Posted by: godshealingplants | January 28, 2019

ALMONDS FOR YOUR HEALTH

HISTORY

Originally from central and southwest Asia, almonds became a staple food that helped sustain the long journeys of nomadic tribes.

Wild stands of almond trees grew near trade routes such as the Silk Road that connected central China with the Mediterranean. Easy access allowed for the spread of the wild almond groves because almonds took root in the ground on which they fell. Evidence of this occurs even today in central California, where wild species of almond trees can be seen growing in ditches and roadways.

Nearly every ancient civilization used almonds. Hebrew literature from 2,000 B.C. mentions almonds. The Bible makes numerous references to almonds as an object of value and symbol of hope. In Genesis 43:11, for example, a famine in Canaan prompts Jacob to ask his sons to go to Egypt to buy grain. He told them, “Take some of the choice fruits of the land in your bags, and carry down to the man a present, a little balm and a little honey, gum, myrrh, pistachio nuts, and almonds.” And the Bible’s Book of Numbers 17:8 tells of the miracle of Aaron’s rod that blossomed and bore almonds.

King Tut took several handfuls of almonds to his grave in 1352 B.C., to nourish him on his journey into the afterlife. Persians and Arabs made a milk of almond meal and water, which they valued both as a refreshing drink and as an ingredient in other foods.

Almonds are now grown in many of the countries that border the Mediterranean Sea including Spain, Italy, Portugal and Morocco. 

ABOUT

The almond tree is a deciduous tree which can grow as high as 10 meters. The leaves of the almond tree are broad and serrated, and the sprouting flowers seen in early spring are either white or pale pink. By the time autumn comes (some 7-8 months after flowering), the almond is mature, ripe, and ready to be harvested.

Almond trees become productive and begin bearing fruit after five years. The fruit is mature in the autumn, 7–8 months after flowering. 

NUTRITIONAL PROFILE

Almond is a highly nutritional nut and is a rich source of fiber, protein, vitamin E, calcium, copper, magnesium, phosphorus, potassium, and iron. It contains zinc, thiamin, and niacin. It also provides vitamins such as folate, riboflavin, and vitamin B-6. Compared to all other nuts, almonds are richer in nutrients and beneficial components.

 

HEALTH BENEFITS

  • Alkalize the body
  • Are Beneficial in Skin Care
  • Boost Brain Health
  • Boost Energy Production
  • Control Blood Sugar Levels
  • Help build strong bones and teeth
  • Improve Bone Health
  • Nourish the nervous system
  • Prevent Cancer
  • Prevent Constipation
  • Prevent Heart Diseases
  • Protect artery walls from damage
  • Provide healthy fats and aid in weight loss
  • Reduce Inflammation
  • Regulate Blood Pressure
  • Regulate Cholesterol Level

HOW TO SELECT AND STORE

Almonds that are still in their shells have the longest shelf life. If purchasing these, look for shells that are not split, moldy or stained. Shelled almonds that are stored in a hermetically sealed container will last longer than those that are sold in bulk bins since they are less exposed to heat, air and humidity.

 

If purchasing almonds in bulk bins make sure that the store has a quick turnover of inventory and that the bulk containers are sealed well in order to ensure maximum freshness. Look for almonds that are uniform in color and not limp or shriveled. In addition, smell the almonds. They should smell sweet and nutty; if their odor is sharp or bitter, they are rancid.

 

Since almonds have a high fat content, it is important to store them properly in order to protect them from becoming rancid. Store shelled almonds in a tightly sealed container, in a cool dry place away from exposure to sunlight. Keeping them cold will further protect them from rancidity and prolong their freshness. Refrigerated almonds will keep for several months, and if stored in the freezer, in airtight containers, almonds can be kept for up to four year.

 

Shelled almond pieces will become rancid more quickly than whole shelled almonds. Almonds still in the shell have the longest shelf life.

HOW TO PREPARE AND ENJOY

To get maximum nutrition from almonds it is best to soak them before they are eaten, or roast them. Almonds are one of only a few nuts that will actually sprout when soaked. When you soak them it neutralizes the phytate, allowing the nutrients from the nut to be released.

Almond flour is great in gluten-free cooking and baking.

Almond Milk with its mild flavor is a very good alternative for those who need to be dairy free, soy free or are vegan.

 

HOW TO ENJOY

 In addition to being eaten raw, almonds are a wonderful addition to a variety of recipes from salads to baked goods.

 

One popular use of almonds in Italy is to crush almonds into marzipan, which is used as a sweet ingredient in baked goods. 

 

Green beans with sliced almonds makes a delicious dish

Yummy chocolate chip cookies with almonds

Chicken casserole topped with sliced almonds

Scrumptious birthday cake with almonds

Pasta with pesto and sliced almonds

Home made almond butter

Kale and avocado salad topped with almond slices

Delicious chocolate cake topped with almond slices

 

A WORD OF CAUTION

Almonds have consistently been determined to have high oxalate content. Oxalates are naturally occurring organic acids found in a wide variety of foods, and in the case of certain medical conditions, they must be greatly restricted in a meal plan to prevent over-accumulation inside the body.

Raw almonds are very good for you, but as with everything else, moderation is the key. The mineral content is impressive and can help you with everything from osteoporosis to cognitive function. Similarly, the fat content may be high, but much of that is in the form of “good” fats.

People having kidney or gallbladder problems should avoid eating almonds; and remember you should always consult your doctor or nutritionist when you have doubts about your body.

 

SOURCES

https://www.huffpost.com/entry/almond-facts-didnt-know_n_4537970

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/22296169

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/20833991

http://www.almonds.com/consumers/about-almonds/history-of-almonds

http://mercola.com

https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/06/140630094527.htm

Department of Nutritional Sciences

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Posted by: godshealingplants | January 12, 2019

OLIVES FOR YOUR HEALTH

HISTORY

Olive trees have been cultivated in parts of the Mediterranean, including Crete and Syria, for at least 5,000 years. This ancient tree is also native to parts of Asia and Africa.

Olives constitute one of the world’s largest fruit crops, with more than 25 million acres of olive trees planted worldwide. Spain is the largest single producer of olives at approximately 6 million tons per year. Italy is second at approximately 3.5 million tons, followed by Greece at 2.5 million. Turkey and Syria are the next major olive producers. Mediterranean production of olives currently involves approximately 800 million trees. 90% of all Mediterranean olives are crushed for the production of olive oil, with the remaining 10% kept whole for eating.  

ABOUT

The olive is a fruit, not a vegetable. There are many types and colors; they come in green, purple, dark brown, black, and even pink color.

 

Olive tree can reach 8 – 15 meters (26 – 49 feet) in height, and has oval-shaped, elongated leaves. They are leathery, grayish green on the upper side and whitish on the lower side. 

 

The olive flower is white and only flowers after four years. The first harvest can be expected after 15 years.

The olive tree is an evergreen and can live up to 2000 years; and the average life of an olive tree is between 300 and 600 years.

 

One of oldest olive tree in the world is found on the island of Crete. The tree is about 4,000 years old and is still producing fruit. 

NUTRITIONAL PROFILE

Olives are a remarkable source of antioxidant and anti-inflammatory phytonutrients. Most prominent are two simple phenols, tyrosol and hydroxytyrosol and several terpenes, especially oleuropein, erythrodiol, uvaol, oleanolic acid, elenoic acid and ligstroside. It has flavonoids—including apigenin, luteolin, cyanidins, and peonidins,—are typically provided in valuable amounts by lives, as are hydroxycinnamic acids like caffeic acid, cinnamic acid, ferulic acid and coumaric acid. The phytonutrient content of olives depends upon olive variety, stage of maturation, and the way it is treated after being harvested.

 

Olives are a very good source of copper and a good source of iron, dietary fiber and vitamin E.  

