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Whole grains have not been refined or adulterated. They may have been processed in some way – by milling, rolling or flaking – but nothing should have been extracted and nothing added. Whole grains are good sources of carbohydrate, particularly fiber and vitamins, including the B vitamins, copper, manganese; iodine, selenium and magnesium, and together with legumes or pulses (or other dietary components) can provide complete proteins. Foods made from whole grains – pasta etc. – contain the same nutrients. Buckwheat is a good source of bioflavonoids, corn of zinc. Oats are naturally cholesterol – lowering. Brown rice is rich in Vitamin E and B vitamins, including niacin (nicotinic acid), which are helpful in the metabolism of the rice. Whole wheat is a rich source of Vitamin B6 and niacin; the bran contains niacin, Vitamin B6 and folate; the germ has B1, B6 and folate.

Herbs and Spices

Herbs and spices are often the richest sources of aromatic compounds and essential oils, bioflavonoids and minerals.

Basil is reputedly helpful for migraine, nervous tension, constipation and insomnia. It is a natural disinfectant. Bay leaves help stimulate appetite and aid digestion. Cardamom is a natural diuretic and can help digestion. Chervil is rich in Vitamin C, iron, magnesium and beta-carotene. It acts as a diuretic and benefits the liver; it’s good for treating gout, rheumatism and eye troubles. Chives, being a member of the Allium family (see Onions), share many of the Allium properties, and also stimulate appetite and aid digestion. Cinnamon is useful in treating some gynecological conditions and suppressing some viral infections. It contains chromium, which helps the body to use sugars. Coriander, herb and seeds, combines sedative and stimulant effects; the seeds if chewed are an aid to digestion. Cumin is a good general tonic, and is antiseptic and antibacterial.

Dill, herb and seeds, can be stimulant and sedative, and is digestive, often used in the treatment of infant colic. Fennel has many medicinal properties, and is diuretic, tonic and sedative; it is particularly effective in digestion, very good with fish. Fenugreek contains carotenes, and can improve glucose tolerance in diabetes.

Garlic contains active sulphur compounds, alliins, as do the rest of the Allium family, which are widely believed to protect against cancer and cardiovascular disease. It is a natural antiseptic and antibiotic, can lower cholesterol in the bloodstream, lower blood pressure, and enhance the immune system.

Ginger, a rhizome spice, is available fresh, dried and powdered, is warming and carminative (relieving intestinal gas, relaxing and soothing the gastrointestinal tract). It is anti-inflammatory, and analgesic, used in the treatment of rheumatism and arthritis.

Horseradish is a member of the Cruciferae cabbage) family, and is pungent (like mustard); it is an excellent digestive, stimulant of salivary and other digestive juices. Lavender is diuretic, calming for nervous diseases of the stomach, and stress. Lemon balm is said to cure many nervous afficions. Lemon grass has been used as an antiseptic, a sedative (reducing anxiety and promoting sleep) and digestive. Lovage seeds, leaves and roots may be beneficial for rheumatism, and the leaves are good for treating urinary problems and jaundice. Marjoram is an excellent digestive, and mint is antispasmodic and carminative. Mustard, containing active compounds similar to horseradish, is also a crucifer; it is an excellent digestive, can help joint pains and problems of the chest and lungs, and can have anti-cancer properties. Oregano is sedative and calming, and a good diuretic.

Parsley is rich in vitamins A, B and C and many of the other nutrients of green leaves, notably iron and calcium. It is a natural antiseptic and diuretic. Rocket, used as both salad leaf and herb, is a recognized antiscorbutic because of its Vitamin C content. For medicinal purpose, the plant is most effective when gathered while still in flower. Rosemary is a very rich source of many bioflavonoids, and has many medicinal qualities; it is diuretic and stimulant, and can assist with stress. Saffron contains carotenoids. Sage is a natural antiseptic, tonic and stimulant. It is also antispasmodic and an antidote to fatigue and aids in the digestion of rich and fatty foods. Sorrel is rich in potassium and Vitamins A, B and C. It has a high oxalic acid content, so should be avoided by people suffering from gout, rheumatism or arthritis. The leaves may be used as a diuretic, tonic or mild laxative. Savory aids digestion and is diuretic.

Tarragon acts as a stimulant and calmant at the same time, aiding digestion. Thyme is a natural antiseptic because of its high thymol (essential oil) content; it is also diuretic and digestive. Turmeric is a powerful antioxidant. Watercress is rich in iron, Vitamin C and other minerals. It is effective in combating bronchial problems, protective against lung cancer, and stimulates the circulation. 

Source: Blanc Vite

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