Category Archive: Nutritional Information of Fruits

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Dried Jujube / Chinese Dates Health Benefits

Since a blood test early this year showed that I have very low blood count, I have been consuming red dates and black dates every day.  To recap, I have a uterine fibroid (submucosal) that causes me heavy menstruation every month. As a result, I am anemic.

My mil would boil a pot of red dates and black dates tonic every other day.  This dates tonic nourishes the blood and is popularly consumed by mothers in confinement and those recuperating from a surgery. On days when there is no dates tonic, I would eat about 4-5 organic red dates (pits removed) and a handful of organic goji berries.

Black jujubes are fresh Chinese dates that have been smoked. This is a “warm” (yang) food that helps nourish yin and reinforce blood; it is more effective in blood reinforcement than fresh jujubes. Eating a few every day is very beneficial for the kidneys (which control the reproductive system) and liver.

In China, where jujube originated, practitioners of traditional medicine have long prized the jujube for its medicinal properties. Once confined largely to China, the fruit now grows in many areas of the world, including southern Europe and the southern United States. Consult your doctor before using dried jujube or any herbal remedy.

Chinese Date

So why are jujubes (Chinese red dates) good for women?  The main biologically active components of jujubes are vitamin C, phenolics, flavonoids, triterpenic acids, and polysaccharides.  It also contains 18 out of the 24 important amino acids which helps in the formation of more than 50,000 proteins of the body.  Jujubes are also rich in carotene, B vitamins, flavonoids, calcium, phosphorus, iron, magnesium, cyclic adenosine monophosphate, and other nutrients.

  • Jujubes contain 70 to 80 times more vitamin C than in apples and grapes and 20 times more vitamin C than any citrus fruit.  Vitamin C is the nutrient responsible for creating and maintaining collagen.  This antioxidant strengthens blood vessels and gives skin its elasticity and strength.
  • The powerful antioxidants and organic compounds found in jujube is why this fruit has been labeled as the herbal elixir of life as people claimed it guarantees youthful looking skin.
  • The calcium, phosphorus and iron play an important role in preventing osteoporosis and anemia, both common in women.
  • Jujube is rich in cyclic adenosine monophosphate, one  of essential substances in the body’s energy metabolism. It enhances muscle strength, eliminates fatigue, dilates blood vessels, and prevents and treats of cardiovascular diseases.
  • Polysaccharides in jujubes can reduce cholesterol, blood pressure, stabilize blood sugar and increase calcium absorption.  Polysaccharides also supports positive mood, stops the effects of fatigue and acts as an anti-inflammatory by supporting the body’s anti-inflammatory processes.

Anti-Cancer Properties

A team of Iranian researchers at the Vaccine and Serum Research Institute in Mashhad conducted in vitro tests to evaluate the ability of dried jujube extract to inhibit growth or induce cell death in a variety of human tumor cell lines. Scientists used the MTT colorimetric assay to measure the degree to which water extract of dried jujube reduced the proliferation of tumor cells. Although the jujube extract inhibited tumor cell proliferation in all lines, it displayed the greatest effect against Jurkat leukemia cells. In a report in the February 2008 issue of “Cytotechnology,” researchers said their findings confirm dried jujube’s cytotoxic properties against a variety of cancer cell lines and urged further study to identify the mechanisms through which jujube works.

Anti-Inflammatory

Diabetics can benefit from jujube fruit when it is used as a medicinal rub for cuts and sores. Many diabetics suffer from poor circulation and neuropathy, which causes nerve damage, especially in the legs and feet.  A study published by the “Journal of Natural Medicines” and conducted at the I.S.F. College of Pharmacy found that jujube fruit can be a therapeutic anti-inflammatory agent. Using jujube fruit as a medicinal rub for cuts may help heal the wound because of its anti-inflammatory capabilities.

Popular jujubes related Chinese herbal formulas

Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) believes that it is sweet and warm in properties. It covers two meridians, including spleen and stomach. Its basic functions are to tonify middle-Jiao and Qi and nourish blood for tranquillization. Main jujube fruit uses and indications are diarrhea due to insufficiency of the spleen, palpitations, insomnia, night sweats, anemia and so on.  Dried jujube also reinforces energy, nourishes the blood, soothes the nerves and neutralizes toxic side effects of some medicine.

