|Elevated Blood Pressure |
Blood pressure tends to rise with age. Following a healthy lifestyle helps some people delay or prevent this rise in blood pressure.
High blood pressure increases your chance (or risk) for getting heart disease and/or kidney disease, and for having a stroke. It is especially dangerous since it often has no warning signs or symptoms. Regardless of race, age, or gender, anyone can develop high blood pressure. It is estimated that one in every four American adults has high blood pressure. Once high blood pressure develops, it usually lasts a lifetime.
High blood pressure can eventually cause blood vessels in the eye to burst or bleed. Vision may become blurred or otherwise impaired and can result in blindness. As people get older, arteries throughout the body “harden,” especially those in the heart, brain, and kidneys. High blood pressure is associated with these “stiffer” arteries. This, in turn, causes the heart and kidneys to work harder. The kidneys act as filters to rid the body of wastes. Over time, high blood pressure can narrow and thicken the blood vessels of the kidneys. The kidneys filter less fluid, and waste builds up in the blood. The kidneys may fail altogether.
High blood pressure is a major risk factor for heart attack. The arteries bring oxygen-carrying blood to the heart muscle. If the heart cannot get enough oxygen, chest pain, also known as “angina,” can occur. If the flow of blood is blocked, a heart attack results. High blood pressure is the number one risk factor for congestive heart failure (CHF). CHF is a serious condition in which the heart is unable to pump enough blood to supply the body’s needs.
The important nutrients needed by a person suffering from high blood pressure are Calcium, Magnesium, Potassium, Zinc, and Vitamin E. Moringa contains these entire nutrient in it. Moringa contains Vitamin C helps support the body’s production of nitric oxide, which is critical to normal functioning of blood vessels. The better your blood vessels work, the lower your risk of hypertension. Calcium is needed for smooth muscle relaxation and contraction; increased consumption can have a direct effect on blood vessels. It’s best to get your calcium from your diet; studies have found that compared with supplements, dietary calcium has twice the benefits for blood pressure.
Potassium content of the Moringa is 15 times more compared to Banana. Potassium acts by increasing sodium excretion in the urine, which helps blood vessels dilate, and changing the interactions of hormones that affect blood pressure.
Diet high in magnesium benefits those with hypertension, most likely by contributing to the relaxation of the smooth muscles of the blood vessels. Moringa also contains magnesium along with zinc and vitamin E which takes part in decreasing the blood pressure along with other nutrients.
| Diabetes |
Diabetes is a metabolic disorder where the human body does not produce or properly uses insulin, a hormone that is required to convert sugar, starches, and other food into energy. Diabetes mellitus is characterized by constant high levels of blood glucose (sugar). Human body has to maintain the blood glucose level at a very narrow range, which is done with insulin and glucagons.
The abnormally high blood sugar (hyperglycemia) resulting from insufficient levels of the hormone insulin which is characteristic symptoms polyuria, polydipsia, glucoseuria, unexplained weight loss, and lethargy. There are two types of diabetes: Type I diabetes known as insulin dependent diabetes and Type II diabetes refer to insulin non dependent diabetes. It is possible for us to treat diabetes II through proper dieting, medication and regular exercise.
Untreated diabetes will lead to complications such as retinopathy, neuropathy, nephropathy, cardiovascular problems etc., researchers recently reported that vitamin D is essential for the islet cells in the pancreas to be able to secrete insulin properly. The studies have shown that individuals with low vitamin D levels experienced the worst blood sugar-handling problems and had a greater risk of developing diabetes. Moringa as a rich source of ascorbic acid helps in insulin secretion. It is interesting to note that certain nutrients like vitamins B1, B2, B12, pantothenic acid, vitamin C, protein and potassium – along with small frequent meals containing some carbohydrate – can actually stimulate production of insulin within the body.
