What Are Sweet Potatoes Useful For

Sweet Potatoes - The Healthy Potatoes
Sweet Potatoes – The Healthy Potatoes

Sweet Potatoes are native to Central and Southern America. They are part of the Convolvulaceae or morning glory plant family. A popular myth is that sweet potatoes are yams. As with other myths this is simply not true. This food item is one of the world’s richest source of Vitamin A rivalling leafy green vegetables. The food is readily available, affordable, versatile as well as very tasty. Sweet potatoes have been consumed since the prehistoric period as far back as 10,000 years ago, in Peru. Christopher Columbus was responsible in bringing this vegetable to Europe post his 1492 voyage. In the 16th century the Spanish brought it to the Philippines while the Portuguese bought the vegetable to Southern Asia, India, Indonesia as well as Africa. China is the world’s leading producer of sweet potatoes.

HEALTH BENEFITS OF SWEET POTATOES

  • Aids in weight loss

This vegetable has a low glycaemic index. That means it doesn’t cause blood sugar spikes linked to weight gain after a meal. Also, the food is rich in fibre giving it a slow burning property. In other words, its caloric energy is used much more slowly and efficiently compared to a low fibre carbohydrate. The food when consumed fills up the stomach leading to lower food and calorie intake.

  • Effective against cancer

Sweet potatoes have powerful antioxidants that destroy free radicals which are harmful elements that elevate the risk of cancer. Regular consumption of the food is linked with decreased risk of breast, stomach as well as kidney cancers.

  • Excellent for the eyes

The vegetable is rich in Vitamin A, C and E which promote eye health and help prevent degenerative damage to the eyes.

  • Good for diabetes patients

The food has the capability to help regulate blood sugar especially in type 2 diabetes patients. According to research the food item can boost levels of adiponectin a protein hormone generated by the fat cells to regulate the manner in which insulin is metabolized and reduce insulin levels when required.

  • Benefits Prostrate Health

Sweet potato stops the growth as well as progression of prostate cancer cells. The beta carotene found in the vegetable offers protection against prostate cancer.

If you have experienced any other benefits of including this food in your diet, please share them with us so that others may benefit.

5 Stunning Benefits Of Cinnamon

Cinnamon - The Super Healthy Spice
Cinnamon – The Super Healthy Spice

Cinnamon is one of the most delicious and healthiest spices in the world. It has been widely used since many centuries. There are two main varieties of this spice. The superior as well as expensive variety is Ceylon cinnamon from the Cinnamomum Zeylanicum plant native to Sri Lanka. The more common as well as cheap variety is Cassia cinnamon. Did you know that in ancient times this spice was considered more valuable than gold and was used as currency? Cinnamon was even mentioned in the Bible and employed in ancient Egypt for embalming corpses. Ceylon cinnamon is cultivated in Sri Lanka, Brazil, the Caribbean, Madagascar and India. Cassia cinnamon is grown in Indonesia, China as well as Vietnam.

We take a look at some of the health benefits of this spice.

  • Effective against diabetes

The spice significantly decreases blood sugar levels as well as enhances insulin sensitivity. Cinnamon inhibits enzymes termed alanines which permit sugar to be absorbed into the bloodstream. It also lowers the quantity of sugars that comes to the blood post a high sugar meal.

  • Excellent for cholesterol patients

Consumption of this spice has been found to significantly decrease levels of total body cholesterol, LDl as well as triglycerides. In fact, it even moderately enhances HDL levels in the body.

  • Aids in weight loss

As the spice decreases blood sugar concentration as well as improves insulin sensitivity less sugar gets stored as fat. This definitely helps in weight loss. The spice also boosts the body’s metabolism resulting in burning of more fat, glucose and calories. The latter results in significant weight loss. It is recommended to sprinkle this spice on your dishes to help lose weight.

  • Has anti-inflammatory characteristics

This spice is a rich source of antioxidants. The latter decreases the chances of heart disease, cancer, decline of the brain function among other benefits. As the food item decreases both swelling and inflammation it can be used for pain management of various kinds.

  • May stave away Alzheimer’s disease

An extract present in cinnamon bark termed CEppt prevents the development of the disabling and neurodegenerative disease. The spice may not cure Alzheimer’s. However it can alleviate the symptoms as well as ease the disease associated impairment.

