This 7 part herb, nut and fruit series gives you a way to slide these health gems into your week with minimum effort. What better way to keep the doctor away?
In this last part, I will do a short number on only the most important aspects of Saffron, Peanuts and Oranges.
Herb in Focus: Saffron
This herb from the East has long been used in Persian and traditional medicine forms as a mood booster. It flavours rice and tea with it’s unique aroma and colour. A rather expensive one to procure, just a few strands of Saffron are more than enough to give you those healing effects. A university in Tehran has researched it’s benefits in pre-menstrual syndrome. Saffron also fights depression.
A Spanish study found Saffron useful in combating retinal degeneration and in enhancing eye health. Saffron has been a time tested remedy against coughs, colds, asthma and insomnia. Interestingly, it also has an extremely high level of a trace element we need- Manganese. Here’s why this little known substance is so vital to good health.
How to Saffron: Drinkable- Simply enjoy a glass of warm milk with a dash of this spicy goodness.
Saffron Face Mask: Mix 1 teaspoon of sandalwood powder, 2 to 3 strands of saffron, and 2 spoons of milk. Apply it while your face is still wet. Massage your skin thoroughly in a circular motion.Allow it to dry for 20 minutes, then rinse off. Use once a week.
Nut in the Spot: Peanuts
Technically this is not a nut. Its a legume. Contrary to popular belief, peanuts are not the healthiest nuts. But they are the most sought after, so some information is definitely in order. Peanuts are high in folate—a mineral essential for brain development that may protect against brain degeneration. Peanuts are also full of brain-boosting healthy fats and vitamin E. One ounce of peanuts (about 28 unshelled nuts) contains about 170 calories, 7 grams protein, and 14 grams fat.
The reason they are not the healthiest is because of high saturated fat content and because most people consume them roasted and salted. The tastiest is not always the healthiest! The best part of peanuts is their high protein content. They are also a quick source of energy.
How to Peanut: A healthier option is to consume freshly boiled peanuts instead of roasted and salted. In recipes, peanuts add a crunchy, savoury taste that you can play with in a hundred different ways. For starters, here’s a lovely beginning.
5-ingredient granola bars: 1 cup each of Hazelnuts (or almonds, cashews) and dates. Half cup each of peanut (or almond) butter and honey and 1 1/12 cup oats. Roast the nuts and oats and then chop into pieces. Blend the dates to a smooth texture. Warm the peanut butter with the honey. mix all ingredients together. Press firmly into a tray until flattened. Put into fridge or freezer for 15-20 minutes to harden. Cut into bars and store in an airtight container.
Fruit of Interest: Oranges
Most of us know that Oranges are bursting to the brim with Vitamin C. But did you also know it protects against strokes, diabetes and heart disease?! Oranges are among the most cultivated trees in the world. Besides being delicious in juices, candies and marmalades; oranges are fantastic accompaniments to most dishes. An orange has over 170 different phytochemicals and more than 60 flavonoids. Many of these have been shown to have anti-inflammatory properties and strong antioxidant effects. What’s also great about oranges is it’s low amount of calories and high amount of nutrients.
How to Orange: Enjoy whole, in a salad or a smoothie. Nothing beats freshly squeezed orange juice for breakfast.
Coconut-Orange Smoothie: 4 cups freshly squuezed orange juice, 2 cups ice, 1.5 cup or 400 ml coconut milk, 1/4 cup honey. Garnish with shredded coconut and 4 orange wedges.
We hope you enjoyed our 7 part series of Herbs (we blurred the line a bit here and included spices too), Nuts and Fruits.
Here’s a complete Table of all the herbs, nuts and fruits we’ve covered in this 7 part series. You have 21 healthy options to choose from. We challenge you to get at least 3 from the list into your daily diet. Make it healthy and keep it simple.