Medicinal Benefits of BILLBERRY
Bilberries naturally reduce diet-related inflammation and high blood pressure
You may have read how bilberry jam enhanced WWII Royal Air Force pilots' night vision for bombing raids on Germany and in defense against German bombing raids on England. That bilberry attribute was purely anecdotal, of course. Science must make its mark and approve any health properties before others can agree with those who actually experience the benefits.
Bilberries are closely related to blueberries, which arrived in the USA around 1920. But Europeans have been using bilberry leaves and dried berries for centuries, long enough to develop folk remedies and applications before scientific inquiry was part of explaining how and why things that work do what they do.
There have been some studies on bilberry to confirm why the pilots experienced enhanced night vision that also observed bilberry's properties of helping prevent cataracts and slow macular degeneration. It appears that this occurs from bilberry's ability to improve blood flow in the many small capillaries of the eyes.
But if that's the case, how does it affect other areas hampered by sluggish circulation and inflammation? To answer that, a Finnish group took up the bilberry challenge, but not merely for night vision. The Finnish group had bigger fish to fry with bilberry as the University of East Finland probed what bilberries could do for high blood pressure and inflammation from dietary sources.
According to a December 18, 2014, University of East Finland press release: "Bilberries are associated with several beneficial health effects and their use involves plenty of traditional wisdom.
"The beneficial health effects of bilberries are thought to be explained by polyphenols, especially anthocyanins, the levels of which are significantly higher in bilberries than in commercially cultivated blueberries."
That's quite a statement considering how highly regarded blueberries are for improving various health conditions.
The Finnish bilberry study
The study was published in the peer-reviewed open-access journal PLOS ONE in December of 2014 after its original submission in April 2014 as "Wild Blueberries (Vaccinium myrtillus) Alleviate Inflammation and Hypertension Associated with Developing Obesity in Mice Fed with a High-Fat Diet." Open-access means you don't have to subscribe or pay to read the whole study.
The project under which this study took place is "Effects of berry consumption on obesity-associated metabolic disorders." Perhaps the high-fat diet (HFD) shouldn't be taken literally. It might be more appropriate to look at this as an obesity-inducing outcome. The black rats fed a HFD were prone to obesity, but among humans it's been revealed that foods like coconut oil can help bring about weight loss.
Further examination has made the high-fat diet among humans as a source of obesity obsolete. High amounts of sugar and HFCS (high fructose corn syrup) in processed foods has taken the role of villain for obesity, while processed fats such as margarine and other hydrogenated oils are seen to cause inflammation. Good fats, even saturated, have been given a green light for health lately.
The study demonstrated how consuming bilberry extracts especially or even bilberry water had a powerful impact on the markers associated with metabolic disorder syndrome with the rats being fed whatever was creating their obesity.
Apparently, European bilberries, or "wild blueberries," have more clout than American domestic blueberries. But various studies have concluded that our homegrown varieties are also high in anthocyanins (ANC) and other polyphenols contained in bilberries.
It is the high ANC content that makes the most difference with reducing metabolic disorders from the dietary effects of the standard American diet (SAD). That doesn't mean you should attempt to compensate an indulgence in high-sugar, bad fatty acid processed food with an indulgence in blueberries.
But blueberries do have their place for enhancing health and your immune system's disease protection.
Medicinal Benefits of GOOSEBERRY
Gooseberry (Amla) contains nearly 20 times vitamin C as orange juice
Health benefits of the Indian Gooseberry or Amla can be attributed to the high vitamin C content.
Gooseberry juice contains nearly twenty times as much vitamin C as orange juice.
One small Gooseberry is equals to 2 Oranges if compared with Vitamin C.
The Vitamin C in the Amalaki fruit is bonded with tannins that protect it from being destroyed by heat or light.
Ayurved says that regular use of Gooseberry can a help us live more than 100 years, a healthy life.
Gooseberry the richest natural source of vitamin C.
It tastes sour. Both dried and fresh fruits can be used.
The fresh fruit contains more than 80% water, protein, minerals, carbohydrates and fiber
It contains many minerals and vitamins like Calcium, Phosphorus, Iron, Carotene and Vitamin B Complex. Amla is also a powerful antioxidant agent.
The Indian Gooseberry belongs to the Euphorbiaceae family.
It is also a very important ingredient in the famous Chyavanaprash, and a constituent of Triphala (three fruits) powder.
The Gooseberry fruit tree has been worshipped in India from ancient times as the ‘Earth Mother’.