HEALTH BENEFITS

Olives are loaded with antioxidants, which plays out in the prevention of a number of different diseases, including heart disease, stroke, DNA damage, and cancer, specifically breast and stomach cancer. Other benefits relate to the health of the nervous system, respiratory system, immunity, and digestion, to name a few. Vitamin E (alpha tocopherol) is another important antioxidant nutrient in olives, along with antioxidant minerals like selenium and zinc.

 

Here are some additional benefits:

Bone and Connective Tissue – The anti-inflammatory abilities of the monounsaturated fats, vitamin E and polyphenols in black olives may also help dull the asperity of asthma, osteoarthritis, and rheumatoid arthritis. Most of the suffering in having one of these three bone maladies is brought about by high levels of free radicals. Olive oil also contains a chemical called oleocanthal, which acts as a painkiller. Research has found that oleocanthal inhibits inflammation by the same means that drugs like Ibuprofen do.

Cancer Prevention – Black olives are a great source of vitamin E, which has the brilliant ability to neutralize free radicals in body fat. Studies have shown that a diet supplemented with olive oil leads to a lower risk of colon cancer.

Cardiovascular Benefits – When free radicals oxidize cholesterol, blood vessels are damaged and fat builds up in arteries, possibly leading to a heart attack. The antioxidant nutrients in black olives impede this oxidation of cholesterol, thereby helping to prevent heart disease. Olives do contain fat, but it’s the healthy monounsaturated kind, which has been found to shrink the risk of atherosclerosis and increase good cholesterol. 

Digestive Tract HealthFrequent consumption of both vitamin E and the monounsaturated fats in black olives is associated with lower rates of colon cancer. These nutrients help prevent colon cancer by neutralizing free radicals. Olive oil’s protective function also has a beneficial effect on ulcers and gastritis. Olive oil activates the secretion of bile and pancreatic hormones much more naturally than prescribed drugs, thereby lowering the incidence of gallstone formation.

Eye Health – One cup of black olives contains ten percent of the daily recommended allowance of vitamin A which, when converted into the retinal form, is crucial for healthy eyes. It enables the eye to better distinguish between light and dark, thereby improving night vision. Furthermore, Vitamin A is believed effective against cataracts, macular degeneration, glaucoma and other age-related ocular diseases.

Good Source of Iron – Black olives are very high in iron. The ability of red blood cells to carry oxygen throughout the body is due to the presence of iron in the blood. If we suffer from a lack of iron, our tissues don’t get enough oxygen, and we may feel cold or weak. Iron also plays a vital role in the production of energy. It is a necessary part of a number of enzymes, including iron catalase, iron peroxidase, and the cytochrome enzymes. It also helps produce carnitine, a nonessential amino acid important for the utilization of fat. As we see, the proper function of the immune system is dependent on sufficient iron.

Skin and Hair Health – Black olives are rich in fatty acids and antioxidants that nourish, hydrate and protect. Chief among those is vitamin E. Whether applied topically or ingested, vitamin E has been shown to protect skin from ultraviolet radiation, thus guarding against skin cancer and premature aging. You can gain a healthy, glowing complexion by washing your face in warm water, applying a few drops of olive oil to vulnerable spots, and letting it work its magic for 15 minutes before rinsing it off. In fact, you can moisturize with olive oil before any bath, and even condition your hair with it by mixing it with an egg yolk and leaving it before rinsing and washing. 

HOW TO SELECT AND STORE

Olives are traditionally sold in glass jars and cans; however, many stores are now offering them in bulk in large barrels or bins.

 

While whole olives are very common, you may also find ones that have been pitted, as well as olives that have been stuffed with peppers, garlic or almonds. If you purchase olives in bulk, make sure that the store has a good turnover and keeps their olives immersed in brine for freshness.

 

When selecting olives from an olive bar, it’s not uncommon to find several different size ranging from fairly small to fairly large or jumbo and come in many different colors. Each of these options among olive varieties can provide you with valuable health benefits. In general, regardless of the variety you choose, select olives that display a reasonable about of firmness and are not too soft or mushy.

Another thing to consider is to buy olives that still have pits. Removing the pit during processing bruises the olive and makes it easier for molds to take over.

 

It is better to choose olives packed in glass over those that come in cans because the cans are lined with bisphenol-A (BPA), a hormone-disrupting petrochemical derivative.

If olives in cans are the only option, you should avoid buying them from large-scale producers, which are more likely to be sprayed with pesticides during the growing process and then treated with harsh chemicals—namely lye, to speed curing—during processing.

 

Preferably you should opt for organic olives that are traditionally cured, in order to avoid the ones that have been cured with lye.

Olives in glass jars once opened can be stored in the refrigerator for up to one month. Canned olives once opened should be used within a week. 

HOW TO PREPARE AND ENJOY

To pit olives, press them with the flat side of a broad knife.

 

This will help break the flesh so that you can easily remove the pit with your fingers or with a knife.

How to Enjoy

Here are some suggestions:

Green olives festive appetizer with prosciutto and melon

Broccoli pasta salad with sliced black olives

 

Pan fried chicken with vegetables, spices and olives.

Olive tapenade is a delicious and easy-to-make spread that you can use as a dip, sandwich spread, or topping for any dish. To make it, put pitted olives in a food processor with olive oil, garlic, and your favorite seasonings.

Olive on a vegetable pizza give it that extra special flavor

Potatoes and green beans mixed with a delicious olive oil dressing and olives

Add chopped olives to your favorite salad recipe.   

Spaghetti squash with chopped olives, tomatoes, garlic, olive oil and fresh herbs of your choice.  

ENJOY!

 

 

SOURCES:

http://mercola.com
http://www.whfoods.com

REFERENCES:

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/22999065

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/22946650

Lopez-Lopez A, Rodriguez-Gomez F, Cortes-Delgado A et al. Effect of the Previous Storage of Ripe Olives on the Oil Composition of Fruits. JAOCS, Journal of the American Oil Chemists’ Society. Champaign: Jun 2010. Vol. 87, Iss. 6; p. 705-714. 2010.

Malheiro R, Sousa A, Casal S et al. Cultivar effect on the phenolic composition and antioxidant potential of stoned table olives. Food Chem Toxicol. 2011 Feb;49(2):450-7. Epub 2010 Nov 23. 2011.

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Posted by: godshealingplants | December 26, 2018

KUMQUATS FOR YOUR HEALTH

HISTORY

The earliest historical reference to kumquats appears in literature from 12th century China. Kumquats have long been cultivated in India, Japan, Taiwan, the Philippines, and Southeast Asia. The name ‘kumquat’ is of Chinese origin, and it has the literal meaning of “golden orange”. 

ABOUT

Kumquats are a small citrus fruit that look like baby oranges. Kumquats are slow growing evergreen shrubs or short trees that are 8 to 15 feet tall with dense branches that sometimes have small thorns.

The leaves of kumquat trees are dark glossy green, and the flowers are white, similar to other citrus flowers. Depending on its size, the kumquat tree can produce hundreds or even thousands of fruits each year.

Even when fully ripe, their flavor is still very tart. It is more acidic and less sweet than oranges; which is a key difference between the two.

 

If you should grow your own kumquat tree once it matures it will produce fruit almost all year round. Unlike other citrus fruits, kumquat trees can survive reasonably cold weather.

NUTRITIONAL VALUE

Like most citrus fruits, the predominant health reason to eat kumquats is that they are a good source of vitamin- C. It also contains Manganese, Calcium, Vitamin-A, Vitamin-B complex, Iron, Magnesium, Potassium, Copper, Folate, Zinc,Vitamin-E and their peel is high in polyphenols also. 

