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The Heath Benefits of Pomegranates

 

Pomegranates are thick-skinned dazzlingly red beauties brimming with Vitamin A, Vitamin C, Vitamin E, Vitamin K, calcium, ellagic acid, folic acid, magnesium, manganese, niacin, phosphorous, phytochemicals, polyphenols, punicalagins, potassium, riboflavin, thiamin and zinc

WELLNESS

These historically revered fruits have innumerable health benefits including but not limited to protect against and treatment of the following

Anemia Pomegranates are filled with iron and can cure anemia by elevating hemoglobin levels

Anti-cancer properties Pomegranates can prevent breast cancer, colon cancer, leukemia and prostate cancer, and can inhibit tumor growth and even, in some cases, induce apoptosis or cell death.

 

Anti-inflammatory abilities Vitamin C helps control arthritis and asthmatic symptoms such as coughing and wheezing

 

Bone health Calcium is crucial for strong, healthy bones.  Manganese helps form bone structures.  Pomegranate juice can also deter cartilage damage, which, in turn, prevents osteoporosis

 

Depression Pomegranates contain vital phytochemicals that stimulate serotonin and improve mood

 

Diabetes Pomegranate juice does not increase blood sugar levels, which is great news for diabetic folks

 

Digestive health Pomegranate juice aids in digestion and can help ease nausea.  The white membrane of the pomegranate is often used as a cure for diarrhea, dysentery, hemorrhoids and intestinal worms

 

Eye health Pomegranates are a great home remedy for conjunctivitis

 

Heart health Punicalagins (anti-oxidant compounds) lower cholesterol and blood pressure and increase the rate at which atherosclerosis (arterial blockages) dissolve.  Pomegranate juice has also been shown to improve blood flow and oxygen to the heart.   Magnesium normalizes blood pressure.  Potassium controls a healthy heart rate and also lowers blood pressure.  Pomegranate seeds actually prevent blood platelet aggregation, which can lead to hazardous blood clots

 

Immune system health Vitamin A and Vitamin C are extraordinary immune system boosters, which help fight off a wide variety of diseases, infections and viruses ranging from the common cold to the flu to HIV

 

Men’s health Studies indicate that pomegranate juice may be a natural, progressive treatment for ED, or erectile dysfunction

 

Menopause Pomegranate juice has been shown to relieve “hot flashes

 

Pregnancy Most doctors highly recommend folic acid to expectant moms as it increases blood flow to the unborn baby and can prevent neural tube birth defects

 

Women’s health Pomegranate juice can alleviate a UTI, or urinary tract infection

 

BEAUTY

 

Anti-oxidant properties Vitamins A, C and E are all powerful anti-oxidants that promote healthy hair and strong nails.

 

Skin health Pomegranate protects the skin from harmful UV rays, promotes cell regeneration, repairs tissues and speeds up wound healing.  The anti-oxidants in pomegranate juice will also prevent the signs of premature aging including age spots, fine lines and wrinkles.  Pomegranate can also sooth painful acne outbreaks and diminish scars

 

WEIGHT LOSS

 

Fibre A cup of the arils aka juicy pomegranate seeds actually contains a bountiful 7 grams of fibre.  As a snack, they will keep you feeling fuller longer and less likely to reach for empty calories.  They will also keep your body flushed out, which results in more consistent weight loss

 

Cooking / Consumption

 Fantastic in salads, yoghurt, sorbet, mix through vegetable dishes and curries to finish for colour, texture and zing

Marinate Meats in the juice , grill or just eat raw, naturally sublime

A wonderful compliment to your Sunday morning Belgian-style waffles or short stack of whole-wheat pancakes is this unique and sublime pomegranate syrup that is oh so easy to make.  All you need to do is combine 12 cups of pomegranate juice, 1.5 cups of sugar and 3 tablespoons of fresh lemon juice in a saucepan over medium heat until the sugar is completely dissolved.  Turn the mixture down to medium-low and allow it to reduce into syrup for about 50 minutes or so.  Let the syrup cool for a good half an hour and pour into pretty glass Ball jars

 

Interesting fact about pomegranates:  The pomegranate is one of the world’s oldest fruits and some scholars believe that it was actually the pomegranate, not the apple, which tempted Eve in the Garden of Eden.

