Posted by: godshealingplants | October 29, 2019

JACKFRUIT FOR YOUR HEALTH

HISTORY

Jack-fruit’s scientific name is Artocarpus heterophyllus and falls under the Moraceae species.

Historical reports suggest that jack-fruit tree is supposed to have originated in the rain forests of the Western Ghats in the Southwestern part of India. However with time, the trees have been introduced to other parts of India and tropical regions of the world. Today, the trees are found widely growing in Bangladesh, Malaysia, Burma, Sri Lanka, Indonesia, Philippines, in the Caribbean islands, in parts of USA (Florida and California), Brazil, Puerto Rico and Pacific Islands. 

ABOUT

The jack-fruit tree is very long-lived tree and generally with a lifespan of 60 to 70 years.

It grows to an enormous size up to 30 meters (almost 100 feet) high and 80 to 200 centimeters (2.6 to 6.5 feet) in diameter.

The fruit of this tree is the largest fruit. Fruits will reach up to 36 inches (about 1 m) and approximately 20 inches (50 cm) in diameter, weighing up to 80 pounds (36 kg).

The interior consists of large edible bulbs of yellow, banana-flavored flesh.

When fully ripe, the unopened jack-fruit emits a strong disagreeable odor, resembling that of decayed onions, while the pulp of the opened fruit smells of pineapple and banana.

Each seed is approximately 1.9 to 3.8 centimeters (3/4 to 1.5 inch) long and 1.3 to 1.9 centimeters (1/2 to 3/4 inch) thick and is white and crisp within.

There may be 100 or up to 500 seeds in a single fruit. The seeds from ripe fruits are edible, and are said to have a milky, sweet taste often compared to Brazil nuts. 

NUTRITIONAL PROFILE

Jack-fruit is loaded with Vitamin C, A, riboflavin, thiamin, potassium, calcium, magnesium, iron, sodium, zinc and niacin (B-3).

Its great source of potassium helps to lower blood pressure. It also includes phytonutrients such as isoflavones, lignans and saponins that have numerous health benefits.

HEALTH BENEFITS

Here is a list of some of its health benefits: 

Anemia – If you do not have enough healthy red blood cells to carry oxygen-rich blood throughout the body, you may be anemic. Symptoms include being tired or feeling weak. Poor blood circulation can also lead to anemia. However, increasing your iron intake will reduce the symptoms and encourage adequate blood flow. This fruit is rich in iron and can reverse the symptoms associated with iron-deficient disorders. 

Bones – Jack-fruit is an excellent source of calcium and is also packed with magnesium, which helps your body absorb calcium. Particularly for those who are lactose intolerant, jack-fruit is a healthy way to strengthen your bones without consuming dairy products. It can also help with bone disorders such as osteoporosis.

Cancer – Jack-fruit is an excellent source of phytonutrients like lignans, isoflavones, and saponins, all of which have anti-aging properties and the ability to protect against cancer. Jack-fruit is high in dietary fats that cleanse the toxins from the colon. Hence, it reduces the toxin effects in the colon and gives protection from colon cancer.

Digestion – Jack-fruit helps to cure digestive disorders including constipation and ulcers because of its high-fiber content.

Energy  – You can jump-start your day by eating this simple kind of sugar. This healthy fruit also has zero saturated fats and no cholesterol.

Eyesight – Another essential nutrient found in jack-fruit is vitamin A. Consuming jack-fruit can help prevent disorders such as macular degeneration or cataracts because of its healthy nutrients.

Immune System – Rich with vitamin C, jack-fruit can help fight against viral and bacterial infections.

Lowers High Blood Pressure – Jack-fruit is an excellent source of potassium. Because it is high in this mineral, it can lessen the risk of a heart attack or other cardio-related disorders.

Reduces High Cholesterol – Jack-fruit is packed with niacin, also known as vitamin B3. This essential nutrient is ideal for lowering the ‘bad’ LDL cholesterol while maintaining the ‘good’ HDL cholesterol. It also reduces the level of triglycerides. In turn, consuming jack-fruit can lessen your chance of cardiovascular risks.

Skin – Vitamin A and other phytonutrients also promote a radiant complexion. These anti-aging components help protect skin damaged by sun exposure. They also soften skin and help treat wrinkles from the inside out.

Thyroid – Jack-fruit is rich in copper and is a tasty way to promote a functioning thyroid.

Ulcers – Jack-fruit has strong anti-ulcerative properties that can cure ulcers and many other digestive system disorders.

Weight Loss – Jack-fruit is low in calories and free of fat. You can consume this sweet fruit in moderation knowing you are not packing on the pounds. The next time you have a craving for something sweet, you can satisfy it with this healthy fruit.

Wrinkles – Jack-fruit seed can give you flawless skin. Soak some dry seed with milk and honey. Grind them into a fine paste and apply on your face. Let it dry, and then wash off to reveal flawless skin in just few minutes. 

HOW TO BUY AND STORE

Buying a jack-fruit is not always an easy task because of the sheer size of it. It is one of the largest fruits, which has a spiky exterior that encloses the fleshy fruit pods inside.

This is also the reason why most supermarkets pre-cut and package it into set grams to make it easier for purchase. If you are picking the raw type, make sure the pieces are not blackened and look soft and tender. If you are picking the ripe fruit, the flesh should be vibrant yellow, without any dark patches.

For those who would prefer to pick the whole fruit, a point to note is to select one that imparts a strong smell. That’s an indication that it is ripe and you can relish the juicy flesh inside. But remember, when you are about to cut it open, oil the knife and your hands really well because it contains an extremely sticky substance inside which is difficult to handle otherwise. Usually, the jack-fruit is split vertically into two and then worked upon with a knife to extract the pods.

The cut fruit should be stored in the refrigerator, and can be kept for up to five to six days. You can also wrap up the pieces and keep them in the freezer for up to one month. But the flavor is best enjoyed when eaten as fresh as possible. 

HOW TO COOK

Jack-fruit is commonly used in Southeast and South Asian countries. In South India, the jack-fruit is a popular food ranking after mango and banana. 

Jackfruit vegan BBQ

The greenish unripe fruit is cooked as a vegetable, and the ripened fruit is eaten fresh for the sweetly acid but insipid pulp surrounding the seeds. The ripened fruit is also used to make a variety of dishes, including custards, cakes, ice cream. It can be a great substitute for vegan recipes.

When opened, a ripe jack-fruit has bright yellow pods that are delicious both raw and cooked. If the flesh is green, it is unripe, but can still be used for cooked vegetable dishes. 

HOW TO ENJOY

Here are some ideas of how you can enjoy the very versatile jackfruit.

Taco salad with avocadoes and shredded jackfruit

Pizza with shredded jack-fruit

Jackfruit smoothie

Flan with jackfruit

Jack-fruit ice cream

Spring rolls with jack-fruit and mushrooms

Vegan BBQ with pulled jack-fruit and coleslaw on a bun

*******

PRECAUTIONS

Pregnant women should not use it, as well as people with blood disorders. People taking blood medications such as aspirin or blood thinners should avoid it.

The information contained herein is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment in any manner. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding any medical condition.

REFERENCES

http://www.fruitsinfo.com/Jackfruit.php

https://www.hort.purdue.edu/newcrop/morton/jackfruit_ars.html

http://www.diethealthclub.com/health-food/jackfruit.html

http://wiki-fitness.com/jackfruit-health-benefits-nutrition-facts/

http://www.amazingfacts4u.com/jackfruit/

https://draxe.com/jackfruit/

http://www.pfaf.org/user/Plant.aspx?LatinName=Artocarpus+heterophyllus

http://www.missouribotanicalgarden.org/PlantFinder/PlantFinderDetails.aspx?taxonid=282749&isprofile=0&

https://food.ndtv.com/food-drinks/grocery-shopping-guide-how-to-buy-and-store-jackfruit-kathal-1404632

 *******

 

 

 

 

 

 

Posted by: godshealingplants | August 11, 2019

PURSLANE FOR YOUR HEALTH

HISTORY

Purslane (Portulaca oleracea) originally came from India; it was grown as a food source many centuries ago. It is considered one of the foods from the Biblical period, and is widely eaten throughout Europe, Asia, the Middle East, Africa and Mexico. It is an annual succulent with a slightly sour and salty taste, making it an interesting addition to the plate and palate. The entire plant, including the leaves, stems, flowers, and seeds are edible and have been used for thousands of years in different variations and is widely referred to in ancient Chinese medicine, as well as in early aboriginal culture. 

