Onions Work Wonders for Skin, Hair, Health and Fertility

Now I realize an article about onions is not terribly Christmassy or even sexy. However, throughout the holiday season, we all want to look our best and stay as healthy as possible and, despite their pungent aroma, the humble onion must not be overlooked. Actually, the onion, in my opinion, is less humble than a true member of the vegetable royalty.

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I was drawn to write this article after a conversation with a Jordanian lady in Central Park. Our children were playing together and we were discussing the huge number of vaccinations the U.S. insists that children get – up from just a few in our childhood. We were both frothing at the mouth about the flu vaccination and its implications for destroying the immune system of our youth as well as our right to choose what our children’s bodies are pumped with.   She told me that when she grew up in Jordan, when children got the flu, their parents and grandparents would slice onions and put them in the feet of socks and draw the socks on the children for the night. Apparently, it is a magical solution for fever and flu. Intrigued, I was drawn to explore further and found a list of the below benefits.

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(Regarding the flu shot, if you don’t want your child to get it – just find a doctor on the same page and have them tick off the form without actually injecting your child. Stories about deaths and paralysis of children from this year’s flu shot are more and more in the news.)

If you are worried about onion breath: take a shot of vodka or hydrogen peroxide (spit out the h.p.) – both kill bacteria in the mouth, brush your teeth and tongue with baking soda and floss, rinse with water, and chew parsley or mint leaves!

Note the amazingly decadent recipe at the end of this article… Continue reading

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Ajvar – A Serbian Delicacy that Will Bring Balkan Beauty and Collagen to Your Skin

My mother always told me to never discuss my Serbian roots.  “People will think you are dangerous,” she would whisper with narowed eyes.   While it is true that the Serbs are a feisty race one cannot deny their beauty, survival skills, their passion for life and their weapon-sharp minds!

My glamorous Serbian grandmother who never went to bed without a perfectly made up face (if she died in her sleep she wanted to be found looking beautiful) always had a stash of homemade ajvar on hand.  She swore that the vitamin C in the red peppers was responsible for her impeccable complexion and wrinkle-free skin.

Ajvar is a type of relish, made principally from red bell peppers, with garlic. It may also contain eggplant and chili. Ajvar originates in the Serbian cuisine, and was therefore long known as “Serbian salad” or “Serbian vegetable caviar”. It became a popular salad (side dish) throughout Yugoslavia after World War II and is nowadays popular in the Balkans. Original homemade ajvar is made of roasted peppers, while some industrial producers use cooked peppers, which leads to a lower quality. Depending on the capsaicin content in bell peppers and the amount of added chili peppers, it can be sweet (traditional), piquant (the most common), or very hot. Continue reading

Cranberries – a Superfood You Never Really Considered

Most women think that cranberries are useful only for helping eradicate or prevent UTI infections.  But the health benefits of cranberries are far more wide-ranging and even a tad surprising.

Cranberry (Vaccinium macrocarpon) is a small round red colored fruit which is native to America.  It typically grows in bogs.  If you’ve ever been in Nantucket you may have seen its extensive bogs.  Nantucket is home to some of the largest contiguous cranberry bogs in the world where cranberries have been grown since 1857. American cranberry is one of the only three species of fruit native to North America. The other species are blueberry and bilberry.  Cranberry gets its name from “crane-berry” because its stem and flower resemble the head, neck, and beak of a crane.

Cranberries are high in vitamin C and fiber and only 45 calories per cup. In disease-fighting antioxidants, cranberries outrank nearly every fruit and vegetable–including strawberries, spinach, broccoli, red grapes, apples, raspberries, and cherries.   They have strong antibacterial effects in the body and eating cranberries prevents viruses and bacteria from attaching itself to the body.  Something else to think about before sleeping with someone you don’t know well! (While women often drink unsweetened cranberry juice to treat an infection, there’s no hard evidence that works.) The National Institutes of Health (NIH) is funding research on the cranberry’s effects on heart disease, yeast infections and other conditions, and other researchers are investigating its potential against cancer, stroke and viral infections.

One cup of whole cranberries has 8,983 total antioxidant capacity. Only blueberries can top that: Wild varieties have 13,427; cultivated blueberries have 9,019. Continue reading