Non-Traditional Approaches to
the Theories, Treatments and Prevention of Cancer

Plums and Fresh Prunes

July 21, 2014

The early colonists found plums growing wild along the entire Eastern coast. They were one of many fruits eaten by the Indians before the coming of the white man, and reports of early explorers mention the finding of plums growing in abundance. Today however native plums are not important commercially. The European type of plums, Prunas Domestica, has replaced the native plum. Plum pits from Europe probably were brought to America by the first colonists, for it is reported that plums were planted by the Pilgrims in Massachusetts, and the French brought them to Canada.

Although plums came to America by way of Europe, they are believed to have originated in Western Asia in the region south of the Caucasus Mountains to the Caspian Sea. According to the earliest writings in which the European plum is mentioned,the species dates back at least 2000 years.

Another species, Prunus Institia, known to us as the Damson plum, also came to America by way of Europe. This plum was named for Damascus and apparently antedates the European type, although Damson pits have been found in the lake dwellings of Switzerland and in other ancient ruins.

Another important species, the Japanese plum, was domesticated in Japan, but originated in China. It was introduced in the United States about 1870. This type is grown extensively in California.

Plums have been grown in some of the Spanish mission gardens of California at least as early as 1792, and the first prune plums grown in California were produced in Santa Clara Mission. However, the present California prune industry is not based on these but the French prune, Petite Prune d’Agen, scions of which were brought to California from France in 1856 by Pierre Pellier. French-type prunes grown in California orchards were shipped in to San Francisco markets in 1859.

Botanically, plums and prunes of the European or Domestica type belong to the same species. The interchangeable use of the terms “plum and prune” dates back for several centuries. Plum is Anglo-Saxon, and prune is French. It is uncertain just when the word prune was first used to designate a dried plum or a plum suitable for drying. The prune is a variety of plum that can be dried without fermenting when the pit is left in. Fresh prunes, as compared with plums, have firmer flesh, higher sugar content, and frequently higher acid content. A ripe, fresh prune can be separated from the pit like a freestone peach, but a plum cannot be opened this way.

Of all the stone fruits, plums have the largest number and greatest diversity of kinds and species. H.F. Tysser, editor of Fruit Manual, published in London, says there are over 2000 varieties. Samual Fraser, in his book America Fruits, speaks of a list of about 1500 varieties of Old World plums alone, and says there probably are just as many varieties of plums native to this continent. In addition, there is a long list of Japanese and Chinese plums.

Almost all of the plums shipped in the United States are grown in California. There are two types of California plums, Japanese and European. The former marketed early in the season and the latter in mid season or later. The Japanese varieties are characterized by their large size, heart-shape, and bright red or yellow color. Japanese varieties are never blue.

Plums and prunes of good quality are plump, clean, of fresh appearance, full colored for the particular variety, and soft enough to yield to slight pressure. Unless one is well acquainted with varieties, color alone cannot be replied upon an indication of ripeness. Some varieties are fully ripe when the color is yellowish-green, others when the color is red, and others when purplish-blue or black. Softening at the tip is a good indication of maturity. Immature fruit is hard. It may be shriveled and is generally of poor color or flavor. Over mature fruit is generally soft, easily bruised, and is often leaky.

THERAPEUTIC VALUE

Fresh plums are more acid to the body than fresh prunes. When too many plums are eaten, an over acid condition results. When prunes are dried, however they are wonderful for the nerves because the contain a phosphorus content of nearly 5 percent.

Prunes have a laxative effect. The dried prune is better to eat than the fresh plum or prune. The salts contained in the dried prune are valuable as food for the blood, brain and nerves. The French prunes are considered the best for their value to the nervous system.

NUTRIENTS IN ONE POUND

Calories: 218

Protein: 3 g

Fat: 0.9 g

Carbohydrates: 55.6 g

Calcium: 73 mg

Phosphorus: 86 mg

Iron: 2.2 mg

Vitamin A: 1200 I.U.

Thiamine: 0.28 mg

Riboflavin: 0.18 mg

Niacin: 2.1 mg

Ascorbic acid: 20 mg

Raspberry

July 14, 2014

The red raspberry was first cultivated about 400 years ago on European soil. Cultivation spread to England and the United States, where the native American raspberry was already well known.

In 1845, Dr. Brinkle of Philadelphia became the first successful producer of raspberries in this country, and he originated many varieties. By 1870, this berry had become an important crop in the United States.

