Discover the newest superfood of the stars, its health benefits AND cautions.
“Every leaf of kale your chew adds another stem to your tree of life.” Ancient Turkish Saying
Kale was once called the ‘poor people food’ but now it’s the new trend. Celebrities like Angelina Jolie, Woody Harrelson, and Gwyneth Paltrow are all eating kale to feel better and keep the ‘sleek physique’ needed for stardom.
It is one of the my top Powerfoods!
Did you know?
- There are over 50 varieties of kale
- National Kale Day is celebrated on the first Wednesday of October.
- Kale plants continue to produce late into winter. It is the perfect green for seasonal eating in fall or winter.
- Kale needs a frost to become sweeter. The frost converts some of plant’s starch into sugar.
- In Scotland, an invitation to “come to kale” was an invitation to dinner.
- An adult hippopotamus at Washington D.C.’s National Zoo eats 10 pounds of kale a day!
8 Health Benefits of Kale:
1. Can help lower cholesterol levels.
The fiber fiber in kale binds bile acids and helps lower blood cholesterol levels and reduce the risk of heart disease. It’s best when kale is cooked instead of raw.
2. Kale is a detox food.
It’s filled with fiber and sulfur which are great for detoxifying your body and keeping your liver healthy.
3. Low in calories
A cup of chopped kale has only 33 calories. Great for weight loss!
4. Great at fighting many cancers
Kale is rich in organosulfur compounds which are known to figh cancer, especially colon cancer.
5. Supports a healthy immune system.
Kale is full of sulforaphane which helps which nourishes the immune system.
6. Visual Benefits.
Kale is abundant in two carotenoids, lutein and zeaxanthin, which act like sunglass filters preventing damage to the eyes from excessive exposure to ultraviolet light.
7. Supports normal blood clotting, antioxidant activity, and bone health.
The high amount of Vitamin K helps nourishes those activities in the body healthy.
8. Great for helping digestion and elimination.
It is very high in fiber.
All greens are nutritious, but kale stands way above the rest. Kale has more iron than beef per calorie. Very high in in Vitamin K, full of powerful antioxidants and much more. Read all about it: Kale Nutrition.
- “Kale is the one of the oldest forms of cabbage, originating in the eastern Mediterranean. Kale is thought to have been used as a food crop as early as 2000 B. C.” Laurie Hodges, Ph. D. Extension Specialist
- Kale originated in Asia Minor and by the 5th century B.C., the preference was for the larger leaf that developed into the vegetable we now know as kale.
- The plant was brought to Europe around 600 B.C. by groups of Celtic wanderers. Early historic records on the Romans called it Sabelline Cabbage.
- Kale was a staple crop in the Scottish Islands because of its hardiness; the Scots grew it in kale yards. Almost every house had a kale yard and preserved kale in barrels of salt.
- English settlers brought kale to the United States in the 17th century.
- Russian kale was introduced into Canada (and then into the U.S.) by Russian traders in the 19th century.
How to Buy and Store Kale:
- Always buy organic kale; it is grown with lots of chemicals making it one of the Dirty Dozen. The kale should be firm with fresh, with deeply colored leaves and hardy […]
Lentil soup has all the benefits of the mighty powerfood lentils plus much more. And it tastes great.
1 large onion, chopped
3-6 garlic cloves, chopped
2 pieces celery, chopped
2 tsp almond oil or vegetable oil
1 cup green whole lentils: soak over night and cook according to directions here: Cooking Beans & Lentils
1 piece Kombu*
2 carrots, diced
3-5 tsp salt
1 tsp each of thyme and basil
3 tsp marjoram
- Soak lentils overnight and follow instructions: Cooking Beans & Lentils (if you would like to have gas free lentils)
- Sauté onion, garlic and celery in oil.
- Add remaining ingredients.
- Simmer for 45 minutes, adding more water if necessary.
- Remove Kombu and chop; return to soup.
- Serve in bowls garnished sprigs of fresh parsley.
* Kombu is seaweed makes beans more digestible but you could easily leave it out.
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Copyright © Diana Herrington www.RealFoodforLife.com
“Before understanding the power of the foods around me, I was unhealthy, unhappy and confused. Constant visits to doctors and health food stores had little effect on my deep fatigue and constant hunger. That was 30 years ago when Western nutritional science was not as advanced as it is now.