ABOUT

Purslane is a succulent annual trailing plant that grows in many countries because it thrives in poor soil. Purslane is often found thriving in the cracks of sidewalks and driveways even during summer’s heat. It often pops up in container gardens, flowerbeds, gardens, fields, waste ground and roadside. Its leaves are spoon-like in shape and are succulent.

 

It can be eaten as a cooked vegetable and is great to use in salads, soups, stews or any dish you wish to sprinkle it over. Purslane is antibacterial, anti-scorbutic, depurative, diuretic and febrifuge. The leaves are a very rich source of omega-3 fatty acids which prevents heart attacks and strengthens the immune system.

It has yellow flowers that occur singly or in small terminal clusters. When fully open, each flower is about .5 cm (or ¼”) across, consisting of five petals, two green sepals, numerous yellow stamens, and several pistils that appear together in the centre of the flower. These flowers open up for a few hours during bright sunny mornings. Purslane flowers bloom from mid-summer through the early fall and lasts about 1 to 2 months.

Each flower is replaced by a seed capsule that splits open around the middle to release the numerous small, black seeds.

NUTRITIONAL PROFILE

Purslane is rich in vitamins A and C; you’ll also has vitamins B1, B2 and B3, as well as some phosphorus, copper and folate. Other minerals are present in respectable amounts, including calcium, iron, potassium, manganese, magnesium, calcium and copper. Purslane contains beta-carotene and alpha-linolenic acid, as well as a variety of potassium salts, amino acids, and flavonoids which provide antibacterial, antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties.

Purslane has recently been identified as the richest vegetable source of alpha-linolenic acid, an essential omega-3 fatty acid. Two types of omega-3 fatty acids are present in purslane; while ALA, the first type, is found in many other leafy green vegetables, the other type, EPA, occurs more commonly in animal foods, such as fatty fish. The calorie count for a serving of purslane about 3.5 ounces is exceptionally low at 16, which is why it’s considered a nutrient-dense food choice.

Recent research demonstrates that purslane has better nutritional quality than the major cultivated vegetables, with higher beta-carotene, ascorbic acid, and alpha-linolenic acid. Additionally, purslane has been described as a power food because of its high nutritive and antioxidant properties.

HEALTH BENEFITS

In some parts of the world, purslane is used medicinally to treat burns, headaches, stomach aches, coughs, arthritis and other health problems.

Purslane has many benefits that help in preventing and curing diseases. Here are some of them:

Improves Circulation – The high content of iron and copper in purslane means that it contains the nutrients that can help stimulate the production of red blood cells. Both of these minerals are essential for boosting circulation by delivering more oxygen to essential parts of the body. They also increase the healing speed of cells and organs and aid in improving hair growth and metabolic efficiency! 

Improves Heart Health – Research has found that the high levels of omega-3 fatty acids, found in purslane, help to reduce the amount of LDL (bad cholesterol) in the body. This helps to promote a healthier cholesterol balance in our bloodstream.

Consuming foods that are high in omega-3s have been shown to significantly reduce the risk of cardiovascular diseases, as well as atherosclerosis, thereby reducing the risk of heart attacks and strokes. Furthermore, the potassium found in this vegetable can aid in reducing blood pressure due to its behavior as a vasodilator, relaxing blood vessels and reducing strain on the heart.

Improves Vision – The vitamin A and beta-carotene, contained in purslane, have both been connected to improved eye health and vision. These can help prevent macular degeneration and cataracts by eliminating free radicals that attack the cells of the eye and cause these common age-related diseases. 

Skin Care – Purslane may help treat a wide variety of skin conditions as well since purslane leaves contain high levels of vitamin A. This vitamin, combined with the cocktail of compounds found in this ‘weed’ mean that it can help reduce inflammation when applied topically. When consumed it can aid in improving skin, reduce wrinkles, and stimulate the healing of skin cells to remove scars and blemishes. 

Strengthens Bones – The minerals present in purslane make it a healthy choice for people who want to lessen bone loss. Calcium, magnesium, iron, and manganese are all elements required to develop bone tissue and speed the healing process of the bones. As purslane contains these important nutrients for bone health, consumption may aid in the prevention of osteoporosis, a common age-related condition that affects millions of people. 

Treats Gastrointestinal Diseases – In traditional Chinese medicine, purslane (known as Ma Chi Xian) was widely used to treat everything from diarrhea and intestinal bleeding to hemorrhoids and dysentery. Even today it is used to treat a wide variety of intestinal conditions. These benefits are mainly attributed to the organic compounds found in purslane, including dopamine, malic acid, citric acid, alanine, glucose, and others. 

Weight Loss – Purslane is very low in calories, while also being nutrient-rich and packed with dietary fiber. This means that people can feel full after a meal including purslane, without significantly increasing calorie intake, thereby assisting in the weight loss process.

 

HOW TO BUY AND STORE

Purslane is not readily available to buy in the United States since it is considered a weed and most people want to eliminate the pesky plant. It is available to buy in some specialty markets in certain parts of the country. It is however readily available in Europe, the Middle East, Africa and also in Mexico.

Purslane should be eaten fresh or cooked right away. There are articles that teach you how to freeze and how to dry purslane, but it is preferable to harvest it from your garden as you need it and eat it right away.

HOW TO COOK WITH PURSLANE

In the kitchen, purslane is commonly used in soups, salads, and stews.  It is added to meat dishes as a flavorful element and is also mixed with dough to make certain delicious bread varieties.

Once you’ve cut off the root, the individual stems needs to be washed carefully. All parts of common purslane are edible. However, because it has little crevices to hold the soil, you need to wash it really well to get all the dirt off. 

 HOW TO ENJOY

Sprinkle some purslane on pizza for a zesty taste

Purslane, tomato and walnut salad

Purslane will give your smoothie or juice a delicious zing

Mix purslane into your favorite veggie pancake

Purslane can be lightly stir fried  for 4 to 5 minutes, and then served with a little butter

Add purslane to you’re your egg tacos

Purslane can be mixed with beans for a delicious taste
 

*******

A WORD OF CAUTION

The only potential downside that researchers have found about purslane is the relatively high content of oxalic acid, which leads to the formation of kidney stones. If you already suffer from kidney stones, speak to a medical professional about consuming it. It should be noted that boiling it in water causes a great deal of oxalic acid to be eliminated, without losing many of the other beneficial nutrients. 

WARNING

Purslane is similar in appearance to a poisonous plant called the Hairy-Stemmed Spurge. Make sure that what you might think is purslane isn’t this poisonous plant by breaking its stem and squeezing it with your fingers.

If the plant produces a milky sap, it is poisonous and should not be eaten.  

IN CONCLUSION

Our bodies can’t make omega-3 fatty acids, so we need to get these vital substances from foods, and even though there’s not much fat in purslane, much of what it contains is in this form.

As a significant source of omega-3 oils, Purslane could yield considerable health benefits to vegetarian and other diets where the consumption of fish oils is excluded. Scientific analysis of its chemical components has shown that this common weed has uncommon nutritional value, making it one of the potentially important foods for the future. 

REFERENCES 

  • L. Liu, P. Howe, Y.-F. Zhou, Z.-Q. Xu, C. Hocart, and R. Zhang, “Fatty acids and B-carotene in Australian purslane (Portulaca oleracea) varieties,” Journal of Chromatography A, vol. 893, no. 1, pp. 207–213, 2000.
  • Oliveira, P. Valentão, R. Lopes, P. B. Andrade, A. Bento, and J. A. Pereira, “Phytochemical characterization and radical scavenging activity of Portulaca oleraceae L. leaves and stems,” Microchemical Journal, vol. 92, no. 2, pp. 129–134, 2009.
  • P. Simopoulos, H. A. Norman, and J. E. Gillaspy, “Purslane in human nutrition and its potential for world agriculture,” World Review of Nutrition and Dietetics, vol. 77, pp. 47–74, 1995.
  • P. Simopoulos and N. Salem Jr., “Purslane: a terrestrial source of omega-3 fatty acids,” The New England Journal of Medicine, vol. 315, no. 13, p. 833, 1986.
  • P. Simopoulos, “Evolutionary aspects of diet, essential fatty acids and cardiovascular disease,” European Heart Journal, vol. 3, pp. D8–D21.
  • U. R. Palaniswamy, R. J. McAvoy, and B. B. Bible, “Stage of harvest and polyunsaturated essential fatty acid concentrations in purslane (Portulaca oleraceae) leaves,” Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry, vol. 49, no. 7, pp. 3490–3493, 2001.
  • M. K. Uddin, A. S. Juraimi, M. A. Hossain, F. Anwar, and M. A. Alam, “Effect of salt stress of Portulaca oleracea on antioxidant properties and mineral compositions,” Australian Journal Crop Science, vol. 6, pp. 1732–1736, 2012.

