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Sources of Essential Nutrients

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A wide variety of natural foods is the basis of a healthy and balanced diet. The diversity of the following foods will provide you with many of the essential nutrients needed for building optimal health and vitalit.

A wide variety of natural foods is the basis of a healthy and balanced diet. The diversity of the following foods will provide you with many of the essential nutrients needed for building optimal health and vitality. Individual nutrient requirements vary according to lifestyle, age, hereditary and environmental factors, but the basics of a balanced diet remain virtually the same.

PDF Checklist of Natural Foods

Water

The body is comprised of about seventy percent water. This water is involved in almost every body process, including digestion, circulation, elimination and transportation of nutrients. At least eight glasses of water are needed daily to ensure proper functioning of the body's many systems. Water can also be taken in the form of freshly-pressed fruit or vegetable juices, vegetable broths or herbal teas. The ideal source is pure, natural spring water, but an effective water filtration system at home will help to remove the chemicals and heavy metals that may be in the water supply. Water supplies the trace elements we need, and helps to maintain the acid-alkaline balance in the body. Many common ailments can be alleviated by drinking more pure water

Vegetables

Low in fat and high in fiber, fresh, raw vegetables are teeming with thousands of nutrients called phytochemicals. Our discovery of phytochemicals is another clue to understanding the healing power of plants. Phytochemicals are a determining factor in the color and flavor of vegetables.

They act as the plant's natural immune system warding off disease and viruses. These same phytochemicals help to increase our body's immunity and help to support the body's ability to remove toxins.

These protective substances found in plants have been linked to the prevention of cancer, heart disease, diabetes and high blood pressure. They have the power to stop the development of cancer at a cellular level by activating enzymes that diffuse the destructive potential of carcinogens.

Vegetables, in their colorful and flavorful variety, are rich in complex carbohydrates, a great source of food energy. Vegetables also provide enzymes, fiber, vitamins and minerals that are essential for body functions, including complete and proper digestion. They are the perfect complement to protein foods, helping to aid in protein digestion. Almost all vegetables are alkaline-forming, providing a much needed balance to the acid-forming meats, dairy products and grains in our diets.

Fresh, raw vegetable or fruit juices provide a potent concentration of enyzmes and other raw food nutrients in a water base. Since the juicing process breaks down the cell membranes and discards the pulp, the body has more immediate access to the full power of the nutrients contained in the fruits and vegetables.

Dark green vegetables like spinach, collard greens, kale or leeks are particularly nutritious, providing iron, folic acid, riboflavin, vitamin C and other nutrients. The members of the cabbage family (cabbage, broccoli, cauliflower, Brussels sprouts and Chinese cabbage) are rich in vitamins and minerals, and are valuable preventives against cancer. They contain a substance called genistein, which has been shown to inhibit the spread of cancer tumors.

Root vegetables provide energy and can be stored for a long time and are therefore winter favorites. Dark yellow and orange vegetables such as pumpkins, winter squash, carrots and yams keep eyes and skin healthy.

Local vegetables are the most well-suited to the needs of our body and digestive system as determined by the climate where we live. Among the many nutritious North American vegetables are carrots, broccoli, kale, dandelion-related salad greens, green beans, corn, cauliflower, squashes, onions and garlic. Garlic and onions should be used liberally since they have many healing properties, including boosting the immune system.

Vegetables introduced into North America a few centuries ago include members of the nightshade family such as tomatoes, potatoes, eggplant and green peppers.

Some of the wild plants growing in and around our gardens can be picked in the early spring and eaten as delicious greens. Eaten raw or lightly steamed, they are blood-purifying cleansers. The young leaves of dandelion, stinging nettle and lambs quarters can be combined in a salad for a burst of vitamins and minerals.

Sprouts are easy to make at home. They are a fresh, inexpensive source of "greens" in the winter months or any time of the year. Sprouting releases nutrients from seeds, beans and grains. Try sprouting soy beans, lentils, clover, alfalfa, sunflower seeds, buckwheat or other seeds and beans. Sprouts are most nutritious if they have been exposed to the sun after germination; with sun exposure, sprouts turn green producing chlorophyll.

Sea Vegetables

Sea vegetables are particularly valuable and deserve a more important place in our diets. Each type contains a rich source of vitamins, minerals, trace minerals and iodine. Sea vegetables, such as dulse, nori, kombu, wakame and hijiki are extremely rich in vitamins, amino acids and minerals, containing ten to twenty times the minerals of land vegetables. Seaweeds are especially rich in iodine, calcium, iron and vitamins A, C, D, E and K.

