Health Benefits of Strawberries

The health benefits of strawberry include eye care, proper brain function, and relief from high blood pressure, arthritis, gout and heart diseases.

These berries, with their tempting looks and great taste, have secured their place in the list of favorites for ages. Strawberries, with their common scientific name Fragaria (there are different suffixes for different varieties, such as Fragaria Vesca for wild strawberry, Fragaria Orientalis for Eastern Strawberries etc.), are berries which grow in bushes.

They are extensively used in food stuffs ice-creams, jams, jellies, squashes, syrups, confectionaries, bakeries, chocolates and even medicines for their extraordinarily rich flavor, taste and color. They are also consumed fresh. We know that all fruits, particularly berries and those with exotic colors are rich in anti oxidants. Strawberries are no exceptions. In addition to anti oxidants, they have many other nutrients and can be efficiently used to prevent many diseases.

Let us see what they are. The health benefits of strawberry include the following:

  • Eye Care: The primary reasons for almost all the problems of eyes are free radicals and deficiency of certain nutrients. With the growing age and lack of these protective nutrients, the harmful oxidants or free radicals cast heavy damage on our eyes, such as drying up of eyes, degeneration of optical nerves, Macular degeneration, vision defects and make them prone to infections too. The anti oxidants such as vitamin-C, Flavonoids, Phenolic Phytochemicals and Elagic Acid, present in strawberries can help avoid this situation to a great extent. One more factor is ocular pressure, i.e. the pressure of the eyes. Any disturbance in it is also harmful for the eyes. Here too, strawberries are helpful as they contain potassium, which help maintain right pressure.
  • Arthritis and Gout: The degeneration of muscles and tissues, drying up of the fluid which help mobility of the joints and accumulation of toxic substances and acids (such as uric acid) in the body are some of the ill effects of free radicals present in our body, which are primarily responsible for Arthritis and Gout. Strawberries, with their team of anti oxidants and detoxifiers, can effectively help push away such health hazards forever. It is a famous saying in India that a serving of any fruit a day will remove the rust from the joints. It is very true for strawberries.
  • Cancer: Vitamin-C, Folate and Anthocyanin, Quercetin and Kaempferol (few of the many Flavonoids in strawberries which possess excellent anti oxidant and anti carcinogenic properties) together form an excellent team to fight cancer and tumor. A daily intake of strawberries is seen to have remarkably brought down the growth of cancerous cells.
  • Brain Function: It is a very common observation that old people tend to lose their memory and control over their activities, limbs etc. This is because of aging of their brain and the nervous system. Actually, the free radicals, the agents very much responsible for aging, have a very adverse effect on these systems. Due to them, the brain tissues start degenerating and the nerves get weaker. Strawberries can help you out. The vitamin-C and the phytochemicals in them neutralize the effect of these oxidants and also rejuvenate the system. One more thing, strawberries are rich in iodine too, which is very helpful for proper functioning of the brain and nervous system.
  • High Blood Pressure: Strawberries are very good in potassium and magnesium content, both of which are very effective in lowering high blood pressure caused by sodium.
  • Heart Diseases: High fiber, Folate, no fats and high anti oxidants such as vitamin-C and those phytochemicals (Flavonoids) together form an ideal cardiac health pack, as they effectively reduce cholesterol. Some of the members of the vitamin-B family present in strawberries also strengthen the cardiac muscles and help better functioning of the heart.
  • Other Benefits: Folate is known to protect from birth-defects. Vitamin-C effectively prevents from infections and cold. The phytonutrients also have anti inflammatory properties. Wait! I forgot to tell you about the best benefit. The strawberry preserve tastes just awesome.

Health Benefits of Almonds

The health benefits of almonds include getting relief from constipation, respiratory disorders, cough, hearth disorders, anemia, impotency, and diabetes. It also helps in hair care, skin care (psoriasis), and dental care.

Found in places like Iran, Saudi Arabia, Lebanon, Turkey, Syria, Jordan and Israel, almond is a very nutritious nut.  It is a rich source of vitamin E, calcium, phosphorous, iron and magnesium. It also contains zinc, selenium, copper and niacin. Almonds contain the most nutrients in comparison to all other nuts.

Both sweet and bitter almonds are available. Usually, sweet almonds are edible and bitter almonds are used to make almond oil, which is used to add flavor to food. Almonds are usually eaten raw, but people also add them as ingredients in salads. Almond milk is a delicious drink.

You can eat almonds directly, preferably eat it empty stomach to ensure absorption of their nutrients. You can soak them in water overnight and eat in the morning. You can also garnish various dishes with crushed almonds.