It was the 5,000 year old Chinese herbal knowledge that made the difference for me. Using specific foods and food combinations to feed specific systems and create balance brought me back to the energy and joy I had as a teenager.
Since then I learned from all cultures. The message is always the same: Food can heal. Food can be your medicine. Food has POWER!” Randy Fritz
5 Sources of Power for Powerfoods
1. Broad chemical influences on the body.
- Alkaline-forming vs. acid-forming
- Organic vs. chemical-infused
- Raw vs. cooked
- Gluten-free vs. gluten-containing foods
- Complex carbohydrates (smart carbs) vs. simple sugars (dumb carbs)
- Whole vs. processed
Each of these factors has multiple influences on the body and a person will respond to these differences depending on their predisposition and levels of health.
Powerfoods are almost always whole but not necessarily gluten-free, raw or alkaline.
2. Specific Chemical Needs: The GAP Theory
Each food has different levels of specific nutrients. If a person has a particular need for a nutrient it will affect them greatly. Powerfoods tend to have very high levels of certain nutrients.
For example: suppose a person has a strong need for vitamin C. It is winter and she is not eating enough fruits and vegetables. An orange has vitamin C, so mandarin oranges that are popular around Christmas, have just the right chemistry to feed her immune system and prevent a cold.
3. Genetic Influences of Food
Scientists have been debating for years what is more important: your genetics given to you by your parents or your upbringing. It turns out that the two are combined. Your environment activates the expression of your genes. This is very powerful.
For example research has shown that a diet high in omega-3 fats reduces the expression of the Alzheimer’s gene APOE4. We can sidestep bad genes by eating healthy.
4. Subtle Influences of Food
Many healthy systems around the world have different ways to conceptualize health with very powerful results. Instead of interpreting food in terms of vitamins and minerals and proteins they talked about principles like heat, cold, fire, water and air, which they could directly perceive.
These principles are understandable within chemistry or physics to a degree but often the complete use of these systems relies on the idea of subtle energies that modern science has not been able to consistently measure – energies like chi and prana in food, our bodies and the environment.
These cultures have produced large numbers of remarkably healthy individuals. They picked out certain foods (powerfoods) that were particularly balancing for various needs.
5. Social and Cultural Influences of Food
Growing, preparing and eating food takes more time and energy than any other facet of man’s life. In all societies there have evolved intricate cultures around food which affect how we think, how we act and what kind of lives we will live.
Older cultures also discovered foods and combinations of foods that were particularly healthy.
The Mediterranean diet is one example. At first nutritionists did not understand how everyone could be so healthy consuming so much oil. It turned out that mono-unsaturated olive oil has many properties that are just now being understood and appreciated. The Italians did not understand the chemistry of various levels of saturation of fats. They just knew olives grew well and over time, through trial and error, […]
If you want beautiful glowing skin, and an immune system powerful enough to fight off just about anything, don’t forget this highly nutritious but common vegetable.
Cabbage is powerful. Ancient healers thought it contained moon power because it grew in the moonlight. Modern nutritional science understands its power comes from its high sulfur and vitamin C content. Either way – it’s worth adding to your weekly diet.
8 Healthy Benefits of Cabbage:
- Ideal for weight loss because it has only 33 calories in a cup of cooked cabbage and is low fat.
- It is a brain food! It is full of Vitamin K and Anthocyanins that help with mental function and concentration. These nutrients also prevent nerve damage improving your defense against Alzheimer’s disease, and dementia. Red cabbage has the highest amount in it.
- High in sulfur, the beautifying mineral. It helps dry up oily and acne skin. Internally sulfur is essential for keratin, a protein substance necessary for healthy hair, nails, and skin.
- Helps detoxify the blood. The high content of vitamin C and sulphur in cabbage removes toxins (free radicals and uric acid); which are the main causes of arthritis, skin diseases, rheumatism, and gout.
- Has well-known cancer preventative compounds (lupeol, sinigrin, and sulforaphane) known to stimulate enzyme activity and inhibit the growth of cancer tumors. A Study on women showed a reduction in breast cancer when cruciferous vegetables like cabbage were added to their diet.
- Helps keep blood pressure from getting high. The high potassium content helps by opening up blood vessels, easing the flow of blood.