In Chinese traditional therapy, Gooseberry fruit is called Yuganzi which is used to cure throat inflammation.
The nutrition values of Amala are:
1. moisture, 91.4;
2. mineral matter, 0.7;
3. fiber, 3.4; calorie,
4. 96 (energy);
5. protein, 0.9;
6. fat, 0.1;
7. carbohydrate, 6.9g.
8. calcium, 34;
9. iron, 1.2;
10. vitamin B-1, 0.02;
11. vitamin B-2, 0.08,
12. vitamin C 463 mg. /100gms.
Following are the Health benefits, advantages of Amla.
Daily consumption is about 2 to 3 amla’s preferably morning time.
Can also be consumed in the form of Juice.
Gooseberry Candy is the dried form of Amla Fruit in Sugar Syrup.
1.Gooseberry is a vrishya herb, which means that it enhances all the seven tissues (dhatus), including the reproductive tissue.
2. Amla is useful in treating skin diseases. it has sheet virya in potency. It inhibits pitta and thus helps in getting relief from all the skin disorders caused by pitta .
3. Scientists at the Ferrara University in Italy have found that amla extracts slow the activity of osteoclasts, the cells that break down bone.
4.Gooseberry powder helps to clear pimples and acne
5. Amla prevents health related hyperlipidaemia through attenuating oxidative stress in the ageing process.
6. Applying the paste of ground seeds of Amla mixed with lemon- especially on the roots of the hair and washing after half an hour will clear the lices from the hair.
7. It enriches hair growth and hair pigmentation. It strengthens roots of hair, maintains color.
8. Amla powder prevents dandruff
9.Gooseberry Protects the body from radiation
10. It helps in chronic cough, child hood, tuberculosis and allergic asthma .
11. Taking Amla juice with honey is good for improving eyesight.
12. Amla is rich in antibacterial qualities; it helps the body fight better against infection and also builds up your immunity, which makes you more resistant to diseases.
13.Gooseberry stimulate the isolated group of cells that secrete the hormone insulin. Thus it reduces blood sugar in diabetic patient. Amla Juice with a pinch of turmeric twice a day before each meal.
14. Amla strengthens heart muscles.
15. It improves body resistance.
16. Due to its strong, cooling and laxative properties Amla is useful for remedies for diarrhea and dysentery. The dried Amla fruit is astringent and useful in cases of diarrhea and dysentery.
17.Gooseberry helps to get relief for gastric syndrome and hyperchlorhydria (burning sensation in abdomen).
19. liver disorder , Amla is excellent live tonic
20. If you take powder of Amlaki mixed with sugar in milk, about two time everyday, you will be cured of acidity completely.
21. The application of a small quantity of Amla oil to the head before bathing removes diseases of the eyes, night blindness and bilious giddiness
22. Indigestion – Dried Amla is an excellent digestive, which can be consumed after meals.
23. Taking fresh Amla juice with half tsp of ghee and 1 tsp. of honey and 100 gms. of milk-after lunch helps in curing piles problem.
25. It provides nourishment to the nerves and is helpful in paralytic situation.
26. urinary problems
27. respiratory problems
28. cerebral, gastro
29. cardiovascular illness
30. It lowers cholesterol level.
31.Gooseberry juice or powder with honey purifies blood.
32. It increases red blood cell production
33. Amla increases Hemoglobin.
34.Gooseberry strengthens teeth and nails.
35. Amla helps to reduce menstrual disorders. Keeps it regular.
36. It also acts as anti-inflammatory agent thereby suppresses swelling and pain.
37.Gooseberry confection is used in syphilis, flatulence, bronchitis, asthma and consumption.
38. To prevent or cure diabetes take a fresh one-fourth cup of Amla or a tea spoon of Amla powder with a tea spoon of turmeric powder everyday.
39. Amla is rich in chromium, which makes it very beneficial for diabetics.
40.Gooseberry and the Jamun fruit are mixed together, this mixture when taken in a teaspoon two time a day, can help in curing diabetes.
41. To get relief from acidity, mix one gram of amla powder with some sugar and add it to a glass of water drink it twice a day.
42. It supports strength of heart and lungs.
43.Gooseberry is good for Brain. To revitalize brain take a cupful of sugarless milk with the murabba of Amla.
44. Amla helps to improve memory
45. Taking Amla powder with radish helps in checking stone in bladder by breaking the stones and throwing it out with urine.
46.Gooseberry is helpful in lowering cholesterol and blood sugar level.
