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Beetroot

What is Beetroot

Beetroot, or beets, is a root vegetable with a strong purple/red colour. It is a great source of potassium and folic acid. Beetroot is very low in calories and contains almost no fat. It is considered to be one of the best vegetables to stay youthful and healthy as it assist the body’s ongoing process of cell division and DNA repair.  Most people only use the root, but the leaves attached to it are rich in vitamin K, folate, magnesium and fiber and should be utilized too.

Benefits and Medicinal Uses of Beetroot

medicinalThree Way Detoxer

1. The red pigments called betalain has unique detox benefits as they are highly antioxidant and anti-inflammatory, and extremely efficient at neutralizing toxins.

2. The high fibre content in beetroot is important for immune enhancing and detoxing. Around 70% of the body’s immune system is located in the gut, and evidence shows that eating beetroot causes changes in the intestinal flora. This has a positive impact on the immune health.

3. Beetroot is a great source of betaine, which is a liver protecting nutrient. The pigments are known to raise antioxidant enzymes in the liver.When your liver is functioning well, the body is able to get rid of toxins and  result in higher energy levels and weight loss being to achieve.

Anti-Aging

Betanin fights free radicals, which make this root vegetable essential for heart health. Many experts believes that the damage from free radicals is the underlying mechanism of aging itself. Betanin has also been proven to inhibit the growth of breast, stomach, colon, lung, and nervous-system tumor cells. Beetroot is also proven to prevent birth defects.

Experts claims that damage from free radicals is the underlying mechanism of aging itself

Other benefits of beetroot includes lowering LDL cholesterol as a result of the folate content. Moreover, beetroot has a very high content of folic acid – one of the most youthing vitamins (yet this is the world’s most common vitamin deficiency!) Folic acid is crucial for the body’s ongoing process of cell division and DNA repair.

Improve Stamina

Studies shows that the body can exercise for up to 16% longer before getting tired if you drink a large glass of beetroot juice (500ml) per day. You can therefore get fitter more quickly and stay at that level more easily. This is due to the fact that beetroot lower the resting heartbeat and significantly lowers blood pressure for up to 24 hours after intake.

Reduce Sugar cravings

Another great benefit is that eating beetroot and other sweet root vegetables helps calm sugar cravings.

Beetroots Youthing Benefits

  • Aids memory and decreases the risk of dementia by bringing blood to the brain
  • Aids weight loss thanks to its detox properties
  • Deminishes skin-related aging such as wrinkles and liver spots
  • Improves vision by increasing the oxidative supply to the retina
  • Increases regularity of bowel movements and the balance of intestinal flora
  • Increases stamnia and vitality
  • Lowers blood pressure and cholesterol

Folk Medicine Remedy

Beetroot is used in folk medicine as a blood stimulant gastritis, piles and constipation; mildly cardio-tonic. Resent studies has proven that having at least one glass of raw beetroot juice a day helps control cancer. This is because it oxidises the blood, which makes it hard for cancer cells to live. It is also said to lower blood pressure and blood cholesterol as well as detoxing the body.

Warning

The sap stains very severely and is hard to remove from clothing and skin. It can also colour your urine, but this is nothing to worry about.

Beetroot Recipes

Blueberry-Beet Smoothie

medicinal 2The night before you start the cleanse, prepare two beets: Wrap each beet in foil, and roast in a 200°C oven 1 hour, or until tender. Remove from oven. As soon as beets are cool enough to handle, remove foil, slip off and discard skin, and slice beets in half. Stash beets in the refrigerator for smoothies throughout the cleanse (you’ll have enough beets for three breakfasts and one snack smoothie). You can also make it with raw beetroot – this retains more nutrients in the vegetable. Makes 1 smoothie.

