Turmeric This golden spice, used in almost every meal in India is very valuable. “It is a very powerful healer. It prevents growth of cancer cells and thus can prevent cancer,” says Mumbai-based nutritionist Naini Setalvad. Its anti-inflammatory properties reduces swelling caused due to pain. “It also said to prevent alzhiemers and said to reduce severity of pain caused due to arthritis,” says Mumbai-based nutritionist Maithili Pashtekar. This spice also acts as an antioxidant that helps lower cholesterol.
Cinnamon Often used in coffees and other desserts, cinnamon is said to have the ability to reduce blood sugar levels. “This spice contains antioxidants that help lowering levels of bad cholesterol,” says Naini. More good news for women- including this spice in your diet will also ensure less painful cycles.
Ginger Good ol’ ginger candy has always been an instant cure to motion sickness or has curbed a feeling of nausea. The spice does more than that. “It improves your digestive process and prevents stomach disorders like flatulence,” says Naini. It is also said to regularize blood flow, thus maintaining your blood pressure.
Basil Holy basil or tulsi is said to be a great de-stressor as it “reduces levels of serotonin,” Maithili says. Try a tea made of basil leaves and ginger for relief from indigestion, headaches and fever. Chewing on leaves of basil could also reduce symptoms of bronchitis and asthma.
Garlic This condiment lowers your chances of getting cancer. Other than that, according to Naini, “it helps in lowering bad cholesterol and keeping your blood pressure in control.” It also has anti viral properties and helps in clearing your sinuses. “It helps to digest iron and protein,” says Maithili. Garlic is also a powerful antioxidant that protects your body against damage from free radicals.
Cumin Cumin powder in water with salt and lemon is probably the best way to curb a diarrhoea attack. “It also acts as a blood purifier and is an excellent remedy for stomach cramps,” says Naini. Due to its cooling properties, it is added to most drinks and juices during summer.
Mustard Mustard seeds is said to curb the growth of cancer cells. “it also has anti inflammatory properties and is said to restore normal sleeping patterns in women with symptoms of menopause,” says Maithili. It also reduces severity of asthma and lowers high blood pressure.
Saffron Saffron is a powerful antioxidant too. “It is said to be an anti-depressant and can cure bladder, liver and kidney disorders,” says Naini. A li’l saffron in your tea can relieve you of a cold too. Saffron also has antiseptic and anti inflammatory properties. Rubbing saffron on sore gums can provides relief.
Cardamom Known as elaichi, this spice is also effective in curing stomach cramps. It is also said to cure other stomach disorders like flatulence and acidity. “It also improves your circulation to your lungs, Maithili says. Boil water and add mint leaves and cardamom to it and have it to cure hiccups, suggests Naini.
Mint Mint or pudina is known to ease symptoms of the irritable bowel syndrome. It is also known to have anti-fungal and anti-bacterial properties. Mint oil when rubbed on your forehead soothes headaches too. Mint paste while applied on pimples and acne can cure it.
Juiced foods are far easy to assimilate because all fibre and solids are removed and therefore the body doesn’t have to divert energy to digest it. Properly juiced foods are more bio-available making it far easier on your system to gain maximum benefit in metabolising.
Vegetable juicing has a powerful alkalizing effect to the system. It is important to drink it on an empty stomach so that it’s not ‘fighting’ with other foods and the nutrients are easily absorbed. Green juices are high in chlorophyll, rejuvenate the skin, help open the door to longevity and the life force energy.
Dr. Norman W. Walker, the “father” of juicing, says carrot juice tops the list of the very best things a person can drink, and he says to drink lots of it. He also says its good to drink the following:
Alfalfa juice- has immense value, in the form of a juice. These elements are all very much needed for the function of various organs in the body. The juice of alfalfa is too strong & potent to be taken by itself. Its best taken with carrot juice. It has been found very helpful in most troubles with arteries and disfunction’s connected with the heart and is most useful in the relief of respiratory troubles, particularly in the lungs. Just one pint of carrot, alfalfa & lettuce juice daily, will help the growth of hair to a remarkable extent.
Carrot juice- raw carrot juice may be taken indefinitely in any reasonable quantities – from 1 to 8 pints a day. It has the effect of helping to normalize the entire system. It is the richest source of Vitamin A, valuable in the improvement and maintenance of the bone structure of the teeth.
Nursing mothers should drink plenty of raw carrot juice, to enhance the quality to their milk. Raw carrot juice (never found in cartons or bottles sold in supermarkets) is a natural solvent for ulcerous and cancerous conditions. It is resistant to infections, doing most efficient work in conjunction with the adrenal glands. It is also known for improving the eyesight.