The red raspberry is native to the northern United States, and the black raspberry is found in the South. The purple raspberry is a hybrid between the red and the black, and did not become important until about 1900.

The raspberry has a wide range of colors. A yellow is raspberry found growing wild in many areas, particularly in Maryland. The Asiatic species of raspberry has a color that ranges through red, orange, yellow, lavender, purple, wine, to black. Even white berries are found in many species in their wild state. Pink berries have been found in Alabama and Oregon, and lavender ones in North Carolina. In the West, the wild black raspberry is often not quite black, but rather a deep wine in color. The market berry is usually the cultivated berry and is both red and black. There are many varieties of each that are popular. The market runs from supply mid-April through August, and the peak month is July.

A quality berry is plump, with a clean, fresh appearance, a solid, full color, and is usually without adhering caps. Berries with caps attached may be immature. Overripe berries are usually dull in color, soft, and sometimes leaky.

THERAPEUTIC VALUE

Raspberries are considered a good cleanser for mucus, for catarrhal conditions, and for toxins in the body. They are a good source of vitamins A and C. Raspberries leave an alkaline reaction. They should never be eaten with sugar.

Raspberries are wonderful in juice form and can be used as a cocktail before meals, since they stimulate the appetite. Raspberry juice is delicious mixed with other juices.

NUTRIENTS IN ONE POUND

Calories: 177

Protein: 4.2 g

Fat: 0.4 g

Carbohydrates: 42.4 g

Calcium: 254 mg

Phosphorus: 150 mg

Iron: 1.5 mg

Vitamin A: 2,240 I.U.

Thiamine: 0.29 mg

Riboflavin: 0.30 mg

Niacin: 3.6 mg

Ascorbic acid: 166 mg

Grape

July 7, 2014

The grape is one of the oldest fruits in history. Grape seeds have been found in mummy cases in Egyptian tombs that are more than 3000 years old. At the time of Homer, the Greeks were using wines, and the Bible tells of grape cultivation in the time of Noah. North America was known to the Norse sea rovers as “Vinland” because the grapevines were so abundant.

The Mission Fathers of California were the first to grow the European type of grape. This variety became known as the Mission grape and remained the choice variety until 1860 when other choice European varieties were introduced into this country.

Between 6,000 and 8,000 of grapes have been named and described, but only 40 to 50 varieties are important commercially. Table grapes must be attractive in appearance and sweet and firm. Large size, brilliant color, and beautifully formed bunches are the qualities desired.

There are four classes of grapes: wine grapes, table grapes, raisin grapes, and sweet (non-fermented) juice grapes. The big grape producing states, in addition to California, are New York, Michigan, and Washington.

Domestic grapes are available from late July through March, and the peak is from August to November. Grapes are also imported from February through May from Argentina, Chile, and South Africa.

Emperor grapes are a Thanksgiving and Christmas favorite. The clusters are large, long, and well-filled. The fruit is uniform, large, elongated obovoid, light red to reddish-purple, seeded, neutral in flavor, and the skin tough. They are on the October and well into March.

Thompson Seedless were first grown in California near Yuba City by Mr. William Thompson and are now very popular. The clusters are large, long, and well-filled; the fruit is medium-sized and ellipsoidal. The color is greenish-white to light golden. They are seedless, firm, and tender, and are very sweet when fully ripened. They are moderately tender skinned. Thompson Seedless grapes are on the market from late June into November.

The Tokay variety grows in large clusters that are conical and compact. The grapes are large, ovoid with a flattened end, and brilliant red to dark red. They are seeded, very firm, neutral in flavor and have thick skins. Tokay grapes are on the market from September into November.

Other table varieties include Almeria, Cornichon, Red and White Malaga, Ribier, Lady Fingers, Catawba, Delaware, and Niagara.

The principal juice grape is the Concord, a leading native grape, that is blue-black in color, medium-sized, and tough-skinned. It is also used as a table grape and is on the market in September and October.

THERAPEUTIC VALUE

Grapes are used throughout the world for curative purposes. In France, it not uncommon for people to use grapes as their sole diet for many days during the grape season. . The low incidence of cancer in these areas has been attributed to the high percentage of grapes in the daily diet. The therapeutic value of grapes is said to be due to a high magnesium content. Magnesium is an element that for good bowel movements. Grape are wonderful for re-placing this chemical element.

