Do not let this humble grass deceive you! It is packed with so much goodness that it can help improve many chronic conditions. Nutrition-wise, it is a good source of vitamins A and C, folate, magnesium, zinc, copper, iron, potassium, phosphorus, calcium and manganese, with minute traces of B vitamins.
From the leaves and stems, citronella oil is obtained for making insect repellent, soap, perfumery and flavorings.
Lemongrass has long been used in Asian countries for its medicinal properties. What makes it so effective in many medical condition is that it contains anti-septic compounds that effectively kill the harmful micro-organisms (bacteria, yeast, fungus and parasites) in the digestive tract, whilst still preserving the good bacteria. It helps to improve digestive-related problems like indigestion, constipation, diarrhea, intestinal bloating, flatulence, stomach spasms, vomiting and cramps.
Thanks to its high iron content, which is essential for the synthesis of hemoglobin (the protein in red cells responsible for carrying oxygen throughout the body) lemongrass is helpful for people with Anemia.
Studies have shown that lemongrass contains citral, an anti-cancer compound that could cause cancer cells to die, while preserving the healthy tissues.
Its anti-inflammatory and anti-septic properties have been found to be effective in treating arthritis, gout and inflammation of the urinary tract.
Lemongrass has been found to have a beneficial, balsamic action on the respiratory tract and so can be used to relieve the symptoms associated with flu, cold and hay fever.
The anti-oxidant, anti-septic and diuretic effect of lemongrass make it an important ingredient to be included in your diet when detoxifying. It helps to cleanse and purify the liver, kidneys, bladder, pancreas and increases blood circulation. The diuretic effect helps carry out the toxins to be eliminated effectively. This process also helps to cleanse/detoxify the pancreas and improve its functions, thus lowering blood sugar level in diabetics.
Lemongrass helps regulate intestinal function and motility due to its anti-microbial properties. A warm mug of lemongrass tea can be very soothing when having gastritis or acid indigestion. Drinking the tea therapeutically will gradually reduce the recurrence of both gastritis and heartburn.
Lemongrass has an anti-cholesterol and anti-atherosclerosis action. It helps reduce both the absorption of cholesterol from the intestine, as well as the oxidation of LDL-cholesterol in the blood.
As with all grasses, lemongrass is very fibrous and cannot be eaten as it is. You can juice it using a masticating juicer, or make tea of it. Try this great Lemongrass-Ginger tea recipe and drink it regularly for a super-boost to your immune system!
More than 55 diseases have been linked to gluten, the protein found in wheat, rye, and barley.
It’s estimated that 99% of the people who have either gluten intolerance or celiac disease are never diagnosed and don’t even know they have it. Could you be one of them?
If you have any of the following symptoms it could be a sign that you have gluten intolerance:
The best advice that I share with people is that if they feel significantly better off gluten or feel worse when they reintroduce it, then they've got their answer right there and gluten is a problem for them. There really is no need for expensive food intolerance tests, this method is really accurate and I use it all the time. In order to get accurate results from this testing method you must eliminate 100% of the gluten from your diet for a period of 7 days solid. You then reintroduce it on day 8 and watch for a reaction. If you are intolerant, it will be VERY obvious, trust me!
How do you treat gluten intolerance? Eliminating gluten 100% from your diet means 100%. Even trace amounts of gluten from cross contamination or medications or supplements can be enough to cause an immune reaction in your body. Remember that gluten is a very large protein and it can take months and even years to clear from your system. The longer you can stay off it the better, you can then try re-introducing it infrequently and in small quantities. Everyones body is different and their tolerance level is different. You may find that you can eat it once every 4-5 days without any problems, or you may conclude that even small amounts cause a reaction.
Source: Dr Amy Myers and Glowpeople
If you've ever had red bean ice cream at a Japanese restaurant then you’ve already eaten Adzuki beans! They are originally from China and are also grown in Japan where they are very popular, and more recently in some parts of the US.
We love them for the same reason we adore all beans, because of the protein content. However adzuki beans are unique because they offer the lowest amount of fat and highest protein per bean than any other! Want to find out more?
