Mediterranean Diet vs. Cancer Clinical Trials

Lower incidents of cancer and “arrest progression” of  Breast, Colon, and Prostate, as well as a slowed “Aging” process across all micro organisms, are being attributed to nutrients consumed from the Mediterranean Diet.  Organs effected by Alzheimer, Cardiovascular, Diabetes, Hypertension, and Parkinson Disease once thought to be pre-dispositioned diseases, are now completely avoided due to the higher intake of a plant based-fish/poultry diet that includes a lifestyle change with exercise. In order to understand nutrition related disease we first have to address nutritional intake for the Standard American Diet (S.A.D.) and understand what nutrients are common within the Mediterranean Diet that promote well-being.

Compare and Contrast the Standard American Diet (SAD) to the Mediterranean Diet on the following pie charts:

Standard American Diet: 2,594 cals/day

Caloric Sweeteners, Flour, and Cereal Products make up 41% of the S.A. D., Fruits and Vegetables are only 7% of the S.A.D.

Standard American Diet
Fruit/Vegetable 205 .08%
Fats 340 13%
Dairy 256 10%
Sweeteners 440 0.17%
Pork/Meat/Chxn 298 0.11%
Nuts 175 .07%
Pasta/Bread 619 23%
 Calories/day 2,594

Two critical points that Doctors raise as red flags. 1. Higher amounts of calories are  in the Standard American Diet. 2 Empty calories that promote aging is due to how the body is required to process calories that the body cannot use and have small to no amount of  vitamins, minerals, or antioxidants available.

Chemical Sweeteners and Refined Flour

  1. In contrasting the diets, note that 41% of the Standard American Diet is dedicated to the consumption of chemical sweeteners, refined flour, and cereal products.
  2. The Mediterranean Diet has no chemical sweeteners and only 17% of the dietary intake is in pasta and breads.
Calories Mediterranean Diet
Fruit/Vegetable 400 22%
Olive Oil 360 20%
Dairy 257 15%
Wine/Liquor 150 0.09%
Pork/Fish/Chxn 105 0.06%
Nuts 175 1%
Pasta/Bread 300 17%
 Calories/day 1747

Fats, Oil and Dairy products are almost an even draw in calories.

S.A.D 596 calories or 23% of dietary intake  vs Mediterranean Diet 617 or  35% of dietary intake.

  1. S.A.D. utilizes fats such as Margarine, Canola Oil, Butter, and processed cheese.
  2. Mediterranean Diet utilizes Olive Oil (3 Tbsp/day), daily fresh made or aged cheese.

So far the Standard American Diet in just two arguments has shown that 1,655 calories, or 64% of an average American’s diet is composed of sweeteners, refined flour, and processed saturated animal fat. The Mediterranean Diet demonstrates that 917 calories, or  52% of it’s nutritional intake comes from grains, refined flour, plant based oil, and freshly made or aged saturated animal fat.

S.A.D. Protein intake is 473 calories or 18% vs. Mediterranean Diet 235 calories or 13% of total intake.

  1. S.A.D. is heavily loaded with red meat some chicken / pork and low amounts of fish. It is important to note that red meat has 92 calories per ounce.
  2. Mediterranean Diet loads up on fish, poultry and some pork with red meat entering their dietary intake only once every 7-10 days. White meats and fish range from 32-37 calories per ounce are easy to digest and the amount of available oils high in omega 3 promotes healthy organs.

Protein intake is a critical part of everyone’s diet. Vitamins B12 & B16 are most prominent in meats and provide nutrition for the central nervous system.  However, balance is most important when consuming protein. Omega 3 and Protein are in all the meats, fish, and poultry, however the omega-3 is in higher amounts within certain fish (Anchovies, Sardines, Herring, Mackerel, Salmon) also easier to digest. Red meat can take 48-72 hours to digest, therefore a contributor to the aging process of the body as organs endure a work out to utilize and expel what is not needed. In many cases saturated fat is then deposited into the arteries and begin to engulf the organs.

