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A Bowl of Superfoods


What superfoods we have in the little fruit we call ‘berries’.  Our hunter gather ancestors would have had such pleasure from eating these mostly sweet little fruits and it would have alleviated their symptoms of ‘fight or flight’ syndrome or as we call it today Stress.

They may be little but the thrust of benefits derive mostly the high antioxidant levels. Antioxidants are powerful little substances that can prevent oxidative stress damage to cells in our bodies. Cell damage occurs in health conditions such as cancer and the aging process where free radical activity damages the body at a cellular level. I advise eating a nutritious diet rich in antioxidants, as a prevention against certain diseases, they also assist in improving overall health, protecting skin and hair. Nearly every fruits and vegetable in our grocery store contains antioxidants, but nutrient rich berries are some of the complete best sources.

We find several powerful antioxidants in berries, including vitamin C, anthocyanins, and quercetin. Vitamin C is a powerful antioxidant found in berries. It is mainly responsible for the health of collagen, which helps maintain cartilage stores and aids in joint flexibility. Eating vitamin C rich berries will result in radiant skin and healthy hair and may reduce the risk of arthritis, cataracts, and macular degeneration.

Anthocyanins bestow the vibrant color of berries. They also reduce inflammation, and may help prevent and manage arthritis. Anthocyanins work together with quercetin to help slow age related memory loss. Quercetin can also decrease the inflammatory effects of chemicals in the synovial fluid of the joints for people with inflammatory conditions like rheumatoid arthritis.

We know that berries are “juicy” meaning that they contain high levels of water. Juicy foods are especially beneficial for losing weight because you feel full quicker and since their high water content increases the volume they also decrease the calories. Berries also contain fibre and folate. A health weight benefits from fibre which also helps lower cholesterol and blood pressure. Folate has been shown to protect against cardiovascular disease and age related memory loss, and it also contributes to the production of serotonin, so it may help to prevent depression and improve your mood. IBS sufferers should note that some people with IBS experience discomfort after eating berries.

Berries should be a part of your diet because they’re loaded with vitamins, minerals, and fiber, plus they’re rich in antioxidants that can protect your cells from free-radical damage. And best of all, they’re low in calories, so they’re perfect for weight-watching diets.

Beautiful, delicious, and good for you. Read on to learn more about these perfect nutritional gems.

Sleeping Aid

When your sweet tooth needs satisfying, you can’t beat a bowl of berries. Besides being loaded with fiber, which helps fill you up, berries contain magnesium, a mineral that relaxes nerves and muscles to speed slumber.

Serve your berries plain, or add some chopped nuts or granola, or a splash of milk.



James O’Sullivan - that's me, a people friendly practitioner and lecturer of Integrated Medicine, serving my patients, my students and the public with the positive benefits of both Conventional Western Medicine and Traditional Chinese Medicine. #jamushur
Disclaimer: This article is not intended to diagnose or assess. The information provided is not to be considered a substitute for consultation with a qualified health care practitioner.
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Garlic Dragons Breath


Here’s an incredibly tasty and nutritious herbal vinegar recipe, to add “FIRE” to your next cup of tea or glass of warm water or your next salad. You can use it one spoon at a time to stay healthy and cold or flu free. I place 1 to 2 Tablespoons of it in my morning cuppa but you may also use it as a dressing on fresh greens or roasted vegetables.

Ingredients:

  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 5 cloves garlic, smashed to break up the healthy properties.
  • 1 lemon cut in half.
  • 4 Tbsp fresh ginger – peeled and chopped in chunks.
  • 4 Tbsp freshly grated horseradish root
  • Handful of parsley
  • Apple Cider Vinegar
  • Honey
  • Cayenne powder
  • Serrano Pepper (Optional) or substitute Jalapeno pepper.

Directions:

  • Combine the onion, garlic, lemon, ginger, parsley, and horseradish in a wide mouth mason jar.
  • Add warmed apple cider vinegar to cover them. (warming the vinegar allows it to more actively draw the properties out of the herbs. Just warm, if it becomes too hot the good enzymes will be no longer active.)
  • Place on counter for 3 weeks, shaking it at times.
  • Strain, then discard the root veggies, herbs and fruit. Compost please!
  • Add honey and cayenne to taste!

The final creation will be a lively, hot, pungent, and yet sweet mixture.
Shaken occasionally, kept in a shady spot.

To use it:

  • 1 – 2 Tbsp at first sign of a cold, and repeat every 4 hours until feeling better
  • 1 Tbsp in water once or twice a week
  • Mix with a bit of olive oil and use as a salad dressing or In you Caesar!!

