OATMEAL

 

Composition: Oatmeal is rich in carbohydrates, fiber, fats and protein, vitamins B and E, calcium, potassium, magnesium, iron, zinc and selenium.

Beneficial effects: It reduces the cholesterol level in blood, strengthens the immune system (dietary soluble fiber is a nutrient for "good" bacteria). Next to it oatmeal detoxifies the body (dietary fiber seizes the toxic compounds and prevents their absorption). Carbohydrates present in oatmeal are digested slowly, what gradually increases the level of glucose. Thanks to this you do not get hungry again for a longer period of time.

How to eat: you can eat porridge or make your own muesli, with addition of skimmed milk (milk’s protein supplements the missing essential amino acids in oatmeal), fruits, seeds and nuts. It tastes good also with various spices e.g. cinnamon, ginger, turmeric. You can also add oatmeal to homemade cakes, rolls, and even meat dishes (e.g. instead breadcrumbs).

 

BRAN made of wheat, rye, oats, barley.

Composition: It is rich in vitamins B and E, minerals (calcium, phosphorus, potassium, zinc, magnesium) and very good source of fiber. Depending on the type of grain, of which the bran was obtained, eating it will result in different beneficial effects. Wheat bran primarily improves intestine passage and prevents constipation. Oats bran similar like oatmeal is good for lowering the cholesterol level. Bran absorbs toxic substances and supports their removal. If you care about your heath include bran into your diet.

How to eat: you can add bran to yoghurt or to porridge, omelets, pancakes, shakes, any homemade pastries. For young children introduce it with caution since too much bran can irritate the gastrointestinal track leading to diarrhoea.

 

GARLIC

Composition: It is a source of fiber (inulin), potassium, iron, magnesium, phosphorus and sulphur, vitamins B and C. What is very special about garlic is the presence of allicin – a component of volatile oil, which demonstrates anty-bacterial and anti-fungal properties.

Beneficial effects: several studies suggest that allicin may reduce atherosclerosis, normalize lipoprotein balance, decrease blood pressure, regulates sugar level in blood. Garlic is also known for its anti-inflammatory activities. It also stimulates the self-defenses and it is beneficial for respiratory track. It is natural remedy to fight against common cold. In folk medicine garlic is used to spread on bees and other insects bites.

How to eat: Garlic tastes great with toasts, salads, meat, soups etc. You can eat fresh or cooked garlic.

 

OLIVE OIL

Composition: It is rich source of monounsaturated fatty acids (especially oleic acid), also vitamin E.

Beneficial effects: Studies show that these acids play a valuable role in preventing arteriosclerosis – it lowers the level of LDL fraction of cholesterol (so called “bad” cholesterol), while increasing the level of HDL - "good" cholesterol. It also demonstrates the anti-oxidant properties. Choose extra virgin olive oil derived from the first pressing of the olives. It is the most valuable.

How to use: you can add to salads (e.g. making a vinaigrette), you can fry on it, add to soups, stewed vegetables, etc.

 

LEGUMES (lentils, beans, peas, soya beans, chickpeas etc.)

Composition: Legumes are good source of high quality protein, similar to meat protein, and B vitamins. They also contain valuable folate, minerals (potassium, calcium, phosphorus, magnesium, iron, sulfur) and fiber.

Beneficial effects: Legumes have a positive impact on reducing the level of cholesterol. Next to it they regulate the glucose level in blood, therefore they are recommended for diabetic patients. In folk medicine legumes are known as a strengthening food for faster recovery.

How to use: All legumes (except for lentils) must be soaked. Because they can cause gas and bloating in order to minimize or eliminate the gas-producing substances skim off and discard the appearing foam when the beans first begin to boil. Also salt the beans at end of cooking. Adding some herbs such as marjoram or ginger might also be helpful. Legumes are very good choice for addition to soup, salad, stuffing and pastes e.g. dahl paste made of red lentils, with some garlic, olive oil, spices and parsley leaves tastes really good.

 

NUTS e.g. hazelnuts, walnuts, pistachios, cashews, Brazil nuts etc.

Composition: Nuts are rich source of omega-3 acids, vitamin E, magnesium, potassium, phosphorus and zinc.

Beneficial effects: It is recommended to eat various kinds of nuts - each has slightly different composition. Lipids in nuts may protect against arteriosclerosis, improve memory, strengthen immune system. Nuts have to be eaten moderately since they of high caloric value. Next to eat for some people nuts can cause allergy. In children’s diet include nuts in second or third year of life with caution observing the reaction.

How to eat: you can eat nuts as a healthy snack, also you can add them to various dishes and desserts such as porridge, pasta sauces, salads, yoghurts, pastries.

 

FLAX-SEED

Composition: Flax-seed is the richest source of omega-3 fatty acids among vegetable foods. It is also good source of dietary fiber and phyto-compounds (lignans), B vitamins and minerals (potassium, calcium, magnesium, iron, zinc).