- Cabbage for headaches: a warm compress made with cabbage leaves can help relieve the pain of a headache. Crush cabbage leaves, place in a cloth, and apply on the forehead. Also, drink raw cabbage juice 1-2 oz. (25-50ml) daily for chronic headaches.
- Hangovers from heavy drinking were reduced by using cabbage, since Roman times.
- Some children’s legends say babies come from ‘Cabbage Patches’.
- Cabbage is considered Russia’s national food. Russians eat about seven times as much cabbage as the average North American.
- Chinese scrolls from1000 BC declare white cabbage as a cure for baldness in men.
- “It will make you feel as if you had not eaten and you can drink as much as you like.” Said Cato, a Roman who lived till he was 80, ate it before and after meals.
- Babe Ruth used to wear a cabbage leaf under his hat during games which he would switch out for a fresh leaf halfway through each game.
- See the world’s biggest cabbage, prize winning cabbage over 125 pounds with leaves over 5 feet. Big Cabbage
- Cabbage is one of the oldest known vegetables.
- Cabbage dates back to 4,000 B.C. in Shensi province in China.
- Around 600 B.C. the Celts brought cabbage to Europe from Asia.
- In 1536 French navigator Jacques Cartier brought cabbage to the Americas.
- In Captain Cook’s famous first voyage, (17 century) many of the crew members were saved from gangrene when the ship’s doctor made poultices of cabbage to apply to their wounds.
There are many different types of cabbages with different taste and uses.
They include: green cabbage, red cabbage, savoy cabbage, bok choy, and brussel sprouts.
Cabbage is packed with vitamins, minerals, and fibre. It also has phytonutrients which is said to prevent cancer. Cabbage will not only help you lose weight it will also strengthen your immune system for it contains vitamin […]
Almonds are very tasty and so beneficial for our health. They are my favourite nut; most mornings I add 7 to 10 almonds to my breakfast.
9 Health Benefits of Almonds:
- ‘Bad’ Cholesterol is Lowered: One clinical study showed that almonds added to the diet had a favorable effect on blood cholesterol levels and that none of the study groups experienced weight gain in the study by Dr. Gene Spiller, Director of the Health Research and Studies Center, Inc.
- Reduce Heart Attack Risk: A study showed those who consumed nuts five times a week had a 50% reduction in risk of heart attack according to the Loma Linda School of Public Health.
- Protects artery walls from damage: It was found that the flavonoids in almond skins work in synergy with the vitamin E thus reducing the risk of heart disease. (Research at Tufts University)
- Build strong bones and teeth with the phosphorus in almonds.
- Healthy fats helps in weight loss:
Although nuts contain lots of fat frequent nut eaters are thinner on average than those who almost never consume nuts. (data from the Nurses’ Health Study)
Those who ate nuts at least two times per week were 31% less likely to gain weight than were those who never or seldom at them in a study involving 8865 adults. (WHFood’s article on almonds)
- Almonds lower the rise in blood sugar and insulin after meals.
- Good brain function: Almonds contain riboflavin and L-carnitine, nutrients that boost brain activity which may also reduce the risk of Alzheimer’s disease.
- A nutrient for the nervous system according to Ayurveda; they help to increase high intellectual level and longevity.
- They alkalize the body: Almonds are the only nut and one of the few proteins that are alkaline forming. When your body is not alkaline enough, you risk osteoporosis, poor immune function, low energy and weight gain.
Learn more about the benefits of an alkaline body and the dangers of being too acid click here: Balance Your Body with Acid/Alkaline Balance
Did you know?
- Almonds are actually stone fruits related to cherries, plums and peaches.
- 2.51 million tonnes of almonds were produced in 2010 according to Food and Agriculture Organization.
- United States is the largest producer of almonds. Unfortunately, it also demands that almonds are pasteurized or irradiated. Read more at: The Killing of California Almonds. Buy unpastuerized almonds Organic Almonds
- From ancient Egypt to modern times, almonds have always been a popular ingredient in lotions and potions.
This is one very nutrient-dense food which we call a Powerfood.
- Packed with protein; almonds are 13 percent protein.
- One ounce (or about 23 almonds) is an excellent source of vitamin E, magnesium, fibre and protein.
- Filled with minerals such as magnesium, copper.
- Filled with B vitamins.