In Smiling Body Nutritional Therapy, the benefits of Dragons Breath help to strengthen Yang while warming the Lungs and Releases the exterior by inducing sweating, meaning that strengthen our Immunity. It benefits our resistance to the Common cold, Vomiting, Dysentery and Dyspepsia.



James O’Sullivan - that's me, a people friendly practitioner and lecturer of Integrated Medicine, serving my patients, my students and the public with the positive benefits of both Conventional Western Medicine and Traditional Chinese Medicine. #jamushur
Disclaimer: This article is not intended to diagnose or assess. The information provided is not to be considered a substitute for consultation with a qualified health care practitioner.
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Tofu and Mushroom Casserole


Preparation time: 15 minutes
Cooking time: 10 minutes
Serves 4.

Ingredients:
1 Kilo (2 lb.) plain tofu, *lightly steamed
12 large Chinese mushrooms*, soaked until soft, thinly sliced
300g (2cups) pea pods
1 bunch scallions
30g (2 Tbsp) tamari or *soy sauce
45g (3Tbsp) arrowroot or corn starch (Organic)

Instructions:
Slice tofu into 2cm cubes and put in bottom of rectangular baking dish.
Lightly simmer mushrooms then add pea pods and scallions for last 5 minutes.
Put these vegetables on top of the tofu.
Use the vegetable cooking water plus enough water to make 700ml liquid. Add tamari.
Dissolve starch in a small amount of liquid; add to the rest of the liquid, simmer, stirring often, until the liquid thickens. Pour this gravy on top of the tofu and vegetable mixture.
Garnish with crushed, toasted almonds and finely chopped cilantro.

Health Benefits according to Chinese Nutritional Therapy

This dish strengthens Qi and Yin. It will Clear Heat and Eliminates Toxins. The combination of ingredients means that this sweet dish nourishes deficiency and helps to avoid and resolve mucus.


*Steam the Tofu
Place the tofu in a large plate and then cut into several 2 cm thick cubes. Silken tofu can be broken very easily, cutting in serving plate can avoid transferring and keep the original shape. You can also choose to steam tofu as a whole box shape. But cutting makes the dish more delicious.
Let the tofu stay in the plate for coupe of minutes, then carefully discard the water released. Set up your steamer and steam the tofu for 6-8 minutes. Transfer out and discard only water in the plate.

*Tamari and Soy Sauce
Tamari is a wider class of soy sauces and is made with no (or very little) wheat, while traditional soy sauce does contain wheat.
• Tamari: Little to no wheat (always double-check if avoiding gluten)
• Soy Sauce: Includes wheat (not gluten-free)

*Mushrooms:
You can use either dried shiitake mushroom, wood ear, chestnut mushroom, oyster mushroom, king oyster mushroom.



James O’Sullivan from Galway is a credible and engaging speaker, a people friendly practitioner and lecturer of Integrated Medicine, serving his patients, his students and the public with the positive benefits of both Conventional Western Medicine and Traditional Chinese Medicine. He is a respected author and has appeared on many public media. #jamushur


Disclaimer

This article is not intended to diagnose or assess. The information provided is not to be considered a substitute for consultation with a qualified health care practitioner.


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Broccoli Detox Soup


A nutritious and cleansing green soup, loaded with essential nutrients, vitamins, fiber and minerals.

Especially for the master metaboliser, our liver. This exceptionally hard working organ filters our entire blood volume every three minutes. The liver is that special metabolic organs that processes and neutralizes all the chemicals in our body, especially the ones we are exposed to, from our food, environment, or personal care products. In healthy diets or detox diets, when we consume appreciable quantities of vegetables and fruits, our cells receive high concentrations of potassium which flushes out excess water and toxins, creating an alkaline environment.

Chinese Nutritional Therapy

Broccoli the main ingredient in this nourishing soup, cools and soothes the liver and helps to prevent food stagnation and internal stress.

Broccoli is known for its ability to clear heat and regulate water circulation. It also helps to regulate qi circulation.

The philosophy of Chinese Medicine informs us that it enters the Stomach, Spleen, Urine Bladder, and Liver.

Cook Time 15 mins                                                        Total Time 15 mins

Servings: 2

Calories: 182kcal

Ingredients

  • 2 cups broccoli florets
  • 2 celery stalks finely diced
  • 1 onion finely diced
  • 2 garlic cloves crushed
  • 1 cup greens kale, spinach, beet greens or any other available
  • 1 parsnip peeled and finely chopped
  • 1 carrot peeled and finely chopped
  • 2 cups filtered water or low sodium vegetable broth
  • ½ tsp sea salt
  • ½ lemon juice only
  • 1 tsp coconut oil
  • 1 tbsp chia seeds
  • Toasted mixed seeds and nuts 1 teaspoon coconut milk, to garnish

Instructions

In a soup pot, heat the coconut oil, add the onion, garlic, carrot, parsnip, celery sticks and broccoli, and cook over low heat for five minutes, stirring frequently.