Try buying organic jujubes or those without sulfur. Buy them from a trusted seller and ask if sulfur is used.

Before consuming jujubes, consult a medical professional if you are suffering or are at risk of diabetes as the fruit contains fructose which can have a negative effect on blood sugar levels.

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Red Dragon Fruit Health Benefits

Being an anemia patient, I give priority to fruits and foods rich in iron. One of the fruits high in iron content is the red dragon fruit.

Like other fruits, the dragon fruit is low in calories and a good source of essential nutrients you need for good health.

 

Dragon Fruit Fun Facts

Dragon fruits have a surprising number of phytonutrients. Rich in antioxidants, they contain vitamin C (equivalent to 10 percent of the daily value), polyunsaturated (good) fatty acids, phosphorus, fiber and several B vitamins for carbohydrate metabolism, as well as carotene and protein. Calcium is present for strong bones and teeth, iron and phosphorus for healthy blood and tissue formation. The benefits are realized in a number of ways, from a strengthened immune system and faster healing of bruises and wounds to fewer respiratory problems.

Dragon fruits are proven to lower blood sugar levels as well as blood pressure, strengthen bones and teeth, promote healthy blood and tissue formation, strengthen the immune system, heal bruises and wounds faster and prevent respiratory problems.

Dragon fruits have zero complex carbohydrates, so foods can be more easily broken down in the body, helped by vitamin B1 (thiamin) and other B vitamins. The phytochemical captin, used as a medication to treat heart problems, is present in the fruit itself, and an oil in the seed operates as a mild laxative.

The seeds of dragon fruits are high in polyunsaturated fats (omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids) that reduce triglycerides and lower the risk of cardiovascular disorders. Eating dragon fruit can help the body maintain such normal function as ridding the body of toxic heavy metals and improved eyesight. Lycopene, responsible for the red color in dragon fruit, has been shown to be linked with a lower prostate cancer risk.

Natural Mystic dragon fruit vine plant Pitaya hylocereus - Click Image to Close

Good for Bones and Blood

With its calcium and iron content, the dragon fruit is also good for your bones and blood. The Food and Agricultural Organization of the United Nations considers dragon fruit a fruit of “high nutritional value” due to its calcium content. One small fruit meets 1 percent of the daily value. The dragon fruit is an even better source of iron, meeting 8 percent of the daily value.

However, consume dragon fruit in moderation because it contains fructose, which may be harmful to your health, if taken in excessive amounts.

 

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Why We Should Include Lemons In Our Diet

Lemons are my besties in the kitchen. They are one  of the staples that are always available in my refrigerator.  I drink lemon juice several times in a week, use the juice to marinate meats and dab the juice on my face. Lemon juice is a natural astringent.

The health benefits of lemons are due to its many nourishing elements like vitamin C, vitamin B6, vitamin A,vitamin E, folate, niacin thiamin, riboflavin, pantothenic acid, copper,  calcium, iron,  magnesium, potassium,zinc, phosphorus and protein.

Lemon is a fruit that contains flavonoids, which are composites that contain antioxidant and cancer fighting properties. It helps to prevent diabetes, constipation, high blood pressure, fever, indigestion and many other problems, as well as improving the skin, hair, and teeth. Studies conducted at the American Urological Association highlight the fact that lemonade or lemon juice can eliminate the occurrence of kidney stones by forming urinary citrate, which prevents the formation of crystals.

Lemons contain pectin fibre which is extremely valuable for colon well-being. Lemons also have effective antibacterial properties.

The fragrance of lemon can likewise repulse mosquitoes, while drinking lemon juice with olive oil serves to dispose of gall stones.

 

 

 

Lemons contain an acidic juice which stimulates our body to become more alkaline.

Reasons to include lemons in your diet:

  1. Improves liver function
  2. Reduces symptoms of colds and other viruses
  3. Stimulates bowel moment and cleanses the bowel
  4. Reduces acidity in the bladder, thus prevents UTIs
  5. The antioxidant vitamin C, when eaten in its natural form or applied topically, can help to fight skin damage caused by the sun and pollution, reduce wrinkles, and improve overall skin texture.
  6. Vitamin C plays a vital role in the formation of collagen, the support system of the skin.
  7. Improves digestion. Because lemon juice’s atomic structure is similar to the digestive juices found in the stomach, it tricks the liver into producing bile, which helps keep food moving through your body and gastrointestinal tract smoothly. Lemon water also helps relieve indigestion or ease an upset stomach.
  8. According to the American Heart Association, eating higher amounts of citrus fruits may lower ischemic stroke risk for women.