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Capsicum annuum ripe fruit

Capsicum annuum ripe fruit (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Health Benefits of Jalapeño Peppers

This feisty little Spanish pepper is chock full of nutritional goodness including a wealth of vitamins A, C and K, some of the B complex, a small amount of E as well as capsaicin, copper, iron, magnesium, manganese, potassium and zinc

WELLNESS

If you can stand the heat, then you most definitely want these spicy hot little beauties in your kitchen as they boast some profound health benefits as detailed below:

Anti-cancer properties Due to its high concentrations of vitamin C (one single pepper has more than a day’s worth of the recommended dosage), jalapenos have extraordinary antioxidant capacities that can combat damaging free radicals and markedly slow down cell degeneration.  Capsaicin is particularly powerful in the fight against prostate cancer as it induces the bad cells to undergo apoptosis and quite literally, kill themselves

 Bone health Due to their gamut of internal minerals, jalapenos can play a vital role in developing and maintaining strong and healthy bones

Heart health Capsaicin has been shown to reduce cholesterol and triglycerides and aid in healthy blood clot formation. Vitamins A & C are important bioflavonoids that strengthen the blood vessels

Immune system Vitamin C is a champion prizefighter when it comes to combatting bacterial and viral infections, or at the very least lessening the symptoms, of the common cold and influenza.  The heat in jalapeno peppers provides wonderful relief from nasal congestion

Migraine relief Capsaicin is a long-known home remedy for migraine relief.  Capsaicin inhibits Substance P, a neuropeptide that is considered a main brain pain transmitter

BEAUTY

Antioxidant abilities Jalapenos are laden with vitamins A & C, both of which have widely known and revered antioxidant capabilities and can combat cell damaging free radicals and promote younger more supple looking skin, more structurally sound and lustrous hair and stronger nails less prone to breakage

WEIGHT LOSS

Metabolism booster Capsaicin is the very compound in jalapenos that actually gives them their notorious heat.  Eating jalapenos, in fact, slightly raises the body’s core temperature, increases the metabolic rate and thus assists with weight loss.  Also, that same fiery heat has been shown to decrease appetite

COOKING

Jalapeño peppers are green at harvest and while still half-ripe.  It is not until they are fully ripe that they turn that scorching crimson red color.  They can be eaten raw, baked, fried, sautéed or blended.  When picking them up in the produce aisle, be sure to look for peppers that are solid, smooth, shiny and wrinkle-free

Pickled jalapeños make for wonderful snacks on their own, or, as a tangy, tasty topping for your favorite nacho platter

Jalapeño poppers are always an appetizing party pleaser with their ooey gooey insides of either reduced fat cream cheese, ricotta or cottage.  For an interesting and slightly healthier variation, you can lightly coat them in beaten egg and panko breadcrumbs or wrap them in prosciutto and bake them in the oven.

As for main courses, the sky is the limit.  Jalapenos are used in hundreds of luscious dishes; everything from tomato, cucumber and jalapeno pepper summer gazpacho to pineapple and jalapeno pork chops to lime-Jalapeno chicken.

You can surprise your friends, family, try Dark Chocolate Mousse, sorbet, Bickies and Bread with specks of baked  jalapeno

Interesting fact about Jalapenos:  They were the first pepper ever to be launched into space on the NASA shuttle!

 

Immature jalapeno capsicum annuum var annuum

Immature jalapeno capsicum annuum var annuum (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

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A great new piece of evidence has emerged about broccoli. A compound in broccoli, glucosinolate, produces a metabolite (a product of the metabolism) called sulforaphane that can significantly improve your blood pressure and kidney function. Indole-3-carbinol in the phytonutrients of broccoli  deactivates a metabolite which can become cancerous, this is something that chemotherapies cant do. The stalk has plenty of nutrient more vitamin C than the florets in fact it includes calcium, iron, thiamine, riboflavin and  niacin

Wellness

Anti-Inflammatory  broccoli is a particularly rich source of a flavonoid called Quercetin, its a powerful antioxidant

Detoxification  broccoli contains an unusual combination of three phytonutrients, glucoraphanin, gluconasturtiian, and glucobrassicin which are a great combo for detoxifying the body

Nervous System potassium is responsible for maintaining a healthy nervous system

Blood Pressure again due to high potassium aswell as magnesium and calcium

Antioxidant thanks to all the vitamin c  they help fight nasty free radicals that damage our cells