The most popular sea vegetables are dulse (harvested off the coast of Canada in the northern Alantic) and nori (widely used in Japan). Nori is harvested on rope nets and dried at low temperatures in flat, square forms. It is most commonly used for making sushi.

Buy dulse dried and packaged; cut it up and sprinkle on salad. Kelp powder can be used as a salt substitute in soups or sprinkled on salads. Norwegian kelp is the best variety. Hijiki, soaked for a few hours and drained, makes a mineral-rich addition to salads.

Legumes

Legumes are a special category of vegetables which grow in a pod. These include beans, chick peas, peas, soy beans and lentils. They are a rich source of protein, iron, calcium, zinc, B vitamins and fiber. Legumes are extremely versatile and can be used in hundreds of ways including baked, in soups, casseroles, stews, vegetarian patties and burgers, and even milks, such as soy milk.

Beans and lentils are a main food staple in many parts of the world. Mexican, Chinese and Middle Eastern cultures consume legumes on a daily basis in a variety of forms.

Soy beans and lima beans are alkaline-forming, while lentils are acid-forming. Before cooking legumes, soak one part legumes in four parts water for twelve hours or overnight, changing the soaking water two or three times. Throw away the final soaking water, and use fresh water to cook. This softens the skins, begins the sprouting process, and eliminates the binding of phytic acid to minerals.

Remove and discard any foam that forms on the water while cooking. A piece of kelp (kombu) or some fennel or cumin added during cooking will aid digestibility. A weak digestive system may not have sufficient enzymes needed to do the task. Supplement with digestive enzymes temporarily.

Soaking legumes makes them more easily digested. To avoid gas formation, add a little lemon juice or apple cider vinegar to the water before serving. If beans are being used in a salad, marinate the cooked beans in apple cider vinegar and olive oil. Vinegar breaks down protein chains and indigestible compounds.

Eat only small amounts of legumes at first and chew well to encourage the body's own formation of the enzymes necessary to digest them. Gradually introduce mashed legumes to children at around nine to twelve months of age. Adzuki beans, lentils, mung beans and peas are easiest to digest.

PDF Table of Cooking Times for Legumes

Fruits and Berries

Fresh fruits and berries are a delight to the taste buds, and a rich source of vitamins, minerals, enzymes, fiber, vitamin C and beta-carotene. Include at least two servings each day of fruits that are high in vitamin C. Local, fresh fruits, seasonal are the ideal choice.

Fruits, especially apples and berries, provide the valuable, water-soluble fiber pectin and other fiber, such as cellulose, which keeps the intestines working properly. The white, inner peels of citrus fruits contain bioflavonoids, which help the body absorb vitamin C. Most fruits are alkaline forming, including fruits with a sour, acidic flavor such as lemons and limes. Fruits, therefore, form a good balance to acid-forming grains.

Freshly made fruit juice is a highly concentrated source of nutrients, but only if it is absolutely fresh. After only a short time, exposure to oxygen and micro-organisms begins to ferment the juice. Oxygen and enzymes contained in the juices destroy vitamins and fruit acid. To maximize the full benefit of fruit it is wise to invest in a good juicer and drink fresh juice daily.

Whole Grains

Whole grains have been the basis of the human diet for thousands of years. The word "meal" literally means ground grain. Grains play a particularly important part in a vegetarian diet. They are an excellent source of the trace minerals, fiber, unsaturated fatty acids, lecithin, vitamin E, B-complex vitamins and complex carbohydrates.

Whole grains contain complex carbohydrates that are broken down during digestion and converted to glucose, the substance the body prefers to burn for energy. Complex carbohydrates are much healthier than refined sugars (simple carbohydrates) because they are digested more slowly and provide a sustained supply of energy.

Complex carbohydrate molecules are made of glucose (sugar) in the form of straight chains. Enzymes break open the bonds connecting the sugar chains, releasing vitamins and minerals which help the body metabolize the carbohydrates completely. Complex carbohydrates contain fiber which promotes smooth digestion and metabolizes slowly. In contrast to refined sugars, complex carbohydrates found in whole, unrefined grains are nutrient dense.

Grains cannot be eaten raw, and need to be soaked, sprouted or cooked to be digestible. Grains contain phytin, which, if raw cannot be metabolized by the body. Once prepared, grains are perhaps our most nutritious food.

