Carrots, more than meets the eye

Carrots are one of our staple vegetables, just like our potato, and would probably be used in cooking in every household at least a few times a week. Carrots can be grown all year round in temperate climates, so this is a food that is quite synergistic with our body at any time of the year. They belong to the umbelliferae family and are related to parsnips, fennel, caraway, parsley, anise, dill and cumin.

Carrots are a very nutritious food, and contain many vitamins and minerals, and of course are a great source of fibre. The carrot is most well known for the high levels of beta-carotene that it has, and as the old wives tale goes, they help you to see in the dark! And there is some truth to that old tale. There are many wonderful health benefits in our common carrot, and really need to be in your diet on a daily basis. Read More

Oregano Paste

Here is a healthy winter drizzle!

Oregano (Origanum vulgare) is a really prized herb that I have growing in my garden. It is very easy to grow and is a perennial, so you have access to it all year. Great on pizza and in any italian dishes. It has  powerful anti-bacterial, anti-fungal  and anti-parasitic properties and  it is good for digestion as well. It contains many nutrients; iron, magnesium, calcium,vitamin E, vitamin C and some of the vitamin B group.

Oregano is a very strong flavoured herb, and for a good reason, you don’t need much of it to get good flavour and a great many health benefits. Pick a couple of leaves and add to a cup of herb tea to help fight off those head colds during winter.

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Appetising avocados

Avocado is a very nutritious and thankfully common food in most households today. Growing up in country Australia, I hadn’t even seen an avocado up until about thirty years ago. Avocado was not a common food for us. That’s not to say it wasn’t around, just that it wasn’t a typical food in our diet, which was typical of the average ‘Aussie’ at that time. It has certainly become a more popular addition on the grocery list over the last twenty years.

There are over 80 varieties of avocado these days, and the Hass is probably the best known variety. It was discovered in 1935 by Rudolph Hass. A single fully matured tree can produce as many as 500 avocados. That’s impressive! It is thought that the avocado first came from Mexico around 5,000 BC. There have been seeds of the avocado found buried with Incan mummies that date back to 750BC. Read More

Popular potatoes

This week we are going to look at potatoes. The humble, and very common potato. It is a staple food for most households.

We steam them, we mash them, we bake and we roast them. A very popular, nutritious and delicious comfort food. In fact a very healthy food. It is what we put on them, or how we cook them that changes the health of our potato and so our perception of the potato as being a healthy and valuable food diminishes. People often think of it as a fattening food, however we can’t blame the poor old potato for the lashings of sour cream or butter that we pile onto it. Or for the delicious hot chips that we buy.

The over zealous popularity of the low-carb diets have also given potatoes a hard time. Potatoes are high in carbs and low in protein. They are a vegetable and are meant to be high in carbs and low in protein, as are carrots, pumpkin etc. Read More

Herpes Virus

The herpes virus is incredibly small. So small in fact that around 100 million of them could fit onto the head of a pin. Isn’t that amazing?

Around 90% of our population will have contracted one of the  herpes viruses by the time we reach adulthood. Very few people miss out on getting this virus. There are dozens  of viruses that belong to the herpes family, and fortunately for us there are only a few of them that affect humans.

We know of course that the herpes virus is highly contagious, particularly contagious at the onset of the blisters and from the fluid in the lesions and is spread by contact with the blisters, or from body fluid like saliva for instance, so be careful who you kiss!! Obviously if the virus is in the saliva, it could be passed in the air, if someone coughs or laughs, even talking!

In saying that though, around 30% of people infected with the herpes virus, will show no symptoms at all, the common symptom that we have come to expect like that of the telltale cold sore on the lips.

Very often when first contracting this virus, the symptoms will present as a sore throat, feeling tired and a bit run down, or with a few little mouth ulcers, the gland in the neck may be a bit swollen and sometimes there can be a bit of a raised temperature. Nothing to specifically indicate that you have contracted the herpes virus.

However, despite not having any obvious symptoms that we would expect to see with a herpes infection,  the body will shed the virus in body secretions at certain times, so despite the fact that they have no symptoms, if infected and shedding the virus, it can of course be passed on. No wonder it is so prevalent in todays society! Read More

Our Humble Cabbage

Our ever humble cabbage! There they are in the vegetable shop, always available and cheap to buy. Did you know there are amazing health benefits to be gained by eating the humble cabbage? In fact that little round cabbage can work miracles in the human body!

Cabbage has long been known for it’s health benefits. In fact, it is probably only the last 50 years or so that we seem to have forgotten about how miraculous some of our foods are in their ability to heal our bodies. Too many medications flaunted at us by the media, too many distractions from the truth of the human body and how our foods can heal us. Let’s get back to basics and take control of our health, learn how to use foods, herbs and spices to heal our body.

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Lemons – the magic fruit

The ever humble lemon. They are cheap to buy, and always available. We use them extensively with food or as a garnishing for our food. We use lemons for cooking in cakes, in chicken dishes and with fish of course. We can make lemonade or have it in hot water, or with tea or herbal teas. Probably something we don’t think very often about is how good a lemon is for us.  The juice, the peel, the aromatic oils from the skin. All having amazing health properties. There are a great many health benefits of lemon, and this knowledge has been known for centuries. Information has been passed down through generations, of the wonderful  antibacterial and antiviral properties that lemons possess. Lemons contain citric acid, calcium, magnesium, vitamin c, vitamin A, bioflavonoids, pectin and limonene, constituents that help to promote good health. Always dilute lemon juice, as full strength, it can damage the enamel of the teeth.

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