Good food for good health

news: Good food for good health

A lot more people are finally putting two and two together and realising that foods can make you absolutely potty! Quite a few have mentioned Jamie Oliver’s TV programme, where he persuades schools to ditch the processed, ready-made junk that students are used to eating, and replace it with fresh, tasty, nutritious food, prepared from scratch everyday. Here are a few tips on vegetables and their properties:

Asparagus

Available in early spring. It can be expensive due to the difficulty in cultivating. Its claim to fame is the amino acid, asparagine, that is destroyed by cooking. Asparagine is a strong diuretic, stimulating the kidneys. Asparagus is a great blood cleanser and excellent for healthy bowel maintenance. Some find that it soothes a nervous mind. Asparagus contains betacarotene, vitamins B1 and C, bioflavonoids and potassium. Fresh, it will be bright green and firm to the tip and will keep for a couple of days in the refrigerator. Asparagus is an expensive but delicious addition to any veggie juice drink. It’s excellent to juice with carrots.

Beets

Famous for their ability to cleanse the blood, beets contain calcium, sulphur, iron, potassium, choline, betacarotene and vitamin C. Beets are also high in minerals that strengthen the liver and gall bladder, and are the building blocks for blood corpuscles and cells. Beet greens are excellent for salads and juicing, and are a good source of carotenoids that help in the prevention of all types of cancers. They are high in manganese, an important mineral for brain function. Beet juice is very concentrated, so do not drink it alone. Dilute with a milder juice such as carrot or apple. Beet juice has been a proven therapeutic in the treatment of leukaemia and cancer. In a clinical trial, 22 patients with advanced inoperable cancers were given 10 oz of beet juice daily for three to four months. In total, 21 of these patients showed a marked improvement in health. Purchase rock-hard beets. Being a root, they can be stored for months in the refrigerator.

Broccoli

Broccoli is a flower top picked before it blooms. It is dense in nutrition, full of betacarotene and an excellent source of fibre. Inexpensive and available all year round. It is full of vitamins B1 and C, and has a generous amount of calcium, sulphur, and potassium. Surprisingly, 45 per cent of calories in broccoli come from protein.

Broccoli contains inderol-3. The National Cancer Institute discovered that inderol-3 emulsifies oestrogen, reducing the risk of breast cancer in women. Broccoli is excellent when juiced, stems and all, but, like all green vegetables, it should be mixed with lighter juices such as carrot or apple. When buying broccoli, look for tight tops with no yellow, firm but not limp. Will keep well for five days in the refrigerator.

Carrots

This is a root that has amazed nutritionists in its powerful healing qualities. One 8oz glass of carrot juice contains 20,000mg of vitamin A, which is an antioxidant that is able to attach to free radicals in the body, stopping them in their tracks. The damaging effect of free radicals has been associated with cancer. Carrots are a natural blast of high energy. The sugars are released more quickly than from white sugar, but without the harmful effects. A mug of carrot juice in the morning will give you a competitive edge over coffee drinkers. Like all root vegetables, they are packed with minerals. Carrots are rich in organic calcium that is invaluable to bones and teeth. Carrots are an excellent source of vitamin C, including most of the B complex, iron, potassium, phosphorus, and sodium. Carrots are easy to digest and cause the liver to release bile and excessive accumulated cholesterol. Carrot juice is delicious, sweet and readily accepted by children. It is considered the golden juice of healing. Even drinking a few glasses a day has healed many infirmities without fasting. During fasting, its healing effect is increased. Carrot juice helps in cleansing the liver and skin will feel velvety soft. The betacarotene present in the skin is a natural protector for the most common type of skin cancer, melanoma. Carrots should be firm, smooth-skinned, without cracks or small rootlets. The brighter the orange colour, the sweeter the carrots. They will keep for weeks in the refrigerator.

