Yogurt

Yogurt has been around forever. I got into making my own when we lived in the States. Live or ‘bio’ yogurts contain health-giving bacteria which synthesise B vitamins, biotin, folic acid and B 12. They keep the bowels regular and increase the absorption of calcium and magnesium. The good bacteria in live yogurt kill the bad bacteria that cause food poisoning. It is essential to eat a yogurt everyday when taking antibiotics.

Yogurt is an excellent source of vitamin B, keeping up the spirits, and calcium. It also supplies vitamin D , which is essential for the absorption of calcium. Buying plain yogurt gives you a clean canvas. You can add your own organic fruit, so you know exactly what is in it.

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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.

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!

Oat couture

Oats contain calcium, potassium, magnesium, protein, polyunsaturated fats and vitamins B and E. Well-known for lowering the cholesterol level, oats also nourish the nervous system and build strong bones and teeth. Folk-lore recommends oats to alleviate depression. Taking oats each morning wards off constipation, and they are also used in many different ways for the skin. Try oats to heal and sooth eczema, psoriasis and dry skin.

Oats are becoming very fashionable!

Know your onions

If you have read my book, ‘Yoga Prescribed’, you will remember the advice to put a cut onion beside the bed. The onion will absorb into itself any cough and cold germs, any viruses. After three days, compost that onion and replace it with a fresh one. It certainly cuts down the frequency of winter colds, and their severity.

North Americans use wild onions for the treatment of colds, stings and bites. Chinese herbalists use them on boils, and in European medicine they have been used to alleviate anaemia, bronchitis, asthma, urinary infections, arthritis, gout, rheumatism and the signs of aging. In East Anglia, thick onion soup was a treatment for chesty children.

Spring onions are a great source of vitamin C, as well as some B vitamins and traces of minerals. They are diuretic, dissolving and eliminating urea. This is why they are so helpful with arthritis and rheumatism. Related to garlic, leeks, chives and shallots, onions are antibacterial.

In yoga, onions are believed to be rajasic. This means that they fire up the energies and create heat and movement. This may be why they are so helpful in the winter, when the tendency may be to move towards the tamasic, or lethargic state. Our family loves raw onions in cheese sandwiches!

Always source organic…