Hummus has a fairly simple list of ingredients. Its main ones are chickpeas and tahini. Chickpeas are a kind of bean and tahini is made from roasted and ground sesame seeds. Both of these ingredients should be on our list of healthy plant based foods. In addition to these main ingredients hummus is also cooked with and, or served with garlic and olive oil. Both of these ingredients are also healthy ones.

Raw chickpeas
Raw chickpeas

People often shun hummus because they believe that it is too fattening. This is because of the amount of oil that it includes. Oils come from both the tahini and the olive oil. these are both considered to be healthy oils. In fact we are encouraged to eat more of them as part of a Mediterranean style diet. You can make a diet style hummus with less oil content.

Chickpeas have been used as a staple food in the Middle East since ancient times. They are a kind of bean, even though they perhaps don’t look much like the usual cannellini or black beans that we know. We are always being encouraged to eat more beans as part of a healthy diet. This is because beans like chickpeas contain lots of protein and fibre. They are healthy for our hearts and digestive system. Chickpeas are ideal for adding to your normal food intake. You can simply add chickpeas to stews and soups as you cook them. They add flavour and also add interest to the meals that you normally cook. One of the most exciting ways to include chickpeas in our normal diet is to eat them in the form of hummus.

Making good hummus is a bit of an art. There are many variations on the standard homemade hummus recipe, but the all important thing is to get the hummus to be extra smooth as well and nice and creamy. This all depends on how you deal with the chickpeas themselves. You have to start off with the raw dry chickpeas, soak them well and then cook them until they are very tender. The water that the chickpeas are cooked in contains lots of flavour and this is also used in the best recipes. The way you cook and prepare the chickpeas will influence how smooth and creamy the hummus is, that you produce.

Black bean hummus
Black bean hummus

Once you have the basics of making homemade hummus sorted out you can start adding flavours such as roasted red pepper, garlic, lime, peanut butter or even sun-dried tomatoes. The list of flavours that you can add is only determined by your imagination. Hummus can also be made from other types of beans including black and white beans. These have subtly different flavours and texture to hummus made from chickpeas but are equally as tasty and exciting.

Best hummus recipe
Best hummus recipe

You may think that hummus is just another dip but that isn’t the case. It can be used as a spread with sandwiches and wraps as well as being added to many recipes including soups and pasta dishes. Hummus is a good thickening agent and has a great creamy texture as well as having a fantastic taste. You can use it where you might use cream or mayonnaise.

Homemade hummus
Homemade hummus

To find out how to make fantastic tasting healthy hummus and how you can use it in cooking lots of recipes check out How to Make Hummus



Flaxseed Diet

Flaxseed has some wonderful properties as well as tasting good when added to food. It has light nutty flavor which is sure to enhance any food that you make. You can simply add it to salads by sprinkling a few seeds over your usual green salad items. In a lot of respects you can use it where you would normally use sesame seeds. Flax isn’t just a seed for salads though. You can use ground flaxseed, otherwise known as flaxseed meal, rather like flour. You can also use flaxseed oil in the same way as you would use other oil including in salad dressings.

Brown Flaxseeds
Brown Flaxseeds

The benefits of flaxseed are great in number. For a start of there are lots of good nutrients in each little seed. These include a wide spectrum of vitamins and minerals and lots of really good Omega 3 fats. In fact they have so much Omega 3 that they rival fish as a source of these valuable fats. This is good news if you are a vegan! More good news for vegans is that you can make a very good egg substitute using the gel found in flaxseeds. This gel is also found in the ground meal. It is very easy to use flaxseed meal as an egg substitute. You should also use it if you have an egg allergy.

Another neat thing about flaxseeds is that they contain practically zero amounts of carbohydrate. This is because the stored energy of the seed is in the form of oil. As a result they are great when it comes to producing food to fit in with a low carb diet.

