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Are you lacking a bit of spice in your life? Add an abundance of flavour by integrating these well-known spices into your diet and reap the benefit of their glorious healing properties.

Spices are much more than wonderful taste supplements. They also provide concentrated, powerful medicines that can enhance health and vitality, treasures that ancient cultures knew well and that modern society is now rediscovering through science and research.

GARLIC

Garlic has a proven reputation as an antibiotic active against bacteria, fungi and other infectious micro-organisms including staphylococci, streptococci, E. coli, trichomonas, candida and amoebic dysentery. It is a traditional remedy
for treating colds, flu, bronchitis and asthma.

A growing body of scientific research confirms garlic’s reputation forgarlic benefiting the cardiovascular system by lowering cholesterol, reducing blood clots (by preventing platelet aggregation), reducing atherosclerosis and lowering blood pressure. Recently, it has been shown that garlic can help to lower blood glucose and thus reduce the risk of diabetes, and there is some evidence that eating garlic regularly may help prevent the development of an enlarged prostate in older men.

Did you know…?

Eating fresh parsley with garlic helps to avoid bad garlic breath.

GINGER

gingerFor centuries, ginger has been taken to ease rheumatic complaints, and modern evidence confirms that it has an
anti-inflammatory effect and may also lower blood pressure. It can aid slimming if taken as a hot drink with food because, as well as giving a sense of fullness, it enhances the thermic effect of food, reducing feelings of hunger. Widely used as a digestive aid, ginger can also be effective for motion sickness and nausea. It makes a warming drink and is thought to improve circulation.

Did you know…?

Ginger is highly effective in treating morning sickness, but high doses should be avoided.

NUTMEG

In the Middle Ages, nutmeg was highly prized and believed to have magical powers. People even carried nutmeg
around with them in a small locket on a chain. It was said to comfort the head and the nerves, and was known to calm the digestion while stimulating the circulation.

Modern research has shown nutmeg to be among the strongesnutmegt antioxidants and an effective antibacterial and anti-inflammatory plant medicine able to increase calmness while reducing feelings of anger and embarrassment. It has also been found to inhibit blood clotting and to decrease prostaglandin levels in the colon, making it useful in the management of Crohn’s disease. Extracts of nutmeg inhibit leukaemia cell development, and compounds within it have been found to inhibit the breakdown of elastin in the skin and thus keep the skin more supple. Nutmeg also seems to help protect the skin from overexposure to harmful UV sun-rays.

However, nutmeg does have a reputation as an intoxicant that can cause hallucinations and euphoria, together with palpitations, nausea, headache, dizziness, dry mouth and delirium, but the psychoactive effect is only seen in large doses and varies markedly from person to person.

Did you know…?

To relieve joint pain, try an ointment made by mixing freshly grated nutmeg, ginger, ground cloves and citronella oil with ground, uncooked rice. Apply to the affected joint and leave to soak into the skin.

STAR ANISE

The shikimic acid contained in star anise seeds is a strong antiviral agent and a primary ingredient in the synthesis of antiviral drugs such as Tamiflu. Recent bird flu and swine flu epidemics caused the price of star anise to soar as drug companies bought up vast quantities in order to meet the surge in worldwide demand for antiviral drugs.

star-aniseStar anise is a warming, stimulating herb used in traditional Chinese medicine to relieve cold stagnation, to balance the flow of Qi and to relieve pain. It is a traditional remedy for arthritis and digestive complaints, and has potent antimicrobial properties due, in part, to the presence of anethole, which is effective against bacteria, fungus and some yeasts. Its immune-stimulating, antimicrobial and antioxidant properties, together with a gentle painkilling and sedative effect, make star anise a perfect remedy to give young children to relieve colic, and also to treat respiratory problems such as bronchitis, cough and asthma. It is also a useful insect repellent.

Did you know…?

Sprinkling ground star anise on root vegetables before baking, or adding a whole star anise to sweet potato, pumpkin or leek dishes enhances their flavour.

 

HealingSpices_MiniJacket

 

Exacts taken from Healing Spices by Kirsten Hartvig

£12.99 | Available from Nourish Books

 

 

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by Max Tomlinson

Eat foods rich in immune-boosting vitamins C and E, and avoid cow’s dairy.

What is hay fever?
An overactive immune system may identify pollen or other airborne particles as pathogens. These irritate the mucous membranes lining the nose and sinuses so that they produce watery mucus to flush away the offending particles. The body also releases histamines, which cause inflammation in the sinuses.

