5 Sweet Pomegranate Facts


Health Benefits of Pomegranates

Here’s a young pomegranate growing. In the Northern Hemisphere, the fruit is typically in season from September to February, and in the Southern Hemisphere from March to May. The pomegranate tree is actually a pretty small tree growing 6 to 10 m (20 to 33 ft) high, the pomegranate has multiple spiny branches, and is extremely long-lived, with some specimens in France surviving for 200 years. The fruit is considered a berry, a gigantic berry if you really think of it with tiny juice filled seeds on the inside.  The pomegranate fruit offers beneficial healing properties. These are some highlights:

  • Pomegranate has anti-inflammatory properties that may protect against cancer and other chronic diseases.
  • Pomegranate has anti-angiogenic properties, meaning that they may help to stop tumors from acquiring a blood supply, preventing those tumors from receiving the nutrients that would allow them to grow larger.
  • Pomegranate is one of the few foods (mushrooms are another) that contain natural aromatase inhibitors. This means that they inhibit the production of estrogen, which can reduce breast cancer risk. 
  • After treatment for prostate cancer, two studies have shown that pomegranate juice or supplements slowed the increase in PSA.
  • Protects Against Heart Disease. Consume the pomegranate juice to reduce oxidative stress.  The pomegranate reduces LDL oxidation (a contributor to atherosclerotic plaque development). 


References 

How to cut a pomegranate?

Fruit Facts: Pomegranate 

Aviram M, Dornfeld L: Pomegranate juice consumption inhibits serum angiotensin converting enzyme activity and reduces systolic blood pressure. Atherosclerosis 2001, 158:195-198.

Aviram M, Volkova N, Coleman R, et al: Pomegranate phenolics from the peels, arils, and flowers are antiatherogenic: studies in vivo in atherosclerotic apolipoprotein e-deficient (E 0) mice and in vitro in cultured macrophages and lipoproteins. Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemis ry 2008, 56:1148-1157.

Wolf B: Pomegranates: Jewels In The Fruit Crown. 2006.

Panchal SK, Ward L, Brown L: Ellagic acid attenuates high-carbohydrate, high-fat diet-induced metabolic syndrome in rats. Eur J Nutr 2012.

Adams LS, Seeram NP, Aggarwal BB, et al: Pomegranate juice, total pomegranate ellagitannins, and punicalagin suppress inflammatory cell signaling in colon cancer cells. Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemis ry 2006, 54:980-985.

Khan N, Afaq F, Kweon MH, et al: Oral consumption of pomegranate fruit extract inhibits growth and progression of primary lung tumors in mice. Cancer Res 2007, 67:3475-3482.

Toi M, Bando H, Ramachandran C, et al: Preliminary studies on the anti-angiogenic potential of pomegranate fractions in vitro and in vivo. Angiogenesis 2003, 6:121-128.

Strawberries Are Back 

Strawberries are back and in full-swing of things at the Union Square Green Market.  They’re super sweet, juicy, and delicious!  You’ll never find these beauties at your supermarket.  What also sets these beauties apart from the regular store-bought brands is there texture. The strawberry from the local farmers are much more tender and delicate, thus making them more juicy.

They’re in season now so stop by your local farmers market and get’em while you can.  To find your local farmers market click here.  Nutritional information on strawberry can also be found here

Enjoy😋

Summertime, and Risk Grows for Kidney Stones

X-rays are commonly used to diagnose kidney stones, which can cause severe pain. PHOTO: GETTY IMAGES

Who knew the summertime is a big season for kidney stones? 

Doctors say more people suffer from the condition when the weather is hot and dry and people become dehydrated. That can encourage minerals in the body to crystallize in the kidneys. When the so-called stones move to other parts of the urinary tract they can cause severe pain depending on their size.

About 9% of U.S. adults will develop kidney stones, a rate that has nearly doubled over the past 15 years, according to a 2012 study in the journal European Urology. The reason for the increase isn’t entirely clear, but it is believed to be connected to rising obesity rates. Men are more likely than women to get kidney stones, though a recent study found the gap has been narrowing.

 

Kidney stones are made of crystallized minerals and salts. PHOTO: GETTY IMAGES
 
For people who have suffered a kidney stone, the chance of having another is high. Doctors say there are steps to help prevent a recurrence, mainly through changes in diet, such as drinking lots of water and avoiding sugary sodas. Other prevention tips may depend on what type of kidney stone you had. For a common type of stone, doctors might recommend avoiding spinach and consuming moderate levels of dietary calcium, for example.

KIDNEY STONE FACTS

  • About 9% of U.S. adults will develop kidney stones, a rate that has nearly doubled over the past 15 years. In men, the rate is 11% and in women it is 7%. But the gap between the genders is narrowing.
  • Calcium oxalate stones make up the majority of cases. Other types of kidney stones include calcium phosphate, uric acid and struvite.
  • A family history of kidney stones increases your risk. One in four people with a stone reports having a relative with them.

Click here to continue reading the article. 