*******

Posted by: godshealingplants | May 25, 2019

AVOCADOS FOR YOUR HEALTH

HISTORY

The avocado (Persea americana) dates back to south-central Mexico, around 5,000 B.C. But it was several thousand years before this wild variety was cultivated. Archaeologists found evidence that avocados were cultivated in Mexico as early as 500 B.C.

ABOUT

The avocado tree (Persea americana), is a member of the flowering plant family Lauraceae.  The fruit of the plant, is called an avocado. It is botanically a large berry containing a single large seed.

Avocados have a green-skin that may be pear-shaped, egg-shaped, or spherical. Avocado trees are self-pollinating, and are often propagated through grafting. In 2017, Mexico produced 34% of the world supply of avocados.

The avocado tree species Persea americana is a tree that grows to 20 m (66 ft), with leaves 12–25 cm (4.7–9.8 in) long. The avocado fruit is a single-seeded berry; and the pear-shaped fruit is 7–20 cm (2.8–7.9 in) long, weighs between 100 and 1,000 g (3.5 and 35.3 oz), and has a large central seed, 5–6.4 cm (2.0–2.5 in) long.

Please note that there are many avocado varieties and different sizes.

NUTRIENTS

In addition to healthy fats and dietary fiber, avocados are brimming with a multitude of vitamins our body needs.

Avocados are a great source of nutrients, including: Folate, Magnesium, Potassium, Riboflavin (Vitamin B2), Niacin (Vitamin B3), Pantothenic Acid (Vitamin B5), Pyridoxine (Vitamin B6), Vitamin C, Vitamin E, and Vitamin K to name a few.

They 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.

HEALTH BENEFITS

Here are some health benefits of avocado for both adults and kids.

Anti-inflammatory: being able to help both rheumatoid arthritis and osteoarthritis.

Cancer: Avocados have been shown to reduce the risk of certain cancers, including cancers of the mouth, skin and prostate. A 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.

Helps your Heart: Avocados’ high levels of potassium can help keep blood pressure under control; and the fats and fibers in the avocado reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease.

Immune System: Avocadoes are a good source of Glutathione, making the immune system work best if the lymphoid cells have a good level of Glutathione.

Lowers LDL Cholesterol: Oleic acid in avocado can be used to lower cholesterol level in the blood.

Prevents Birth Defects: Avocados contain a significant amount of folic acid, which is essential to preventing birth defects during pregnancy.

Regulates Blood Sugar: the soluble fiber in avocados can help keep blood sugar levels stable.

Skin: Avocados with their healthy fats and phytonutrients offer remarkable benefits to human skin, both when eaten and when used topically. The vitamin C and vitamin E in avocados help keep skin nourished and glowing.

Treat yourself to an avocado facial. For years, people have used avocado as a natural facial treatment, especially for dry skin. It’s easy to do in your own home. Just remove your makeup and wash your face with warm water and soap or your favorite cleanser. Mash some avocado and mix it with a little honey or oatmeal and apply it to your face. Leave it there for 10 minutes, and then rinse it off with lots of water.

Avocado oil has been used extensively for its ability to heal and soothe the skin. This use is based on the high hydrocarbon content of the pulp and oil, which may help dry skin. The expressed oil of the avocado seed nourishes and maintains skin tone. It softens rough, dry, or flaking skin and, massaged into the scalp, improves hair growth.

Vision: Avocados are an excellent source of the carotenoid lutein, which reduces the risk of macular degeneration and cataracts.

HOW TO BUY AND STORE

Here are some tips to help you select a ripe avocado:

  • Avoid avocados which are super hard, unless you want to wait a number of days to eat them.  These are usually under-ripe. Very shiny skin is another sign that an avocado may not yet be ripe.  Avocados are typically green when they are under-ripe, and start to darken as they get ripe.
  • Stay away of avocados which are mushy and have noticeable dents in their skin.  They are overripe.  These avocados are also very dark in color.
  • Look underneath the dry little button of the stem end; if it is brown, then the avocado is over-ripe and probably bad, if it is a light green it is ripe and good to eat.  ​

A ripe avocado is not totally firm, but it is not really soft either.  

If the avocado is ripe and you have not cut it open, you can store it in the refrigerator for two to three days. If you want to have your avocado ripen, store it at room temperature for four to five days.

THE BEST WAY TO PEEL

To preserve the area with the greatest concentration of antioxidants, you basically want to peel the avocado with your hands, as you would a banana:

  1. First, cut the avocado length-wise, around the seed.
  2. Holding each half, twist them in the opposite directions to separate them from the seed.
  3. Remove the seed.
  4. Cut each half, lengthwise; then using your thumb and index finger, simply peel the skin off each piece.

HOW TO GROW AN AVOCADO FROM SEED

This is a fun project for your kids and is not a difficult to do.

Follow these simple steps and you will have a successfully start to your own avocado tree.

  1. Remove the large pit (seed) from the insides of an avocado, rinse and dry it well.
  2. Put three or four toothpicks into the seed at its widest part in order to suspend the pit over a glass of water.
  3. After that, put it in a warm place and make sure that you maintain the water level.
  4. In two to six weeks, you will notice that roots and a stem are sprouting from the seed. The moment the stem is about six inches long, you should trim it in half.
  5. When the stem leafs again, you should transplant the seedling into a pot that has sandy, loose soil.
  6. Provide your plant with frequent and light watering. Also, keep it in a sunny place to promote the plant growth.
  7. After that, pinch back the most recent grown leaves every time the stems grow another six inches or so. Do this in order to encourage more growth and a fuller plant.

In the regions that are warmer, the avocado plant is capable of surviving and staying outside in the summer.

In case you are situated in a warm climate that does not exceed temperatures less than 45 degrees F, you can even move your avocado outside because the plant will certainly enjoy such weather conditions, which will ultimately encourage its growth.

 HOW TO ENJOY

There are so many ways you can enjoy avocados here are just some of ideas.

Avocado kale wrap

Avocado blueberry smoothie

Baked stuffed avocado with your choice of ingredients

Avocado and raw cacao pudding

Avocado tortilla veggie wrap

Guacamole

Taco with avocados salsa and your favorite ingredients

Avocado ice cream with nuts

ENJOY!

*******

SOUCES 

http://drmercola.com 

http://naturalnews.com 

http://drjockers.com

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/23448442

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/23282226

*******

Posted by: godshealingplants | April 20, 2019

WALNUTS FOR YOUR HEALTH

HISTORY

The first historical account of walnut cultivation dates back to Babylon (now Iraq) circa 2000 B.C.

The English walnut originated in the regions surrounding the Caspian Sea, hence it is known as the Persian walnut. In the 4th century AD, the ancient Romans introduced the walnut into many European countries where it has been grown since. Throughout its history, the walnut tree has been highly revered; not only does it have a life span that is several times that of humans, but its uses include food, medicine, shelter, dye and lamp oil. It is thought that the walnuts grown in North America gained the name “English walnuts,” because they were introduced into America during the early 1800s via English merchant ships.

ABOUT

Walnuts are edible seeds from the trees of Juglans genus. They are round, single-seeded fruits of the walnut tree. The fruit and seed of walnut are enclosed in a thick, inedible husk. The shell of the fruit that encloses the kernel is hard and is two-halved.

The walnut tree can grow up to 130 feet (40 meters) high. There are three main types of walnuts; the English walnut, also known as the Persian walnut, the Black walnut, and the White or butternut walnut. The most popular type in the US is the English walnut, which has a thinner shell and is the easiest to crack open. The Black walnut has a thicker shell and more pungent flavor. It is mostly cultivated for its strong wood. The white walnut is sweeter and oilier than the other two, but it is not commonly found in stores.

NUTRITIONAL PROFILE

Walnuts are a rich source of vitamin C, B vitamins (vitamin B6, thiamin, riboflavin, niacin, pantothenic acid, and folate), vitamin E, as well as minerals such as calcium, iron, magnesium, potassium, sodium, and zinc.

