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Monday, November 7, 2011

Top 10 list of food for health with full menu recipe

Over the last couple of weeks we put together a series of ten healthy foods.  Here’s a combined version of our original articles.  Of course, you can always refer to the original articles by using the search box at the top of the page!  At the end of our Top 10 List of food for health you’ll find a full menu recipe made of garlic, almonds, water, cinnamon, broccoli, apple, Romaine lettuce, Oregano, mustard and honey.
Garlic makes almost any meal taste better.  Some people are like me and they love garlic in all kind of meals.  The problem is the the people around you might not be as happy when you eat garlic.  I know of two or three surefire methods to reduce or even avoid this problem.  First tip: Add a small amount of parsley to your garlicky meal, or better yet eat a handful fresh parsley afterwards.  The second tip is to rinse your mouth with salt water (normal table salt and water).  It may take a second rinse to get rid of the powerful scent.  The final tip is - if the first two methods don’t work, plan on spending the rest of the evening alone!  But seriously, the positive effects of garlic on our body are almost endless.  The same compounds that are responsible for the pungent odor are also the source of many of its healthy effects.  Here’s just a few of the numerous benefits of garlic:
  • inhibiting coronary artery calcification
  • lowering blood pressure and insulin
  • lessening free radicals in the bloodstream
  • preventing and even reversing artheriosclerotic plaque formation
  • hindering the docking of LDL (”bad” cholesterol) to its receptors in blood vessels
  • protecting attacks of asthma
  • being a powerful antibacterial and antiviral agent
  • promoting weight control
You may be wondering from the question - “What kind of high-fat food can be good for our health? ” Sounds like a quiz question, doesn’t it?    Before you switch over to your favorite search engine to look, I’ll answer it for you: it’s almonds.  Almonds, those tasty little nuts, have the same kind of fat as olive oil.
The greatest effect of almonds is the reduction of the risk of heart disease by lowering cholesterol.  If you combine them with something else, which is also known for lowering cholesterol, the effect is even additive.  One possible combination could be almonds with other nuts (walnuts, pecans and chestnuts), or in a salad with beans, and pears.  Or perhaps you prefer it in your oat cereal.  All of these combinations have the effect of doubling your cholesterol reduction.
Another wonderful benefit of almonds is the amount of magnesium in them.  Magnesium is so important for our body.  With enough magnesium the veins and arteries breathe a sigh of relief and relax and the flow of blood.
Finally, a practical tip on how to eat almonds.  In order to lose weight and to lower your risk of heart disease eat  at least three raw, unsalted almonds each day.  Your body will thank you.
Water a healthy food?  Yes.  Without water there is no life.   Water is a life elixir in its very deepest sense.  Without water we can survive for only three days.
Normally we aren’t aware of how much water we’re drinking.  Unfortunately, a lot of people drink very little water each day.  Instead, many people drink too much coffee or sweetened soda -and this not only doesn’t add to their water consumption, it actually detracts from it.   We won’t even speak about alcohol consumption.
There’s a rule that you should drink enough water for all the cells and organs in your body.  That means you should drink at least two liters or 68 ounces daily.  One liter alone is needed for our kidneys to wash out all toxins.  The other liter is needed for the other organs in our body.  You won’t find any organ which doesn’t need water for normal healthy functioning.
In summer you can even extend this second liter to two additional liters, or a total of three liters for a healthy body.
According to scientific research, drinking enough water helps prevent heart attacks, stroke, keeps the blood pressure normal, improves mental and athletic performance, helps regulate digestion
and balances body temperature.
Drinking enough water has also an effect on our body’s appearance.  Our skin looks more wrinkle-free, smoother and healthier.  We lose weight easier because drinking water reduces our hunger pangs. 
Cinnamon, one of my favorite spices was in ancient Egypt considered more precious than gold.  Cinnamon is very popular in most parts of the world and represents for many people the most common winter spice.  Indeed, cinnamon has it’s own medicinal properties which can be used for cold or flu.
I’m always impressed by the numerous positive health effects of this tasty spice.
Cinnamon prevents unwanted thickening of the blood and together with it’s cholesterol lowering effect reduces the likelihood of heart disease.  Other great abilities of cinnamon are its anti-microbial activity, its blood sugar control and if that wasn’t already enough reasons to use cinnamon - it lowers the risk of colon cancer.
For me the most fascinating part is the fact that the scent of cinnamon boosts brain activity.  In research scientists found that smelling cinnamon improves virtual recognition memory, working memory and visual-motor speed.  These results can also be important for improving cognition in the elderly.
Isn’t it great that something so tasty and delicious is at the same time so healthy!  At home we use cinnamon in oatmeal, french toast, crepes, cookies, pies and a variety of other desserts.  
For many people Broccoli is not a beloved vegetable.  Why should we eat Broccoli?  First of all Broccoli has an anti-cancer effect which works in the same way as our body: it eliminates harmful compounds through detoxification.  Researchers found that Broccoli shows dramatic results in the treatment and prevention of stomach ulcers.  The healing effects are so huge that Broccoli is part of a diet for patients with stomach ulcer.
Other healthy effects are numerous: repairing sun-damaged skin, stronger bones, significant reduction of heart diseases, an immune system booster and many other.