You can use flaxseed meal in the same way that you use flour. This means that it is great for baking. Exchanging part of the flour for flaxseed meal when baking will add valuable nutrients to your food such as fiber and omega 3 fats. If you use flaxseed meal instead of wheat flour you can also make baked goods that are gluten free. This is then great for people who have a gluten allergy or celiac disease.

Go to Flaxseed Recipes if you want to find out more about how to go about changing existing recipes so that you can add valuable flaxseeds to them. There are also 36 flaxseed recipes included in the book showing how you can make gluten free, low carb and egg substituted meals

Apple Cider Vinegar Benefits

Apple cider vinegar is a fantastic naturally produced material which gives many health benefits.  Apple cider vinegar benefits include dealing with acne and controlling diabetes. You may come across it called simply cider vinegar.

The health of people can be made a lot better when they use apple cider vinegar. If you want to drink cider vinegar you should always dilute it first. This is so that strong raw vinegar doesn’t affect the teeth or throat. It has been found that if you have an apple cider vinegar diet it will give you apple cider vinegar weight loss.

You can use apple cider vinegar for skin and apple cider vinegar for hair. It can be used as a skin toner and will get rid of dandruff in a natural way. Drinking apple cider vinegar and honey is a good cure for the common cold. There are many other apple cider vinegar cures. Raw apple cider vinegar is the best to use and you can easily get this from fruit farms and the like. You need to make sure that it hasn’t been heat treated as this can destroy the valuable vinegar mother which also has many health giving properties.

To find out more about this wonderful liquid and how apple cider vinegar benefits can improve your health you should go to Apple Cider Vinegar

Spinach Green Smoothie

We all know how good spinach is for us, but how many people actually eat it on a regular basis? It isn’t really the kind of vegetable that you would have on its own. It is more than likely that you would include a little of it within something else like a pie, soup or omelet.  The other thing about spinach is that by cooking it you destroy a lot of the valuable nutrients that you are trying to get. The best way to get the most out of your spinach is to have it raw. You could have a salad with spinach but how much of this healthy stuff could you eat? The truth is that most of us would only be able to eat a small amount of spinach this way.  You would soon get bored of it, especially if you had spinach salad meal after meal. One of the easiest ways to get all these nutrients in a tasty way is to make a spinach green smoothie.


spinach green smoothie
You can serve up a nice looking green smoothie

The thought of a spinach green smoothie might not sound that appetizing, but that is exactly what they can be. For a start of, a spinach green smoothie isn’t just made up of spinach. The reality is that green smoothies are made up mainly of fruit. The correct proportions for a green smoothie are 60% fruit and 40% green leaves. This means that it will mainly taste of fruit. This makes green smoothies a far more pleasant affair. Basically, the fruit of choice and the spinach is thrown into a blender and the whole thing whizzed up. Here is an example of a spinach green smoothie recipe.


1 handful spinach

1 pint strawberries

3 small peaches

2 cups water


This smoothie will taste of strawberries and peaches and will be very tasty indeed. However, as well as getting all of this fruit towards your five a day you will also be getting all of the nutrients from the raw spinach as well. It is thought that raw greens provide far more essential dietary elements such a raw amino acids, antioxidants and vitamins than even fruit. These will all go towards protecting your body against diseases such as cancer as well as providing valuable plant roughage as well. A spinach green smoothie can also be very helpful as part of a weight reducing diet. In fact green smoothies can even be used as complete meal substitutes when dieting.


spinach green smoothie after whizzing up
The spinach green smoothie after whizzing up

One sure thing is that, a spinach green smoothie is also healthy for the reason of the things that are left out of it. There are none of the artificial flavours, additives, trans-saturated fats, cholesterol and refined sugars that you find in modern processed foods. All of these things can cause havoc with your body, giving rise to conditions such as diabetes and heart disease. If you want to find out about over 200 more green smoothie recipes go to Green Smoothie Recipes.