Adding lemon juice to your favorite recipes is relatively easy. Roast chicken cooked with lemon instead of stuffing becomes deliciously tender and aromatic.

Boil barley and make your own lemon and barley water. Squeeze the juice of  lemon over your salad, chicken, fish or seafood. Try a slice of lemon with your tea.

You can even clean with lemons. Just add to vinegar as a great kitchen cleaner. Or slice up some lemons and pop them into your microwave oven, set to cook mode for a minute and wipe down the microwave oven. I love popping sliced lemons into the oven and bake them for several minutes to get rid of odour.

Potential health risks of consuming lemons

Those with gastro-esophageal reflux disease (GERD) may experience an increase in symptoms such as heartburn and regurgitation when consuming highly acidic foods such as citrus fruit; however, individual reactions vary.

It is the total diet or overall eating pattern that is most important in disease prevention and achieving good health. It is better to eat a diet with a variety than to concentrate on individual foods as the key to good health.

 

 

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Avocado Health Benefits

Avocado is the darling in the kitchen of our house. It is the most preferred fruit in our house. Whenever there are unripened avocados in the kitchen, our girls will keep checking on them – several times in a day, hoping to see a change in color and softness in the avocados.   Finding a ripe avocado at the supermarket is hit or miss, but you can ripen them yourself at home, easily, with ripe bananas and apples!

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Ripe bananas and apples release a lot of ethylene, the hormone that triggers ripening in mature fruit, so placing one in a closed paper bag with your under-ripe avocados will speed up the process.  I usually just place the hard avocados in the same fruit basket with the bananas, apples and oranges (in room temperature) and they will usually soften in 2-3 days.

Our girls love ripe avocados on toast – either thinly sliced or mashed into a smooth paste. I love eating ripe avocados as it is or make them into avocado smoothie with low fat milk.  My next project is to make avocado guacamole.

peel avocado and mash guacamole

Also known as an alligator pear or butter fruit, the versatile avocado is the only fruit that provides a substantial amount of healthy monounsaturated fatty acids (MUFA). Avocados are a naturally nutrient-dense food and contain nearly 20 vitamins and minerals.

So what, exactly, makes this pear-shaped berry (yes, that’s right!) such a super food?

Avocados are a good source of B vitamins, which help you fight off disease and infection. They also give you vitamins C and E, plus natural plant chemicals that may help prevent cancer.

Avocados are low in sugar. And they contain fiber, which helps you feel full longer. In one study, people who added a fresh avocado half to their lunch were less interested in eating during the next three hours.

Avocados are a good source of pantothenic acid (vitamin B5), vitamin K and fiber, which aids digestion and helps maintain regularity. Additionally, avocados are high in magnesium, phosphorus, iron and potassium, containing even more potassium per gram than bananas, according to the New York University Langone Medical Center.

Fresh avocados contain lycopene and beta-carotene, which are important carotenoid antioxidants. The highest concentration of these antioxidants is located in the dark green flesh closest to the peel, according to the California Avocado Commission. Antioxidants help reduce cell damage.

The Skinny on the Fat and Calories

Avocados are high in fat. But it’s monounsaturated fat, which is a “good” fat that helps lower bad cholesterol, as long as you eat them in moderation.

Health Benefits of Avocados

Heart

Avocados are high in mono- and polyunsaturated fats, which may help reduce blood cholesterol levels and decrease risk for heart disease.

High levels of the amino acid homocysteine are associated with a higher risk of heart disease, but the vitamin B6 and the folic acid found in avocados can help regulate it.

A seven-year study published in 2013 in Nutrition Journal found that avocados were associated with a reduced risk of metabolic syndrome, which refers to a group of symptoms shown to increase the risk of stroke, coronary artery disease and diabetes.

