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Weak immune system
Sauerkraut is a symbol of German cuisine and is obtained by cutting the cabbage into thin slices and subjecting it to a fermentation process lasting a few months. Sauerkraut, however, has a very ancient origin that dates back to the Roman Empire when there was the need to have food supplies available in periods of time, such as winter, when fresh food was difficult to find. Fermentation preserves, or even improves, the nutritional values of cabbage and gives it a sour taste. Not for nothing it i...
The poria mushroom, scientific name Wolfiporia extensa, belongs to the Polyporaceae family and is also known as Poria cocos. This edible mushroom has been known and used by traditional Chinese medicine for more than 2000 years and, as often happens, in recent years science has also been interested in its properties, trying to verify and understand them. Poria mushroom, properties - Nowadays we know that, thanks to the presence of polysaccharides, triterpenoids and fatty acids, the poria fungus...
The prunum mume, also called the Japanese plum, is a fruit tree halfway between the plum tree and the apricot tree. The plant is native to China and produces fruits that, in shape and appearance, remind of an apricot. The fruits are dried and pickled for several months together with shiso leaves, or Laminaria Purpurea, which gives to the fruits their typical reddish color. After this process the fruits take the name of umeboshi plums. The umeboshi plums are the most common form with which people...
Food combinations and cooking methods, pumpkin Part 1
Pumpkin is the fruit of several plants of the Cucurbitaceae family. The pumpkin, depending on the type, may have a round or elongated shape, a smooth or lumpy skin and a more or less sweet pulp with inside flat and white seeds. In general, the pulp of the pumpkin is a powerful source of beneficial substances while it is considered poor in calories, around 26kcal per 100 grams. The pumpkin brings mineral salts, such as potassium, magnesium, calcium and zinc, vitamins, such as A, important for the...
The auricularia auricula judae, also known as wood ear or jelly ear, is an edible mushroom characterized by a particular ear-like elongated shape. This fungus grows on tree trunks, especially elder, and has been used since ancient times in China as a food and herbal remedy (Balakrishnan et al, International Journal of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences, Jan 2015). From the auricularia fungus a supplement is obtained with important medicinal properties, useful for the well-being of the organism...
Mu tea is not a particular type of tea but a mixture of herbs and roots able to tone the body, to stimulate the immune system and digestion, to protect the liver and the kidneys, to counteract water retention, fever, hemorrhoids and acne. This blend was formulated in the 50s by the Japanese Georges Ohsawa, considered the father of macrobiotics, and includes from 9 to 16 ingredients. Each ingredient of this special tea brings important healthy properties for different problems and all act in syne...
Selenium is a trace element essential for the body and health thanks to its antioxidant, anti-inflammatory and anti-tumor action, it is also beneficial for the heart, the immune system and the thyroid. Selenium was first described in 1817 and owes its name to the Greek term selene, which indicates the moon, referring to the light and silvery color that selenium assumes when it is melted and then cooled. In the past it was erroneously believed that selenium was toxic, however, in the 60s, this be...
Immune system, how to protect it Part 2, plants and foods
Viruses, bacteria, toxins and yes, even tumors, are all the aggressions from which the immune system defends us. That's why it's important to take care of it. There are lifestyle habits and particular food choices that can help strengthen the immune system, some more known, others less. We’ll see better in detail and we’ll try also to understand what remedies are really effective and supported by scientific studies. Vitamins - Vitamins C and E have powerful antioxidant and anti-inflammatory pr...
Immune system, how to protect it Part 1, healthy habits
The immune system is our shield, thanks to chemical reactions and biological processes it has the task of protecting us from any aggression, which can occur in the form of viruses, bacteria, parasites but also tumors, as emerged from recent scientific researches that are studying the connection between the immune system and cancer cells (Corthay et al, Front Immunol, May 2014 - Palmer et al, PNAS, Feb 2018). It is therefore important to take care of our defenses, whatever the season! Fortunately...
Aronia, scientific name aronia melanocarpa, is a bush belonging to the Rosaceae family. Its fruits, called aronia berries or chokeberries, are berries that, for what concerns their appearance, remind the blueberries but the taste is a bit sourer. Aronia berries can be found in the form of dried berries or in the form of juices. Chokeberries, properties – As for the properties, aronia berries are a source of vitamin K, useful for the health of bones and the proper blood clotting, vitamin C, gro...