  • ½ medium roasted beet (4 oz.)
  • ½ cup fresh or frozen blueberries
  • ½ cup nut, oat, rice, or hemp milk, or water
  • ¼ avocado, cubed
  • ½ Tbs. lime juice
  • Raw honey to taste, optional
  • 2 ice cubes

1. Cut 1/2 beet into large chunks.

2. Transfer beet chunks to blender, and add all remaining ingredients; blend on high until smooth.

beet 3

Beet-and-Lentil Hummus

medicinal 2Makes 1 1/2 cups. Serve this colorful hummus with raw vegetables, such as carrot or celery sticks, red bell pepper, cucumber, or broccoli.
  • ½ cup black beluga lentils, rinsed and soaked overnight
  • 2 medium beets, peeled and cut into chunks
  • 1 clove garlic, peeled
  • 2 Tbs. tahini paste
  • 2 Tbs. cold-pressed olive oil
  • 2 Tbs. lemon juice
  • 2 tsp. grated lemon zest
  • 1 tsp. sea salt

1. Drain and rinse soaked lentils. Bring lentils, beets, and 1 cup water to a boil in medium saucepan. Reduce heat to medium-low, cover, and simmer 15 to 20 minutes, or until all water is absorbed.

2. Drop garlic into food processor while running to finely chop. Add tahini, oil, lemon juice, zest, and salt; process until creamy. Add lentils and beets, and blend on high until smooth. Season to taste.

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Nutritional Values of Beetroot 

Nutrient Value pr 100g
Energy 43 kcal
Protein 1.61 g
Fat 0.17 g
Carbohydrate 9.56 g
Fiber 2.8 g
Calcium 16 mg
Iron 0.8 mg
Magnesium 23 mg
Phosphorus 40.3 mg
Potassium 325 mg
Sodium 78 mg
Zinc 0.35 mg
Copper 0.08
Magnese 0.3
Selenium 1 µg
Vitamin C 4.9 mg
Thiamin 0.03 mg
Riboflavin 0.06 mg
Niacin 0.33 mg
Vitamin B6 0.9 mg
Folate 109 µg
Vitamin A  33 IU
Vitamin E 0.04 mg
Vitamin K 1.2 µg
Saturated fat 0.03 g
Monounsaturated 0.03 g
Polyunsaturated 0.06 g

Resources

Manheim, Jason (2011) “The healthy green drink diet”. Skyhorse Publishing

Yeager, Selene (2007) “The doctors book of food remedies”. Rodale

Peyton-Jones, Elizabeth (2011) “Eat Yourself Young”. Quadrille Publishing Ltd

http://ndb.nal.usda.gov/ndb/foods/show/2912?fg=&man=&lfacet=&format=&count=&max=25&offset=&sort=&qlookup=beets

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Subi Markets

Weekend Activities

One of the weekend activities I really enjoy is to go to local fruit and veg markets and stock up for the following week. I can spend hours and hours on end buying fresh food, discover new spices and enjoying meals in the food court. Subiaco Markets (close to the railway station) is a great place to get fresh produce. It’s one of Perth’s largest undercover markets and has a wide variety of foods and other goods & services to offer.

Early Bird

If you want to avoid lots of people, you’ll have to be there byt 7:00am. It already starts to get busy around 7:30am! There are several fruit and vegetable shops in the market, but it also has juice stands, flower shops, fresh food outlets such as fish, butcher, bakeries, patisserie, whole foods, health foods and also a café & food court area. You can also find a large range of jewellery clothing and gift shops, plus beauty services including hairstylists and massage therapies.

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Many Markets

Perth has a lot of markets spread around the city. Another great market is the old Fremantle markets, which has a lot of history. There are also several farmer markets that are held at local schools over the weekends. Mt Claremont Farmers market and Subiaco Farmers market are worth checking out! ★

Chlorophyll

What is Chlorophyll and what is it used for?

Chlorophyll is a chemoprotein that gives plants and algae their green colour. It is also commonly known to be related to protoheme, the red pigment of blood. Chlorophyll has been used clinically for over half a century for various symptoms and conditions. It also removes toxins from the liver, which makes it a great detox aid.

Benefits and Medicinal Uses of Chlorophyll

medicinalNatural chlorophylls are not known to be toxic, and no toxic effects have been attributed to chlorophyllin despite more than 50 years of clinical use in treating humans.