Benefits of Fruits, Vegetables, Herbs, Spices, and Resveratrol

  1. S.A.D. shows that Americans consume only 205 calories or .08% of fruits and vegetables through out the day. (Eat the skin if not hard or bitter.)
  2. Those who follow the Mediterranean Diet are more likely to consume 400 calories or 22% of fruits and vegetables through out the day. Consuming wholesome nutrients found within natural wrappers provides the human body systems with vitamins and minerals that it needs to function daily.

    Free Radicals expedite the aging process by harming the cell membrane. Anti-oxidants neutralize the free radicals, and therefore protect all cell membranes. Eat a variety of colorful fruits, vegetables, herbs, and spices to keep your body loaded up on anti-oxidants.

Clinical trials are executing nutrition in plant extract form as a way of combatting disease and researching compounds that come from Mediterranean herbs and spices:

  • Basil / Bay Leaves:  Antibacterial, antiviral, and antioxidant properties. New evidence suggests basil can decrease carcinogenesis, and help protect against the proliferation of cervical cancer (HeLa cells).
  • Cardamom: Is loaded with anti oxidants that purge the body from free radicals that help prevent multiple forms of cancer. Found to be anti-proliferatvie, anti-invasive, anti-inflammatory, anti-angiogenic. Colon Cancer
  • Oregano: Has flavonoids and phenolic acids (antimicrobial properties) found to prevent colon cancer and restrict growth of malignant cancer cells
  • Rosemary: Aids in preventing oxidative stress which causes prostate and ovarian cancer

Studies have shown utilizing plant extracts from Mediterranean Spices that are linked to reduced incidents of cancer or arrested progression of cancer are:

  • Cinnamon / Cloves: Increased levels of iron and calcium are components that may be attributes of the anti carcinogenic, pro-apoptotic, anti-proliferative properties. Cervical Cancer, Colon Cancer.
  • Ginger: Has shown that it inhibits cancer cell growth in prostate cancer patients.
  • Sumac: Has both anti-oxidants and anti-microbial properties, preventing the on set of cancer.
  • Turmeric:  Contains anti-oxidant, anti-inflammatory, anti-viral, anti-bacterial, anti-fungal, and anti-carcinogenic activities and thus has a potential against various malignant diseases, diabetes, allergies, arthritis, Alzheimer’s disease, Breast Cancer, Colon Cancer and other chronic illnesses.  Plant based resveratrol is known to slow the aging process and is tested to see which cancers that it can prevent, arrest, and cure.  “Resveratrol (1 mg/kg orally) reduced the number and size of the esophageal tumors in rats treated with a carcinogen; and in several studies, small doses (0.02–8 mg/kg) of resveratrol, given prophylactically, reduced or prevented the development of intestinal and colon tumors in rats given different carcinogens. Similarly, topical application of resveratrol in mice, both before and after the UVB exposure, inhibited the skin damage and decreased skin cancer incidence.”

Add resveratrol to your meals, finding it within a variety of sources: purple grapes, cranberries, blueberries, peanuts, pomegranate and Italian Red Wine.

Making small dietary changes will promote overall health and reduce incidence of nutrition related disease and cancers, therefore leading to days of improved strength, stamina, and endurance.

By: Kimberly Crocker-Scardicchio

References

Heat Up & Cool Down! Foods to Add & Remove in Diet

Feeling ‘overheated’  emotionally or physically? Lack of daily movement or what you eat can both contribute to the sense of being warmer than usual.   Addressing the  behaviors that  lead to emotions of anger, depression and stress, all result in negatively heating the body. Headaches, sleepless nights, skin flare-ups, irritability are all examples of how the body heats up as a direct response to stress. Continuing on a declining path will create physical heath conditions: heart attack, stroke, cancer, etc.

Best Exercise for Managing Stress
Walking, swimming, bicycling, yoga and golf are good examples that contribute to relieving or cooling down an individual so that emotional stress is controlled through physical activity. Exercise  increases the endorphins within the brain so  the blood pumping, energy is restored and you will feel more focused.  It can be as simple as a 30 minutes of movement per day!