Vitamin A as an antioxidant helps convert beta-carotene efficiently, which reduces the risk of blindness in diabetics. Vitamin B 12 is effective in the treatment of diabetic neuropathy. High dose supplements of vitamin C have been shown to prevent sorbitol accumulation and glycosylation of proteins, both of which are important factors in the development of diabetic complications such as cataracts. Studies have shown that a low vitamin-E concentration was associated with a 3.9 times greater risk of developing diabetes. Vitamin E reduces oxidative stress, thus improving membrane physical characteristics and related activities in glucose transport. This antioxidant promotes healing of diabetes-related lesions. Magnesium helps in the metabolism of glycogen, Mg works closely with vitamin B 6 to help the metabolic process with in the cell. Moringa has all these nutrients and helps the diabetic patient control their blood glucose level.
| Children and Young Adults |
Lack of consumption of balanced nutrients or feeding the wrong kind of food leads to an accumulation of toxins within the body, resulting in chronic diseases. Since no single food group can nourish the body with all the vital ingredients it requires, it is important that we consume a variety of healthy foods to derive the nutrition our body needs. Children are the vulnerable groups, they need complete nutrition for their growth, physical and mental fitness.
Moringa is a very good natural supplement needed by every child for their well being. Calcium is particularly important in building strong bones and teeth. Calcium, the most abundant mineral in the body, gets particular attention for its role in keeping bones strong. Moringa contains 17 times the calcium content in milk. Fractures reported among children and young adults are on the rise due to calcium deficiency. It is also a key mineral needed for muscular contractions, wound healing and proper function of hormones and neurotransmitters in the brain. Calcium in the blood helps maintain heart rhythm, and promotes proper blood clotting and muscular function.
Magnesium is important to 300 bodily functions, including the muscles, nerves and heart. It boosts your immune system and strengthens bones. Iron is an oxygen-carrying component of the blood. Children need iron for expanding blood volume which is accompanied during periods of rapid growth. Iron content of Moringa is 25 times of iron in spinach.
When children do not eat enough fruits and vegetables they run the risk of having low intakes of vitamins A and C. B Complex Vitamins (thiamin, niacin, riboflavin and other B vitamins) come from a variety of foods, including grain products, meat and meat substitutes and dairy products. Most of the children are not consuming the healthy foods instead they are attracted towards the mal-nutrient snack foods.
When appetites slow down and children do not seem to be eating nutritiously, concerned parents consider using a vitamin-mineral supplement. Moringa plant is one of the richest sources of Vitamins. Moringa has Vitamin A (Beta Carotene), Vitamin B1 (Thiamine), Vitamin B2 (Riboflavin), Vitamin B3 (Niacin), Vitamin B6 Pyrodixine), Vitamin B7 (Biotin), Vitamin C (Ascorbic Acid), Vitamin D (Cholecalciferol), Vitamin E (Tocopherol) and Vitamin K, Calcium, Copper, Iron, Potassium, Magnesium, Manganese and Zinc. Moringa has 17 times more Calcium than that of milk, Moringa, with 25 times more Iron than that of Spinach, 15 times the potassium in banana assists in the regulation of the acid-base and water balance in the blood and the body tissues. It assists in protein synthesis of amino acids and in carbohydrate metabolism.
Vitamins and other nutrients are critically important for the proper physical, cognitive and even emotional development of young children. Vitamins, minerals and other essential nutrients help create the neurotransmitters that relay signals between these brain Children who do not get adequate nutrition in their first few years of life are more likely to have problems throughout life. This includes lower IQ, slower language and motor development, and poor school performance.
| Anti-Aging |
Aging affects our social environment. Symptoms of old age includes wrinkles and liver spots on the skin, hair loss , lessened hearing , poor eyesight , slower reaction times and agility , reduced ability to think clearly , difficulty recalling memories , greater susceptibility to bone diseases such as osteoarthritis. Elderly people tend to have lower body temperatures and infections that would cause fever. Elderly pneumonia sufferers may present symptoms such as rapid breathing, reduced appetite and reduced functioning. Elderly urinary tract infection sufferers may present symptoms such as incontinence, confusion and may suffer from falls.