47. Amla with honey every day for one mouth cures the problem of leucorrhoea.
48.Gooseberry also helps boost protein metabolism. As amla enhances metabolism, it helps you lose weight faster.
49. Amla supports the reproductive systems of both men and women and can help overcome difficulty in conceiving.
50.Gooseberry revitalizes the semen. It helps in improving quality of sperms due to its sweet vipaka property.
According to U.S. RDA, daily intake of dietary vitamin C is as below:
1. Infants (age below 1 year): 30 to 35 mg
2. Children (age 1 to 14 years): 40 to 50 mg
3. Adolescent (age 15 to 18 years): 65 to 75 mg
4. Men (age over 18 years): 90 mg
5. Women (age over 18 years): 75 mg
How to Use Turmeric As a Medicine
Turmeric is a herb from the ginger family. But its healing properties are not fully revealed yet.
In Ayurvedic medicine, turmeric has been used for 2,000 years as a powerful treatment for various health conditions. Experts discovered its therapeutic effect on different pathological conditions such as skin problems, lung diseases and digestive disorders.
In the last 50 years, scientists have conducted some extensive scientific studies, and they came to the conclusion that this plant is a great and natural substitute for 14 different medications
Turmeric – Healing properties
It is rich in vitamins B6, B3, folic acid, potassium, iron, manganese, and it is also considered to be a good source of fiber.
It has been proven that turmeric has beneficial effect in the cancer treatments, as it prevents tumor formation and growth.
It is recognized that turmeric is a great natural lung cleaner and prevents the occurrence of melanoma.
Turmeric has favorable and beneficial effect in the treatment of Alzheimer’s disease, and it also gives the best results when it comes to treating rheumatic diseases.
Turmeric-based healing recipes:
Turmeric Tea – Ideal for colds and headache
Pour ½ liter of boiling water over a teaspoon of grated turmeric and let it simmer for a while.
Add some grated ginger. Sweeten to taste and drink the tea while it is still hot.
Golden milk and turmeric
Add ½ teaspoon of turmeric, some cumin, salt and ½ tablespoon of butter to 2-3dl of milk. Heat the milk until it boils.
Drink it warm. Golden milk is known for its ability to soothe coughs.
Turmeric and honey
The turmeric and honey combination will reduce any skin redness, and it will also make it soft and clean.
Combine a tablespoon of honey and a teaspoon of turmeric. Apply the mixture on your face and leave it for 20 minutes. Rinse well, and you may want to use lukewarm water, as it will remove any remains.
You can also consume this combination, as it gives great results in cases of iron deficiency.
Turmeric and aloe vera
This combination is excellent for the treatment of any skin burns or allergic reactions.
All you have to do is mix some turmeric and aloe vera gel. Adjust the amount according to the area you are treating.
Turmeric for white teeth
If you want to whiten your teeth easily, without spending a lot of money on expensive treatments provided by esthetic stomatology, turmeric is the best solution for you. It is an efficient spice, know for its ability to cure different health conditions.
You will not only whiten your teeth naturally and bring the shine back on your face, this Ayurvedic paste will eliminate a great number of dangerous bacteria that cause caries and bad breath.
How to make turmeric paste?
All you have to do is mix half a teaspoon of dried turmeric and some water. Apply the paste on your toothbrush and brush your teeth well, and this is nothing different from what you do when it comes to oral hygiene.
Just be careful not to apply some on the skin around your mouth, as it may leave some stains.
Grow Your Own Turmeric (Curcumin) for Your Medicine Cabinet
Lately, turmeric (curcumin) has been the most talked about herb with amazing healing properties. The Chinese have used this herb for several thousand of years as medicine. In India, it has been used in Ayurvedic medicine for several thousand of years as well. You can find curcumin supplement in health stores such as GNC or Vitamin Shoppe. What makes this herb so special? Well….it can relieve pain and promote healing. It is also a great source of vitamin C, magnesium, and potassium.
This medicinal plant was originally from Asia. Surprisingly this one of the easiest herb to grow. You can have your own access of turmeric for your own medicinal need in your garden. With beautiful flowers this herb makes an ornamental garden piece, as well. However it takes minimum of two years before the plant matures and bloom flowers.
You can practically take common turmeric root from an Asian grocery store and plant it in the ground and then watch it grow. It is that easy! In the grocery store, they are found with ginger. Turmeric look like tiny yellow fingers.
To grow turmeric in your garden, plant them 4 inches deep. Turmeric grows best in moist soil that is well drained so watering it is a must. It can be grown indoors in a large pot.