How Stress Affects Hormones
Choosing to stay on an unenthusiastic  cycle alternates both stress hormones adrenaline and cortisol and how they function in the body. Adrenaline and cortisol when adversely effected influence changes in our blood pressure and cholesterol levels, stimulating the ghrelin hormone (hunger) that promotes an excessive appetite and depresses the leptin hormone that signals satiety in the stomach!  Appetites have now been re-defined.

Foods that Promote Over-Eating
Avoid spices, condiments, drinks , and certain foods that promote over eating when facing stress: fried, greasy or oily foods, margarine, black pepper, chilies, cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger, garlic, onion, salad dressings, rosemary, white and brown sugar,  white flour, wine, beer, coffee.
Reduce amounts of:  salt, red meat, chicken (4 ounces 2-3 times a week),  cheese (1 oz q/day).  Poor quality fats clog arteries and lead  to heart disease. Calcium and magnesium uptake interference  can be altered by an excess of certain meats spices and drinks, having a negative effect on calming and cooling the body. A deficiency of magnesium leads to anxiety and hyperness.

Dietary Solution to Control Stress 
Fats in the diet must be high quality in order to maintain healthy organs and vascular system, use: fish oils, extra virgin olive, grape seed, flax seed , almond oils. Introduce foods that promote calcium, magnesium absorption, anti-oxidants and polyphenols.
Best food preparation: Grilled, Braised, lightly boiled (7 minutes), steamed.
Consume raw vegetables, fruits (remove citrus fruits if they create digestive problems), berries, nuts, whole grains, yogurt and seafood. Include salads, melons, cucumbers and bitter greens (broccoli, arugula, celery dandelion, basil, parsley, cilantro) which are full of water and needed for calming and cooling the body. Eat plants that are in season for optimal nutrition. Consider pomegranates as way to intake resveratrol protein which helps raise HDL cholesterol and reduce red wine intake. Add decaffeinated black, green and white teas as a way to hydrate and include anti-oxidants and reduce caffeine.

Daily and Weekly Diet
Consuming breakfast is critical for energy and initiating the metabolism and should not be skipped. 5-6 small meals are necessary for proper maintenance of a healthy individual, light evening meals eaten 4 hours before bedtime to optimize a restful sleep.  Daily intake of  nutrition should include: 4 servings of fruit, 5 servings of vegetables, 1 ounce (28 g) cheese,  3-4 weekly servings fish, 2 weekly servings meat, multi-grain breads, pasta rice, 1-2 servings soy or lowfat milk, 6 cups water (250 ml).

By incorporating a healthy diet and managing stress through exercise hormonal balance can be achieved. While the initial steps can be put into place by you, communicate any dietary or physical activity changes to your doctor so that your overall health can be observed and guided as needed.

By: Kim Crocker

Turmeric & Saffron to Cleanse & Heal Body

Turmeric cleanses the body

Go for it….Spice up your life!  Scientific research has revealed what the people of India have known for centuries! Turmeric and Saffron, whether combined with pharmaceuticals, or taken by themselves, cleanse the skin and cure what ails you; both spices functioning as natures prized antibiotics.

Turmeric and its cousin Saffron contain a polyphenol called “curcumin”, an  antioxidant that is associated with reducing nutrition related pathologies. They are bland tasting, turmeric has a rich yellow color that we associate with “Curry”  and saffron is orange and string-like. These wonderful seasonings are slowly taking on the health importance that they deserve.

Studies have determined that “Curcumin” impacts health as an: “antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, antiviral, antibacterial, antifungal, and anticancer activities and thus has a potential against various malignant diseases, diabetes, allergies, arthritis, Alzheimer’s disease, and other chronic illnesses.

The positive impact of the medicinal properties are mediated through the regulation of various:  transcription factors, growth factors, inflammatory cytokines, protein kinases, and other enzymes”, states The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center. They further attest curcumin to be the “Spice of Life” saying that, “Curcumin exhibits activities similar to recently discovered tumor necrosis factor blockers (e.g., HUMIRA, REMICADE, and ENBREL), a vascular endothelial cell growth factor blocker (e.g., AVASTIN), human epidermal growth factor receptor blockers (e.g., ERBITUX, ERLOTINIB, and GEFTINIB), and a HER2 blocker (e.g., HERCEPTIN).”   All evidenced in the country of India which has been duly of having lower occurrences of heart disease and cancer.

