Wonderful walnuts

Walnuts are a wonderful health-giving and nutritious snack. They provide protein, slow-release energy, potassium, magnesium, copper, zinc, and vitamins B6 and E. The oil contained in walnuts is very special. There is seven times more polyunsaturated fat than saturated fat. This in conjunction with the antioxidant properties of walnuts makes them an ideal treatment for anyone with heart, circulatory, high blood pressure and cholesterol problems.

Spanish and American scientists have discovered that eating a handful of walnuts a day significantly lowers cholesterol levels.

Engraved clay tablets dating from 2,000 B.C. showed walnuts growing in the hanging gardens of Babylon! And the Greeks and Romans treated them as a royal food. The most widely grown variety is the English walnut. I well remember my dad cracking walnuts at Christmastime, when I was a little girl. Add them to your shopping list this week…

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Tomatoes

Tomatoes were introduced to Europe by the Spaniards in the sixteenth century. They are rich in antioxidants, especially carotenoids such as betacarotene and lycopene. They contain vitamins C and E, and so protect the heart, the circulatory system and the body against cancer. They are low in sodium and high in potassium, thus are helpful with conditions such as high blood pressure and fluid retention.

Canned tomatoes lose very little of their nutritional value, so always keep some in the larder. The lycopene contained in tomatoes protects men against prostate cancer. Tinned tomatoes, tomato sauce, tomato ketchup and sun-dried tomatoes are all important nutritionally. They protect men and women against heart disease. I love cherry tomatoes! So much nicer than sweets!

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!

Rhubarb

I used to love rhubarb when I was a child. I would eat a stick straight from the earth! Full of prana, life-force.

Rhubarb is a vegetable, not a fruit. It’s full of potassium, and also contains vitamin C and manganese. It’s a mild laxative, but is not recommended for anyone with joint problems, such as arthritis. This is because it contains oxalic acid which can exacerbate joint pain. Interestingly, oxalic acid inhibits calcium and iron absorption, so you wouldn’t want to eat rhubarb on a daily basis. It is absolutely delicious in the occasional crumble, though! Wait till it comes into season and eat local, organic rhubarb. Mmm

The reason for raisins!

Organic raisins are available!

Dried fruits make such an excellent snack. Man has been drying fruits in the sun for the last 5,000 years. Romans used raisins in many of their medicinal remedies, and it’s easy to see why. They are a wonderful source of instant energy, containing both glucose and fructose. Raisins alleviate tiredness, anaemia, chronic fatigue, and are a pick-me-up for insomniacs. They contain fibre, which helps to lower cholesterol and promote healthy bowel function. They contain iron, selenium, and potassium. This latter is important as it stops fluid retention and regulates the blood pressure. Raisins also contain some vitamin C and vitamin B. The B vitamins are great for beating stress.

Now you know the reason to buy raisins!

Fresh radishes

In the time of the pharaohs, radishes were seen as a valuable food source. workers building the pyramids were paid in garlic, onions and radishes!

Radishes are a rich source of potassium, calcium, sulphur, vitamin C, folic acid and selenium. They help to prevent cancer, and are wonderful for assisting the gall-bladder and the liver. They are very popular in France as a pre-dinner snack, as they encourage the gall-bladder to pump more bile into the stomach. This aids the digestion of fats.

Those with thyroid problems should avoid eating radishes, and none of us should overdose on them. Eat a few, fresh, crisp, organic radishes for best effect!