In general turmeric is a tropical plant and requires plenty of sun. However, there are variety of species that can thrive in colder climates. Some being more exotic and beautiful, like purple or pink blooming flowers.
Harvest the turmeric during fall and remember to leave a root in the ground so next spring it can bloom again so you can have your unlimited supply of turmeric. Store turmeric in a paperbag and in a dry area to keep it from rotting. Never store it in plastic bags.
Turmeric is commonly used as a spice and for curry dishes. It has a bitter taste to it. So if you are ingesting turmeric for medicinal use understand that it is rather bitter by itself. It can be mixed with honey to diffuse the bitter taste.
Tumeric have a bright yellow color to it and it is commonly used as dye in other parts of the world. Be very careful with clothing because it can stain it.
According to Traditional Chinese Medicine, turmeric should not be taken when pregnant because it can abort the fetus. A good book to read on properly using Chinese herbs is Dan Bensky book of Chinese Herbal Medicine: Materia Medica, (3rd Edition.)
Better yet, if you want professional counseling on using Chinese herbs for healing, seek a licensed acupuncturist. Many acupuncturist who practices prescribing herbs commonly prescribe curcumin in an herbal formula.
10 Evidence-Based Health Benefits of Cinnamon
Cinnamon is a highly delicious spice.
It has been prized for its medicinal properties for thousands of years.
Modern science has now confirmed what people have instinctively known for ages.
Here are 10 health benefits of cinnamon that are supported by scientific research.
1. Cinnamon is High in a Substance With Powerful Medicinal Properties
Cinnamon is a spice that is made from the inner bark of trees called Cinnamomum.
It has been used as an ingredient throughout history, dating back as far as Ancient Egypt. It used to be rare and valuable, and was regarded as a gift fit for kings.
There are two main types of cinnamon (1):
- Ceylon cinnamon: Also known as “true” cinnamon.
- Cassia cinnamon: This is the more common variety today, what people generally refer to as “cinnamon.”Cinnamon is made by cutting the stems of the cinnamomum tree. The inner bark is then extracted and the woody parts removed from it.
When it dries, it forms strips that curl into rolls, called cinnamon sticks. The sticks can be ground to form cinnamon powder.
This is what cinnamon looks like:
The distinct smell and flavor of cinnamon is due to the oily part, which is very high in a compound called cinnamaldehyde (2).
It is this compound that is responsible for most of cinnamon’s powerful effects on health and metabolism.
Bottom Line: Cinnamon is a popular spice. It is high in a substance called cinnamaldehyde, which is responsible for most of the health benefits.
2. Cinnamon is Loaded With Antioxidants
In fact, it is so powerful that cinnamon can be used as a natural food preservative (7).
Bottom Line: Cinnamon contains large amounts of highly potent polyphenol antioxidants.
3. Cinnamon Has Anti-Inflammatory Properties
Inflammation in the body is incredibly important.
It helps the body fight infections and repair tissue damage.
However, inflammation can become a problem when it is chronic (long-term) and directed against the body’s own tissues.
Cinnamon may be useful in this regard, because some studies show that the antioxidants in it have potent anti-inflammatory activity (3).
Bottom Line: The antioxidants in cinnamon have anti-inflammatory effects, which may help lower the risk of disease.
4. Cinnamon May Cut the Risk of Heart Disease
Cinnamon has been linked with reduced risk of heart disease, the world’s most common cause of premature death.
In people with type 2 diabetes, 1 gram of cinnamon per day has beneficial effects on blood markers.
It reduces levels of total cholesterol, LDL cholesterol and triglycerides, while HDL cholesterol remains stable (8).
More recently, a big review study concluded that a cinnamon dose of just 120 milligrams per day can have these effects. In this study, cinnamon also increased HDL (the “good”) cholesterol (9).
In animal studies, cinnamon has been shown to reduce blood pressure (3).
When combined, all these factors may drastically cut the risk of heart disease.
Bottom Line: Cinnamon can improve some key risk factors for heart disease, including cholesterol, triglycerides and blood pressure.
5. Cinnamon Can Improve Sensitivity to The Hormone Insulin
Insulin is one of the key hormones that regulate metabolism and energy use.
The problem is that many people are resistant to the effects of insulin.It is also essential for the transport of blood sugar from the bloodstream and into cells.
This condition, known as insulin resistance, is a hallmark of serious conditions like metabolic syndrome and type 2 diabetes.