Saffron comes from the crocus flower

Many comparisons have shown that individuals who leave India are diagnosed with a health disease, not otherwise documented in previous family history, after moving into a western society.  Duly noted, the main difference in dietary intake was a lower to “no” amounts of turmeric being consumed in their meals.

Turmeric is not as costly as saffron and is readily available with other herbs and seasonings in stores, or in 300 mg capsule form in the vitamin and mineral grocery isle.

Introducing turmeric into meal preparation is very easy to do. 1 teaspoon added to rice, pasta, potato’s, soups and vegetables are good ways to switch from the salt shaker to a healthier spice that heals and makes your body work and function better. Saffron is more costly and commonly used in the Italian dish Risotto Milanese, however, it also provides the same healing benefit as its close relative.

MANY HOME REMEDIES USING TURMERIC

  • With a few grains, turmeric’s antiseptic properties help to heal cuts, wounds, kitchen burns and abrasions. Make a paste of Turmeric and Raw Honey; 1 teaspoon honey and 1 teaspoon turmeric.  Adjust amount to wound, apply to wound and cover with a gauze. 3 x’s/day.
  • Gently rub a small dusting of turmeric onto area of face to reduce facial hair growth. Massage into skin with a dampened tea bag.
  • A mixture of 1 teaspoon turmeric and 1/4 cup yogurt rubbed onto the abdomen to reduce stretch marks during pregnancy. Rinse off after 5 minutes.
  • Added 1/4 teaspoon to individual meals through out the day, keeps various diseases a bay.
  • Mixture of 1/4 teaspoon turmeric, 1/8 teaspoon salt and 1/2 teaspoon mustard oil rubbed into gums to combat gum infections. Rinse with warm water.
  • Accredited for reducing anemia and sore throats by eating a paste made of 1 teaspoon raw honey & 1/4 teaspoon of turmeric. 3 x’s/day.
  • Stop diarrhea by drinking, 1/4 teaspoon turmeric to 1 glass of water
  • Sick with an infection? Combine: glass of milk  and stir in 1/2 teaspoon turmeric , 1 teaspoon honey. Drink this natural antibiotic 2 times a day.
  • Medicinal use for pathologies have duly noted an intake of 1-2 teaspoons of turmeric  3x’s a day inhibits growth of tumors, improves function of pancreas, reduces incidence of heart attack.
  • Combat GERD or “Acid Reflux” by consuming 1/8 teaspoon turmeric (a 300 mg capsule) before dinner. Also consider Fast Relief: Fennel Seeds Combat Digestive Problems and

Gas Pains Drink Lemon Water

  • Heal Acne by combining in a bowl 1/2 tsp water, 1/4 tsp turmeric and 1/8 tsp salt. With a cotton ball gently dab a small amount of  paste onto acne and allow skin to absorb ingredients overnight. In the morning, gently cleanse to remove and refresh skin.
For modern western medicine practices, the excitement around the ancient asian spices brings hope on the horizon for how meal preparation can enhance an individuals overall health. The many benefits of polyphenol curcumin are continuously being researched: Inflammation, Arthritis, Irritated Bowel Syndrome, Kidney Disease etc. Present studies  have shown that curcumin inhibits the proliferation of tumor cells in cultures, human and animal studies. Curcumin’s many strengths and limitations are being seriously explored and are bringing new opportunities to healing ones body.
By, Kim Crocker-Scardicchio
Recipes

Lentil Soup
Replace the Salt Shaker
Chicken Curry
Pork or Beef Roast with Vegetables
Risotto Milanese
Spices to Lower Inflammation
Health Benefits of Saffron