Wheatgrass benefits

Wheatgrass refers the young green shoots of the wheat plant. From a health point of view there can be considerable wheatgrass benefits. This is the same wheat plant that is responsible for producing the wheat grain that is used to make bread. Usually wheat is grown as a mass crop on farms and it is left to grow from the seeds that are planted until it flowers and then produces the ears of grain that we are so familiar with. This grain is then harvested and used to make flour. The rest of the plant, which by this stage is very brown and dry, is simply used as bedding for animals in the form of hay.

What is not particularly well known is that, way before the grain has formed; the young shoots of wheat grass are so green and tender that they can be eaten. You can eat them like the green leaves of a salad and in fact this is exactly what some people do. They take the shoots and add them to their normal green salad. These shoots contain valuable health giving nutrients including antioxidants, vitamins and minerals. It also contains an unidentified factor which is believed to have very strong health giving properties. These Wheatgrass benefits are being recognised by more and more people across the world.

Wheat grass has been identified as being helpful for people having certain conditions. These health conditions include those relating to the skin, cancer, diabetes, anaemia and arthritis. People who eat wheat grass have found many health benefits. These wheatgrass benefits can also help people who have gastric problems, athlete’s foot fungal infections or are trying to lose weight. Most grain crops including rye and barley can be consumed as grass in a similar way and each has similar health benefits. However, wheatgrass itself seems to have the most active ingredients in the greatest proportions out of all the grass crops.

Wheatgrass benefits from grain
The wheat grain is used to grow the young wheatgrass sprouts

A lot of people have become so interested in wheatgrass as a dietary supplement that they will grow the wheatgrass from seed grain in small planter trays. Once the seedlings have grown into tender grass they harvest the wheatgrass and consume it. For some, this way of eating it seems to be wasteful because our digestive systems aren’t designed to extract the nutrients from grass in this form. In order to get the maximum amount of goodness out of the wheatgrass they juice it and consume it as a drink. This has become very popular amongst health enthusiasts. In fact you can even buy wheatgrass from some juice bars. There are also dried and powdered forms of wheatgrass juice as well as convenient wheatgrass capsules that you can buy. If you are interested in finding out more about wheatgrass and the health benefits that it can give than go to Growing wheatgrass

Cinnamon health benefits

Cinnamon is mainly known as a spice and has been extensively used in the preparation of food for thousands of years. It was one of the first spices that came along the Silk Road from the East to be traded in Europe. Cinnamon is actually the dried bark of the Cinnamon tree. This is a small evergreen tree which originated in Sri Lanka and is still grown there as a crop. What you may not realize is that this spice has been also used in medicines for thousands of years as well. It was soon recognized that cinnamon had antiseptic properties and could be used to help get rid of infections. In Egypt they even used cinnamon in their mummification processes, where it stopped fungal growth and also provided a pleasant aroma. As scientists search for new medicines they have are looking once again at cinnamon, in order to discover if any cinnamon health benefits have been missed or undervalued.


There are many Cinnamon health benefits. Cinnamon can be used to help in a whole range of conditions. The Romans first recognised that it could be used to help with digestive problems such as indigestion, but it has also been discovered that it can help prevent excessive wind and possibly in the prevention of the development of ulcers.


It is thought that cinnamon can help with diabetes. Addition of it to the diet seems to make cells of the body that have become intolerant to glucose more responsive to it. This means that it can possibly help blood sugar levels in diabetics to become more normal once again.


Cinnamon health benefits from this quill shaped bark
The Cinnamon bark is rolled up into the familiar quill shape

In the case of arthritis it has been found that cinnamon can act as an anti inflammatory agent. This doesn’t mean that it can cure arthritis, but it certainly can help to ease the pain that people suffer with this condition. As well as this it can also help in preventing the stiffness that people feel in their joints.


With its strong anti fungal nature, cinnamon has been used to treat such conditions as Candida which can affect the genital areas and the mouth causing painful redness and itching. Candida is notoriously difficult to get rid of.  Cinnamon is much gentler on the body when compared with the usual fungal treatments. After all, we eat cinnamon so it can’t be that bad for us.