By helping insulin do its job, cinnamon can lower blood sugar levels, which brings us to the next point…
Bottom Line: Cinnamon has been shown to significantly increase sensitivity to the hormone insulin.
6. Cinnamon Lowers Blood Sugar Levels and Has a Powerful Anti-Diabetic Effect
Cinnamon is well known for its blood sugar lowering effects.
Apart from the beneficial effects on insulin resistance, cinnamon can lower blood sugar by several other mechanisms.
First, cinnamon has been shown to decrease the amount of glucose that enters the bloodstream after a meal.
This greatly improves glucose uptake by cells, although it acts much slower than insulin itself.
The effective dose is typically 1-6 grams of cinnamon per day (around 0.5-2 teaspoons).
Bottom Line: Cinnamon has been shown to both reduce fasting blood sugar levels, having a potent anti-diabetic effect at 1 to 6 grams per day.
7. Cinnamon May Have Beneficial Effects on Neurodegenerative Diseases
Neurodegenerative diseases are characterized by progressive loss of the structure or function of brain cells.
In a study looking at mice with Parkinson’s disease, cinnamon helped to protect neurons, normalize neurotransmitter levels and improve motor function (22).
These effects need to be studied further in humans.
Bottom Line: Cinnamon has been shown to lead to various improvements for Alzheimer’s disease and Parkinson’s disease in animal studies.
8. Cinnamon May Be Protective Against Cancer
Cancer is a serious disease, characterized by uncontrolled growth of cells.
Cinnamon has been widely studied for its potential use in cancer prevention and treatment.
It acts by reducing the growth of cancer cells and the formation of blood vessels in tumors, and appears to be toxic to cancer cells, causing cell death.
A study in mice with colon cancer revealed cinnamon to be a potent activator of detoxifying enzymes in the colon, protecting against further cancer growth (28).
These findings were supported by test tube experiments, which showed that cinnamon activates protective antioxidant responses in human colon cells (29).
Whether cinnamon has any effect in living, breathing humans needs to be confirmed in controlled trials.
Bottom Line: Animal studies and test tube experiments indicate that cinnamon may have protective effects against cancer.
9. Cinnamon Helps Fight Bacterial and Fungal Infections
Cinnamaldehyde, the main active component of cinnamon, may help fight various kinds of infection.
Cinnamon oil has been shown to effectively treat respiratory tract infections caused by fungi.
Bottom Line: Cinnamaldehyde has antifungal and antibacterial properties, which may reduce infections and help fight tooth decay and bad breath.
10. Cinnamon May Help Fight The HIV Virus
HIV is a virus that slowly breaks down the immune system, which can eventually lead to AIDS if untreated.
This is the most common strain of the HIV virus in humans.
A laboratory study looking at HIV infected cells found that cinnamon was the most effective treatment of all 69 medicinal plants studied (37).
Human trials are needed to confirm these effects.
Bottom Line: Test tube studies have shown that cinnamon can help fight HIV-1, the main type of HIV virus in humans.
It is Better to Use Ceylon (“True” Cinnamon)
Not all cinnamon is created equal.
The Cassia variety contains significant amounts of a compound called coumarin, which is believed to be harmful in large doses.
All cinnamon should have health benefits, but Cassia may cause problems in large doses due to the coumarin content.
Ceylon (“true” cinnamon) is much better in this regard, and studies show that it ismuch lower in coumarin than the Cassia variety (38).
Unfortunately, most cinnamon found in supermarkets is the cheaper Cassia variety.
You may be able to find Ceylon in some health food stores, and there is a good selection on Amazon.
Take Home Message
At the end of the day, cinnamon is one of the most delicious and healthiest spices on the planet.
It can lower blood sugar levels, reduce heart disease risk factors, and has a plethora of other impressive health benefits.
Just make sure to get Ceylon cinnamon, or stick to small doses (no more than 0.5-2 teaspoons a day) if you’re using the Cassia variety.
Medicinal Benefits of Jackfruit ( Artocarpus Heterophyllus )
Did you know that the jackfruit is used in traditional Ayurvedic medicine? This super fruit promotes the health of our eyes, bones, heart, skin, hair and so much more!
The jackfruit or the Artocarpus heterophyllus is a popular fleshy fruit cultivated mostly in South Asian tropical countries like India, Thailand, Nepal, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka, and Vietnam amongst others. It is probably the largest tree borne fruit in the world. The sweet and aromatic jackfruit is highly beneficial for us because of its energizing nature and medicinal properties.
