Category Archives: Natural Little Helpers

Blueberries – The Food For Thought

blueberries 2Blueberries are a true “powerfood” with long list of amazing medicinal properties.

Blueberries are strong antioxidant and anti-inflammatory, they are known as ultimate “memory food”, help protect against heart disease, beneficial against cancer, prevent age-related vision problems and regulate blood sugar in persons with type 2 diabetes.

Strong Antioxidant and Anti-Inflammatory

Researchers at the USDA Human Nutrition Center have found that blueberries rank #1 in antioxidant activity when compared to 40 other fruits and vegetables.

Blueberries belong to one of the top anthocyanin-rich foods. Anthocyanin, the pigment that makes the blueberries blue, is a powerful antioxidant and anti-inflammatory compound that helps neutralize the free radicals and prevent oxidative stress on your brain. Inflammation and oxidative stress are linked to every major disease, including cognitive diseases such as Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s disease. Dr. Jonny Bowden in his book The 150 Healthiest Foods in World explains that antioxidants and phytochemicals in blueberries create synergy and exhibit the most potent cumulative free-radical absorbance effect of any fruit.

Ultimate “Memory Food”

The research suggests that blueberries can be very effective in improving memory, age-related neurodegenerative disease, dementia and other neurological diseases.

The polyphenol antioxidants in blueberries not only improve your existing neurons, but can actually enable your brain to grow new neurons. Dr. Jonny Bowden calls blueberries the “ultimate memory food” and describes that daily consumption of blueberries can significantly slow natural age-related cognitive decline.

Heart Disease

Blueberries help protect against heart disease in a number of ways. Blueberry flavonoids can help stabilizing elevated blood pressure levels, decrease the risk of hardening of the arteries, prevent or reduce arterial inflammation and the buildup of arterial plaque. Research has also found that these compounds can also help lower both total and LDL (“bad”) cholesterol levels, as well as triglycerides. Blueberry flavonoids can help stabilizing elevated blood pressure levels.

Beneficial Against Cancer

Laboratory evidence suggests that blueberry compounds help to prevent cancer in a variety of ways. Blueberry compounds help to prevent DNA damage by keeping healthy cells from becoming malignant during their ongoing cycle of reproduction. According to Dr. Bowden, the specific flavonoids in blueberries can also inhibit an enzyme that promote the development of cancer cells. Blueberry is also important anti-angiogenic food that is able to prevent the growth of blood vessels that feed a tumor (process called anti-angiogenesis).


Consuming blueberries can decrease the risk of age-related vision issues. Studies have found that the flavonoids can prevent an unhealthy growth in eyes’ blood vessels that normally leads to macular degeneration and vision loss.

Type 2 Diabetes

Blueberries have shown to have a favorable impact on blood sugar regulation in persons already diagnosed with type 2 diabetes.

Freezing Blueberries

New studies make it clear that we can freeze blueberries without doing damage to their delicate anthocyanin antioxidants. After freezing blueberries at temperatures of 0°F (-17°C) or lower for periods of time between 3-6 months, researchers have discovered no significant lowering of overall antioxidant capacity or anthocyanin concentrations. This is great news for anyone who has restricted access to fresh blueberries.

Organically vs. Conventionally Grown

Organically grown blueberries have significantly higher concentrations of total antioxidants than conventionally grown blueberries.

Sources and Credits


Top 5 Essential Oils

Top 5 Essential Oils.  A “starter kit” for those who are new to essential oils

  • Essential oils have numerous health benefits and they are increasingly being explored in the treatment of various diseases. I like to call them “Essential Little Helpers”.
  • There are more than 150 essential oils, and each has its own medicinal benefits.
  • I enclose below the list of 5 essential oils that I use frequently and suggest as a “starter kit” for those who are new to the subject.
  • You need to carefully examine and watch for high quality, unadulterated, organic, pure essential oil. Pay attention to the Latin name as there are sometimes many varieties, all of them having different properties. I use mostly Essenciagua and Pranarom, Ladrome & NHR oils. Eden Botanicals,  Floracopeia and Aromatics International are well regarded on the US market.
  • Most of the essential oils mentioned below you can find here: UK  Link or US Link. Quality does matter; the links point to the high quality, organic essential oils.
  • Caution: Most of oils are quite potent and can cause some side effects, irritation or allergies, so use them with caution and seek advice if you use them for the first time. You also need to verify if the oil can be ingested, or it is only intended for topical use. A good practice is to always dilute them and do a skin test (mix it with a carrier oil and apply it topically). If there is no reaction after few hours you should be able to use it.

My Top 5 Essential Little Helpers

1. Lavander (Lavandula angustifolia), Lavandin

Lavender has a long list of health benefits. It is well known for its ability to fight fungi, bacteria and viruses. It is commonly used to speed up the healing process of wounds, cuts, burns, and sunburns because it reduces the pain, helps healing and reduces the scars. My five-year old asks for “magical oil” (Lavander) whenever he hurts himself.