If you have experienced any other benefits of including this spice in your diet, please share them with us so that others may benefit.

5 Terrific Benefits Of Peaches

Peaches - The Luscious Fruits
Peaches – The Luscious Fruits

Peaches are native to China as well as South Asia. Incidentally, China is also the largest grower of peaches followed by Italy. The fruit is a close relative of almonds. While Georgia is famous as the peach state, California grows half of the peaches found in the US. The fruit is part of the stone fruit family having a single big seed just like nectarines, plums, apricots and cherries.  This popular, tasty and juicy fruit is now available around the world. Peaches grow in deciduous trees and flourishes in temperate areas across the globe. The fruit is found in several different sizes and their colours range from yellow to red. Peach trees, fruits as well as blossoms are revered in Chinese culture in ancient times as well as currently.

We take a look at some of the health benefits of this fruit.

  • Fights Cancer

The fruit is proven to protect the body from lung as well as mouth cancer. This property is thought to be because of the large amounts of Vitamin A present in this fruit. It figures among the top cancer-fighting foods. Breast cancer patients are advised to consume peaches regularly as the polyphenols present in the fruit inhibits the growth as well as metastasis of breast cancer cells.

  • Helps in Weight loss

Did you know that 100 ml of raw peach juice has just 57 calories? The former is an excellent accompaniment to any weight loss diet. As peach is low in calories and contains no fat it can be safely consumed by obese individuals.

  • Lowers Blood Pressure

A big peach supplies around 333 mg of potassium which aids in maintaining healthy blood pressure. The fruit also contains very less sodium. Potassium acts along with sodium to regulate the water balance of the body which aids to maintain a healthy blood pressure.

  • Good for gout as well as rheumatism

Sufferers of gout and rheumatism are encouraged by health experts to consume this fruit as the latter is known to have a diuretic as well as a mild laxative effect.

  • Treats Hypokalaemia

Deficiency of potassium causes hypokalaemia which can adversely affect muscular strength as well as result in irregular heartbeats. Since this fruit contains potassium it is used to cure hypokalaemia.

If you have experienced any other benefits of including this fruit in your diet, please share them with us so that others may benefit.

5 Fantastic Benefits Of Pears

Pears - The Tasty Yet Healthy Fruit
Pears – The Tasty Yet Healthy Fruit

Pears are one of the most found and used fruits in the world. China is the world’s leading producer of this fruit accounting for almost 75% of global production. In the United States, the Washington state is the foremost grower of pears producing 50% of all US produced pears. The next two ranking states are California and Oregon. Some of the popular European varieties are Bartlett and Comice. Famous Asian varieties of this fruit include Nijisseki, Shinsieki, Shinsuii and Ichiban Nashi. Homer, writer of the famous poem ‘Odyssey’ dubbed the fruit as ‘the gift of the gods’. It is recommended to eat pears with its skin as the latter has more health benefits than the flesh.

We take a look at some of the health benefits of this fruit.

  • Effective in weight loss

This fruit is rich in fibre. Eating it leads to a feeling of fullness in your stomach. As a result, there are reduced hunger pangs and consequently less food and calorie intake.

  • Safe for folks suffering from allergies

When compared with other kinds of fruits pears have a very low chance of allergic reactions on consumption. Hence it figures among the few fruits that can be safely administered to infants. It is noted as a hypoallergenic fruit and food item.

  • Enhances digestion

As a fibre rich fruit packed with many essential nutrients consuming more pears is an excellent method to stave off or cure digestive ailments. The pectin present in pears is a natural diuretic as well a good laxative. Higher intake of pears is associated with better digestive health including of the colon.

  • Protects against cancer

Regular consumption of this fruit helps protect the body from colon cancer. Pear’s robust fibre content binds to carcinogenic toxins and chemicals in the colon shielding its mucous membrane from contact with these substances. It is noted as a hypoallergenic fruit as well as food item.

  • Destroys free radicals

This fruit is naturally rich in Vitamin C, Vitamin K and important nutrients like copper which function as antioxidants to shield the body’s cells from damage caused from free radicals. The latter are a major cause of many bodily ailments and hence must be eliminated from the body.

If you have experienced any other benefits of including this fruit in your diet, please share them with us so that others may benefit.