Jackfruits Are Great Energy Boosters: If you’re tired and need an instant boost of energy, look no further. The jackfruit contains simple sugars like fructose and lactose, which help in rejuvenating the body and regenerate lost energy. It contains high amount of carbohydrates and calories that provides the body more vigour and energy.
Jackfruits Promote Good Eye-Health: Being a rich source of vitamin A, jackfruit improves vision and eye health. The vitamin A rich content also helps in preventing night blindness. It protects the eyes from retina and macular degeneration, free radicals and cataract because of the presence of a large amount of antioxidant compounds like Vitamin C, betulinic acid and various types of carotenoids.
Jackfruits Help In Blood Formation: The jackfruit is rich in vitamins like Vitamin A, Vitamin C, Vitamin K, Vitamin E, Vitamin B6 and minerals like magnesium, manganese and copper which help in blood formation and circulation. The calcium content in the fruit helps in blood clotting. Vitamin C helps in iron absorption, thereby preventing anaemia.
Jackfruits Boost The Immune System: As mentioned earlier, jackfruit is full of vitamin C which helps to strengthen our immune system. The anti-bacterial and anti-viral nature of the fruit prevents frequent colds and infections. It supports the creation of white blood cells that keep us safe from diseases. The copper content in jackfruit helps to maintain the functioning of the thyroid. Asthma and related respiratory problems can be treated effectively using jackfruit extracts and roots.
Jackfruits Prevent Heart Disease: Jackfruits are great for the heart, as its nutrients help to regulate its proper functioning. The potassium content helps to lower blood pressure, regulate the heart rate and maintain sodium levels. The nutrient vitamin B6 reduces the homocysteine levels in the blood. All these can easily lead to heart attacks and strokes. The antioxidants help to prevent coronary heart diseases.
Jackfruits Protect Against Cancer: The jackfruit is an effective bodyguard against cancer. The components in the fruit like Vitamin C, phytonutrients like lignans, isoflavones and saponins have awesome anti cancer properties. The antioxidants help keep away harmful cancer causing radicals. The dietary fats help in cleansing the colon from toxins that can cause colon cancer. It also prevents oral cavity and lung cancer.
Jackfruits Are Great For Skin: Eating jackfruits helps to hydrate the body and maintain the skin’s moisture levels. It helps to detoxify the system which leaves you with a glowing complexion. The seeds of the fruit are very beneficial for healthy skin. They protect the skin against blemishes and hyper pigmentation. Jackfruits also slow down the aging process. The antioxidants destroy the radicals that quicken ageing of the skin. A jackfruit seed soaked in cold milk, grinded into paste and applied on the skin helps to keep it wrinkle-free. The vitamins A and C components promote beautiful skin.
Jackfruits Improve Digestion: The jackfruit has medicinal properties as it helps prevent constipation, cure digestive disorders and treat gastric issues. Having high amounts of dietary fiber, it supports regular bowel movement and helps to bring relief from constipation. It helps to eliminate and flush out harmful toxins and carcinogenic chemicals from the body.
Jackfruits Promote Good Hair Growth: For healthy hair to grow there must be a steady flow of blood to the follicles. Eating jackfruit seeds help improve blood circulation which promotes the growth of healthy hair. Vitamin A content prevents dryness and keeps the hair strong and silky.
Jackfruits Strengthen The Bones: The calcium, potassium and magnesium content in the jackfruit are excellent for the bones. Calcium strengthens the bones and helps prevent osteoporosis. The magnesium helps in the absorption of more calcium in the body and the potassium compliments the work of calcium in increasing bone density and strength.
Jackfruits Are Ideal For Dieting: Jackfruit is an ideal fruit for dieting as it has low saturated fat. It has low cholesterol and sodium levels as well. It contains only a few calories that provide a lot of energy needed for workouts. The fiber content also helps in aiding weight loss. It cleans up the system and speeds up the metabolism helping you burn more calories.
Jackfruits Help In Diabetes Management: Though not recommended by many doctors, recent studies prove that jackfruit can help in improving glucose tolerance in normal and type-2 diabetes patients. Consuming the leaves along with the fruit increases the manganese content in the blood which helps to regulate sugar levels. It is best to consult a doctor before you try this out as it is also rich in sugar.
Not only does it promote great health, but it is also versatile for cooking purposes. The fruit and the seeds can be eaten as part of a variety of amazing recipes in South, South-east Asian and international cuisine.