Beneficial effects: Flax-seed lowers the level of LDL cholesterol (the “bad” fraction), protects against arteriosclerosis. Finely crushed seeds are gentle remedy for constipation. Lignans are one of the major classes of phytoestrogens, which are estrogen-like chemicals and also act as antioxidants. They can play positive role by mitigating the symptoms during menopause period. They are also recommended in preventing cancer. Flax-seed can act as a coatings and protective agent. It is good for chronic gastric ulcer disease, thanks to the presence of mucus which coats and protects again hydrochloric acid reducing inflammatory reactions. It is also very helpful in bronchitis and in dry cough. You may apply it for wounds healing with difficulties, for drying and chapped skin. Flax-seed fulfills the stomach and gives filling of satiety for longer so it is good for persons trying to lose weight. The seeds are most beneficial when grinded but then you have to use it within couple of days. Store it in a dry, cool and dark place because it can easily oxidize.

How to use: Add it to yoghurt, salads, porridge, homemade pastries, pancake batter, shakes.

 

PARSLEY (leaves)

Composition: It is rich source of vitamins (beta-carotene, vitamin C, B) and minerals (potassium, calcium, phosphorus, iron, magnesium).

Beneficial effects: Parsley leaves improve digestion, remove excess of water from the body, clear blood, regenerate blood vessels, regulate excessive fermentation in the stomach and intestines, show diuretic activity. In addition, mitigate ailments during menstrual period, reduce cellulite and protect against free radicals (mainly thanks to vitamin C and beta-carotene). Parsley leaves added to dishes increases iron absorption.

How to eat: You can add it to your sandwich, sprinkle over your soup, pasta sauces, etc.

 

BROCCOLI

Composition: It is rich source of antioxidants (beta-carotene, vitamins C and E, zinc), also contains minerals (potassium, magnesium) and dietary fiber.

Beneficial effects: It reduces the level of LDL cholesterol and therefore acts against arteriosclerosis. Next to it broccoli clears the body from metabolic products. Some studies suggest anti-cancer activities. Thanks to the presence of antioxidants it fights free radical. Be careful when you prepare it since many nutrients are sensitive to high temperature (especially vitamin C). If you want to cook it the best if you boil it or steam it for short time (from 2 to 5 min).

How to eat: Broccoli can be eaten raw or cooked briefly. Try steaming and flavoring your broccoli with garlic, olive oil, and a little salt and pepper. You can add some lemon juice and flakes of parmesan cheese. You can also try it with pasta (with garlic and olive oil) or simply stir fry.

 

CELERY root

Composition: It is rich source of potassium, magnesium, calcium, manganese, iron, zinc and phosphorus. Celery also contains vitamins B, K, E, beta-carotene and C.

Beneficial effects: It increases appetite, improves digestion, shows diuretic activity and strengthens the nervous system. An active ingredient extracted from celery reduces blood pressure and lowers the cholesterol level. Most probably this substance reduces stress hormones concentration and therefore prevents vasospasm. In addition celery is applicable for treatment of rheumatism, kidney disease, prevention of stones formulation. Next to it celery acts as a strengthening agent in fatigue. Celery maybe allergic, therefore, implement it carefully into children diet.

How to eat: Raw grated celery tastes very good with an apple, lemon juice and sour cream. It can be added to soups, stewed vegetables and you can make a puree from it.

 

AVOCADO

Composition: It is rich source of healthy monounsaturated fatty acids, vitamin E, folate, pantothenic acid, minerals (potassium, calcium, phosphorus, magnesium, iron, zinc, copper).

Beneficial effects: Thanks to the fatty acids content it reduces the concentration of "bad" cholesterol. Next to it avocado promotes the erythrocyte formulation, it is recommended for derma diseases and hair loss. Avocado is also good for persons suffering from fatty liver, due to the presence of copper which acts for its recovery. Antioxidants are fighting against harmful free radicals.

How to eat: It is great for salads, you can use to spread on sandwich (instead of butter), prepare guacamole (with garlic, lemon and salt), you can also add it to shakes (e.g. with natural yoghurt and oat bran).

 

HONEY

Composition: It contains easily absorbable sugars (glucose and fructose – approx. 80%), small amounts of vitamins B and C and minerals. Honey is a source of essential oils and organic acids that affect taste and flavour of honey. Next to it honey contains a number of other compounds such as flavonoids and enzymes.

Beneficial effects: Studies have shown that honey supports immune system. It has anti-bacterial properties. It protects heart by lowering blood pressure and improving circulation. Honey is good for wound healing – it clears existing infection and protects wounds from additional infection. Honey's anti-inflammatory activity reduces edema and minimizes scarring.

How to use it: Add honey to lukewarm drinks/food because anti-bacterial property are sensitive to high temperatures.