To get the full health benefit of garlic and onions you have to cut them up, and then wait 5 (garlic) and 10 (onions) minutes before using them. That way the health-promoting alliicin can form. If you don’t do that, you will miss out on all the beneficial effects. And then cook it, ideally, for no longer than 15 minutes. See .
Artificial sweeteners seem an obvious way to cut down on sugar. However, in fact they prompt us to eat more. Because real sugar gives you two hits of sweetness.
Proper sugar first activates sweet receptors on your tongue, boosting dopamine. Later it does it again: glucose is absorbed during digestion, so the reward system gets a second hit. With artificial sweeteners, you only get the first hit. So they decouple sweetness from satisfaction and leave people unsatisfied, so they compensate by eating more. From .
Did you know fruit and veg contain the most nutrition when they are ripe? Many nutrients are formed as the food ripens. Immediately after they are picked, their sugars begin to convert to starch, their cells begin to shrink and the nutrients start to diminish.
So the sooner you eat fresh foods, the more nutritious they are .
Some health tips which you may not have expected. Exercise when you’re tired? Don’t brush after eating if you want your teeth to stay healthy? Here they, and some others, are explained: .
If you buy meat at a butcher’s, this is what you get: meat.
If you buy it in a supermarket this is what you get: meat in Modified Atmosphere packing usually containing nitrogen and/or carbon dioxide and/or dioxygen. To make it look fresh. Not pleasant, and some of these can even be dangerous .
Since I found out that our local butcher – and not he alone, I expect – sells only free range meat and never puts rubbish in his sausages, I have religiously avoided supermarket meat sections. Farmers markets of course are best of all, and often cheaper. Here’s how to find those: . See also .
Evidence is emerging from multiple sources that gut flora can actually be permanently altered by drugs. At the very least, the damage persists for years. Even a short course of antibiotics can lead to resistant bacterial populations taking up residence in the gut, to stay there for up to 4 years – maybe even longer .
How to use safely the best natural antibiotics: see .
Here is the shoppers’ guide to the most, and the least contaminated foods. It’s American, of course – pity we don’t do that here – but it won’t be that different in Britain . See also their FAQs.
“Avoid food products containing ingredients that are A) unfamiliar B) unpronounceable C) more than five in number or that include D) high-fructose corn syrup”.
Says Michael Pollan, in ‘In Defense of Food: an Eater’s Manifesto’ .
And last but not least, a letter which appeared in the New Scientist as long ago as 2006.
“It seems to many of us in general medical practice in the UK that the (….) change to which the National Health Service is being subjected is largely driven by the drug companies. The resulting exponential rise in drug costs means that increases in health budgets are not translated into predicted health improvements, something that politicians seem unable to comprehend.”
24 May 2006, Steve Hawkins, GP, Truro .
And those were the good times – Tony Blair, remember? Labour in charge?
beetroot, calabrese, lettuce, french beans, kale, carrots, cauliflower (mini only), salad onions, (sugar) peas, radish, kohlrabi, mooli, turnip, chicory, Florence fennel, courgettes and pumpkins.
Sow swede and sweetcorn in early June. If the soil is above 25°C, sow crisphead, cos or little Gem only.
Plant out: courgettes, cabbage, sprouting broccoli, sprouts, celery, celeriac, ridge cucumbers, runner/french beans, pumpkins, tomatoes, sweet corn.
veg: broad beans, beet, cabbage, carrots, lettuce, new potatoes, artichokes, asparagus, broccoli, mangetout, peas, cauliflower, radish, spinach, spring onions, spring greens, watercress, kohlrabi, turnips, rhubarb, redcurrants, strawberries, gooseberries.
meat: lamb, wood pigeon .
fish: grey mullet, black bream, gurnard, pollock, whiting, mackerel, lobster, whelks, clams, cockles, coley, crabs, crayfish, flounder, grouper, gurnards, herring, megrim, scallops. See also http://eatseasonably.co.uk/what-to-eat-now/this-months-best/.
CARROT-THYME SOUP with CREAM*, 8 servings.
1400g carrots, 2l stock, 2 sprigs thyme, 120ml heavy cream*, salt (cumin). Other spices galore.