Most whole grains, such as brown rice, are prepared by pouring one cup of brown rice into a one or two quart pot; add two cups of cold, filtered water. Bring to a boil and reduce the heat to the lowest temperature; cover with a tight-fitting lid, and let steam for forty-five minutes to one hour. Serve immediately or use the cooked rice in casseroles, soups or rice pudding.

Store grains in clean, tightly closed containers in a dry, cool place. Whole wheat kernels, spelt, kamut and buckwheat have thick outer layers and store for many years under dry, cool conditions. Rice can be stored for about two years. Millet has a very thin outer layer and will go rancid more quickly. A few whole bay leaves inserted into your grain container will act as a natural deterrent to worms.

Grains can be eaten in the form of pasta, cereals or bread. Buckwheat, rice or wheat make excellent pasta. Commercially-prepared dried pasta is usually made from processed white flour, so be sure to buy wholegrain varieties, or make it yourself. Often a vegetable such as spinach or carrot is mixed with the grain for added color and flavor. Choose cereals that are rolled, milled or cracked whole grains. The healthiest breakfast cereal is a muesli made from soaked rolled oats and fresh fruit and nuts. Congee is a porridge made from grain simmered in five to six times the amount of water. Millet and spelt can also be used to make congee. Cook four to six hours on low heat–crockpots are ideal. Congee is very easily digested and strengthens your spleen and pancreas. Other foods cooked with the congee are also more easily digested. Whole grain breads can be made from a variety of grains. Avoid "fortified" white bread, which contains little nutritive value due to processing, and is further damaged by the addition of preservatives and bleaching agents.

PDF List of Bioflavonoids Best Food Sources

PDF of Grain Facts

Eggs

Eggs from free-range chickens are a balanced food which have mistakenly been considered the culprits of excessively high cholesterol levels. They contain cholesterol, but this is emulsified by the lecithin they also contain. Lecithin enables fats, including cholesterol, to be dispersed in water and eliminated from the body. Eggs are an excellent source of protein, sulfur, iron and vitamin A, and provide a valuable source of vitamin B12 for people who do not eat meat. In addition, eggs contain choline, tryptophan (which is converted into vitamin B3), biotin, folic acid, vitamin B2, vitamin B1, vitamin B5, selenium, zinc, phosphorus, magnesium and calcium. Eggs from free-range chickens have bright yellow-orange yolks and thick, strong shells and a better flavor than commercial eggs produced on factory farms. In addition, caged chickens and their eggs produce much lower levels of the beneficial omega-3 and omega-6 essential fatty acids than free-range chickens

Milk and Dairy Products

Once touted as an absolutely integral part of the human diet, the health benefits of milk and milk products have come under fire. The hormones and antibiotics used in the production of milk are cause for concern. Organically-produced milk and milk products are the safest and healthiest sources. Commercially produced milk products have been pasteurized, homogenized and supplemented with synthetic vitamin D.

Pasteurization kills harmful bacteria, but also denatures all enzymes and changes the chemical structure of proteins and fats in milk. Homogenization breaks down fat globules, releasing xanthine oxidase, a harmful enzyme that damages arterial walls after being absorbed by the body. Milk contains many of the same unhealthy fats and additives as red meat. It also contains the antibiotics given to cows and the toxic pesticides used on their feed. It is best to find a source of fresh milk from a local dairy with free-range cows.

Milk is rich in B vitamins, especially B6 and B12; it also contains vitamins A, D and E, potassium, calcium, phosphorous, sodium, traces of zinc, copper, iron, selenium, manganese and vitamin C. Milk's value as a useable calcium source may be overrated, however, since high levels of animal-source protein and fat is suspected of reducing calcium absorption.

Natural cheeses imported from Europe, especially Switzerland, are made from raw milk from cows grazing only on unsprayed meadows. Europeans have been raising dairy cows since ancient times, while many African cultures never raised animals for milk. Even today, the diets of your ancestors influence your body's ability to digest and metabolize different foods. Up to eight percent of Caucasians have difficulty digesting milk and over eighty percent of African-Americans have difficulty. People of Asian extraction also experience a tendency to be lactose intolerant. Sometimes a food allergy is at fault, or poor quality milk or a lack of digestive enzymes.

The most ideal sources of digestible milk products are cultured or fermented, such as natural yogurt and kefir. These products have been partly predigested by friendly bacteria, so they are well tolerated even by people who do not have sufficient lactase in their intestines to digest milk. These foods help maintain healthy bacterial flora in the intestines.