Source: By SUMATHI REDDY (WSJ)

Diabetes Linked to Developing Alzheimer’s 

 

Dr. David Holtzman in his lab at Washington University School of Medicine, in St. Louis, is among the researchers studying links between blood sugar and the brain. PHOTO: ROBERT J. BOSTON/WASHINGTON UNIVERSITY SCHOOL OF MEDICINE
 
Two recent studies show blood-sugar levels can affect the brain—-adding new evidence that diabetes might be a significant risk factor for developing Alzheimer’s disease and other forms of dementia.  Researchers at Washington University in St. Louis found in a study of mice that raising blood sugar to abnormally high levels corresponded with increased production in the brain of amyloid beta, a protein thought to be an important factor in Alzheimer’s disease. In a separate study of middle-aged people, conducted at the University of Pittsburgh, those with Type 1 diabetes had significantly more brain lesions, and slower cognitive function, than people without the disease. 

 

Click to continue reading!

Source: By JOSEPH WALKER (WSJ)

Why Consume More Plants?

  

Weight control
Weight gain is generally correlated with high daily calorie intake, and eating a small amount of nutrient-dense foods full of dietary fiber and complex carbohydrates. Fruits, vegetables, legumes, and whole-grain foods typically provide a feeling of fullness with fewer calories, compared to other types of foods. Putting more of these kinds of plants on the plate makes it easier to manage appetite and maintain body weight.

High dietary fiber
Only plant foods contain fiber. Dietary fiber is a complex form of carbohydrate. Several decades of studies have confirmed the health benefits of eating a fiber-rich diet. Specifically, diets rich in foods containing fiber — such as fruits, vegetables, and whole grains — may reduce the risk of coronary heart disease and improve regularity. A healthy elimination system allows bodies to get rid of toxins. Beans and legumes contain more dietary fiber than almost any other food, so they are an integral and versatile part of a balanced diet. The dietary fiber in legumes is both soluble — which is especially useful in helping control cholesterol levels to lower heart disease risk — and insoluble — which improves regularity. Beans are also filling, so they help promote weight management by satisfying hunger.

Chronic disease management
Consuming a diet featuring more plants is good for your health —today and tomorrow. Complex carbohydrates are easy to digest, and the antioxidants in plants help strengthen your body’s immune system. Dramatic results have occurred with the adoption of a more plant-based diet. Many people with heart disease, diabetes, cancer, and various autoimmune diseases have been able to alleviate their symptoms by eating more whole grains, fruits, vegetables, legumes, nuts, and seeds, and consuming fewer solid and added fats, added sugars, and refined grains.

In a recent study, scientists finds that plant-based diets, without counting calories, leads to greater weight loss. The only way to succeed in a plant-based diet is to cut certain foods out of your diet.  Sounds easy right?  Well, everything in moderation, I like to say. Giving up cold turkey may be harder for some people.  

Resource: Nutrition StudiesPlant-Based Diet & Obesity Study 

Food Revolution Day: Jamie Oliver 

 Jamie Oliver’s Food Foundation was founded in 2002 with a mission to “shape the health and wellbeing of current and future generations and contribute to a healthier world by providing better access to food education for everyone.”   Every year around this time, Jamie hosts Food Revolution Day, which is a day of action where thousands of people all over the world make a stand for the right to make healthy food and essential cooking skills mandatory.  This year’s Food Revolution Day falls on Friday, May 15th, and this time he’s making it all about the kids. 

“By educating children about food in a practical, fun and engaging way, we can provide them with the knowledge and skills they so urgently need to lead healthier, happier lives. We need to make practical food education a compulsory part of every school curriculum across the world, and that’s why I’ve launched a petition calling on all G20 countries to action this. With enough support from millions of people around the world, I truly believe that we can create a movement that’s powerful enough to make governments take action.” Jamie Oliver

  
Read more and sign his petition and support the Food Revolution


EXERCISE-IMAGE BOOST

Exercise can help people feel thinner and more attractive even if their bodies don’t visibly change. Women who reported feeling social anxiety related to their body’s appearance were assigned a regime of either strength training or aerobics.  After two  months, both groups demonstrated proved body satisfaction, despite scant change in size or shape; eespecially, the erobic exercisers. Aerobics may be more associated in women’s minds with weight loss and “a thinner ideal, even when the scale doesn’t say so,” says lead study author Kathleen A. Nartin Ginis, a professor of health and exercise psychology at McMaster University in Ontario. 

Another study conducted in 1984 showed women who participated in an aerobic-exercise training program showed greater reduction in dression than did those who participated in relaxation training or in a no-treatment control condition (Holmes et al).  Seems like aerobics may be the answer for feeling great about yourself. 