Celery juice- is invaluable as a food for the blood cells. It is also high in naturally occurring sodium. The regular table salt is composed of insoluble inorganic elements. Varicose veins, hardening of the arteries and other ailments have been traced to the excessive of this type of salt.
Salt is necessary in the generation and functions of the digestive fluids in the system. Without salt good digestion is virtually impossible, but such salt must be entirely soluble in water.
Every cell in the body is constantly bathed in a solution of saline water, and if this is not maintained at its required level, dehydration sets in. Rock salt has been found to be soluble in water and in moderation of course, we have found to be compatible and satisfactory. Celery juice has the effect of normalizing body temperature.
Cucumber juice- has many valuable properties, such, for example, as the promotion of hair growth, due to its high silicon and sulphur content, particularly when mixed with carrot & spinach juice. It is equally helpful in afflictions of gums and teeth, skin eruptions, and in preventing the splitting of the nails and falling out of hair.
Parsley juice- is most potent of all the juices and should never be taken alone. It contains the properties which are essential to oxygen metabolism in maintaining the normal action of the adrenal & thyroid glands. It greatly assists the kidneys and the bladder, and efficient in every ailment connected with the eyes & optic nerve system. Parsley added with carrot juice has been effective on menstral cramps and irregularities.
Beetroot juice- this is one of the most valuable juices for helping to build up the red corpuscles of the blood and tone up the blood generally. It has been found from experience that it is best to take less beet juice and more carrot juice in the beginning till one can tolerate its beneficial cleansing effect. It is particularly beneficial to menstrual disturbances.
Beet, carrot & cucumber juice is beneficial in the removal of gallstones, kidney stones and gravel in the gallbladder. This potent trio gives us one of the finest cleansing & healing aids for the gall bladder, the liver, the kidneys & prostrate.
Water is incredibly important to the human body. The average adult human body is 55-60% water. A baby’s body is closer to 75%. Two crucial organs in the body, the brain and the lungs, are 70% and 90% water, respectively. For this reason, the quality of the water you drink greatly impacts your overall health.
Modern society has degraded the quality of the water around us due to our poor environmental habits. This has led us to a point where high-quality drinking water can be difficult to find. While the argument is made that tap water is among the best water available to us, a series of testing for the ingredients in our tap water would tell almost anyone that it is certainly not of high quality.
Recent analyses of municipal drinking water have shown that, despite government regulations, there are still many dangerous contaminants present in our water. There are many chemicals that are not regulated and there is no legal specifications to restrict what amount of certain chemicals can be in the water. This means that certain chemicals can be found in any given amount.
To make matters worse, many municipalities in Canada and the United States voluntarily add fluoride to their water supplies without the consent or vote of the citizens. In fact, most citizens and government officials are drastically misinformed about fluoride. I personally tested this out by calling my local water company here in Toronto. At the municipal and provincial level, (equivalent to state level) they were unable to provide me with any information regarding the safety of fluoride, nor were they able to provide any documentation to suggest that water fluoridation helps to prevent tooth decay. After chasing The Dental Association of Canada, I received a long-winded answer that also did not address whether or not water fluoridation has any effect.
The Safe Drinking Water Act only regulates 91 potential water contaminants. In the US alone, over 60,000 chemicals are used that can find their way into water supplies. Many of them have been identified as possible carcinogens. Current estimates suggest that there is more than 2,100 known chemical toxins present in U.S. tap water. Cities with older pipelines also face problems as chemicals leach from the lines as the water travels.
by Stuart Wilde Here are the top 8 foods with powerful anti-aging properties that are built to better our health and appearance while also encouraging longevity. They should be added to your arsenal of daily health-promoting tools in order to keep you looking and feeling great no matter how many years you’ve got under your belt.
#1 – Leafy Green & Crucuferous Veggies
We’re always hearing natural health experts and nutritionists touting leafy greens – and with good reason. These impressive, nutrition-packed veggies contain folate, calcium and other nutrients that support bone health, protect against cognitive decline and help prevent age-related eye problems More significantly, these green veggies boast powerful anticancer properties.
Diets high in cruciferous veggies like broccoli also help reduce the risk of memory loss. Crucifers and leafy greens like kale, Swiss chard, escarole, beet tops and spinach make delicious additions to all kinds of dishes, including stir-fries, salads and soups.