Antihistamine helping allergy and hay fever sufferers, offers relieve from the common cold another benefit of vitamin c

Immune System is boosted and strengthened by beta-carotene, trace minerals, such as zinc and selenium

Osteoporosis and bone health can be avoided from high levels of both calcium and vitamin K

Heart Health carotenoid lutein found in broccoli can prevent or slow the arteries leading to the heart from thickening

Eye Health broccoli helps prevent macular degeneration and cataracts,  assists low light and colour vision. Carotenoid lutein and vitamin A are the heroes here

Along with all the above it assist brain function and muscle growth. A reduced risk of atherosclerosis, heart attack, stroke, breast, cervical and prostate cancer to add to the list

Weight loss

High Fiber  which aids in digestion, prevents constipation, maintains low blood sugar

Low Calories making it a great weight loss snack

High in protein compared to rice or corn which helps you feel fuller longer

Powerful antioxidant the element indole-3-carbinol which assist the liver in turn can assist weight loss

Beauty

Sun Damage  it contains glucoraphanin which is converted into sulforaphane which assists the skin to detoxify and repair itself

Cooking

I cook the stems in soups, curries, braise,s and pot cooking or eat them as I would bamboo shoots, just slice raw in a salad with some cashew nuts, garlic, chilli, ginger, sesame oil and rice wine vinegar dressing

Its great in soups, salads, stir fries and puree,s as pasta sauces or vegetarian dish sauces

I love it steamed with butter, parmesan and toasted almonds for a simple no fuss meal

Tempura them in a rice flour batter and serve with a parmesan yoghurt dipping sauce or Pakoras with raita

“Love someone with a beautiful bowl of broccoli goodness today”

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The benefits of Apples

Wellness

Apples deliver an antioxidant called quercetin, a plant derived flavonoid which aids endurance by making oxygen more available to the lungs

  • · Antihistamine Affects powerful antioxidant with anti-histamine affects, fantastic for some natural hayfever relief
  • · Bone Protection
    A flavanoid called phloridzin that is found only in apples may protect post-menopausal women from osteoporosis, may also increase bone density. Boron, another ingredient in apples strengthens bones
  • · Diahorrea and constipation Fibre can either pull water out of your colon to keep things moving along when you’re backed up or absorb excess water from your stool to slow your bowels down
  • · Asthma Help
    One recent study shows that children with asthma who drank apple juice daily had less wheezing than others and  mothers who consumned apples whilst pregnant had children with less asthma related problems
  • · Alzheimer’s Prevention
    quercetin in apples may protect brain cells from the kind of damage that may lead to Alzheimer’s
  • · Lower Cholesterol
    The pectin in apples lowers LDL (“bad”) cholesterol
  • · Lung Cancer Prevention
    According to a study of 10,000 people, those who ate the most apples had a 50 percent lower risk of developing lung cancer. Researchers believe this is due to the high levels of the flavonoids quercetin and naringin in apples
  • · Breast Cancer Prevention
    It appears the more apples you eat, the less the risk
  • · Colon Cancer Prevention Due to Pectin in apples and helps maintain a healthy digestive tract
  • · Liver Cancer Prevention
    Rats fed an extract from apple skins had a 57 percent lower risk of liver cancer

Lower Cholestrol The soluble fibre found in apples binds                with fats in the intestine for removal in the digestive system

Immune Booster especially red apples which contain high levels of quertin

  • · Liver Cleanser by assisting in the removal of toxins from the body
  • · Prevent Gallstones due to high fibre content
  • · Prevent hemmarriods fibre can prevent you from straining too much when going to the bathroom and thereby help alleviate hemorrhoids
  • · Protect against Parkinsons disease a disease characterized by a breakdown of the brain’s dopamine-producing nerve cells. Scientists have linked this to the free radical-fighting power of the antioxidants contained therein
  • · Assist in prevention of heart disease
  • · Diabetes Management
    The pectin in apples supplies galacturonic acid to the body which lowers the body’s need for insulin and may help in the management of diabetes
  • · Weight Loss
    A Brazilian study found that women who ate three apples or pears per day lost more weight while dieting than women who did not eat fruit while dieting

