It works for weight loss and has multiple health benefits

by Anaida Parvaneh

 

The aim of this column is to give you recipes that are tasty and at the same time bring forth the healing properties of certain ingredients. This salad was created mainly for taste and can be had alone or make a great accompaniment to your lunch and dinner. It works fabulous for weight loss, digestion and has multiple health benefits depending on the ingredient’s quantities. You can change the quantities of each ingredient according to your preference as well.

Ingredients
1/2 cup pearl barley (boiled and beetroot infused)
1 cup chopped cucumber
2 large celery sticks (I also use the leaves, chopped fine and used in the dressing, that is optional)
1/2 cupchopped cherry tomatos
1 carrot
1 beetroot
pomegranate for decoration

Dressing
3 large garlic cloves
¼ cup virgin olive oil
¼ cup apple cider vinegar
sea salt and pepper to taste
oregano as wanted
edible rose petals to taste

1 Boil the pearl barley with two pieces of beetroot. Strain and cool.
(I use this beetroot and juice after straining barley out, to make a “Laboo Burani”, an Iranian Raita, which I will share with you in future columns)
2 Cut the cucumber in smaller cubes, cherry tomatos in half or full as you like. Celeries in ultra thin and longish slices. And grate the carrots to get long thin shavings.
3 Mix all the ingredients in a bowl.
4 Mix olive oil, vinegar, salt, pepper and oregano and beat in a bowl, add and mix the same with all the ingredients and add rose petals and pomegranate on top before serving.
Noosh-e-Jaan!

The benefits
Barley
High in vitamins and minerals, this super grain has a lot of benefits and could be added to different dishes in creative ways. It is one of the oldest consumed grains in the world and one of the best whole grain choices! It helps balance blood sugar. It is great for diet conscious people as it is high in nutrition and low in calories and aids in digestion and weight loss. (For example one portion of barley served has less calories but more fiber than an equal portion of quinoa, brown rice, amarnath, sorghum, miller or wild rice!) In my honest opinion it’s a grain with a lot of “Prana”.

Cucumber
Helps weight management. Good for digestion, skin, hair, bone , nails, teeth and eye health. It helps maintain blood pressure and detoxification. Alkalizes blood.
In these summer days try and incorporate as much of it in your diet as you can.
Note: A great relaxant for tired eyes, slices of cucumber can relieve puffy eyes. Also after peeling a cucumber I often use the inside of the skins on my face for a quick refreshing and rejuvenating facemask. It can also help sunburn considerably.
Also a natural and quick way to get an energy boost is eating slices of cucumber! Thanks to vitamin B and carbohydrates content in them.

Cherry tomatoes
Contain vitamin A, C, K and potassium. Great source of fiber and great for diet. High on potassium and helps blood pressure. High in vitamin C it protects you against free radicals. Good for your heart, kidneys, bones, skin, and eyes. Contains beta-carotenes and has antioxidant properties. Helps prevent cancer.

Note: Tomato juice is a great way to naturally highlight your hair. Simply use undiluted tomato juice on sections of your hair and let the sun do the rest.
Tomato juice is also great for smelly dogs. Put them all over your dog (avoiding eyes). Wait for a few minutes for the acid in the juice to work on the smell, then shampoo and wash your dog as usual, repeated over several days, helps get rid of bad odor in your dog. It works better than cleaners for your fridge too!

Carrots
Supports the health of your heart, eyes, teeth and gums. Improves brain health and digestion. Anti-aging properties. High on beta-carotene, it helps wound treating abilities. (In ancient times in Iran it was used in “Marham” (healing paste) to put on wounds, eating it helps even more.

Note: For a quick lift me up glow, grate carrots finely and use as face mask before a night out, gives you a lovely, although temporary glow!

Celery
Speeds up weight loss. Anti inflammatory, supports good digestion. Boosts immunity and helps the liver by flushing out toxins. Fights cancer and regulates blood pressure levels. Good for your heart and skin. It helps reduce arthritis pain. Helps cure insomnia and has cancer fighting properties.

Garlic
Helps reduce blood pressure and cures cold, flu and lung infections. Anti bacterial and anti parasitic. Blood purifier, great for skin and hair. Cancer fighting properties.

Note: In ancient times they used to wrap a piece of garlic over stubborn splinters to get rid of them. It still works today. It is also used in helping earache in children if there is no access to a doctor. They used to crush a clove of garlic in coconut or olive oil , warm the oil to obtain the garlic properties, strain, cool and use a few drops in ears to help the ache.
Avoid garlic before surgeries and operations.
Apple cider vinegar
Improves weight loss. Stabilizes blood sugar. Contains potassium and calcium. Helps your body maintain a healthy alkaline PH level. Improves heart, liver and skin health. Slows the aging process and helps fight free radicals.

Olive oil
Rich in healthy monounsaturated fats, needed for health without adding to your weight! Contains large amount of antioxidants and has anti inflammatory properties. Helps in diabetes, arthritis and weight loss.

The other ingredients though have their own health benefits and are used in small quantities here, hence not included.

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