8

Walnuts are 65 percent fat by weight and 15 percent protein. They are richer than most nuts in polyunsaturated fats (often considered the “good” fats) and have a relatively high amount of omega-3 fatty acid called alpha-linolenic acid (ALA). Walnuts are also particularly rich in an omega-6 fatty acid called linoleic acid.

Walnuts contain other essential nutrients such as beta-carotene, lutein, and zeaxanthin, as well as phytosterols. They are a good source of dietary fiber and antioxidants (ellagic acid, catechin, melatonin, and phytic acid). All of these beneficial nutrients contribute to walnuts being thought of by many as ‘power food’.

HEALTH BENEFITS

The health benefits of walnuts are many and include reduction of LDL (bad) cholesterol, prevention of inflammation, improvement in metabolism, weight management, and diabetes control. Walnuts can also benefit brain health and act as a mood booster. Here are some additional benefits of consuming walnuts.

  • Aids in Dental Health
  • Boost Immunity
  • Boost Bone Health
  • Cleanses Digestive System
  • Controls Diabetes
  • Fights fatigue
  • Good for Fungal Infections
  • Good for Skin and Hair Care
  • Good for the Respiratory System
  • Great Way to Increase Children’s Omega-3 Intake
  • Has Antioxidant Power
  • Has Astringent Properties
  • Helps Improve Brain Health and Preserve Memory
  • Helps in Fighting Depression
  • Improves Digestion
  • Improves Heart Health
  • Improves Metabolism
  • May Help Prevent Cancer
  • Reduce Inflammation
  • Regulate Sleep
  • Supports the Immune System
  • Supports Weight Loss

HOW TO BUY AND STORE

When purchasing whole walnuts that have not been shelled choose those that feel heavy for their size. Their shells should not be cracked, pierced or stained, as this is oftentimes a sign of mold development on the nutmeat, which renders it unsafe for consumption.

Shelled walnuts are generally available in prepackaged containers as well as bulk bins. Just as with any other food that you may purchase in the bulk section, make sure that the bins containing the walnuts are covered and that the store has a good product turnover so as to ensure its maximal freshness. Whether purchasing walnuts in bulk or in a packaged container avoid those that look rubbery or shriveled. If it is possible to smell the walnuts, do so in order to ensure that they are not rancid.

Due to their high polyunsaturated fat content, walnuts are extremely perishable and care should be taken in their storage. Shelled walnuts should be stored in an airtight container and placed in the refrigerator, where they will keep for six months, or the freezer, where they will last for one year. Un-shelled walnuts should preferably be stored in the refrigerator, although as long as you keep them in a cool, dry, dark place they will stay fresh for up to six months.

When walnuts become rancid, they will smell like paint thinner.

HOW TO USE THEM

Walnuts have a delicious taste and crunchy texture, which is why they are used in many desserts. Ground walnuts and walnut flour are also used for baking.

HOW TO ENJOY

Baklava, a rich, sweet dessert pastry made of layers of filo filled with chopped nuts and sweetened and held together with syrup and honey 

Sautéed vegetables with walnuts

Cup cake filled and covered with walnuts

Green beans, red peppers and walnuts

Banana split cake with walnuts

Spinach salad with pomegranates and walnuts

Ice cream covered with walnuts and honey

 Squash and carrots with walnuts

ENJOY!

 

A WORD OF CAUTION

On average, seven to nine walnuts per serving are considered safe for consumption. However, if you eat nuts in excess, there are some side effects you may experience, as follows:

  • Allergy: Over-consumption may result in a range of allergic reactions from minor to more serious.
  • Digestive issues: Excess intake of walnut may cause nausea, stomach pain, diarrhea, bloating, and more.
  • Pregnancy and lactation: Expecting and nursing women are advised to consume in prescribed amounts only. If you desire to increase its dosage, do consult your doctor.
  • Weight gain: Although it is a source of good fats, too much of a good thing will have adverse results. Remember moderation is the key.

SOURCES:

https://www.nih.gov/

http://sciencedirect.com

REFERENCES:

  • Anderson K.J.; Teuber S.S.; Gobeille A.; Cremin P.; Waterhouse A.L.; Steinberg F.M. Walnut polyphenolics inhibit in vitro human plasma and LDL oxidation. Journal of Nutrition, Vol. 131, Issue 11: 2837-2842. 2001.
  • Bes-Rastrollo M, Sabate J, Gomez-Gracia E, Alonso A, Martinez JA, Martinez-Gonzalez MA. Nut consumption and weight gain in a Mediterranean cohort: The SUN study. Obesity (Silver Spring). 2007 Jan;15(1):107-16. 2007. PMID:17228038.
  • Cortes B, Nunez I, Cofan M, Gilabert R, Perez-Heras A, Casals E, Deulofeu R, Ros E. Acute effects of high-fat meals enriched with walnuts or olive oil on postprandial endothelial function. J Am Coll Cardiol. 2006 Oct 17;48(8):1666-71. 2006. PMID:17045905.
  • Fukuda T, Ito H, Yoshida T. Antioxidative polyphenols from walnuts (Juglans regia L.). Phytochemistry. Aug;63(7):795-801. 2003.
  • Gillen LJ, Tapsell LC, Patch CS, Owen A, Batterham M. Structured dietary advice incorporating walnuts achieves optimal fat and energy balance in patients with type 2 diabetes mellitus. J Am Diet Assoc. 2005 Jul;105(7):1087-96. 2005. PMID:15983525.
  • Marangoni F, Colombo C, Martiello A, Poli A, Paoletti R, Galli C. Levels of the n-3 fatty acid eicosapentaenoic acid in addition to those of alpha linolenic acid are significantly raised in blood lipids by the intake of four walnuts a day in humans. Nutr Metab Cardiovasc Dis. 2006 Sep 25; [Epub ahead of print] . 2006. PMID:17008073.
  • Morgan JM, Horton K, Reese D et al. Effects of walnut consumption as part of a low-fat, low-cholesterol diet on serum cardiovascular risk factors. Int J Vitam Nutr Res 2002 Oct; 72(5):341-7. 2002.
  • Patel G. Essential fats in walnuts are good for the heart and diabetes. J Am Diet Assoc. 2005 Jul;105(7):1096-7. 2005. PMID:15983525.
  • Reiter RJ, Manchester LC, Tan DX. Melatonin in walnuts: influence on levels of melatonin and total antioxidant capacity of blood. Nutrition. 2005 Sep;21(9):920-4. 2005. PMID:15979282.
  • Ros E, Nunez I, Perez-Heras A, Serra M, Gilabert R, Casals E, Deulofeu R. A walnut diet improves endothelial function in hypercholesterolemic subjects: a randomized crossover trial. Circulation. 2004 Apr 6;109(13):1609-14. 2004. PMID:15037535.
  • Tapsell LC, Gillen LJ, Patch CS, Batterham M, Owen A, Bare M, Kennedy M. Including Walnuts in a Low-Fat/Modified-Fat Diet Improves HDL Cholesterol-to-Total Cholesterol Ratios in Patients With Type 2 Diabetes. Diabetes Care. 2004 Dec;27(12):2777-83. 2004. PMID:15562184.
  • Wood, Rebecca. The Whole Foods Encyclopedia. New York, NY: Prentice-Hall Press; 1988. 1988. PMID:15220.

*******

Posted by: godshealingplants | March 17, 2019

CELERY FOR YOUR HEALTH

HISTORY

Celery has the scientific name of Apium graveolens, and is a vegetable in the plant family called Apiaceae.

It is an extremely old vegetable, with records showing that celery leaves were part of the remains found in the tomb of the pharaoh “King Tutankhamun,” who died in 1323 B.C. Celery is even mentioned in Homer’s “Iliad” and “The Odyssey,” as horses were said to eat wild celery that grew throughout Troy.

Celery was probably first used as a food by the French around 1623. For about the next century its use was confined to flavoring because of the strong flavor of early types. By the middle part of the 18th century celery stored in cellars was enjoyed by the more affluent people of northern Europe during the winter. Its use as a food spread rapidly after that time. It most likely was introduced to America by the colonists and by 1806, four cultivated varieties were listed. In the United States today, the variety ‘Pascal’ dominates commercial production.

ABOUT

 Most people are familiar with the fragrant and flavorful celery, but not everyone knows that its seeds are just as useful and as nutritious as the plant’s stalks. Celery seed has been especially famous in Ayurvedic medicine for thousands of years, where it is used as a diuretic, cold remedy and an anti-inflammatory medicine. But while celery seeds are well-known in Eastern medicine, very few people in Western territories know about the numerous uses of this spice.