These are just a few of the cinnamon health benefits that have been identified. There are many more including its ability to help with certain cancers, heart conditions menstruation, menopause and toothache to mention just a few. To find out more about this wonderful spice go to Cinnamon Blood Pressure

Virgin Coconut oil and the good saturated fats

Virgin coconut oil is full of saturated fats. That is a fact. An undisputed fact. So, having said this at the start, it should have you running for the hills in fear! But hang on, I haven’t finished yet, so come back and read some more. You might be pleasantly surprised!

When exactly was it, when we became terrified of saturated fats? I’m not really sure, but it certainly changed the way that we think about certain foods like butter and cheese. The trouble is, that in this sound byte age we only really hear one part of any message. However, it could also be that vested interests want us to believe that things have only 2 sides: one side good and one side bad. Saturated fats are bad and all other fats are good. On the basis of this we all ditched butter and headed for margarine, only to find out that there is actually another side to the story: the deadly trans fats found in margarine.

virgin coconut oil in coconut husks
Coconuts ready for extracting the virgin coconut oil

Sometimes we don’t know which way to turn or which things to believe. Some of it is science that is made up of half complete knowledge and at other times it is slick advertising. Where do we turn? One thing we do know, is that ‘Saturated fats are bad for us’. Wrong again! What it should say is that ‘most saturated fats are bad for us’. The thing that is missed out is that there are certain saturated fats that appear to be very good for us indeed. Where do we find these good saturated fats? Why, in virgin coconut oil of course!

To appreciate this we have to first understand why ordinary saturated fats are bad for us. It is not that the saturated fats themselves are bad; it is the fact that they get converted into bad cholesterol. This bad cholesterol causes heart and vascular disease. So, if there is bad cholesterol there must be good cholesterol. Right? Well in this case, it is right: the bad cholesterol and good cholesterol fight it out and the winner does what it wants. Yes this is true! When there is too much bad cholesterol you get heart disease and when good cholesterol is the winner you get less or no cardiovascular disease. Coconut contains a different kind of saturated fat. This particular fat does the opposite of ordinary saturated fat. It acts a little more like a polyunsaturated fat and in doing this it leads to an increase in good cholesterol which in turn reduces the amount of heart and cardiovascular disease in the body.

virgin coconut oil split husks
coconuts contain many other useful health giving substances

Hopefully you should now know one reason why coconuts are really good for us. The good saturated fats in virgin coconut oil can help us in many ways and there are also many other helpful substances in coconuts. To find out all of the other ways that coconuts are used to improve our health take a look at: How to use coconut cures for a healthy life

Stay Young with pomegranates that contain huge amounts of antioxidants

Pomegranates are those hard looking fruits that seem to be on the edge of all the other fruits in the supermarket. Once it was just a seasonal novelty kind of fruit. Now there is great interest in the medicinal and health giving properties of pomegranates. Some people even say that you can stay young with pomegranates


This fruit originates from Asia and the Middle East. In these areas it has been grown since prehistoric times. You can even find mention of pomegranates in the scriptures of the bible and ancient Greek poems. Since then, the growing of this fruit has spread into the rest of Europe. Only hot countries such as Spain and Italy are suitable for growing pomegranates. It was then taken from there onwards to the Americas, where it has proved to be a popular fruit.


In the ancient world pomegranates quickly became part of the medical culture where it was used to treat various illnesses such as colds and flu. Pomegranates were said to give health and fertility to the people who ate them. As you can see it has been associated with life and health giving properties almost since the dawn of humankind. It is no wonder, therefore, that it now attracts much scientific and medical interest. Most of the drugs that we already have are derived from plants. You only have to think about aspirin which was developed from the bark of a particular type of willow tree. Botanists are continually searching for new plants in the hope that they will be the new sources of modern wonder drugs. Sometimes, however, we have to look more closely at the plants and fruits that we already eat.


individual fruits of the pomegranate
Close up of the individual fruitlets inside the pomegranate