Malunggay is rich in vitamin to the extent that it is one of the richest plant source of Vitamins. Moringa has Vitamin A (Beta Carotene), Vitamin B1 (Thiamine), Vitamin B2 (Riboflavin), Vitamin B3 (Niacin), Vitamin B6 Pyrodixine), Vitamin B7 (Biotin), Vitamin C (Ascorbic Acid), Vitamin D (Cholecalciferol), Vitamin E (Tocopherol) and Vitamin K. Vitamin A is needed to prevent night blindness, promotes healthy skin, and fights infections. Vitamin C is needed to maintain healthy gums, assists in healing wounds, and helps the body use iron. Vitamin E will protect your body against free radical damage to cells. Calcium and Vitamin D are essential to maintain strong bones and teeth.
The list of Minerals present in Malunggay is abundant and few of the main minerals include Calcium, Copper, Iron, Potassium, Magnesium, Manganese and Zinc. Calcium is one of the most important minerals for the growth, maintenance, and reproduction of the human body. Blood coagulation, transmission of nerve impulses, muscle contraction and relaxation, normal heart beat, stimulation of hormone secretion, activation of enzyme reactions, as well as other functions, all require small amounts of calcium. After age 50, more calcium or 1,200 milligrams are needed to prevent a disease called osteoporosis. As you age, minerals in your bones are lost and bones may get thinner.
Malunggay contains all the essential minerals needed for maintaining strong bones. Good nutrition can help lessen the effects of diseases prevalent among elderly population and improve their quality of life.
Malunggay is the richest source of Calcium. Malunggay has 17 times more Calcium than that of milk, helps to avoid the occurrence of osteoporosis during old age and strengthen the bones of the young and middle age people. Malunggay, with 25 times more Iron than that of Spinach, helps in the formation of hemoglobin and myoglobin, which carry the oxygen in the blood and the muscle. Iron also makes up part of many proteins and enzymes in the body, deficiency of which leads to the weakening of the immune system, helps in improving the mental ability as the oxygen supply to the brain increases.
Malunggay with 15 times the potassium in Banana assists in the regulation of the acid-base and water balance in the blood and the body tissues. Body proteins are constantly being made and used during your lifetime to maintain cell and organ functions. Adequate protein intake and protein reserves are important for older adults, especially during periods of emotional and physical stresses. Protein helps to prevent muscle loss. As the richest source of Calcium and Potassium it helps in the reducing the blood pressure. It assists in protein synthesis from amino acids and in carbohydrate metabolism. Malunggay capsules are the best natural supplement which provides all the necessary nutrients needed by the body. The bioavailability of the nutrients in Malunggay more compared to other supplement as Malunggay is 100% natural.
| Lactating Mothers |
A new born baby has only three demands. They warmth in the arms of its mother, food from her breast and security in the knowledge of her presence. Breast feeding satisfies all the three.
Breast milk is the natural and complete food for infants. It is safe, inexpensive and provides all nutrients most babies need for the first 6 months of life. Researches have shown that breastfed babies are less likely to suffer eczema, food allergy and respiratory illness than formula-fed babies. In the Philippines, 85 % of mothers initiated breast feeding soon after delivery but only 22% of these mothers are still exclusively feeding by one month old. Most mothers after initiating expression of breast milk on the first few days postpartum complain of insufficient volume of breast milk. This has prompted mothers to shift their children to bottle feeding and stop breast feeding.
Galactagogues are herbs that promote and establish the flow of mother’s milk. Malunggay is one of the most studied herbs in the Philippines. As a galactogogue, several studies confirm its efficacy. However, it is usually promoted to be given 3 days postpartum or after delivery to induce lactation. The lactation enhancing effects of malunggay leaves as evidenced by a greater increase in maternal serum prolactin levels. Prolactin is the most important hormone in the initiation of laction. Malunggay capsules are effective galactagogues if given prior to delivery with onset of adequate amount.
| Antioxidant Properties To Boost Your Immune System |
If you want to stay healthy, you need to feed your body properly. Although it is recommended to eat several servings of fruits and vegetables, the food pyramid is considered by many to be inadequate for individuals who are trying to maintain their optimum health. So we need supplements which will provide the entire essential nutrients needed by our body.
Moringa is recommended as nutrient supplement because it helps digest the food by supplying the minerals for effective digestion. This will help your body to totally absorb all the food nutrients.