References
 1.  Food Chem Toxicol. 2011 Aug;49(8):1834-42. Epub 2011 May 6.
 Safety Assessment of a Solid Lipid Curcumin Particle Preparation: Acute and Subchronic Toxicity Studies.
 Dadhaniya PPatel CMuchhara JBhadja NMathuria NVachhani K Soni MG.
 Pre-Clinical Department, Cadila Pharmaceuticals Ltd., Dholka 387 810, India.
 website:  http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed?term=benefits%20turmeric%20body
2  .Best Pract Res Clin Gastroenterol. 2011 Aug;25(4-5):519-34.
 Curcumin: The Potential for Efficacy in Gastrointestinal Diseases.
 Irving GRKarmokar ABerry DPBrown KSteward University of Leicester, Department of Cancer Studies, Room 503, Robert Kilpatrick Clinical Sciences Building, Leicester Royal Infirmary, Leicester LE2 7LX, UK.
 website:  http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/22122768
3. J Fam Pract. 2011 Mar;60(3):155-6.
 Clinical Inquiry. Does turmeric relieve inflammatory conditions?
 White BJudkins DZ.
 Oregon Health & Science University, Family Medicine, Portland, USA.
 website:  http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/21369559
4.  Anticancer Agents Med Chem. 2011 Oct 25. [Epub ahead of print]
 Curcumin and its Formulations: Potential Anti-Cancer Agents
 Zhu HLJi JLHuang XF
 zhuhl@nju.edu.cn.    http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/22044005
5. Nutr Cancer. 2010;62(7):919-30.
 Curcumin, the golden spice from Indian saffron, is a chemosensitizer and radiosensitizer for tumors and chemoprotector and radioprotector for normal organs.
 Goel A
 Aggarwal BB
 Department of Internal Medicine, Baylor University Medical Center, Dallas, Texas, USA.
6. Curcumin; Indian Solid Gold http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/17569205

The Olive Tree

A handful of olives each day improves the health of the body.

The history of the sacred olive tree’s goodness extends from peace offerings between “The Powers” of countries and cities, to its fruit’s medicinal benefits.  Before presenting how the olive is processed, enjoy some trivia on the olive tree and it’s influence on society.

  1. Genesis states that Noah received an olive branch from a dove once the flood waters receded. Christians continue with the tradition of exchanging small olive branches as a sign of peace one week before Easter.
  2. The name Athena is said to bare the name of the Olive Tree with the Olympic Crown being made of olive branches.
  3. Olympians  and other individuals used olive oil to make their skin more supple.
  4. Extra Virgin Olive Oil (EVOO) is used as a medicine in order to improve healthy cholesterol (HDL) and reduce the bad cholesterol (LDL). The quality of nutrient’s work as a hammer and chisel, helping to reduce plaque build up in veins and arteries.
  5. Thousands of  years of history and research have shown the importance of olive oil. World history indicates that in 2000 b.c. Egyptian’s imported Olive Oil from Crete, Syria and Canaan.

Generations of farmers and their  knowledge on handling of the fruit is passed down through time and right to our kitchens where the tree of life provides us with vitamins and minerals that satisfy our bodies keeping them healthy and strong.

EVOO a.k.a. Liquid Gold

Homer called it “Liquid Gold” and so the name stuck since Greek times. Extra Virgin Olive Oil, a name from “Oleum” (oil ) Gk and “Elaion” (olive tree ) Gk, originates from “El’yon” (meaning superior) Gk. Todays largest producers of Olive Oil are: Spain, Italy and Greece. Spain & Italy perform multiple presses on olives, while Greece is the number one  producer of Extra Virgin Olive Oil (a single first press).

Olive trees are pruned yearly. The height of fruit production is 20-25 years per branch and then it is removed. By alternating the cultivation of branch shoots, olive trees can live 300-600 years.

Olives await their press

In late fall and early winter, large nets are spread around the tree, olives are combed from the branches with rakes, combs or shakers, then placed into a large wagon. They await their press within the first 24 hours of being collected. The olives are removed from the wagon and elevated into a wash bin, separated from leaves and insects, ready for press.

Old olive press

Olive presses have evolved over time! Two stone wheels once stood vertically to each other with a large pole balancing them in the center. A donkey was roped onto the pole and would walk in circles, causing the wheel to rotate and press the olives, resulting in a beautiful green ribbon oil streaming from the attached siphon. Archaeologists found 100 olive oil presses dating back to 1600 b.c. in “the fertile crescent”, the stomping grounds of Lebanon, Israel and Palestine. The ancient presses would have produced between 1,000 to 3,000 tons of olive oil per season.