#2 – Apricots
This little peach-like fruit may appear fragile but it packs a potent anti-aging punch. The bright orange exterior of apricots comes from carotenoids, powerful antioxidants that help prevent heart disease, reduce bad cholesterol levels and protect against cancer. Our bodies convert the carotenoid beta-carotene into vitamin A, which contributes to healthy eyes, skin, hair, gums and glands.
Years of research has proven that apricots possess the highest levels and widest variety of carotenoids of any other food. They are also excellent at regenerating body fluids, detoxifying the body and quenching thirst
#3 – Berries
Scientists have found that berries have some of the highest antioxidant levels of any fruits (measured as ORAC). Kale and spinach are the only vegetables with ORAC values as high as fresh berries. Fresh berries are also chock full of phytochemicals and color pigments called anthocyanins that have been associated with a lower risk of certain cancers, urinary tract health, memory function and healthy aging.
Berries are great sources of quercetin, a flavonol that works as both an anti-carcinogen and an antioxidant, protecting against cancer and heart disease. The anti-inflammatory properties of berries is thought to slow down the loss of mental function that is often associated with aging. Researchers report that blueberries might even help slow down the cognitive deterioration that comes with Alzheimer’s disease.
#4 – Olive Oil
Italians are known for their long lifespan and ability to age gracefully, and this should come with no surprise considering that olive oil is a huge staple in their Mediterranean diet. Olive oil is packed with the best health-forming fats available in the form of omega-3 fatty acids. These necessary fats not only help to keep you lean and heart-healthy by reducing inflammation, they also lower cholesterol and improve skin circulation and digestion. All of these factors lead to a healthier body and a longer life.
#5 – Wild Alaskan Salmon
The huge antioxidant boost you’ll get from wild salmon will get your skin glowing faster than almost any other type of fish. Wild salmon’s pink hue comes from a diet of nutrient-rich krill; this offers a healthy dose of the beneficial pigment astaxanthin, which has notable anti-inflammatory properties. Another antioxidant in salmon, the mineral selenium, protects healthy skin cells by fighting off free radicals. It also helps the thyroid function properly, which keeps both your weight and overall health in check.
#6 – Tomatoes
Eating tomatoes may help protect your skin, according to German researchers. Volunteers swallowed a daily shot of tomato paste mixed with extra virgin olive oil or just plain olive oil for 10 weeks. After daily exposure to UV light, the tomato group had 40 percent less sunburn than those who consumed only olive oil. The magic ingredient in tomatoes is lycopene, which protects skin from the oxidation that results from sun damage and leads to wrinkles. Drizzling tomatoes with a little healthy fat like olive oil helps you better absorb the lycopene.
#7 – Raw Almonds
Almonds are packed with hard-to-get vitamin E, and just one small handful offers half your daily dose. Raw almonds are the healthiest form of this nut, delivering a higher nutritional content in a pure, unprocessed form.
When researchers from several leading medical schools looked at the impact of different vitamins and minerals on speed, coordination, and balance in people over age 65, the only one that made a difference was vitamin E. Volunteers with the weakest physical performance had the lowest levels of E, whereas more agile participants had adequate amounts of the vitamin in their system. This power vitamin keeps us coordinated by neutralizing free radicals in both our muscles and nervous system.
#8 – Avocado
Brimming with the highest quality omega 3s, avocado is one of the most alkalizing foods available. Avocados are also very high in vitamin E, which is essential for glowing skin, shining hair and keeping wrinkles off your face. Have a raw avocado salad or cover some fresh avocado with lemon and sea salt for a nutritious snack.
“The man who comes back through the Door in the Wall will never be quite the same as the man who went out. He will be wiser but less cocksure, happier but less self-satisfied, humbler in acknowledging his ignorance yet better equipped to understand the relationship of words to things, of systematic reasoning to the unfathomable Mystery which it tries, forever vainly, to comprehend.” –Aldous Huxley, ‘The Doors of Perception: Heaven and Hell’
Abuse of power is in order when the growth of certain plants, whose native home was Earth long before the very existence of our species, is made illegal. Plants welcomed mankind on their land upon the dawn of man’s inhabitance but man, a glutton for control, transformed his inhabitance into an invasion. Relentlessly crusading forth in present day, the American government continues to cut down trees and plants to place building blocks on the soil that was rightfully theirs. Man blunders through the forest like a bulldozer, blind to the medicine he is destroying and the disease he is enabling. Due to his inherent nature of greed, man has yet again failed his ecosystem. In his shining irony, his inherent ignorance regarding such matters results in his ability to move forward without acknowledging his destruction and the future consequences to come. Looking only to himself, he has replaced inner peace with inner greed, and missed the bigger picture of it all. When he fails his ecosystem, he ultimately fails himself.