If you’re not a broccoli lover yourself, you can start to re-integrate Broccoli in your meals slowly and with other foods you love, for example by placing some lightly steamed broccoli on your pizza.
We found that Broccoli tastes the best when we use olive oil and a leave of laurel.  This combination takes away the smell of the sulfur compounds many people don’t like.  You’ll be surprised at the great taste of Broccoli.  
An apple a day keeps the doctor away.  This proverb is not just folklore, there are many proofs of it’s health benefits.  Apple fiber has many different implications for our health.  An apple can decrease cholesterol levels, reduce the risk of arteries hardening and therefor heart attacks and strokes.  But don’t remove it’s beneficial skin!  When we peel an apple we lose a portion of its healthy compounds.
Cancer can invade the body from oxygen free radicals damaging the DNA in our cells.  For a long time apples were believed to act as antioxidants against these free radicals.  The newest research show that the protective effect of apples goes even further.  Apples’ fibers are able to protect our body cells against all possible kinds of damage.
Apples stabilize blood sugar levels, prevent kidney stones and are a natural sun protection for our skin.
Romaine lettuce
Romaine lettuce contains such an enormous amount of nutritional value that it should be our first choice for salads.  The list of vitamins, minerals and fibers is impressively huge.  This makes Romaine lettuce to one of the healthiest food we know.
We wrote the proverb “an apple a day …”.  We could also say “a salad a day keeps the doctor away”.  Let’s look at some of its nutritional values.  Romaine lettuce has numerous heart-healthy effects.  It prevents the oxidation of cholesterol.  It binds salts and removes them from the body.  It lowers high blood pressure.
These and other benefits are the reason why Romaine lettuce contributes a heart-healthy diet.
Did you know that in China lettuce represents good luck and is served on birthdays and other special occasions?  With Romaine lettuce we can make each of our day special and healthy.
Oregano is the most used spice for Italian recipes.  Did you know that oregano means “mountain joy”?  The name’s Greek origin says that oregano is not only a symbol of happiness but also makes hillsides look beautiful.
Oregano arrived late in the U.S., it was brought by soldiers from Italy.  We can’t imagine anymore having an Italian meal without this great flavor.
At the same time oregano has great healthy effects.  It’s a nutrient-dense spice as an excellent source for vitamin K, and a very good source for iron, manganese and fiber.  Thanks to these vitamins, minerals and fiber oregano can develop an anti-bacterial and anti-oxidant activity.  Very impressive is the fact that oregano shows over 40 times more anti-oxidant activity than apples.
The best effect of oregano we get with fresh oregano but the dry form of this spice is great too.  Fresh oregano is wonderful for salads.  We like to use oregano also for perfecting some sauce or to give a recipe an Italian touch. 
About mustard we could write pages beginning with the origin, the production regions today, the healthy effects until to recipes without end.
Mustard seeds can be found in three different variations: white, brown and black.  The white mustard seed is known as our yellow mustard paste.  The traditional Dijon mustard is made of black seeds.
In any case mustard seeds are very healthy.  Since many years the anti-cancer effect of mustard is known.  The ingredients of mustard seeds can prevent the growth of existing cancer cells and protect against the formation of these cells.  Other healthy effects are reducing asthma, decreasing some arthritis symptoms, lowering the blood pressure, restoring normal sleep patterns, reducing the frequency of migraine attacks and preventing heart attacks.
If you eat mustard as paste or you add mustard seeds or powder to your meals, in any case it’s healthy and tasty.  You can do it like the French king Louis XIV, he never left home without it.
Honey is the miraculous product of honey bees.  We use it as natural alternative to white sugar.  There are numerous legends and anecdotes about its healthy effects.  Let’s take a look at the facts about honey.
Honey has mysterious therapeutic properties” as an anti-bacterial, anti-viral and anti-fungal substance.  It supports blood sugar stabilization and boosts immunity.  Using honey regularly can mean reducing the amount of chemical medications one has to take.
Honey improves athletic performance through the blood sugar control.  The legend that honey can heal wounds is also true.  A study showed that honey treated first-degree burns were to 90% infection free after one week compared with only 7% of conventionally treated burns.  Honey is the healthiest sweetener for people with high cholesterol or type 2 diabetes.  Finally there is a proverb used for honey: a spoonful honey a day keeps free radicals at bay.
The full menu recipe
Appetizer: Salad.
Wash fresh Romaine lettuce, steam florets of broccoli, take a handful pieces of almonds with some fresh oregano leaves. Mix all ingredients to a lukewarm salad with little olive oil and balsamic vinegar.
Entree: Chicken Celeste. Put pieces of lightly salted and peppered chicken thighs or breasts in a oven pan. Mix in a bowl 6 tablespoons of liquid honey with 4 tablespoons of mustard, add 2 fine cut garlic cloves (or 1/2 teaspoon dried powdered garlic) and 2 teaspoons yellow curry powder. Place some beacon over the chicken and pour the honey-sauce over the chicken pieces. Cook the chicken at 385 degrees F for 45 minutes. Pour from time to time honey sauce over the chicken. Serve it with rice, water and red wine.
Dessert: Baked apple in puff pastry. Core the apples creating a cavity. Mix 1/3 cup softened butter, 1/3 cup honey, 1/3 cup raisins, cinnamon as you wish and 1/4 cup shredded almonds. Fill it in the apples. Place the apples in the middle of puff pastry squares. Close the pastry over the apple, brush them with egg wash. Bake the apples at 375 degrees F for 15-20 minutes until golden brown.

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