Saturday, October 27, 2012

Detoxing and Nourishing Juice with Beetroots, Carrots, Radishes, Parsley and Lemon

Beetroots (especially raw) are famous for their amazing health benefits. Combined with carrots, parsley, radishes and lemon (all of which are highly praised for their nutritious properties), the result we get is a wonderful medicine and  a quite tasty one indeed! It is very nutritious, it cleanses your system, it aids and detoxifies the liver and kidneys, it aids the function of your gallbladder and bowels (it actually does miracles in case you suffer from constipation or diarrhea), it is great for your heart, it purifies the blood, aids digestion, it is absolutely great for your immune system and prevents disease!
This juice is packed with vitamins, minerals and other nutrients vital for our system. It is rich in vitamins A, C, E and B-complex, in beta-carotene, dietary fiber, phytochemicals, potassium, iron, magnesium, calcium, and copper.

So, give it a try!

You’ll need a juicer for this, and:

3 beetroots
6-7 carrots
2-3 radishes
7-8 stalks of parsley (with stems)
Juice of one lemon

Wash the beetroots, carrot, radishes, and parsley really well and put them into your juicer. Mix in the lemon juice. What a colour! Enjoy your drink immediately! 

Friday, October 26, 2012

The Benefits of Beautiful Beetroots!

This beautiful vegetable with its unique color is just incompatible as far as its nutritional values for our immune system are concerned! It has its origins in Southern Europe and its cultivation goes back to the time of the Assyrians. The ancient Greeks considered it of great value and the offered it to god Apollo at his temple in Delphi. In addition to that, a myth goes that Aphridite had been eating beets to retain her beauty!  Since the ancient times and until the present day, beetroots have been used for numeral medicinal purposes in traditional and alternative medicine. The Romans used it to treat fever; in medieval England they recommended it as the perfect food for elders, weak organisms and the crippled; in Eastern Europe they used beetroots to treat headaches and toothaches. In the late 1950's Hungarian doctor Alexander Ferenczi commenced one of the most remarkable and tremendously successful programs for treating many different kinds of cancer tumors, using only raw red beets. Further clinical tests reported in the International Clinical Nutrition Review of 1986 claimed rapid tumor breakdown in lung, prostate, breast and uterine cancers with the use of beetroot.  Apparently, beetroots contain a tumor-inhibiting, anti-cancerous active ingredient that some researchers think is the natural red coloring agent, betaine, but it has not been definitively isolated.  However, because the root is non-toxic, it may be administered in unlimited quantities and shows great potential. If you wish to read more about it press here.
It is important to note that some of their health benefits are greatly reduced by cooking. If you wish to cook them however (cause they are also delicious when cooked!) leave about 50 mm of their stem attached and leave dangling roots intact when cooking fresh beets to prevent loss of color (the skins slip off easily after cooking). The cooked beets are excellent served as a hot vegetable or they may be cooled and added to salads or they can be made into a tasty soup! I recommend you to try eating them raw, even without peeling them sometimes! They are surprisingly tasty and sweet when raw (just bear in mind that sugar-beet is a major source of refined sugar). You may add them raw in salads (they taste great with carrots), or add them in a juice, or make a raw beetroot soup, it even makes a great carpaccio! I often eating them plain as a snack, just like carrots!

Here is a list of the most important health benefits and medicinal uses of beetroots:

