Category Archives: Superfoods

Superfoods And Their Use To Treat Cancer

spoonful of the spice turmeric Superfoods got some attention today in the National Press. Seems that someone chose to follow a superfood diet rich in juices, salads and green leafy vegetables rather than take the cancer drug recommended by their Doctor! She got well – that was the story.

This is pretty common really so I'm unsure exactly why the newspapers featured her.

But rather than mull over the unique features of her case let's look at the whole superfood angle.

All foods have nutrients such as vitamin C or potassium in them but Superfoods like tea, tomatoes or turmeric either have special nutrients such as catechins, lycopene or curcumin respectively or simply large amounts of vitamin C such as Rose hips, Amla and Camu camu.

So if you are looking to diet as one of your mainstays to recover from an illness it makes sense to choose and use as many of these superfoods as possible.

Sadly it is quite hard for the average health conscious person to do this. They may turn to a Doctor or a Dietician but find that they may have less knowledge than they do of superfoods or even worse try to persuade them to follow a so called “healthy diet” composed of government approved foods!

However, Nutritionists should be able to help them and of course Naturopaths will help you plan a healthy plant based diet with suoerfoods as a focus.

Cancer Superfoods

In the case of Cancer there are a lot of superfoods that have special nutrients of direct use. Here are a few…..

  • Turmeric is one of the most obvious superfoods. It encourages the cells of some kinds of cancer to self-destruct and interferes with the replication process in other cancers.
  • Ginger also has been found to induce apoptosis, self destruction by some cancer cells as well as being a powerful anti-inflammatory remedy.
  • Garlic has many cancer studies under its belt. Large studies show effects at reducing colon and pancreatic cancers.
  • Greens such as Broccoli have several powerful anti-cancer properties and one that is obvious here is isothiocyanate which produces apoptosis (self destruction) of cancer cells.

We could go on and on with longer lists of superfoods and their use in fighting cancer and other diseases but the point I want to focus on today is that a superfood diet makes sense and is easy to follow.

Simply put – if you have any health problems go to a health professional who can help you plan your diet – but check them out first to make sure they really know what they are talking about and have appropriate qualifications.

You may also need herbal or other treatment but putting as many superfoods on your menu as you can is a simple safe and effective measure.

The original story that prompted this post is here

And a similar story is featured in the video by Chris Wark

Photo of a spoonful of turmeric by summertomato

Scientifically Proven Home Remedies – a Kindle Book Review

Science and Home remedies don't often go together so a book that combines the 2 promises to be interesting. The book consists of 18 "home remedies"consisting of 10 herbal remedies 6 superfoods and 2 that I can only call miscellaneous!

Some are familiar herbs like White Willow bark and Echinacea but there are others I was not familiar with such as Red Vine Extract.

The herbs chosen are mostly easy to find in local shops so anyone wanting to try out some of these selections should be easily able to find a tincture or tablet in their local health store.

Feverfew is included which can be life-changing for anyone with migraines as well as St. John's Wort which has a good record of use in Depression.

Tea Anyone?

Green tea is one of the herbs included although we could call this a food! This is one of the most powerful and easy things a health conscious person could do – just add a cup green tea to the daily routine. It is a stronger taste than most tea – largely because it is drunk without milk.

Maybe you could add a little honey – another one of the foods included in the book?

There's also Hibiscus tea – used apparently for heavy duty issues like lowering LDL cholesterol and unclogging arteries. This is a new one to me and the book is worth getting just for this frankly.

Detox Too

Of particular interest to this blog is the inclusion of Milk Thistle – one of the most useful and versatile detox herbs and a real favourite of mine. Other detox stars included are Garlic, turmeric and ginger. the ginger could be in the tea section too because it is very easy to make ginger tea from dried ginger or with some grated ginger root.

I'm pleased to say that the author has a good discussion of Ginseng with several different uses and studies referenced.

The only bone I'd pick is that in his discussion of omega 3 oil he only mentions omega 3 fish oil and not omega 3 flax oil. Simple fact is that the seas are massively polluted and you can avoid that and get clean organic omega 3 from vegetable sources which is where the fish get them!

I hope this compilation of 18 home remedies will be followed by a volume 2 with another 18.

This is a thoroughly good book on Natural Remedies and I recommend it. To see the book on Amazon kindly use this link…

Scientifically Proven Home Remedies (UPDATED): Top 18 Home Remedies For Treating The Most Common Illnesses. Discover The Best Home Remedies For Headaches, Acne, Diarrhea, Sore Throat, Nausea And More!

Wheat Nutrition

field of wheat in Southern SwedenWheat has been grown and used since at least 9,000 BC and use of the wild grain has been dated as far back as 23,000 BC. And although we mostly think of wheat as a Western grain and staple – the Western version of Rice basically, Wheat is also an oriental grain coming from the arc of countries known to scholars as the Fertile crescent. Looking a a map you can see these countries arc from Egypt through Palestine and Israel to Syria, Turkey and Iraq.

Genetically wheat is a complex grain with some types having 2 sets of chromosomes like Einkorn Wheat and others having 4 sets – like Durum and Emmer while others have even 6 sets of chromosomes like Common Wheat and Spelt Wheat.

What this means is that farmers and plant breeders have a rich resource to use to select breeds that for example have a higher yield or a shorter stalk

Wheat Nutrition

Like any whole food wheat has a range of proteins, fats and starches along with vitamins, minerals and phytonutrients. Much of that is lost when the grain is ground and “refined” into a processed and somewhat depleted food – so much so that Governments mandate the partial replacement of some of the nutrients lost in the milling.

That being the case the use of whole grains is advisable on a routine basis with the “white” flours being used only occasionally for particular recipes.

