The study of hieroglyphics and ancient scrolls reveal that ancient Egyptians and Greeks were perhaps the first people to realize the benefits of garlic. These peoples used the stinking rose for culinary and medicinal purposes, religious offerings, and warned never to order the garlic-stuffed chicken breast on a big date.
For the longest time, Anglos were hesitant to jump on the garlic wagon, using the vegetable (yes) only to ward off vampires and other supernatural creeps. While modern folk are still obsessed with vampires, everyone seems to have discovered the benefits of the magical flower, as planet Earth produces nearly 30 billion pounds of garlic annually.
Garlic can add a pungent and delicious flavor to nearly any dish, but recent studies suggest it also has a profound positive affect on human health. In 2007, researchers at the University of Alabama at Birmingham found that a garlic rich diet stimulates hydrogen sulfide production, a natural antioxidant that increases circulation. The researchers, who made this discovery by injecting garlic juice into red blood cells, say the findings shed light on why people who eat a diet high in garlic are much less prone to breast, prostate, and colon cancer. (more…)
By Abra Pappa for NutritiousAmerica.com
Don’t ignore the nutrient powerhouses hidden away in your spice cabinet. Spices contain phenols which stimulate your immune system to protect against disease and are rich in anti-oxidants to protect your body from free radical damage. Spices can elevate a simple dinner into a nutrient dense, delicious masterpiece.
Here are my four favorite spices and their amazing health and healing properties. Plus, how to use them in your kitchen.
Smoked Paprika – This has been my “spice crush” for quite some time. A little dash turns a simple vegetable dish into something richer, heartier, and so delicious. Paprika, because of its high vitamin C content, helps your body absorb iron rich foods and fight infection. Try smoked paprika in these yummy recipes:
By Rachel Berman, RD – Director of Nutrition, CalorieCount.com
Spring time is here and your spring cleaning may already be well under way. This year, in addition to tackling your closet and cleaning underneath the couch, focus on ‘detox’-ing to spring clean your health. No, I’m not talking about expensive drinks and celebrity cleanses which can be harmful to our bodies with short-lived results. These are marketing gimmicks to get you to shell out money for something you will have to do time and time again. By making changes to your diet, you can naturally ‘detox’ with healthy foods. Add these foods on a regular basis to optimize your health and feel your best inside and out.
Leafy Greens such as broccoli, Brussels sprouts, and kale contain cancer fighting compounds called glucosinolates. They are also a great source of calcium which is important for muscle contraction and therefore, can improve the ‘spring in your step.’ Frozen veggies can often be even more nutritious than fresh since they are frozen at the peak of ripeness. Try always keeping a bag in your freezer for quick and easy addition to meals.
Citrus Fruits are loaded with soluble fiber. This type of fiber increases the amount of healthy bacteria in your colon to help flush out toxins from your system. They are also loaded with immune boosting nutrients and antioxidants such as vitamin C, which can improve the health of your skin. Choose the whole fruits, not juices, to get the maximum fiber benefit and improve satiation. (more…)
Garlic—A natural antibiotic, antifungal, and antiviral agent, garlic is a great addition to your diet, particularly at this time of year. While garlic contains potassium and germanium, two minerals that are critical to good health, it is best known for its sulphur compounds, particularly allicin. These are the main phytochemicals that boost immunity and act as natural antibiotics. So, ladies and gentlemen, start chopping—garlic that is. It’s time to throw some fresh garlic into your favorite soup, stew, chilli, stirfry, meat or veggie dish. Forget garlic powder. Most of its health benefits are long gone.
Oregano Oil—The King of natural antibiotics, study after study proves the effectiveness of oregano oil. Of course, like anything, product strength can vary drastically. Some products are actually marjoram and not oregano at all. So, choose a reputable brand backed by research. I like North American Herb and Spice Company’s blend called P-73, which includes wild, high potency oregano harvested in harsh conditions. That might not sound like a big deal but harsh conditions usually spell stronger active ingredients in the plant, since the health-building phytochemicals frequently comprise the plant’s immune system.
According to food blogger and author Joy Buasi from Joy’s Thai Food, Thai cuisine is well known for its fresh ingredients, robust spiciness and complex flavors and aromas. While chili powder, fresh citrus juices and fish stock are common Thai food flavorings, the cuisine is also peppered with peanuts, coconut milk and oil.
If you want to reap the healthy benefits of Thai cuisine, make your own at home so that you can limit the high-calorie ingredients and take advantage of the ingredients full of nutrients.