- Provide 266mg (27% DV) of calcium per 100g serving, 367mg (37% DV) per cup.
- Full of potassium, phosphorus and iron.
- One-ounce serving of almonds contains about the same amount of antioxidants as a serving of broccoli.
- One of the best whole food sources of vitamin E, with about one third of the daily value per ounce.
- Heart-healthy with monounsaturated fat; one-quarter cup of almonds contains about 18 grams of fat, 11 grams is heart-healthy monounsaturated fats.
- 20-25 almonds contain as much calcium as 1/4 cup of milk.
Almonds are thought to have originated in western Asia and North Africa; they have been written about in many historical texts, […]
Your grandma and the Scots ate oats because its inexpensive and grows anywhere.
I eat oatmeal for its taste and nutrition and it’s many other benefits.
It’s true what the cereal TV commercials say about those ‘crunchy oat clusters’. They ARE good for you.. particularly if you make your own.
10 Reasons Why I Love Oatmeal
1. Low calorie food stops cravings.
A cup is only 130 calories! It also stays in your stomach longer making you feel full longer. You will have less hunger and cravings.
2. Provides high levels of fiber and low levels of fat.
“You have to eat oatmeal or you’ll dry up. Anyone knows that.” ~ Kay Thompson
3. Stabilizes blood sugar and reduces risk of diabetes (type 2)
The high fiber and complex carbohydrates slow down the conversion of this whole food to simple sugars. The high levels of magnesium nourish the body proper use of glucose and insulin secretion.
4. Removes your bad cholesterol (without affecting your good cholesterol).
Many studies have shown that the unique FIBER in oatmeal called beta-glucan has beneficial effects on cholesterol levels.
5. Gluten free safe.
Diana is gluten sensitive and have no problem with oatmeal. If you are gluten intolerant or celiac there is some cause for concern. Oats lack many of the prolamines (proteins) found in wheat (gluten) but oats do contain avenin. Avenin is a prolamine that is considered toxic to the intestinal mucosa of avenin-sensitive individuals. Oats can also contain gluten from nearby wheat field contamination and processing facilities. Many studies have shown that many celiacs can consume wheat free oats with no problems.
Oatmeal, like many whole grains, contains plant lignans, which are converted by intestinal flora into mammalian lignans. One lignin, called enterolactone, is thought to protect against breast and other hormone-dependent cancers as well as heart disease.
7. Contains unique antioxidants beneficial for heart disease.
A study at Tuffs University shows that the unique antioxidants in oatmeal called called avenanthramides, help prevent free radicals from damaging LDL cholesterol, thus reducing the risk of cardiovascular disease.
8. Protects against heart failure.
A Harvard study on 21,000 participants over 19 years showed that found that men who enjoyed a daily morning bowl of whole grain (but not refined) cereal had a 29% lower risk of heart failure. Guess what grain is most easily found and prepared unrefined – oats.
9. Enhances Immune Response to disease. The unique fiber in oatmeal called beta-gluten also has been shown to helps neutrophils travel to the site of an infection more quickly and it also enhances their ability to eliminate the bacteria they find there
10. It tastes GOOD!
All oats whether in flakes or groats form have gone through a heat process which gives them their rich nutty flavor . This keeps them from spoiling. They have also been hulled. This process does not strip away all the bran and germ allowing them to retain a concentrated source of fiber and nutrients . This means that oats are not raw and will not sprout.
Different Kinds of Oatmeal:
All the benefits mentioned above are actually for OATS. Most people don’t think about oats – they think about oatmeal. In fact most people could not identify whole oats if it was sitting in front of them.
There are many different levels of processing of oatmeal. Generally the larger the ‘flake’ – as in rolled oats or the bigger the seed or groat – as in steal cut oats – the less precessed it will be, the more nutrients it […]
Oatmeal porridge has been a traditional breakfast food for hundreds of years. On a winter day it is so warming to have a steaming bowl of porridge with raisins. In the summer I do not cook them just soak; see my recipe below.
I like the old fashioned oats as they have a fuller flavour and are healthier. You can eat this as a raw meal or make it into regular porridge. As they take longer to cook I often soak them over night but you do not have to.
Oatmeal & Sultanas
1/3 cup old fashioned oats (rolled oats can be used)
1 cup water
2 Tablespoons sultanas
Pinch of salt […]