Once in press, the water and oil are separated from the olive.

Today olives are more easily pressed with their oil extracted and water being separated from the fruit. There are 3 presses performed on a single olive in modern times. Description of “Cold Press Oil” is reference to when the olives were obtained and pressed; November-January for most countries north of the equator! Looking through the screen, one can observe the pressing of the olives! The filaments are an earth color, soon to come out yellow-green as the pits and olive skin are sorted from the oil.

Olives endure 3 presses. The virgin press has the highest quality of nutrients and is dark yellow-green in color.

Extra Virgin Olive Oil has a color of dark yellow-green and holds a superior quality in vitamins and minerals. It is preferred to NOT HEAT EVOO, but instead use it on fresh on salads, vegetables and breads. Second press, a pale yellow oil, is used for low-heat sautéing of garlic & onion, a precedent to sauce making. Third press, yields clear oil, considered a poor quality with very few nutrients, often combined with a pat of butter for frying. Understanding olive oil and how or why it is used in various recipes provides one an opportunity to achieve the best dietary results in keeping a  family healthy.

1 serving a vegetables= 4 olives. Replace butter intake with EVOO to improve skin

Europe has many wonderful olive orchards.  A special thanks to Villa Maiano (Florence, Italy) and an opportunity to visit to their Olive Orchard and access to their farm.  http://www.fattoriadimaian​o.com/en/

Recipes

Recipes for Extra Virgin Olive Oil (EVOO)
DRESSING or DIP:

  • Whisk together 1 Tbsp EVOO, 1/2 Tbsp balsamic Vinegar, pinch of salt and pepper, 1 tsp parmesan cheese and serve on baguette or salad.
  • Vegetable salad. 1 tomato diced, 1 cucumber peeled and diced, olives, 1/2 c. arugula leaves. Combine with 1 Tbsp EVOO, pinch of pepper and oregano.
  • Salmon and Mozzarella
  • Cucumber Guacamole Dip

Recipes for Second Press Olive Oil

Recipes for Third Press or Light Olive Oil

OLIVE OIL can be used by itself  in place of facial creams.  Please read more and learn how to save money be making your own home remedy; a daily application before bed time is enough to improve skin.  Home Remedy Facial! Stimulate Your Skins Collagen & Elastin
Written by Kimberly Crocker Scardicchio

Chard & Beans served with Sausage

Grilling tonight?  Try this Swiss Chard and Bean dish by itself , or served with grilled bread or sausage!

Sausage with Beans and Chard

SWISS CHARD is a power packed vegetable loaded with vitamins & minerals.  Looking for a great way to increase your calcium intake without drinking milk?   Try including Swiss Chard in your weekly diet!  Milk is a common way to ensure adequate calcium. However, swiss chard is a good substitute. One cup of chard has about 35% of the calcium (and only 35 calories) as one cup of 2% milk. Other nutrients include Vitamin K and A, Iron, Magnesium, Potassium and Zinc.
Chard is a relative of beets and spinach. It has a slightly bitter and salty flavor that becomes stronger as the leaves mature. Avoid brown or wilted leaves or leaves with small holes. To preserve freshness, store unused chard in a plastic bag in the refrigerator.

Grilled Sausage with Beans and Chard

  Serves 4-6.  Cooking time 25 min.’s

Ingredients
1 pound Chard each leaf cut into 4 pieces.
1/3 c. Olive Oil
2 Garlic Cloves peeled
1/4 tsp Red Pepper Flakes
4-6 cups Boiled Cannellini Beans
Salt
1/4 tsp Nutmeg

Sliced toasted or grilled Ciabatta Bread or sliced baguette .

Directions:  To remove bitterness from leaves, fill a pan with 6 cups of water and bring to a boil. Add 1 Tbsp salt and cut chard leaves. Boil for 7 minutes. Remove from oven and empty contents of pan into a colander. Allow water to drain from chard for 1 minute. In a frying pan on medium heat add olive oil, garlic and red pepper flakes, allow to saute` for 3 minutes.
Remove pan from heat and Add  the Chard and with 2 forks work Chard into the oil for 1 minute. Return pan to  heat and allow to cook for 3 minutes.
Add beans to  chard in frying pan.  Add 1 tsp salt and nutmeg, allow to continue to cook together for 3 minutes.