Add the filtered water or vegetable broth, bring to a boil, then cover the pot with a lid and let simmer for 5-7 minutes, until the vegetables are tender but not mushy.

Stir in the greens, then transfer into the blender, add the chia seeds and lemon, and process to obtain a smooth cream.

Top with toasted seeds and serve warm.

Hoping that you enjoy this exceptionally healthy dish.



James O’Sullivan from Galway is a credible and engaging speaker, a people friendly practitioner and lecturer of Integrated Medicine, serving his patients, his students and the public with the positive benefits of both Conventional Western Medicine and Traditional Chinese Medicine. He is a respected author and has appeared on many public media. #jamushur


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Amazing Health Benefits of the Common Potato


Potatoes are one of the most common and important food sources on the planet, and they contain a wealth of health benefits that make them all the more essential as a staple dietary item for much of the world’s population. These health benefits include their ability to improve digestion, reduce cholesterol levels, boost heart health, protect from polyps, prevent cancer, and manage diabetes. They strengthen the immune system, reduce signs of aging, protect the skin, increase circulation, reduce blood pressure, maintain fluid balance, reduce insomnia, and aid in eye care.Health Benefits of Potatoes

Health benefits of potatoes include the following:

Promote Weight Gain

Potatoes are primarily made of carbohydrates and contain very little protein. This makes them an ideal diet for lean and thin people who desperately want to put on weight. [3] The vitamin content includes vitamin C and B-complex, which also help in proper absorption of carbohydrates. That is one of the reasons that potatoes make up a large part of the diet of sumo wrestlers, as well as many other athletes who need large energy reserves in order to compete!

Easy to Digest

Since potatoes predominantly contain carbohydrates, they are easy to digest and they also facilitate digestion. [4] This property makes them a good diet for babies or for those who cannot digest hard food, but need energy. However, remember that eating too many of them on a regular basis may cause acidity over time. Potatoes also contain a considerable amount of fiber or roughage, which is more in raw potatoes and cold ones than boiled or hot ones. This stimulates peristaltic motion and increases secretion of gastric juices, which eases digestion and prevents conditions like constipation while protecting the body from serious conditions like colorectal cancer. Fiber is also connected with scraping cholesterol out of the arteries and blood vessels, thereby improving heart health.

Skin Care

Vitamin C and B-complex, as well as minerals like potassium, magnesium, phosphorus, and zinc, are good for the skin. [5] Apart from that, the pulp obtained from crushed raw potatoes, when mixed with honey, can work well in skin and face packs. This even helps cure pimples and spots on the skin. Again, this pulp, if applied externally on burns, provides quick relief and faster healing. Smashed potatoes and even water in which they have been washed are very good for softening and cleaning dark skin, especially around the elbows.



Treat Scurvy

The vitamin C present in potatoes can help prevent this disease, caused by a deficiency of vitamin C. [6] It is characterized by cracked lip corners, spongy and bleeding gums, and frequent viral infections. Although it is not found in first and second world countries as they have a ready access to vitamin C, it still exists in certain nations of the world, so the prolific presence of potatoes helps with this problem.

Treat Rheumatism

There are two parts to the effect of potatoes on this condition. Vitamins like calcium and magnesium help provide relief from rheumatism. Also, water obtained from boiling potatoes can relieve the pain and inflammation of rheumatism. However, due to high starch and carbohydrate content, they tend to increase body weight which may have adverse effects on rheumatic people.

Reduce Inflammation

Potatoes are very effective in reducing inflammation, both internal and external. [8] Since they are soft, easily digested, and have a lot of vitamin C (a very good antioxidant that repairs tissue wear and tear), potassium, and vitamin B6, they can relieve any inflammation in the intestines and the digestive system. They are a very good dietary element for those who have mouth ulcers as well. Therefore, people who suffer from arthritis and gout can use potatoes for their anti-inflammatory impact. However, potatoes can add to weight gain, which exacerbates these conditions, and are commonly eaten with meat and other rich foods that make gout worse, a fine balance must be struck.

