Calendula: The Herb For Digestion, Immunity & More!

Hi there!

Today I’d like to share with you how calendula is an all-around health-boosting herb.
 
Well, calendula officinalis or the common pot marigold is appreciated not only for its bright beautiful addition to the garden but also because of its culinary and medicinal benefits.
 
Calendula is native to the Mediterranean but is now found almost everywhere. Composed of bright petals in orange or yellow, calendula grows up to 1-2 feet tall.


 
But this flower isn’t just pretty–it has anti-bacterial, anti-fungal, and anti-inflammatory properties.  No wonder it has long been made into oils, creams, and ointment to be used to heal wounds and skin problems.
 
The FDA has actually approved the use of calendula both as a spice and as an ingredient for cosmetics, body creams, soaps, and shampoos as well as wound treatment.
 
Let’s look more closely at some of its benefits!
 

Calendula is good for your skin

  1. Calendula hydrates dry skin. If you are suffering from dry, itchy, or irritated skin, relieve it by applying cream or ointment with calendula as an ingredient. It promotes the production of collagen, which is an essential protein that keeps the skin tissues strong and elastic. If you have eczema, dermatitis, or dandruff, calendula will soothe your skin and keep it hydrated. For babies, who have the most sensitive and delicate skin, calendula prevents and heals diaper rash and other skin irritations.
  2. Calendula heals wounds. This is why calendula or a cream or ointment made from it is a must in the medicine cabinet. Otherwise known as a healing plant, calendula promotes wound healing when applied topically to the affected area. This really comes in handy for insect bites, bruises, blisters, cuts, sunburns, burns, and so on. Its anti-inflammatory properties, antimicrobial components, and collagen formation ability really work wonders.
  3. Calendula reduces scarring. When you use calendula to treat your wound, it reduces scar tissue formation. By speeding up wound healing and encouraging a healthy healing process, calendula allows the growth of healthy new tissue (so your wound heals cleanly).
  4. Calendula prolongs onset of wrinkles. Protect your cells from oxidative stress with the aid of calendula. Its antioxidant and anti-inflammatory compounds help with this. Oxidative stress plays a big role in the aging process and disease development. So, by protecting your cells from this kind of damage, calendula helps your skin stay healthier.

Calendula assists with digestion

Calendula’s healing powers not only apply to external wounds, but also internal ones. People with ulcers, heartburn or even irritable bowel syndrome can benefit from calendula because it protects the stomach lining and repairs the gut wall. This results in improved digestion and temporary relief of discomfort.

 
Calendula boosts the immune system

Calendula has the ability to fight infection because of its antimicrobial properties. This is why it is attributed to strengthening the immune system.
 
Calendula tea can be used for relief from coughs or nasal congestion.
 
Next week, I’ll discuss further how calendula is used so stay tuned!
 
It is my passion to work with people like you whose health symptoms are getting in the way of you living life fully and with a sense of freedom in your body. I can help you to regain your health so you can feel great and free to enjoy life fully.
 
If you’re ready to discover where your best health has been hiding, I’d love to connect with you!
Apply for a complimentary Unstoppable Health Discovery Session. http://bit.ly/schedulinghealth (subject to availability).

Until next time, I’m wishing you unstoppable health!

~Rebecca

Phytate–Friend or Anti-Nutrient?

Hi there!
This week, we’re going to talk about phytate or phytic acid and whether it’s healthful or harmful.
 
Phytate is a unique natural compound found in seeds, nuts, grains, and legumes. This compound stores phosphorus.  Once the seed sprouts, that phosphorus is released and used by the young plant for survival.


 
Phytic acid has been labeled as an anti-nutrient because it hinders the absorption of some minerals such iron, zinc, and calcium. It’s possible that this can cause mineral deficiencies among people who don’t eat a balanced diet.
 
So is it really an anti-nutrient?
 
Yes.
 
Is it totally bad for your health?
 
No, it’s not. In fact, it has a number of benefits!

Phytate Benefits

Phytate only blocks the absorption of the aforementioned minerals at the time it is ingested and doesn’t affect the absorption of minerals in subsequent meals.
 
And besides, the benefits of high-phytate foods far outweigh its anti-nutrient ability. The following are some of the health benefits of phytate:

  1. Phytate is anti-cancer. Not only does phytic acid stop the growth of cancer cells, but it also boosts the immune system so that the natural killer cells are able to get rid of cancer cells without hurting the normal cells. They cut down blood supply to tumors so that the tumor is starved and not able to thrive. What’s better news is that phytate allows cancer cells to go back into normal cells. It’s that fascinating?!
  2. Phytate protects from osteoporosis. In a study, women who had high phytate levels had the lowest levels of bone loss in the hips and spine.
  3. Phytate prevents kidney stones. The presence of phytate inhibits or stops the crystallization of calcium salts and thus prevents the formation of renal or kidney stones.