The Moringa plant provides a rich and rare combination of zeatin, quercetin, β-sitosterol, caffeoylquinic acid and kaempferol. Moringa Oleifera is very important for its medicinal value. Various parts of this plant such as the leaves, roots, seed, bark, fruit, flowers and immature pods act as cardiac and circulatory stimulants, possess antitumor, antipyretic, antiepileptic, anti-inflammatory, antiulcer, antispasmodic, diuretic, antihypertensive, cholesterol lowering, antioxidant, antidiabetic, hepatoprotective, antibacterial and antifungal properties.
Oxidative by-products of normal metabolism cause extensive damage to DNA, protein, and lipid. This damage (the same as that produced by radiation) is a major contributor to aging and to degenerative diseases such as cancer, cardiovascular disease, immune-system decline, brain dysfunction and cataracts.
Research is increasingly showing that those who eat antioxidant-rich foods reap health benefits. Moringa supplements can boost antioxidant levels, Moringa contains 46 antioxidants that helps the cells neutralize the free radicals due to oxidative stress.
Antioxidants are also involved in the prevention of cellular damage — the common pathway for cancer, aging, and a variety of diseases. Athletes have a keen interest because of health concerns and the prospect of enhanced performance and/or recovery from exercise. Increased intake of vitamin E is a protection against exercise induced oxidative damage. Moringa contains Vitamin E that neutralizes these damaging conditions.
| Athletes and Active Life Styles |
Constant practice is the key to the success of athletes and sportsmen. But the real secret behind is proper nutrition. Moringa provides people with active lifestyle all the essential vitamins, minerals and protein and helps them in various ways and mainly to improve their strength. Moringa provides the body with 100% natural Vitamin A, Vitamin E, Calcium Iron and many other nutrients. These nutrients are readily bio-available and helps to boost energy instantly. In contrast to caffeine, Moringa not only adds energy but also supplies essential nutrients for the body.
| Improves Endurance |
Moringa, with its high Vitamin A and Vitamin C contents, combined with its extraordinary Iron content. Helps to improve the hemoglobin content of the blood. This in turn helps the blood to deliver more oxygen to the muscles during aerobic and endurance exercises. The increased Oxygen carried by the blood also helps to increase the metabolic rate and assists in burning unwanted fat deposited in the body.
| Moringa Oil for Young Looking Skin |
Moringa Oil or Ben oil is obtained by pressing the seeds of Moringa Oilefera Tree. Moringa oil is the most stable oil in nature and it does not go rancid. Moringa oil has numerous applications in the cosmetics and pharmaceutical industry.
The Moringa seeds yield 38–40% edible oil (called ben oil, from the high concentration of behenic acid contained in the oil) that can be used in cooking and cosmetics. Its nutrient-rich leaves and seeds can be eaten, and the oil pressed from its seeds is chock-full of radiance-boosting fatty acids and vitamins A and C. Beauty companies around the world are now bringing the oil’s skin-smoothing de-puffing benefits to you in brand-new moisturizers.
Moringa oil possesses exceptional oxidative stability which may explain why the Egyptians placed vases of Moringa oil in their tombs. The healing properties of Moringa oil, also known as behen oil, were documented by ancient cultures. It has tremendous cosmetic value and is used in body and hair care as a moisturizer and skin conditioner. Moringa oil has been used in skin preparations and ointments since Egyptian times. This is very long lasting oil with a shelf life of up to 5 years.
Applications of Moringa Oil is highly valued in the cosmetic industry for its unique property. Moringa oil is light and spreads easily on the skin. It is best for massage and aromatherapy applications.
The antioxidants and the nutrients present in the Moringa oil help to curb the activity of free radicals on the skin. The free radicals are the agents that cause damage to the skin tissues and pave way for skin wrinkles. Antioxidants rich Moringa Oil, curbs the activities of free radicals and hence finds a place in the anti-ageing creams.
