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diaryofanegress

Observations of an Invisible Woman

Archive for the tag “heart healthy diet”

Blacks and Health: A Natural Way to Heal Part 8

Zingiber officinale

The first time I tasted ginger, my heart sped up and I began to sweat. Then, an incredible warmth overcame me and I felt wonderful. The power of ginger has had me hooked for decades. This spicy, delicious root is as old as time. Cousins of this root are cardamom and turmeric. I actually grated this and use it in my humidifier in the spring to combat my allergies.

Ginger, in the Caribbean and Africa, is dried and sweetened with honey/ molasses and sold as ginger “candy.” Pastries and teas are a BIG export using this aromatic plant, especially Jamaican Ginger Beer. The health benefits for this root are:

It thins the blood, preventing blood clots

Helps with nausea/ seasickness/ morning sickness

Lowers cholesterol

Painful Menstruation

Combats arthritis

Poor circulation or “colds hands and feet”

I make ginger iced tea year round. Here is my simple recipe:

Peppermint leaves

2 tablespoons fresh grated ginger

honey

lemon slices

Boil about 2-3 cups water and add ginger and peppermint leaves. Let seep for 15 minutes. Add honey and fresh lemon slices when cooled.

Next Article: Cloves

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Blacks and Health: The Natural Way to Heal Part 7

Garlic

Did you know that garlic is actually in the onion family?

Cousins of this smelly bulb are shallots, chives and leeks. Over 7,ooo years old, this African plant/bulb has been used for its wonderful health benefit. Its hydrogen sulfide production is well-known amongst herbalists to help prevent colon, breast and prostate cancers.

Aside from being delicious in culinary cuisine, garlic protects the heart by:

Increasing blood flow to the arteries

Lowering cholesterol levels in the blood

Combating high blood pressure (when made into a tea)

Lowering blood sugar levels

When we were living in NYC, there was a little bakery that sold garlic knots. Drenched in garlic and fresh oregano, I inhaled these to the point of needing 2 showers a day! LOL!

I put garlic in just about everything I cook including fish and my stews. My friend eats garlic raw (followed by a tall drink of water) and urges us to incorporate this heart friendly bulb in all dishes.

Next article: Ginger

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