The juice of the Concord grape is one of the best to use. Juice from other grapes, however, can be used as well. If the juice is too sweet juice or upsets the stomach a little lemon juice can be added. Mix with pineapple juice or any citrus fruit, if desired. Used in combination with whey, soy milk, and egg yolk, it makes a wonderful tonic forthe blood. When purchasing bottled grape juice, be sure it is unsweetened.

Grape skins and seeds are good for bulk, but sometimes are irritating in conditions of colitis and ulcers, so they should not be eaten by persons who have these conditions.

When chewed well, bitter grape skins make a good laxative. There is also a laxative element found in the seeds.

Grapes are wonderful for promoting action of the bowel, cleansing the liver, and aiding kidney function. They are alkalinizing to the blood, and high in water content, so they add to the fluids necessary to eliminate hardened deposits that may have settled in any part of the body. They are wonderful for the kidneys and the bladder and are very soothing to the nervous system. The high content of grape sugar gives quick energy. Dark grapes are high in iron, which makes them good blood builders.

As grapes do not mix well with other foods, it is best to eat them alone. Make sure they are ripe, as the green acids are not good the blood. They also make a wonderful snack for children-they are sweet, and much better for them than candy!

Crushed grapes may be used as a pack on a tumor or growth. Any infected area will improve after a grape pack is applied. It can be placed on the area of disturbance for a period of three to four days.

A one-day-a-week grape diet is good, during the grape season. It can be used when elimination is desired.

NUTRIENTS IN ONE POUND

Calories: 324

Protein: 3.5g

Fat: 1.8 g

Carbohydrates: 73.5 g

Calcium: 75 mg

Phosphorus: 92 mg

Iron: 2.6 mg

Vitamin A: 3301 I.U.

Thiamine: .24mg

Riboflavin: .12 mg

Niacin: 1.9 mg

Ascorbic acid: 17 mg

Melon

June 30, 2014

The many varieties of the popular melon give us certain elements not found in any other food. The honeydew melon originated in Asia, and it is believed that, as early as 2,400 B.C., this distinct type of muskmelon was growing in Egypt. The cantaloupe is native to India and Guinea and has been cultivated for more for more than 2,000 years. In Europe, it was first grown from seed transported from its native habitat.

The highly alkalizing honeydew was introduced to America in 1900 and Arizona and California have become the biggest producers. It is available the year around, but it is at its peak of abundance in July through September. The cantaloupe is available from late May through September, but is most abundant in June and July.

Both the honeydew and the casaba, which is another variety of winter melon, are usually picked before maturity and ripened off the vine. Cantaloupe, however, do not develop any additional sugar after they are picked. This melon should be picked when it is still hard and pulls off the vine smoothly, without leaving a jagged scar.

Learn to select melons by the color and firmness of their rind, and by fragrance. The cantaloupe may have a coarse netting over its surface (with a yellow, not green color beneath when ripe), or it may be of fine texture, depending again upon variety. Choose cantaloupe for their sweet fragrance. The casaba rind is golden in color and should feel heavy when ripe. A ripe honeydew has a creamy yellow surface color, and usually the scar in the blossom end yields to slight pressure.

The coloring of the flesh also is important, both as to degree of ripeness and to pleasing the eye and thus the palate. When fully ripe, casaba melons are cream in color, honeydews a yellowish cream in color, and cantaloupes either a light or dark shade of salmon, depending upon variety. Deeply colored flesh in the melon denotes that it will be high in vitamin A.

It is important to pick a thoroughly ripe watermelon in order to receive the greatest benefit. A ripe watermelon, when thumped with the fingers, has a dull, hollow sound. Another test of a good ripe melon is to try to scrape the rind with the fingernail; when the green skin comes off easily, the melon is ready to be eaten. Good watermelon has firm, crisp, juicy flesh and is never dry or fibrous.

Melons are very high in silicon, especially if eaten right down to the rind. When we discard watermelon rind, we are missing one its greatest elements. To obtain the gland- and blood-building chlorophyll, run the rind through a liquifier or juicer.

Watermelon, of course, is well-known as an efficient eliminator. Because it has such a high content of water and soluble chemicals, it can go into the bloodstream quickly and reach many of the organs of the body, depositing the chemicals needed to carry away waste.