As if prohibiting medicinally beneficial plants such as psychedelic mushrooms was not enough, America ensued a grotesque double standard: Equally vigorous mind altering drugs – each capsule a time bomb, with potential consequences no worse than death itself.
Psychedelic plants have remained vastly developed in tribal societies throughout the globe for centuries. Still, the United States is fighting their use in the medical world and has yet to drop hints of budging. Magic mushrooms pose obvious risks to the American government, medical world, pharmaceutical companies, FDA and CDC. Government officials, who flash their authority to control large scale matters, might find themselves on the other end of the scale if the use of psychedelic mushrooms as medicine swept the nation.
From the chemtrails being sprayed over our neighborhoods to the poisons killing our bees and making our food toxic ‘medicine’ we need a way to purge the deadly elixirs of a greedy government, owned and run by corporate interests. For the sake of keeping your attention, I won’t go on ad nauseum about fluoridated water, oil spills, and contaminated air and water due to fracking and mining.
As research since the early 1900s suggests, our bodies simply cannot handle the level of toxicity in our environment without some help, though it was originally designed to cure itself from every conceivable toxin – from heavy metals to the common cold. We have simply burdened the mechanism so profoundly, that the intelligence of the human form is being strained to its acme. We either learn to adapt to the toxic environment that our governments so blatantly support, or we die. We can’t wait for congress or the senate to do the right thing. It’s time to get radical. It’s time to tell your friends about this, even if it is absolutely rabble-rousing.
For some time we have been able to simply ignore, or turn an apathetic ear toward warnings about our food, air and soil being polluted, but when the EPA and FDA, arguably puppet institutions meant to placate farmers and citizens into thinking that their concerns over our war-time and consumer-based lifestyles are benign, states that yes, pesticides ‘are harmful to human health,’ then its time to pay attention. That kind of confession is like telling us the sky is blue. If they didn’t at least state the painfully obvious, it would be very difficult to maintain even a modicum of respect in social and political circles. Most people are already laughing them out of the room.
Our Blood and Bones Contain Over 85,000 Different Toxins
We are a toxic world. Our blood and bones now contain over 85,000 different chemical pollutants. Depleted uranium from bombs, and nuclear energy sites like Fukushima, as well as chemicals as sinister as Agent Orange and toxic mold are now part of our genetic make up. There are too many other toxins to name here. Their names and devastating health effects could fill books. These toxins have seeped into our cells, causing cancer, depression and even insanity.
These pollutants are making our children less intelligent and slowly breaking down our immune systems until they can’t even fight a simple virus. Our hormonal systems are so out of whack from these toxins that both boys and girls are starting puberty way too soon, and fetuses are not developing properly. ADHD, ADD, and Autism are on the rise like never before. Our bodies are fat and tired too, because a toxic body can’t metabolize fats and proteins properly.
Channels of Toxic Elimination
Under better conditions our bodies can get rid of toxins through numerous natural channels:
· Hair · Finger and Toe Nails · Skin · Bowels · Sweat · Blood · Bile · Urine
In lab tests, extremely high levels of toxins can be found in a single strand of hair, even in people who think they live a ‘healthy’ lifestyle – they workout, don’t smoke, try to eat their vegetables, etc. Hair is actually one of the most telling when testing toxicity levels. It even contains remnants of LSD and cocaine in people who used drugs more than six months prior to testing. It also shows traces of aluminum, mercury, bismuth, lead, arsenic, tin, titanium, silver, asbestos, chlorine, tar, uranium and antimony, just to name a few toxins.
If any of the channels of toxin elimination are compromised, it can make the body very ill and eventually cause it to die. Our liver works diligently to eliminate toxins through bile production. Our skin, one of the largest detoxifying channels, is constantly shedding skin cells to rid itself of poison. Our bowels and digestive organs including the bladder and kidneys, large and small intestines also work very hard at keeping us toxin free. The lymph system keeps T-lymphocyte cells circulating to help kill foreign invaders like viruses that come from mold exposure.
Recycling of Toxins Leads to Disease
The problem is that once the body tries to get rid of a toxin, repeatedly trying to make it water soluble, for example, (though this is just one way of eradicating a toxic poison from our systems) so that it can be excreted, then it starts to recycle that toxin in an effort to find some channel, any channel that can expel it properly. This is how disease starts to happen. A Russian scientists and naturopath named Eli Metchnik did extensive research on this phenomenon in 1904.