Best when served on a grilled piece of bread and topped off with extra virgin olive oil.  Absolutely delicious when served with sausage on the side.

Pomegranate Health Benefits

Pomegranate Seeds NutritionThe pomegranate fruit is obtained from a tree  that is originally native to the Southwest Asia and is cultivated since centuries together. Pomegranate is widely cultivated throughout the Afghanistan, Iran, Azerbaijan, Armenia, Turkey, East Indies, Malaysia, tropical Africa and southeast Asia. Later on, it was also introduced to the US and Latin America. The fruit is typically available from November to February (in the northern hemisphere), while in southern hemisphere, it seasons from March to May. There are more than 750 species that are observed and cultivated all over the world for various purposes from eating to forming pomegranate juice.  The name pomegranate literally means “the apple with many seeds”. The number of seeds in a single fruit varies from 300-1000.

Pomegranate tree can live up to many years, which is an advantage for the pomegranate growers. This way, it enhances the outdoor decoration of the house with additional fruits provided. The fruit of pomegranate is ruby colored with many seeds that are both juicy and citrus in flavor. Pomegranate seeds nutrition facts are just numerous and therefore, pomegranate seeds are used for many purposes from ancient times.

Health Benefits of Pomegranate Seeds
Often called as super fruit, the invaluable pomegranate seeds are loaded with numerous antioxidant properties that are said to be three times higher than the green tea. As we know, antioxidants are very important to control the free radicals from the body that can cause several troubles to the body. Antioxidants also maintain and repair the damaged body cells.  Pomegranate is high in vitamin C, vitamin A, folic acid, vitamin E , fiber, potassium, iron and calcium.

This ‘magic fruit’ is a bliss for the heart health, as regular intake of pomegranate seeds or pomegranate juice promotes:
Cardio health and reduces risk of strokes and heart attacks.
Contributes to proper thinning of the blood, reduce blood pressure levels, increase blood flow towards heart.                 Maintains good cholesterol levels (so that HDL cholesterol is elevated) and reduces arterial plaques.
Reduces symptoms of:
Anemia (add 1 tsp of cinnamon & honey to 1 cup of 100 % Pomegranate Juice)
Arthritis
Osteoporosis
Skin allergies
Skin disorders
Urinary tract infections
Wheezing linked to asthma
Sore throats
Tapeworms
Digestive disorders
Blood impurities
Anemia
Diabetes
Read on for health benefits of pomegranate juice.

Researchers are carefully observing the effects of pomegranate juice and prostate cancer as well as skin cancer. There are numerous products that are used by the pomegranate seeds including: pomegranate seed oil , pomegranate dietary supplements, pomegranate extracts and pomegranate concentrated juice.

Due to the polyphenols (anti oxidant) within this wonderful fruit it’s nutrition promotes anti inflammatory effects which strengthens the immune system, wound repair and reduces skin wrinkling making it’s derivites the most sought after when addressing skin remedies.

Eat, Drink and Enjoy!

RECIPE

Pomegranate Apple Salad

Red seeds from a Pomegranate
1 Apple diced (remove core)
1/4 c. Feta Cheese crumbled (optional)
Lettuce Leaves: Endive, Rucula  (Arugula), Spinach, Green Leaf Lettuce. Tear into bite size.
Dressing
1/3 c Extra Virgin Olive Oil
2 Tbsp Balsamic Vinegar
1/2 tsp salt
1/8 tsp pepper
1 Tbsp Parmesan Cheese grated

Wash Pomegranate, Apple and Lettuce leaves. Over a salad bowl cut Pomegranate into quarter pieces, invert each piece so that the skin is push inward and the seeds com outward. Seeds will easily come out. Make sure to remove white pith that the seeds are attached to, discard pith. Cut apple in half, remove and discard seeds. Cut apple into chunks place into bowl. Add feta cheese and lettuce into salad to salad bowl.
Toss well so that all ingredients are incorporated.