Moringa seed oil contains antiseptic and anti-inflammatory properties, which help heal minor skin complaints such as cuts, bruises, burns, insect bites, rashes and scrapes quickly The addition of Moringa seed oil produces a rich and creamy lather and, unlike any other plant-based oil, actually increases the cleansing ability. It clears pimples and prevents recurrence, if used regularly; it removes wrinkles and will prevent; sagging of facial muscles; helps clears black heads and spots; makes face glow and helps to tighten the skin pores.
Skin moisturizing benefits are derived from the fact that moringa seed oil is high in vitamins A and C and unsaturated fatty acids. Moringa seed oil contains antiseptic and anti-inflammatory properties, which help heal minor skin complaints such as cuts, bruises, burns, insect bites, rashes and scrapes quickly. Moringa oil is also helpful for purposes of tanning or maintaining a tan. This oil is rich in copper and calcium, which are important nutrients for the skin.
Moringa oil is a very stable carrier which is highly nutritious to the skin and similar in composition to olive oil but much lighter. It is a powerful natural antioxidant with excellent skin smoothing properties.
| Food Industy|
This oil is known as the most stable natural oil, which is a good source of behenic acid and is used as a preservative in food industries. It is an excellent salad oil. The Moringa oil is odorless to mild nutty flavor. It is also used as vegetable cooking oil. Due to its high quantities of Oleic Acids (Mono-Unsaturated Fatty Acid) is good for sautéing and deep frying. The bright yellow oil with a pleasant taste has been compared in quality with olive oil. It can also be used in dressings. The Moringa oil is clear, sweet and odorless, never becoming rancid.
Friday, July 16, 2010
How you rank fruit depends upon the reason you're eating the fruit and your individual tastes. The four most valuable nutrients in fruits are fiber, vitamin C, carotenoids (e.g. beta carotene), and phytonutrients (health-building substances). Here are our rankings - an overall "Top Ten Fruits" list and our top choices for fiber and vitamin C.
Our top ten ranking of fruits is based upon their content of these nutrients: vitamin C, fiber, carotenoids, calcium, and folic acid. Availability, safety, and versatility also influenced these choices.
- Apricots (dried, unsulfured)
- Strawberries (organic)
- Grapefruit (pink or red)
Allergies or illness can make the intestines more sensitive. Some fruits contain sugars that are easily absorbed into the bloodstream, while the sugar in other fruits may ferment and cause gas to build up in the intestines. This is hard on an intestinal lining already irritated by allergens or viruses. The ratio of fructose to glucose in the fruit as well as the fiber content determine how much of the sugar is absorbed. The higher the glucose-to-fructose ratio, the more intestinal-friendly the fruit. The most intestines-friendly fruit, especially if you are suffering from a diarrhea illness, is white grapes since they contain equal amounts of fructose and glucose. The high glucose content helps all the fructose be absorbed so little is left over to ferment into intestinal gas. And, white grape juice contains no sorbitol. Here's how these fruits rank:
|Most Kind to the Intestines||Least Kind to the Intestines|
| || |
The reason these fruits are less intestinal-friendly is because they have a higher fructose-to -glucose ratio, some contain sorbitol and some fruits have higher levels of fiber. If you are suffering from sluggish bowels or constipation, then use this nutritional quirk to your advantage since juices, such as prune and pear nectar, tend to be laxative in effect.
Let's face it, our food preferences are based on taste, not nutrition, which is why fruit is such a great food. Fruit tastes sweet and interesting. They have an agreeable texture, crunchy like apples, smooth like a peach, and juicy like an orange. And most fruits are surprisingly nutritious. Though not as nutrient-dense as vegetables, fruits are an important source of vitamins, minerals, and enzymes. Some fruits are more nutritious than others, but with fruits, as with vegetables and grains, variety is the spice of life. Nutrients that one fruit lacks, another fruit provides. Fructose is the principle sugar in most fruits, though sucrose is the principle sugar in others, such as oranges, melons, and peaches. Fructose is absorbed slowly into the bloodstream, so fruit gives you energy without triggering the ups and downs of the insulin cycle.