Make sure natural yogurt still contains live culture, such as acidophilus or bifidus, and is not thickened with additives like guar gum, locust beans, gelatin or carrageenan. Unsweetened yogurt is most readily digested. Bacterial cultures in commercially-prepared yogurts are often destroyed to increase shelf life, so look for the words "live culture" on the container.

Goat milk is more suited to the human digestive system than cow's milk since the fats in goat's milk are closer in composition to those of human milk. Natural, raw-milk goat cheeses are a healthier alternative because they are not mixed with antimold chemicals or preservatives as are most conventional cheeses.

PDF Table of Grain Cooking Times

PDF List of Calcium Sources Excluding Milk

Butter

Natural butter added to a prepared dish just before serving adds flavor and aroma. Butter is great for baking and sauteing.

Butter also contains a considerable amount of unsaturated fatty acids and is one of the best sources of fat-soluble vitamins. Butter's saturated fat molecules are extremely short, making them easy for the body to digest and burn as fuel. Buy unsalted butter; it is fresher and lower in sodium. Make sure no artificial color has been added.

The human body can digest butter more easily than other saturated fats. To illustrate this point, try holding butter in your hand. It will quickly melt. Since your body temperature is just as warm on the inside, butter will similarly dissolve when ingested, since the average human body temperature is 98.6°F (37°C) and is much warmer than the melting point of butter. Try the same experiment with margarine, shortening, beef fat or other animal fat. You will notice these fatty substances will not melt in your hand. Likewise, they will not dissolve in your body and become very difficult to digest, clogging arteries, causing blood platelets to stick together, and eventually causing heart problems and high blood pressure. No study has ever established a link between butter and heart disease.

Better Butter

1 cup unrefined essential-fatty-acid-rich oil
1 lb butter (softened)

Blend together in a blender or beat with a hand mixer or wisk until thoroughly mixed. Place in an airtight container and refrigerate. Better Butter will remain soft and spreadable.

PDF Table of the Nutritional Analysis of Butter

Meat, Fish and Poultry

Before the advent of industrialized meat production, animals grazed and ate nutritious natural diets. The meat from these healthy animals provided an important source of complete protein, B vitamins, phosphorus, iron, sulfur, potassium, copper and essential fatty acids. Animals raised on today's factory farms are fed a diet of grains rather than greens, and suffer from a complete lack of exercise. This has a devastating effect, drastically increasing the composition of unhealthy fats in the meat. The antibiotics routinely administered to cows, pigs, lambs and chickens compromise the quality of meat and lower the consumer's resistance to diseases. Growth-stimulating hormones injected into animals disturb human hormonal systems. Animals are sprayed with insecticides to control flies, and given oral larvacides, called toxic organophosphates. Organically-raised meat from grass-fed animals is available and is the healthiest source if you choose to eat meat. Buy chickens fed a natural diet without the use of antibiotics and growth hormones. Wild fish, especially salmon, sardines, mackerel and albacore tuna are among the richest sources of essential fatty acid derivatives that protect against heart disease, cancer and inflammatory diseases

Nuts and Seeds

Nuts and seeds are tasty, versatile foods that nourish the brain, nerves and skin. Edible nuts include walnuts, hazelnuts, almonds, pecans, pinenuts, cashews and coconuts. The seed family includes sunflower seeds, flax seeds, sesame seeds and pumpkin seeds. Nuts and seeds have a higher content of complete protein than all other plants, with the exception of the soy bean. Raw nuts and seeds are the best dietary sources of the essential polyunsaturated fatty acids omega-3 alpha-linolenic acid and omega-6 linoleic acid.

When roasted, the natural fats in nuts turn into toxic molecules and become less digestible. Nuts have a high mineral content. They are good sources of calcium, magnesium, phosphorus and potassium. The natural sodium content of unsalted nuts is very low. Nuts contain vitamin E and are rich in the B vitamins, especially B3 and biotin.

Unsprouted, raw seeds and nuts contain enzyme inhibiters and can be soaked in water overnight to make them easier to digest. Nut "milk" can be made and used in most recipes calling for cow's milk. Pour two cups of filtered water into a blender; add half a cup of raw, organically-grown sunflower seeds; blend on medium high speed for one minute or until the "milk" is a light and frothy texture; sweeten with honey or maple syrup and add a drop of pure vanilla flavor.

