Healthy Spirit: Chanukah Foods

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  • Since potatoes predominantly contain carbohydrates, they are easy to digest and facilitate digestion.
  • Potatoes contain vitamin-C and B-complex and minerals like potassium, magnesium, phosphorus and zinc, which are good for the skin.
  • Pulp obtained from crushed raw potatoes, mixed with honey, can serve as excellent skin and face masks.
  • Potato pulp, if applied externally on burns, gives a quick relief and aids in healing.

Olive Oil

  • Olives grow on trees, so olive oil is technically a fruit juice rather than an oil. The olives are pressed to release their juices just like oranges and lemons are pressed.
  • In Ancient Greece, people applied olive oil to their skin and hair as protection from the elements and to maintain a pleasant fragrance.
  • Using olive oil in place of other oils offers protection against heart disease by controlling LDL (“bad”) cholesterol levels while raising HDL (the “good” cholesterol) levels.
  • Olive oil’s protective function has a beneficial effect on ulcers and gastritis.
  • Extra virgin olive oil, from the first pressing of the olives, contains the highest levels of antioxidants, particularly vitamin E and phenols, because it is less processed than other grades of olive oil.


  • Apart from having very high calcium content, cheese is also rich in vitamin-B, which is very good for children, women, and elderly people, for formation and strengthening of bones and cartilages. The vitamin-B aids proper absorption and distribution of calcium.
  • Certain cheeses such as Cheddar, Swiss, blue, Monterey Jack, and processed American cheese, among others, have been demonstrated to reduce the risk of dental cavities.
  • Many cheeses, particularly aged cheeses such as Cheddar and Swiss, contain little or no lactose. For this reason, cheese is an important source of calcium and many other nutrients found in milk for lactose maldigesters or persons who have difficulty digesting lactose or milk’s sugar.
  • Cheese, in moderation, is included in the DASH (Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension) diet designed to reduce the risk of hypertension.