As a protein wheat has around 12 grams per 100 grams and beats other staple foods such as maize/corn, rice and potatoes and comes second only to Soy beans 13 grams per 100 gms.

The precise amount of protein will vary by variety of wheat with Khorasan Wheat coming in at 12 to 18 grams of protein per 100 gm.

Speaking of which…

Khorasan Wheat is also called Oriental Wheat although really all wheat is oriental since it originated in the Near East probably in Turkey.

Kamut is a particular variety of Khorasan wheat and is actually trademarked to protect its integrity and use. It is grown organically and is known as a high energy wheat from its high content of both protein and of valuable fatty acids. It is also rich in the anti-cancer mineral selenium and in manganese and magnesium.

These health properties have not gone unnoticed. One study looked the effects of switching people between using Kamut or standard wheat in pasta, bread etc. Two groups of people were used and they were then switched after 8 weeks. The results were remarkable in the Kamut group – Cholesterol went down for total cholesterol and LDL, blood glucose levels was reduced by 7%. Their anti-oxidant levels improved as did blood markers of inflammation. Added to that, the researchers found increased levels in the blood of magnesium and potassium for the Kamut group. http://is.gd/3BUKVg

 

Einkorn Wheat is an ancient variety of wheat that originated in Turkey and although spread through much of Europe is now a speciality crop mostly used by health conscious folks whi find it easier to digest than standard wheat. Like all wheat it has gluten but the form of the gluten seems less problematic and it may be possible for those with wheat allergies to tolerate Einkorn. And while it may be possible for thise with heat allergies to tolerate Einkorn and other ancient strains of wheat research eveidence so far warns those with Celiac disease to regard them all as hazardous. So Einkron may be the ancient wheat of the Pharaohs but if you are following a Gluten free diet then the best advice is to avoid it!

Emmer Wheat To be continued…(soon)!

Spelt Wheat

Teff – a Nutritous Grain Alternative to Wheat

farmer holding a stalk of TeffSome people write Tef and others write Teff but let's not get into a tiff about Teff let's just spread the good news about this very nutritious grain that is an alternative to wheat.

The good news is that it does have all 8 essential amino acids making it a good source of protein and that it does NOT have gluten so that those looking for extra foods to include on their gluten free diet should give Teff a try.

And if that does not convince you to try it then how about the fact that it is high in both vitamin C and in Calcium?

Teff is a traditional food in Ethiopia and Eritrea and has been cultivated and eaten for thousands of years.

In 1996, the US National Research Council characterized Teff as having the "potential to improve nutrition, boost food security, foster rural development and support sustainable land care  http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Eragrostis_tef

With a cooking time of 15 to 20 minutes and a mild taste Teff has found its way into many types of recipes. Although as a staple food comparable to Quinoa, cous cous or rice it can be used in curries, stews, casseroles and spicy Mexican foods it is used in porridge, cereals, breads, pancakes – when you use Teff flour then the sky is the limit.

Recipes

Traditional Ethiopian Teff Injera (Gluten-Free) at Celiac.com

Chocolate Bread by Gluten Free Girl

Teff Crepes with Sautéed Spinach and Mushrooms at the Whole Grains Council

Want even more recipes?

Teff recipesYou could try this recipe book Teff: The Ultimate Recipe Guide – Over 30 Gluten Free Recipes

Good luck and let me know how it goes!

Alex

 

Teff photo International Potash Institute

 

Wholegrain Rye To Boost Your Health!

fields of ryeRye is most at home in Central, Eastern and Northern Europe where it's rich and hearty taste is most appreciated. But it can be found worldwide in bread and grain mixes and even in whisky and rye beer.

When ground to a flour it can be made into pumpernickel,sourdough and crisp breads. Bread making is facilitated by its gluten content which is high enough to make baking easy but is lower than in wheat flour.

Rye may be a good alternative to wheat bread and wheat pasta for those sensitive to wheat, although those with full blown coeliac disease will still need to avoid it.

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Using Olive Leaf as a Herb

olives and olive leafOlive oil is a well known part of the Mediterranean diet and has found a way into many kitchens far from the sunny shores of the Mediterranean. So while we are happy to use Olive oil on salads and as a dressing for vegetables and in stir frying most people are surprised to hear of the leaves of the Olive tree being used medicinally.

Not only has the leaf been found to have many extraordinary healing benefits but extracts of Olive leaf have been found to be effective in a wide range of applications.

So in this article we can mention a broad range of these discoveries and find out if there is a place for Olive leaves or Olive leaf extracts in our lives.

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Oats As a Heathy Alternative to Wheat

oatsHaving a Scottish Mother there was no way I could have escaped oats for breakfast or Barley soup, called "Scotch Broth" by some, nor would I want to!

So you might think that I'm biased when I write about oats, 🙂

And having had my yummy oat porridge breakfast this morning I realised that in our series of wheat alternatives we come to oats.

Oats are a very widespread crop being grown in the Middle East, Europe and Russia and are particularly associated with Scottish culture and cuisine…

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Rice – The Second Mother to The World.

green field of riceIn this series of alternatives to Wheat we come now to a grain that is a staple and central food to more than half of the world's population.

Rice was first grown and cultivated in China over 8,000 years ago from where it spread to India, Africa, Europe and the Americas.

The seeds of the rice plant first need to be dehulled or dehusked and once this is done the rice seeds are a wholefood and at their most nutritious.

The nutritional content is huge and like many fruits and vegetables is largely absent from the Nutrition label! All we get there if we are lucky is a brief list of some minerals and vitamins but the thousands of valuable and powerfully healthy healing phytonutrients are routinely ignored!

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