Read our article on Adzuki beans written by Glowpeople for Goumbook.com
Soy products have been the craze for the last few years with some people swearing by them and others condoning them for the long term negative effects on the body. Soy is one of the most processed foods out there, there are however many variations on how its made and used and whilst some are bad for you, others are ok. Contrary to common belief, asian cultures don't live on soy foods, and when they do eat them, its usually in a fermented form that holds health benefits for the body.
Soy milk in my books is a big no-no as it is always extremely processed and honestly has no nutrients at all.
When it comes to Tofu and Tempeh, which one is a better choice? Tofu is a blank canvas, ready to take on the flavour of any spice, sauce or condiment it meets. It comes in a wide array of textures from soft to extra firm and is created by coagulating soybean milk (which in itself is processed) and pressing the curds into a block. Regular Tofu is usually packed in water in the refrigerator section of your supermarket. 'Silken' Tofu is packaged in a box and doesn't need to be refrigerated, it crumbles more easily then the regular one and is used most often in sauces and dressings. These versions are heavily processed and not the ideal choice for regular Soy consumption.
Tempeh is much less processed then Tofu, which makes it a smarter choice on a regular basis. While Tofu has practically no flavour and is soft, Tempeh has a nutty taste and firm texture. It is a great choice if you're trying to mimmick the taste of meat in your recipes and is produced by cooking and fermenting whole soybeans and then pressing them into a dense patty (you can actually see the soy bean in the product itself as in the picture below on the left). I also just want to mention that fermented foods are great for us because they increase good bacteria in the gut. Tempeh contains about 35% more protein then tofu and about 7 times more fiber too! The reason for the higher level of nutrients is that it is less processed and has therefore retained more nutrients from the original soybean. You'll find it in the refrigerator section of your supermarket.
An ancient relative of wheat, Spelt is a wonderfully nutritious and ancient grain with a deep nut-like flavor. It has a higher water solubility that helps your body easily absorb its protein, vitamins and minerals. It offers a broader spectrum of nutrients compared to many of its relatives from the wheat family. It is an excellent source of manganese, and a good source of protein, copper, and zinc.
Spelt is better tolerated in the body then any other grain. Allthough it contains gluten, some Celiac patients and most wheat intolerant people find it non-problematic.
You can cook the grain like risotto, toasting then adding stock, then simmering until completely cooked. There are also lots of different spelt pastas on the market (you will find them in Organic food stores) . You can also use Spelt flour to replace wheat flour in all your baking recipes. It is much lighter on the digestion and the taste is very similar so your recipes won't taste very different.
Have you been over-indulging the last few weeks or do you just generally feel sluggish? Are you looking for a quick and effective way to get back on track? Why don't you try a super-easy one-day juice detox. Many people are put off by juice cleanses because they can't handle the thought of being without food for days...so this is the next best thing, because everyone can give up a day of food without much anxiety. I personally do this quite frequently to give my system a well earned break, and today is one of those days! I made 2 jugs of fresh juice first thing in the morning: the first is a blend of Fresh kale, celery, cucumber and apple. The second is Beetroot, Carrots and a bit of Ginger. I prefer to blend rather than juice my vegetables as I like the fiber to be in there, but both are amazing for you and it just comes down to personal preference. Drink a glass every couple of hours, alternating between the 2...and of course lots of fresh water throughout the day (with a squeeze of lemon). It does wonders for the body, mind and spirit!
NTERESTING FACT: Did you know that pasta cooked 'al dente' has a lower glycemic Index than fully-cooked pasta? The term 'al dente' literally means 'to the tooth', and can be best translated as 'chewy'. It is a pasta that is boiled just to the point of being cooked through, and remains firm. Al dente pasta resists the effects of digestive enzymes more than regular cooked pasta and so breaks down slower in your body, and as a result has a lower glycemic index.
Do you suffer from HEARTBURN? it's a common problem that's caused by the backwash of stomach acid into the esophagus, the tube connecting the mouth and stomach.
Try these effective tips for heartburn relief:
1- Eat in a smart way: Large meals put pressure on the muscle that normally helps keep stomach contents from backing up into the esophagus. The more you eat, the longer it takes for the stomach to empty, which contributes to reflux. Try smaller, more frequent meals and don’t wolf down your food.