5 Significant Benefits Of Cabbage

Cabbage - The Leafy Healthy Vegetable
Cabbage – The Leafy Healthy Vegetable

Who hasn’t heard of cabbage? Incidentally it is the national food of Russia. The average Russian eats seven times the amount of cabbage as the average North American. The vegetable comes in different colours such as green, white, purple and red. It can be eaten raw as well as cooked. By the way it is a cruciferous vegetable like broccoli and cauliflower. Cabbage is a versatile vegetable held in high regard by the Egyptian pharaohs and is a staple of diets all over the globe. It is a leafy vegetable belonging to the Brassica family and is usually round or oval in shape.

We look at some of the health benefits of this leafy vegetable.

  • Aids in weight loss

You must have heard of the famous cabbage soup diet which is touted as one of the best ways to lose weight. The vegetable is surprisingly low in calories and packed with important and essential nutrients. Thus, individuals feel full and satisfied after consuming cabbage based dishes. Incidentally one cup of cooked cabbage contains just 33 calories. That is why the cabbage soup diet is so effective in losing weight. Also, this vegetable is tasty and economical to boot. It is indeed an asset to weight watchers.

  • Alleviates constipation

Constipation is at the root of many other diseases such as stomach ulcers, indigestion as well as cancer. Roughage deficiency is one of the leading causes of constipation. This vegetable supplies the body with ample amounts of roughage thus curing constipation.

  • Fights against cancer

This vegetable is rich in important cancer fighting substances including lupeol, sinigrin and sulforaphane. The latter catalyse enzyme action as well as block the growth of cancer tumours. Red cabbage contains glucosinolates which are cancer resisting antioxidants.

  • Treats ulcers

This vegetable contains a large quantity of sulphur which lowers the frequency and severity of ulcers in the body. This vegetable is one of the most potent natural remedies for stomach ulcers also termed peptic ulcers. The rich glutamine content in it make the vegetable able to treat ulcers.

  • Excellent for eye health

The beta-carotene found extensively in this vegetable aids in protecting age-linked macular degeneration and preventing the formation of cataracts.

If you have experienced any other benefits of including this vegetable in your diet, please share them so that others may benefit.

 

 

4 Superb Nutritional Benefits Of Pecans

Pecans - The Healthy Nuts
Pecans – The Healthy Nuts

Pecans also called Pecan Nuts are native to central and southern United states. Technically they are not nuts but are fruits(drupes). They come from the hickory tree which has the botanical name –  Carya illinoinensis. Native Americans used it as part of the diet for centuries before the advent of European colonists. It was first commercially cultivated in Mexico. These trees require temperate climate and a lot of care. The nuts belong to the Juglandaceae family just like walnuts.

We take a look at some of the health benefits of eating Pecans.

Helps in preventing female osteoporosis

Recent research has found out that daily Pecan consumption boosted bone mass and reduced bone loss among women. This is because the nuts are rich in copper, zinc and manganese.

Helps in reducing weight and waistline

Scientific studies have observed that the regular consumption of these nuts reduced the waist circumference as well as resulted in weight loss in most individuals. Large waists are a major risk factor for cardiovascular diseases. Moreover, the nuts contain 0% cholesterol. So, they can be consumed by individuals suffering from high cholesterol.  While the nuts contain fats, they are overwhelmingly of the unsaturated variety which promote heart health. Pecans contain very little saturated fats and absolutely no trans-fats.  For your information, the latter type of fats is dangerous to health. Pecans supply more than 50% of the daily requirements of manganese which is useful for weight loss.

Reduces blood pressure

Pecan nuts don’t cure hypertension but eating them lowers blood pressure. People who are risk for blood pressure such as the obese and those with a family history of hypertension should include these nuts in their daily diet. This way they can ward off or delay the onset of high blood pressure. Also, remember pecans are 100 % sodium free nuts and can be safely consumed by hypertension patients.

Prevents cancer

While it can’t be claimed that the consumption of Pecans can cure Cancer, the dreaded disease’s risk can certainly be reduced.  The nuts are rich in fiber which decreases the risk of Cancer. The former has the highest antioxidant content among all nuts and is one of the top 15 foods containing antioxidants in the world. These nuts are rich in antioxidants such as proanthocyanidins, flavonoids as well as phenolic acids. Antioxidants get rid of the free radicals present in the body which are a major cause of cancer.

A Final Note

A word of caution. Some people may have Pecan allergy. They should avoid consuming Pecans. As with other nuts Pecan nuts are high in calories. So, eat them in moderation. The nuts are a great addition to salads as well as desserts.

