Food Fact: Cranberries

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A substantial number of recent studies have shown that whole fresh cranberries consumed in dietary form—in comparison with purified cranberry extracts consumed in either liquid or dried supplement form—do a better job of protecting our cardiovascular system and our liver.

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This rule about whole/fresh dietary intake of cranberries appears to apply to the antioxidant benefits, anti-inflammatory benefits, and anti-cancer benefits of cranberry. The cancer-preventive benefits of cranberries are now known to extend to cancers of the breast, colon, lung, and prostate. The bar for cranberries are as high as blueberries. They’re powerhouses of aniti-cancer fighting properties.

Basically, fresh is best! However, it’s easier at times to open up a can of cranberries for the holidays. I know based off of experience the length of time that goes into preparing a Thanksgiving feast. Cranberry sauce was the last thing from my mind to prepare, so I was that person who opened cans of jellied cranberry sauce. I also grew up watching my mother do it, so I did eventually. This year, my aunt is hosting and preparing the feast, so my contribution will be a fresh salad and guess what…fresh cranberries. After reading about the benefits of cranberries, I will never open up another can of jellied cranberry sauce in my house. As for my parents house, that’s another story.

Cranberries health highlights:
Urinary Tract Infection (UTI)
Cardiovascular Benefits
Immune Support
Antioxidant Protection
Anti-Cancer Protection
Digestive Tract Benefits

For an in-depth reading click here

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Food Fact: Turmeric Spice

The active ingredient in turmeric is curcumin. Tumeric has been used for over 2500 years in India, where it was most likely first used as a dye.

The medicinal properties of this spice have been slowly revealing themselves over the centuries. Long known for its anti-inflammatory properties, recent research has revealed that turmeric is a natural wonder, proving beneficial in the treatment of many different health conditions from cancer to Alzheimer’s disease.

Here are 20 reasons to add turmeric to your diet:

1. It is a natural antiseptic and antibacterial agent, useful in disinfecting cuts and burns.

2. When combined with cauliflower, it has shown to prevent prostate cancer and stop the growth of existing prostate cancer.

3. Prevented breast cancer from spreading to the lungs in mice.

4. May prevent melanoma and cause existing melanoma cells to commit suicide.

5. Reduces the risk of childhood leukemia.

6. Is a natural liver detoxifier.

7. May prevent and slow the progression of Alzheimer’s disease by removing amyloyd plaque buildup in the brain.

8. May prevent metastases from occurring in many different forms of cancer.

9. It is a potent natural anti-inflammatory that works as well as many anti-inflammatory drugs but without the side effects.

10. Has shown promise in slowing the progression of multiple sclerosis in mice.

11. Is a natural painkiller and cox-2 inhibitor.

12. May aid in fat metabolism and help in weight management.

 13. Has long been used in Chinese medicine as a treatment for depression.

14. Because of its anti-inflammatory properties, it is a natural treatment for arthritis and rheumatoid arthritis.

15. Boosts the effects of chemo drug paclitaxel and reduces its side effects.

16. Promising studies are underway on the effects of turmeric on pancreatic cancer.

17. Studies are ongoing in the positive effects of turmeric on multiple myeloma.

18. Has been shown to stop the growth of new blood vessels in tumors.

19. Speeds up wound healing and assists in remodeling of damaged skin.

20. May help in the treatment of psoriasis and other inflammatory skin conditions.

Turmeric can be taken in powder or pill form. It is available in pill form in most health food stores, usually in 250-500mg capsules.

Once you start using turmeric on a regular basis, it’s fun to find new ways to use it in recipes. My favorite way to use it is to add a pinch of it to egg salad. It adds a nice flavor and gives the egg salad a rich yellow hue.