2- Avoid late-night eating. Having a meal or snack within three hours of lying down to sleep can worsen reflux, causing heartburn. Leave enough time for the stomach to clear out.
3- Don’t exercise right after meals. Give your stomach time to empty; wait a couple of hours. But don’t just lie down either, which will worsen reflux.
4- Sleep on an incline. Raising your torso up a bit with a wedge-shaped cushion may ease nighttime heartburn. Don’t just prop your head and shoulders up with pillows. Doing so can increase pressure on the stomach by curling you up at the waist.
5- Identify and avoid foods associated with heartburn. Common offenders include fatty foods, spicy foods, tomatoes, garlic, milk, coffee, tea, cola, peppermint, and chocolate. Contrary ro what many people believe, Carbonated beverages cause belching, which also causes reflux.
6- Chew sugarless gum after a meal. Chewing gum promotes salivation, which helps neutralize acid. Avoid peppermint gum, which may trigger heartburn more than other flavors.
7- Rule out medication side effects. Ask your doctor or pharmacist whether any of the medications you take might cause pain resembling heartburn or contribute to reflux.
8- Finally, Lose weight if you need to. Being overweight puts more pressure on the stomach and pushes stomach contents into the esophagus. Tight fitting clothing and belts that come with weight gain may also be a factor.
SUGAR CRAVINGS is one of the most common problems that people deal with daily. Most people with a sweet tooth substitute sugar with artificial sweeteners to save on calories.
One of the major problems with artificial sweeteners is that they constantly stroke your cravings for sweetened foods and drinks. But there are more serious drawbacks to aspartame.
Aspartame has been linked to a variety of health problems including birth defects, diabetes, emotional disorders, epilepsy or seizures and migraines. Recent research from Japan has indicated that very low doses reduce sperm count quite considerably in mice. Artificial sweeteners are one of the worst things you can put in your body.
Sugar itself contributes to diabetes, obesity, heart disease and probably cancer, and artificial sweeteners aren’t much better. If you are addicted to eating something sweet, my advice is to wean yourself off both sugar and artificial sweeteners, and sweeten cereal and desserts with fruit instead for example. One great way to reduce your cravings for sugar (and I can vouch for this) is to add sweet vegetables to your diet. Most people report having cravings in the afternoon so you must make sure that you've eaten well throughout the day to avoid this...Add reasonable portions of foods like carrots, pumpkin, sweet potato and beetroot to your meals and you’ll find your cravings and sweet tooth will disappear in no time!
APPLE CIDER VINEGAR is a wonder potion that can be used for treating or preventing a multitude of conditions. Here are five of my absolute favourites:
Apple cider vinegar regulates acid levels in the stomach and can really
help with acid reflux. It also increases good bacteria in the gut and fights conditions like Candida. Its antibiotic properties can help with bacterial infections in the stomach. It also contains pectin, which can help soothe stomach cramps and generally comfort your tummy. Simply mix 1tsp/1 tablespoon of vinegar in a glass of water and drink (you can add a bit of honey if the taste is too sharp for you).
Sip this before eating. If you know you're going to indulge in foods that will make you sorry later, try this: Add 1 teaspoon of honey and 1 teaspoon apple cider vinegar to a glass of warm water and drink it 30 minutes before you eat.
3-Cold and flu
Most germs can't survive in the acidic environment vinegar creates, so as soon as you feel your throat hurting, use the vinegar to bust the germs! Just mix ¼ cup apple cider vinegar with ¼ cup warm water and gargle every hour.
To clear a stuffy nose, mix a teaspoon of apple cider vinegar with a glass of warm water and drink. This helps drain your sinuses.
4-Beat workout fatigue
Exercise and extreme stress cause lactic acid to build up in the body, causing fatigue. The amino acids contained in apple cider vinegar act as an antidote to this. What’s more the potassium and enzymes in the vinegar act as a pick-me-up! Next time you're feeling beat, add a tablespoon or two of apple cider vinegar to a glass of chilled water and sip.
5-Night-time leg cramps
If you’re prone to night-time cramps, add 2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar and a little honey to a glass of water and drink before going to sleep. This will hopefully ease night-time leg cramps for good!
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