Surprised by the plethora of benefits that the jackfruit offers? Treat yourself to one today!
Medicinal uses Chocolate ( Cacao Beans )
Chocolate’s popularity goes very far back, according to some researchers:
Last November, anthropologists from the University of Pennsylvania announced the discovery of cacao residue on pottery excavated in Honduras that could date back as far as 1400 B.C.E. It appears that the sweet pulp of the cacao fruit, which surrounds the beans, was fermented into an alcoholic beverage of the time.
For several centuries in pre-Latin America, cacao beans were so valuable that they were used as currency. The Mayans and Aztecs believed the cacao bean had magical properties and found it suitable for use in the most sacred rituals of birth, marriage and death.
On its own, cacao is bitter and chalky, but the Europeans, upon visiting the Americas, changed that:
Legend has it that the Aztec king Montezuma welcomed the Spanish explorer Hernando Cortes with a banquet that included drinking chocolate, having tragically mistaken him for a reincarnated deity instead of a conquering invader. Chocolate didn’t suit the foreigners’ tastebuds at first –one described it in his writings as “a bitter drink for pigs” – but once mixed with honey or cane sugar, it quickly became popular throughout Spain.
By the 17th century, drinking chocolate was popular among the wealthy in Europe. It was believed to have nutritive and medicinal properties.
It turns out, those beliefs were correct.
Here are ten reasons to eat chocolate:1) Good quality dark chocolate is filled with nutrients.
2) Dark chocolate is heart-friendly.
A few squares of dark chocolate a day can reduce the risk of death from heart attack by almost 50% in some cases, says Diane Becker, MPH, ScD, a researcher with the John Hopkins University School of Medicine. Becker’s research found that blood platelets clotted more slowly in people who had eaten chocolate than in those who had not. This is significant because when platelets clump, a clot can form, and when the clot blocks a blood vessel, it can lead to a heart attack. (source)
Researchers from Harvard University School of Public Health reviewed 136 scientific publications on chocolate and its components and heart disease. They concluded that short-term studies suggest cocoa and chocolate may reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease by:
- Lowering blood pressure
- Decreasing LDL oxidation
- Anti-inflammation action
3) Dark chocolate may reduce risk of diabetes.
A small Italian study from 2005 found that regularly eating chocolate increases insulin sensitivity, which could mean a reduced risk of diabetes:
Researchers in Italy recently fed 15 healthy people either 3 ounces of dark chocolate or the same amount of white chocolate — which contains no flavanol phytochemicals — for 15 days. They found that insulin resistance (a risk factor for diabetes) was significantly lowered in those who ate the dark chocolate. Systolic blood pressure (the first number in a blood pressure reading), measured daily, was also lower in the group eating dark chocolate. (source)
4) Chocolate is a potent source of antioxidants.
Antioxidants can help prevent cell damage and have been linked to prevention of cancer and other degenerative diseases.
Dark chocolate is loaded with organic compounds that are biologically active and function as antioxidants. These include polyphenols, flavanols, and catechins.
5) Dark chocolate has anti-inflammatory properties.
An Italian study showed that when volunteers ingested small amounts of dark chocolate, their levels of C-reactive protein (an inflammatory marker) decreased.
Another study showed that 37 grams of dark chocolate (containing 148 mg of procyanidins) yielded a 29% decrease in inflammatory leukotrienes and a 32% increase in the anti-inflammatory prostacyclin compared with subjects who received chocolate containing only 33 mg of procyanidins.
6) Chocolate may protect your skin from sun damage.
The flavonols in chocolate can protect against sun-induced damage, improve blood flow to the skin, and increase skin density and hydration.
7) Dark chocolate may make you smarter and improve your memory.
Cocoa’s flavonols boost blood flow to the brain, and that seems to make people feel more awake and alert. And, a small British study suggested that it can help perform better on counting tasks.
And, a recent study yielded some promising results:
In a small study in the journal Nature Neuroscience, healthy people, ages 50 to 69, who drank a mixture high in antioxidants called cocoa flavanols for three months performed better on a memory test than people who drank a low-flavanol mixture.
On average, the improvement of high-flavanol drinkers meant they performed like people two to three decades younger on the study’s memory task, said Dr. Scott A. Small, a neurologist at Columbia University Medical Center and the study’s senior author. They performed about 25 percent better than the low-flavanol group. (source)
8) Chocolate can reduce stroke risk.
A 2011 Swedish study found that women who ate more than 45 grams of chocolate a week had a 20 percent lower risk of stroke than women who consumed fewer than 9 grams of per week.