So generally, phytic acid isn’t bad for your health just because it is an anti-nutrient. Unless, of course, you don’t eat a balanced diet.

For example, meat is a heme source of iron and is more efficiently absorbed by the body in contrast to non-heme iron which is derived from plants. It’s the same with zinc.

So it’s ideal if your diet consists of both plant and meat sources of these minerals to avoid having problems with mineral deficiencies. Plus, you can try these 3 strategies to lessen or degrade phytate in your plant sources:

  1. Soaking. Legumes and cereals can be soaked in water overnight so that their phytate content can be reduced. 
  2. Sprouting. Also known as germination, sprouting degrades the phytic acid in seeds, nuts, and legumes.
  3. Fermentation. This process allows the formation of organic acids that break down phytate.

 Overall, your body receives more benefits than harm from phytate. It only becomes significantly a problem if your mineral sources are not varied. However, there are techniques that can reduce the phytate content of your food, such as soaking, sprouting, and fermentation.
 
It is my passion to work with people like you whose health symptoms are getting in the way of you living life fully and with a sense of freedom in your body. I can help you to regain your health so you can feel great and free to enjoy life fully.
 
If you’re ready to discover where your best health has been hiding, I’d love to connect with you!
Apply for a complimentary Unstoppable Health Discovery Session. http://bit.ly/schedulinghealth (subject to availability).
Until next time, I’m wishing you unstoppable health!


~Rebecca

7 Herbs and Spices that Boost Gut Health

Your gut microbiome plays an important role in keeping your immune system healthy as well as in managing your mood.

Eating the right diet is essential for keeping the microorganisms that make up your microbiome healthy and happy. Foods that keep the gut lining intact and help in the proper movement of food through your digestive tract are necessary to keep your gut healthy.

Today I’ll share with you 7 herbs and spices that boost gut health.

Ginger

Ginger is famous for its culinary value and use in folk medicine. Ginger stimulates the migrating motor complex, the movement of the smooth muscles of the digestive tract that propels residual food forward. Without the migrating motor complex, food sits in your gut and ferments…and eventually causes bloating, gas, and stomach aches.

Ginger also promotes tissue repair in the gut lining and prevents symptoms of inflammatory conditions. In addition, ginger protects the liver from alcohol-induced damage. Most importantly, ginger feeds the beneficial bacteria in your gut!

Try this yummy recipe of ginger beef to help you kickstart a diet with more ginger (can substitute for other proteins if you don’t eat beef).
 
Turmeric


Turmeric is a natural carminative–meaning, it relieves flatulence. As early as 600BC, people already used turmeric for its medicinal properties. It helps in preventing indigestion and inflammation so that incorporating turmeric in your diet can be part of an approach to preventing leaky gut from happening.

Check out the 37 turmeric recipes for vegetables, meats, and more. Turmeric supplements can be hard to digest so using the spice in your cooking is a great way to access its health benefits.

Dandelion

Dandelion is not your ordinary flower. This plant is considered as an herb because all of its parts are used for medicinal purposes. The roots are rich in a soluble fiber and prebiotic called inulin–making it suitable to ease constipation and to nourish the gut microbiome.

Dried dandelion roots make a great tea. You can also mix dandelion greens with other greens for an even healthier salad.

Parsley

Parsley also holds a lot of powerful health benefits for the gut. Adding some parsley in your daily meals could help prevent indigestion and gas. Parsley is pretty versatile. Use it in your salad, soup, stews, garnish, and more to give your gut a health boost.

Basil

Basil leaves, interestingly, have a lot of gut benefits. It has been actually used in traditional medicine to treat indigestion, bloating, and water retention. But above all, basil leaves feed the healthy bacteria in your gut.

Chamomile

Aside from the calming effect of chamomile tea, it is also good for the gut. It has been used to comfort upset stomachs, indigestion, and abdominal gas.

Chamomile tea comes from the dried chamomile flowers and contains flavanoids and antioxidants that make it an ideal herbal remedy.
 
Bay Leaf


Bay leaf is an aromatic leaf famous in the culinary world, but it is also effective in the relief of indigestion. It also helps in decreasing our bodies’ level of toxicity and soothes symptoms of irritable bowel syndrome (IBS).

You can use bay leaf in pickling, marinating, and adding flavor to your dishes. I love to use it in soups, chili, and spaghetti sauce! Check out different bay leaf recipes here.

So I hope you will use this information to make your meals both delicious and gut healing.

It is my passion to work with people like you whose health symptoms are getting in the way of you living life fully and with a sense of freedom in your body. I can help you to regain your health so you can feel great and free to enjoy life fully.

If you’re ready to discover where your best health has been hiding, I’d love to connect with you!
Apply for a complimentary Unstoppable Health Discovery Session. http://bit.ly/schedulinghealth (subject to availability).

Until next time, I’m wishing you unstoppable health!
~Rebecca