Pure-food solutions
AVOID ALLERGENIC FOODS
Try to avoid typical allergens, which will exacerbate the immune response, especially the production of mucus. Wheat and cow’s dairy are the main culprits.

EAT MORE RAW FRUIT AND VEG
Eat lots of organic fruit and vegetables high in antioxidants, such as vitamins A, C and E and the mineral zinc, to stabilize the immune system. The richest antioxidant foods are the berry family.

AVOID INFLAMMATORY FOODS
Red meat and eggs contain a compound called arachidonic acid (AA), too much of which exacerbates inflammation.

EAT LOCAL HONEY
Local honey contains pollen local to your area. It can acclimatize your immune system to the pollen, reducing the immune response. Eat foods rich in immune-boosting vitamins C and E, and avoid cow’s dairy.

Rice paper rolls with ginger citrus dipping sauce

Ingredients: 110g/4oz skinless organic chicken breast, cut into thin strips; 1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
1 fat clove garlic, peeled and crushed; 1⁄2 green apple, peeled, cored and cut into matchsticks; 4 salad onions, trimmed and cut into thin strips lengthways; 1⁄2 red (bell) pepper, cut into matchsticks; 3 large Chinese leaf leaves, stems discarded and leaves finely shredded; 1⁄4 medium cucumber (85g/3oz), cut into matchsticks.
Small bunch coriander (cilantro), chopped; 20 mint leaves, shredded; 24 rice paper roll wrappers; 3 tbsp fresh orange juice; 4 tsp lime or lemon juice; 1 tsp fresh ginger, grated.

Method:

  • Put the chicken, olive oil and garlic into a wok over a high heat and stir-fry for 3–4 minutes, until cooked through. Spread out on a plate and leave to cool for 10 minutes.
  • Put the apple, onions, pepper, Chinese leaf, cucumber, coriander (cilantro) and mint into a
    large bowl. Add the cooled chicken, plus any juices on the plate, and toss together thoroughly.
  • Pour about 1.5cm/3⁄4 in cold water in a shallow dish. Dip a rice paper wrapper in the water and
    leave for 2 minutes to soften. Remove and spread out on a dry tea towel. Put a heaped teaspoon of the filling on the edge of the wrapper closest to you and fold the side edges inward to enclose the filling, then roll up.
  • Dampen the opposite edge of the rice paper wrapper slightly and press down to seal the roll, then put on a plate, seam side down, and cover with damp kitchen paper. Repeat with the remaining rice paper wrappers and filling.
  • To make the dipping sauce, mix the orange juice, lime juice, ginger and chilli in a small bowl. Uncover the finished rolls and serve with the dipping sauce.

NOTE: You can wrap the filling in little gem lettuce leaves rather than rice paper if you want to avoid carbohydrates. Vegetarians can replace the chicken with 3 tbsp chopped and lightly toasted unsalted cashew nuts or peanuts.

Max Tomlinson is the UK’s top naturopath. In this book he reveals how you can harness the power of food to generate outstanding health, unfolding how foods in their pure form can protect you against pollution and disease and can help you to achieve long term health and vitality.

CleanUpYourDiet-e13546570181371-300x480

Max Tomlinson
Clean Up Your Diet
Available from Nourish Books

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by Christine Bailey

Choosing your juices
The Juice for Life programme means including a freshly made juice or smoothie every day.
Try to make sure that over the course of every week, you drink juices in a rainbow of colours. You might enjoy the red or orange juices best, but make sure you get in a good few green juices, too, as these support your liver’s cleansing work (which helps fight cellulite and fat). If you have specific health goals, feel free to include juices from the Beauty, Power and Immunity chapters, too.

Getting started
Here you can find three recipes to get started. Don’t forget to incorporate a cleansing treatment every other week (or more often if you can manage it), to give a boost to your efforts, and incorporate a regular exercise routine, too. Twice a week, do 30 minutes’ resistance or weight training; and three or four times a week, do 30 minutes’ cardiovascular exercise that makes you slightly breathless.

Creamy Cacao Nut Shake
This indulgent-tasting smoothie bursts with nutrients to keep you energized throughout the day and makes a perfect replacement for breakfast. The nuts give the shake a high protein content, which balances your blood-sugar levels, keeping your mind alert and in focus.

Ingredients: 200ml/7fl oz/scant 1 cup almond milk • 1 tbsp raw cacao nibs or powder • ½ small banana, peeled • ½ tsp vanilla extract • 1 tsp agave nectar • a pinch cinnamon, to serve
Process all the ingredients in a blender until smooth and creamy. Serve sprinkled with the cinnamon.