If you have experienced any other health benefits of consuming pecans, please share your inputs so that others may benefit.

6 Superb Benefits Of Oregano

Oregano - The Healthy Herb
Oregano – The Healthy Herb

Oregano is a famous culinary as well as medicinal herb that has been employed in medicine and cooking since ancient times. It is a variety of Origanum and is part of the mint family (lamiaceae). Americans know it well as a pizza topping. The herb is native to southwest Eurasia as well as the Mediterranean region. It is added to meat dishes, pasta, soups, curries and salads to name a few.

We take a look at some of the health benefits of the herb.

  • Good for cholesterol patients

The herb contains no cholesterol. It contains a large amount of dietary fibre which helps to control blood cholesterol levels.

  • Helps digestion

As many know good health starts in the gut. Good digestion is pivotal to ensuring good health. Instead of cleaning out the digestive tract, preventing toxin build up is a far better option. Oregano oil helps clean the entire digestive system. The former promotes the flow of bile into the digestive organs boosting the digestive process. Oregano eliminates gas in the stomach and soothes upset stomachs.

  • Potent against respiratory ailments

Dry oregano when consumed plays the role of a health tonic. It helps in the treatment of colds, influenza as well as mild fevers.

  • Effective against allergies

Ingestion of diluted oregano oil helps combat as well as cure allergies.

  • Fights against cancer

Scientific studies have found that oregano fights cancer by causing cell cycle arrest as well as boosts apoptosis (cancer cells destroy themselves). Substances present in the herb slows down or halts the progression of breast cancer a leading kind of cancer among women.

  • Boosts immunity

Consuming this herb can significantly enhance immune health and protect the body from dangerous as well silent killer diseases. Oregano contains thymol as well as rosmarinic acid both of which are potent antioxidants. The latter destroy free radicals a major cause of many chronic ailments.

If you have experienced any other benefits of including this herb in your diet, please share them with us so that others may benefit.

 

 

 

 

How Plums Help Achieve Natural Weight Loss

Plums – Eat Them For Weight Loss

Many folk are struggling with weight loss nowadays. The reasons are varied. It could be genetic disposition, pregnancy, side effects of certain medicines, junk diet, lack of exercise, stress to name a few.  The experienced know there are no short cuts to losing weight. Beware of magic pills or magic diet or magic exercise equipment that promise to reduce weight in a jiffy. Usually you did not put on excess weight overnight. It happened over a period of time. Rapid weight loss is neither practical or natural for the body. A strict regimen of diet and exercise over a period of time is the best, safest and most natural way to lose weight permanently.

Appetite suppressants and diet pills have their associated limitations and side effects. Eating a wide variety of low calorie vegetables and fruits is the best diet for weight loss. Plums is one of the ideal fruits which will definitely help you to lose weight. Dried plums or prunes will also help lose weight.

Different ways to consume plums

Ripe plums are delicious and don’t have any side effects. They can be eaten alone or added to fruit salads, breakfast cereals and yoghurt. You can even make juices of them or smoothies. Plums can be cooked to make compote or syrupy sauces for delicious and wholesome dessert dishes. You can even make plum wines, plum jam and plum cake or even pickle the tasty fruit. Plum sauce can be added to yoghurt or frozen milk. In short there is a wide variety of healthy plum dishes.

How plums aid in weight loss

Plums are mostly either European or Japanese in origin. They are low in calories and have a low glycaemic index which means that consuming the fruit won’t lead to blood sugar surges. The fruit is rich in fibre and eating it leads to a feeling of satiety. In short, the stomach fills up and you don’t feel like eating more.  Plums have very little fat. Each small plum contains less than 0.2 grams of fat. Also, this fruit has practically zero saturated fat a type of fat which drives up body cholesterol levels.

