How to Grow Lettuce in Your Garden

STORY AT-A-GLANCE

  • Lettuce of all kinds thrives in cool temperatures and consistently moist soil, so spring and fall, when temperatures are between 45 and 75 F, are the best times to grow them
  • Tips for growing, harvesting and addressing common pests and lettuce plant diseases are included
  • Harvesting your lettuce while still immature is a simple way to get more nutrition out of it. After two to three weeks of growth, it’s considered a microgreen, which is packed with higher densities of nutrients than the full-grown version 

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Supercharge Your Workout with Beet Juice

How would you like to be able to work out longer and use less effort to get the same benefits?  Oh, and without resorting to Lance Armstrong’s strategies?  It’s possible, according to research finding that juicing beets can enhance the performance of Continue reading

Infographic: Organic vs. Conventional Foods

Here is an excellent Inforgraphic showing the parallels in foods that are Organic and those that are either GM (Genetically Modified) or Conventional (use of pesticides and other harmful components of our food supply).  While the differences between organic foods and conventionally grown foods may not seem big, there can be some noticeable ecological and visual differences between the two. The biggest differences would be the use of pesticides and other types of chemicals Continue reading

Phytoremediation Uses Plants to Detoxify Soil from Radiation

Concerns about radioactive materials accumulating in soil and water since the nuclear accident in Japan this year have led individuals to look at natural ways to clean their property of possible radiation. One method worthy of examination is phytoremediation. Phytoremediation uses plants to detoxify areas contaminated by the accumulation of hazardous substances, heavy metals and pollutants such as radioactive material.

Remediation using various plants relies on the plants ability to draw material out of the soil through their roots and up into their stalks, leaves and flowers. Some plants are particularly adept at leeching heavy metals and radiation from soil and water. The prospect of using plants to clean up radioactive messes is attractive because plants are a natural, economical means to restore areas contaminated by radiation. In the face of nuclear accidents like the  Continue reading

Stay Healthy by Growing your Own Organic Fruits and Vegetables

Growing your own organic fruits and vegetables guarantees the freshest, best-tasting nutrient-rich food. Tending your organic garden also offers a very personal and spiritual experience.

One of the best ways to stay healthy year-round is to eat in the season thereof. This simply means that when certain foods are in season, you eat as much of them as you can and preserve the excess by canning, dehydrating and freezing.

Have you ever noticed that you crave seasonal fruits and vegetables? That is because our bodies need the nutrients we get from the different foods that are grown in those seasons.

If you don’t grow a garden, you can shop  Continue reading

Home Remedies Series – Anemia

Weakness, fatigue, lack of energy and dizziness

The patient usually complains of weakness, fatigue, lack of energy and dizziness. Other symptoms include a haggard look, premature wrinkles, dull and tired looking eyes, poor memory, shortness of breath on exertion, headache, slow healing of wounds, and palpitations. The skin and mucous membranes look pale.

Diminished formation of red blood cells in the bone marrow

A diminished formation of red blood cells in the bone marrow, either due to defects in the bone marrow, or due to an inadequate intake of iron, vitamins, and proteins, is one of the main causes of anaemia.

Heavy loss of blood due to injury, bleeding piles

Other important causes are heavy loss of blood due to injury, bleeding piles, or excessive menstruation in women.

Lack of hydrochloric acid in the stomach or intestinal parasites or worms

Anaemia can also occur due to a lack of hydrochloric acid in the stomach, which is needed for digestion of iron and proteins, or intestinal parasites or worms. Hookworms, pinworms, round worms and tape worms feed on the supply of blood as well as on the vitamins.

Anaemia treatment using Vitamin B12

Vitamin B12 is needed for preventing or curing anaemia. This vitamin is usually found in animal protein, especially in meats such as kidney and liver. There are, however, other equally good sources of vitamin BI2 such as dairy products which also contain some B12

Anaemia treatment using Beets

Beets are very helpful in curing anaemia. Beet juice contains potassium, phosphorus, calcium, sulphur, iodine, iron, copper, carbohydrates, protein, fat, vitamins B1 B2, B6, niacin, and vitamin P. With their high iron content, beets help in the formation of red blood cells. The juice of red beet strengthens the body’s powers of resistance and has proved to be an excellent remedy for anaemia, especially for children and teenagers, where other blood-forming remedies have failed.

Anaemia treatment using Fenugreek

The leaves of fenugreek help in blood formation. The cooked leaves should be taken by adolescent girls to prevent anaemia, which may occur due to the onset of puberty and menstruation. The seeds of fenugreek are also a valuable cure for anaemia, being rich in iron.

Anaemia treatment using Lettuce

Lettuce is another effective remedy for this ailment as it contains a considerable amount of iron. It can, therefore, be used as a good tonic food for anaemia. The iron in it is easily absorbed by the body.

Anaemia treatment using Spinach

This leafy vegetable is a valuable source of high grade iron. After its absorption, it helps in the formation of haemoglobin and red blood cells. It is thus beneficial in building up the blood, and in the prevention and treatment of anaemia.

Anaemia treatment using Soyabean

Soyabean is rich in iron and also has a high protein value. As most anaemic patients usually also suffer from a weak digestion, it should be given to them in a very light form, preferably in the form of milk, which can be easily digested.

Anaemia treatment using Almonds

Almonds contain copper to the extent of 1.15 mg per 100 gm. The copper along with iron and vitamins, acts as a catalyst in the synthesis of haemoglobin. Almonds are, therefore, a useful remedy for anaemia. Seven almonds should be soaked in water for about two hours and ground into a paste after removing the thin red skin. This paste may be eaten once daily in the morning for three months.