•    It is probably the most nutritious vegetable that exists! Rich in antioxidant vitamins A and C, vitamin B complex, fiber, proteins, fats, organic acids, complex carbohydrates of starches, gum, beta carotene, saponiside, phosphorus, sodium, sulfur, iodine potassium, magnesium, manganese, iron, calcium, and folic acid. The red color in the beetroot is not derived from carotenes, but from anthocyanin, the water-soluble, red betaine pigments, called betacyanin and betaxanthin..
•    They are a great laxative. They stimulate the bowel, prevent and cure constipation and fight hemorrhoids.
•    They are great for building a strong immune system. They are rich of nutrients that help stimulate the re-oxygenation of cells and the production of new blood cells.
•    They work as a mood-lifter! Beetroots have been shown to contain the compound betaine, which enhances the production of the body’s natural mood-lifter seratonin.
•    Their leaves have very similar benefits with spinach, which means that they are rich in b-carotene, folic acid, calcium and iron all of which are necessary nutrients for pregnant women.
•    They are a wonderful cleansing and nourishing tonic that builds and purifies the blood, particularly improving the blood quality for menstruating women.  It also normalizes the blood's pH balance (reducing acidity) and purifies the blood by flushing away fatty deposits and improving circulation.
•    They detoxify the liver and spleen and help to treat many liver ailments, including jaundice, cirrhosis and other liver diseases. Some herbalists use it to treat liver problems induced by alcoholism.
•    They are a great source of natural fruit sugar that is unlike cane sugar, which must be converted by digestive enzymes for the body to absorb it.  Beetroots are already in a more easily assimilated form and are energy creators and an important source of vitality to the human body. It is believed that they are helpful in cases of hypoglycemia.
•    Researches (London School of Medicine – 2008 and Queen Mary University of London – 2010) have indicated that Beet Root may significantly reduce blood pressure.   The two key beneficial ingredients appear to be nitrate (which is converted in the body into nitrite) and the mineral, potassium.  Nitrates dilate the arteries to the heart, increasing blood flow and dilate veins, also reducing the heart's workload.
•    Beetroot juice (due to nitrate again) may boost stamina and allow people to exercise considerably longer. 
•    They are a great cleanser. They remove accumulated toxins from the body through the skin and have been used in poultices to draw poisons.
•    They are good for glandular swelling and sore throat.
•    They are recommended for stomach and digestion problems.
•    They fight cancer, reducing and eliminating many different kinds of tumors. Apparently, Beet Root contains a tumor-inhibiting, anti-cancerous active ingredient that some researchers think is the natural red coloring agent, betaine, but it has not been definitively isolated.  However, because the root is non-toxic, it may be administered in unlimited quantities and shows great potential. If you eat too much raw beetroot, it can kill the cancer faster than your liver can dispose of the waste products. So in case of a large cancer, one should start with small quantities of beetroot, and gradually increase them until you start to feel unwell, and then back off the amount. You may get a fever if your liver is being asked to work too hard.
•    17th century herbalist Nicholas Culpepper recommended beetroots for their cleansing and digestive qualities. In addition, he prescribed them for obstructions of the liver and spleen, headache, running sores, ulcers, scabs, dandruff and other skin ailments.
•    They are good at accelerating the metabolic process, which usually lessens the risk of turning into fat.
•    It is believed that  they aid against Alzheimer's disease.
•    Although they are very beneficial for the kidneys, people suffering from kidney stones or other kidney and gallbladder issues should not overdo it with the quantity of raw beetroot juice (or they should consult their doctor about it).


Thursday, October 25, 2012

Hafiz's Gift

This is a great poem written by the 14th century sufi poet and mystic known as Hafiz (his given name was Shams-ud-din Muhammad and lived around 1320-1389). He was born in Shiraz (modern Iran), where he spent nearly all of his life and became a famous sufi master.When he died he was thought to have written about 5,000 poems of which only 500-700 survive. His Divan (collected poems) is cosnidered a classic in the literature of Sufism. The work of Hafiz became known to the West largely through the efforts of Goethe. He was also greatly admired by writers such as Nietzsche, Pushkin, Turgenev, Carlyle and GarcĂ­a Lorca. Hazrat Inayat Khan, the Indian teacher often credited with bringing Sufism to the West, proclaimed that “the words of Hafiz have won every heart that listens.”
Hafiz is known for his ecstatic tributes to Divine Love. As Daniel Ladinsky (the man that has dedicated his life studying and translating the poems of Hafiz) writes in the Preface of The Gift,
"Hafiz brings us nearer to God. This Persian Master is a profound champion of freedom; he constantly encourages our hearts to dance! [...] Hafiz's poetry is rooted in the beautiful human need for companionship and in the soul's innate desire to surrender all experience - except Light." 

This is poem is taken from his book The Gift and in a few simple words he gives us the definition of love.

The Sun Never Says


All this time
The sun never says to the earth,

"You owe



What happens
With a love like that,
It lights the
Whole Sky. 
 (Translated by Daniel Ladinsky)
Hafiz "The Gift", Translated by Daniel Ladinsky, Arkana, Penguin Group, 1999.