Archive for Fruit Benefits

Asparagus

Asparagus not only tastes delicious, but is also a wonderful source of nutrients for a healthy body and mind. Asparagus contains many anti-inflammatory nutrients, such as asparagus saponins and the flavonoids quercetin, rutin, laempferol and isorhamnetin, which all help to combat arthritis, asthma, and autoimmune diseases.

Here are 7 benefits of asparagus.

1.Antioxidants

Glutathione, found in asparagus, contains three amino acids (glumatic acid, glycine and cysteine) that combine into one molecule that serves as a powerful oxidation-reduction agent in our bodies. Along with the antioxidants vitamin C, vitamin A (beta-carotene), zinc, manganese and selenium, the glutathione in asparagus fights against free radicals that cause aging and “cellular rust.”

2.Cancer
It is well-known that chronic inflammation and oxidation of the body’s cells can lead to a variety of different cancers. With its anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties, asparagus is a robust fighter against bladder, breast, colon, lung, prostate, ovarian and other cancers.

3.HeartHealth
Folate, a B complex vitamin, is essential for a healthy cardiovascular system and is found in abundance in asparagus (one cup contains 66% of the RDA of folate). Firstly, it is involved in a biochemical event called the methylation cycle, which allows for the proper transcription of DNA, the transformation of norepinephrine to adrenalin and the transformation of serotonin to melatonin. Secondly, folate regulates the amino acid homocysteine, which in high levels can be a strong risk factor in heart disease. And finally, B vitamins such as choline, biotin, and pantothenic acid manage our blood sugar levels by effectively metabolizing sugars and starches.

4.BirthDefects
Folate is also essential for proper cellular division. Healthy servings of asparagus can prevent a folate-deficiency, which has been linked to birth defects such as spina bifida (a congenital defect in which the spinal cord is exposed through a gap in the backbone).

5.Diuretic
The amino acid asparagine, found in asparagus, is an effective diuretic and has been historically used to treat swelling, arthritis, rheumatism, and PMS-related water retention. Diet and Digestion Inulin, a carbohydrate in asparagus, encourages the growth of Bifidobacteria and Lactobacilli, two bacteria that boost nutrient absorption, lower the risk of allergy and colon cancer, and help prevent unfriendly bacteria from taking hold in our intestinal tract. Furthermore, one cup of asparagus contains over 11% of the RDA of dietary fiber and almost 10% of the RDA of protein. The healthy fiber and protein content of asparagus stabilizes our digestion, curbs overeating, maintains a low blood sugar and prevents constipation. And finally, one cup of asparagus also contains only 43 calories.

6. Vitamin K

Asparagus is an excellent source of vitamin K (providing 114% of the RDA in one cup), which is necessary for the synthesis of osteocalcin, a protein that strengthens the composition of our bones. Furthermore, vitamin K prevents calcium build-up in our tissue that can lead to atherosclerosis, cardiovascular disease and stroke.

7. Vitamin C

As mentioned above, asparagus contains a healthy dose of the strong antioxidant vitamin C (over 30% of the RDA). Other health benefits associated with vitamin C are a lower blood pressure, healthy immune system, and resistance to age-related ocular diseases, such as cataracts and macular degeneration.

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15 health benefits of eating apples

Many of us forget that sometimes, the simplest answers are the best. Better health could be as easy as reaching for the fruit bowl for some apples next time you need a snack

What makes apples so great?

1. Get whiter, healthier teeth

An apple won’t replace your toothbrush, but biting and chewing an apple stimulates the production of saliva in your mouth, reducing tooth decay by lowering the levels of bacteria.

2. Avoid Alzheimer’s

A new study performed on mice shows that drinking apple juice could keep Alzheimer’s away and fight the effects of aging on the brain. Mice in the study that were fed an apple-enhanced diet showed higher levels of the neurotransmitter acetylcholine and did better in maze tests than those on a regular diet.

3. Protect against Parkinson’s

Research has shown that people who eat fruits and other high-fibre foods gain a certain amount of protection against Parkinson’s, a disease characterized by a breakdown of the brain’s dopamine-producing nerve cells. Scientists have linked this to the free radical-fighting power of the antioxidants contained therein.

4. Curb all sorts of cancers

Scientists from the American Association for Cancer Research, among others, agree that the consumption of flavonol-rich apples could help reduce your risk of developing pancreatic cancer by up to 23 per cent. Researchers at Cornell University have identified several compounds—triterpenoids—in apple peel that have potent anti-growth activities against cancer cells in the liver, colon and breast. Their earlier research found that extracts from whole apples can reduce the number and size of mammary tumours in rats. Meanwhile, the National Cancer Institute in the U.S. has recommended a high fibre intake to reduce the risk of colorectal cancer.

Women who eat at least one apple a day are 28 percent less likely to develop type 2 diabetes than those who don’t eat apples. Apples are loaded with soluble fibre, the key to blunting blood sugar swings.

6. Reduce cholesterol

The soluble fibre found in apples binds with fats in the intestine, which translates into lower cholesterol levels and a healthier you.

7. Get a healthier heart

An extensive body of research has linked high soluble fibre intake with a slower buildup of cholesterol-rich plaque in your arteries. The phenolic compound found in apple skins also prevents the cholesterol that gets into your system from solidifying on your artery walls. When plaque builds inside your arteries, it reduces blood flow to your heart, leading to coronary artery disease.

8. Prevent gallstones

Gallstones form when there’s too much cholesterol in your bile for it to remain as a liquid, so it solidifies. They are particularly prevalent in the obese. To prevent gallstones, doctors recommend a diet high in fibre to help you control your weight and cholesterol levels.

9. Beat diarrhea and constipation

Whether you can’t go to the bathroom or you just can’t stop, fibre found in apples can help. Fibre can either pull water out of your colon to keep things moving along when you’re backed up, or absorb excess water from your stool to slow your bowels down.

10. Neutralize irritable bowel syndrome

Irritable bowel syndrome is characterized by constipation, diarrhea, and abdominal pain and bloating. To control these symptoms doctors recommend staying away from dairy and fatty foods while including a high intake of fibre in your diet.

11. Avert hemorrhoids

Hemorrhoids are a swollen vein in the anal canal and while not life threatening, these veins can be very painful. They are caused by too much pressure in the pelvic and rectal areas. Part and parcel with controlling constipation, fibre can prevent you from straining too much when going to the bathroom and thereby help alleviate hemorrhoids.

12. Control your weight

Many health problems are associated with being overweight, among them heart disease, stroke, high blood pressure, type 2 diabetes and sleep apnea. To manage your weight and improve your overall health, doctors recommend a diet rich in fibre. Foods high in fibre will fill you up without costing you too many calories.

13. Detoxify your liver

We’re constantly consuming toxins, whether it is from drinks or food, and your liver is responsible for clearing these toxins out of your body. Many doctors are skeptical of fad detox diets, saying they have the potential to do more harm than good. Luckily, one of the best—and easiest—things you can eat to help detoxify your liver is fruits—like apples.

14. Boost your immune system

Red apples contain an antioxidant called quercetin. Recent studies have found that quercetin can help boost and fortify your immune system, especially when you’re stressed out.

15. Prevent cataracts

Though past studies have been divided on the issue, recent long-term studies suggest that people who have a diet rich in fruits that contain antioxidants—like apples—are 10 to 15 per cent less likely to develop cataracts.

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