During melon season, we should strengthen the body for the winter months with a “melon reserve” of vitamins A, B, and C, which are found in delightful form in the melon family.

THERAPEUTIC VALUE

Melon gives us an excellent supply of distilled water, along with the finest mineral elements possible. Many of us think we are drinking enough water, but our city water supplies do not give us “pure” water. Melons with their root system, pick up water from deep, in-ground reserves, and bring it to our tables in a delicious fruit substance. Consider the melon for rejuvenation and alkalinizing the body. Melons also are excellent for aiding elimination.

NUTRIENTS IN ONE POUND

Calories: 65

Protein: 1.0 g

Fat: 0.4 g

Carbohydrates: 14.4 g

Calcium: 15 mg

Phosphorus: 25 mg

Iron: 0.4 mg

Vitamin A: 1,240 I.U.

Thiamine: .10 mg

Riboflavin: .11 mg

Niacin: 0.4 mg

Ascorbic acid: 13 mg

Tomato

June 23, 2014

It is believed that the present type of tomato is descended from a species no larger than marbles, that grew thousands of years ago. The tomato is native to the Andean region of South America and was under cultivation in Peru in the sixteenth century at the time of the Spanish conquest. Before the end of the sixteenth century, the people of England and the Netherlands were eating and enjoying tomatoes. The English called it the “love apple”, and English romancers presented it as a token of affection; Sir Walter Raleigh is said to have presented one to Queen Elizabeth.

M. F. Corne is credited with being the first man to eat a tomato. His fellow citizens of Newport, Rhode Island, erected a monument to him, because the tomato was considered poisonous until Mr. Corne dared to eat one.

By cultivation and use the tomato is a vegetable; botanically, it is a fruit, and can be classified as a berry, being pulpy and containing one or more seeds that are not stones. It is considered a citric acid fruit and is in the same classification as oranges and grapefruit. Some oxalic acid is also contained in the tomato.

Consumption of tomatoes is on the increase. They are the third most important vegetable crop on the basis of market value; the first is potatoes. Tomatoes are produced in all states. In order of importance, the producers are: Texas, California, Florida, Ohio, and Tennessee. In the first four month~ of the year heavy shipments are imported from Mexico and Cuba. Fresh tomatoes are available all year, either from domestic production or imports. June and August are the peak months.

Tomatoes number greatly in variety, but it is estimated that only sixteen varieties are included in 90 percent of all tomatoes grown in the United States. Their characteristic colors range from pink to scarlet. A white tomato has recently been developed that is supposed to be acid-free. A good, mature tomato is neither overripe nor soft, but well developed, smooth, and free from decay, cracks, or bruises. Spoiled tomatoes should be separated immediately from the sound ones or decay will quickly spread.

If fresh, ripe tomatoes are unavailable, canned tomato and canned tomato juice are fine substitutes. It is preferable to use tomato puree, rather than canned tomatoes put up in water. Puree contains more vitamins and minerals.

Tomatoes are best when combined with proteins. Use tomatoes in both fruit and vegetable salads. They are cooling and refreshing in beverages, and are especially good as a flavoring for soups. Tomatoes can be used to give color, and make green salads more inviting.

Tomato juice should be used very soon after it has been drawn from the tomato, or after the canned juice is opened. If it is opened and left that way, it will lose much of its mineral value, because it oxidizes very quickly.

Tomatoes should be picked ripe, as the acids of the green tomato are very detrimental to the body and very hard on the kidneys. Many of the tomatoes today are grown in hothouses and are picked too green and allowed to ripen on their way to the markets or in cold storage plants built for this purpose. If the seeds, or the internal part of the tomato, is still green, while the outside is red, this is an indication that the fruit has been picked too green.

THERAPEUTIC VALUE

The tomato is not acid forming; it contains a great deal of citric acid but is alkaline forming when it enters the bloodstream. It increases the alkalinity of the blood and helps remove toxins, especially uric acid, from the system. As a liver cleanser, tomatoes are wonderful, especially when used with the green vegetable juices.

In many of the sanitariums in Europe tomatoes are used as a poultice for various conditions in the body. There is a mistaken belief that tomatoes are not good for those who have rheumatism and gout. People with these conditions should mix tomato juice with other vegetable juices to avoid a reaction that may be too strong.

