The Nutrition Nook is a monthly column featuring nutrition information for healthy eating. This month we’ll hear from Zahra, who writes The Natural Journey For Life blog. * Remember to consult your primary care physician or dietitian before beginning a new nutrition regimen.*
Greetings! My name is Zahra and I am on a life journey to obtain optimal health for my mind, body and spirit. By education I am a food scientist and chemical engineer. However, my life purpose is to help others find natural alternatives to everyday needs. That is where my passion lies. I believe that food is medicine and it can either heal or harm us. We truly are what we eat! The catalyst for this journey is my son Caleb who has been challenged by food allergies, eczema, and digestive woes. His short life has taught me more about alternatives and making better choices than I could have ever imagined. Please, join us on this journey…let’s travel together! Peace and Blessings.
Hibiscus aka Sorrel (or Rose of China) is a wonderful plant that will nourish your body – inside and out! I’ve had sorrel on many occasions – sweetened with sugar and ice cold, but lately I’ve been enjoying a warm spicy version. Due to its deep red color and tart flavor, hibiscus is used in many foods and beverages. Arabic and Indian cultures have made perfume from its seeds and flowers for centuries. Not only is it pleasing to the palate, but it can also strengthen your immune system, make your skin glow and ease anxiety.
Here are some things that should make you run out to the stores and get some right away:
- Invigorates your body
- Facilitates digestion
- Relaxes the intestines
- Can ease a sore throat
- Rich in Vitamin C (25mg/100g)
- Nourishes the blood
- Can alleviate acne and skin blemishes
- Can lower blood pressure
Quick testimony: My dad was diagnosed with high blood pressure and began to drink hibiscus tea every day. In a matter of weeks his blood pressure was normal and could stop taking medication! Food = medicine ya’ll!
In my exploration of a healthy pick me up, I added cinnamon and ginger to the hibiscus party and came up with a great tea that has been keeping me energized throughout the day. By the way, cinnamon can expel gas from the stomach and ginger promotes good circulation and eases an upset stomach. Instead of reaching for a sugary snack, today, I grabbed my heavenly hibiscus tea and was SATISFIED!
2 cups of dried hibiscus (sorrel) flowers
3 cinnamon sticks
1 ½ inch of fresh ginger root
- Add everything to a medium pot.
- Cover tea ingredients with water.
- Boil on high for 5 minutes, then simmer for 20 minutes. If you want stronger tea, add more ingredients and steep overnight (that’s what I did).
- Add honey and enjoy!
You could also add cardamom, anise or fennel for an extra digestive boost. I can always find the dried hibiscus flowers in a local ethnic grocery store. It’s relatively cheap and SO easy to make.
Peace and love,