         Weightloss

Apples satisfy hunger for few calories so it’s not surprising that they can be part of a healthy diet that promotes weight loss. And in a recent study, dried apples also helped participants lose some weight. Women who ate a cup of dried apples daily for a year lost some weight and lowered their cholesterol and heart disease markers. Florida State University researchers think apples’ antioxidants and pectin (a type of fiber) are responsible for the benefits—and think that fresh apples would be even more effective

A Brazilian study found that women who ate three apples or pears per day lost more weight while dieting than women who did not eat fruit while dieting

Beauty

Apples contain 13 vitamins and 20 minerals, they also have beneficial antioxidant and antibacterial qualities. They’re healthy for our bodies, and also is particularly suited to sensitive and allergy prone skin. Apples have the same ph value as the human body

Pectin accelerates the regeneration of skins elastic fibres for firmer smoother skin

They can be used for skin inflammations

Homemade beauty treatments made with fresh apples are mildly astringent

For firming and moisturising by rubbing half and apple on the face

Grate apples mixed with with oats and honey for a 30 minute mask

To soften age spots with grated apple, lemon and orange flower water

Cooking

Try to keep the peel on, they have 75 percent of the total fibre and 9 times greater antioxidants in the skin

Bake them whole and stuff with ricotta, your favourite spices, drizzle with some manuka honey

Stew and Freeze when plentiful, then they are easy to make a crumble, tart or pie  when you are time poor

Dry them then use in the months they are out of season, A fantastic way to add natural sugar to dishes, although with drying they lose vitiman c but still contain fibre and carbohydrates for energy

Plenty of reasons not to ovelook the humble apple, add some to your shopping today

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THE BENEFITS OF LEMON

After working with food for 25 years, the value of what nature provides never ceases to amaze me, A closer look at the properties and uses of what is just under our nose, I highly recommend a glass of lemon and warm water first thing everyday

FOR HEALTH

Drink a glass of lemon and warm water first thing in the morning there are many health benefits like

Improves digestion and eliminates heart burn, bloating and belching

Improves cleansing the body, helps your body digest food because it helps the body produce more bile

Rub lemon juice on gums to stop them bleeding and helps get rid of bad smell from gum disease, lemon water can help stop a tooth ache

Drinking lemon and water is claimed to have pain relief properties

Gargle lemon and water often to get rid of throat infections, it’s an antibacterial

Mix some honey with lemon and water to assist with weight loss if you are over weight

It controls high blood pressure, dizziness, nausea as well as provides relaxation to mind and body.

It  reduces mental stress and depression.

Drink lemon and water is said to assist in breathing problems and refresh asthma sufferers

It alkalies acidic bodies, over acidic bodies can cause aches and pains in the joints,inflammation, chronic pain, gout, arthritis, colds and flu,  bacteria and viruses,  tooth decay, liver problems, bad circulation. constipation, morning headaches, and eventually cancer., please read my previous blogs for more amazing information and health benefits

FOR BEAUTY

Drinking the lemon and water every morning can make a huge difference to the appearance of the skin, its known to help remove blackheads and is greatly anti aging

Put lemon juice on your hair and sit in the sun to let it dry for Natural Highlights

Place lemon and water on areas of burns, it can fade scars

It’s great for exfoliation when mixed with salt and olive oil, A great black head remover, skin brightener and as a treatment for sunburn by using equal parts of lemon juice and water and gently washing the face it can cool the burn, promote healing and act as a disinfectant to prevent sun blisters and peeling.

. The juice can be used to lighten age spots and other facial discolorations

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FOR COOKING

Peel the skin of lemons with a peeler, blanch them and keep in a glass jar immersed in rice bran oil for chopping and using in cooking and add to herbal teas

Squeeze the juice and keep frozen in ice cubes so its easy to get fresh and use when you need

Lemons are great for making salad dressings, mix with your favourite herbs and good fats, get creative

Squeeze a little over a freshly cooked piece of steak with grain mustard ,  salt and freshly cracked pepper……………….. yum

Preserve them in salt and lemon juice and use when making casseroles, put some in chicken noodle soup and add fresh parsley for some extra nutrient and taste

Place one in the middle of your chicken with some fresh hard herbs (rosemary, sage, thyme) before roasting it for some extra flavour

It’s also inexpensive and easily accessible, Can you see any reason why not to use more Lemons in your Life today?

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