Lavender can also reduce nervous tension, anxiety, relieve pain, disinfect the scalp and skin, enhance circulation, treat respiratory problems, acne and hair loss.

Thanks to its fragrance and relaxing property, Lavender essential oil induces sleep and can help with insomnia. Lavander also helps restoring hormonal balance and reducing cystitis or inflammation of the bladder.

A variation Lavandin (angustifolia and latifolia hybrid) is similarly effective.

Caution: Lavender oil should never be ingested, only applied topically or inhaled.

2. Tea tree (Malaleuca alternifolia)

Tea tree essential oil has been used traditionally as a topical antiseptic and antifungal treatment.

Put a drop in your facial cream if your skin is prone to acne and use it in your toothpaste as antibacterial.

I apply it directly on acne or cold sore that is about to pop up. I use it undiluted, but be cautious and start with mixing it with some carrier oil (coconut oil for example) as Tea tree oil can eventually cause allergic reactions.

A variation (not so easy to find) – Manuka tea tree (from New Zeeland) is known as “antibiotic” for acne.

3. Peppermint (Mentha piperita)

Peppermint essential oil is cooling and energizing and it has antiseptic and antibacterial properties.

Peppermint oil is used in many ways: inhale or massage in few drops to your wrists for increasing alertness and instant stress relief or use it as a chest rub or for inhalation to clear nasal congestion and relieve cold.

Peppermint is safe alternative to alternative to drugs like Buscopan, and effective for all kind of gastrointestinal disorders (irritable bowel syndrome, colonic spasm and gas and others).

For headache relief, simply massage a drop or two onto your temples.

4. Eucalyptus (Eucalyptus radiata; Eucalyptus globulus)

Eucalyptus essential oil has a number of important qualities, including anti-inflammatory, antiseptic, antibacterial, and stimulating.

It is very useful in the treatment of respiratory problems, wounds, in dental care, skin care etc.

It is best known to relieve the symptoms of influenza and colds. Use it as decongestant and for quick relief for bronchitis by rubbing couple of drops of oil on the chest or inhaling eucalyptus oil vapor.

There are two main varieties similar in properties: radiata and globulus; most therapists find Eucalyptus radiata essential oil more effective in treatments than Eucalyptus globulus.

5. Lemon (Citrus limon)

Lemon essential oil is antiseptic, antiviral, antibacterial. It has a number of important qualities and well known for stimulating and calming, sleep inducing, and antifungal properties.

The benefits of Lemon essential oil include its ability to help with stress, fever, infections, obesity, insomnia. It is also used to help with skin disorders, hair conditions, stomach problems and tiredness.

Lemon essential oil is used for beauty products because of its ability to lift and firm the skin.

I use it in DIY facial creams, toothpaste, laundry washing, dishwasher and in aromatherapy oil diffuser.

Caution:  Citrus (all sorts including Lemon) oils are photosensitive, meaning they react to sunlight and can cause dark pigmentation or rash.  After application, you should wait 8-24 hours before exposing yourself to direct sunlight.

Credits, Sources and More Info

Superfoods, Powerfoods – Meet the Nature’s Little Miracles

SuperFoods – Nature’s Little Miracles

Avocado FAll fruits, vegetables and natural foods have certain benefits and health properties.

However there are some very powerful natural foods  that are very important in modern disease prevention. I like to call them nature’s little miracles.

Nature’s little miracles provide a myriad of health benefits and can make a difference when introduced as a regular eating habit.  I list some of them here.

  • Chlorella and Spirulina.

Chlorella and spirulina are two single-celled algae.  Although they both individually can qualify as “superfood”, they seem to become something truly special when consumed together due to their complementary  nutrient profiles.

Chlorella contains more chlorophyll and iron, and is good for chelating heavy metals from the body and repairing cell damage due to its unique growth factor.  Spirulina contains more protein, gamma-linoleic acid (fat essential for brain function) and phycocyanin (anti-cancer compound).

  • Lactic Fermented Food.

Term “Lactic-acid-fermented food” is used for yoghurts both made from dairy and nut milks, kombucha, sauerkraut, kimchi, pickles and other fermented (“cultured”) vegetables and juices.

These fermented foods have very high levels of probiotics (significantly more than probiotic supplements!), and break down and eliminate toxins including heavy metals from the body.

To make fermented vegetables you would only need salt, vegetables and filtered water — no fancy equipment required.

You can find a bunch of good recipes at

  • Herbs & Spices.

Whilst we all use herbs and spices, I enlist here some of the top spices/herbs renowned for their medicinal purposes.