Prevent Cancer

Certain types of potatoes, particularly red and russet ones, contain high levels of flavonoid antioxidants and vitamin A, like zeaxanthin and carotenes, and they can protect you against many types of cancer. [9] Also, a study at the Agricultural Research has shown that potatoes contain a compound called quercetin, which has been proven to have anti-cancer and anti-tumor properties. Finally, the high levels of vitamin A and C, both have antioxidant properties that can protect your body from the devastating effects of cancer.

Lower Blood Pressure

Since high blood pressure can occur for a number of reasons that include diabetes, tension, indigestion, nutrient balance, diet, and many others, different treatments are required. Luckily, potatoes can alleviate multiple possible causes and can be used to relieve high blood pressure due to tension. [10] They can also treat indigestion due to an abundance of vitamin C and fiber within, but they should be avoided if the high blood pressure is a result of diabetes. The fiber present in them is helpful in lowering cholesterol and improving the functioning of insulin in the body, which aids in the lowering of blood pressure. This is because there is a direct relationship between blood pressure and the glucose level in the blood; insulin helps regulate that glucose level. Furthermore, the potassium found in potatoes (46% of daily requirement per serving) lowers blood pressure, since it functions as a vasodilator.

Proper Functioning of Brain

Proper functioning of the brain depends largely on the glucose level, oxygen supply, various components of the vitamin-B complex, and certain hormones, amino acids and fatty acids like omega-3. Potatoes cater to almost all the needs mentioned above. They are high in carbohydrates, and thereby maintain good levels of glucose in the blood. This prevents the brain from letting fatigue creep in and it keeps your cognitive activity and performance high. Next, the brain needs oxygen, which is carried by the hemoglobin in the blood; its main constituent is iron.

Potatoes contain iron as well. Therefore, they help deliver oxygen to the brain as well. There are a wide variety of vitamins and minerals in potatoes that positively affect the function of the brain, including phosphorus, zinc, and the B complex vitamins. The vasodilating properties of potassium have also been connected to stimulation of brain function due to increased blood flow to it.

Prevent Heart Diseases

Apart from the vitamins (B-complex and C), minerals, and roughage, potatoes also contain certain substances called carotenoids (lutein and zeaxanthin). Carotenoids are beneficial for heart health and the functioning of other internal organs. Again, since potatoes raise the glucose level in the blood and their over-consumption may cause obesity, which puts pressure on your heart, you must be careful about how often you use potatoes for this health benefit. This method of preventing heart diseases is not recommended for obese people or diabetics.

Treat Kidney Stones

Kidney stones, also known as renal calculi, are caused mainly due to increased levels of uric acid in the blood. In such cases, foods high in protein should be avoided, particularly animal proteins such as meat, turkey, shrimp, fish, eggs, and milk, as well as spinach, raw plantain, black grams, and certain beans, which drastically increase the level of uric acid in the blood. Iron and calcium also contribute to the formation of stones. Potatoes are rich in both of these so logically, they wouldn’t fit in as a preventative measure for kidney stones, but they also contain magnesium, which inhibits the accumulation or deposition of calcium (calcification) in the kidney and other tissues, thereby proving beneficial for the treatment of renal calculi.

Treat Diarrhea

Potatoes are an excellent component of an energy-rich diet for those suffering from diarrhea since they are easy to digest and contain mild roughage. [14] However, eating too many potatoes can cause diarrhea due to the excessive ingestion of starch.

Potatoes are one of the richest sources of starch, vitamins, minerals and dietary fiber. 100g provides 70 calories, however, they contain very little fat (just 0.1 g per 100g) and no cholesterol. The dietary fiber in potato increases the bulk of the stool, thus, it helps prevent constipation, decrease absorption of dietary cholesterol and there by lower plasma LDL cholesterol. Additionally, the rich fiber content also helps protect from colon polyps and cancer. Potato is considered a reliable source of carbohydrates in diabetics. Fresh potato along with its skin is a good source of antioxidant and vitamins. Red potatoes contain a good amount of Vitamin A, and antioxidant flavonoids like carotenes and zeaxanthins. A recent study suggests that flavonoid antioxidant, quercetin present in potatoes contain anti-cancer and cardio-protective properties.

Organic Food or Not?

Wondering if Organics is a better choice (Find out here)



James O’Sullivan from Galway is a credible and engaging speaker, a people friendly practitioner and lecturer of Integrated Medicine, serving his patients, his students and the public with the positive benefits of both Conventional Western Medicine and Traditional Chinese Medicine. He is a respected author and has appeared on many public media. #jamushur


Disclaimer

This article is not intended to diagnose or assess. The information provided is not to be considered a substitute for consultation with a qualified health care practitioner.


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