HEALTH BENEFITS

Here is a list of some of the main health benefits of kumquat:

  • Assists in stimulation of new cell growth
  • Assists with collagen synthesis and wound healing
  • Boosts the immune system
  • Builds strong bones
  • Functions as co-factors for metabolizing carbohydrates, proteins and fats
  • Helps in the prevention of neurodegenerative diseases, arthritis and diabetes
  • Helps optimize insulin and glucose balance in the body
  • Helps protect the body against foreign invaders, infections, bacteria and fungi
  • Helps with iron absorption from food sources
  • Helps with the elimination of constipation, excess gas, bloating and cramping
  • Improves skin health
  • Increases energy levels
  • Nourishes hair and teeth
  • Possesses anti-viral and anti-cancer activities
  • Regulates digestive health

Don’t forget to eat the kumquat peel as well, since it’s particularly rich in antioxidants and fiber, as well as essential oils like limonene, pinene, a-bergamotene, caryophyllene, a-humulene and a-muurolene. All these nutrients play a vital role in developing some of the health benefits that kumquats have.

 

HOW TO BUY AND STORE

Kumquats are generally available between the end of January and beginning of April. Look for them at farmers markets and specialty stores.

You should choose kumquats with bright, smooth skins that feel a bit heavy for their size. Avoid kumquats with bruises, cuts, or blemishes of any kind.

Unless you know where they came from, it would be wise to look for certified organic kumquats so you know they weren’t been sprayed with harmful pesticides. 

How to Store

Use or eat kumquats as soon after purchasing as you can. Unlike other citrus fruits, kumquats don’t have a long shelf life. If you do need to store them for a few days, keep kumquats in a paper bag or loosely wrapped in plastic in the fridge.

* * * * * * * *

HOW TO PREPARE AND ENJOY

Kumquats are great to eat just as they are, skin and all.

The peel is actually a bit sweeter than the pulp, so eating them whole gives them a balanced flavor.

Kumquat jelly is tart but delicious especially if you mix them with oranges.

You can add them to fruit or regular salad. The sour tang of kumquats works great with many of the greens available in winter, especially endive and spinach.

Chop, or thinly slice the kumquats before adding them to the salad.

You can add them to a chicken dish.

You can even blend them into a smoothie with mangoes for a very delicious taste.

No matter how you use kumquats, make sure you give them a good rinse, or even a scrub, to make sure they’re clean before you start popping them in your mouth!

 

SOURCE

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kumquat

http://mercola.com

https://hort.purdue.edu/newcrop/morton/kumquat.html

https://www.wikihow.com/Eat-a-Kumquat

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DISCLAIMER GHP

 

Posted by: godshealingplants | November 24, 2018

SWEET POTATOE NACHOES

sweet-potato-nachos-for-web

Ingredients:

  • 1-2 large sweet potatoes
  • Pinch of Himalayan pink salt
  • 1 lb of organic ground turkey or
  • 1 cup of your preferred beans
  • 1 tbsp of organic butter or coconut oil
  • ¼ tsp of chili powder
  • ¼ tsp of cayenne powder
  • ¼ tsp of garlic powder
  • ¼ tsp of onion powder
  • 2 large handfuls of organic spinach
  • 1 small onion
  • 1 large avocado
  • Organic cheese to taste

ingredients-sweet-potatoe-nachoes

Instructions:

  1. Preheat oven to 375 and line baking sheet with foil
  2. Slice sweet potatoes very thin
  3. Spray baking sheet or grease with butter or coconut oil, lay sweet potatoes down, sprinkle with salt, and bake until crispy
  4. Remove, let cool, and place on plate
  5. Heat pan with butter and cook the onion and then add ground turkey or your favorite beans with your preferred spices until fully cooked.
  6. Add the spinach at the end to lightly cook it.
  7. Top sweet potatoes with the ground turkey or bean mix for vegetarians
  8. Continue with avocado, cheese, and salsa of your choosing.

nachos-with-turkey-or-beans

Comments:

Many people love corn and white potato chips but it is recommended to stay away from those for a variety of reasons. Corn and potato are both very starchy and high glycemic and impact blood sugar, cause insulin surges that increase inflammation throughout the body. These foods are like gasoline on a fire…they burn us up on the inside.

Additionally, most store-bought chips (even organic ones) use vegetable oils such as corn oil, soybean oil, cottonseed oil, peanut oil, sunflower oil, grapeseed oil, etc.  These oils are high in omega 6 fatty acids and are extremely inflammatory for the body as well.

Sweet potatoes are a MUCH better option when it comes to making your own chips.  Using organic butter or coconut oil is a significantly healthier choice.  Adding in anti-oxidant rich herbs and veggies makes this a fun, super delicious and nutrient dish!

NOTE:

This recipe is a slightly modified version from Megan Kelly.  She has is a Licensed Esthetician specializing in holistic nutrition.

Thanks also to Dr. David Jockers for keeping us healthy

SOURCE:

http://drjockers.com

 

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Posted by: godshealingplants | October 16, 2018

DANDELION FOR YOUR HEALTH

HISTORY

Plant historians know that dandelions have been an important component of traditional Chinese medicine for at least a thousand years. The plants, believed to be native to the Mediterranean, were well known by ancient Greeks, Romans and Egyptians. Medicinally, dandelion roots and leaves were used as a tonic to remove toxins from the bloodstream, acting as a gentle diuretic to improve the function of the digestive system. 

ABOUT

Dandelions produce many small yellow flowers, called florets, which collectively form one flower head. Once it has finished flowering, the flower head dries out, the florets drop off and a seed head is formed. The seeds are then dispersed by the wind, often carried as many as 5 miles from their origin!

Although dandelion is often overlooked as just a pesky weed, it can actually be a useful addition to both your kitchen and your medicine cabinet. Both the root and greens are packed with health-promoting properties and can be used to make everything from dandelion tea to super-nutritious salads.

Every part of the dandelion is useful: root, leaves, and flower. It can be used for food, medicine and dye for coloring.

The name dandelion is taken from the French word “dent de lion” meaning lion’s tooth, referring to the coarsely-toothed leaves.

NUTRITIONAL VALUE

Dandelion is low in calories and rich in carbohydrates and fiber. It contains vitamin A, vitamin B6, vitamin C, vitamin K, vitamin E as well as vitamin P. The minerals in it include potassium, calcium, and lecithin, iron, magnesium, niacin, phosphorus, proteins, silicon, boron, and zinc.

Chemical constituents in the leaf include bitter glycosides, carotenoids, terpenoids, choline, potassium salts, iron, and other minerals. The root also has bitter glycosides, tannins, triterpenes, sterols, volatile oil, choline, asparagin, and inulin.

HEALTH BENEFITS

  • Cancer Prevention: Dandelion is loaded with antioxidants that neutralize free radicals that can cause cancer. The antioxidants, combined with its detoxing action are a great natural cancer preventative.
  • Improves Bone Health: Dandelion is rich in calcium and vitamin K, which is essential for the growth and strength of bones. It is also rich in antioxidants like vitamin C and luteolin, which protect the bones from age-related disorders like osteoporosis and arthritis.
  • Kidney Health: Dandelion is a natural diuretic that helps prevent renal problems by flushing the kidneys. It clears deposits of toxic substances, including uric acid, from the entire urinary system. It is a natural disinfectant and inhibits the growth of microbes that cause urinary tract infection. Dandelion tea can be a great remedy for those with kidney stones.
  • Liver Health: Dandelion promotes a healthy liver, helping it function efficiently and effectively. Dandelion regulates and maintains the proper flow of bile and helps flush fatty buildup and toxins from the liver.
  • Regulates Blood Pressure: Dandelion juice, being diuretic in nature, increases urination, both in quantity and frequency. The fiber in it is also helpful in reducing cholesterol and thereby assists in treating hypertension. The high potassium content in dandelions is very effective in lowering high blood pressure by replacing sodium.
  • Treats Urinary Disorders: Dandelion extracts are highly diuretic in nature, so they help eliminate toxins from the kidneys and the urinary tract. The disinfectant properties of dandelions also inhibit microbial growth in the urinary system.
  • Weight Loss: Dandelion tea is said to be good for weight loss for a couple of reasons. It flushes toxins and excess fats out of the liver, allowing the liver to function properly which in turn leads to the easier release of excess body fat. In addition, the natural diuretic effect helps flush fat and toxins through the kidneys.