Almonds are also known to have great medicinal value. Few of the benefits of almonds are given below.

  • Good for brain: Almond is a source of many nutrients which help in development of the brain. Almond induces high intellectual level and has been considered as an essential food item for growing children. Many mothers give almonds soaked in water to their children daily in the morning (2-3 pieces of soaked almonds are good enough, you can also remove the outer shell if it causes allergy to you.
  • Regulates cholesterol: Regular consumption of almonds helps to increase the level of high density lipoproteins (HDL) and reduce the level of low density lipoproteins (LDL), thereby effectively controlling cholesterol levels. LDL cholesterol is called bad cholesterol.
  • Good for heart: Mono-saturated fat, protein and potassium contained in almonds are good for the heart. Vitamin E acts as an antioxidant and reduces the risk of heart diseases. The presence of magnesium in almonds helps to avoid heart attacks. Almonds help reduce C-reactive protein which causes artery-damaging inflammation. Almond is also a source of folic acid. They therefore help to reduce the level of homocystein, which causes fatty plaque buildup in arteries.
  • Skin care: The benefits of almond for skin care are well known, and hence a massage with almond oil is often recommended for new born babies. Almond milk is also added in some soaps as almonds help in improving the complexion of the skin.
  • Regulates blood pressure: Potassium present in almond helps to regulates blood pressure. Almonds are very low in sodium which also helps in containing blood pressure.
  • Prevention of cancer: Almond improves the movement of food through the colon, thereby preventing colon cancer.
  • Protection against diabetes: Almonds also help in reducing the rise in sugar and insulin levels after meals. This offers protection from diabetes.
  • Good in pregnancy: Almond contains folic acid. Folic acid helps to reduce the incidence of birth defects in newborn babies.
  • Weight loss: Unsweetened almond milk helps one to reduce weight. The mono-saturated fat contained in almonds satisfies appetite and prevents over-eating. Studies have revealed that almond rich low calorie diet is good for obese people to assist in shedding their weight.
  • Prevention of constipation: Almonds are rich in fibre. Like most other fibre rich food, almonds also help in preventing constipation. Make sure you drink good amount of water after eating almonds.
  • Boosts energy: The presence of manganese, copper and Riboflavin helps in energy production.

One avoids the risk of Alzheimer’s disease by consuming almonds. But just like any other food, even almonds have their cons. They contain oxalates and excessive oxalates can cause crystallization. So people having kidney or gallbladder problems should avoid eating almonds.

Roasted Green Beans

1 lb fresh green beans

drizzle of olive oil

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/2 teaspoon pepper

Preheat oven to 425.

Add green beans to a bowl and drizzle a tiny bit of olive oil on them. Mix with your hands to coat each green bean. Lay them on a baking sheet and sprinkle with salt and pepper.

Roast for 25-30 minutes, flipping once during cooking.

Resourse: http://www.howsweeteats.com/2010/10/roasted-green-bean-fries/

Health Benefits of Green Beans

Eat raw green beans. Green beans are a common vegetable that is widely available and generally inexpensive, so it’s not difficult to add this food to your diet. Raw green beans provide a wide array of important nutrients, ranging from dietary fiber to the mineral fluoride. Eating raw green beans can also be convenient because you don’t have to spend any time cooking the beans; just wash them, and eat.

Raw vs. Cooked

Eating raw green beans–or any vegetables–rather than cooking them can help you reap the full nutritional benefits. Cooking vegetables for long periods of time can reduce their nutrient content, while boiling can lead to the loss of water-soluble vitamins such as vitamin C, according to nutrition consultant Karen Collins, R.D.

Rich Fiber Content

One cup of raw green beans provides 3 g of dietary fiber. Dietary fiber promotes digestive health, increases feelings of fullness and can help you manage your blood sugar and cholesterol levels, according to the Mayo Clinic website. The Institute of Medicine at the National Academy of Sciences suggests that men should consume 38 g of fiber daily, while women should eat 25 g. Thus, 1 c of green beans provides about 8 percent of the daily suggested intake for men and 12 percent of the daily suggested intake for women.

Low in Calories

A 1 c serving of raw green beans contains just 31 calories, which is less than 2 percent of the total daily suggested intake of 2,000. This amount is less than 70 percent of the calories in a cup of microwaved green beans. This is because green beans reduce in size when microwaved, so a cup of microwaved green beans contains more food than a cup of raw green beans.

Rich in Magnesium

Raw green beans are rich in magnesium, a mineral that most Americans need more of, according to the University of Maryland Medical Center. Magnesium promotes proper health of your kidneys, muscles and heart, aids in producing energy and helps manage proper levels of other nutrients in your body.