Health Benefits of Nuts and Seeds

Nuts and Seeds - Nuts and seeds are tasty, nutritional foods for your brain, nerves and skin. Nuts include walnuts, hazelnuts, almonds, peanuts, pecans, pinenuts, cashews and coconuts. Seeds include sunflower seeds, flax seeds, sesame seeds and pumpkin seeds. Nuts and seeds have a higher content of complete protein than all other plants, with the exception of the soybean. Nuts and seeds are the best dietary source of the essential polyunsaturated fatty acids: omega-3 linolenic acid, omega-6 linoleic acid and gamma-linoleic acid. They are essential fats that the body cannot manufacture itself but does require. These essential fatty acids are transformed in the body into prostaglandins, a hormone-like substance the body needs daily. As with many vitamins, prostaglandins cannot be stored in the body.

Unrefined, cold-pressed nut and seed oils are a concentrated source of linolenic and linoleic acid. They contain these two essential fatty acids in varying proportions, usually with more omega-6 linoleic acid. An exception is flax seed oil which contains more omega-3 linolenic acid. For this reason, unrefined, cold-pressed flax seed oil, used daily on salads and in any dishes which do not require heating to high temperatures, is a most valuable addition to your diet.

Nuts have a high mineral content; they are good sources of phosphorus for your brain, for the formation of red blood cells, and of sulphur content for the liver. Nuts are rich in the B vitamins, especially niacin and biotin, and also contain vitamin E.

Pecans – contain beta-sitosterol which is important for preventing hardening of the arteries. They are also a good source of vitamin E, calcium, manganese and selenium.

Cashews – help prevent osteoporosis because of their high magnesium content. Magnesium is also important for muscle relaxation. Cashews are forty-six percent fat and seventeen percent protein, providing a good source of vitamins B1, B2 and B5.

Almonds – are also rich in magnesium and beneficial for the muscles, skin, nails, teeth and bones. Almonds are alkali-forming and are the most durable nut. Even when shelled they are slow to become rancid. The best way to eat almonds, as with all nuts, is fresh and raw.

Peanuts – are a good source of the essential fatty acids and benefit your heart and circulation. Peanuts help prevent tooth cavities by neutralizing mouth acidity.

Hazelnuts – have a high protein content and are forty-eight to sixty-six percent fat. They are a good energy food for diabetics and for persons trying to gain weight.

Walnuts – are a good source of the essential fatty acids.

Sunflower seeds and pumpkin seeds – are good sources of zinc.

Flax seeds – provide linolenic and some linoleic acids, and also fiber, which helps elimination.

Sesame seeds – are an excellent source of essential fatty acids and calcium.

*Check for allergies before giving any nuts or seeds to children.

Fats and Oils

The nutty flavors of cold-pressed oils are a delicious addition to the natural foods pantry. Choose fresh, unrefined oils that have been pressed at a low temperature without exposure to light and oxygen. Check the "best before" date and use within six months after opening the bottle. Be certain to keep oils refrigerated after opening. To extend shelf life of oils to three to five years, freeze them solid. You can use glass bottles since oil shrinks when frozen. (Oils that have not been used before the expiry date can be used as luxuriant bath oils by putting a teaspoon of the oil into the bath, along with a few drops of a pure essential oil, while the water is running.)

The unhealthy sources of fats and oils which must be avoided include all hydrogenated and partially hydrogenated oil products such as shortenings and margarines.

It is always best to eat oils in their natural, unheated form. Heating oils destroys their nutritional value and encourages rancidity and free radical production, but if you choose to cook with oils, the following guidelines will serve as a reference for the most healthful way of cooking with fats and oils:

Oils that should not be heated:

  • flax oil
  • walnut oil
  • soy bean oil
  • EFA-rich blends
  • pumpkin oil
  • safflower oil
  • sunflower oil

Oils which are less toxic when lightly sauteed at low temperatures:

  • olive oil
  • hazelnut oil
  • sesame oil
  • almond oil

Oils which are least toxic when fried:

  • butter
  • clarifed butter (ghee)
  • coconut oil
  • coconut butter

Nutritional Yeast

Nutritional yeast contains forty percent high-quality protein, and is the best food source of most of the B vitamins. It stimulates breast-milk production, contains trace minerals, selenium, zinc, iron and chromium, which helps to activate the body's Glucose Tolerance Factor needed for sugar metabolization. It can be taken in powder form, one tablespoon with half a glass of juice, before meals, two to three times a day. It can also be sprinkled on salads, in sauces, on air-popped popcorn and used in spreadable form on bread. It is rich in phosphorus and is best taken with a calcium supplement or calcium-rich foods such as sesame seeds

