If you are concerned you don't get enough of the good stuff in your diet, slip this lot into your daily routine and you can give yourself a hearty pat on the back. These gems are part of the plan for reducing inflammation, healing just about anything through increasing circulation and warming up chilly toes and fingers through the magic of warming herbs and spices. Researched by herbal scientist Dr. Kerry Bone, case studies show improvements for micro-circulation issues in kidneys, eyes, healing chronic back issues, lymphatic stagnation, and diabetes.
Natural medicine views our circulation as the deliverer of healing and herbalists are always on the lookout for ways to increase circulation to areas that need healing, whether it's for addressing fertility issues, period pain, warming toes or supporting good digestion. In any case, adding good things in is the easiest way to supercharge a diet without a huge fuss, feeling deprived or put off because you are cutting things out. Keep it all, just add in more! The clever thing is, the more good stuff you add in, the more the sometimes foods fade toward the background. All without even trying!
The Essential Foods List
– Silverbeet, bok choi, spinach, kale, choy sum, broccoli, parsley whatever takes your fancy. Buy them (or better still, grow them) and then eat them every day!
– Ideas include making a pesto and throwing in anything green that happens to be on your list, add raw cashews, some Himalayan salt, garlic, fresh pepper and a little parmesan into your food processor. Hey, presto, it's pesto. Sooo easy! Use lavish amounts of greens and dollop generously on vegies, salads, baked fish or whatever you are having.
– Stir-fry and have as a side (combine with grated beetroot, ginger, turmeric and garlic below for bonus points on the Essentials List).
– It is so easy to sneak finely chopped greens into your existing recipes. Greens can easily find a home in your spaghetti bolognaise, your favourite rissotto, lasagne or soups.
– Use grated in stir-fries, baked with other vegies, added into soups, risottos and dahls, or use as dipping sticks with hummus or your other favourite dips. The colour it adds to dishes is a vibrant deep red, the colour often used to stimulate appetite. Can't help but feel happy with some beetroot on your plate.
– ½ to 1 clove/day crushed and stirred through whatever savoury meal you’re having has a number of benefits for your health. Raw is best, crushed to liberate the benefits, so start slow and soon you'll be loving the tangy bite. It's also an immune booster so a great way to increase your resistance to colds too.
– Use smeared on a grainy piece of toast and top with chili, a twist of salt and your favourite sardines (or maybe avocado or fetta if you're not into these wonderful little packets of goodness!)
– If you're feeling indulgent, fetta makes a yummy dip for filled celery sticks (or try beetroot sticks!) mixed with fresh crushed garlic, olive oil and black pepper
– Buy powdered and fresh. Powdered is great in cereals or smoothies and fresh is great in cooked dishes or teas.
– Cook fresh ginger into your stir fired greens with some tamari or soy sauce and garlic tossed through.
– Add to porridges or cereals for some spicy warmth.
– Have a ginger tea. Grate your fresh ginger into a pot and pour over hot water.
– Try it as a marinade with olive oil, salt and pepper over fish and bake in the oven.
– Good quality, 85% Chocolate, 20g per day is recommended. I like Pana chocolate but you will find your fave, I'm sure 😉 Who can argue with a diet prescription that includes chocolate?
– Blueberries, strawberries, raspberries and blackberries, frozen or fresh.
– I love to stew a cup full of berries in a little water and eat them with Greek yoghurt, flaxmeal and mixed seeds or over a protein pancake.
– Berries are also great wizzed up with some milk of your choice (or water) as a smoothie.
– Cook them into a porridge (they turn out like sweet pockets of jam), or fresh!
Warming herbs and spices
– Such as green tea, turmeric, cinnamon, nutmeg etc.
– Have these on hand and add turmeric to stir fries (such as your greens and beets), add cinnamon to stewed berries, cereals, porridge or protein pancakes.
– And drink 3-4 small cups of green tea a day for antioxidant, circulation-boosting refreshment. Before 2pm of course – green tea does contain caffeine and we want to have a fab night's sleep too!
– Also check out this easy Sweet Pumpkin, Beetroot and Red Lentil Soup recipe for inspiration on how to spice up your day.