Gems from a Natural Pantry Walk-Through

Last night we joined a dozen others for a free tour of Natural Pantry at University Center with Tina Harmon, Chinese herbalist and acupuncturist. These happen every 3 weeks or so and are offered to help people learn how to use a plethora of natural foods in their daily eating to improve health. Here are just some of the natural_pantry_storethings we learned…

  • Ginger root – Tones digestive tract, and protects from seafood poisoning. Grate a little over next seafood treat to be sure! Also guards against colds and flu. Chop 1″ of ginger root finely, simmer in boiling water with honey for a delicious tea. Also good for nausea.
  • Greens – emphasize in spring and summer for detoxification. Eat a variety. Dandelion and parsely are very cleansing.  Blend into green smoothies with heavy duty blender.
  • Sprouting – releases enzymes, boosts nutrients and improves digestibility. Sprouts are great additions to stir-fries and soups. Simple to sprout in jars or bags. One pound of broccoli sprouts + 100 pounds of broccoli nutritionally!
  • Nuts – excellent food but freshness and quality are paramount. Rancid nuts produce dangerous toxins. Buy fresh in sealed or vacuum-packed packages, and keep refrigerated. Better yet, buy in shell and crack just before using! Tahini butter, made from sesame seeds provides the body with seratonin and melatonin, raising mood and improving sleep. Delicious with honey on sprouted bread.
  • Beans are high in protein and fiber. Cook with Kombu seaweed to reduce flatulence production. Seaweeds, high in Iodine, protect against radiation (picked up from computer and cell phone use). Frozen Edamame (soy) beans pack 12 grams of protein per 1/2 cup. Microwave pods for 3 minutes and shell for a fast snack. Low cost instant soups can be a healthy pick-me-up. Choose brown lentil for $1.69
  • Hemp seeds, shelled. Great source of protein and fiber. 3 teaspooons = protein of 2 eggs. Sprinkle on foods.
  • Rice: The longer the grain, the lower the glycemic index. This means slower digestion, so reduced blood sugar spikes. Just look at the length of those black wild rice grains!
  • Quinoa, Amarinth and Millet – very high in protein and calcium. Cook for 20 – 25 minutes with a veggie boullion cube for flavour, then add veggies for a nutritious meal.
  • Mushrooms – excellent immune system support. Much cheaper to buy frozen! Natural Pantry has all kinds and mixtures in its freezer section.
  • Chocolate should be 72% cacao or higher; the darker the more nutritious! Licorice is medicinal for adrenal glands and lowers blood sugar. Black licorice is more healthy than red.
  • Oils – Very important for good health. Olive oil is good for cooking using medium heat. Prefer dark glass packaging to retain maximum nutrients. Grape seed oil is the best for high heat cooking such as stir frying. Refrigerate after opening. Coconut oil also high heat; good for skin and hair.

These are just a selection of the many tips and tricks Tina shared with us, along with handouts about sprouting, flavors for specific body organs, and overall guidelines for healthy eating. I suspect each tour is a little different, so we’ll definitely want to go again! Learn more about Tina, check out her resources and next events at

One thought on “Gems from a Natural Pantry Walk-Through

  1. Sally, your blog is a cornucopia of health information! Thanks for making it all so interesting as well

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