Wheat Germ

Wheat germ is the tiny embryo of the wheat kernel from which the new plant starts to grow. Wheat germ contains a high concentration of vitally important nutrients. It is one of the best dietary sources of vitamin E available, and is also an excellent source of complete protein. It contains essential fatty acids, most B vitamins, iron, phosphorus and natural estrogen. It must be absolutely fresh, since it becomes rancid and harmful after about ten days. It is best to only purchase wheat germ in vacuum-sealed packages that have been stored in a cooler or freezer. Wheat germ must not be cooked, but can be sprinkled on salads, in soups, or mixed with milk or yogurt. Take two to four tablespoons a day

Yogurt

Yogurt, containing active lactic-acid bacteria, is one of nature's most healing foods. The friendly bacterial culture in yogurt makes it more easily digested than milk and it can sometimes even be taken by those with lactose intolerance. It is an excellent source of protein and vitamin B12. When eaten regularly, yogurt encourages the colonization of friendly bacteria in the intestinal tract, preventing yeast-related problems and strengthening the immune system. Furthermore, yogurt prevents constipation and other gastrointestinal problems. Buy natural yogurt, unsweetened and without added fruit, or you can make your own with a yogurt maker, available from your natural food store.

Kefir

Kefir is an excellent food made from milk or soy milk that has been fermented with a kefir culture. It is similar to yogurt, but with its own unique, flavor and texture. Many people prefer kefir to yogurt. Kefir has all the advantages of yogurt; it is great for lactose-intolerant people and it works as a probiotic in the intestinal tract, promoting the growth of friendly bacteria. Natural food stores supply small home kefir makers in kit form containing live kefir grains that can be kept going almost indefinitely.

The Melting Point of Fats in the Human Body

If the melting point of a particular fat is higher than the body's normal temperature (98.6°F/37°C), the fat molecules that have been ingested will not maintain their liquid solubility in the bloodstream. These unmelted fats will aggregate in the bloodstream and cause arterial blockages and lead to cardiovascular disease.

Sauerkraut

While sailing around the world in the eighteenth century, Captain Cook kept his crew healthy with sauerkraut. It is rich in vitamin C and beneficial lactic-acid bacteria. It has been noted that healing is accelerated when raw sauerkraut is eaten as a regular part of the diet. Sauerkraut is a lactic-acid fermented food that is also effective against arteriosclerosis, rheumatism, gout and liver problems. It has been known to have a positive effect in the treatment of asthma, constipation and diabetes. Sauerkraut is an antibacterial agent and can kill typhoid fever bacteria. The antibacterial action decreases the longer the sauerkraut has been exposed to air. Sauerkraut should not be overcooked. The best way to eat sauerkraut is to prepare it yourself and eat it raw

Making Your Own Sauerkraut

Use an earthenware crock or wooden barrel. Cut white cabbage into narrow strips. Place a layer of cabbage about four to six inches deep in the crock, then sprinkle on some juniper berries and cumin seeds. Continue to add cabbage and spices in layers until the container is full. Press each layer down hard so that there is as little air as possible. Cover the cabbage with a clean cloth. Place a board on top and weigh it down with a heavy stone. Let the cabbage stand for three to four weeks in a warm place. Remove foam occasionally and rinse the cloth, board and stone from time to time in clean warm, then cold water. When the sauerkraut is ready, store in a cool place. Other vegetables, such as beets, carrots, green peppers and celery can also be lactic-acid fermented using this same method. The best and easiest way to ferment cabbage and other vegetables is by using a special fermentation pot with a fermentation lock available at some health food stores

Garlic

Garlic has been called the "king" of the vegetable kingdom (with the onion as the "queen"). It has been used since the time of the ancient Babylonians to cure and prevent disease because of its antibiotic properties. In Russia it is used extensively and called "Russian penicillin." Modern scientific studies have shown that garlic contains a number of medicinal agents, including allicin, ajoene and sulfur. Garlic's allicin content acts as an effective antibacterial agent, especially for throat infection, typhoid and dysentery. The ingredient called alliin has effective antifungal properties and helps thin the blood. The sulfur in garlic can reduce the risk of cholesterol deposits in the arteries and counteract hypertension. Garlic also contains selenium and germanium, powerful antioxidants which help reduce the risk of degenerative diseases such as cancer. Garlic has been shown to inhibit the production of the cyclic guanosine monophosphate (cGMP), which encourages cancer tumor cells. It has also been

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