How the contents of your bin could save your life

Friday 20th June 2014
  • In a wasteful society are you throwing too much away?

  • Discover the role a bush plays in making honey so healthy

  • Fantastic natural health savers that you should keep handy


Strange to think that much of what we throw away as food waste could be health boosters.

Given the chance I love a beetroot – pickled with cheese, roasted and sliced into a salad or even as a tonic drink – but didn’t realise that the leaves contain more iron than spinach does.

(If you want to know more about how to enjoy the ‘bloody beet’ and other seasonal foods read Season To Taste and all is revealed)

Interestingly the leaves have a higher nutritional value than the beetroot itself with recent studies showing that they boost bone strength due to high levels of available vitamin K; but they could also be a real boon for our immune systems as they are rich in powerful anti-oxidant vitamins A & C.

Yet for many years I whipped them off in my rush to get at the succulent earthy root beneath.  Well not anymore, they will be blanched and eaten with a little butter, or even sautéd with some shredded basil and a touch of garlic for a fabulous pasta sauce.

With the threat to our general health being under pressure due to the over-prescription of anti-biotics any additional anti-bacterial or anti-viral properties we can derive from other sources has to be a good thing.

Take Tea Tree Oil for instance.

Lara and I always had a bottle handy whilst our kids were small as a potent dressing for scratches and bites, but also to tackle the horrors of head lice.

When our three were at primary school it became a weekly chore to bath them and drench them in this fantastic oil, then sit and comb the dead lice out of their hair – why couldn’t all parents be as diligent!

Anyway, we now have a bottle handy purely for medical purposes, and I was interested to read in recent information that it has proven really effective against anti-biotic resistant MRSA bacteria.

Of course we at the Good Life Letter know about the power of Tea Tree bushes, or as we know them more commonly, Manuka bushes from their native New Zealand.

It is these that give our beautiful Manuka Honey its unique anti-bacterial and anti-viral properties, which legally I’m not allowed to tell you about.

I’m not even allowed to tell you that Beechwood Honeydew Honey and Northern Rata Honey have even greater anti-oxidant properties than Manuka so offer not just fantastic taste but superb health providing qualities too.

The rule makers in the EU are dead against anyone making claims about these healthy honeys but I can quote what Dr Meschwitz said at the publication of some of the latest research:

“The unique property of honey lies in its ability to fight infection on multiple levels, making it more difficult for bacteria to develop resistance.”

So, if you are reading this kind folk from the MHRA I am merely quoting the work of an eminent scientist who has devoted many years of her life to discovering the truth rather than attempting to break the rules made by a career bureaucrat who wouldn’t know one end of a bee from another...

...even if it stung them!

Some more powerful foods to keep you healthy

Here are some more foods to think about as you plan this weekend's meals, most you probably already know, but there could be a few surprises in here:

  • Onion skins: I know they are brown and dried up, but the skin of an onion is very powerful medicine. A series of studies has confirmed that the skin is a really good source of the blood pressure lowering compound quercetin, which also has good results as an anticarcinogenic. To use them you don’t need to crunch your way through a pile of dry papery leaves, just add them to soups, stews and gravy making sure you lift them out before eating.

  • Turmeric: A favourite curry spice which is the basis of ancient Ayurvedic and Chinese medicine, being used as an anti-inflammatory and anti-bacterial agent in food, especially for stomach and digestive tract upsets, and used topically to treat skin wounds. If you want to find out more have a look here.

  • Carrot tops & leaves: known for keeping your pet rabbit happy, and that’s probably because he knows he’s getting the best stuff. The leaves are packed full of more vitamin C than the roots and are also loaded with potassium which makes them ideal for lowering blood pressure and boosting metabolism. Avoid using the stringy stems but the leaves can be snipped off and added to a salad or springled back in amongst the cooked carrot roots for an extra carroty zing!

  • Broccoli stems and leaves: Don’t just snip off the sweet green tops finely slice the stems and shred the leaves and steam them until tender, perfect with a garlic sauce. By using these neglected parts of this ubiquitous brassica you will be really increasing your fibre intake which is great for healthy gut function and also getting more essential vitamins A and C than are contained in the florets which will boost eyesight and keep your skin in peak condition.

  • Garlic: A personal favourite that goes into every Collins dish in abundance! This aromatic seasoning ingredient is probably one of the most powerful anti-viral, anti-fungal and anti-biotic substances in the natural world and has, like honey, been used for centuries; even featuring to ward off the plague in the 1700’s. Add it to everything and enjoy... just don’t expect to be popular!

So there you have it, a host of natural healthy produce, some of which you might have considered dropping into the recycling bin... but think again!

Yours, as always

 

 

 

 

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