Top Foods That Help In Reducing Cholesterol

Bad Cholesterol Rich Foods- A Danger To Health
Bad Cholesterol Rich Foods- A Danger To Health

Everyone knows that high amounts of cholesterol in the body is detrimental to health and significantly increases the risk of strokes and heart attacks. Reasons behind high cholesterol include obesity, an unhealthy diet, lack of exercise and genetics among others. All cholesterol is not bad for the body. LDL(Low Density Lipoprotein) is the bad cholesterol while HDL(High Density Lipoprotein) is the good cholesterol which has a protective effect on the body. The body itself produces enough cholesterol and external sources of cholesterol are not needed. The liver is the organ that produces cholesterol in the body. LDL accumulates in the arteries and blocks blood flow to the heart leading to strokes or heart attacks. Remember that cholesterol is necessary for the body to carry out essential functions

Statins are the class of drugs used to lower cholesterol in the body. However, they have side effects such as raising blood sugar and others. Eating foods that naturally reduce cholesterol is a safer and healthier approach. In addition, you must reduce weight if you are obese and exercise daily if you are inactive for best results.

The first step is to eliminate food that are high in saturated fats and LDL. These include egg yolk, red meat, dairy fat and processed vegetable oils. Also, avoid sugary food and beverages as excess sugar is stored as fat by the body. A handy tip is to eliminate processed and packaged food from your diet as they contain trans fats which are harmful for the heart.

FOODS THAT REDUCE CHOLESTEROL

  • Garlic

Garlic is a popular home remedy for lowering cholesterol. Raw garlic is more effective than cooked garlic. It is known to reverse the accumulation of LDL and triglycerides.

  • Flax Seeds

In a scientific study, consuming 50gms of flax seeds daily decreased LDL in healthy young individuals to up to 8% while 38gm daily consumption decreased LDL in high cholesterol patients by 14%. It is recommended to include flax seeds in your daily diet to effectively reduce cholesterol levels.

  • Fish

Umpteen scientific studies have proven that eating fish reduces cholesterol in the body. It is recommended to steam or roast the fish rather than frying it in oil.

  • Green Tea

Everyone knows the miraculous effects of green tea. In addition, the latter is a potent cholesterol buster. It is known to prevent the rising of LDL cholesterol levels.

  • Oats

It is recommended to swap your breakfast cereal with oats. The latter quickly lowers the amount of LDL cholesterol present in your body. Oats contain beta-glucan an element that absorbs LDL which is later excreted by the body.

  • Vegetables

All vegetables contain very little saturated fat. Also, the former is rich in cholesterol decreasing soluble fibers. Several dark leafy green vegetables help arteries free of the build-up of cholesterol.

Other cholesterol reducing foods include avocado, nuts, beans, chia seeds, olive oil, whole grains, turmeric and sweet potatoes.

5 Amazing Reasons Why Pine Nuts are Good For You

Pine Nuts - The Amazing Nuts
Pine Nuts – The Amazing Nuts

Pine nuts have been consumed since the Palaeolithic period. The ancient Egyptian, Roman and Greek civilizations favored them. These nuts are tiny seeds of the pine cone. The pine tree grows in cold climate and is found in all continents. The tree is part of the Pinaceae family. The pine nuts have different names such as chilgoza, pignoli, pinyon nuts, pinon nuts and cedar nuts. While all pine trees bear pine nuts just twenty species possess pine nuts big enough for eating. Did you know that approximately eighty percent of US pine nuts are imported from abroad?

We take a look at some of the health benefits of these nuts.

  • Helps in Weight loss

Scientific research has demonstrated that fatty acids obtained from pine nuts led to the production of large quantities of cholecystokinin(CCK) an appetite suppressing hormone. Since the appetite is less there is decreased food and calorie intake leading to long lasting weight loss.

  • A Natural Energy Booster

These nuts are rich in protein which provides an instant source of energy. Fatigue may be caused by low levels of magnesium which can be corrected by consuming these nuts. Additionally, pine nuts have nutrients that energize you such as iron and monounsaturated fat.

  • Excellent for the Eyes

These nuts are a rich source of both Vitamin A and lutein. The latter two are known to promote better eye health. Lutein helps to stave away eye ailments such as age related macular degeneration(AMD).

  • Lowers Blood Pressure

These nuts are a rich source of magnesium. High intake of magnesium results in lower blood pressure level as well as lower risk of stroke.

  • Mood Elevator

A recent scientific study discovered that higher intake of magnesium found in ample amounts in these nuts was linked with reduced externalising behaviour like angry outbursts as well as other external behaviours found in patients with various mood disorders.

A Final Note

If you are allergic to other nuts, then it is advised not to consume pine nuts as they may cause allergy.

If you have experienced any other benefits of consuming this food item, please share it with us so that others may benefit.