Anti-inflammatory agent

Avocados have great anti-inflammatory properties, phytosterols, carotenoid antioxidants, omega 3 fatty acids and polyhydroxolated fatty alcohols.  They can help relieve rheumatoid arthritis and osteoarthritis.

Lowering cholesterol

Avocados may help not only lower bad cholesterol, they may also increase levels of good cholesterol. A 1996 study in the journal Archives of Medical Research found that patients with mild hypercholesterolemia (high cholesterol) who incorporated avocados into their diet for one week had a 22 percent decrease in bad cholesterol and triglycerides and an 11 percent increase in good cholesterol. Avocados also improved cholesterol for people who already had good lipid levels, but were shown to be especially effective in those with mild cholesterol problems. Avocados can help in this way because of their high amount of the beta-sitosterol compound, which is associated with lowering cholesterol.

Regulating blood sugar

According to Reader’s Digest, avocados’ high levels of monounsaturated fats can help stop insulin resistance, which helps to regulate blood sugar levels. Furthermore, the soluble fiber in avocados can help keep blood sugar levels steady. In comparison to other fruits, the low carb and sugar levels in avocados also help maintain blood sugar.

Regulating blood pressure

Avocados’ high levels of potassium can help keep blood pressure under control. The American Heart Association reported that potassium helps regulate the effects of salt, which can increase your blood pressure.

Vision

According to Avocado Central, the website of the Hass Avocado Board, avocados are an excellent source of the carotenoid lutein, which reduces the risk of macular degeneration and cataracts.

Immune system

Glutathione is a powerful antioxidant associated with immune system health. A 2000 report in the journal Proceedings of the Nutrition Society stated, “The immune system works best if the lymphoid cells have a delicately balanced intermediate level of glutathione.” Avocados are a good source of this substance, according to American National University.

Pregnancy and preventing birth defects

According to the California Avocado Commission, avocados are a great choice for moms-to-be. Avocados contain a significant amount of folic acid, which is essential to preventing birth defects like spina bifida and neural tube defects.

Cancer

Avocados have been shown to reduce the risk of certain cancers, including cancers of the mouth, skin and prostate. This is due to the unusual mix of antioxidant and anti-inflammatory characteristics. Furthermore, a 2007 study in the journal Seminars in Cancer Biology found that the phytochemicals in avocados encourage cancer cells to stop growing and die.

Digestion

The fiber in avocados helps keep digestion on track, encouraging regular bowel movements, healthy intestines and a healthy weight, according to the Mayo Clinic.

Skin

The vitamin C and vitamin E in avocados help keep skin nourished and glowing, according to the Linus Pauling Institute at Oregon State University. Avocado and B12 cream may be useful in treating psoriasis, according to the University of Maryland Medical Center.

Health risks

As with many other fruits, avocados’ primary risks are related to overconsumption. Consuming too many avocados may lead to weight gain because of the fat content, even though it is an unsaturated fat. It can also lead to nutritional deficiencies, since fat is digested slower and leaves you feeling fuller longer than  other nutrients.

Additionally, avocado allergies, while uncommon, do exist. They are typically associated with latex allergies, according to the Mayo Clinic. Symptoms include a stuffy nose, wheezing, coughing and edema. If you experience any of these symptoms after eating an avocado, try cutting the fruit out of your diet to see if the symptoms disappear. If they persist or are severe, consult a doctor.

 

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Pumpkin Health Benefits

The humble pumpkin is a staple item in our household.  Pumpkins are such versatile vegetables. Well, they can be labeled as a fruit too. They  are both dependent on what definition you use.  They are fruit because they are the part of the plant that contains and protects the seeds. They are vegetables because they are eaten cooked, not raw (one of the definitions) and because they belong to the vegetable kingdom.

Everyone in our family loves pumpkin, except the littlest one but she is slowly learning to acquire the taste and texture. I am sure she will soon grow to love pumpkin too, just like our 2 older girls who didn’t like pumpkin when they were little but have grown to appreciate it now.

Our favorite type of pumpkin is the organic Japanese pumpkin as the flesh has a very creamy and smooth texture.  We have tried other types of pumpkins but didn’t really like those as the flesh tends to melt and turns watery when cooked too long.