High in Vitamin A

Raw green beans are rich in vitamin A, which helps you fight off infections and also maintains the health of your eyes and skin. Raw green beans are also rich in the vitamin A precursor beta carotene, which is an antioxidant.

High in Fluoride

Raw green beans are also a good source of fluoride, a mineral that helps prevent tooth decay and strengthens your bones.

References

More Nutritional Values

Health benefits of Blueberries

  1. The highest antioxidant capacity of all fresh fruit: Blue Berries, being very rich in anti oxidants like Anthocyanin, vitamin C, B complex, vitamin E, vitamin A, copper (a very effective immune builder and anti-bacterial), selenium, zinc, iron (promotes immunity by raising haemoglobin and oxygen concentration in blood) etc. boost up your immune system and prevent infections. Once your immunity is strong, you won’t catch colds, fever, pox and all such nasty viral and bacterial communicable diseases.
  2. Neutralizes free radicals which can affect disease and aging in the body: Blue Berries bring you the brightest ray of hope, for they are laden with anti oxidants and rank number 1 in the world of anti oxidants. This is mainly due to presence of Anthocyanin, a pigment responsible for the blue color of the blue berries. The abundance of vitamin-C is also a big factor for this as well.
  3. Aid in reducing Belly Fat: A new University of Michigan Cardiovascular Center study suggests that blueberries may help reduce belly fat and risk factors for cardiovascular disease and metabolic syndrome. So far, we know that the fruit works on rats, which were the test subjects. A blueberry-enriched powder was mixed into the rats’ diet, which was either low-fat or high-fat rat chow. After 90 days, the rats with the blueberry-enriched diet had less abdominal fat, lower triglycerides, lower cholesterol and improved fasting glucose and insulin sensitivity. And their health was even better when combined with the low-fat diet. That group had lower body weight, lower total fat mass and reduced liver mass than the rats on the high-fat diet. An enlarged liver is linked to obesity and insulin resistance, a hallmark of diabetes. Although more research is needed to confirm these results in humans, a related study presented at the same conference showed that men with risk factors for heart disease who drank wild blueberry juice for three weeks seemed to experience slight improvements in glucose and insulin control.
  4. Helps promote urinary tract health: The building of colonies of certain bacteria like b-coli along the lining of the inner walls of urinary tract is responsible for this infection, resulting in inflammation, burning sensation during in passage of urine and other complications. Here, Blue Berries can be surprisingly beneficial. It has a compound formed of big polymer like heavy molecules which inhibits the growth of such bacteria. It also has some anti biotic properties which adds to this effect. These heavy and big molecules almost wash-off these bacteria along the tract, thereby preventing the infection.
  5. Been proved to preserve vision: Blueberry extract, high in compounds called anthocyanosides, has been found in clinical studies to slow down visual loss. They can prevent or delay all age related ocular problems like macular degeneration, cataract, myopia and hypermetropia, dryness and infections, particularly those pertaining to retina, due to their anti-oxidant properties. Blue Berries contain a special group of anti oxidants called Carotenoids (lutein, zeaxanthin etc.), Flavonoids (like rutin, resveritrol, quercetin etc.), in addition to others such as vitamin C, vitamin E and vitamin A, selenium, zinc and phosphorus, which are very beneficial and essential for the ocular health. Data reported in a study published in the Archives of Ophthalmology indicates that eating 3 or more servings of fruit per day may lower your risk of age-related macular degeneration (ARMD), the primary cause of vision loss in older adults, by 36%, compared to persons who consume less than 1.5 servings of fruit daily.
  6. Brain Health: The anthocyanin, the selenium, the vitamins A, B-complex, C and E, the zinc, sodium, potassium, copper, magnesium, phosphorus, manganese etc., among others, can prevent and heal neurotic disorders by preventing degeneration and death of neurons, brain-cells and also by restoring health of the central nervous system. It is hard to believe that these berries can also cure serious problems like Alzheimer’s disease to a great extent. They even heal damaged brain cells and neuron tissues and keep your memory sharp for a long-long time. Researchers found that diets rich in blueberries significantly improved both the learning capacity and motor skills of aging animals, making them mentally equivalent to much younger ones.
  7. Heart Disease: The high fiber content, those brilliant anti oxidants and the ability to dissolve the ‘bad cholesterol’ make the Blue Berry an ideal dietary supplement to cure many heart diseases. It also strengthens the cardiac muscles. In this study, published in the Journal of Agriculture and Food Chemistry, researchers found that a moderate drink (about 4 ounces) of white wine contained .47 mmol of free radical absorbing antioxidants, red wine provided 2.04 mmol, and a wine made from highbush blueberries delivered 2.42 mmol of these protective plant compounds.
  8. Constipation & Digestion: While roughage (fiber) in Blue Berries keep away constipation (Of course, a single piece alone will not do. You need to eat a big handful of them), the vitamins, sodium, copper, fructose and acids improve digestion.
  9. Cancer: Blue Berries can prove to be bliss for the cancer patients, for they contain certain compounds like Pterostilbene (excellent remedy for colon and liver cancer) and Ellagic Acid which, in harmony with Anthocyanin and other anti oxidants like vitamin-C and copper, can do miracles to prevent and cure cancer. Laboratory studies published in the Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry show that phenolic compounds in blueberries can inhibit colon cancer cell proliferation and induce apoptosis (programmed cell death). A significant 34% reduction in ovarian cancer risk was also seen in women with the highest intake of the flavone luteolin (found in citrus).
  10. Other benefits & facts: They keep you fresh, active, fit, sharp, close to nature and in a good mood, as they are very good anti depressants. You also need not spend a lot on medicines, neither are there any side effects. Remember, the deeper the color of the Blue Berries, the more they are rich in anti oxidants and other medicinal values.

