6 Sexy Irish Foods That Are Aphrodisiacs

6 Sexy Irish Foods That Are Aphrodisiacs

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Valentine’s Day is approaching. The Irish are well known for their ability to do the hearts and flowers thing.  This nation is just a bunch of old romantics at heart. Anyone who’s ever shed a tear at the haunting tones of Sinead O’Connor’s Nothing Compares to You, or swallowed the lump in the throat while nursing a broken heart listening to Shane McGowan singing Rainy Night in Soho will tell you that. I mean how can any country produce song lyrics like these and not be prone to the love-struck disease?

So it will come as no surprise that there are a few Irish foods said to be aphrodisiacs. You know those things? They’re meant to get the pulse racing and the sap rising and what not. Put you in the mood for love. Go on you old softies, you know you’re dying to know what they are!

1. Oysters. No surprises here – oysters are known the world over for their aphrodisiac qualities. Casanova is said to have eaten fifty oysters every day and we all know where that got him. Ireland produces some of the best oysters in the world. Carlingford Lough oysters are famous. Clarinbridge in Co.Galway, is referred to as the home of the Irish native oyster. There are oysters farmed in quiet Atlantic waters off Sherkin Island in West Cork, and in the little coves on the Wild Atlantic Way in Kerry. Eat them raw as they come, straight from the half shell, and feel the mood of lurve happening as you eat! Why is this? Because firstly they contain zinc, an important mineral for men as it’s needed in sperm production. Sorry to be so blunt about it, but if you’re a fella it’s necessary to have zinc for obvious reasons, and oysters have had the reputation of being a food that provides it. So no wonder Casanova ate so many. However, more modern research also links oysters to unique amino acids which are not available in supplement form. These aid production of testosterone in men, and progesterone in women. Both are sex hormones, and again their connection to oysters contributes to the reputation of the shellfish as an aphrodisiac.

2. Celery, Who’d have thought it? The crunchy sticks we use as the basis for stews and casseroles, make soup from, and chomp our way through stick by stick in a crudite mix, is a sexy gourmet ingredient! What? You won’t look at bunch of celery in the same light again now you’ve read that. Celery has phytoandrogens, the plant equivalent of testosterone, which is important for the male sex drive. Now you know. It’s said celery is at its best after a winter frost, when it gets its crunch and all the minerals and nutrients are at their most potent. Now is a good time to eat it. Bring on the raw celery and dips on February 14th.

3. Salmon. Fresh salmon contains lots of Omega 3 fatty acids which have huge health properties. These fatty acids are linked to good heart health, but also to production of sex hormones.

4. Kale. Seriously, it might look boring and green and not particularly inspiring to you. But its powerful antioxidants help keep blood vessels healthy and protect their linings, increasing blood flow and boosting good circulation. Which is very important if you want to be a red hot lover! Seasonal kale soup it is then, on Valentine’s night.

5. Chocolate. Now we’re talking. What girl can resist a bit of chocolate? It brings on the feel good factor for very good reason. It has natural stimulants for well-being and enhances mood. So fellas, if you want to put some passion into Valentine’s night, bring her a box of the finest chocolate you can find. You might want to check out our chocolate makers for that.

6. Honey for your honey. Natural and preferably organic Irish honey contains special phytochemicals which occur naturally in plants, and aid production of testosterone in men. Honey also contains boron which helps utilise Estrogen in women. Quite simply, honey is said to boost libido for men and women. It’s fairly appropriate. Who hasn’t been introduced to the facts of life by their parents telling them an awkward story about the birds and bees?

So there we have it. A fine seasonal Valentine’s Feast of oysters, salmon, kale and celery awaits, finished with chocolate and an Irish honey eaten out of the jar with a spoon! Love is definitely in the air, if you’re in need of any more inspiration check out our Valetines for food lovers ideas here. 

 

Pollinators in Ireland

Pollinators in Ireland
cropsbeescroptipbeesBees are the most important pollinating insect because they visit flowers to collect food for their larvae, as well as feeding on floral resources as adults. In Ireland crops such as apples, clover, strawberries and oilseed rape all benefit from pollination and a recent study from the Department of the Environment valued this ‘ecosystem service’ that bees provide at €85m a year to the economy.