Kombucha, the immortal health elixir
Kombucha is a fermented and sweetened tea of ancient tradition, consider that the first signs of this drink date back to Chinese dynasty Qin in around 250 B.C.. For Chinese people kombucha was and is the true health elixir, they call it indeed the immortal health elixir, considered able to balance and protect the digestive processes. From China the fame of this drink has grown all over the world and even science is focusing its attention on its healthy properties. Kombucha, what is and propert...
Stinging nettle, the herbal tea for health and beauty
Stinging nettle, scientific name urtica dioica, is a plant belonging to the Urtica genus well known for its action that causes stinging and itching on the skin. The leaves, indeed, are covered by hair that, when breaks, releases a substance that causes the rash. However, it is in fact this substance that makes the nettle so healthy. Stinging nettle is indeed a valuable natural remedy, known and appreciated for centuries for both the wellbeing of the body and the beauty of skin and hair. Stingi...
Wintersweet, scientific name Chimonanthus praecox, is a plant native to China. The shrub is very resistant to cold and is characterized by yellow, very scented flowers that bloom in the middle of winter until march and appear as a prelude to spring. It is precisely for this reason that the name of wintersweet is chimonantus, from the Greek cheimon winter and anthos flower, the winter flower. However, the wintersweet does not only have a beautiful ornamental role, but it also has interesting heal...
Food combinations and cooking methods, ginger Part 1
Ginger is a plant, scientific name Zingiber officinale family of Zinziberaceae, whose rhizome, also called root, is used to cook, thanks to its fresh aroma, and to prepare herbal remedies. Ginger is rich indeed in active substances, such as zingiberene, gingerol and shogaol, resins and mucilage. Thanks to these characteristics, ginger shows anti-inflammatory, antibacterial, anti-cancer and antioxidant properties. In addition, ginger is also able to keep at bay blood sugar, triglycerides and chol...
Uncaria tormentosa is a medicinal plant belonging to the Rubiaceae family. It is native to the rainforests of Amazonia and central America and is called also cat’s claw because of its hook-like thorns needed by the plant to climb on the trees. Used as a remedy since ancient times thanks to its healthy action, now the properties of uncaria are recognized also by scientists (Reis et al, Int Immunopharmacol, Mar 2008 – de Paula et al, J Altern Complement Med, Jan 2015). In particular, according to ...
The pomelo, also known as pummelo and pamplemousse, scientific name Citrus maxima, is a plant belonging to the Rutaceae family. This plant is becoming very popular thanks to its fruits, considered the most ancient citrus fruits cultivated by men. The fruits of pomelo are characterized by a smooth and green peel and by a flesh with a color ranging from yellow to red. These fruits have been considered since ancient times a remedy to stimulate the appetite, to protect and improve the functionality ...
Amla, scientific name Phyllantus emblica, is a plant of the Fillantaceae family and is known mainly for its fruits, similar to green plums, which have the same name. The fruits of amla are considered an elixir of long life, able to promote longevity and there is plenty of scientific studies supporting the Ayurveda tradition that considers amla one of the essential ingredients for good health. These berries have in fact a special protective action on the liver. In particular, amla, according to s...
Blackberries are the fruits of a plant, scientific name Rubus ulmifolius, belonging to the Rosaceae family. Blackberries have interesting healthy properties and, based on data reported in the database edited by the Department of Agriculture of the United States of America, these fruits are rich in vitamin C (21 mg per 100 grams of blackberries), important to support the immune system, to fight free radicals, to absorb iron and to regenerate the skin, K (almost 20 micrograms per 100 g, about a th...
Cistus, scientific name Cistus incanus, is a plant belonging to the Cistaceae family and is characterized by leaves with a rough surface similar to sage and beautiful violet pink flowers. This plant was well known and appreciated for its healthful properties since ancient times. However, over the years it has been forgotten and then, finally, discovered again also thanks to the numerous scientific researches about its incredible benefits. The cistus is in fact rich of polyphenols, powerful antio...
Balsamic vinegar is a condiment, typical of Italy, produced from the fermentation of grape must. It is a product that can be found in every supermarket, however, it is also little known, especially its healthful properties are not known. Yes, because the balsamic vinegar, added to salads or to flavor vegetables or even fruit, is not just a note of flavor in our recipes but can also help to preserve good health, so much that in the Middle Ages this type of vinegar was considered a medicine to tre...