10 Foods That Help Reduce Stress

1. Blueberries””Besides having been identified as one of the healthiest foods around, blueberries are very high in vitamin C, which has been shown to give the body added reserves to help it deal with high levels of stress. Also, blueberries contain a high amount of fiber, which helps regulate blood sugar levels. Blood sugar levels that fluctuate too much are a major contributor to stress for some people.

2. Low fat or skim milk””Milk is very high in calcium and B vitamins, which help to build your bones and protect nerve health. It is also high in protein, and protein also helps blood sugarto stay stabilized. Try mixing some milk, a sweetener and some frozen blueberries in the blender for a healthy pick-me-up that is super good for you, and an excellent alternative to ice cream!

3. Oranges””Oranges are very rich in vitamin C. When you are stressed, your body releases even more free radicals than usual. Vitamin C helps to keep the free radicals in check, and repairs the body. Basically, it helps protect the body from the cumulative effects of stress.

4. Brown rice””All whole grains, including bulger wheat, quinoa, oats and brown rice contain plenty of B vitamins and also supply serotonin producing carbohydrates that do not spike blood sugar levels. They also contain plenty of healthy fiber.

5. Green vegetables””Broccoli, kale, and other dark green vegetables are powerhouses of vitamins that help replenish our bodies in times of stress. Many vegetables also contain potassium, which is good for our nerves and can calm them. Also, when we eat a diet high in vegetables, we do not feel weighed down by our diet, and it is easier to get stress-reducing exercise.

6. Dried apricots””These are rich in magnesium, which is a stress-buster. Some people even say that magnesium helps reduce heart palpitations brought on by stress. Magnesium is a natural muscle relaxant as well. Apricots are also high in fiber and vitamin C. Don’t eat too many of them, though, because they also contain quite a bit of fructose, a type of sugar.

7. Turkey””Turkey contains an amino acid called L-Tryptophan. This amino acid triggers the release of serotonin, which is a feel-good brain chemical. This is the reason why many people who eat turkey feel relaxed, or even tired, after eating it. L-Tryptophan has a documented calming effect. Chicken is also high in this amino acid. However, don’t eat them fried, or your body will be so busy digesting the fats that you will miss out on the benefit of these foods!

8. Soy””Try adding foods that are made out of soy to your diet, such as soy milk, tofu, tempeh and soy nuts. Soy is high in protein, B vitamins, calcium and magnesium.

9. Sweet potatoes””Sweet potatoes can be particularly stress reducing because they can satisfy the urge we get for carbohydrates and sweets when we are under a great deal of stress. Instead of reaching for a doughnut, eat one of these instead. They are packed full of beta-carotene and other vitamins, and the fiber helps your body to process the carbohydrates in a slow and steady manner.

10. Water””While technically not a food, it is important to have sufficient water intake, as even a mild state of dehydration can stress your entire body. Keep your nerves steady by staying well hydrated.

Q: How many veggies and fruits should I eat everyday?

Answer:

“Eat plenty of fruits and vegetables.” “Americans just aren’t getting enough.” Chances are you’ve heard these phrases a time or two in the past. But what exactly does plenty mean? Five bowls of fruit? Six salads? Nine apples? Two sweet potatoes? How much is enough? The right amount for you depends on several factors, including age, gender, and physical activity. These characteristics determine how many fruits and vegetables you should be eating everyday. To get started, check our guidelines below to find the right amount that you need to enjoy on a daily basis. Physical activity has been categorized into three levels of exercise above the hustle and bustle of your everyday routine.