- Apple. An apple a day may not keep the doctor entirely away, but apples are nutritious, convenient, and always available. Apples get an A+ in fiber content, since they contain a lot of the soluble fiber, pectin, that helps to lower cholesterol. They also contain some cancer-fighting flavenoids. Eating a whole apple is more nutritious than drinking apple juice, since the fiber, vitamins, and minerals may be processed out of the juices. When the flesh of an apple turns brown, it means some of the nutrients have oxidized and are lost. To get the best that any fruit has to offer, eat it fresh.
- Apricot. Five apricots contain around the same number of calories as one apple, but they have much more protein, calcium, iron, vitamin K, zinc, vitamin A, and folic acid. Apricots are high in beta carotene, as well as potassium and fiber. You'll find them on our list of the top ten nutritious fruits.
- Apricot, dried. Dried apricots are a particularly good source of beta carotene, potassium, and fiber (3 grams per 10 dried apricot halves). When purchasing dried apricots, read the label. Preservatives, such as sulfites or sulfur- dioxide, are often used to maintain apricots' orange color. These will be listed on the label. Sulfites can be an allergen for some people. You can purchase sulfite-free apricots in health food stores. Even though they are a less appealing, brownish color, they are equally nutritious. It is not worth consuming extra sulfites just so the apricots look more orange.
- Avocado. Avocados are usually thought of as a vegetable, but they are really a fruit, with more nutrition than any other fruit. Avocados are especially high in protein, fiber, niacin, thiamin, riboflavin, folic acid, and zinc. Avocados get the lion's share of their calories from fat, and while these are the heart-healthy monounsaturated fats with no cholesterol, you pay a caloric price. While weight-conscious adults might want to stick to an apple a day rather than an avocado a day, the high calorie content of avocados makes them a good food for growing children. The fat content of avocados depends upon the variety. Florida avocados have about half the fat and two-thirds the calories of California avocados. Another healthy fat that avocados contain are Omega 3 fatty acids. Because avocados are so nutrient dense, we included them in our top twelve foods as well as in our "Top Ten Fruits" list.
Buying and serving tips. Avocados ripen after picking. Buy the avocado when it is under-ripe, meaning it is firm, but not hard - squeezing it gently does not leave a dent. Store avocados at room temperature for three or four days until they are soft enough to dent on squeezing. To speed ripening, place the avocados in a paper bag and store at room temperature until they are ready to eat (three to five days). Including an apple in the bag speeds up the process even more.
For easy eating, halve the avocado by running a knife lengthwise around the middle of the avocado. Hold the avocado in both hands and twist at the cut. The halves will separate easily, leaving the pit in one half. Spoon out the flesh and enjoy. Mash avocados into dip for children. For adults, add tomatoes, onion, and garlic to make guacamole.
Storing Guacamole or Half an Avocado
Avocado turns brown after it's been exposed to air. To prevent this, sprinkle lemon or lime juice on the cut side of half an avocado and cover it tightly with plastic wrap. Include lemon or lime juice in your guacamole recipe to keep it from turning brown.
A favorite sandwich for growing children (and genetically lean adults) is whole wheat bread, a thin layer of peanut butter, thinly sliced tomatoes, a thick layer of guacamole, and a mound of alfalfa sprouts. For added richness, add a thin layer of lowfat mayonnaise. Enjoy!
- Banana. Bananas mash easily for baby food and blend nicely into a sweet smoothie. They contain a lot of potassium, so eating a daily banana is helpful to people on certain medications, such as diuretics, which may deplete the body of potassium. Even though most bananas are imported, the easy-to-peel feature of bananas makes it easy to peel the pesticides off.
- Blueberries. On the surface, blueberries don't seem to pack any particular standout nutrient. Yet recent studies have shown that blueberries have healthy stuff in their skin, an antioxidant, cancer-fighting phyto, called anthocyanin . Blueberries are an excellent fruit for making smoothies. Their sweet taste and rich purple color give any smoothie a more appealing taste, texture, and color.
- Boysenberries. Boysenberries are a great source of fiber.
- Cantaloupe. Cantaloupes are high in vitamin C, beta carotene, and potassium.
- Cherries. Cherries contain some beta carotene, and sour cherries contain more beta carotene than sweet cherries.