Traditionally, Chlorophyll has been used to improve bad breath and acts as natural antiperspirant against body odor including odors of the urine, feces. Moreover, chlorophyll has for more than 50 years been commonly used to reduce local inflammation and promote healing of infected and slow-healing wounds. More recently chlorophyll has been used to help remove various toxins via the liver and remains a key compound for improving the function of essential detoxification pathways. Research suggests it can be used as an anti-inflammatory agent for conditions, such as pancreatitis as well as exhibiting potent antioxidant and chemoprotective activities. Science has demonstrated it may be an effective therapeutic agent in the treatment of herpes simplex,  benign breast disease,chemoprevention, tuberculosis, and rheumatoid arthritis. Type 2 and obesity are also being explored as areas where chlorophyll can also be used.

Below is a list of conditions that chlorophyll has shown a positive effect on

Cancer (laser therapy adjunct): Preliminary evidence suggests that chlorophyll may aid in the reduction of side effects associated with photodynamic therapies such as those used in management of malignant tumors. A recent study showed that human colon cancer cells undergo cell cycle arrest after treatment with chlorophyllin. The mechanism involved inhibition of ribonucleotide reductase activity. Ribonucleotide reductase plays an important role in DNA synthesis and repair, and is a target of currently used cancer therapeutic agents. This provides a potential new avenue for chlorophyllin in the clinical setting, sensitizing cancer cells to DNA damaging agents

Fibrocystic breast disease: The benefits of chlorophyll in benign breast disease may be attributed to its ability to alter liver enzyme pathways involved in estrogen metabolism. A combination product containing chlorophyll may be beneficial for this condition, but more research is needed to confirm these preliminary results. 

Herpes: Clorophyll may treat herpes simplex and herpes zoster, although more research is needed in this area.

Pancreatitis (chronic): Chlorophyll-a may reduce the mortality rate of experimental pancreatitis. Additional study is needed in this area.

Pneumonia (active destructive): Chlorophyll may help to regulate T lymphocyte counts in patients with active destructive pneumonia. Further studies are required to further elaborate on the immune-modifying effects of chlorophyll.

Poisoning (reduce Yusho symptoms): Yusho is a poisoning caused by ingestion of rice oil contaminated with polychlorinated biphenyls, specifically polychlorinated dibenzofurans (PCDFs) and polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs). A chlorophyll-rich diet may increase PCDF and PCB elimination, but further high quality research is needed.

Protection from aflatoxins: Chlorophyll may be of use as a chemopreventative agent due to its ability to inhibit the tumor-promoting effects of carcinogens. Chlorophyll may act to improve the detoxification of toxins involved in cancer promotion. However, more research is needed in this area.

Reduction of odor from incontinence/bladder catheterization: Based on historical use, chlorophyll has been suggested to improve bodily odor in colostomy patients. Despite empirical use, clinical research did not support these findings.

Rheumatoid arthritis: Diets high in chlorophyll have been hypothesized to modify intestinal flora resulting in improved management of immune disorders including rheumatoid arthritis. More evidence is needed to support the use of chlorophyll inautoimmune diseases.

Tuberculosis: Preliminary evidence suggests that chlorophyll intake duringchemotherapy treatment in patients with tuberculosis may improve immune parameters and free radical indices, such as malonic dialdehyde. Additional study is needed in this area.

What foods contain Chlorophyll?

medicinal 2Chlorophyll is found in green plants; generally the darker green the higher content.  It can be obtained from green leafy vegetables (broccoli, Brussel sprouts, cabbage, lettuce, and spinach), algae (Chlorella and Spirulina), wheat grass, and numerous herbs (alfalfa, damiana, nettle, and parsley. Chlorophyll can easily be implemented into your diet through juices and smoothies, salads and stir fries.

The chlorophyll contents of selected vegetables are presented in the table below

Chlorophyll Content of Selected Raw Vegetables
Food Serving Chlorophyll (mg)
Spinach 1 cup 23.7
Parsley ½ cup 19.0
Cress, garden 1 cup 15.6
Green beans 1 cup 8.3
Arugula 1 cup 8.2
Leeks 1 cup 7.7
Endive 1 cup 5.2
Sugar peas 1 cup 4.8
Chinese cabbage 1 cup 4.1

chlorophyll

What is Chlorophyllin? 

