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Eggs

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The egg has been getting a bum rap despite the new research indicating that moderate consumption of which do not produce a negative impact on cholesterol.

In addition, regular consumption of two eggs per day may, in fact, improve a person’s lipid profile instead of affect it adversely. It is saturated fat, researchers assert, that raises cholesterol rather than dietary cholesterol.

Some of the health benefits of eggs are:

1. They are great for the eyes. According to one study, an egg a day may prevent macular degeneration due to the carotenoid content, specifically lutein and zeaxanthin. Both nutrients are more readily available to our bodies from eggs than from other sources.

2. Researchers of another study found that people who eat eggs every day lower their risk of developing cataracts, also because of the lutein and zeaxanthin in eggs.

3. One egg contains 6 grams of high-quality protein and all 9 essential amino acids.

4. A study conducted by the Harvard School of Public Health proves there is no significant link between egg consumption and heart disease. In fact, regular consumption of eggs may help prevent blood clots, stroke, and heart attacks.

5. Eggs are a good source of choline. One egg yolk has about 300 micrograms of choline. Choline is an important nutrient that helps regulate the brain, nervous system, and cardiovascular system.

6. Eggs contain the right kind of fat. One egg contains just 5 grams of fat and only 1.5 grams of that is saturated fat.

7. Eggs promote healthy hair and nails because of their high sulphur content and wide array of vitamins and minerals. Many people find their hair growing faster after adding eggs to their diet, especially if they were previously deficient in foods containing sulphur or B12.

Come to think of it, coconuts, avocados and peanuts, not too long ago, wore a big scarlet “F” for too much fat. Nonetheless, this Manila Bulletin Bulletin article may shed more light on this matter.

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Red Apples

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If apples are red, experts claim, it’s because of their anthocyanins, which are largely restricted to the skin. When an apple is more uniformly red in color, or when its red color is deeper in hue, it’s because there are more anthocyanins. In terms of catechin polyphenols, epicatechin is the primary nutrient found in apples. The flavonoid phloridzin accounts for 98% of the flavonoids found in the apple seeds.

 The total polyphenol contents of apples range from about 1-7 grams/kilogram of fresh pulp, but this ratio gets much higher in the skin, underscoring the special value of apple skins for deriving optimal polyphenol benefits from this fruit. In fact, in animal studies, there is a very commonly used standardized apple extract called standardized apple peel polyphenol extract, or APPE.

Since most of the polyphenols in apples function as antioxidants, it’s not surprising to see so many health benefit studies focusing on the antioxidant benefits from apple.

Particularly strong is the ability of apples to decrease oxidation of cell membrane fats. This benefit is especially important in our cardiovascular system since oxidation of fat (called lipid peroxidation) in the membranes of cells that line our blood vessels is a primary risk factor for clogging of the arteries (atherosclerosis) and other cardiovascular problems.

Apples’ strong antioxidant benefits are also related to their ability to lower risk of asthma in numerous studies, and their ability to lower risk of lung cancer. In addition to their unusual polyphenol composition, apples also provides us with about 8 milligrams of vitamin C. While that amount is not a lot, it’s still important, especially since the recycling of vitamin C in our body depends on the presence of flavonoids and apples do an amazing job of providing us with those flavonoids.

Although some preliminary results show apple benefits for several different cancer types (especially colon cancer and breast cancer), it’s the area of lung cancer benefits that stand out in the apple research. There are numerous studies involving vegetable/fruit intake and risk of lung cancer. The number of subjects in these studies numbers into the high hundreds of thousands.

Although many research studies show an impressive ability of overall fruit and/or vegetable intake to lower lung cancer risk, very few individual fruits show up as protective against lung cancer. Except apples! It’s really quite remarkable how apples have been one of the few fruits to demonstrate this unique relationship with lung cancer risk reduction. (Interestingly, this same phenomenon has to some extent also been present in research on asthma).

Researchers aren’t certain why apples are so closely associated with reduction of lung cancer risk. Their antioxidant and anti-inflammatory benefits are definitely involved here, but they don’t fully explain why apples are such a standout in this health benefit area. We look forward to future research that will help shed light on this unique capacity in apples.

This may be good news for heavy smokers unable to kick the habit.  Perhaps, eating a red apple a day may prevent them from developing serious diseases caused by smoking.  I smoked for many years and able to quit for good about 20 years ago.  I’d like to believe that regularly eating red apples helped rehabilitate my lungs.

Read more on other health benefits of apples here.

 

Watermelon Juice

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Watermelon is a healing super food.  Juicing it is highly nutritious and you can include the entire melon – its tender and juicy red part, as well as the rind and seeds, which collectively offer incredible health benefits.

In fact, studies show that the most nutrient dense part of the melon is the rind, and the seeds are rich sources of protein and micro and macro-nutrients like calcium, iron, zinc, phosphorus, and potassium.  As we know, potassium helps regulate blood pressure levels that keep the heart healthy.  

The whole fruit is also far lower in sugar than the red fruit juiced on its own.  Thus, when only the red part is eaten, we throw away the goodness that makes this such a spectacular food.

Watermelon juice is a delicious thirst quencher and deeply hydrating, which makes it an ideal drink for athletes and active people. Moreover, watermelon not only hydrates the body and the cells, it also flushes out the kidneys, gall bladder and bladder.  It can offer more nutrients per calorie as it is mainly made of water and contains very few calories.