Pumpkin Japanese (Organic) 500g

 

Here are some key points about pumpkin:

  • Pumpkin is a storehouse of many anti-oxidant vitamins such as vitamin A, vitamin C and vitamin E.
  • Pumpkin is one of the best-known sources of the antioxidant beta-carotene.
  • The potassium contained within pumpkins can have a positive effect on blood pressure.
  • The antioxidants and vitamins contained within pumpkins could prevent degenerative damage to the eyes.
  • Pumpkin is an extremely nutrient dense food, meaning it is high in vitamins and minerals but low in calories.
  • According to the USDA National Nutrient database, one cup of pumpkin, cooked, boiled, drained and without salt contains 49 calories, 1.76 grams of protein, 0.17 grams of fat, 0 grams of cholesterol and 12 grams of carbohydrate (including 2.7 grams of fiber and 5.1 grams of sugar).

Pumpkin Queso Fundido

 

Here are some of the possible health benefits of pumpkin

1) Keep eyesight sharp
Pumpkins are also rich in carotenoids, the compounds that give the gourd their bright orange color, including beta-carotene, which the body converts into a form of vitamin A for additional peeper protection.

2) Aid weight loss
Pumpkin is an often-overlooked source of fiber, but with three grams per one-cup serving and only 49 calories, it can keep you feeling full for longer on fewer calories.

3) May reduce cancer risk
Like their orange comrades the sweet potato, the carrot and the butternut squash (to name a few), pumpkins boast the antioxidant beta-carotene, which may play a role in cancer prevention, according to the National Cancer Institute.

One particular type of cancer where research has shown a positive benefits of a diet rich in beta-carotene is prostate cancer, according to a study conducted by the Harvard School of Public Health’s Department of Nutrition. Beta-carotene has also been shown to have an inverse association with the development of colon cancer in the Japanese population.

4) Protect our skin
The same free-radical-neutralizing powers of the carotenoids in pumpkin that may keep cancer cells at bay can also help keep the skin wrinkle-free.

5) Good for your heart
Eating pumpkin is good for the heart! The fiber, potassium and vitamin C content in pumpkin all support heart health.

Nuts and seeds, including those of pumpkins, are naturally rich in certain plant-based chemicals called phytosterols that have been shown in studies to reduce LDL or “bad” cholesterol.

6) Fertility
For women of child-bearing age, consuming more iron from plant sources such as spinach, beans, pumpkin, tomatoes and beets appear to promote fertility, according to Harvard Medical School’s Harvard Health Publications. The vitamin A in pumpkin (consumed as beta-carotene then converted to vitamin A in the body) is also essential during pregnancy and lactation for hormone synthesis.

7) Protect Your Package
Pumpkins, especially the seeds are rich in beta-carotene and other antioxidants with cancer protective properties. And pumpkin seeds could be especially healthy for men. Researchers in Taiwan found pumpkin seed oil blocked unhealthy prostate growth in male rats. A quarter cup of the seeds also contains about 2.75 mg of zinc (about 17 percent of the recommended daily intake for adults), which contributes to male sexual health.

In the early twentieth century, people used pumpkin seeds to treat enlarged prostate symptoms. They contain protective compounds called phytosterols, which may help shrink the prostate.

8) Pumpkin seeds treat intestinal worms
Pumpkin seeds can also help your body get rid of nasty gut parasites that can make you sick, according to registered pharmacist Debbie Edson in Living Well Magazine. They have traditionally been used for this purpose by Native Americans. Even today, pumpkin seeds are used to treat tapeworms in some parts of Africa.

There are many interesting ways of incorporating pumpkins into your diet. Pumpkins are so choke-full of nutrients, they taste delish and  are inexpensive. I like my pumpkin roasted, steamed, braised, added into breads and buns and I heart pumpkin desserts and pumpkin chips! I just Googled ‘pumpkin recipes’ and in 0.62 seconds, 17,100,000 search results popped up!

 

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Cantaloupe Health Benefits

The El Nino heatwave is at its height now. The weather is sizzling hot and dry every single day, with temperatures ranging from 37 – 40 degrees Celsius.

Cooling fruits such as cantaloupe, pineapple and pear tend to be my choice of fruits these days, along with my favorite orange and apple.   Snacking on cool and juicy fruits on such hot days is really refreshing and sure douses the ‘heatiness’ in our body.