Place all Dressing ingredients into a bottle or bowl, cover tightly, shake ingredients so that they are well combined. Pour dressing onto salad 5-10 minutes before serving.

Teas Elevate Health Benefits

“Kava kava Tea has been used to treat anxiety/nervous disorders, migraines, hyperactivity in children, insomnia, menstrual cramps, UTI and bladder problems.  Kava was used by the Germans in the 1890s for pharmaceuticals relating to blood pressure; before then, it was utilized by the Polynesians”.

Today, Kava is used as a non-addictive way to sooth nerves and relax. In , small recommended doses, no side effects have been found for Kava. However, large dosages of Kava can have a sedative effect, which means that one should avoid alcohol, driving, and operating heavy machinery when taking heavy amounts. Talk to your doctor before consuming Kava tea if you have liver disease.

The “kava” lactones, which are the plant chemicals that produce the desired effects, have been studied in the use of relaxing stiff muscles by blocking signals in the user’s nerves.”

Additional safety studies have been done on Kava.  Negative research has been denounced by Polynesian countries who have used  the plant’s health benefit’s for 3000 years.  Leading others to put into question how the plant is processed and sold  in such countries as Germany and Switzerland.  It should also be noted that the Polynesian lifestyle has been recognized for their longevity, to which Kava has been a contributing factor.

Black Tea  is grown from a tree in higher elevations of China, India, Japan, Sri Lanka. The healing benefits of  black tea has been used throughout history for medicinal purposes. It helps relieve diarrhea, lowers cholesterol levels and helps prevent tooth decay. The tea has a therapeutic effect on gastric and intestinal illnesses because of its tannins. To get the maximum benefit for diarrhea let the tea steep for a full 15 minutes.

Black teaimproves circulation,  by opening the capillaries and normalizing blood pressure (bp).  Benefits are noticed by simply drinking 2 cups of black tea 2x’s a day for 3 weeks.  Additional benefits are contributed to the theophylline in black tea that helps improve cholesterol levels. It also has been known to expand the airways, improving on easier breathing for asthmatics.  Black tea also helps with preventing tooth decay due to the Fluoride, a trace element found in black tea, which strengthens tooth enamel.

Oolong Tea  is made by allowing the raw leaves to sun-wilted and bruise, which exposes their juices to the air, so the leaves oxidise and start to turn brown like a cut fruit. They oxidise only partially, giving them a rich, floral flavour. The tea is then dried fully; locking in the rich flavors that oolong tea is known to offer. Oolong’s unique drying process creates a tea that has many metabolic stimulating attributes, therefore, it comes in a wide range of tastes and aromas from teas very close in taste to green tea to those very close to black tea.

Health Benefits

Oolong tea burns over 157% more fat than Green Tea and has become the most popular tea designed to accelerate weigh loss!!!  Drinking two cups of Oolong tea every day helps shed stubborn pounds by boosting your metabolism and blocking the fattening effects of carbohydrates.

Large quantities of polyphenol in Oolong tea:

  • • promotes strong, healthy teeth;
    • improves cognitive functioning and mental well-being;
    • preventing eczema, allergies
    • clarifies your skin, giving it a healthy, radiant glow and
    • strengthens your immune system.
  • Studies show in Japan and USA that it may be an effective adjunct to treating Type 2 Diabetes.

Only three teas have been discussed, however, many varieties are known to bring a wide range of health benefits.  Try ending your day by unwinding with a cup of Chamomile tea.

By: Kimberly Crocker

Literature Research

  • Safety of Kava
  • Anon. FDA Issues Warning on Kava Suplement. St. Louis Post-Dispatch, March 26, 2002.
  • Anon. Kava Use Not Linked to Liver Damage, Report Says. Vitamin Retailer, April 2002.
  • Anon. NNFA Releases Expert Analysis of Kava Safety. Whole Foods, April 2002.
  • Blumenthal, Mark. The Safety of Kava Questioned. Whole Foods, March 2002.
  • Duke, James A. Dr. Duke’s Essential Herbs. New York: St. Martin’s Paperbacks. 2001.

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