice. Growing tall with corn-like leaves and large seed clusters, the grain has been a long-time staple in countries like Africa and India. While it is fifth on the list of grains consumed worldwide, it interestingly remains relatively unknown in many parts of the globe.

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Cheap Superfoods List Part Two

For Emergency Backstock

This is our Cheap Superfoods List Part Two created again, like our "Part One" list, with similar goals in mind. The first is to focus on the most affordable dietary essentials for those looking to offset inflation and the rising cost of living. The second is to select the most nutritive bulk food provisions to have in your emergency backstock during these seemingly unstable times. Preparing in advance when supplies are still relatively abundant can be key. As the "global collective" appears to be going through some transitions, these are decisions that can provide some peace of mind knowing you have the basics for you and your family.

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Olive Leaf Extract

Benefits as an Herbal Supplement

Olive leaf extract is an herbal preparation made from the leaves of the olive tree. The green oblong leaf is essentially considered a type of "herb" in Western herbalism and has been used in many folk traditions throughout the ages, especially in olive tree conducive climate zones like the Mediterranean and the Middle East. While making a cup of olive leaf tea from the leaves or powder was consumed for its healthful properties, today concentrated olive leaf extracts are more widely utilized for phytotherapeutic purposes.

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Sunflower Seeds

7 Health Benefits

Sunflower seeds have the highest amount of Vitamin E out of all the nut and seed types. A one-ounce serving (about 3T of raw seeds) can offer an average of 47% of the daily recommended intake. There is so much VITAMIN E in sunflower seeds that many vitamin E supplements are in fact sourced from sunflower oil, mostly in the form of α-tocopherol. Vitamin E is well-known for its skin healing benefits and is a supportive nutrient to the eyes, brain and nerve functions.

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Celery Juice Revisited

Top 4 Common Myths

Celery juice became a worldwide trend in 2018 and since this time many people are witness to its healing potential. Over the years, however, the idea of drinking the juice of this seemingly simple vegetable has met its share of skepticism. While we have discussed the many benefits of celery juice on other pages, here we review some of the common myths we have come across regarding this still popular mono juicing variety.

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Benefits of Avocado

The Keto Diet Superfood

Avocado is one of those foods often deemed a "superfood". Among the well-known benefits of avocado to give it such a title is that it is a concentrated source of monounsaturated good fats, making it a healthy addition to many dietary regimes. They are in fact the fattiest natural food growing on planet Earth. This is a major feature that makes them one of the #1 foods to eat on a high-fat keto diet. Here are four other top reasons to consume avocados when "keto".

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Secret Uses of Fenugreek

For Women and Men

There are really so many things to say about the uses of fenugreek and its many forms commonly utilized. It is essentially a one-stop shop for use as seed spice, a sprout variety as well as an aromatic leafy green known as methi, widely used in Indian cuisine. Golden fenugreek seeds are used extensively in various parts of the Mediterranean and Middle East for their flavor-enhancing attributes as a seasoning added to numerous cultural dishes. While their bitter-sweet taste is considered therapeutic as a digestive aid, there are other secret uses of this long-valued herb.

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Cheap Superfoods List Part One

For Emergency Backstock

This is our Cheap Superfoods List Part One designed with two goals in mind. The first is to save money for those on a tight budget, and the second, is to select the best emergency food provisions to have in your pantry backstock. In these unstable times, when supply chain issues, as well as inflation, appear to be more and more common worldwide, it can be a good idea to create a stash of dietary essentials. These are our top picks divided into specific categories covering some of the basic foods, herbs, condiments and supplement sources. (Not listed in order of importance.)

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What is Chipotle Chili Powder?

3 Frequently Asked Questions

Question #1 - Is Jalapeño the Same as Chipotle? Yes and No. Yes, chipotle chili peppers and spice powder come from the jalapeño Capsicum annum species, but they are very different than the green jalapeños most are familiar with. Here are the list of differences, plus Morita vs Meco and other frequently asked things about this popular smoky-sweet-spicy household spice.

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Wheatgrass Juice Powder Vs Wheatgrass Powder

Difference Explained

Wheatgrass was one of the original "green foods" that became popular in the 1970s as a type of juicing microgreen used for its nutritive benefits when juiced. Containing almost all minerals, many vitamins and amino acids, the juice is not only a nourishing drink it also supports the body's cleansing processes. For modern-day lifestyles, wheatgrass is conveniently available as a green superfood powder for making an instant wheatgrass shot. Here we will discuss the main differences between wheatgrass powder vs wheatgrass juice powder and our opinion about which form we believe to be the most nutritious.