Put carrots, stock, and thyme in a pan. Bring to a boil, reduce heat and simmer for 45 mins – 1 hour. Puree, stir in cream. Season. Personally I think this soup can do with lots of spices, like curry or whatever you like. May need thinning.
* Try make it full fat if possible: this will help you absorb nutrients much better and does not make you fat [a].
in sarnies – good brown bread, thick spread of butter, sprinkle of salt
in a soup – just a plain potato, onion and stock base – add the watercress at the end, blitz and stir in a gloop of thick cream
sauteed as a side dish with pretty much any meat or fish dish you can think of.
EASY TURNIP GREENS
500g chopped turnip greens, shallot or small onion, 1 clove garlic or more, red pepper.
Cook greens, chopped onion, and squashed garlic in some salted water, stirring occasionally, for 5 minutes. Cook until greens are tender, for about 20 mins. Drain, add red pepper and heat through.
PAN-FRIED MACKEREL with POTATOES and BEETROOT
400g potatoes cut into chunks, 300g halved baby beet, 3 tbsp olive oil, 4 fresh mackerel, filleted or 8 mackerel fillets, (pinch of cayenne pepper), zest and juice of 1 lemon, 2 tbsp crème fraîche, handful fresh snipped chives.
Preheat oven to 200°C. Place potatoes and beet in a tin with 2 tblsp oil and roast for 40 mins. When they have been cooking for 20 mins, prepare mackerel. Slash along the skin side of the fillets and season with salt, pepper and cayenne. Heat remaining oil in a frying pan with the lemon zest and fry fish over a high heat for 2-3 mins on each side until the skin is crisp. Put potatoes and beet in a bowl and stir in lemon juice, crème fraîche and chives. Season, serve with the mackerel.
BROAD BEANS with SOUR CREAM*
1 unshelled kg broad beans, 1 tsp lemon juice, 1 tsp grated rind, 1 tsp mustard, 1 beaten egg yolk, 180ml sour cream*, nutmeg, 1 tsp chopped mint, salt, little soy.
Shell beans, steam till tender. Put everything bar the yolk in a in pan. Let thicken over low heat. Add yolk, stir, don’t boil. Serve immediately.
* See carrot soup above.
(SPRING) CABBAGE with BACON and CREME FRAICHE*
300g chopped bacon pieces, 1 chopped onion, sea salt, 1 green cabbage, 120ml crème fraîche.
Sauté bacon with olive oil until it begins to crisp. Add chopped onion with a pinch of salt and sauté for a few more mins until translucent. Cut cabbage into 1″ pieces. Add to bacon and onions, and cook for 10 mins or until it has wilted. Add crème fraîche and cook for 5 mins more, adjusting seasoning.
* See carrot soup above.
SALAD OF BABY PEAS and SPRING ONIONS, serves 4-6
500g baby peas, 10 sliced spring onions; 125g cottage/cream cheese or fromage frais, 1 tblsp lemon juice, 1 1/2 tblsp extra virgin olive oil, (thyme,) butter, salt, pepper.
Cook peas for 2 mins max., drain. Saute onions for 4 mins. Transfer to bowl, mix in warm peas. Whisk lemon, oil, seasoning, add veg. Crumble on cheese, serve immediately.
TRICK: how to improve simple meals for one or two people.
Boil veg as usual, using little water. Meanwhile, fry/sauté your meat or onions or fish or (boiled) potatoes or whatever you have to fry that day.
When things are ready, turn off the hobs and put what is in your frying pan on the waiting plate(s). Drain veg well, and quickly throw it in the still hot and greasy pan. Swivel it round in the fat a few times, and add it to your plate(s).
a) flavoursome veg which has not lost nutrients due to high-heat cooking; b) no wasted of oil/butter/fat; c) a frying pan which is much easier to clean. d) the fat which has been added to your meal, will help you absorb all those lovely vitamins and minerals. Dead easy – try it!
 http://whfoods.org/genpage.php?tname=george&dbid=136 and http://therightnutritionplan.com/2011/06/hidden-health-benefits-of-garlic-and-onions/.
 Trends in Endocrinology and Metabolism, vol 24, p 431
 Modified Atmosphere packing