Chlorophyllin is a semi-synthetic mixture of sodium copper salts derived from chlorophyll and unlike natural chlorophyll, chlorophyllin is water-soluble – not fat-soluble. Most chlorophyll supplements available in the supermarket and health stores contain some chlorophyllin as it is less expensive than the natural substance.

References

http://lpi.oregonstate.edu/infocenter/phytochemicals/chlorophylls/#intro

http://www.healthline.com/natstandardcontent/chlorophyll

http://www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/ency/article/002893.htm

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Fiber

What is fiber and what does it do?

Fiber is a substance found in plants. Dietary fiber is found in fruits, vegetables, and grains. It is an important part of a healthy diet.Dietary fiber adds bulk to your diet. Because it makes you feel full faster, it can be helpful in controlling weight. Fiber aids digestion, helps prevent constipation, and is sometimes used for the  treatment of diverticulosis, diabetes, and heart disease. However, if you have diverticulitis, some types of fiber can make your symptoms worse.

Food Sources

There are two forms of fiber: soluble and insoluble.

Soluble fiber attracts water and turns to gel during digestion. This slows digestion. Soluble fiber is found in oat bran, barley, nuts, seeds, beans, lentils, peas, and some fruits and vegetables. Soluble fiber has been scientifically proven to lower cholesterol, which can help prevent heart disease.

Insoluble fiber is found in foods such as wheat bran, vegetables, and whole grains. It appears to speed the passage of foods through the stomach and intestines and adds bulk to the stool.

You should eat 20 to 35 grams of fiber a day. To get more into your diet, eat different types of foods, such as fruits, vegetables, and grains.

Vegetables, Legumes, and Nuts

Vegetables are a major source of fiber:

  • Lettuce, Swiss chard, raw carrots, and spinach
  • Tender cooked vegetables, such as asparagus, beets, mushrooms, turnips, and pumpkin
  • Broccoli, artichokes, squashes, sweet potatoes, and string beans
  • Vegetable juices

You can also get more fiber by eating:

  • Legumes, such as lentils, black beans, split peas, kidney beans, lima beans, and chickpeas
  • Sunflower seeds, almonds, pistachios nuts, and pecans

Fruits

Fruits are another good source of fiber:

  • Apples and bananas
  • Peaches and pears
  • Tangerines, prunes, and berries
  • Figs and other dried fruits

Grains

Grains are another important source of dietary fiber:

  • Hot cereals, such as oatmeal, farina, and Cream of Wheat
  • Whole-grain breads (whole wheat or whole rye)
  • Brown rice
  • Popcorn
  • High-fiber cereals (such as bran, shredded wheat, Grape Nuts, Ry Krisp, and puffed wheat)
  • Whole-grain pastas

Peeling can reduce the amount of fiber in fruits and vegetables. Eating fiber-containing food is beneficial, whether it is cooked or raw.

 Side Effects

Eating a large amount of fiber in a short period of time can cause intestinal gas (flatulence), bloating, and abdominal cramps. This usually goes away once the natural bacteria in the digestive system get used to the increase in fiber in the diet. Adding fiber gradually to the diet, instead of all at one time, can help reduce gas or diarrhea.

Too much fiber may interfere with the absorption of minerals such as iron, zinc, magnesium, and calcium. However, this effect usually does not cause too much concern because high-fiber foods are typically rich in minerals.

Recommendations

The recommendation for older children, adolescents, and adults is 20 – 35 grams per day. Younger children will not be able to eat enough calories to achieve this, but it is a good idea to introduce whole grains, fresh fruits, and other high-fiber foods. Add fiber gradually over a period of a few weeks to avoid abdominal discomfort. Water aids the passage of fiber through the digestive system. Drink plenty of fluids (approximately 8 glasses of water or noncaloric fluid a day).

 Resources

http://www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/ency/article/002470.htm

http://www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/ency/patientinstructions/000193.htm

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