We at South Florida Integrative Health Center would like to take this time to wish everyone a happy and healthy year. Although last year has been a difficult and challenging year, there is now a new opportunity to bring in healthy changes in mind, body and soul. We are very grateful for each and every one who we helped over the year and may everyone have a year of vitality and health.
As many of you know, one of our mottos here at South Florida Integrative Health Center is “Food is Medicine” Ancestral eating cherishes the nourishing foods our ancestors ate. The Jewish New Year of Rosh Hashana has some powerful foods from a Functional Medicine perspective. Let’s discuss some of the foods that are customary on Rosh Hashana and the medicinal value it has to heal the human body.
The first powerhouse of a food that is eaten on Rosh Hashana is a fish head in a soup. The fish head symbolizes the head of the year, but it also has deeper meaning that just as fish have their eyes always open, so should we be always mindful of the beauty and connectiveness we have with the world around us. Fish head soup is a favorite remedy in many cultures for just about anything and many cultures have sayings that there is nothing that a good fish head soup can’t cure. Fish heads contain the collagen, calcium and minerals from the bones as well as the essential fats such as Omega 3, the very important brain nutrient DHA and the very important Vitamins A and D.
Tzimmes is a recipe that consists of carrots and sweet potatoes with prunes and dried apricots. Carrots and sweet potatoes have natural carotenoids which act as antioxidants quenching reactive oxygen species, otherwise known as Free Radicals. The symbolism is that of sweetness for the new year, not just taste but being able to extract the sweetness out of life.
Honey is also another food eaten on Rosh Hashana that represents sweetness for life. The propolis, which is the top layer on the natural, raw honey has excellent antimicrobial properties and Bee Pollen is rich in B vitamins.
It is traditional to eat pomegranates on Rosh Hashana. The symbolism of pomegranates lies in their ruby-red seeds. There are many seeds representing fertility. It also reminds us to multiply in our actions and increase in doing good and repairing the world. Pomegranate seeds are rich in Ellagic acid which is now being researched to be anti-cancer. The reason being is that Ellagic acid is a powerful antioxidant and in research Ellagic acid causes apoptosis, which is the destruction of cancer cells.
It is customary to eat an apple dipped in honey on the night of Rosh Hashana, and ask for a good, sweet year. In the mystical Kabbalah, it is stated that the apple heals all and has 3 unique properties: A distinguished color and fragrance as well as taste. It is for this that the apple is eaten on Rosh Hashana to represent 3 blessings: Health, children and livelihood. The apple is rich in bioflavonoids and Vitamin C which work together to provide antioxidant and immune support. Apples have soluble fiber which helps with blood sugar control and to remove the bad cholesterol. Apples are high in Quercetin which is a powerful bioflavonoid that has immune modulating effects by acting as a zinc ionophore, allowing for zinc to enter the cell.
Food is our medicine and true health integrates mind, body and soul. We thank you for being part of our family here at South Florida Integrative Health Center and welcome in a brand-new year full of health and happiness. Feel free to reach out to us and we will be very happy to help you with any health concerns or questions. (305)799-1263 www.sfihc.com