Celery seeds are found in the flowers of the celery plant, which normally develop in the second year after cultivation. The seeds also function as the primary mode of propagation for the celery plant.

Celery seeds are usually small and dark brown, and taste and smell like celery stalks. They can boost the flavor of a dish and lend it an aromatic twist. Aside from the culinary use of celery seeds; they can be used to make an extract or oil to deal with different ailments.

NUTRITIONAL PROFILE

 Celery is a rich source of phenolic phytonutrients that have antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties. These phytonutrients include: caffeic acid, caffeoylquinic acid, cinnamic acid, coumaric acid, ferulic acid, apigenin, luteolin, quercetin, kaempferol, lunularin, beta-sitosterol and furanocoumarins. Celery is an excellent source of vitamin K and molybdenum. It is a very good source of folate, potassium, dietary fiber, manganese and pantothenic acid. It is also a good source of vitamin B2, copper, vitamin C, vitamin B6, calcium, phosphorus, magnesium and vitamin A.

Celery contains approximately 35 milligrams of sodium per stalk, so salt-sensitive individuals can enjoy celery, but should keep track of this amount when monitoring daily sodium intake.

HEALTH BENEFITS

Boosts Immune System – Rich in vitamin C and antioxidants, celery greatly boosts the immune system and makes it more active and efficient. Eating this vitamin C rich vegetable regularly can reduce your risk of catching a common cold, as well as protect you against a variety of other diseases.

Controls Diabetes – Celery leaves are also eaten for treating various diabetic conditions. This is because of their high fiber content, which has been shown to help manage diabetic symptoms.

Detoxifies the Body – It acts as an antioxidant, and all parts of celery, including the seeds, roots, and leaves can be used. Eating this vegetable regularly helps to avoid diseases of the kidney, pancreas, liver, and gallbladder.

Fights Infections – Celery seeds contain antibacterial and antimicrobial properties and has been used to fight infections for centuries. The use of celery extract fights bacterial infections, improves the immune system and inhibits bacterial growth.

Helps Prevent Cancer – Celery is one of the cancer-protective vegetables it contains polyacetylenes that are chemoprotective compounds. Polyacetylenes boost the immune system and inhibit the growth of cancer tumor. Moreover, polyacetylenes are well-known for its bioactivities such as antiplatelet-aggregatory, anti-inflammatory, antitumor, antibacterial and cytotoxic properties.

Improves Digestion – The diuretic effect of celery brings a number of digestive benefits. Eating celery can treat water retention, relieve bloating and boost digestion.

Improves Heart Health – The notable presence of vitamin C, fiber, and other organic chemicals in the roots of celery promotes cardiovascular health.

Lowers Arthritis Pain – Celery is great for people suffering from arthritis, rheumatism, and gout. It has anti-inflammatory properties that help reduce swelling and pain around the joints. Celery extracts, which contain 85% 3-n-butylphthalide (3nB), are effective in giving relief from arthritis and muscular pains. It also act as a diuretic, which helps remove uric acid crystals that build up around the body’s joints that can add to the pain and discomfort.

Lowers Cholesterol Level – A research study published in the Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry suggests that eating celery every day may reduce artery-clogging cholesterol (called LDL or bad cholesterol). The phthalides in this herb also stimulate the secretion of bile juices, which work to reduce cholesterol levels. Less cholesterol means less plaque on the artery walls and a general improvement in heart health. The fiber that is found in it also works to scrape the cholesterol out of the bloodstream and eliminate it from the body with regular bowel movements, further boosting cardiovascular health.

Lowers Inflammation – Celery is loaded with polysaccharides and antioxidants. The antioxidants have the ability to cure free-radical damage that contributes to inflammation. Chronic diseases such as heart disease, cancer and arthritis are caused by inflammation.

Nerve Tonic – Celery contains high calcium and due to this, it is commonly used to calm the nerves.

Prevents Liver DiseasesCelery is an ideal liver cleansing food. Regular consumption of celery can help protect kidney health and prevent liver diseases. Celery is high in vitamin C, B, A and iron. Since it contains diuretic properties, it can remove toxins and contaminants from your body.

Prevent Ulcers – Regular consumption of celery can help prevent and treat painful ulcers. A special type of ethanol extract in celery is effective in preventing the formation of ulcers in the lining of the digestive tract. 

Reduces Asthma Symptoms – Vitamin C present in celery prevents free radical damage and also has anti-inflammatory properties that lessen the severity of inflammatory conditions like asthma.

Reduces Blood Pressure – Celery contains phthalides, which are organic chemical compounds that can lower the level of stress hormones in your blood. Also, a 2009 study revealed that celery has hypolipidemic effects on your body that allow your blood vessels to expand, giving your blood more room to move, thereby reducing pressure. It also contains potassium, which is a vasodilator and helps in reducing blood pressure. When blood pressure is reduced, it puts less stress on the entire cardiovascular system and reduces the chances of developing atherosclerosis or suffering from a heart attack or stroke.

Reduces the Risk of Urinary Tract Infections – Celery has the ability to boost urine production and decrease uric acid; therefore, eating celery on a regular basis can help prevent bacterial infections within the digestive tract and reproductive organs. Like cranberries, celery is an effective home remedy for bladder disorders, urinary tract infections, kidney problems and cysts on the reproductive organs.

Regulates Fluid Balance – Celery is rich in both sodium and potassium, and both of these minerals help regulate the fluid balance in the body. 

Salt Alternative – For people who are looking for salt alternatives, ground celery seed spice is a good choice.

Weight Loss – Regular drinking of celery juice before meals may help reduce your weight. It is very low in calories and it also gives you a feeling of being full; therefore, it can help reduce the tendency to overeat and help you keep the weight down without feeling hungry all the time!

Celery helps prevent many diseases and conditions that include neuritis, constipation, catarrh, pyorrhea and dropsy, mental exhaustion, acidosis, anemia, obesity, joint pain, irritable bowel syndrome, skin disorders migraines and tuberculosis. It also helps in improving overall health and strength of teeth.

HOW TO BUY AND STORE

 In North America, the type of celery most grown and eaten is called “pascal celery,” while in Europe “celeriac” celery is more popular.

Knowing that celery is one of the most chemical-sprayed vegetables there is, always look for organic celery whenever possible to get the most benefits of celery without consuming toxins and chemicals. The Environmental Working Group’s “Dirty Dozen” shows that celery is usually sprayed with multiple types of pesticides.

When picking out celery, make sure the stalks seem firm and aren’t too limber. If the stalks have their leaves attached still, look for brightly colored leaves that are not wilting.

Don’t wash celery right away after bringing it home because this can cause it go bad quicker. Store celery, wrapped in a moist paper towel in an open plastic bag inside the refrigerator for about five to seven days.

It’s not recommended to freeze celery because it becomes mushy once defrosted.

To clean and cut celery, discard the base that’s usually firm and white or you can experiment to re-grow it, by putting the cut off base in a container with a small amount of water and watching it grow.

You can save the leaves and use these in recipes, such as salads, soups, stews or a sauté. Celery leaves are a good source of vitamins and minerals just like the stalks, so don’t waste them!

Rinse the celery stalks and leaves well to remove any dirt and then cut the stalks into pieces.

HOW TO ENJOY

Add celery to your favorite salad

Celery Juice is excellent for your health

You can stuff them with cream cheese for great hors d’oeuvres

Cream of celery soup with onions and garlic is delicious

You can add them to your garbanzo salad

Use the cut stalks along with carrots, zucchini and peppers for dipping

They also do great for dipping hummus

And chopped celery add a nice crunch to a tuna fish sandwich

A WORD OF CAUTION

Celery belongs to a small group of foods that can cause a severe allergic reaction, and this can lead to fatal anaphylactic shock.

 *******

SOURCES:

http://naturalnews.com

http://mercola.com

http://drjockers.com

REFERENCES:

  1. https://ndb.nal.usda.gov/ndb/foods/show/11143
  2. https://www.researchgate.net/publication/231547155
  3. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5291566/
  4. https://dl.sciencesocieties.org/publications/sssaj/abstracts/21/6/SS0210060621

DISCLAIMER:

This article is meant to be informational and educational regarding traditional uses of herbs for medicinal purposes and not as medical advice. Always follow up with your doctor for concerns regarding your health. The FDA approves herbs as dietary supplements only.

