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

The Seeds Have It!

Often not your first thought for a snack, but a handful of seeds can give you a mighty boost of energy as they are packed full of nutrients and as a bonus they are really delicious.

Take sunflower seeds for example. Sunflower seeds contain high levels of copper, vitamin B1, B3, B6, manganese, magnesium, selenium, phosphorus, and folate, and are an excellent source of vitamin E. In just a quarter cup of sunflower seeds you get between 80%- 90% of your daily requirement of vitamin E, which is the body’s primary fat-soluble antioxidant.

Sunflower seeds contain phytosterols which are naturally occurring compounds that have an ability to help lower blood cholesterol levels.

Sunflower seeds have anti-inflammatory properties, help to calm your nerves, aid in the detox process of your body, and have a degree of protection against cancer because of the high levels of selenium. A quarter cup of these seeds give you around 34% of your daily requirements of selenium.

All in all, this is a seed to have on hand at all times. As usual, buy organic.

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

Awesome Almonds

The Health Benefits of Almonds:

Almonds are one of our earliest cultivated foods, and are thought to have originated in central Asia. Almonds are delicious and the health benefits are numerous.

A real powerhouse snack, in a 1/4 cup of almonds there is around 15% of the RDA for protein, around 7grams. This is a food to be taken with you on any outdoor activity, especially if going on a long walk or hiking.

Almonds can play an important part in many processes in the human body,

Being one of our most alkaline nuts, almonds can help to stabilise the acid alkaline balance in our body. 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