Whenever the blood is found to be stagnant in any part of the body, a tomato poultice is wonderful as a treatment in removing that stagnation. It acts as a dissolving agent or solvent.

Tomatoes are very high in vitamin value. They are wonderful as a blood cleanser, and excellent in elimination diets. However, they should not be used to excess on a regular basis. Tomato juice can be used in convalescent diets, in combination with other raw vegetable juices such as celery, parsley, beet, and carrot juice.

NUTRIENTS IN ONE POUND

Calories: 97

Protein: 4.5 g

Fat: 0.9 g

Carbohydrates: 17.7 g

Calcium: 50 mg

Phosphorus: 123 mg

Iron: 2.7 mg

Vitamin A: 4,0801.U.

Thiamine: 0.23 mg

Riboflavin: 0.15mg

Niacin: 3.2 mg

Ascorbic acid: 102 mg

Pea

June 16, 2014

Evidence shows that the pea has been around since prehistoric times. Although the pea is of uncertain origin, it is probably native to Central Europe or Central Asia. It is also probable that peas were brought from Greece or Italy by the Aryans 2,000 years before Christ.

The green pea is a natural soluble mixture of starch and protein. Fresh peas are alkaline-forming, while dried peas have a tendency to produce allergic reactions and to cause gas, particularly when eaten with too much protein or concentrated starch. The best quality pea is one that is young, fresh, tender, and sweet. Use fresh, young peas in order to obtain the greatest food value and flavor. The pod should be velvety soft to the touch, fresh in appearance, and bright green in color. The pods should be well filled and the peas well developed, but not bulging. The large ripe pea is really a seed and should not be considered a vegetable.

The real “sugar” pea is grown primarily in Europe and is little known in the United States. Because Chinese food is so popular in this country, there is a variety of pea grown and picked for the thick, soft, green pods that are used in these dishes. Their roughage is great for the intestinal tract, and they are very nourishing. However, this herbaceous, tendril-climbing legume can be eaten, pod and all, in any variety, if picked young enough. Those people who are troubled with a lot of gas or with a sensitive stomach wall or intestinal tract may find the hulls of the more mature pea irritating. In such cases, the peas should be pureed, or liquefied, to avoid irritating disturbances.

Fresh green peas tend to lose their sugar content unless they are refrigerated to about 32 degrees F shortly after being picked. They should be cooked soon after they have been picked, for they lose their tenderness and sweetness as they age. Shell just before cooking, retaining a few of the pods to cook with the peas for additional flavor. Cook in as little water as possible, so that no water need be discarded after cooking. If some pot liquor does remain after cooking, use it soup or as a base in the liquefied vegetable drink.

Never cook peas in bicarbonate of soda water in order to keep their fresh green appearance. This method not only destroys the food value and digestibility of the pea, but is totally unnecessary. Peas cooked in a vessel that is vapor-sealed or that has a tight lid, or steamed in parchment paper, with little water, retain their flavor, greenness, and vitamins. When combined with carrots or turnips, peas are particularly tasty, and when a little onion is added, they need not be seasoned. If seasoning is desired, add a little dehydrated broth powder after cooking and serve with butter.

The pea is a fairly rich source of incomplete protein. As an alkaline ash vegetable, it is highly nutritious when eaten raw, and is more easily digested than beans. However, it takes a strong digestive tract to properly digest raw peas. To eat in their raw state, liquefy, and combine with other vegetables, proteins, or starches, to help aid in their digestion. Do not combine with fruits.

THERAPEUTIC VALUE

This alkaline-reacting vegetable is an outstanding source of vitamins A, B1, and C. The pea pods are very high in chlorophyll, iron, and calcium-controlling properties. Discarded pods are discarded vitamins and valuable minerals. Fresh garden peas are slightly diuretic in action. They also give relief to ulcer pains in the stomach because they help use up the stomach acids. In cases of ulcers, however, peas should be pureed. People who have a vitamin A deficiency should eat them raw, liquefied, or in juice. They should be eaten in combination with non-starchy vegetables to get the full value of the vitamin A they contain.

NUTRIENTS IN ONE POUND

Calories: 201

Protein: 13.7g

Fat: 9.8g

Carbohydrates: 36.1g

Calcium: 45mg

Phosphorus: 249mg

Iron: 3.9mg

Vitamin A: 1,390 I.U.