*******

Posted by: godshealingplants | February 26, 2019

CALENDULA HEALTH BENEFITS

HISTORY

The Calendula flower has been utilized for thousands of years for its impressive health benefits. It is native to Egypt and parts of the Mediterranean but is now grown in every continent, usually blooming during the warmer months of the year (from about May through October in the Northern Hemisphere).

It was an important medicine in Ancient Greece, Rome and Arabia. It was most commonly used as a skin treatment, with preparations used for treating minor wounds, calluses, insect bites and stings, eczema, itches, burns and hemorrhoids.

Records show that calendula marigold flower petals and florets have been used in folklore medicine since at least around the 11th or 12th century.

ABOUT

It is a bright orange-colored flower similar to the marigold that actually has many impressive health benefits.

Calendula officinalis is its botanical name and is used to make healing herbal ointments, teas, tinctures and topical treatments that have been in existence for almost 1,000 years.

The calendula plant is a short-lived sweet smelling perennial plant that grows up to 80 cm tall. The leaves of calendula are oblong lanceolate are hairy on both sides and are about 5–17 cm long.

The flowers are a vibrant golden yellow which is 4–7 cm diameter encircled by two rows of hairy bracts. The calendula flowers may grow all year long where environments are suitable.

NUTRITIONAL PROFILE

Calendula contains many potent antioxidants and anti-inflammatory compounds that fight infections, decrease swelling, improve blood flow, reduce muscle spasms, slow down effects of free radical damage/aging and more.

These include flavonoids, polysaccharides, linoleic acid, acid glycosides, tocopherols, triterpenes saponins and carotenoids.

HEALTH BENEFITS

Calendula is a medicinal flower that’s dried and concentrated in order to make ointments, teas and drops that are used both internally and externally.

Benefits and uses for Calendula include treating conditions, such as rashes, allergies, eczema and dermatitis; pain, swelling, muscular injuries or sprains; eye inflammation and itchiness caused by conjunctivitis and fungal infections, including athlete’s foot, Candida, ear infections and ringworm.

Due to their antioxidant properties, uses for calendula include:

  • Eases Cramps and Spasms
  • Fights Against Fungal Infections
  • Good for Digestion
  • Good for Liver Health
  • Good for Skin Wounds, Burns and Rashes
  • Helps Reduce Hemorrhoid Pain
  • Helps with Sore Throat/Mouth Ulcers
  • Immune-Boosting
  • Infection Treatment
  • Lowers Inflammation and Free Radical Damage
  • Natural Antiseptic/Anti-Inflammatory
  • Reduces Eye Inflammation and Conjunctivitis

Calendula oil can also be used in body massage.

INTERESTING FACTS

Besides being decorative they are also used in culinary and commercial uses, such as dyeing food products and adding color to salads (since the petals are edible).

Certain types of calendula marigolds have even been added by farmers to chicken or livestock feed in order to make the chickens’ egg yolks a darker yellow or butter a deeper orange.

HOW TO BUY AND STORE

Look for various calendula products in health food stores and online. Purchasing extracts or drops allows you to add a small amount to skin products you already have as well, such as shampoo or moisturizer. For the best results, keep calendula products away from direct light and moisture, and use the products within one to three years of purchasing in order to prevent spoilage.

Look for calendula products in homeopathic sections of natural health stores or online. Because the dose depends on the condition you’re treating and concentration of the product, always read dosage recommendations carefully or speak with a homeopathic practitioner for advice.

HOW TO PREPARE AND ENJOY

Calendula species have been used in cooking for centuries.

 

The flowers are a common ingredient in German soups and stews, which explains the nickname “pot marigold”.

 

The lovely golden eatable petals can also be used to decorate a cake. 

The petals can be powdered and used as a coloring and flavoring agent. They are a more affordable alternative to saffron.

The fresh or dried whole flowers can also be added along with the leaves in salads.

Calendula petals will give a rice dish a lovely color addition.

 

Calendula tea provides health benefits, as well as being delicious.

How to make Calendula tea –  add a tablespoon of dried flowers to a pot of tea with boiling water, turn the heat off and let it steep for 5 minutes.

Marigold tea is also beneficial for treating gastritis, acid ref-lux and ulcers, as well as reducing stomach or menstrual cramps. 

A WORD OF CAUTION

Calendula cream or body butter is known to be well-tolerated, even for people with sensitive skin. However, you should avoid marigold products if you have a known allergy to ragweed, daisies, chrysanthemums, chamomile, echinacea and other plants in the same family as marigolds.

For women who are pregnant or breast-feeding, little is known about the effects of calendula, so it’s best to get your doctor’s advice before taking any internally or using extract on the skin.

Do not apply calendula directly to open wounds without being directed to do so by your doctor, as this can cause irritation. Start with a very small amount on the skin to test your reaction, and then you can increase your dose slowly.

When taking calendula internally by mouth (including drops, liquid extract, tea, etc.), it’s possible to experience interactions when combined with certain medications.

Before using calendula to help ease a health issue, it is best to consult a health practitioner to get the right dosage.

SOURCES

http://www.drmercola.com/

https://draxe.com/

https://herbpathy.com/Uses-and-Benefits-of-Marigold-Cid1491

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Calendula

*******

DISCLAIMER GHP

Posted by: godshealingplants | January 28, 2019

ALMONDS FOR YOUR HEALTH

HISTORY

Originally from central and southwest Asia, almonds became a staple food that helped sustain the long journeys of nomadic tribes.

Wild stands of almond trees grew near trade routes such as the Silk Road that connected central China with the Mediterranean. Easy access allowed for the spread of the wild almond groves because almonds took root in the ground on which they fell. Evidence of this occurs even today in central California, where wild species of almond trees can be seen growing in ditches and roadways.

Nearly every ancient civilization used almonds. Hebrew literature from 2,000 B.C. mentions almonds. The Bible makes numerous references to almonds as an object of value and symbol of hope. In Genesis 43:11, for example, a famine in Canaan prompts Jacob to ask his sons to go to Egypt to buy grain. He told them, “Take some of the choice fruits of the land in your bags, and carry down to the man a present, a little balm and a little honey, gum, myrrh, pistachio nuts, and almonds.” And the Bible’s Book of Numbers 17:8 tells of the miracle of Aaron’s rod that blossomed and bore almonds.

King Tut took several handfuls of almonds to his grave in 1352 B.C., to nourish him on his journey into the afterlife. Persians and Arabs made a milk of almond meal and water, which they valued both as a refreshing drink and as an ingredient in other foods.

Almonds are now grown in many of the countries that border the Mediterranean Sea including Spain, Italy, Portugal and Morocco. 

ABOUT

The almond tree is a deciduous tree which can grow as high as 10 meters. The leaves of the almond tree are broad and serrated, and the sprouting flowers seen in early spring are either white or pale pink. By the time autumn comes (some 7-8 months after flowering), the almond is mature, ripe, and ready to be harvested.

Almond trees become productive and begin bearing fruit after five years. The fruit is mature in the autumn, 7–8 months after flowering. 

NUTRITIONAL PROFILE

Almond is a highly nutritional nut and is a rich source of fiber, protein, vitamin E, calcium, copper, magnesium, phosphorus, potassium, and iron. It contains zinc, thiamin, and niacin. It also provides vitamins such as folate, riboflavin, and vitamin B-6. Compared to all other nuts, almonds are richer in nutrients and beneficial components.

 

HEALTH BENEFITS

  • Alkalize the body
  • Are Beneficial in Skin Care
  • Boost Brain Health
  • Boost Energy Production
  • Control Blood Sugar Levels
  • Help build strong bones and teeth
  • Improve Bone Health
  • Nourish the nervous system
  • Prevent Cancer
  • Prevent Constipation
  • Prevent Heart Diseases
  • Protect artery walls from damage
  • Provide healthy fats and aid in weight loss
  • Reduce Inflammation
  • Regulate Blood Pressure
  • Regulate Cholesterol Level

HOW TO SELECT AND STORE

Almonds that are still in their shells have the longest shelf life. If purchasing these, look for shells that are not split, moldy or stained. Shelled almonds that are stored in a hermetically sealed container will last longer than those that are sold in bulk bins since they are less exposed to heat, air and humidity.

 

If purchasing almonds in bulk bins make sure that the store has a quick turnover of inventory and that the bulk containers are sealed well in order to ensure maximum freshness. Look for almonds that are uniform in color and not limp or shriveled. In addition, smell the almonds. They should smell sweet and nutty; if their odor is sharp or bitter, they are rancid.

