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What's Cooking?: Healing Foods

As I was preparing the Chicken Wine Soup for my daughter-in-law after she gave birth, I realize we often overlook the restorative and healing powers of food.  This Chicken Wine Soup is traditional in the Chinese culture and prepared for new mothers in their recovery from childbirth. This soup contains an abundance of ginger and glutinous rice wine in the soup to help rejuvenate and warm the body. The dried lily buds and wood ears are believed to have anticoagulant properties. The dried Chinese mushrooms revitalize the body and improve its immune system.  Of course, everyone is familiar with the healing quality of chicken soup. There are some who await a new birth with anticipation just to be able to partake of this soup along with a small bowl of pickled pigs’ knuckles with hard-boiled eggs cooked in sweetened black vinegar and ginger.  You may think this latter dish is unappetizing but it is often requested unabashedly.  Although I think the taste is unique and delicious, the true focus is on the restorative value of its ingredients.

In our Western culture, we have grown more aware of the effects of good nutrition. This is a good thing.  It is time to choose wisely the foods we consume to maintain our health. Berries and beans rank highest on antioxidant lists and improve the immune system.  Bananas are excellent source of potassium which controls the function of nerves and control of muscles. The intake of calcium from foods such as dairy products, beans, nuts, grains and vegetables will keep bones healthy and prevent osteoporosis.  Leafy greens are rich in minerals and vitamins, which happen to be the most concentrated source of nutrition, calorie for calorie.  As food can cure, it can also have the opposite effect.  These effects can be long lasting so it is important to make an effort to be conscious of what we eat to stay healthy. 

12 Best Foods Cookbook by Dana Jacobi
Chinese System of Food Cures: Prevention & Remedies by Henry C. Lu
Chinese Food for Longevity by Henry C. Lu
Cholesterol Cures by the Editors of Rodale Health books
Cholesterol Down: Ten Simple to Lower Your Cholesterol in Four Weeks –
             Without Prescription Drugs by Janet Brill
Diabetic Living Cookbook by Better Homes & Garden
The Healing Foods Cookbook edited by Jean Rogers (Prevention Magazine)
Joy Bauer’s Food Cures: Easy 4 Step Nutritional Program for Improving Every Body
Recipes for IBS by Ashley Koff

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