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Health

Bringing Oak Magic into our Lives

Oak trees are somewhere between mythical and practical realities for Greece. Oaks were sacred and prophetic trees for the Oracle of Dodoni.
Oaks are sacred to Zeus. Slavs, Celts, Romans, all believed the oak to be the sacred tree of the supreme god. Dryads are nymphs that inside the oak tree – that is why oaks were sacred – and certain wizards gathered in oak forests.

And the list of oak three benefits is big. Oaks have acorns able that are good for human and animal nutrition. Recently, oak products in food or in cosmetics have shown how oak acorns can be exploited in Greece and many other countries. For example, it is possible to extract oil from the acorns. There are methods that eliminates bitterness without wasting water. This is how we can produce sustainable high protein flour, animal feed, as well as cosmetics. In other words, we can produce without intensive cultivation with it high costs and need for precious water and nutrients in the soil.

The oak is a tree that grows naturally in many places in Greece, hence it is cultivated for its own sake, and for the reforestation of burned areas – its cultivation is super easy, inexpensive, sustainable, and practical.

The oak acorn is a product that nature gives us abundantly and freely. Also, oak flour can replace regular flour up to 30%.

As for food, a couple in Kea island commercially exploits island’s acorns. They make delicious products from the acorns without gluten, such as cookies, energy bars, and pasta, which are rich in protein and vitamins. In Korea, the acorn is part of their national cuisine. In America you can find flour made from them.

As for cosmetics, the Greek cosmetics company Korres use the substance quercetin, which is hidden in the acorn, as an anti-aging cream.

As animal feed, Chestnuts and acorns are valuable feed additives in the diet of cattle and small ruminants, pigs, rabbits, chickens, and ducks. It enhances the diet with protein and nutrients, but also with valuable fat.

Oak acorns are superior to wheat or corn. Whole dried acorns consist of the following: Calories 387 (458kJ), Total Carbohydrates 40.7%, Total Fat 23.9%, Saturated Fat 3.1%, Water 27%, Ash 1.3%, and they contain copper, manganese, potassium, calcium, iron, and many vitamins like B6, niacin, folate, and many other B vitamins.

* The above is not medical advice but mere suggestions for improving your diet. Before reach herbal use you should consult your doctor, especially those who have health issues, are pregnant or are under the age of 6.

Evropi-Sofia Dalampira holds a PhD in Agricultural Economics and an MSc in Botany-Biology.

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