Celery

High in magnesium, iron and chlorophyll – which is an excellent blood builder. One of the richest sources of organic sodium, this is excellent for those who enjoy vigorous workouts, maintaining valuable body fluid and electrolytes. Celery juice is a superb nerve tonic, but tastes a little bitter and is usually mixed with carrots or apples. Do you have a headache? Drink a glass of celery juice. Even the ancient Greeks used celery for the universal problem of headaches. Do you live in the air-polluted inner city? Celery/apple juice is able to cleanse the body of carbon dioxide. Were you thinking of buying an air conditioner? Celery juice cools down the body and is great for hot weather. Are you on a diet and craving a Snickers bar? Celery juice helps curb the craving for sweets. Always leave the leaves on for juicing, but juice the stalks last because they are stringy and will clog the juice machine. Look for firm, solid stalks with bright green leaves.

Cucumber

Being as cool as a cucumber comes from the fact that the internal temperature of cucumbers remains 20 degrees lower than the external temperature on a hot day. People living in the Middle East and India have been eating cucumbers for hundreds of years as a natural coolant. When buying cucumber for juicing, look for the non-waxed variety, which allows you to juice the cucumber in its skin. This juice contains 40 per cent potassium, 10 per cent sodium, seven per cent calcium, 20 per cent phosphorus and seven per cent choline. It is an excellent source of silicon. Cucumber is good to rub on your skin, giving it elasticity, resulting in a more youthful complexion. It is suspected to help in reducing hair loss. Cucumber juice is usually mixed with other juices.Look for firm cucumbers with a dark green, wrinkle-free skin. Will keep in the refrigerator for six days.

Garlic

There are entire books written about the curative abilities of garlic. Research suggests that it reduces blood pressure, helps with the problem of blood clotting, lowers the LDL (which increases bad cholesterol), boosts the immune system and encourages recovery in heart attack victims. Garlic’s famous smell comes from allicin, which inhibits bacterial growth and fungus. It also helps with an overgrowth of yeast in the body and is used in treating Candida. Therefore, do not use odourless garlic pills. If they don’t smell, your body can’t tell. Garlic increases the flow of digestive enzymes and encourages detoxification through the skin. Throwing a clove of garlic in your vegetable juice everyday will be excellent for your health; nonetheless, it may reduce your social life. One clove in the juicer is enough. Five cloves will cause a life of solitude, unless you can convince all your friends, family and people within a 30ft radius to also take fresh raw garlic juice! A better solution is swallowing chopped garlic at night with water. It will not cause odour and will release its antibacterial agents into the colon throughout the night.

Ginger Root

If you feel a cold coming on, or if you have a bout of laryngitis, juicing a small piece of ginger root with your carrots is a perfect solution. Kills internal parasites and bacteria. Great for making ginger tea or spicing up herbal tea. For ginger tea, throw slices in boiling water to taste.

Parsley

Ancient civilisations have used parsley in medications and in poultices on wounds, boils, cysts and to draw the pus out of an infected cut. Parsley is one of the highest sources of life-giving chlorophyll, which acts like iron to oxidise the blood. Chlorophyll will help neutralise the strong odour of garlic, and is used in chewing gum to sweeten breath. It is a cleanser of the kidneys, liver, and urinary tract. Parsley is effective for upset stomachs by stimulating digestive enzymes. Excellent for the colon by encouraging the peristaltic wave in the intestines. Parsley juice, added to vegetable juices, will enter directly into the bloodstream, immediately impacting your body. Both flat and curly parsley have the same nutritional value. Look for healthy, dark green leaves. Parsley can be grown inside and outside the house. Always add parsley with other hard veggies like carrot so it will not affect the juicer as, parsley alone can be hard on a juicer.Will keep in the refrigerator for a week.

Spinach

Never cook spinach. Oxalic acid is destroyed when heat transforms it into oxalic acid crystals that are harmful to the kidneys. It also binds to iron, making it unabsorbable. Spinach is important due to its chlorophyll content, and also supplies an abundance of nutrients such as oxalic acid, beneficial in the cleansing and healing of the intestinal tract. Spinach juice, mixed with other vegetable juices, turns the mixture brown. Although it may look unsightly, it is a beautiful sight to the cells of the body. Finding good spinach can sometimes be difficult. Look for crisp, dark green leaves. Rinse spinach well, removing sand and grit. Will keep in the refrigerator for only a few days, as spinach quickly becomes slimy.