 

Since almonds have a high fat content, it is important to store them properly in order to protect them from becoming rancid. Store shelled almonds in a tightly sealed container, in a cool dry place away from exposure to sunlight. Keeping them cold will further protect them from rancidity and prolong their freshness. Refrigerated almonds will keep for several months, and if stored in the freezer, in airtight containers, almonds can be kept for up to four year.

 

Shelled almond pieces will become rancid more quickly than whole shelled almonds. Almonds still in the shell have the longest shelf life.

HOW TO PREPARE AND ENJOY

To get maximum nutrition from almonds it is best to soak them before they are eaten, or roast them. Almonds are one of only a few nuts that will actually sprout when soaked. When you soak them it neutralizes the phytate, allowing the nutrients from the nut to be released.

Almond flour is great in gluten-free cooking and baking.

Almond Milk with its mild flavor is a very good alternative for those who need to be dairy free, soy free or are vegan.

 

HOW TO ENJOY

 In addition to being eaten raw, almonds are a wonderful addition to a variety of recipes from salads to baked goods.

 

One popular use of almonds in Italy is to crush almonds into marzipan, which is used as a sweet ingredient in baked goods. 

 

Green beans with sliced almonds makes a delicious dish

Yummy chocolate chip cookies with almonds

Chicken casserole topped with sliced almonds

Scrumptious birthday cake with almonds

Pasta with pesto and sliced almonds

Home made almond butter

Kale and avocado salad topped with almond slices

Delicious chocolate cake topped with almond slices

 

A WORD OF CAUTION

Almonds have consistently been determined to have high oxalate content. Oxalates are naturally occurring organic acids found in a wide variety of foods, and in the case of certain medical conditions, they must be greatly restricted in a meal plan to prevent over-accumulation inside the body.

Raw almonds are very good for you, but as with everything else, moderation is the key. The mineral content is impressive and can help you with everything from osteoporosis to cognitive function. Similarly, the fat content may be high, but much of that is in the form of “good” fats.

People having kidney or gallbladder problems should avoid eating almonds; and remember you should always consult your doctor or nutritionist when you have doubts about your body.

 

SOURCES

https://www.huffpost.com/entry/almond-facts-didnt-know_n_4537970

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/22296169

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/20833991

http://www.almonds.com/consumers/about-almonds/history-of-almonds

http://mercola.com

https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/06/140630094527.htm

Department of Nutritional Sciences

*******

Posted by: godshealingplants | January 12, 2019

OLIVES FOR YOUR HEALTH

HISTORY

Olive trees have been cultivated in parts of the Mediterranean, including Crete and Syria, for at least 5,000 years. This ancient tree is also native to parts of Asia and Africa.

Olives constitute one of the world’s largest fruit crops, with more than 25 million acres of olive trees planted worldwide. Spain is the largest single producer of olives at approximately 6 million tons per year. Italy is second at approximately 3.5 million tons, followed by Greece at 2.5 million. Turkey and Syria are the next major olive producers. Mediterranean production of olives currently involves approximately 800 million trees. 90% of all Mediterranean olives are crushed for the production of olive oil, with the remaining 10% kept whole for eating.  

ABOUT

The olive is a fruit, not a vegetable. There are many types and colors; they come in green, purple, dark brown, black, and even pink color.

 

Olive tree can reach 8 – 15 meters (26 – 49 feet) in height, and has oval-shaped, elongated leaves. They are leathery, grayish green on the upper side and whitish on the lower side. 

 

The olive flower is white and only flowers after four years. The first harvest can be expected after 15 years.

The olive tree is an evergreen and can live up to 2000 years; and the average life of an olive tree is between 300 and 600 years.

 

One of oldest olive tree in the world is found on the island of Crete. The tree is about 4,000 years old and is still producing fruit. 

NUTRITIONAL PROFILE

Olives are a remarkable source of antioxidant and anti-inflammatory phytonutrients. Most prominent are two simple phenols, tyrosol and hydroxytyrosol and several terpenes, especially oleuropein, erythrodiol, uvaol, oleanolic acid, elenoic acid and ligstroside. It has flavonoids—including apigenin, luteolin, cyanidins, and peonidins,—are typically provided in valuable amounts by lives, as are hydroxycinnamic acids like caffeic acid, cinnamic acid, ferulic acid and coumaric acid. The phytonutrient content of olives depends upon olive variety, stage of maturation, and the way it is treated after being harvested.

 

Olives are a very good source of copper and a good source of iron, dietary fiber and vitamin E.  

HEALTH BENEFITS

Olives are loaded with antioxidants, which plays out in the prevention of a number of different diseases, including heart disease, stroke, DNA damage, and cancer, specifically breast and stomach cancer. Other benefits relate to the health of the nervous system, respiratory system, immunity, and digestion, to name a few. Vitamin E (alpha tocopherol) is another important antioxidant nutrient in olives, along with antioxidant minerals like selenium and zinc.

 

Here are some additional benefits:

Bone and Connective Tissue – The anti-inflammatory abilities of the monounsaturated fats, vitamin E and polyphenols in black olives may also help dull the asperity of asthma, osteoarthritis, and rheumatoid arthritis. Most of the suffering in having one of these three bone maladies is brought about by high levels of free radicals. Olive oil also contains a chemical called oleocanthal, which acts as a painkiller. Research has found that oleocanthal inhibits inflammation by the same means that drugs like Ibuprofen do.

Cancer Prevention – Black olives are a great source of vitamin E, which has the brilliant ability to neutralize free radicals in body fat. Studies have shown that a diet supplemented with olive oil leads to a lower risk of colon cancer.

Cardiovascular Benefits – When free radicals oxidize cholesterol, blood vessels are damaged and fat builds up in arteries, possibly leading to a heart attack. The antioxidant nutrients in black olives impede this oxidation of cholesterol, thereby helping to prevent heart disease. Olives do contain fat, but it’s the healthy monounsaturated kind, which has been found to shrink the risk of atherosclerosis and increase good cholesterol. 

Digestive Tract HealthFrequent consumption of both vitamin E and the monounsaturated fats in black olives is associated with lower rates of colon cancer. These nutrients help prevent colon cancer by neutralizing free radicals. Olive oil’s protective function also has a beneficial effect on ulcers and gastritis. Olive oil activates the secretion of bile and pancreatic hormones much more naturally than prescribed drugs, thereby lowering the incidence of gallstone formation.

Eye Health – One cup of black olives contains ten percent of the daily recommended allowance of vitamin A which, when converted into the retinal form, is crucial for healthy eyes. It enables the eye to better distinguish between light and dark, thereby improving night vision. Furthermore, Vitamin A is believed effective against cataracts, macular degeneration, glaucoma and other age-related ocular diseases.

Good Source of Iron – Black olives are very high in iron. The ability of red blood cells to carry oxygen throughout the body is due to the presence of iron in the blood. If we suffer from a lack of iron, our tissues don’t get enough oxygen, and we may feel cold or weak. Iron also plays a vital role in the production of energy. It is a necessary part of a number of enzymes, including iron catalase, iron peroxidase, and the cytochrome enzymes. It also helps produce carnitine, a nonessential amino acid important for the utilization of fat. As we see, the proper function of the immune system is dependent on sufficient iron.

Skin and Hair Health – Black olives are rich in fatty acids and antioxidants that nourish, hydrate and protect. Chief among those is vitamin E. Whether applied topically or ingested, vitamin E has been shown to protect skin from ultraviolet radiation, thus guarding against skin cancer and premature aging. You can gain a healthy, glowing complexion by washing your face in warm water, applying a few drops of olive oil to vulnerable spots, and letting it work its magic for 15 minutes before rinsing it off. In fact, you can moisturize with olive oil before any bath, and even condition your hair with it by mixing it with an egg yolk and leaving it before rinsing and washing. 

HOW TO SELECT AND STORE

Olives are traditionally sold in glass jars and cans; however, many stores are now offering them in bulk in large barrels or bins.

 

While whole olives are very common, you may also find ones that have been pitted, as well as olives that have been stuffed with peppers, garlic or almonds. If you purchase olives in bulk, make sure that the store has a good turnover and keeps their olives immersed in brine for freshness.

 

When selecting olives from an olive bar, it’s not uncommon to find several different size ranging from fairly small to fairly large or jumbo and come in many different colors. Each of these options among olive varieties can provide you with valuable health benefits. In general, regardless of the variety you choose, select olives that display a reasonable about of firmness and are not too soft or mushy.

Another thing to consider is to buy olives that still have pits. Removing the pit during processing bruises the olive and makes it easier for molds to take over.

