RECIPE: WINTER PEAR, POMEGRANATE & SPINACH SALAD WITH HAZELNUTS
If you’re looking for the perfect starter to a romantic dinner, or simply want to treat yourself to a festive salad robust in color, crunch and flavor, then this winter salad is the one for you. Pomegranate seeds add beautiful color against the dark green and nutrient rich spinach. Not to mention, the uniquely tangy-sweet pomegranate is an excellent source of antioxidants. The juicy strips of Bartlett pear provide a sweet balance to the radicchio. The entire salad is complemented by the crunch of toasted hazelnuts and a lemon-thyme based dressing. The result is super-nutritious and super-delicious!
- 3/4 cup unsweetened pomegranate juice
- 1 tbsp. fresh lemon juice
- 2 tsp. roasted hazelnut oil or extra-virgin olive oil
- 1/2 tsp. kosher salt
- 1/2 tsp. minced fresh thyme leaves
- 1/8 tsp. freshly ground black pepper
- 5 oz. spinach leaves
- 3/4 cup finely shredded radicchio (from 1 head)
- 1/2 cup pomegranate seeds*
- 1/2 cup coarsely chopped toasted hazelnuts
- 1 large firm-ripe Bartlett pear
Cut a pomegranate into chunks. Put chunks in a bowl of water, and working underwater, use your hands to break seeds free from pith.
GARLIC, GOOD FOR YOUR HEART!
It may not smell like a lily, but Garlic (Allium sativum) is an edible bulb from the lily family. Fondly known to herbalists as “the stinking rose,” for centuries, there has been many traditional medicine uses for Garlic, including treatment of skin conditions, immune support, antimicrobial and, to reduce risk for cancer and heart disease. In fact, Garlic is one of the most widely studied herbal supplements for its beneficial effects on the heart.
Garlic contains several vitamins and minerals that support heart health, including vitamin B6, vitamin C, manganese, and selenium. But it’s the chemicals that give garlic its pungent odor that scientists believe are the source of the herb’s heart health-promoting effects. Garlic is rich in the allicin, alliin, and ajoene- antioxidant compounds that help reduce the risk for cardiovascular disease.
Studies on garlic and the cardiovascular system typically use garlic powder, oil, or aged extracts. To date, the effects of garlic on the heart that are supported by science include:
- Slows the development of atherosclerosis (hardening of the arteries)
- Reduces blood pressure
- Reduces triglycerides and therefore lowers total cholesterol
The amount of active compounds supplied by garlic supplements can vary because allicin is very sensitive to things such as air and heat. For example, aging garlic to reduce its odor also reduces the allicin present and compromises the effectiveness of the product.
Generally safe for most adults, taking a garlic supplement can cause heartburn, upset stomach, an allergic reaction, and breath and body odor (common with raw garlic). Garlic should not be taken by persons who are preparing for surgery or who have bleeding disorders because it can impair the body’s ability to form blood clots.
- World’s Healthiest Foods: Garlic.
- National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health. Garlic.
- Medline Plus. Herbs and Supplements: Garlic. (Includes information on garlic interactions with other drugs)
- Karagodin VP, Sobenin IA, Orekhov AN. Antiatherosclerotic and Cardioprotective Effects of Time-Released Garlic Powder Pills. Curr Pharm Des. 2015 Nov 12.
- Seki, T. and Hosono, T. Prevention of Cardiovascular Diseases by Garlic-Derived Sulfur Compounds. Jnl of Nutritional Science & Vitaminology (Tokyo). 2015. 61 Suppl:S83-85. doi: 10.3177/jnsv.61.S83. Date Accessed: Dec 8, 2015.
HAWTHORN (Crataegus oxyacantha)
Hawthorn, also known as Maybush, is a thorny shrub found on hillsides and in sunlit woodsey areas throughout the world. Over centuries, all parts of the plant have been used to prepare foods, beverages, and medicines. In folk medicine, Hawthorn was used for the treatment of diarrhea, insomnia, and asthma. In China, it has been used to treat digestive problems, high cholesterol, poor circulation, and shortness of breath. During the early 1800s, doctors in North America used Hawthorn to treat heart conditions, circulatory, and respiratory disorders.