Lightly Active: An average of less than 30 minutes of exercise a day

  • Women ages 19-30: 2 cups Fruits + 2 1/2 cups Veggies = 4 1/2 cups TOTAL
  • Men ages 19-50: 2 cups Fruits + 3 cups Veggies = 5 cups TOTAL
  • Women ages 31-50: 1 1/2 cups Fruits + 2 1/2 cups Veggies = 4 cups TOTAL
  • Men ages 51+: 2 cups Fruits + 2 1/2 cups Veggies = 4 1/2 cups TOTAL
  • Women ages 51+: 1 1/2 cups Fruits + 2 cups Veggies = 3 1/2 cups TOTAL

Moderately Active: An average of 30 to 60 minutes of exercise a day

  • Women ages 19-50: 2 cups Fruits + 2 1/2 cups Veggies = 4 1/2 cups TOTAL
  • Men ages 19-30: 2 cups Fruits + 3 1/2 cups Veggies = 5 1/2 cups TOTAL
  • Women ages 51+: 1 1/2 cups Fruits + 2 1/2 cups Veggies = 4 cups TOTAL
  • Men ages 31+: 2 cups Fruits + 3 cups Veggies = 5 cups TOTAL

Very Active: An average of 60 minutes of exercise or more a day

  • Men ages 19-30: 2 1/2 cups Fruits + 4 cups Veggies = 6 1/2 cups TOTAL
  • Women ages 19-50: 2 cups Fruits + 3 cups Veggies = 5 cups TOTAL
  • Men ages 31-50: 2 1/2 cups + 3 1/2 cups Veggies = 6 cups TOTAL
  • Women ages 51+: 2 cups Fruits + 2 1/2 cups Veggies = 4 1/2 cups TOTAL
  • Men ages 51+: 2 cups Fruits + 3 cups Veggies = 5 cups TOTAL

Q: What is a serving?

A: Servings are typically measured by the 1/2 cup and cup, and can be tallied up to obtain a total for each day. The goal is to match the number of fruit and vegetable servings actually consumed each day with the total cup number recommended from the above guidelines. For most fruits and vegetables, one half cup represents a serving (including fresh, frozen, and 100% juice). A few exceptions include leafy greens, in which the serving is a full cup, and dried fruit, in which the serving is 1/4 cup. Setting all detailed, specific servings aside, the bottom line is to meet your daily cup totals for fruits and vegetables.

Q: What exactly does a cup look like?

A: A lot of fruits and vegetables, especially those that have been cut or chopped, are easy to measure. If it helps, dig those measuring cups out from the back of the drawer, give the fruit or vegetable in question a measure, and you’ve got your reference point. Generally speaking, for the uncut, a large piece of fruit (banana, grapefruit, apple) or vegetable (medium sweet potato, large ear of corn, bell pepper) is the equivalent of a cup.

Q: How do I eat that many servings a day?

A: Space it out and mix it up. For the herbivore-friendly novice, four or five cups of fruits and vegetables may seem a bit overwhelming. The idea is not to take down a quart of orange juice, or a pound of grapes in one sitting. Instead, space out your daily recommendation, and enjoy foods from a variety of sources. If your eating regimen consists of the standard three-meals-a-day with a snack, then aim for one to 1 1/2 cups at each meal, plus another 1/2 cup for a snack. If you prefer to eat six smaller meals a day, make sure you get 1/2 cup to a full cup of fruit or veggies at each mini meal.

Be good to yourself this year. Think in terms of color. If there is no color on your plate, rethink your selection and swap those potato chips for a colorful burst of essential nutrients. People who get “enough” or “plenty” of plant-based foods tend to have diets that are lower in calories, higher in fiber, and a reduced risk of chronic diseases. The benefits are immeasurable, and the endless buffet of available options leaves little excuse not to join Cooking Light’s efforts to Veggie Up!

 

List of whole grains

Scads of different grains are grown around the world. Here are some of the more common whole grains or whole-grain foods you’re likely to find in a grocery or health-food store:

  • Amaranth
  • Barley
  • Brown rice
  • Bulgur (cracked wheat)
  • Whole-wheat pasta or couscous
  • Flaxseed
  • Millet
  • Oats
  • Quinoa
  • Rye
  • Spelt
  • Wheat berries
  • Wild rice