In Ayurvedic medicine this is called the ‘multiply and localize’ stages of disease development. A toxin starts to move through blood plasma, and into the reproductive cycle of cells and tissues, so wherever you are weakest in your body, you are likely to develop disease. A disease is ‘born’ in the physical body when genetic predisopositions for disease give way to environmental stress – i.e. toxicity.
What Can I do to Detoxify My Body?
Fortunately, there are inexpensive ways to start to cleanse the bowels, hair, skin, lungs, liver, kidneys, and even the cells, but it starts with realizing we are toxic. Then we must take action.
·Install a HEPA filter or a High Quality Air Purifier. You can also spend time in nature, since trees and flowers act as natural air purifiers.
·Start by throwing out all the toxic cleaners we use to spruce up our homes. Turn to vinegar, baking soda and citrus, particularly lemon juice, and sunlight. These four items can clean our houses (and sometimes us) from top to bottom without causing depression, hormone disruption, cancer, and a host of other diseases caused by the carcinogenic and toxic substances in household cleaners, like diethanolamine (DEA) and triethanolamine (TEA) just to start.
·Sweat. Indian sweat lodges aren’t just for inducing a vision quest. While many people attain spiritual insights from participating in a sweat lodge, they also help to clear the mind and body of toxins, so we naturally become more lucid. You can also use a dry-heat sauna for the same effect.
·Fast. Most of us don’t want to skip even a single meal, but just taking one day off form eating to allow the body to purge toxins stored in fatty tissue can make a world of difference. Fasting has been practiced by different cultures and religions around the world for centuries as an effective way to detoxify. Nutritional cleansing programs like the Isogenics cleanse include periods of intermittent fasting (alternating periods of fasting and non-fasting).
·Purge. There are ancient yogic teachings, which cleanse the mouth, tongue, trachea, stomach and intestines by drinking sea-salted water and then eliminating it. Much like a natural enema, Shankhaprakshalana helps to clean out the entire intestinal tract. The term is actually a Sanskrit word meaning Conch, as in the shell, and it refers to the circular and winding shape of our internal cavity – from mouth to anus.
·Use the six Shat kriyas or Shat Karmas practiced in Hatha Yoga. These Sanskrit words refer to six ancient cleansing techniques. Shankhaprakshalana is just one of them. Some like, Nauli, or stomach churning are difficult for beginning students, but Jala Neti, nasal irrigation is easy for almost anyone to practice.
· Drink more water, but only if its purified. Many toxins are water soluble, so if you drink clean, purified water, you can help to remove them. Just make sure you aren’t drinking unpurified municipal water, it is often full of hundreds of toxins.
· Bathe in hot then cold water. Bathing in the ocean was practiced by the Kumu Hula (master teachers) as a means of purification, but not everyone has ocean front property, so bathing is a great purification ritual. It is also practiced all over Japan, Turkey, India, Africa, and Australia, just to name a few countries with bathing purification traditions or rituals. Bathing in first hot water, expands the blood vessels, and helps the ‘brown’ fat cells work more efficiently to reduce fat and toxins from the body. The cold water allows multiple dips, and also allows us to remain in the hot water longer. If you live near a hot springs or untainted, natural underground water source, many of these pools have excellent nutrients in them, which help to draw toxins out of the body. Also, just warming the body improves the lymph system and immune function. Epson salt baths can help if you don’t have a natural hot springs or the Dead Sea near you (but even the Dead Sea is becoming toxic!)
· Try one of the myriad natural cleansing products available on the market today. There are lots of products that are affordable and help to cleanse everything from the bowels to the liver.
· Eat Detoxifying Foods. You can detoxify with green tea, coffee enemas, and cilantro even. Turmeric is great for detoxifying the body, as is sour sop fruit. Apple Cider Vinegar is wonderful and so is lemon juice and ginger.
· Use Shaolin Clay to Draw Impurities From the Skin. Shaolin Monks used a special clay to help draw impurities from their bodies and to heal more rapidly from injuries received practicing martial arts. It was made into a paste with several herbs and placed on the skin, or ground into powders and taken with herbs (like Dan Gui, Nan Xing, Bai Zhu, etc.) as an oral herbal treatment. Clay baths are especially effective at removing heavy metals and mercury or lead.
· Take Milk Thistle, or Dandelion Root to Detox the Liver. This important organ removes toxins from our blood stream. These two herbs can greatly help the liver process toxins before they ever reach the bloodstream, so that they can be purged from the body via the feces or urine.