Health Benefits
Raw cacao is unprocessed and unheated, and so contains far more antioxidants than processed cocoa, and more than even most fruits and vegetables. It is particularly rich in magnesium (which you need for muscle function and relaxation) and arginine, an amino acid that helps maintain muscle mass. It is also packed with the amino acids tryptophan and phenylethylamine, which can boost mood.

Nutritional analysis per serving: Calories 181kcal • Protein 3.8g • Carbohydrates 28g [of which sugars 11.6g] • Fat 9.2g

Goji Burst
This juice is the perfect combination of quick energy fix and long-lasting power drink. A creamy, dairy-free smoothie, it is packed with antioxidants, B-vitamins and plenty of protein to combat fatigue. Serve it as a quick breakfast shake or a mid-morning snack.
Ingredients: 15g/½oz dried goji berries • 1 orange, peeled • ½ sharon fruit • ½ tbsp almonds • 40g/1½oz raspberries • ½ small banana

Soak the goji berries in 170ml/5½fl oz/²/3 cup water for 15 minutes. Juice the orange. Put the juice and the remaining ingredients, including the soaking liquid, into a blender and process until smooth.

Health Benefits
Goji berries contain all the essential amino acids (those we have to derive from food), as well as numerous trace minerals, including zinc, iron, calcium and selenium for immune health and energy production. Weight for weight, they have more beta-carotene than carrots.

Nutritional analysis per serving: Calories 210kcal • Protein 6.3g • Carbohydrates 41.6g [of which sugars 25.2g] • Fat 4.6g

Green Tea Cocktail
Powerfully cleansing and protective, this juice will fire up your body for the day and speed up its elimination of toxins. Drinking green tea has been shown to stimulate metabolism and your body’s ability to burn fat – this means that less fat is stored around your midriff. It is delicious drunk warm or cold.
Ingredients: 3 apples • 1 lemon, peeled • 1cm/½in ginger root, peeled • 150ml/5fl oz/scant ²⁄³ cup green tea, warm or cooled
Juice the apples, lemon and ginger. Stir the juice into the green tea.

Health Benefits
Green tea contains health-boosting antioxidants, including flavonoids and catechins, which can help support heart health and may protect against cancer. Its tannin content is good for digestive complaints, while the theanine in green tea can help alleviate stress and improve mental alertness. The ginger in this juice aids circulation and digestive health.

Nutritional analysis per serving: Calories 101kcal • Protein 1.3g • Carbohydrates 24.7g [of which sugars 23.5g] • Fat 0.3g

JuiceDiet-e13544766995011

 

Christine Bailey
The Juice Diet
£10.99

 

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– by Kirsten Hartvig

Bronchitis is inflammation of the lining of the bronchial tubes in the lungs. The acute form of bronchitis is usually caused by a viral or bacterial infection and often follows a bout of cold or influenza. The symptoms are cough (initially harsh and dry, later with yellow or green sputum), shortness of breath and fever.
Chronic bronchitis causes persistent or recurrent cough and breathing difficulties and is most common in people with lowered immune function, particularly smokers, drug and alcohol abusers, patients taking immuno-suppressive drugs and those suffering immunodeficiency disorders and cancer. Chronic bronchitis goes hand in hand with structural damage within the lungs called emphysema, which decreases the amount of lung tissue available to absorb oxygen and get rid of carbon dioxide and other waste products. The lungs also develop a rough, thickened lining making breathing very difficult.

How to prevent bronchitis?
The most important step you can take to avoid chronic bronchitis is to quit smoking – or not start in the first place!
Keep your weight within optimum limits and eat plenty of foods rich in vitamins A and C, and bioflavonoids and zinc to enhance your immune function. Avoid noxious fumes and immunosuppressive drugs wherever possible, and breathe fresh air every day. Avoid eating dairy products, which encourage the production of excess mucus.

mustard seeds

Black Mustard Seeds

What to do
Drink large amounts of fluid (water, herbal tea, juice, soup), and drink juices rich in vitamin C – the immune system needs a lot of this nutrient when fighting infection. Garlic, onion and leek have natural antibacterial properties and help avoid the development of complications such as pneumonia.
Limit your sugar consumption, particularly added sugar, sweets, fizzy drinks and concentrated fruit juices, and cut out dairy products altogether. Try to avoid suppressing the cough. Herbal expectorants make the cough more ‘productive’ and make it easier to get rid of excess mucus from the airways.  Rest is important but avoid lying flat in bed, which may make breathing more difficult and exacerbate the cough. Use extra pillows or a bolster to prop up your head and upper body.