HOW TO BUY AND STORE

Dandelions are abundant throughout backyards and grocery stores alike. While it is safe to pick dandelions from your own yard and use them, you should be sure to avoid areas where weed killer or pesticides have been sprayed.       

Remember to wash thoroughly.

 

Dandelion root pills and liquid extract are also available at many pharmacies and health stores. If you decide to supplement with dandelion, make sure to look for a reputable brand with minimal added ingredients and fillers.

You can find dandelion in a variety of forms from fresh to dry to tinctures, liquid extracts, teas, tablets, and capsules. If using fresh dandelion, you will want to make sure it is organic, or if using from your garden, use leaves that haven’t been treated with pesticides. 

TIPS FOR PREPARING AND COOKING

Dandelion greens from young plants can be eaten raw in salads. They should be harvested before flowering begins.

Once the flowers have emerged the greens can still be used, but should be steamed or boiled instead for best flavor. The older the plant, the more bitter the greens become.

Once you harvest the plants, cut the foliage away from the root. You can use the roots later for tea. Clear the leaves all together and don’t pull of individual leaves. Trim the tougher stalky part at the bottom and then cut the remainder of the leaves into 2 inch sections; then lightly steam them until tender.

HOW TO HARVEST AND PREPARE DANDELION ROOTS

Dandelion roots often run deep into the ground, and can be a little hard to pull out of soil that is packed tight. Harvesting after it rains can make them a little easier to pull out. When you harvest them, grab the plant with one hand and take a knife around the other side to loosen the soil and then pull them free. Sometimes they come right out, other times some of the roots break off.

Once you have the plants pulled, remove the tops of the plants and the stringy parts around the roots. Soak the roots in water for several minutes to loosen any additional dirt.

Rinse again until they are clean and then chop them into very small ¼ to ½ inch pieces.

Place the chopped roots on a cookie sheet and roast at 200 for about an hour to dry the roots fully. They will shrink a lot in this process. When they are finished drying, place them in an airtight jar and use them for tea.

Add a tablespoon of dried root to a pot of boiling water and steep for 5 minutes or longer. Strain, add honey or a bit of cinnamon and enjoy. The longer dandelion tea steeps the more bitter it can become.

Eating Dandelion Flowers

Dandelion flowers can also be cooked and eaten. They have a sweeter flavor than the slightly bitter greens. Dandelion flowers should be eaten immediately after harvest. Cook them or sprinkle the petals on soups or salads.

Dandelion flowers get their pretty sunshiny color from beta-carotene, a precursor to vitamin A in the body. Vitamin A supports a healthy immune system and is great for healthy vision.

HOW TO ENJOY

You can use both the leaves and root of the dandelion in a wide array of recipes, from sauces to soups and beyond.

 

It makes a great salad with boiled eggs and sliced grapefruit

It also makes a great cup of tea with some honey and cinnamon

Incorporating dandelion leaves with pineapple and blueberries makes a very healthy smoothie

It will give your quiche a very exotic taste

It tastes great with red potatoes and onions

A WORD OF CAUTION

Dandelion may cause an allergic reaction in some people when eaten or applied to the skin. If you have sensitivity to other plants in the same family of plants, such as ragweed, daisies or thistle, you may also have sensitivity to dandelion. If you experience symptoms like swelling, itching or redness, you should discontinue use immediately and talk to your health care provider.

You should consult your doctor before adding dandelion or its supplements in addition to your normal treatment. 

FINAL THOUGHTS

Despite being considered little more than a weed by many, dandelion packs in some impressive health benefits.

Both the root and leaves of dandelion have been shown to protect the liver, lower cholesterol and triglycerides, fight bacteria, and keep your eyes healthy.

Dandelion can be added to everything from salads to sauces and soups or used to brew a hot cup of coffee or tea.

Next time, think twice about getting the weed killer out when you notice the yellow flowers popping up in your yard and consider giving these nutritious plants a try instead.

 

SOURCE

http://www.mofga.org/Default.aspx?tabid=756

http://www.herballegacy.com/Chhabra_History.html

https://www.organicfacts.net/health-benefits/herbs-and-spices/health-benefits-of-dandelion.html

https://www.naturalnews.com/035418_dandelion_cancer_therapy_herbs.html

 

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Posted by: godshealingplants | August 18, 2018

BEETS FOR YOUR HEALTH

HISTORY

The wild beet, the ancestor of the beet with which we are familiar today, is thought to have originated in North Africa and grew wild along Asian and European seashores. In these earlier times, people exclusively ate the beet greens and not the roots. The ancient Romans were one of the first civilizations to cultivate beets to use their roots as food. The tribes that invaded Rome were responsible for spreading beets throughout northern Europe where they were first used for animal fodder and later for human consumption, becoming more popular in the 16th century.

 

From the 16th to the 19th century, beets became more widespread and used in various ways; for example, their juices were used as food dyes while their sugars quickly became noticed for a source of concentrated sweetness. Around the 19th century, beets began being used as a means for extracting and refining sugar. 

This continued to be a popular method for making sugar throughout Europe, eventually spreading to the United States where beets are still used in this way. Today the largest producers of beets are the United States, Russia and European nations, such as France, Poland and Germany. 

ABOUT

Sugar beets grow exclusively in the temperate zone, in contrast to sugarcane, which grows exclusively in the tropical and subtropical zones. The average weight of sugar beet ranges between 0.5 and 1 kg (1.1 and 2.2 lb). Sugar beet foliage has a rich, brilliant green color and grows to a height of about 35 cm (14 in). The leaves are numerous and broad and grow in a tuft from the crown of the beet, which is usually level with, or just above the ground surface.

 

While beets are available throughout the year, their season runs from June through October when the youngest, most tender beets are easiest to find. 

NUTRITIONAL VALUE

Beets are an excellent source of folate and a very good source of manganese, potassium and copper. They are also a good source of dietary fiber, magnesium, phosphorus, vitamin C, iron and vitamin B6.   

HEALTH BENEFITS

Although beets have the highest sugar content of all vegetables, most people can safely eat beet roots a few times a week, enjoying not only their sweet, earthy flavor but also their powerhouse nutrients that may improve your health in the following ways. Their greens can be eaten in unlimited quantities. 

  • Aid in Detoxification
  • Aids in Constipation
  • Boost Brain Function
  • Boost Your Stamina
  • Enhance Athletic Performance
  • Excellent for Cleansing the Liver
  • Fights Inflammation
  • Good for Anemia
  • Has Anti-Cancer Properties
  • Helps with Restlessness and Irritability
  • High in Antioxidants
  • Improves Blood Circulation
  • Increase Weight Loss
  • Lowers Your Blood Pressure
  • Promote Heart Health
  • Rich in Valuable Nutrients and Fiber
  • Support Digestive Health

 

We need to eat the beet greens also. If you simply throw away the green leafy tops to your beets, you’re doing yourself a disservice, as these are among the healthiest part of the plant. Besides containing important nutrients like protein, phosphorus, zinc, fiber, vitamin B6, magnesium, potassium, copper, and manganese, beet greens also supply significant amounts of vitamin A, vitamin C, calcium, and iron. And beet greens actually have even more iron than spinach.  

And beet greens are good to:

  • Help ward off osteoporosis by boosting bone strength
  • Fight Alzheimer’s disease
  • Strengthen your immune system by stimulating the production of antibodies and white blood cells.