· Increase Your Vitamin C. Several studies pointed to a simple Vitamin C supplement in higher doses (which are safe since Vitamin C is water soluble) as a very effective means of detoxiing from Nuclear Fallout.
· Consider Aboriginal Kanwa Minerals are extracted from bubbling pools deep in the desert areas of Australia that are full of hundreds of trace minerals that can help detox the body. Also known as Calcium Montmorillonite Clay, this special ‘mud’ can do everything from absorb bad bacteria to reverse bone decay. Only because this soil had been untouched for millions of years, is it filled with important minerals like calcium, magnesium, potassium, iron, silica and manganese, as well as other trace elements that help restore a toxic body.
Even though companies like Monsanto, Bayer, Pfizer, Roche, GlaxoSmithKline and the military industrial complex want to keep pouring toxins into our world and us, we can detox with some simple remedies to make living a healthy possible in a contaminated world. We may not be living in a pure environment, but we can still treat our bodies as temples, and purify them of the spoils of war and a fast food, pharmaceutical empire.
About the Author Christina Sarich is a musician, yogi, humanitarian and freelance writer who channels many hours of studying Lao Tzu, Paramahansa Yogananda, Rob Brezny, Miles Davis, and Tom Robbins into interesting tidbits to help you Wake up Your Sleepy Little Head, and See the Big Picture. Her blog is Yoga for the New World.
Nine Foods to Avoid
With so much misinformation out there about food and how it affects human health, making healthy food choices for you and your family can be difficult and confusing. There are a number of specific foods; however, that you will want to avoid in almost every circumstance because they provide virtually no health benefits while posing plenty of health risks. Here are nine foods you should never eat again if you care about preserving your long-term health:
(1) White bread, refined flours. By definition, white bread and refined flours in general are toxic for your body because they have been stripped of virtually all vitamins, minerals, fiber, and other important nutrients. Because of this, the body does not know how to properly digest and assimilate these so-called foods, which can lead to health problems. Refined white flour has also been bleached with chlorine and brominated with bromide, two poisonous chemicals that have been linked to causing thyroid and organ damage.
(2) Conventional frozen meals. Most conventionally-prepared frozen meals are loaded with preservatives, processed salt, hydrogenated oils and other artificial ingredients, not to mention the fact that most frozen meals have been heavily pre-cooked, rendering their nutrient content minimal at best (especially after getting microwaved again at home). With the exception of a few truly healthy frozen meal brands such as Amy’s and Organic Bistro, most frozen meals are little more than disease in a box, so avoid them in favor of fresh foods.
(3) White rice. Like white bread, white rice has been stripped of most of its nutrients, and separated from the bran and germ, two natural components that make up rice in its brown form. Even so-called “fortified” white rice is nutritionally deficient, as the body still processes this refined food much differently than brown rice, which is absorbed more slowly and does not cause the same spike in blood sugar that white rice does.
(4) Microwaveable popcorn. This processed food is a favorite among moviegoers and regular snackers alike, but it is one of the unhealthiest foods you can eat. Practically every component of microwaveable popcorn, from the genetically-modified (GM) corn kernels to the processed salt and preservative chemicals used to enhance its flavor, is unhealthy and disease-promoting. On top of this, microwaveable popcorn contains a chemical known as diacetyl that can actually destroy your lungs. If you love popcorn, stick with organic kernels that you can pop yourself in a kettle and douse with healthy ingredients like coconut oil, grass-fed butter, and Himalayan pink salt.
(5) Cured meat products with nitrates, nitrites. Deli meats, summer sausage, hot dogs, bacon, and many other meats sold at the grocery store are often loaded with sodium nitrite and other chemical preservatives that have been linked to causing heart disease and cancer. If you eat meat, stick with uncured, nitrite and nitrate-free varieties, and preferably those that come from organic, grass-fed animals.
(6) Most conventional protein, energy bars. By the way they are often marketed, it might seem as though protein and energy bars are a strong addition to a healthy diet. But more often than not, these meal replacements contain processed soy protein, refined sugar, hydrogenated fat, and other harmful additives that contribute to chronic illness. Not all protein and energy bars are bad, of course — Thunderbird Energetica, Organic Food Bar, Boku Superfood, Vega Sport, PROBAR, and Zing all make healthy protein and energy bars. Just be sure to read the ingredient labels and know what you are buying.