- Hawthorn. Complementary and Alternative Medicine Guide. University of Maryland Medical Center Online.
- Johnson, Rebecca L. & Foster, Steven et al., National Geographic Guide to Medicinal Herbs: The World’s Most Effective Healing Plants. (National Geographic Society. (2010, 2014), 123-125.
- Hawthorn Berry (Crateagus Oxycanthus): Health Benefits.
- Mars, Bridgitte & Fiedler, Chrystle. Home Reference Guide to Holistic Health & Healing. (Beverly, MA: Fair Winds Press. 2015.), 189.
- Dahmer, S., Scott, E. “Health Effects of Hawthorne,” Amer Family Phys. (Feb 15, 2010) 81:4, 465-468. Accessed: Dec. 09, 2015
THE POWER OF BREATH: LOWER BLOOD PRESSURE, REDUCE STRESS
When you don’t manage stress effectively you place an unnecessary burden on the one muscle that keeps you alive: the heart. When you’re stressed, your body goes into “fight or flight” response. The brain releases hormones that cause your heart to pump faster, thicken your blood, and raise blood pressure. If you constantly experience this stress response, it eventually changes the way the heart and blood system function-putting you at risk for heart disease.
There’s a “cure” you can use anytime, anywhere to change the way you respond to stress and actually lower blood pressure and protect your heart from the deadly grip of stress. Cardiologist, Dr. John Kennedy, developed ‘The 15 Minute Heart Cure’- a set of simple breathing techniques that creates a connection between the heart and brain. This method helps you calm down, re-energize, and protects your heart all at the same time.To get the most out of using this technique, try to do it at the same time each day.
B in B-R-E-A-T-H-E = Beginning. Begin in a quiet space where you won’t be interrupted for 15-minutes. Begin with a positive attitude. View this time as a gift to your health. Seated in a comfortable position, try to clear all thoughts and bring focus to the your breath, slowly inhaling through the nose and exhaling through the mouth.
R in B-R-E-A-T-H-E = Relaxation. Relaxation brought about by this technique creates changes in brain waves and the rhythm of your heart. Visualize yourself walking on a ‘path to relaxation’, perhaps a beautiful hiking path. With each step, you become more and more relaxed.
E in B-R-E-A-T-H-E = Envision. Walt Disney, Steve Jobs and Deepak Chopra are called visionaries for good reason. Research shows envisioning is an important part of achieving a goal- be it a story, a revolutionary digital device, or a new paradigm in medicine. Imagine your heart as powerful and strong. Research also shows that imagery can lower your heart rate, lower blood pressure, and strengthen your immune system.
A in B-R-E-A-T-H-E = Apply. In Dr. Kennedy’s book, there are heart-healing images and metaphors for you to apply during your 15-minute practice and during stressful moments. Tapping into the imagery, even from memory, can help break the cycle of stress in the moment it is happening.
T in B-R-E-A-T-H-E = Treatment. Your time spent with this technique is no different than taking time for a spa-treatment. See this time as a 15-minute oasis that you create.
H in B-R-E-A-T-H-E = Heal. This technique will strengthen neural networks that connect your heart and brain so that your body easily shifts from stress response to relaxation response. Healing is more likely to occur in a relaxed state, bringing more oxygen into muscles, lowering pulse rate and blood pressure, and enhancing immune response.
E in B-R-E-A-T-H-E = End. After 15-minutes of mindful focus on the breath and heart-healing imagery, you will feel deeply relaxed and energized and revitalized. As you end your session, quietly notice your surroundings and visualize how you can use the technique throughout your day. See the Resources list for more detailed instructions and information about the book and the app.
First Do not Harm
Identify and Treat the cause
Healing Power of Nature
Doctor as Teachers
Treat the Whole
Prevention is best Medicine
The information offered by this newsletter is presented for educational purposes. Nothing contained within should be construed as nor is intended to be used for medical diagnosis or treatment. This information should not be used in place of the advice of your physician or other qualified health care provider. Always consult with your physician or other qualified health care provider before embarking on a new treatment, diet or fitness program. You should never disregard medical advice or delay in seeking it because of any information contained within this newsletter.