 

If you’ve never tried beet greens before, don’t let them intimidate you. They can be added raw to vegetable juice or sautéed lightly right along with other greens like spinach and Swiss chard. 

HOW TO BUY AND STORE

Choose small or medium-sized beets whose roots are firm, smooth-skinned and deep in color. Smaller, younger beets may be so tender that peeling won’t be needed after they are cooked. Avoid beets that have spots, bruises or soft, wet areas, all of which indicate spoilage. Shriveled or soft should also be avoided as these are signs that the roots are aged, tough and fibrous. 

While the quality of the greens does not reflect that of the roots, if you are going to consume this very nutritious part of the plant, look for greens that appear fresh, tender, and have a lively green color. 

Cut the majority of the greens and their stems from the beet roots, so they do not pull away moisture away from the root. Leave about two inches of the stem attached to prevent the roots from “bleeding.” Do not wash beets before storing. Place in a plastic bag and wrap the bag tightly around the beets, squeezing out as much of the air from the bag as possible, and place in refrigerator where they will keep for up to 3 weeks. Loss of some nutrients in beets—for example, its vitamin C content—is likely to be slowed down through refrigeration. 

Store the unwashed greens in a separate plastic bag squeezing out as much of the air as possible. Place in refrigerator where they will keep fresh for about four days. 

Raw beets do not freeze well since they tend to become soft upon thawing. Freezing cooked beets is fine; they’ll retain their flavor and texture. 

TIPS FOR PREPARING AND COOKING

 

Rinse gently under cold running water, taking care not to tear the skin, which helps keep the health-promoting pigments inside.

 

Since beet juice can stain your skin, wearing kitchen gloves is a good idea when handling beets. If your hands become stained during the cleaning and cooking process, simply rub some lemon juice on them to remove the stain.

 

Cut beets into quarters leaving 2 inches of tap root and 1 inch of stem on the beets.

Cook beets lightly. Studies show beets’ concentration of phytonutrients, such as betalains, is diminished by heat.

 

Fill the bottom of the steamer with 2 inches of water and bring to a rapid boil. Add beets, cover, and steam for 15 minutes. Beets are cooked when you can easily insert a fork or the tip or knife into the beet. 

Peel beets by setting them on a cutting board and rubbing the skin off with a paper towel. Wearing kitchen gloves will help prevent your hands from becoming stained. 

HOW TO ENJOY

 

Simply grate raw beets for a delicious and colorful addition to pasta

Boil beet greens for 1 minute and toss it with your favorite dressing for a great tasting side dish.

Canning beets in fresh lemon juice, extra virgin olive oil, onions and fresh herbs, can be enjoyed year round.

You can add beets to your favorite veggie burger recipe

This is a delicious spinach and beet salad topped with nuts

Beets can be used as the main ingredient for a delicious soup

Beet juice is delicious by itself, but you can add any favorite vegetable to it.

And finally you can add beets to your favorite cookie recipe

 

A WORD OF CAUTION

Beets have consistently been determined to have high oxalate content. Oxalates are naturally occurring organic acids found in a wide variety of foods, and in the case of certain medical conditions, they must be greatly restricted in a meal plan to prevent over-accumulation inside the body.

 

Although there are numerous potential beet benefits, there are some people who may need to moderate their intake.

While rare, some people may be allergic to beets. If you experience any food allergy symptoms like hives, itching or swelling, discontinue use immediately and talk to your doctor.

 

REFERENCES

  • Augustsson K, Michaud DS, Rimm EB, et al. A prospective study of intake of fish and marine fatty acids and prostate cancer. Cancer Epidemiol Biomarkers Prev. 2003 May;12(1)64-7. 2003. PMID:12540506.
  • Bobek P, Galbavy S, Mariassyova M. The effect of red beet (Beta vulgaris var. rubra) fiber on alimentary hypercholesterolemia and chemically induced colon carcinogenesis in rats. Nahrung 2000 Jun;44(3):184-7. 2000.
  • Elbandy MA and Abdelfadeil MG. Stability of betalain pigments from a red beetroot (Beta vulgaris). Poster Session Presentation. The First International Conference of Food Industries and Biotechnology & Associated Fair. Al-Baath University, North Sinai, Egypt. 
  • Lee CH, Wettasinghe M, Bolling BW et al. Betalains, phase II enzyme-inducing components from red beetroot (Beta vulgaris L.) extracts. Nutr Cancer. 2005;53(1):91-103. 2005.
  • Lucarini M, Lanzi S, D’Evoli L et al. Intake of vitamin A and carotenoids from the Italian population–results of an Italian total diet study. Int J Vitam Nutr Res. 2006 May;76(3):103-9. 2006.
  • Reddy MK, Alexander-Lindo RL and Nair MG. Relative inhibition of lipid peroxidation, cyclooxygenase enzymes, and human tumor cell proliferation by natural food colors. J Agric Food Chem. 2005 Nov 16;53(23):9268-73. 2005.
  • Renner-Nance J. Improving the stability and performance of naturally derived color additives. DD Williamson Support Center Presentation, Louisville, KY, June 8, 2009.
  • Song W, Derito CM, Liu MK et al. Cellular antioxidant activity of common vegetables. J Agric Food Chem. 2010 Jun 9;58(11):6621-9. 2010.

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Posted by: godshealingplants | July 7, 2018

HONEY BENEFITS

HISTORY

Exactly how long honey has been in existence is hard to say because it has been around since as far as we can record.

Humans have eaten it, bathed in it, took care of their wounds with it and have traded it since the beginning of history. Archaeologists discovered honey comb in Egypt that had been buried with the pharaohs in their tombs, the honey was preserved and was still eatable.

In the Old Testament, the land of Israel was often referred to as the “land flowing with milk and honey”.

God promised Moses to take them out of Egypt and into a land flowing with milk and honey. John the Baptist ate locusts and wild honey. And the Bible states: eat honey because it is good for you – Proverbs 24:13.

The Greeks viewed honey as not only an important food, but also as a healing medicine, and the Romans did the same and used honey to heal their wounds after battles.

Honey has been used for many thousands of years; in fact most of history has references to it. It is an organic natural sugar, has no additives, is easy on the stomach, and if stored correctly will have an almost indefinite shelf life.

ABOUT

Raw honey comes from the flowers of plants and herbs that God created for us. It is the concentrated nectar of flowers that comes straight from the extracting bee.

 

It is an alkaline-forming food, containing ingredients similar to those found in fruits, which become alkaline in the digestive system. It doesn’t ferment in the stomach and it can be used to counteract acid indigestion. Raw honey is the healthiest choice amongst the various forms of honey as it has the most nutritional value and contains amylase, an enzyme concentrated in flower pollen which helps predigest starchy foods like breads.

NUTRITIONAL VALUE

Natural honey contains a number of amazing properties:

  • Amino acidsRaw honey contains approximately 18 essential and non-essential amino acids, the building blocks of protein. These include cysteine, histidine, glutamine, lysine, proline, and tryptophan.
  • Antioxidants – Honey contains many of the antioxidants found in green leafy vegetables, particularly flavonoids that help boost healthy balance, increase your energy, support enzyme activity, and soothe your skin.
  • Enzymes – Raw honey contains acid phosphatase, catalase, diastase, invertase, inulase, and glucose oxidase, which support digestion and assimilation.
  • Minerals – Honey’s mineral profile features calcium, chromium, copper, iron, magnesium, manganese, phosphorous, potassium, selenium, and zinc. Selenium is a mineral antioxidant that helps support your cardiovascular and immune systems.
  • Nutraceuticals – These important nutrients help enhance your immune system and provide you benefits that go beyond those involved in normal metabolic activity.
  • Vitamins – Honey is a good source of vitamin C (an antioxidant) and B vitamins, particularly niacin (vitamin B3), riboflavin (vitamin B2), and pantothenic acid (vitamin B5), which help boost your energy.