Regular exercise or physical activity helps many of the body’s systems function better, keeps heart disease, diabetes, and a host of other diseases at bay, and is a key ingredient for losing weight. According to the 2008 Physical Activity Guidelines for Americans, being physically active on a regular basis:

  • Improves your chances of living longer and living healthier
  • Helps protect you from developing heart disease and stroke or its precursors, high blood pressure and undesirable blood lipid patterns
  • Helps protect you from developing certain cancers, including colon and breast cancer, and possibly lung and endometrial (uterine lining) cancer
  • Helps prevent type 2 diabetes (what was once called adult-onset diabetes) and metabolic syndrome (a constellation of risk factors that increases the chances of developing heart disease and diabetes; read more about simple steps to prevent diabetes)
  • Helps prevent the insidious loss of bone known as osteoporosis
  • Reduces the risk of falling and improves cognitive function among older adults
  • Relieves symptoms of depression and anxiety and improves mood
  • Prevents weight gain, promotes weight loss (when combined with a lower-calorie diet), and helps keep weight off after weight loss
  • Improves heart-lung and muscle fitness
  • Improves sleep

Resources:

Study: Aerobic Fitness and the Redponse to Psychological Stress 

 Allure – May 2015 Issue

Article: Why can too much protein be a problem? 

Coffee: Who and What To Believe?

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Check these studies out. The first says 3-4 cups of coffee a day reduces the risk of endometrial cancer, which is the most common cancer of the female reproductive organs in the US, affecting around 1 in 37 women in their lifetime. Then the second one says, 4 cups a day is linked to early death. The third claims that the risk of suicide for adults who drank between 2-4 cups of coffee each day was 50% lower when compared with adults who drank decaffeinated coffee, very little or no coffee.

Study links coffee intake with reduced risk of endometrial cancer
http://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/288988.php

Four cups of coffee a day linked to risk of early death
http://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/264778.php?sr

Drinking coffee linked to lower suicide risk in adults
http://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/263962.php

I’m not a huge coffee drinker, but when I do indulge in a cup it’s when I’m totally exhausted and need a quick pick me up. On average, I drink about 2-3 cups a month, and I even go without it for months on end. What will my faith be? Should I start drinking coffee to prevent early death or even suicide?

There are many research studies about coffee consumption, and they can be extremely confusing. One have to wonder what and who to believe? Especially, who’s funding them. I believe in moderation. Too much of one thing is never good for anyone.

More reading:
Coffee and Cancer
Coffee and Health
9 Facts About Coffee That Will Impress Your Friends
Photo credit: Shutterstock

Fruit Fact: Grapefruits Fight Free Radicals

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Free radicals causes cells in our bodies to breakdown, and foods that are high in vitamin C can significantly reduce and prevent oxidative stress on our cells. Thus grapefruits, carrots, oranges and tomatoes to name a few, are exceptionally high in vitamin C.

Oxidative stress is now thought to make a significant contribution to all inflammatory diseases (arthritis, vasculitis, glomerulonephritis, lupus erythematous, adult respiratory diseases syndrome), ischemic diseases (heart diseases, stroke, intestinal ischema), hemochromatosis, acquired immunodeficiency syndrome, emphysema, organ transplantation, gastric ulcers, hypertension and preeclampsia, neurological disorder (Alzheimer’s disease, Parkinson’s disease, muscular dystrophy), alcoholism, smoking-related diseases, and many others.

An excess of oxidative stress can lead to the oxidation of lipids and proteins, which is associated with changes in their structure and functions.

Oxidative stress also causes premature aging and wrinkles. If you don’t want to look old before your time, choose the right foods.

The foods we choose to eat contributes to the health of our cells. What we put in our bodies everyday significantly affects us on a cellular level. If you choose to smoke, drink alcohol and take drugs, your cells will be damaged. If you choose to eat processed foods and junk foods, your cells will be damaged. It’s easy science. Know the facts and make wiser choices.

To read more about oxidative stress and to obtain the article where I found this information click here.

Papaya: My New Obsession

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Papaya’s are my new obsession at the moment. I go through these fazes with fruits and vegetables all the time. Right now it’s papaya. It is extremely healthy for you. Just one whole papaya has 168.08 mg of vitamin C, and a whopping 2622.00 International Units of vitamin A.

According to whfoods website, papayas may prevent a number of health conditions such as cardiovascular diseases, aging and cancer. To read more about these health benefits click here.

Papaya alone will not prevent those diseases. It’s the other foods along with papayas that will determine your faith. I’m all about eating foods that will nourish my body. Especially, the ones that has anti-aging benefits…lol! I want to age gracefully and healthy. Who doesn’t? Those kinds of foods are whole foods and plant-based.

I quote from the book Whole: Rethinking the Science of Nutrition by, T. Colin Campbell, PhD:

“The foods you consume can heal you faster and more profoundly than the most expensive prescription drugs, and more dramatically than the most extreme surgical interventions, with only positive side effects.”

This book is phenomenal. The only diet now that can promise you and me that, is a whole food plant-based diet. I highly recommend reading it, and Healthy Eating Healthy World by, J. Morris Hicks, and The China Study by, Dr. Campbell again.

These three books will transform your outlook on food, nutrition and your life forever. There is much to be gained from reading these books. They are clearly written and powerfully true with scientific researches to support each claim. You will be able to comprehend and implement the changes into your life, and benefit from them.

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Some photos of how I incorporate papayas in my diet. It’s all plant-based foods.