 

It is better to choose olives packed in glass over those that come in cans because the cans are lined with bisphenol-A (BPA), a hormone-disrupting petrochemical derivative.

If olives in cans are the only option, you should avoid buying them from large-scale producers, which are more likely to be sprayed with pesticides during the growing process and then treated with harsh chemicals—namely lye, to speed curing—during processing.

 

Preferably you should opt for organic olives that are traditionally cured, in order to avoid the ones that have been cured with lye.

Olives in glass jars once opened can be stored in the refrigerator for up to one month. Canned olives once opened should be used within a week. 

HOW TO PREPARE AND ENJOY

To pit olives, press them with the flat side of a broad knife.

 

This will help break the flesh so that you can easily remove the pit with your fingers or with a knife.

How to Enjoy

Here are some suggestions:

Green olives festive appetizer with prosciutto and melon

Broccoli pasta salad with sliced black olives

 

Pan fried chicken with vegetables, spices and olives.

Olive tapenade is a delicious and easy-to-make spread that you can use as a dip, sandwich spread, or topping for any dish. To make it, put pitted olives in a food processor with olive oil, garlic, and your favorite seasonings.

Olive on a vegetable pizza give it that extra special flavor

Potatoes and green beans mixed with a delicious olive oil dressing and olives

Add chopped olives to your favorite salad recipe.   

Spaghetti squash with chopped olives, tomatoes, garlic, olive oil and fresh herbs of your choice.  

ENJOY!

 

 

SOURCES:

http://mercola.com
http://www.whfoods.com

REFERENCES:

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/22999065

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/22946650

Lopez-Lopez A, Rodriguez-Gomez F, Cortes-Delgado A et al. Effect of the Previous Storage of Ripe Olives on the Oil Composition of Fruits. JAOCS, Journal of the American Oil Chemists’ Society. Champaign: Jun 2010. Vol. 87, Iss. 6; p. 705-714. 2010.

Malheiro R, Sousa A, Casal S et al. Cultivar effect on the phenolic composition and antioxidant potential of stoned table olives. Food Chem Toxicol. 2011 Feb;49(2):450-7. Epub 2010 Nov 23. 2011.

*******

 

Posted by: godshealingplants | December 26, 2018

KUMQUATS FOR YOUR HEALTH

HISTORY

The earliest historical reference to kumquats appears in literature from 12th century China. Kumquats have long been cultivated in India, Japan, Taiwan, the Philippines, and Southeast Asia. The name ‘kumquat’ is of Chinese origin, and it has the literal meaning of “golden orange”. 

ABOUT

Kumquats are a small citrus fruit that look like baby oranges. Kumquats are slow growing evergreen shrubs or short trees that are 8 to 15 feet tall with dense branches that sometimes have small thorns.

The leaves of kumquat trees are dark glossy green, and the flowers are white, similar to other citrus flowers. Depending on its size, the kumquat tree can produce hundreds or even thousands of fruits each year.

Even when fully ripe, their flavor is still very tart. It is more acidic and less sweet than oranges; which is a key difference between the two.

 

If you should grow your own kumquat tree once it matures it will produce fruit almost all year round. Unlike other citrus fruits, kumquat trees can survive reasonably cold weather.

NUTRITIONAL VALUE

Like most citrus fruits, the predominant health reason to eat kumquats is that they are a good source of vitamin- C. It also contains Manganese, Calcium, Vitamin-A, Vitamin-B complex, Iron, Magnesium, Potassium, Copper, Folate, Zinc,Vitamin-E and their peel is high in polyphenols also. 

HEALTH BENEFITS

Here is a list of some of the main health benefits of kumquat:

  • Assists in stimulation of new cell growth
  • Assists with collagen synthesis and wound healing
  • Boosts the immune system
  • Builds strong bones
  • Functions as co-factors for metabolizing carbohydrates, proteins and fats
  • Helps in the prevention of neurodegenerative diseases, arthritis and diabetes
  • Helps optimize insulin and glucose balance in the body
  • Helps protect the body against foreign invaders, infections, bacteria and fungi
  • Helps with iron absorption from food sources
  • Helps with the elimination of constipation, excess gas, bloating and cramping
  • Improves skin health
  • Increases energy levels
  • Nourishes hair and teeth
  • Possesses anti-viral and anti-cancer activities
  • Regulates digestive health

Don’t forget to eat the kumquat peel as well, since it’s particularly rich in antioxidants and fiber, as well as essential oils like limonene, pinene, a-bergamotene, caryophyllene, a-humulene and a-muurolene. All these nutrients play a vital role in developing some of the health benefits that kumquats have.

 

HOW TO BUY AND STORE

Kumquats are generally available between the end of January and beginning of April. Look for them at farmers markets and specialty stores.

You should choose kumquats with bright, smooth skins that feel a bit heavy for their size. Avoid kumquats with bruises, cuts, or blemishes of any kind.

Unless you know where they came from, it would be wise to look for certified organic kumquats so you know they weren’t been sprayed with harmful pesticides. 

How to Store

Use or eat kumquats as soon after purchasing as you can. Unlike other citrus fruits, kumquats don’t have a long shelf life. If you do need to store them for a few days, keep kumquats in a paper bag or loosely wrapped in plastic in the fridge.

* * * * * * * *

HOW TO PREPARE AND ENJOY

Kumquats are great to eat just as they are, skin and all.

The peel is actually a bit sweeter than the pulp, so eating them whole gives them a balanced flavor.

Kumquat jelly is tart but delicious especially if you mix them with oranges.

You can add them to fruit or regular salad. The sour tang of kumquats works great with many of the greens available in winter, especially endive and spinach.

Chop, or thinly slice the kumquats before adding them to the salad.

You can add them to a chicken dish.

You can even blend them into a smoothie with mangoes for a very delicious taste.

No matter how you use kumquats, make sure you give them a good rinse, or even a scrub, to make sure they’re clean before you start popping them in your mouth!

 

SOURCE

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kumquat

http://mercola.com

https://hort.purdue.edu/newcrop/morton/kumquat.html

https://www.wikihow.com/Eat-a-Kumquat

*******

DISCLAIMER GHP

 

Posted by: godshealingplants | November 24, 2018

SWEET POTATOE NACHOES

sweet-potato-nachos-for-web

Ingredients:

  • 1-2 large sweet potatoes
  • Pinch of Himalayan pink salt
  • 1 lb of organic ground turkey or
  • 1 cup of your preferred beans
  • 1 tbsp of organic butter or coconut oil
  • ¼ tsp of chili powder
  • ¼ tsp of cayenne powder
  • ¼ tsp of garlic powder
  • ¼ tsp of onion powder
  • 2 large handfuls of organic spinach
  • 1 small onion
  • 1 large avocado
  • Organic cheese to taste

ingredients-sweet-potatoe-nachoes

Instructions:

  1. Preheat oven to 375 and line baking sheet with foil
  2. Slice sweet potatoes very thin
  3. Spray baking sheet or grease with butter or coconut oil, lay sweet potatoes down, sprinkle with salt, and bake until crispy
  4. Remove, let cool, and place on plate
  5. Heat pan with butter and cook the onion and then add ground turkey or your favorite beans with your preferred spices until fully cooked.
  6. Add the spinach at the end to lightly cook it.
  7. Top sweet potatoes with the ground turkey or bean mix for vegetarians
  8. Continue with avocado, cheese, and salsa of your choosing.

nachos-with-turkey-or-beans

Comments:

Many people love corn and white potato chips but it is recommended to stay away from those for a variety of reasons. Corn and potato are both very starchy and high glycemic and impact blood sugar, cause insulin surges that increase inflammation throughout the body. These foods are like gasoline on a fire…they burn us up on the inside.

Additionally, most store-bought chips (even organic ones) use vegetable oils such as corn oil, soybean oil, cottonseed oil, peanut oil, sunflower oil, grapeseed oil, etc.  These oils are high in omega 6 fatty acids and are extremely inflammatory for the body as well.

Sweet potatoes are a MUCH better option when it comes to making your own chips.  Using organic butter or coconut oil is a significantly healthier choice.  Adding in anti-oxidant rich herbs and veggies makes this a fun, super delicious and nutrient dish!

NOTE:

This recipe is a slightly modified version from Megan Kelly.  She has is a Licensed Esthetician specializing in holistic nutrition.

Thanks also to Dr. David Jockers for keeping us healthy

SOURCE:

http://drjockers.com

 

********

Older Posts »

Categories