2013: Worldwide study shows the decline of wild bees and other pollinators may be an even more alarming threat to crop yields than the loss of honeybees, revealing the irreplaceable contribution of wild insects to global food production.

In Ireland there are 101 species of bee, including the familiar honeybee (One species) and 20 bumblebee species. The remaining species are solitary, meaning they do not form colonies.

Amongst the most well-known services performed by a healthy biodiversity is pollination. Bees are the keystone pollinator species making more flower visits than any other insect. There is a need however for urgent action as our wild bees are facing an unprecedented crisis in declining populations due to agricultural intensification, habitat degradation, disease and parasite spread, and climate change. Pollinators play a crucial role in our farms, gardens and countryside – we cannot afford to take them for granted.

Gardening for Bees

Gardens are extremely important for bees, and vice versa. Bees need flowers for sustenance, and flowers need bees for pollination. But it’s important the flowers you grow provide the food bees need. So Let’s Bee Friendly by turning part of your garden into a bumblebee haven!

Bumblebee

  • As a rule of thumb your garden should provide bee-friendly flowers, open cup shaped flowers are the bees’ favorites such as foxgloves, that are rich in pollen and nectar which bees can easily access from spring until late summer. This will ensure that there is a good supply of pollen at all of the crucial times.
  • Flowers clustered into clumps of one species will attract more pollinators than individual plants scattered through the habitat patch.
  • Plants like Pussy Willow and Bluebell are excellent early-year food sources. Mahonia and Hebe are good non-native options
  • In early summer Honeysuckle and Thyme are ideal, and in late summer Heathers, Knapweed, Scabious, and non-native species like Sunflowers, Sweet pea and Lavender will provide plenty for bees to forage on.
  • If you can, leave an area of your lawn uncut during summer to allow Clovers and Bird’s-foot Trefoil to flower. Leaving uncut verges or planting wildflower meadows will greatly benefit bees.
  • Many solitary species nest in south facing banks, so leaving exposed areas of soil at the edges of lawns or creating south facing banks of sandy or clay soil will attract ground nesting species. Other species will nest in dead wood or in south facing stonewalls

Feeling Sick? Turmeric Milk, Not Turmeric Tea, is the Cold Remedy You Need

Feeling Sick? Turmeric Milk, Not Turmeric Tea, is the Cold

Remedy You Need

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For years, I’ve been adding turmeric to my homemade cold remedy, a fragrant mixture of hot water, lemon, ginger, honey, and cayenne. Here in Los Angeles, you can see it everywhere as a superspice ingredient in juices and smoothies. But it wasn’t recently that I realized that most of us are doing it all wrong, and that we need to be stirring turmeric into some warm milk instead.

Meet the Superspice Turmeric

A bright yellow spice that colors mustard and curries, turmeric is a part of Ayurvedic medicine and has now been studied extensively in the West for its anti-cancerous, anti-inflammatory, anti-viral, and antibacterial properties. Prevention magazine reports that it might be a preventative against Alzheimer’s and other studies suggest that it can reduce cholesterol, improve digestion, and stimulate the immune system. In short, it’s an amazing spice.

I’m a health and food editor, so I have skimmed and read every fact sheet and press release about the amazing health benefits of turmeric. But despite hundreds of headlines and articles about turmeric and its active agent curcumin, I hadn’t been reading the fine print. I hadn’t seen enough real-world ways to add turmeric to my diet besides the admittedly tasty route of curries, dal, and mustard.

Hows and Whys: Turmeric Milk, Not Turmeric Tea

It was a Tibetan friend who actually brought turmeric milk, or ‘golden milk’, to my attention. As a Tibetan-in-exile, she was raised in India, and she shook her head when she saw me drinking my cold-fighting concoction one day. She commented that I should be putting turmeric in my milk, not my tea. When I asked why, she didn’t elaborate beyond saying that they had been doing it that way in South Asia for centuries.

Just a little research into the issue yielded big results. Just like with many other supplements, popping a curcumin pill or stirring some turmeric into your tea is not enough. The problem with turmeric, it turns out, is that it has very low bio-availability when its eaten by itself. In normalspeak, that means your body has a hard time absorbing it and all its wonderful health benefits.