Here’s one of the smoothies that I made last week-

Cantaloupe + red apple + orange + chia seeds + fresh coconut water smoothie.

While the girls had cantaloupe smoothie, I tossed in a few slices of beet root into my Blendtec blender.

 

Cantaloupes are also commonly known as muskmelons, mush melons, rock melons and Persian melons.

Cantaloupes have a very pleasant aroma and are delicious. Cantaloupe contains an abundance of antioxidants including choline, zeaxanthin and beta-carotene, all of which provide protection against a range of diseases and conditions from the common cold to cancer.

 

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Health Benefits of Cantaloupe

1) Age-related macular degeneration
The antioxidant zeaxanthin, found in cantaloupe, filters out harmful blue light rays and is thought to play a protective role in eye health and possibly ward off damage from macular degeneration.

 

2) Asthma
The risks for developing asthma are lower in people who consume a high amount of certain nutrients. One of these nutrients is beta-carotene, found in yellow and orange fruits like cantaloupe, pumpkin, carrots and leafy greens like spinach and kale. Vitamin C is another important nutrient that may protect against asthma and is found in abundance in cantaloupe,2 as well as citrus and tropical fruits.

 

3) Healthy Skin
Cantaloupes are chock-full of beta-carotene, which is the precursor to vitamin-A. The best part about dietary beta-carotene, instead of supplements, is that there is no chance for overdose or vitamin-A toxicity, because the body only converts as much as it needs; the rest remains as beta-carotene to fight diseases as antioxidants. But the amount that turns into vitamin-A enters the skin and stimulates the membrane of skin cells and increasing regrowth and repair. This protects that membrane into the body against harmful toxins that prematurely age the skin. Vitamin-A cream is also used as a salve for irritation and redness on the skin, due to its naturally soothing qualities.

 

4) Diabetes
Although human testing is not as widespread as it should be, early studies show cantaloupe to be connected with improved insulin metabolism, which means a more stable fluctuation of blood sugar, preventing the dangerous spikes and plunges of blood sugar all that diabetics fear. It has also been shown to reduce oxidative stress on the kidneys, which can prevent a number of kidney-related diseases.

 

5) Digestion
Cantaloupes are high in both fiber and moisture, thus helps to prevent constipation, promote regularity and maintain a healthy digestive tract.

 

6) Hydration
With its high water and electrolyte content, cantaloupe is a great snack to have on hand on hot days.

 

Potential health risks of consuming cantaloupe
It is the total diet or overall eating pattern that is most important in disease prevention and achieving good health. It is advisable to follow a diet with a variety than to concentrate on individual foods as the key to good health.

Be sure to wash and scrub the outside surface of a cantaloupe thoroughly before cutting to decrease the risk of harmful bacteria like Salmonella transferring to the flesh of the melon.

Beta-blockers, a type of medication most commonly prescribed for heart disease, can cause potassium levels to increase in the blood. High potassium foods such as cantaloupe should be consumed in moderation when taking beta-blockers.

Consuming too much potassium can be harmful to those whose kidneys are not fully functional.

 

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Cherry Orange Apple Lemon Smoothie

Our smoothie-of-the-day for today…

3 oranges + 1 green apple + handful of cherries (seeds removed)+ juice from 1 lemon.  Simply love the zesty lemony taste from the lemon!

Cherries are on offer at our neighborhood supermarket and hubs managed to grab a huge punnet at only RM29.90.  What a steal it was!   I think I want to grab another punnet tomorrow after breakfast.

Did you know that cherries are touted as a super food?

For those of you who love cherries, this ruby sweet fruit is much more than a tasty summer treat. Cherries are known to combat cancer, improve sleep, balance blood pressure and ease gout. Compounds found within cherries also help to relieve pain. Possessing potent anti-inflammatory properties, these delicious gems are an excellent way to ward off disease.

Rich in vitamins and minerals as well as antioxidants, cherries are a powerhouse of nutrition and should be enjoyed often.  If only cherries are more affordable in our country, I would definitely be stocking up cherries in my fridge!