(7) Margarine. Hidden in all sorts of processed foods, margarine, a hydrogenated trans-fat oil, is something you will want to avoid at all costs for your health. Contrary to popular belief, butter and saturated fats in general are not unhealthy, especially when they are derived from pastured animals that feed on grass rather than corn and soy. And if animal-based fats are not for you, stick with extra-virgin coconut oil or olive oil rather than margarine.
(8) Soy milk and soy-based meat substitutes. One of the biggest health frauds of modern times, the soy craze is a fad that you will want to skip. Besides the fact that nearly all non-organic soy ingredients are of GM origin, most soy additives are processed using a toxic chemical known as hexane, which is linked to causing birth defects, reproductive problems, and cancer. Soy that has not been fermented is also highly estrogenic, which can throw your natural hormone balance out of whack.
(9) “Diet” anything. Many so-called “diet” products on the market today contains artificial sweeteners like aspartame (Equal) and sucralose (Splenda), both of which are linked to causing neurological damage, gastrointestinal problems, and endocrine disruption. Many diet products also contain added chemical flavoring agents to take the place of fat and other natural components that have been removed to artificially reduce calorie content. Instead, stick with whole foods that are as close to nature as possible, including high-fat foods grown the way nature intended, and your body will respond surprisingly well.
A friend of mine makes a wonderful beetroot salad with finely grated steamed beetroot, mixed with pulped garlic and a little mayonnaise. She serves it with thinly sliced smoked salmon and slices of bread. Perfect for a spring appetizer.
And the other day, she served it cooked and sliced with a honey and balsamic dressing, some sharp feta and scattered with pine nuts, walnuts and sunflower seeds – truly delicious. Stuart Wilde (www.stuartwilde.com)
Beets date back to prehistoric times and are believed to have originated from Northern Africa along the Mediterranean Sea. Early varieties did not grow a bulbous root; only the leaves were eaten. The species (Beta vulgaris) which includes Swiss chard, sugar beets, garden beets, and mangelwurzels cross pollinates. In order to keep the seed line pure, garden beets should not be grown within several miles of Swiss chard or sugar beets.
Beets have the most sugar of any vegetable but they’re packed with nutrition and taste. Forget about those canned, pickled beets and pick up some fresh organic beets from the store. You choose how to serve them. Shred or slice raw for salads, add to the vegetables you juice, steam, boil, bake, or sauté. Beetroots keep 2-4 weeks in the fridge. Don’t wash them, but do cut off the stems about two inches from the beet. The leaves and stems are edible, but they won’t store as long.
Chop up the leaves and stems and boil them in water for 30 minutes. Serve with salt, pepper, and butter or any way you choose to cook and serve chard or other similar greens. When you’re ready to cook your beets, wash them thoroughly, but take care not to break the skins. Leave the two inches of stem attached and the root as well. By keeping the skin intact, you’ll prevent the beet from “bleeding out” and losing its rich color.
Beets are rich in folate, the B vitamin that is so vital for pregnancy. They are also a very good source of manganese and potassium and a good source of fiber, vitamin C, magnesium, iron, copper and phosphorus. They have long been believed to be an aphrodisiac and are said to purify the blood and the liver. Current studies have proven beet juice significantly lowers high blood pressure. Beets contain nutrient compounds that help prevent heart disease, birth defects, and cancers.
Legend has it that if a man and a woman eat from the same beetroot, they will fall in love.
The sweet scent of lavender connotes flowers on the hillside and romance, but there is more. Lavender is one of the most versatile and useful of all herbs, with a long history in medicinal healing of humans and animals. The scent of lavender is associated with comfort, and aromatherapists have long used lavender in the treatment of depression and nervous conditions. Though mainstream medicine has regarded aromatherapy as an unproven treatment, a recent study in Japan has proven otherwise.
The study, which appeared in the American Chemical Society’s Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry, found that inhaling the fragrant compound linolool made stress-elevated levels of neutrophils and lymphocytes, both key parts of the immune system, return to near normal levels. Lavender was cited as the plant which has the highest concentrations of linalool.
Lavender was originally native to Mediterranean countries. Today it can be found growing in Europe, Australia and the southern portion of the U.S. There are two different types of lavender: Spike lavender has broad spatula-like leaves, and French lavender leaves are narrower with small dark flowers. Spike lavender contains a higher content of both cineol and camphor, and produces three times as much oil as French lavender. The higher content of these ingredients makes it less pleasing, however, and French lavender is considered the more fragrant of the two.