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Benefits of Eating Lentils

Top 5 Assets

Lentils have been utilized as a food source by many diverse cultures ever since their domestication in the Fertile Crescent and Middle East region thousands of years ago. Still today they are a staple part of the diet in a number of countries around the world such as India, Africa, Morocco and Turkey. Valued for their high amount of PROTEIN content, the benefits of eating lentils are making a comeback in recent times as the trend for consuming plant-based protein sources continues to rise. Learn more about the top reasons to include more of them in your diet.

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Cold Brew Coffee Vs Regular Coffee

Is It Better?

Coffee is the second most popular drink next to water that many people drink every day all over the planet. The question of whether it is good or bad is not always an easy one to answer. Yes, traditionally prepared hot coffee is a source of antioxidants but for some, it can be too overstimulating to the nervous system and cause unwanted side effects over long-term use. Being one of the top caffeine sources, it can also be quite addictive. Since the cold brew coffee trend in recent years, avid coffee drinkers often ask us, "Is it better than regular coffee?" This is our research on the pluses and minuses of each as well as a bit of personal experimentation to compare the two.

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Propolis Benefits

What Makes It a Prized Superfood

Propolis (Resina propoli) is a resinous material made by honeybees (Apis mellifera) and some stingless bees to seal and protect the beehive from the elements, pests and harmful microbes. It has been highly valued by healers and herbalists alike for its many profound properties to humans when consumed or used topically. On the list with other prized bee superfoods like bee pollen, royal jelly and honey, it has been utilized in the folk tradition of apitherapy for a very long time and for several main uses we will discuss.

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List of Star Anise Uses

Is It a Source of Shikimate?

Star anise, recognizable by its unique star shape and very robust aromatic fragrance, comes from the fruit of the tree species Illicium verum. It is not actually related to anise seed (Pimpinella anisum) but does contain one major overlapping compound and that is ANETHOLE. This is one of the main flavorings in anise seed as well as licorice root and fennel seed, known for its distinctly sweet taste. Star anise is from the Schisandraceae family more closely related to schizandra than anise seed.

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5 Pineapple Pros and Cons

Truths About Bromelain

Pineapple is famous from a nutritional perspective for its reported high bromelain content. Bromelain is a "protein-digesting" proteolytic enzyme first extracted from pineapple juice in 1891. It became available on a larger scale in the late 50s as a nutritional supplement. While it is present in all parts of the Ananas comosus pineapple species, the inedible stem or the pedestal-like stalk that the fruit grows from is very concentrated. It is the primary part utilized to make bromelain dietary extracts. The question is, does eating pineapple increase dietary bromelain intake?

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What is Kimchi Made Of?

And What Is It Good For?

Kimchi, also spelled "kimchee" or "gimchi", is the iconic Korean side dish or "banchan" consumed for centuries as a staple condiment eaten with most meals. While unfermented kimchi called geotjeori is sometimes prepared as a type of quick-pickled coleslaw, most kimchi is aged via fermentation techniques. This is the one we are referring to here on this page because of its health-promoting potentials we discuss below. Aged kimchi, known as mugeun-ji, is created using the traditional "gimjang" wintertime preparation and vegetable preservation methods.

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An Up Close Look at Saw Palmetto

And Its Main Use for Men

Saw palmetto is a type of dwarf fan palm that grows in subtropical sandy soils. It is prevalent in the Southeastern U.S. especially Florida where it grows in hardy dense thickets as a long-living species. A single shrub reaching an age of 500 years is not uncommon in the Mid-Florida Ridge region. Serenoa repens (or Serenoa serrulata) gets its name "saw" due to the sharp-toothed edges of the main stalk or petiole that has a saw-like appearance. The part of the plant that has been of botanical interest to herbalists throughout the ages is the fruit. This is a single-seeded berry that ripens to a bluish-black color

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5 Benefits of Almonds and Almond Milk

Healthy Almond Attributes

The almond comes from the Prunus dulcis species which produce both sweet and bitter almonds. Sweet almonds are the common edible variety most widely used since they don't contain high amounts of the potentially toxic cyanide compound. Almonds are often considered a healthier choice over other types of nuts because, when raw and unroasted, they are higher on the alkaline side of the pH spectrum. Being much less acidic, they are a better nut option for those healing from a yeast overgrowth and/or trying to balance an overly acidic diet.