Raw honey also helps promote the growth of probiotics or beneficial bacteria in your gastrointestinal tract.

RAW HONEY AS AN EFFECTIVE NATURAL REMEDY

For centuries, honey has been used to treat all sorts of ailments. It can be applied topically to heal wounds and rashes, or it can be taken internally to treat infections and address other health concerns. Although there are numerous applications of raw honey, the following are the most popular for common everyday conditions. 

Allergies: To treat allergies, take a teaspoon of locally harvested raw honey a couple of times a day starting a few months prior to allergy season. 

Antibiotic: Raw honey’s antibiotic properties are effective in treating colds and sore throats. Raw honey coats the throat and reduces irritation. For blocked sinuses, mix a teaspoon of honey in a pot of hot water, put a towel over your head, and just inhale the steam.

Dandruff Treatment: Honey mixed with warm water and applied to the scalp for 15 to 30 minutes and then rinsed, has been shown to stop the scalp from itching and flaking.

Energy Boost: As and energy boost honey being a source of unprocessed sugar, lets the body directly absorb fructose and glucose. This will give you a healthy quick burst of energy whenever you need it.

Memory Boost: Filled with antioxidants, honey helps protect brain cells from being damaged, keeping your brain sharp and your memory great. Honey also aids in the body’s absorption of calcium, which is needed by the body in decision-making and processing thought.

Nausea Relive: When mixed with ginger and lemon juices, it also relieves nausea.

Wound and Burn Treatment: For skin burns, rashes, and abrasions, place a honey poultice over the affected area. 

Sleeping Aid: Honey has properties that promote the release of serotonin, which is then converted to melatonin, the hormone responsible for a good night’s sleep.

HONEY FOR YOUR FACE

Washing your face with honey will leave you with sparkling, clean, soft skin.

When you are doing a honey cleanse for your skin, do the following:

  1. It’s best to do your honey cleanse in the morning
  2. Start by rinsing your face and removing any sweat and dirt accumulated during the night.
  3. With your face slightly damp, the honey will be easier to spread and will go on smoother and be less sticky.
  4. Take a teaspoonful of honey and gently massage it into your face, using a soft sponge if you prefer.
  5. If you’re dealing with a breakout or skin dryness, let the honey sit on your face for five to ten minutes to allow your skin to absorb all of its good properties.
  6. Finally, using water, your hands, a washcloth or sponge, rinse the honey off your face.

Raw honey is also an effective treatment for acne. A small amount placed on blemishes and acne nightly will often clear the skin in a short period of time.  

HOW TO BUY AND STORE

Most of the honey found in the supermarket is not raw honey but “commercial” regular honey, which has been pasteurized (heated at 70C or 158F degrees or more, followed by rapid cooling) and filtered so that it looks cleaner and smoother, more appealing on the shelf, and easier to handle and package. Unfortunately many have additional additives that are not good for your health.

 

Pasteurization kills any yeast cell in the honey and prevents fermentation. It also slows down the speed of crystallization in liquid honey. On the downside, when honey is heated, its delicate aromas, yeast and enzymes which are responsible for activating vitamins and minerals in the body system are partially destroyed. Hence, raw honey is a far better choice than honey that has undergone heat treatment. 

Among manufacturers there exists no uniform code of using the term “raw honey”. There are no strict legal requirements for claiming and labeling honey as “raw”. You may also find raw honey that is unprocessed but slightly warmed to retard granulation for a short period of time and allow light straining and packing into containers for sale. Using as little heat as possible is a sign of careful handling.

 

Comb honey is raw pure honey sections taken straight from the hive – honey bees’ wax comb with no further handling at all. It is the most pure form in which honey comes — the bees fill the hexagon shaped wax cells of the comb with honey and cap it with beeswax. You can eat comb honey just like a chewy candy. Because the honey in the comb is untouched and is deemed to be pure, honey presented in this form comes with a relatively higher price tag, but never the less it is the best for your health.

All honey types, except comb honey, are processed to some extent. Less processed honeys (no heat applied) have more taste but can be susceptible to fermentation from sugar tolerant yeasts which are always present in honey. High temperatures, over 160 degrees used during processing with filtration, tend to reduce granulation and help improve the looks of the products; however, natural enzymes are eliminated.

 

Liquid honey needs to be stored in a cool dry area avoiding sunlight with an optimal temperature of 70-80 degrees Fahrenheit. It also should be kept it in a tightly lidded container as honey easily absorbs moisture. Over time, liquid honey will crystallize (also known as granulating). That is ok.

While it might look unpleasant, you can restore honey to its liquid state by simply placing the container in warm water until the crystals disappear and removing it from the heat source as quickly as possible. Never boil your honey because vital nutrients will be lost. 

HOW TO ENJOY

Mixed into a salad dressing

Over ice cream and nuts

Mixed with peanut butter for a delicious sandwich

Poured over pancakes

As a sweetener for your tea

In crepes with bananas and almond butter

Honey glazed carrots make a delicious dish

ENJOY! 

 

DISCLAIMER:

This article is meant to be informational and educational regarding traditional uses of herbs for medicinal purposes and not as medical advice. Always follow up with your doctor for concerns regarding your health. The FDA approves herbs as dietary supplements only. 

 

SOURCE:

naturalnews.com

mercola.com

benefits-of-honey.com/raw-honey.html

OrganicAuthority.com

MedicalDaily.com

 

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Posted by: godshealingplants | June 23, 2018

Detoxifying Turmeric Smoothie

 

Ingredients

  • ¾ cup water
  • A heaping tablespoon of ground flax seeds
  • ¼ cup frozen blueberries (if you do not have blueberries in your country you can use mangoes)
  • ¼ cup frozen raspberries (if you do not have raspberries in your country you can use pineapple)
  • 4 large frozen organic strawberries
  • ½ frozen banana
  • ¾ inch chunk of raw turmeric root or a tea spoon of turmeric powder

Directions

  • Blend all ingredients in a high speed blender until a smooth consistency is achieved
  • Pour into your favorite glass and enjoy this refreshing and healing creation.

Makes one large serving

 

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Posted by: godshealingplants | June 7, 2018

BASIL HEALTH BENEFITS

HISTORY

Grown originally in Asia and the Middle East, basil traveled the world along the spice trail. It has been grown and used for 5000 years and has hundreds of varieties and is now cultivated in many countries. 

ABOUT

Basil is a common aromatic herb in the mint family. Basil plants come in a range of variety and sizes, but holy basil is the most researched type of basil thus far. Holy basil is the species of basil most known for its powerful healing qualities.

 

Holy basil is an important medicinal plant in various traditional and folk systems of medicines, and has been used in over 300 different Ayurvedic herbal treatments for thousands of years, including tinctures, teas, ointments and tonics. 

There are a number of different varieties of basil and here are some of the better known varieties in alphabetical order: 

 

CARDINAL BASIL – As its name implies, it produces bright red flowers, which are tightly packed together and has small light-green leaves. Cardinal Basil has a stronger taste than most varieties, and it can give a powerful kick of spice to oils, vinegars, or marinades.

 

CINNAMON BASIL – This variety comes with a delicious fragrance and a spicy taste. Although it has a spicy cinnamon flavor, it’s mild enough that it can be used in dishes without the fear of overpowering other flavors.

 

HOLY BASIL – Is best used in teas or cooked in dishes. Eaten raw, it gives off a bitter taste. It’s known to improve immunity, blood circulation, kidney health, and stomach problems. It goes well with fruit salads, Asian marinades, noodles, fried rice, and grilled vegetables.

 

LEMON BASIL – Has a lemony taste and goes really well with salads, fish dishes, grilled veggies, chicken marinades, desserts, and teas.