Numerous studies have reported that lavender’s essential oils may be beneficial in a number of conditions, including migraines, headaches, depression, anxiety, mood swings, fear, and exhaustion. Lavender can also be used during labor, and it has been found to be useful for eczema and dermatitis. In addition, lavender has been used to treat cancer in the breast, liver and spleen.
Other conditions for which lavender has been used include: heart palpitations, arthritis, joint inflammation, fainting, neuralgia, vertigo, insomnia, epilepsy and other seizures, rheumatism, sore muscles, sprains, colic, nausea, vomiting, toothache, wounds, snakebites, hoarseness, loss of voice, allergies, sunburn and sunstroke, abscess, alopecia, asthma, athletes foot, insect bites, boils, burns, colds, colic, coughs, cystitis, earache and respiratory infections.
Essential oils blend well with each other, and lavender oil blends especially well with cedarwood, clary sage, geranium, pine, nutmeg, and all the citrus oils.
Lavender lifts the spirits, stimulates appetite, and even dispels flatulence. It is a major ingredient in the use of smelling salts. Pets benefit from lavender’s sedative properties, and its ability to repel fleas and ticks. In addition to being used medicinally and to scent cosmetics and toiletries, lavender is used to flavor foods such as desserts, gelatins, puddings, candies and tea. In some areas of the world, it is added to salads. Lavender is a scent commonly used in potpourri and sachets. Lavender was once used as an insect repellant in the storing of clothing.
Try these 10 best foods to boost your immune system:
1. Brightly colored vegetables. You probably already know that you should eat a variety of the colorful vegetables. But do you know why? The bright green, yellow and orange vegetables have the highest amounts of carotenoids like beta carotene. These are antioxidants which help your immune system to keep in shape. Try vegetables such as capsicum, carrots and squash. Choose a large variety and don’t think you have to just eat boring salads every day. Include these vegetables in hearty soups, add vegetables to your next lasagna or grate them up to hide them in meatloaf or meatballs.
2. Nuts. Nuts are full of antioxidants and vitamins. Most importantly they contain a good dose of zinc. Eating nuts may lower risk your risk of chronic disease and they are so easy to keep in your bag for when you need a quick snack.
3. Berries. Vitamin C is present in berries in very large amounts. Vitamin C is thought to prevent injury to cells and is therefore very useful in boosting your immune system. Dark berries in particular contain large doses of bioflavonoids that can act as antioxidants which will attack the free radicals moving around your body. You should consume mixed berries as it is thought they all work together to give you the best boost. And they taste great too!
4. Chocolate. WHAT! Chocolate is junk food! Maybe not. Cocoa is an immune boosting food. And chocolate certainly contains cocoa. If you reduce the fat and sugar content and consume the cocoa you may be able to increase your good cholesterol and decrease the chance of heart disease. Now that hot cup of steaming cocoa is actually an immune booster. Just go easy on the sugar!
5. Fish. Fish are a great source of omega 3 fats and many people are deficient in these. Choose the fatty fish like tuna, mackerel and salmon to get the best dose. Zinc is also present in fish. Our bodies can’t make zinc so we need to consume it. Zinc helps with cell building, including your immune cells. Lean meat is another great source of zinc.
6. Garlic. Garlic fights infection and bacteria (and maybe vampires!) With antiviral properties and also antibacterial features, garlic promotes the growth of your white blood cells. It’s also an antioxidant and is one of the easiest foods to include in your diet. Add it into soups, casseroles and sauces. Include it in salad dressings or roast it with vegetables. There are so many options to use garlic every day.
7. Yogurt. We all need more of the good bacteria in our bodies and yogurt is a great source. Live cultures in yogurt can help stop colds in their tracks! Eat Greek yogurt for the highest number of live cultures.
8. Tea. Tea contains an amino acid that assists the immune system to stay boosted. L-theanine is present in all types of tea. Even decaf has healthy doses of it. So drink up!
9. Mushrooms. If you want your body to fight infection you need to eat foods that can increase the activity and new production of white blood cells. Mushrooms are that food. There are many different types of mushrooms and they can be used in all sorts of ways to give you the best benefits.
10. Sweet potatoes. Sweet potatoes contain large doses of vitamin A. Our skin needs good amounts of vitamin A to keep it healthy. When the largest organ in your body is healthy, you have a much better chance of staving off infection.
Try to make your diet interesting and varied. If you get bored with fruit and vegetables, try to buy something you’ve never tried before and go for a little more than the usual apples and oranges in the fruit bowl. Remembering to mix up the colours of what you eat can be all that you need to spike your interest and enjoyment.