Thiamine: .69mg

Riboflavin: .33mg

Niacin: 5.5mg

Ascorbic Acid: 54mg

Blueberry

June 9, 2014

Blueberries originally grew wild in North America, and in many places they still do. By 1910 there were at least two varieties being cultivated for market. Breeding and selection have made these berries popular, but wild fruit is also marketed.

Blueberries are available from early May through August, and the peak month is July. Canada and the northeastern United States produce the greatest amount of blueberries, because they grow best when the days are long and the nights cool. In any one area the blueberry season usually lasts from six to seven weeks.

Quality blueberries are plump, look fresh, clean, and dry, are fairly uniform in size, and are a deep blue, black, or purplish color. Overripe berries are dull in appearance, soft and watery, and moldy.

THERAPEUTIC VALUE

Blueberries contain silicon, which helps rejuvenate the pancreas. They are said to be good for diabetic conditions.

NUTRIENTS IN ONE POUND

Calories: 310

Protein: 2.9g

Fat: 2.1g

Carbohydrates: 63.8g

Calcium: 63mg

Phosphorus: 54mg

Iron: 3.6mg

Vitamin A: 420 I.U.

Thiamine: —

Riboflavin: —

Niacin: —

Ascorbic Acid: 58mg

Cucumber

June 2, 2014

The cucumber is said to be native to India, although plant explorers have never been able to discover a wild prototype. Cucumbers have been cultivated for thousands of years, and records indicate that they were used as food in ancient Egypt, and were a popular vegetable with the Greeks and Romans. The cucumber is one of the few vegetables mentioned in the Bible.

In 200 B.C. a Chinese ambassador: traveled as far as Persia, where he saw cucumbers for the first time. Later, he brought them to China. At a later date, an English sea captain, returning from the West Indies, brought back pickled gherkins to Mrs. Samuel Pepys. Shortly after this period, cucumbers were grown in England.

Occasionally, in a collection of old glass, a plain glass tube or cylinder resembling a lamp chimney with parallel sides will tum up. This may be an English cucumber glass, a device used at one time to make cucumbers grow straight. George Stephenson, inventor of the locomotive, is credited with its invention.

Florida is the principal producer of cucumbers, supplying al­ most one-third of the total United States commercial crop for mar­ ket. California, North and South Carolina, New Jersey, and New York are also large producers.

Cucumbers for slicing should be firm, fresh, bright, well­ shaped, and of good medium or dark green color. The flesh should be firm and the seeds immature. Withered or shriveled cucumbers should be avoided. Their flesh is generally tough or rubbery and somewhat bitter. Over maturity is indicated by a generally over­ grown, puffy appearance. The color of over mature cucumbers is generally dull and not infrequently yellowed, the flesh is tough, the seeds hard, and the flesh in the seed cavity almost jelly-like. Cu­ cumbers in this condition should not be used for slicing. Some varieties are of solid green color when mature enough for slicing. but usually a little whitish color will be found at the tip, with a tendency to extend in lines along the seams, where they advance from pale green to white, and finally yellow with age.

THERAPEUTIC VALUE

Cucumbers are alkaline, non-starchy vegetables. They are a cooling food, especially when used in vegetable juices. Long ago it was believed that people would die from eating the peelings, but this is not true.

Cucumbers are wonderful as a digestive aid, and have a purify­ing effect on the bowel. It is not necessary to soak them in salt water. Serve them thinly sliced, raw, in sour cream, lemon juice, or yogurt for a delightful summer dish. They have a marvelous effect on the skin, and the old saying ”keeping cool as a cucumber” is literally true because of its cooling effect on the blood.

NUTRIENTS IN ONE POUND

Calories: 39

Protein: 2.2 g

Fat: 0.3 g

Carbohydrates: 8.6 g

Calcium: 32 mg

Phosphorus: 67 mg

Iron: 1.0 mg

Vitamin A: 0 I.U.

Thiamine: 0.11 mg

Riboflavin: 0.14 mg

Niacin: 0.7 mg

Ascorbic Acid: 27 mg

Swiss Chard

May 27, 2014

Swiss chard is a member of the beet family. Unlike most members of this family, chard does not develop an enlarged, fleshy root. Instead it has large leaves with thickened midribs, and both ribs and leaves are edible. The roots are hard and woody. Swiss chard is a temperate zone biennial that withstands rather severe winters. It is of the same species as garden beets, mangel-wurzels, and sugar beets, and readily inter-crosses with them through airborne pollination.