But there are two things in your kitchen that will help your body to absorb turmeric. One is fat and the other is black pepper. That is the reason that turmeric is best stirred into warm milk and not dissolved into watery tea. It’s also the reason that experts think people in India have the lowest rates of Alzheimer’s in the world – curries are made with both fat (cooking oil) and black pepper.

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How to Make Turmeric Milk, or Golden Milk, a Delicious Cold Remedy

1 cup milk (cow, almond, coconut, rice, hemp, soy are all fine as long as they have some fat)
1 tsp Turmeric
1 Tbsp raw wild honey
½ tsp Cinnamon
black pepper, a pinch

1. Heat up your milk in the microwave or on the stove.
2. Add turmeric and whisk to combine.
3. Stir in honey and cinnamon and mix well.
4. Add a pinch of black pepper and stir.

Sit back and enjoy your virus-fighting, anti-inflammatory, relaxing, and fragrant beverage.

Can’t Sleep All the Way Through the Night? Try a Little Bit of This “Ideal Liver Fuel” Before Bed

by Nick Meyer | September 11, 2014
When we think of the best foods to eat at night, raw honey might not pop into our heads because of how sweet it is, and eating anything sweet before bed typically doesn’t end well.

But raw honey is different because of its natural composition, to the point where some doctors are even recommending it be taken before bedtime.

Among them is Dr. Ron Fessenden, MD, who authored the book ‘The Honey Revolution: Restoring the Health of Future Generations.’

Fessenen is among those recommending honey as an ideal food for many reasons and to be taken at many different times of day, but perhaps most interestingly before bed in order to support a healthy night’s sleep.

Honey may be one of the sweetest foods out there, but that doesn’t mean it can’t be helpful for your body as it undergoes the repairing process overnight.

As always make sure your honey is raw and organic, since most grocery store brands are imported, contain GMOs, and are oftentimes heated so that many of the beneficial compounds are destroyed in the name of “safety.” In this case it’s best to buy it directly from the farmer.

How raw honey aids in sleep quality (and quantity)

As noted by Fessenden, raw honey contains “an ideal ratio of fructose to glucose,’ to support the liver, an organ that works overtime literally and figuratively, during the sleeping process.

Eating honey ensures that the liver will have an adequate supply of liver glycogen throughout the day, and taking it before bedtime can serve as the perfect liver fuel at night. Combined with adequate, pure water, your body should have most of what it needs to perform its restorative and detoxing functions.

According to this blog post from Fessenden, honey promotes a truly deep and restorative sleep in two main ways.

First, it allows for an adequate supply of liver glycogen overnight while your body is fasting and stores are low. He notes that the average adult liver only has about 75 to 100 grams worth of storage space for glycogen, which varies between men and women of different body sizes.

Per hour the body consumes about 10 grams of glycogen during the day, leaving our stores quite low by the time our heads hit the pillow at 11 p.m.

That leaves less liver glycogen than is needed for eight hours of sleep if you ate dinner at 6 p.m., Fessenden says.

However, if you take a teaspoon or two of honey before bed, you’ll be re-stocking your liver with glycogen so that your brain doesn’t activate a stress response, which often occurs when glycogen is low. Honey also contributes to the release of melatonin in the brain, as it leads to a slight spike in insulin levels and the release of tryptophan in the brain. Tryptophan leads to serontonin which is made into melatonin in the dark.

Finally, when adding honey to your diet at night, you’ll be supporting a healthy metabolism as your liver goes to work breaking down the toxins that are ultimately stored in fat cells.

Other health benefits of honey

In addition to the ability to help us have a restful night’s sleep, honey has a wide range of benefits that have been tested throughout time.

Honey virtually never spoils, as it has been found in Egyptian tombs still intact after many hundreds of years.

The popular sweetener is also anti-fungal, anti-bacterial, excellent for reducing throat irritation, great for athletes, and much more, as this article notes.

Regardless of how you use your honey, don’t forget to buy organic and raw from a local farmer: the benefits of honey have been enjoyed for thousands of years, but they just don’t make it the way they used to anymore (unless you buy from a trustworthy organic farmer or beekeeper, that is).

– See more at: http://althealthworks.com/3807/cant-sleep-all-the-way-through-night-a-little-bit-of-raw-honey-might-do-the-trick/#sthash.5RzPcbS4.dpuf