Cough Mixture
1 tsp sweet violet; 1⁄2 tsp borage; 1⁄2 tsp liquorice root; 1⁄2 tsp thyme; 1⁄2 tsp wild marjoram; 200ml boiling water; 1 tsp honey; Squeeze of lemon juice
Place the herbs in a warmed teapot. Add the boiling water, cover and leave to infuse for 10 minutes. Pour into a mug, add honey and lemon juice, and serve.

Inhalation
Add 1 tablespoon each of chamomile, thyme, eucalyptus and wild marjoram to 600ml boiling water and infuse for 5 minutes, covered. Wrap a blanket around you and put a big towel over your head. Take the lid off the infusion and gently inhale the steam for about ten minutes. Splash your face with cool water.

Mustard poultice
Mix 5 teaspoons of crushed black mustard seeds with a large portion of hot oatmeal (porridge). Wrap the mixture in a tea towel and place this on the chest for 20 minutes; make sure it is not so hot as to cause discomfort, and check from time to time that the mustard is not causing skin irritation.

EatToBoostYourImmunity-e13544769466321-300x363

Kirsten Hartvig
Eat to Boost Your Immunity
ISBN: 9781848990029
£12.99

(by Max Tomlinson)

Insomnia is persistent sleeplessness. We all know the scenario of tossing and turning all through the night after a particularly stressful period at work. If this goes on for weeks and months, you may be an insomniac. Eating or working too late, drinking alcohol, taking too little exercise, adrenal exhaustion owing to stress, and yo-yoing blood-sugar levels can all cause insomnia.

Pure-food solutions
EAT BEFORE EIGHT
When you eat too late you lie in bed digesting and not resting. This can keep you awake. Ideally you should eat at least three hours before going to bed. In addition, you can speed up digestion by
food combining – separating your proteins and your carbs.

EAT MORE STRESS-REDUCING FOODS
Foods rich in vitamins C and B5 and in magnesium feed your depleted adrenals (which produce adrenaline [epinephrine]), helping to restore sleep. Broccoli, Brussels sprouts, citrus fruit, guava, kale, parsley and squash are all rich in vitamin C. Whole grains, dark green vegetables, avocadoes, fresh fish and apples are all magnesium-rich. Organic eggs, fresh fish, whole grains, nuts and all fresh fruit are rich in B5.

EAT LOW-GI FOODS
High-GI (glycemic index; see p.120) foods raise the amount of sugar in your blood quickly. When the blood-sugar levels fall during the night, you wake up slightly hungry. Eating low-GI foods for dinner helps to keep your blood sugars stable, ensuring a better night’s sleep.

Quinoa tart with avocado salad
Preparation time: 20 minutes
Cooking Time: 30 Minutes (plus 10 minutes cooling)
55g/2oz/1⁄3 cup quinoa, rinsed thoroughly; 
2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
; 250g/9oz/3⁄4 cup quark
; 2 large organic, free-range eggs, lightly beaten;  2 fat garlic cloves, peeled and crushed; 6 salad onions, trimmed and thinly sliced
; small bunch parsley, chopped
; 85g/3oz/3⁄4 cup hard goat’s cheese, finely grated; 
1 little gem lettuce or 1⁄2 cos (romaine) lettuce shredded;  1 small avocado, peeled, stoned and sliced; 2 tsp lemon juice
1 Cook the quinoa according to the packet instructions. Spread out on a plate and allow to cool for 10 minutes.
2 Preheat the oven to 180oC/fan 160oC/350oF/gas 4. Generously oil a 20cm/8in ovenproof pie dish or springform cake tin using half the olive oil.
3 Put the quark in a medium bowl and stir a couple of times to soften. Beat in the eggs using a wooden spoon – don’t worry if they look a bit curdled at first, just keep mixing and they will combine. Then stir in the garlic, onions, parsley and cheese.
4 Spoon the mixture into the prepared dish and smooth the top. Bake in the middle of the oven for 25–30 minutes until set. Remove from the oven and allow to stand for 10 minutes before loosening the edges with a spatula and removing the tart from the dish.
5 Meanwhile, put the lettuce and avocado in a medium bowl. Whisk the remaining olive oil and the lemon juice together in a small bowl, then pour over the salad and toss well. Serve with wedges of the tart.

Max Tomlinson is the UK’s top naturopath. In this book he reveals how you can harness the power of food to generate outstanding health, unfolding how foods in their pure form can protect you against pollution and disease and can help you to achieve long term health and vitality.

CleanUpYourDiet-e13546570181371-300x480

Max Tomlinson
Clean Up Your Diet