 

LETTUCE BASIL –  It’s easy to tell a lettuce basil plant apart from most other varieties, since it has a unique look: it has wide, wrinkled light green leaves that resemble lettuce. It has a mild flavor that works well in salads, garnishes, and wraps.

 

PURPLE BASIL – While it isn’t as sweet as other varieties, it has a unique clove-like taste. Purple basil is great for salads and garnishes, or it can be used for its aroma and color in dishes.

 

SPICY GLOBE BASIL – This is A smaller variety of basil. It works well for use in soups, salads, and pasta. But this variety of basil actually has a little spicier flavor to it. So if you’d like a little spice in a smaller variety of basil that would also work well in your container garden, then you might like this variety.

 

SWEET BASIL – Has a fresh aroma and sweet taste, and it particularly pairs well with Italian cuisine. You can try it in Italian sauces, marinades, and soups.

THAI SWEET BASIL – The leaves of Thai sweet basil plants are smaller and have pointed, dark-green tips. And unlike most basil plants, the flowers of Thai basil are deep purple or maroon, and they come in a cone-like shape. It has a distinctly spicy taste (almost like anise). 

NUTRITIONAL VALUE

Basil is an excellent source of vitamin K and manganese; a very good source of copper, vitamin A and vitamin C, magnesium, iron, potassium, calcium folate and omega-3 fatty acids. 

HEALTH BENEFITS

The main use of basil medicinally is as a natural anti-inflammatory. Many naturopathic doctors prescribe basil in treatment of diabetes, respiratory disorders, allergies, and many other ailments. This may be because basil contains cinnamanic acid, which has been found to enhance circulation, stabilize blood sugar, and improve breathing in those with respiratory disorders.

It is also know that basil is very high in antioxidants, especially when it is used as an extract or oil. These antioxidants can protect your body against free radical damage associated with aging, some skin ailments, and most forms of cancer. Antioxidants have become an important part of keeping our bodies healthy, and basil may be among the safest and most effective sources of these life-giving compounds. 

Fresh basil leaves and basil oil have antibacterial properties. They can be used to disinfect surfaces. Leaves, applied to wounds, may eliminate infections. 

Here are some of its healing properties: 

  • Antibacterial Properties
  • Antibiotic Properties
  • Anti-inflammatory
  • Antimicrobial Properties that Fight Viruses and Infections
  • Antioxidant
  • Anti-stress
  • Calms the Stomach
  • Cancer-fighter
  • Contains Properties to Fight Coughing and Colds
  • Diabetes-preventer
  • Fever-reducer (antipyretic)
  • Fights Depression
  • Helps Alkalize the Body and Improve Digestion
  • Helps Protect from Diabetes and Metabolic Syndrome
  • Immune-booster
  • Pain-reducer
  • Prevents Ear Infections
  • Promotes Cardiovascular Health
  • Regulates Blood Sugar
  • Stings and Bites
  • Supports Liver Function and Helps Detoxify the Body 

HOW TO BUY AND STORE

Basil is best used by directly picking it off the plant. However, if you don’t have basil growing at home, make sure it looks fresh.

 

When buying basil, look for brightly colored leaves that are firm and are not wilted. Basil is usually available at farmers’ markets during the summer and early fall, and year-round at most grocery stores.

Store dried unwashed basil in the refrigerator once you buy it or pick it, wrapped inside a damp paper towel and placed inside of a plastic or paper bag to prolong its freshness. Wash it before using it since basil can carry dirt and feel “gritty.” 

If you buy basil with roots, don’t cut them off, use what you need and place the plant in a jar with water covering the roots and it will thrive for many days. 

If you want to store basil for longer, freezing is a good way to store it. First, remove the leaves from the stems. Then carefully rinse the leaves. Keep in mind that the leaves are delicate, so they might easily bruise.

 

If you don’t need whole basil leaves, you can also puree the basil with olive oil, place the puree in ice trays, and keep it in a container in the freezer ready to use when you need it.

 

If you want to dry the basil, you can bake the leaves for two to four hours at a low temperature in the oven, then crumble the leaves, and store them in an airtight container. 

HOW TO ENJOY

Basil can be used in many ways: with sautéed vegetables; in sauces; in smoothies; as part of dressings; in herbal teas; and even to make mixed drinks. 

When cooking with basil please remember that the oils in basil are highly volatile, it is best to add the herb near the end of the cooking process, so it will retain its maximum essence and flavor. 

Here are a few serving ideas:

 

Basil pesto

 

Basil pesto pizza

 

Corn, tomato, basil salad

 

Vegan, pesto, mushroom, zucchini sandwich

 

Spaghetti with pesto sauce

 

Smoothie with basil

 

Basil, mozzarella, tomato appetizer

 

Potato and green been salad with basil

 

Dried basil can be easily added to practically any dish.

 

A WORD OF CAUTION

Basil essential oil isn’t meant to be ingested and should be diluted when used on the skin due to its potency.

 

Basil in fresh form is considered very safe and is usually well-tolerated since it doesn’t commonly cause allergic reactions or side effects in most people. But there are some risks for certain groups of people. 

If you’re pregnant, trying to get pregnant or breast-feeding, it’s a good idea to avoid basil. 

Basil oils or supplements might also interact with cholesterol-lowering medications and diabetic medications, so if you’re currently taking prescriptions for these conditions, you’ll want to speak with a doctor before taking basil supplements.

 

SOURCES 

www.draxe.com

www.wellnessmama.com

REFERENCES

  • Bagamboula CF, Uyttendaeleand M, Debevere J. Inhibitory effect of thyme and basil essential oils, carvacrol, thymol, estragol, linalool and p-cymene towards Shigella sonnei and S. flexneri. Food Microbio 2004 Feb;21 (1):33-42. 2004.
  • Calucci L, Pinzino C, Zandomeneghi M et al. Effects of gamma-irradiation on the free radical and antioxidant contents in nine aromatic herbs and spices. J Agric Food Chem 2003 Feb 12; 51(4):927-34. 2003.
  • Elgayyar M, Draughon FA, Golden DA, Mount JR. Antimicrobial activity of essential oils from plants against selected pathogenic and saprophytic microorganisms. J Food Prot 2001 Jul;64(7):1019-24. 2001. PMID:12650.
  • Ensminger AH, Esminger M. K. J. e. al. Food for Health: A Nutrition Encyclopedia. Clovis, California: Pegus Press; 1986. 1986. PMID:15210.
  • Fortin, Francois, Editorial Director. The Visual Foods Encyclopedia. Macmillan, New York. 1996.
  • Grieve M. A Modern Herbal. Dover Publications, New York. 1971.
  • Opalchenova G, Obreshkova D. Comparative studies on the activity of basil–an essential oil from Ocimum basilicum L.–against multidrug resistant clinical isolates of the genera Staphylococcus, Enterococcus and Pseudomonas by usi. J Microbiol Methods. Jul;54(1):105-10. 2003.
  • Orafidiya LO, Oyedele AO, Shittu AO, Elujoba AA. The formulation of an effective topical antibacterial product containing Ocimum gratissimum leaf essential oil. Int J Pharm 2001 Aug 14;224(1-2):177-83. 2001. PMID:12640.
  • Singh A, Singh SP, Bamezai R. Modulatory potential of clocimum oil on mouse skin papillomagenesis and the xenobiotic detoxication system. Food Chem Toxicol 1999 Jun;37(6):663-70. 1999. PMID:12670.
  • Uma Devi P. Radioprotective, anticarcinogenic and antioxidant properties of the Indian holy basil, Ocimum sanctum (Tulasi). Indian J Exp Biol 2001 Mar; 39(3):185-90. 2001. PMID:12630.
  • Vrinda B, Uma Devi P. Radiation protection of human lymphocyte chromosomes in vitro by orientin and vicenin. Mutat Res 2001 Nov 15;498(1-2):39-46. 2001. PMID: 12620.
  • Wood, Rebecca. The Whole Foods Encyclopedia. New York, NY: Prentice-Hall Press; 1988. 1988. PMID:15220.