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Saffron, Why It's Called "Red Gold"

About Adulteration

Saffron is the stigma of the domesticated purple crocus flower species Crocus sativus, a member of the iris family. After harvested and dried, the long trumpet-shaped stigmas are often referred to as "threads". They are the most potent when they have reached a deep orange-red color. We will discuss more on the hot topic of saffron adulteration, how to select the best quality and what saffron is good for from a health perspective, but first, why is saffron called the "gold of spices" or "red gold"?

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What is Bee Pollen Good For?

And Not Good For?

Bee pollen is created by one of the master pollinators of the earth, the honeybee. It has been collected from beehives and used by many ancient civilizations for its nutritive healing attributes and energizing influence on the body. In the folk tradition of apitherapy, the old-time practice of using bee products as alternative medicine, a bee's pollen is considered a "gold mine" of nutrition. Often valued the caviar of top superfoods, it is a complete and concentrated supplemental food comprised of a full spectrum of nutrients and can be one of the best natural multivitamins available, even when taken in very small doses.

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Dandelion Root Tea and Supplements

For Detox Support

Whole dandelion roots have a dark brown color with a somewhat unattractive rugged appearance. When fresh they have a medicinal milky juice that gives the dried root its white center, evident sometimes in the dried root pieces. Often, the tasty bitter-sweet tea decoctions are a popular way to enjoy its many benefits. So, what's so "dandy" about dandelion root tea and supplements? They are one of the top herbs most commonly utilized because of two intertwining aspects that can assist the body's own natural cleansing processes.

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Top 7 Reasons to Use Dulse Seaweed

Why It's Our Favorite

Dulse is a type of seaweed that grows primarily on the Northern Pacific and Atlantic coastlines, including Iceland, Canada and regions of the UK like Ireland where it has been used as a medicinal food for centuries. Dulse comes from the leaf-like fronds of the red marine algae Palmaria palmata species that's actually more of a mauve-purple than a red color. It is often acknowledged that one of the main benefits of seaweed is its high content of minerals and that is no overstatement.

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Peanut Butter Nutrition Facts

Pros and Cons

Peanut butter is a spreadable paste made from grinding dry-roasted peanuts. Peanuts come from the species Arachis hypogaea, also called "groundnut" because the nut-like legume pods grow underground. The domesticated peanut we are familiar with today once came from tropical and subtropical regions of South America where many related species were first developed by ancient civilizations. Today, peanut variations are cultivated all over the world and in the Southern United States, they have a long history spanning over two centuries.

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5 Uses of Dill

Things About Dill Weed Vs Dill Seed

Dill is one of the common herbs utilized for its feathery green leaves as well as its small flat oval seeds. The term "dill" can refer to both. Dill leaves and hollow stems, often called "dill weed", are frequently used fresh because of their wide availability. Dill weed is however also a typical dried kitchen spice rack variety. The dill plant (Anethum graveolens) comes from the celery or parsley family as do other spices such as coriander, fennel, cumin and caraway that also have umbrella-shaped lacey flowers or umbellifers that produce edible seeds.

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Benefit of Shilajit

A Top Ayurvedic Superfood

Shilajit is a thick brown-black substance that is naturally compressed over hundreds of years from plants and other organic matter trapped between rock layers at high altitudes usually over 10,000 feet (3048 meters). After this tar-like material exudes from the rocks in the warmer seasons and hardens, it is collected, purified and processed as a powder or resinous paste. While the dark resin is considered the purest form of shilajit, powders are still a very potent variety.

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Miso Paste and Miso Soup (Misoshiru)

The Top 11 Basics

Miso (pronounced mee-so) is a type of salty fermented bean paste customarily made with soybeans, salt and a culture starter called "kōji". While it is a popular condiment staple in Japanese cuisine, it is also used extensively in all parts of East and Southeast Asia especially China, Korea, Vietnam and Indonesia. After a fermentation period, usually between several months to one year, the cooked beans develop a robust umami flavor and earthy shoyu-like aroma.

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Red Jujube Fruit

Secret Tonic for Sleep Support and Insomnia

Jujube fruit comes from the jujube tree species Zizyphus jujuba. The ripe oval fruits are a yellowish spotted red-brown color that eventually turns a deep red-mahogany with a wrinkled appearance when dried. Commonly referred to as "red dates", dried jujubes are about the size of a date and also contain a single stone pit. Jujube is sometimes pronounced joo-joob, however, many Westerners often use the name "ju-ju-bee." That's the one we are most familiar with from our own personal experiences

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