Anaemia treatment using Sesame Seeds

Black sesame seeds, as a rich source of iron, are valuable in anaemia. After soaking one teaspoon of the seeds in warm water for a couple of hours, they should be ground and strained, and then mixed with a cup of milk and sweetened with jaggery or sugar. This emulsion should be given to patients suffering from anaemia.

Anaemia treatment using Honey

Honey is remarkable for building haemoglobin in the body. This is largely due to the iron, copper, and manganese contained in it

Anaemia treatment using Other Foods

There are several other foods which are rich sources of iron and can be used beneficially in the treatment of anaemia. The more important of these are bananas, black grapes, plums, strawberries, raisins, onions, squash, carrots, radish, celery, and tomatoes.

Anaemia diet

Have raw vegetables and fresh fruits rich in iron

Diet is of utmost importance in the treatment of anaemia. Refined foods like white bread, polished rice, sugar, and desserts rob the body of its much-needed iron. Iron should preferably be taken in its natural organic form in food. The emphasis in the diet should be on raw vegetables and fresh fruits which are rich in iron.

Go for therapeutic treatment with an exclusive fruit diet

The patient should commence a therapeutic treatment with an exclusive fruit diet for five days, taking three meals a day of fresh juicy fruits. This may be followed by a fruit and milk diet for about fifteen days. In this regimen, the frequency of meals should be exactly the same as for the earlier all-fruit diet. Thereafter, the patient may gradually embark upon a well-balanced diet, consisting of seeds, nuts, grains, vegetables, and fruits.

Other anaemia treatment

Cold water baths

Cold water baths are recommended in anaemia. The patient should be given a cold bath carefully twice daily, the coldness of the water being increased gradually.

Hot Epsom salts bath and sunbatbs

A hot Epsom salts bath for five to ten minutes once a week and an occasional steam bath are also useful. Sunbaths are especially beneficial as the sunlight stimulates the production of red cells.

Deep breathing and light exercises

Other important factors that help in curing anaemia are deep breathing and light exercises like walking.

Yogic asanas

Yogic asanas such as sarvangasana paschimottanasana and shavasana as well as massage are also helpfu1 in this regard.

Soon, Booster Broccoli to Keep Diseases at Bay, Control Weight

MELBOURNE – Scientists hope that the harvesting of what they call “booster broccoli”-containing more vitamins and nutrients than other vegetables-will soon begin.

Bred from strains of the vegetable naturally high in antioxidants, it joins a growing crop of “super foods” that are believed to be good enough to prevent heart disease, cancers and degenerative diseases like Alzheimer’s and help weight control.

Vital Vegetables chairman John says that capsicums with extra vitamins A, C and E levels, and tomatoes that can reduce risks of prostate cancer will be released in the next 12 months.

According to him, supermarkets will soon stock foods “boasting higher levels of goodness” for the time poor.

“Our lifestyles seem to get faster all the time. If you can get the recommended daily intake of fruits and vegetables through eating less, isn’t that kind of the way we are going in the world these days?” the Age quoted him as saying.

“I think consumers are looking at things that are better for them. And here you’re going to get more bang for your bite,” he added.

Two breakfast cereals with the potential to reduce the risk of colon and bowel cancers, heart disease, diabetes, stroke and to help control weight were released by the CSIRO last month.

Dr Bruce Lee, director of the CSIRO’s Food Futures National Research Flagship, says that other super grains to be used in breads, biscuits and pasta can be released by 2012.

“You can take supplements or you can get people to eat a healthy diet, but often it is hard to get people to change their dietary habits. ‘The beauty of these types of foods is that you can add the wholegrain into the food – you are not forcing consumers to change their diet to something else,” he says.

Expert food tasters are busy in the CSIRO labs in Sydney, helping to develop reduced-fat sausages, hamburger patties and cheeses that retain the foods’ attractive taste.

“We all love the convenience of eating fast food, so if you can make fast food that’s still convenient to eat but healthier for you, that would be a positive thing for health,” Dr Lee says.

“But we’re not talking about a pill that’s going to change a person’s health overnight. We’re talking about providing people with diets that, over a long period of time, may have a positive impact on their health and well-being,” he adds.

However, Mark Lawrence, associate professor of public health and nutrition at Deakin University, is of the opinion that such an approach will not address the underlying problem of poor eating habits.

“I have a real difficulty with the argument that you can have your cake and eat it too. What you are doing is rewarding poor dietary behaviour,” he says.

But Dr. Rod Jones, team leader of plant physiology at Victoria’s Department of Primary Industries and a member of the Vital Vegetables group, says that the focus for now is on bolstering foods naturally.

“We are trying to get away from the idea that you can get good health from a pill or highly processed product. It’s all about enhancing the natural goodness within fruits and vegetables,” he says.

He has revealed that the department is helping to develop lettuce mixes, with more carotene to strengthen eyesight, for commercial release next autumn.

According to him, other mixes could help ease ailments such as arthritis.

“We are going down the road where you might find one product with four or five different vegetables that have a different suite of antioxidants to target different health outcomes in a single bag, such as helping people who have arthritis,” he says.

“More than 90 per cent of the Australian population don’t eat the recommended serve of four to five vegetables and two fruits on a daily basis. So our angle is to make the vegetables people do eat as healthy as possible, so they are getting more from the little they are eating,” he adds.