My list of favorites include

  • Garlic. I can’t imagine a day spent without using garlic in abundance in our meals. Garlic possesses potent antiviral, antifungal, and antimicrobial properties and is able to help protect and facilitate removal of unfriendly bacteria. It is also very high in natural antioxidants that destroy free radicals, which also supports a strong immune system. Read more Garlic – Nature’s Little Miracle.
  • Cayenne pepper. The benefits of daily cayenne usage are widely known.  Cayenne pepper consumption dilates the blood vessels and speeds the metabolism due to the high amounts of capsaicin, the greatest circulation stimulant known. Florida, California and Mexican Habanero Peppers, African Birdeye Peppers, Chinese Hot Reds, Korean Aji, Thai Red, Japanese Red, Aleva, Serrano’s, California Jalapeno’s are some of the sorts. The rule: the hotter – the better.
  • Turmeric/curcuma has been used in treatment of a range of diseases, including cancer, Alzheimer’s, diabetes, allergies, arthritis and others.
  • Ginger is known for providing gastrointestinal support, as immune boosting, anti-inflammatory, for protection against colorectal cancer, ovarian cancer etc.
  • Cinnamon is known for anti-clotting actions, anti-microbial activity, blood sugar control, as support for colon health, brain function and protection against heart disease.

In addition to these, black pepper, coriander, parsley, fenugreck, basil, peppermint, cloves, nutmeg, cumin, rosemary, paprika, oregano are some of the other “power-spices” also known for their health properties.

  • Wheatgrass.

Wheatgrass is obtained from the young shoots of the wheat plant and it is one of the most dense foods known.

4 grams of wheatgrass powder supplies us with 1,600 percent of our recommended daily allowance of vitamin E, 7,000 percent  of manganese, 15,293 percent of riboflavin, 413 percent of zinc and similarly phenomenal concentrations of other essential nutrients.

Wheatgrass is also world’s finest source of chlorophyll, a powerful blood builder and cleaner which makes wheatgrass a potent detox food as well as a superb nutrient supplement.

  • Sprouted Seeds.

Sprouted seeds support for cell regeneration, are sources of antioxidants, minerals, vitamins and enzymes that protect against free radical damage, have alkalinizing effect on your body and are very rich in oxygen, which can also help protect against abnormal cell growth.

Sprouts contain up to 30 times the nutrition of organic vegetables and allow your body to extract more vitamins, minerals, amino acids and essential fats from the foods you eat. You can also grow your own wheatgrass from wheat seeds.

Sprouted seeds and grains are easy to grow, even if you don’t have a lot of space or an outdoor garden.

I use sprouting trays like these that you can buy in most of the health stores.

  • Cruciferous Vegetables(Broccoli).

A lot has been written and said lately about broccoli.  The unique combination of antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, and detoxification properties in broccoli make it a unique food in terms of cancer prevention. Broccoli also provides digestive and cardiovascular support and many other health benefits. Cauliflower, all sorts of cabbage, bok choy are other cruciferous vegetables and all of them exhibit multiple powerful health properties.

  • Chia Seeds.

Chia seeds are an incredibly rich source of nutrients, antioxidants, great source of fiber. Chia seed reduces inflammation, lowers cholesterol and regulates bowel function.

  • Avocado.

Avocado used to be considered too high in fat. While it is true that avocado is a high-fat, the fat contained in avocado is unusual and provides research-based health benefits. Avocado is known for promoting heart health, anti-inflammatory action, helping absorption of carotenoids, anti-cancer benefits, promoting healthy, naturally glowing skin and many others.

Make sure you use dark green pulp next to the skin – it is the most precious part of avocado.

The most famous use of avocado is probably to make guacamole. There are countless different varieties of this recipe. Here you can find my  Quick Guacamole Recipe.

  • Soaked Seeds and Nuts.

Soaking nuts is important as it starts the sprouting process and make their full nutritional potential available. Soaking releases enzyme inhibitors making the nuts digestible.

Seeds and nuts contain enzyme inhibitors that must be broken down before the seed will germinate.

By soaking seeds and nuts in the warmth of your home, their enzyme inhibitors are broken down, and they become more nutritious and easier to digest.

Many seeds and nuts such pumpkin seeds and almonds do not really sprout, but still benefit from being soaked in water.

Soaking time for raw nuts

  • 2 hours (sunflower, cashews)
  • 8 hours (almonds, sesame, pumpkin, flax)
  • 4-6 hours (pecans, walnuts and all other nuts)
  • no soaking required (brazil, macadamia, pine and pistachio).

Recipe for making The Nut Milk

  • Blueberries.

Blueberries are high in antioxidants and one of the top anthocyanin-rich foods (type of A flavonoid responsible for the purple color, known to have amazing health benefits).

Blueberries are beneficial against cancer, inflammation, bacterial infections and heart disease,  improving memory, age-related neurodegenerative disease and other neurological diseases.

Blueberries have shown to have a favorable impact on blood sugar regulation in persons already diagnosed with type 2 diabetes.

Organically grown blueberries have significantly higher concentrations of antioxidants than conventionally grown. Important to know is that we can freeze blueberries without doing damage to their delicate anthocyanin antioxidants. Read more Blueberries-Food For Thought

  • Wild Alaskan Salmon.

Wild Alaskan salmon is a delicious and healthy anti-inflammatory food.

  • Bone Broth.

Bone broth improves digestion and help reduce inflammation. It contains calcium, phosphorus, magnesium, sulfur chondroitin and glucosamine, all easily absorbable. Bone Broth Recipe.

Sources and Credits