 

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Avocado Health Benefits

A supermarket at my neighborhood is having a promotion for avocados today.  At only 99 sen each, I could not resist buying at least 10 of them!  But I only bought 2 to test if they are fresh and yes they are almost perfect inside.   Tomorrow I’m set to charge the supermarket at 9am to grab a big bag of avos 😀

 

Avocado Sliced in Half

 

These days, the avocado has become an incredibly popular food among health conscious individuals. It is often referred to as a superfood… which is not surprising given its health properties.

Here are some of the health benefits of avocados:

1.  They are incredibly delicious!

2.  They contain more potassium than bananas

3. Avocado is loaded with heart-healthy Monounsaturated Fatty Acids

4. Loaded with fiber.

5. Eating avocados can lower Cholesterol and Triglyceride Levels

6. The fat in them can help you absorb nutrients from plant foods.

7. Avocados are loaded with powerful antioxidants (Lutein and Zeaxanthin) that can protect the eyes.

8. Avocados may help relieve the symptoms of Arthritis.

9. Eating avocados may help you lose weight.

10. Avocados can help stabilize blood sugar

Here are some of the most abundant nutrients, in a single 3.5 ounce (100 gram) serving of avocado:

  • Vitamin K: 26% of the RDA.
  • Folate: 20% of the RDA.
  • Vitamin C: 17% of the RDA.
  • Potassium: 14% of the RDA.
  • Vitamin B5: 14% of the RDA.
  • Vitamin B6: 13% of the RDA.
  • Vitamin E: 10% of the RDA.
  • Then it contains small amounts of Magnesium, Manganese, Copper, Iron, Zinc, Phosphorous, Vitamin A, B1 (Thiamine), B2 (Riboflavin) and B3 (Niacin).

An article from the Australia  Daily Mail Online on 16 June 2015 states that avocado could help fight cancer – in particular leukaemia cells and stops them from growing, raising hopes for a new drug.  Read more here: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/health/article-3126200/How-avocado-day-fight-CANCER-Fat-fruit-targets-leukaemia-cells-stops-growing.html#ixzz3f5B7ry5Q

 

 

 

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Passionate About Passion Fruits

My passion in passion fruit was unleashed during my holiday in Lake Toba,  Indonesia with my mother circa 1992.  In Indonesia, passion fruits are called Markisa.  We were served Markisa juice everywhere that we went to — from the hotel to the restaurants and on board the plane.

Since then, I have always bought passion fruits. I like them eaten in any way – straight from the fruit, made into cocktail,  juice,  smoothie, ice-cream,  fruit tart, passion fruit swiss roll and passion tea.

Passion fruits are   very affordable local fruits. But we very careful when you scoop them out from the shell. Once, I almost chowed down some worms when I spooned out the  fruit from the shell. Thankfully I looked closer when I thought I saw something squirming within the seeds, ewwww! Since then, I have always scooped the fruit out into a bowl to do a spot check before I pop them into my mouth! Better be safe than to have wriggly worms breeding in your guts!

Yesterday I made passion fruit smoothie. I  used 3 oranges, 1 green apple and 2 passion fruits and added pure orange + apple + apricot juice to produce 4.5 glasses of thick smoothie.

So refreshing and aromatic!

 

 Health Benefits of Passion Fruit:

1. Promotes intestinal health

2. Cardiovascular benefits:

3. Asthma attack:
A current scientific study stated that passion fruit is an extremely powerful remedy for asthma victims. The peel includes a group of substances which includes chemicals, acids and several various other ingredients which can supply a little bit of alleviation to the asthma sufferers all over the place.

4. Treats Insomnia   

5. Kills Cancer:
Research workers in the University of Florida have discovered that yellow passion fruit extracts can easily kill cancer cells within vitro. The phytochemicals which can be liable for this particular anti-cancer effect usually are carotenoids as well as polyphenols.

6. Reduces Anxiety

7. Antioxidants
Passion fruit is abundant with vitamin C, an anti-oxidant which safeguards you from the harm free-radicals cause, avoiding premature aging as well as keeping the immune system powerful. Along with 71 milligrams for each cup, one serving provides you with all the vitamin C you’ll need every day. Additionally, it provides you with 10 % of the foliate you will need. Vitamin C as well as foliate are water-soluble nutrition which gradually turn out to be exhausted right after harvest. A freshly-picked passion fruit is a lot more nourishing than one which has been saved as well as moved, so get passion fruit from the farmers’ marketplace whenever possible.