It is filled with some of nature’s most potent antioxidants. It is a dense source of vitamin C and beta-carotene, which turns into vitamin A in the body. These powerful antioxidants are the natural antidote to aging and disease-causing free radicals.  Vitamin C and beta-carotene neutralize these damaging molecules. A diet high in these two vitamins is known to reduce the risk of heart disease, asthma, arthritis, and even cancer. They also boost the immune system and improve eyesight.

Tomatoes are renowned for their high level of the potent antioxidant lycopene, and so is the watermelon juice, which is a very concentrated source of it. The cancer preventing properties of lycopene have been extensively studied.  The results prove that lycopene does, in fact, protect against a growing list of cancers including prostate, breast, endometrial, lung and colorectal. The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition published a study which found that people who had colorectal polyps, which is an early warning sign for colorectal cancers, had 35% lower levels of lycopene than those with no polyps.

Studies have also revealed that people are less likely to get sunburnt after increasing their levels of lycopene. It protects cells and other structures in the body from oxygen damage and even DNA damage.  Watermelon Juice is also high in vitamin B6, which is vital for balancing the brain and reducing the symptoms of anxiety and depression. It is also a very good hormone regulator and helps women through their menstrual cycle.
 
So if you don’t already indulge in watermelon juice, you might consider making it a part of your regular juicing menu now. You can mix it with other vegetables for even more amazing health benefits. Watermelon, celery, cucumber and ginger make a delicious combination that will enhance beauty, health and overall well-being.


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Coconut Water

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As for the health benefits of coconut water, Dr. Bruce Fife, a certified nutritionist and naturopathic physician, and considered the world’s leading authority on the health aspects of coconut and related products, asserts the following:

“Coconut water has a normalizing effect and gives the body a boost of energy so that it can overcome a number of health-related conditions. It is effective in relieving dehydration, fatigue, constipation, and other digestive disturbances, kidney and bladder disorders, and vision problems such as glaucoma and cataract. It is reported to turn back time, so to speak, by reversing or slowing down the aging process. Coconut water also has an alkalizing effect on the body, helping to counteract or balance the effects of acidifying foods which are so common in our diets. Research shows that coconut water can improve blood circulation, lower elevated blood pressure, and reduce risk of heart attacks and strokes. Studies have been so impressive that the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) of the United States has approved coconut water to carry the claim that it may reduce the risk of high blood pressure and stroke.”

Mango Juice

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A one-cup serving of mango juice, according to Livestrong.com, provides 58 percent of the recommended daily amount of vitamin A for men and 74 percent for women. Our body needs vitamin A for health of our eyes and skin tissue. Vitamin A provides a structural component of rhodopsin, the pigment located in our eyes that helps our eyes adjust in low light, explains the Oregon State University Linus Pauling Institute. Vitamin A also promotes immune function by keeping skin healthy, because your skin is the first line of defense against invaders.

Read more here.

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Green Abalone

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Buhay means life in Tagalog, while verde is green in Spanish.  The mission of this blog is to share information regarding natural farming, alternative herbal medicinal uses, nutritional values of fruits and vegetables, and developments in green resort technologies.

As for our initial post, we feature Abalone.

The meat of the abalone is edible, and the shell is used as a source of mother of pearl for jewelry and decorative items.  Moreover, abalone has long been a valuable food source for humans worldwide where it is abundant.

The meat of this mollusk is considered a delicacy in certain parts of Latin America, France, New Zealand, Southeast Asia, and East Asia (especially in China, Japan, and Korea). In Chinese speaking regions, abalone are commonly known as bao yu, and sometimes forms part of a Chinese banquet. Similar to shark fin soup or birds nest soup, it is considered a luxury item, and is traditionally reserved for special occasions such as weddings and other celebrations. However, the availability of commercially farmed abalone has allowed more common consumption of this once rare delicacy.

In Japan, live and raw abalone are used in awabi sushi, or served steamed, salted, boiled, chopped, or simmered in soy sauce. Salted, fermented abalone entrails are the main component of tottsuru, a local dish from Honshū. Tottsuru is mainly enjoyed with sake.

In California, abalone meat can be found on pizza, sautéed with caramelized mango or in steak form dusted with cracker meal and flour.

Abalone’s possible Health Benefits:

  • Expert believes that abalone may help prevent and treat debilitating health conditions including arthritis.
  • Abalone is highly regarded in Asian cultures for its health benefits and is believed to promote healthy eyes, alleviate colds, reduce fluid retention and improve circulation.

The first and only time I’ve tasted the meat of abalone was at a friend’s restaurant in Quiapo, Manila.  He ordered about 2 kilos from Romblon.  He made kilawin out of them, and served with chilled bottles of light beer — they were marvelous!  The taste and texture reminded me of scallops; however, the edge was rather chewy, and served only due to the unyielding requests of the other guests who couldn’t get enough of this special kilawin.

When I asked the local Boholanos about abalone, expecting it would be plentiful in the region, most were seemingly nonplussed.  I can only surmise that abalone may not be that popular around here, or perhaps, non-existent altogether.  But then again, I’ll keep asking around.

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