- Dates. Dates are a good source of fiber, iron, and niacin.
- Figs, dried. Dried figs are high in calories and high in carbs, but they also contain abundant amounts of other nutrients, such as calcium, fiber, protein, and potassium. They make an excellent snack and add fiber when they're chopped up and included in cookies. Because of the high fiber and high calcium content, they get an honorable mention on our "Top Ten Fruits" list. Their high carbohydrate and sugar content could be a drawback for sugar-sensitive individuals, but for athletes, figs would be a great addition to a pre-game meal.
- Grapefruit. Grapefruit is a great fruit, low in calories, high in fiber, with lots of vitamin C. If you get the pink or red variety instead of the white, grapefruit is also rich in beta carotene. Half the fiber is the insoluble type (good for the intestines) and half is soluble pectin fiber (good for the heart). Remember, though, that a lot of fiber is in the stringy walls that separate the segments. If you're digging out grapefruit segments with a spoon, you'll miss out on much of the fiber.
- Grapes. The skin of red and purple grapes contain cancer-fighting anthocyanin pigments, similar to the ones in blueberries. Green, seedless grapes are not exactly nutritional standouts, but kids love to snack on them, especially on hot days. They're a popular alternative to soda or candy.
NUTRITIPRed wine has recently been touted as a health food because of studies showing a lower incidence of cardiovascular disease in cultures that drink a lot of red wine. Red wine may help to lower cholesterol. Yet, the health properties are probably not in the alcohol , but in the grapes. Grape skins contain resveratrol , a substance that can lower cholesterol and prevent fats in the bloodstream from sticking together and clogging arteries. Eating grapes, drinking dark grape juice that is made with skins, or eating raisins may be just as heart-healthy as drinking wine, without the health hazards of alcohol.
NUTRITIPEating the whole fruit is better than drinking the juice of the fruit, especially if you are watching your weight. A cup of apple juice contains around 115 calories with minimum nutrition, yet a medium-size apple has only 80 calories with a lot more nutrition. With the whole fruit you get the filling effect of fiber, so you tend to eat less. Juice goes down quickly, so you tend to want more.
The Whole Fruit, and Nothing but...
- Guava. Guavas are hard to find, but gobble them up when you can. They rate high among the fruits for fiber and vitamin E. Guava juice is readily available in the juice section of most supermarkets, yet it contains added corn syrup, diluting the nutritional value compared to the raw fruit.
- Honeydew melon. Honeydew melon is not nearly as nutritious as cantaloupe. Cantaloupe contains half the number of calories, nearly twice the protein, slightly more fiber, more calcium, and a lot more beta carotene, compared with only a trace in honey-dew.
- Kiwi. Kiwi is a great source of vitamin C. Try cutting it in half and eating it out of the peel with a spoon.
- Lemon and lime. Lemons and limes are a moderately good source of vitamin C, with lemons containing about one-third more vitamin C than limes. Lemon and lime juice add flavor to dishes, which can be helpful if you're cutting back on salt.
NUTRITIPLemon acts like an antioxidant to keep cut fruit from quickly oxidizing (turning brown). Sprinkle lemon juice on apple slices and avocado halves or guacamole to preserve their freshness.
- Mango. Mangoes are high in fiber, high in beta carotene (similar to apricots and cantaloupe), high in vitamin C -- but much higher in calories than equal servings of similar fruits, such as cantaloupe and papaya.
- Orange. Oranges are known for their vitamin C content, but they're also a good source of folate and fiber. They even contain some calcium. As with grapefruit, the white membrane under the skin of the orange contains more vitamin C than the flesh and a lot of the pectin fiber. When peeling the orange, try to leave the white inner peeling on and eat it with the flesh (if you don't mind the slightly bitter taste).
- Papaya. High in calcium, folic acid, vitamin C, fiber, and carotenoids, this near-perfect fruit is becoming more widely available and affordable.
- Peach. The best peaches are tree-ripened and therefore locally grown. They contain some carotenoids and a tiny bit of vitamin C.