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Posted by: godshealingplants | May 18, 2018

BRAZIL NUTS FOR YOUR HEALTH

HISTORY

The Brazil nut has been eaten by the native people of the region for hundreds of years. But the first mention of the Brazil nut from Western sources goes back to 1569 during a time when Spanish and Portuguese explorers came upon them. The Brazil nut has been exported to Europe since as early as 1633.

ABOUT

Brazil nuts are the No. 1 food source on the planet for selenium, which fights inflammation and more.

Though commonly called nuts, Brazil nuts are actually seeds from the Brazil nut tree, one of the largest trees growing upward of 200 feet found in the Amazon.

Brazil nuts are harvested in the wild and exclusively in the wet season of the rain forest. Some areas in Brazil, however, due to high demand, have started to build Brazil nut plantations. It’s actually illegal in Brazil to cut down a Brazil nut tree so you can even find them along roads and in backyards across South America growing wild. These massive trees can live between 500 to 800 years!

Brazil nuts can be eaten raw or blanched. The nuts grow inside a round, coconut-like shell, in orange-like segments which, when split open, reveals around 12-20 nuts.

NUTRITIONAL VALUE

Brazil nuts are largely a monounsaturated fat, which is a good fat, but they also contain some protein as well as being a good source of important nutrients including magnesium, zinc, calcium, vitamin E and some B vitamins.

Brazil nuts are most renowned, though, for their high selenium content, and are in fact the richest known food source of this important nutrient. Selenium is an essential mineral and antioxidant that is needed daily for a healthy immune system and it helps to prevent damage to our nerves and cells. In fact, five to six Brazil nuts a day will provide your recommended daily allowance of selenium.

HEALTH BENEFITS

Studies show that almost 1 billion people worldwide suffer from selenium deficiency, which makes Brazil nuts an important dietary choice. Selenium also helps reduce toxic mercury levels and thus, the incidence of cancer in the body.

Anticancer – Selenium, an essential trace element, has been shown to reduce and prevent the incidence of cancer. Some animal studies show that the selenium can help reduce toxic mercury levels, which can further help fight cancer.  The glutathione enabled by the presence of selenium is an enzymatic antioxidant that eliminates free radicals in all parts of the body that cause cancer.

Anti-inflammatory – The high ellagic acid and selenium levels in the nuts make it a top anti-inflammatory food source. Ellagic acid also has potent neuroprotective properties. Furthermore, zinc in Brazil nuts reduces inflammations and helps flush out toxins.

Hair Care – The L-arginine, an amino acid in the nuts, is mainly used to treat alopecia or male baldness as it encourages the growth of lustrous, thick hair. Brazil nuts are also rich in omega 3s, vitamin E, and selenium, which help to make the hair shiny, healthy and less prone to breakage.

Improve Bone Mineral Density – The copper content in the Brazil nut helps to improve bone mineral density and in the formation of bone tissues. It also helps in the absorption of iron into the bloodstream.

Improve Heart Health – Brazil nuts have a surprisingly high content of healthy unsaturated fats, commonly known as HDL or good forms of cholesterol or omega-3 fatty acids. This includes oleic acid and palmitoleic acid. These varieties of unsaturated fats, magnesium, vitamin E, and selenium content in Brazil nuts are connected with balancing the cholesterol profile of the body and improving heart health.

Mental Health – Brazil nuts, rich in thiamin, help keep the nervous system healthy and strong. They also help prevent Alzheimer’s and stress-related mental disorders.

Mood Lifter – Low levels of selenium are linked to anxiety, stress, and tiredness, according to recent research. Also, nut consumption increases the metabolism of serotonin, a feel-good brain chemical, which controls mood, appetite, and sleep. Thus, regular intake of Brazil nuts rich in selenium can help relieve the various issues caused by selenium deficiency such as depression, mood issues, fatigue, and stress.

Muscle Function – Brazil nuts are a major source of complete protein, with all the essential amino acids, which help to improve and strengthen muscles. They also contain magnesium, which helps prevent the build-up of lactic acid in the muscles, thus preventing soreness.

Skin Care – Copper in Brazil nuts aids in the production of melanin, a color pigment that protects the skin from harmful ultraviolet rays, and thereby prevents skin cancer. The selenium, omega 3-fatty acids, and vitamins C and E in Brazil nuts give the skin a healthy glow and improve the elasticity of the skin, thereby preventing premature aging. Selenium stimulates the activity of glutathione, a powerful antioxidant compound that can remove free radicals from the skin cells that cause wrinkles and even skin cancer. Also, Brazil nut oil is an excellent emollient which helps prevent skin dryness, eczema, and psoriasis.

The high zinc content in Brazil nuts has been shown to protect against acne or lessen its appearance. This can be achieved through normal consumption of the nuts or by application of Brazil nut oil on the affected area.

Thyroid Control – The selenium content, in Brazil nuts, plays a major role in the proper functioning of your thyroid gland. Your thyroid helps control your metabolism, heart rate and body temperature. The thyroid gland has more selenium content per gram of tissue than any other organ in your body. Selenium is a key component of the molecules that are necessary for your body to be able to create and use thyroid hormones. The selenium in Brazil nuts can help to keep your thyroid in proper working order and in overall good health.

Zinc Deficiency – Zinc in Brazil nuts helps treat acrodermatitis enteropathica. This is a rare genetic disorder in which the body is unable to absorb sufficient amounts of zinc.

HOW TO SELECT AND STORE

You can buy Brazil nuts in the shell or without. Look for whole Brazil nuts that are stored in airtight containers. Don’t pick any that are shriveled or in pieces, as they could be already spoiled or contaminated with mold.

Brazil nuts have a propensity to spoil quickly so buy them in reasonable amounts. It’s best to store Brazil nuts airtight in a cool, dark, dry place without exposure to humidity or sunlight.  If you purchase the nut in a shell, it’s best to de-shell them and store them so they don’t rot inside the shell. You can also store whole Brazil nuts in an airtight bag in the refrigerator or freezer, where they can last for a few months.

HOW TO ENJOY

It’s best to eat Brazil nuts raw or blanched. Brazil nuts can also be sweetened and crushed for dessert toppings or even made into puddings, dips and cheeses.

Brazil nut milk is a highly nutritious and tasty alternative to almond, soy or regular dairy milk. However, it should only be used in small amounts or on occasion so you don’t overdo it in the selenium department.

You can save the nut pulp for another use like making cookies, crackers or even hummus.

More unique and scrumptious options for incorporating Brazil nuts into your diet include:

Brazil nut bread with dry fruit

Lime, coconut, Brazil nut smoothie

Brazil nut chocolate covered balls

Shredded Brazil nut to sprinkle over your favorite recipe

Fresh salad sprinkled with Brazil nut chunks

Caramel glazed Brazil nut tart

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A WORD OF CAUTION

There are a few side effects if these nuts are consumed in EXCESS. They are as follows:

  • Weight gain: Despite this wide array of health benefits, Brazil nuts have a high level of calories and saturated fat.
  • Selenium overdose: Too much selenium can cause fatigue, stomach upset, and hair loss.
  • Allergies: Also, as with all nuts, Brazil nut allergies can be quite severe. So, be sure to be tested for any potential nut allergy before consuming these nuts, particularly in oil form.

RECOMMENDATION

The recommended serving size of this beneficial snack is MAXIMUM six average-sized nuts a day.

SOURCES

https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/heart-disease/in-depth/nuts/art-20046635

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/10963212

http://nutritiondata.self.com/facts/nut-and-seed-products/3091/2

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/1873372

http://www.pbs.org/wnet/nature/deep-jungle-monsters-of-the-forest-the-amazing-brazil-nut-tree/3365/

 

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