A simple recipe, inspired by macrobiotic cookbook author Aveline Kushi, for baked fruit desserts: cut the cores from apples and pears, fill the apples with cinnamon and brown rice syrup, and insert finely-chopped ginger root and brown rice syrup into the pears. Bake the fruits in a covered dish or pot for an hour or longer, at a medium-hot temperature. The fruits will be soft enough to eat with a fork or spoon and without removing the skins. I used a six-quart Le Creuset stockpot, with a thin layer of sesame oil to prevent sticking on the bottom, to bake these apples and pears.
Kids are now in school, catching and spreading germs galore. Many working mothers send their offspring to school in contagious conditions, and even bring them to the local shops after school to buy supplies. Maybe their child-care options are limited by economic circumstances (don’t expect, under the current leadership, that this situation is going to get anything but worse…). It seems that “sick” is the new “healthy”. People of all ages seem to be coughing, sneezing and spewing pathogens in public like a modern-day plague. Protect yourself by having a bottle of chewable Zicam with you, and when you get home, take ginger-root raw, candied or in capsules (we like to mix the chopped, fresh ginger with honey). Taking cayenne pepper capsules helps as well–my husband uses the “Cool Cayenne” ones by Solaray, whereas I just use the spice on my cottage cheese every other day. Wear gloves in public whenever possible (it may seem odd and old-fashioned, but gloves are very elegant and practical). If a checker at the grocery store has obviously been infected (coughing, sniffling and nose-blowing are bad signs), move to another cash-register. Cashiers would do well to wear disposable latex gloves (a Wal-Mart worker told us that her colleague caught Staphylococcus Aureus and died). And if people in a store-aisle are coughing or sneezing near you, hold your breath and vacate the position as quickly as possible. Also, try to disinfect the handlebar on your shopping carts. Many markets have dispensers of disinfecting wipes near the cart-storage area. Using these simple measures has kept me rhinovirus-and-influenza-free for six years (knocking on wood). There was a rare incident of me getting a virus: a schoolteacher at one of our dinner parties sat next to me, generously sharing the deadly cough she had picked up from some student. It was a particularly tenacious, painful ailment that lasted a month. The bitterness lingers on, six years later…. Below, you will find some links that can help you maintain general good health.
Ginger, Chilean black grapes, plain yoghurt, bananas, apples, oranges, frozen blueberries, strawberries and a bit of honey are blended in an Osterizer for a health-enhancing morning drink.
~~M-J de Mesterton, 2009
Cranberries are loaded with antioxidants, such as Vitamin C and anthocyanins (the phytonutrients that give cranberries, blueberries and cherries their deep colours). They also contain a sugar called “mannose”, which, when combined with cranberry juice’s natural phytonutrients, helps to heal and prevent urinary tract infections. Adding cranberry juice to your morning smoothie is a good idea.
I also like to add a few stalks of celery, a vegetable that lowers blood-pressure.
Ginger helps ward-off the common cold and influenza, especially the fresh variety.
Blueberries contain vitamins A and C, zinc, potassium, iron, calcium and magnesium, are high in fiber and low in calories. The USDA Human Nutrition Center (HNRCA) has ranked blueberries at the very top of antioxidant activity within a range of forty-one fruits and vegetables.
Blueberries are rich in natural health-enhancers, including vitamin C, vitamin A, zinc, potassium, iron, calcium and magnesium. They also have many antioxidant properties, and help in the prevention of:
Blueberries have recently acquired a reputation for enhancing one’s cardiovascular health, and their antioxidants naturally help in the prevention of cancer. Recent research has added to the blueberry’s list of powerful properties.
Metabolic syndrome, or pre-diabetes, is exhibited in those with a particular combination of health anomalies, including larger-than-normal amounts of abdominal fat, elevated blood-sugar, high blood pressure, and high triglycerides. Together, those conditions are likely to cause diabetes, cardiovascular disease, heart attacks, and strokes.
Laboratory-rats that for 90 days consumed blueberry-enriched powder as two percent of their diet had less abdominal fat, lower triglycerides, lower cholesterol, and improved fasting glucose and insulin sensitivity than the control-group, who had no blueberry component in their diets.
Blueberry ingestion was determined to have a positive affect on specific genes related to fat-burning and fat-storage. Where muscle tissue is concerned, alterations in genes related to glucose-uptake were discovered to have been caused by the intake of blueberries.
Research also indicated that “metabolic syndrome” is caused not only by abdominal fat, as previously believed by the medical industry, but by insulin resistance in one’s skeletal muscle system, an anomaly which alters energy-storage and causes metabolic syndrome.
Eating blueberries can help to prevent insulin-resistance, lower the related belly-fat, reduce cholesterol levels, and its numerous antioxidants can help to stave-off age-related brain disorders.
Blueberries contain an antioxidant compound called pterostilbene, a compound similar to resveratrol, which has been found to reduce cholesterol as well as dangerous prescription drugs.
Just as dried cherries do, blueberries, when added to ground beef before cooking, help reduce the formation of cancer-causing heterocyclic amines (HCA).
In Europe, the bilberry has most of the same properties as the blueberry. One of the many things they have in common is anthocyanin, the substance that makes them blue, which is beneficial to the cardiovascular system and is believed to lower blood-pressure. Bilberries have been used to enhance eyesight since World War 11, when pilots who ate bilberry jam attributed their improved night-vision to the tiny fruit. Bilberries are also said to aid in relief of varicose veins and gum-disease as they promote healthy circulation. Caution must be taken with bilberries by those who are taking blood-thinnning drugs, as they are a natural blood-thinner.
Blueberries can be added to a morning smoothie that you make with yogurt in a blender, together with whatever other fruits you have in stock. Frozen blueberries can be much less expensive than fresh ones, easier to store, and retain most of their antioxidant properties. When used in a smoothie, frozen blueberries make it ice-cold (see my photograph). This preparation makes a health-promoting breakfast, and is delicious as well. Staying well is the best thing you can do in this ailing world.