Watercress

Hampshire, where I live, is the home of watercress. Indeed, we boast the Watercress Line, a lovely little steam train, which still runs from Alton to Alresford.

Hippocrates described watercress and its medicinal values in 460 B.C. He built the world’s first hospital next to a stream flowing with pure spring water so that he could grow fresh watercress for his patients. Nero, Hippocrates and even Henry V111 enjoyed this wonderful vegetable.

Watercress is packed with vitamin C. It was prescribed in the 1500s to cure scurvy. It is a powerful antibiotic, and fights off chest and urinary infections. Watercress is also a useful source of iodine, thus it is important for regulating the thyroid gland.

Always wash watercress thoroughly under running water, and do source organic. It’s great for sandwiches!

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Turmeric

Indian Ayurvedic practitioners prescribe turmeric for eyesight, rheumatism, arthritis and liver problems. It is a spice which should be in daily use as it provides substantial amounts of highly protective and immune-boosting antioxidants. Research has shown that one of its natural constituents, curcumin, is very powerful in cancer prevention and treatment.

Turmeric is a member of the ginger family. It is grown for its root, and is used extensively in curry recipes. Make sure you have this wonderful medicine in your spice rack!

Seeds

I have pumpkin seeds and sunflower seeds on my breakfast each morning. In addition to nuts, cereals and pulses, seeds contain protein. They are a good source of vitamins E and B, and are full of dietary fibre. This is great for keeping the bowels regular.

Seeds make a useful contribution to soups, salads and casseroles. They are also a great snack when you are out and about.

Pumpkin seeds contain iron for healthy blood, magnesium for maintaining healthy cells and zinc for growth and development. Zinc aids the immune system, too.

Sunflower seeds are a useful source of vitamin E and an acid known as linoleic. This is necessary for the maintenance of cell membranes.

Sesame seeds contain vitamin E and calcium.

Spirulina

Spirulina is a naturally digestible food that aids in protecting the immune system, reducing cholesterol, and in the absorption of minerals.It supplies nutrients which cleanse and heal, but also it curbs the appetite. Thus it is ideal for those who are fasting. Someone suffering with hypoglycemia may find spirulina helpful as its high protein content helps stabilise blood sugar levels.

Spirulina is grown in hot climates and produces twenty times as much protein as soybeans grown on an equal size piece of land. It is rich in vitamin B12, which is really important for vegetarians. Some research demonstrates that it cures liver cancer.

Have a look for spirulina in your health local health stores!

Pineapples

Pineapples have been credited with many healing powers through the ages. The juice when gargled can relieve a sore throat, and eating the fruit is said to relieve cataarh, arthritis, bronchitis, and indigestion.

Pineapples contain an enzyme called bromelain which breaks down proteins. .Bromelain is also an anti-inflammatory. As such it has been used in the treatment of osteo-arthritis and sports injuries.

Pineapples stop ripening the moment that they are picked, and you can tell freshness by how heavy they feel. If they appear to be heavy for their size, they are nice and ripe. Source your fruit organically whenever you can. Pineapples will give you and your immune system a lovely burst of vitamin C!.

Lemons

Lemons are an excellent source of viamin C, which helps to maintain the immune system. This is so important in the winter. They may also help to relieve rheumatism. Do buy organic, and buy the lemons with skins that have not been waxed.

A well-loved remedy for coughs and colds is a hot drink made with a squeezed lemon and honey. (Remember to always use a wooden implement with honey, and don’t put it into boiling water, but rather mix it with a little cold first, then top up from the kettle.) Apparently, lemon juice contains an oil which may help to relieve rheumatism by stimulating the liver to expel toxins. The high acidity in lemon, though, can damage tooth enamel. I always recommend drinking the juice through a straw. Important to keep your dentist happy!

For health and yoga tips, buy ‘Yoga Prescribed’, the book which combines a story with many helpful tools.)