8. Contains Iron which relieves anemia

9. Great Dietary Aid for Weight Loss
For all those watching their body weight or even attempting to lose weight, fruits are definitely the suggested culinary food. However the passion fruit appears to be created for a fat loss diet. It really is lower in calories, just 97 calories for each 100 g! It can be lower in sodium as well as fat. It provides a fair amount of carbohydrates as well as natural sugars, therefore the body of a human recovers rapidly from the exercise as well as energy levels are rejuvenated. The fruit’s nutrition focus on cholesterol-reducing levels within the body. In addition, the high fiber content indicates a serving of the fruit satiates your hunger as well as keeps you full, so that you do not overeat on various other food items.

10. Has Relaxation Effect
A tall cool glass of passion fruit juice might help unwind your nerves as well as your mind, causing you to really feel relaxed. This particular juice can also be recommended for digestive problems and enables along with indigestion as well as gastric problems.

 

 

 

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Tomato Health Benefits

Tomatoes are a staple food item in our household. On days when I am busy or simply feeling a tad lazy to cook veggies, I will place a bowl of raw cherry tomatoes along with cucumbers on the dining table, just so the kids have their daily consumption of fiber and raws. This fruit that acts like a vegetable is loaded with health properties. Yep, tomatoes are citrus fruits, not veggie as many have mistaken.

My girls love tomatoes, fortunately! They like tomato omelette, tomato and beef bolognese, raw tomatoes, tomato soup and tomato rice. Yesterday, I whipped up a whole tomato rice dish in the rice cooker. A one-pot meal, that is. It is very very easy to cook and tastes very very good too, if you use the right ingredients.

My one-pot tomato rice — food ‘decor’ done by the drama queen 🙂

 

Just throw in a few whole tomatoes into your rice cooker and whatever ingredients that you fancy and walaaa… you get a very wholesome pot of yummy-ness!  See, you do not even need to peel the tomato skin. Save the skin as it contains high concentration of  carotenoids.  And if you can afford it, get organic ones.

Don’t you just love the bright colors in this pot of rice? It even has shiitake mushrooms, another super food like the tomato.

 

Tomato Benefits

Tomatoes contain all four major carotenoids: alpha- and beta-carotene, lutein, and lycopene. These carotenoids may have individual benefits, but also have synergy as a group (that is, they interact to provide health benefits).

In particular, tomatoes contain awesome amounts of lycopene,thought to have the highest antioxidant activity of all the carotenoids.

Tomatoes and broccoli have synergy that may help reduce the risk of prostate cancer. One study showed that prostate tumors grew much more slowly in rats that were fed both tomato and broccoli powder than in rats given lycopene as a supplement or fed just the broccoli or tomato powder alone.

Tomatoes are rich in potassium, a mineral most of us don’t get enough of. A cup of tomato juice contains 534 milligrams of potassium, and 1/2 cup of tomato sauce has 454 milligrams.

When tomatoes are eaten along with healthier fats, like avocado or olive oil, the body’s absorption of the carotenoid phytochemicals in tomatoes can increase by two to 15 times, according to a study from Ohio State University.

Tomatoes are a big part of the famously healthy Mediterranean diet. Many Mediterranean dishes and recipes call for tomatoes or tomato paste or sauce. Some recent studies, including one from The University of Athens Medical School, have found that people who most closely follow the Mediterranean diet have lower death rates from heart disease and cancer. Researchers from the Harvard School of Public Health, who followed more than 39,000 women for seven years, found that consumption of oil- and tomato-based products — particularly tomato and pizza sauce — was associated with cardiovascular benefits.

The tomato has been referred to as a “functional food,” a food that goes beyond providing just basic nutrition, additionally preventing chronic disease and delivering other health benefits, due to beneficial phytochemicals such as lycopene.

Tomato peels contribute a high concentration of the carotenoids found in tomatoes. The amount of carotenoids absorbed by human intestinal cells was much greater with tomato paste enriched with tomato peels compared to tomato paste without peels, according to a study from Marseille, France. The tomato skin also holds most of the flavonols (another family of phytochemicals that includes quercetin and kaempferol) as well. So to maximize the health propertiesof tomatoes, don’t peel them if you can help it!

 

 

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