Chard is the beet of the ancients. Aristotle wrote about red chard and Theophrastus mentioned light-green and dark-green types of chard in the fourth century B.C. The Romans called this plant “beta”, and the Arabs called it “selg”. But chard was used as a potherb in the Mediterranean lands, Asia Minor, the Caucasus, and the Near East, long before Roman times. Wild beets grow widely in these areas.

Beets of the type that produce large, fleshy, edible roots were unknown before the Christian era. The ancients apparently used the root of the wild beet or chard for medicinal purposes only. Chard has been used in Europe for as long as there are definite records of food plants.

THERAPEUTIC VALUE

Swiss chard contains a great deal of vitamin C, vitamin A, potassium, sodium, and calcium. It is best not to cook it for a long time, because its vitamin content will decrease.

This vegetable is low in calories and high in alkaline ash. It is good when combined with other vegetables in salads, and helps ward off colds. It is beneficial to the digestive system, because it contains many of the vitamins and minerals essential to its operation.

NUTRIENTS IN ONE POUND

Calories: 82

Protein: 5.5 g

Fat: 0.8 g

Carbohydrates: 17.2 g

Calcium: 410 mg

Phosphorus: 140 mg

Iron: 9.8 mg

Vitamin A: 10,920 I.U.

Thiamine: 0.22 mg

Riboflavin: 0.28 mg

Niacin: 1.7 mg

Ascorbic acid: 148 mg

Artichoke

May 19, 2014

The artichoke is believed to be native to the area around the western and central Mediterranean. The Romans were growing artichokes over 2000 years ago, and used it as a green and a salad plant.

Artichokes were brought to England in 1548, and French settlers planted them in Louisiana in the mid-nineteenth century. California is now the center of the artichoke crop, and its peak season is March, April, and May although the crop is also available in November and December.

The name “artichoke” is derived from the northern Italian words “articiocco” and “articoclos”, which refer to what we know to be a pine cone. The artichoke bud does resemble a pine cone.

There is a variety of vegetable called the Jerusalem artichoke, but it is not a true artichoke. It is a tuberous member of the sunflower family. Here, we refer to the two types of true artichokes, the Cardoon (cone-shaped) and the Globe. The most popular variety is the Green Globe.

The artichoke is a large, vigorous plant. It has long, coarse, spiny leaves that can grow to three feet long. The artichoke plants may grow as high as six feet tall.

A perennial, the artichoke grows best in cool, but not freezing, weather. It likes plenty of water, and rain and fog, so is best suited to the California coast, especially the San Francisco area.

For a good quality artichoke, select one that is compact, plump, and heavy, yields slightly to pressure, and has large, tightly clinging, fleshy leaf scales that are a good color. An artichoke that is brown is old or has been injured. An artichoke is overmature when it is open or spreading, the center is fuzzy or dark pink or purple, and the tips and scales are hard. March, April, and May are the months when the artichoke is most abundant.

The parts of the artichoke that are eaten are the fleshy part of the leaves and heart, and the tender base. Medium-sized artichokes are best—large ones tend to be tough and tasteless. They may be served either hot or cold, and make a delicious salad.

To prepare artichokes, cut off the stem and any tough or damaged leaves. Was the artichoke in cold running water, then place in boiling water, and cook twenty to thirty minutes, or until tender. To make the artichoke easier to eat, remove the choke in the center, pull out the top center leaves, and, with a spoon, remove the thistle-like inside.

To eat artichokes, pull off the petal leaves as you would the petals of a daisy, and bite off the end.

THERAPEUTIC VALUE

Artichoke hearts and leaves have a high alkaline ash. They also have a great deal of roughage, which is not good for those who have inflammation of the bowel. They are good to eat on a reducing diet.

Artichokes contain vitamins A and C, which are good for fighting off infection. They are high in calcium and iron.

NUTRIENTS IN ONE POUND (including inedible parts)

Calories: 60

Protein: 5.3 g

Fat: 0.4 g

Carbohydrates: 19.2 g

Calcium: 93 mg

Phosphorus: 160 mg

Iron: 2.4 mg

Vitamin A: 290 I.U.

Thiamine: 0.14 mg

Riboflavin: 0.09 mg

Niacin: 1.7 mg

Ascorbic acid: 22 mg

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