9) Eating chocolate can help reduce stress.
The study’s subjects ate 1.4 ounces (40 g) of dark chocolate daily, or a little less than a regular-sized Hershey’s bar, which contains 1.55 ounces (44 g).
The doctors took urine and blood plasma samples from the participants at the beginning, halfway through, and at the end of the two week study, and found lower levels of the stress hormones cortisol and catecholamines in the samples at the end.
10) Chocolate makes you happy.
Chocolate contains tryptophan, a precursor of serotonin, which can prevent or improve depression. Research also shows chocolate can increase dopamine, a neurotransmitter associated with pleasure. Chocolate also contains phenylethylamine (PEA), which is known as the “love chemical.”
Choosing the right kind of chocolate matters. Most of the popular, mainstream brands of chocolate bars offer little benefit – if at all. That’s because of how the chocolate is processed, and because less healthful ingredients are often added during production.
Here’s how to choose the best quality chocolate:
1) Choose chocolates with the least amount of sweeteners. Sugar should NOT be the first ingredient listed.
2) Select brands with higher percentages of cocoa solids (70% or more).
3) Buy organic when possible, to avoid pesticide residues.
4) Avoid chocolate that says “processed with alkali” on the label. Processing with alkali is called “Dutching”, and it breaks down the flavanol antioxidants naturally found in cocoa and chocolate. The extent to which the flavanols are lost is related to how heavily the cocoa or chocolate is Dutched. Choose a natural cocoa for maximum antioxidants.
5) Buy brands that contain cocoa butter and not trans fats (partially hydrogenated oils).
It is important to note that all of these wonderful benefits of chocolate consumption don’t mean you should go out and eat all of the candy bars your heart desires. As with most things, moderation is key. But, enjoying a bit of good quality chocolate a few times a week seems to offer benefits – in addition to tasting great.
Top Chocolate Picks:
Doctors, medical herbalists and nutritionists are all agreed that processed western foods, lifestyles and environmental pollution all take their toll on the health of the liver, which is primarily responsible for removing toxins from our bodies. This quick reference guide will give you some encouragement to choose the best foods for cleansing the liver to support your overall health! If at all possible, choose fresh organic produce as it will benefit both you and the environment!
If the liver is overworked, it can lead to the toxification of body tissues that opens the door to disease. The “liver cleanse” is a phrase that is well known these days but eating the right foods is equally, if not more, important. There are also herbs that can be used to boost the process, please see our Top 10 Herbs For The Liver article for more information.
1. Carrots – it is the high levels of provitamin A in the form of beta-carotene that make carrots a good choice for a healthy liver if the body is able to convert them into vitamin A (see 8. Avocado). A word of caution: some sites recommend high doses of carrot juice as a liver cleanse but too much beta-carotene can actually cause liver toxicity! 
2. Beets contain a phytonutrient called betanin, which has been shown to have a protective effect on liver health. As with many foods, cooking should be kept to a minimum to maintain their health-giving properties. 
3. Olive oil contains monounsaturated fatty acids that help to reduce the build-up of triglycerides in the liver, reducing the risk of “fatty liver” conditions. Reducing high consumption of fat and soft drinks will also help! 
4. Lemon juice is well-known as a liver cleansing agent. It is recommended that you also cleanse the colon before the liver to avoid toxins remaining in the body.  
5. Green tea is a source of catechins, another form of antioxidant that helps to maintain a balanced liver function.  
6. Turmeric is high in circumin, which is a strong antioxidant and has been shown to reduce the inflammation that is associated with many chronic diseases.  
7. Leafy greens such as cabbage and broccoli – the presence of isothiocyanates contributes to their ability to fight chronic illness such as liver cirrhosis. They also contain a good dose of iodine, helpful for thyroid health. 
8. Avocado – scientific testing in Japan has shown potent suppression of toxic liver injury in rats, which may indicate its benefit to humans. A more recent study has shown that avocados, when taken with foods high in beta-carotene, help the liver to absorb provitamin A and convert it to vitamin A.  They are also top of the list of foods that have the lowest pesticide residues! – you can find the full list here: http://www.ewg.org/foodnews/list.php
9. Garlic has been used medicinally for many thousands of years for many kinds of illnesses – it has blood cleansing effects, benefits the respiratory system and is now indicated to have a protective effect on the liver. 
10. Spinach is high in betaine, an important nutrient that benefits liver function and is therefore valuable in preventing chronic disease.