- Pear. A high sorbitol content, plus extra fiber, makes pears ideal for persons suffering from constipation. Most of the vitamin C in pears is concentrated in the skin, as is some of the fiber, so peeled, canned pears are less nutritious than fresh.
- Persimmons. Persimmons are high in fiber, carotenoids, and vitamin A. Some varieties are extremely high in vitamin C.
- Pineapple. Its claim to fame is that it's the fruit highest in the essential nutrient, manganese, and that it has digestive enzymes, as does papaya.
- Plum. Plums contain a bit of carotenoids and some vitamin C. There are many varieties from which to choose.
- Prunes. Prunes get an honorable mention on our "Top Ten Fruits" list because they contain at least some of many different important vitamins and minerals. Compared with other fruits, prunes are especially high in fiber (half of it the soluble type), protein, potassium, vitamin A, vitamin E, calcium, and iron. They contain a touch of zinc and niacin, and some prunes even contain a bit of beta carotene. Prunes are known for their ability to move the intestines, thanks to their high fiber content and large amounts of the stool-loosening sugar, sorbitol.
- Raisins. This favorite snack food is high in fiber and iron but also high in calories and sugar. You can get the iron and fiber at a lower caloric cost in other fruits.
- Raspberries. Of all the fruits, raspberries pack the most fiber into the fewest calories. They're also higher in folic acid and zinc than most fruits. It is difficult to wash raspberries thoroughly, making pesticides a concern.
- Strawberries. Strawberries have two nutritional claims to fame: they are higher in vitamin C per calorie than any other fruit and they are high in fiber. Like raspberries, strawberries lose points because of the pesticide issue. You don't peel them and because of their rough texture, they are hard to clean. Only organic strawberries make it onto our "Top Ten Fruits" list.
- Tangerine. This member of the orange family contains much less vitamin C, folate, and fiber than an orange, but more vitamin A and carotenoids.
- Watermelon. Watermelon is the top fruit source of the carotenoid antioxidant lycopene.
Colorful berries (blueberries and blackberries) are full of phytonutrients (especially the skin of blueberries) which contains powerful antioxidants, called anthocyanins (from the Greek for "dark blue flower"), and cancer fighters. Blueberries are a prime example of our color rule: the deeper the color, the better the berry. Similar antioxidants are found in other reddish-purple fruits and plants, such as cherries, red cabbage, and plums. These are the type of antioxidants that are responsible for the much-touted heart-healthy effect of red wine. (You could probably get the same health benefits from munching on red grapes.) Blueberries have the highest antioxidant capacity, mainly because of the high level of anthocyanins in the blueberry's skin. Bilberries have anthocyanins in the flesh as well as in their skin. All blueberries are not created equal. The smaller, wild blueberries have more skin and less water than the plump, cultivated blueberries. Because most of the health-promoting pigment is in the skin, the smaller the berry, the more anthocyanins. When it comes to these blue benefits, bigger is not better. Blueberries are great in pancakes, muffins, over cereal, and blended into smoothies. The health properties of these often underrated berries are well worth the stain you may get on your fingers.
|TOP TEN FIBER-RICH FOODS|
|Fruit||Calories||Grams of Fiber per 100 calories|
|1. Raspberries, 1 c.||60||8|
|2. Blackberries, 1 c.||74||7.6|
|3. Strawberries, 1 c.||45||3.4|
|4. Prunes, 1/2 c., cooked||113||7.0|
|5. Papaya, 1 medium||118||5.5|
|6. Orange, 1 medium||50||3.0|
|7. Apple, 1 medium||81||3.7|
|8. Pears, 1 medium||98||4.0|
|Figs, dried, 5||237||8.5|
|10. Avocado, half||150||4|
|Fruit||Calories||Milligrams of Vitamin C|
|1. Guava, 1 medium||46||165|
|2. Papaya, 1 cup, cubed||55||87|
|3. Strawberries, 1 cup||45||84|
|4. Kiwi, 1 medium||46||74|
|5. Cantaloupe, 1 cup||56||68|
|6. Orange, 1 medium||60||75|
|7. Grapefruit, half||39||42|