Vitamin C, or ascorbic acid, is an essential substance to life, it is water-soluble and should be introduced in our body with diet or through supplements because the body isn’t able to produce it. Vitamin C is a powerful antioxidant, according to scientific studies (Vojdani et al, Cancer Detect Prev, 2000 or Padayatty et al, J Am Coll Nutr, 2003), supports immune system and protects the cells from the dangerous action of the free radicals. Vitamin C is able to lower the blood pressure by promoti...
Chaga mushroom, scientific name Inonotus obliquus, is a type of mushroom that generally grows on the bark of trees such as birch but also beech, oak and alder in regions characterized by cold weather such as Siberia, Alaska and part of north Canada. The name chaga comes from the Russian word used to indicate the mushroom. This mushroom has been used for centuries and now it is becoming popular thanks to its antioxidant properties, useful to counteract aging processes, wrinkles and dull skin, but...
Grapefruit, citrus paradisi, is a fruit tree belonging to the Rutaceae family. Its fruits, always called grapefruits, are round with a yellow skin and a bitter taste. The pulp instead can be light yellow or even pink. In particular, from hybridization with blood orange you can get a fruit with a sweet pulp and a bright pink color. In other cases the pink variant has been obtained by exposure to ionizing radiation, for example the two cultivars called Star Ruby and Rio Red, in this case the pink ...
Turnip or white turnip, scientific name Brassica rapa, is a plant of the Brassicaceae family, which includes also cauliflower, savoy cabbage and Brussels sprouts. There are different varieties of turnip, here we are speaking about white turnip, characterized by an edible, roundish root covered by a white-violet peel and with an inner white pulp. The root can be eaten raw, grated in salads, or cooked and added to soups. It is rich in vitamin C, very useful to support the immune system, but also ...
The satsuma tangerine is a citrus fruit native to Japan. The scientific name of the plant is Citrus unshiu and it is also known as myagawa. The peel is thin, green or yellow, even after ripening, and the pulp is orange, seedless, characterized by a sweet taste with a hint of bitterness. The ripe fruit can be harvested between October and December, is very resistant to cold and is a very appreciated delicacy rich in healthy properties, let's see them. The satsuma is particularly rich in antioxida...
The bladder cherry, scientific name physalis alkekengi, is a perennial plant of the family of the Solanacee, which includes also eggplant, potato and tomato. This plant is native to Europe and Asia and is characterized by small, round and orange fruits very similar to small tomatoes and covered by a five-lobed corolla, for this reason bladder cherry is also called Chinese lantern. These berries had already been known by ancient people, the Greek physician Dioscorides indeed used them for their d...
Hemp oil, or hempseed oil, is extracted through cold pressing from the seeds of Cannabis sativa, can be easily found in supermarkets or specialized shops in every Country and is well appreciated for its healthy properties. This plant based oil, indeed, is rich in essential fatty acids and characterized by antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties. Hemp oil contains fatty acids omega 3 and omega 6 in the right proportion 3-1 and, for this reason, it can be inserted in the diet of those people ...
Sencha green tea
A Chinese legend says that the discover of tea, 5000 years before Christ, was made by emperor Shen Nong, who used to boil water to purify it. One day, a leaf carried by the wind landed inside the cup. The Emperor was fascinated by the aroma and the color that came from it. But actually, the exact origin of tea is unknown, but what is certain is that this drink has been well known and appreciated for a long time thanks to its taste and its powerful properties. Although there are different varieti...
Wheat germ is a part of the caryopsis of the wheat, or Triticum aestivum. Although rich in nutrients, this part is removed together with the bran during grinding to obtain white flour. Wheat germ contains vitamins, such as vitamins from group B and E, which is a powerful antioxidant useful against free radicals and aging processes, mineral salts such as calcium, manganese, magnesium, phosphorus, but also folic acid, fibers and fatty acids omega 3, important to control cholesterol levels in the b...
Lassi is a very tasty and healthy drink made from yogurt, which is diluted in water and flavored. Very popular in India and an important ingredient in Ayurvedic tradition, lassi is easy to prepare and is really beneficial to our body. It is indeed able to improve digestion, increase appetite, regulate the bowel function by supporting the bacterial flora of intestine. In addition to this, lassi brings calcium, vitamins of group B, including vitamin B12 important to the metabolism and to the healt...
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