Pomegranates have been found to have a wide spectrum of different chemical substances in their makeup. One thing is certain and that is that they are packed with antioxidants. Antioxidants have been found to be able to combat a number of health issues because they help deal with poisonous substances in the body. These poisons get into our bodies in all aspects of our life. They exist as pollutants in the air we breathe, the food we eat and the fluids that we drink. If they are left unchecked they can cause damage to our genetic material.  This damage can eventually lead to premature aging and cancers.


pomegranates whole
The skin of the pomegranate is also of interest

Scientists are busy trying to identify and classify all of the other interesting substances in Pomegranates. Their search for medicinal chemicals has spread to the peel surrounding pomegranates and the leaves of the tree on which they grow. The one thing that is certain is that with all of the antioxidants in them you could stay young with pomegranates. To find out more information on pomegranate health benefits click the link.

Rooibos Tea and Health for Everyone

Rooibos is sold in the form of a tea which you can often find in your supermarket. It is marketed because of certain health giving properties that it has. Rooibos tea comes from a plant that is grown in South Africa. In actual fact the name comes from an Afrikaan word that means ‘Red Bush’. As a result you may find that it is called ‘Red Bush’ or even just ‘Red Tea’. You can buy the tea loose or in convenient tea bag form. These days many people are interested in Rooibos tea and health.


Rooibos loose tea
This is what the tea leaves look like when they are ready for packing

The bush that the tea is made from only grows in the mountains high above Cape Town. Initially it was the native people of these areas that picked the leaves from wild bushes, prepared them and used them. They seemed to gain a lot from drinking the tea in terms of their health. The settlers from the West soon recognized that the local indigenous people were able to treat such conditions as indigestion, allergies, anxiety and skin ailments like eczema with the tea that they produced from the leaves. As a result, the colonial South Africans started to grow the bushes in plantations. Initially this was for their own use but soon it was being exported all over the world. Many people now drink Rooibos tea for health.


Despite being called tea the Rooibos plant isn’t related to normal tea plants at all. As a result the leaves of the Rooibos bush, that are used to make the tea, don’t contain the same profile of chemical substances. This means, in particular, that they don’t contain caffeine and tannins. Once the leaves have been picked they are bruised and then left on a concrete floor to ferment in a similar way to other teas. During this process substances within the leaves become oxidized and this results in them turning from their natural green color to red. It is this change in color that has resulted in it being called ‘Red Bush’.


The tea itself tastes like an ordinary Indian or China tea. It certainly hasn’t got an overpowering taste like some herbal teas. It also has a natural sweet flavor which means that you don’t have to add sugar to it. This is an advantage for people on diets or trying to avoid tooth cavities. It has a warm aromatic flavor with a hint of vanilla and as a result it is very pleasant to drink. Another positive to this tea is that potentially you can drink as much as you like, without getting all the side effects that normal tea would give you. This is because Rooibos contains no caffeine or tannins. After a few cups of ordinary tea you can feel the caffeine causing your pulse to race and sometimes headaches to occur. I personally drink lots of Rooibos every day instead of coffee or ordinary tea. This is due to the fact that I have a heart condition and take pills to slow my heart down. I find that if I drink tea with caffeine in it I can quickly feel that I am getting into trouble with my heart problem. I find the taste so pleasing that I don’t add sugar or milk. There is no need to add anything. Rooibos is completely safe and this means that anybody can enjoy the tea, from children to the elderly.


Rooibos tea bag brewing
Tea bags are the easiest way to use Rooibos tea

One of the biggest reasons to drink Rooibos is the fact that it contains huge quantities of antioxidants. These antioxidants are the substances that allow you to fight such diseases as cancer. They do this by helping to purify the body by dealing with the many toxic poll

utants that get into it every day. These pollutants can cause cancer to develop and also genetic damage which can lead to premature aging. These are just a few things that this wonderful tea can do to help our bodies to stay healthy and young looking. Click the link to find out further information on Rooibos tea and how it can benefit you.