Mango fruit nutrition facts

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“The king of the fruits,” mango fruit is one of the most popular, nutritionally rich fruits with unique flavor, fragrance, taste, and heath promoting qualities, making it numero-uno among new functional foods, often labeled as “super fruits.”

Mango is one of the delicious seasonal fruits grown in the tropics. The tree is believed to be originating in the sub-Himalayan plains of Indian subcontinent. Botanically, this exotic fruit belongs within the family ofAnacardiaceae, a family that also includes numerous species of tropical-fruiting trees in the flowering plants such as cashew, pistachio,…etc.

Health benefits of Mangoes

  • Mango fruit is rich in pre-biotic dietary fiber, vitamins, minerals, and poly-phenolic flavonoid antioxidant compounds.
  • According to new research study, mango fruit has been found to protect against colon, breast, leukemia and prostate cancers. Several trial studies suggest that polyphenolic anti-oxidant compounds in mango are known to offer protection against breast and colon cancers.
  • Mango fruit is an excellent source of Vitamin-A and flavonoids like beta-carotene, alpha-carotene, andbeta-cryptoxanthin. 100 g of fresh fruit provides 765 IU or 25% of recommended daily levels of vitamin-A. Together; these compounds have been known to have antioxidant properties and are essential for vision. Vitamin A is also required for maintaining healthy mucus membranes and skin. Consumption of natural fruits rich in carotenes is known to protect the body from lung and oral cavity cancers.
  • Fresh mango is a good source of potassium. 100 g fruit provides 156 mg of potassium while just 2 mg of sodium. Potassium is an important component of cell and body fluids that helps controlling heart rate and blood pressure.
  • It is also a very good source of vitamin-B6 (pyridoxine), vitamin-C and vitamin-E. Consumption of foods rich in vitamin C helps the body develop resistance against infectious agents and scavenge harmful oxygen-free radicals. Vitamin B-6 or pyridoxine is required for GABA hormone production within the brain. It also controls homocystiene levels within the blood, which may otherwise be harmful to blood vessels resulting in CAD, and stroke.
  • Further, it composes moderate amounts of copper. Copper is a co-factor for many vital enzymes, including cytochrome c-oxidase and superoxide dismutase (other minerals function as co-factors for this enzyme are manganese and zinc). Copper is also required for the production of red blood cells.
  • Additionally, mango peel is also rich in phytonutrients, such as the pigment antioxidants like carotenoids and polyphenols.

Birkenstock Shoes

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The Health Benefits Birkenstock Shoes

Birkenstock shoes certainly have a standard of their very own. They are the only real shoe that men, women and youngsters wear around the world. If you were to take a journey around the globe you would see that lots of people choose to wear the fantastic brand of Birkenstock shoes, from sandals to clogs.

Why you may ask? People love to choose Birkenstocks because of their incredible comfort and health benefits. Think of Birkenstocks as a functioning shoe, orthopedically designed and built to provide comfort and support that other shoes simply cannot equal.

As you may or may not know, your foot has four arches (the medial, lateral, metatarsal and transverse, to be precise). Take a look at a Birkenstock footbed. Those rolling contours you see support each and every one of your arches, along with all twenty-six bones; fifty-six ligaments and eight major muscles that also reside in the human foot. Think about what your footprint looks like in the sand, then look again at our footbed – starting to get the picture?

Birkenstock shoes are made of cork and natural latex, and contoured in the shape of a healthy foot. These contours ensure proper weight distribution with raised arches to help support the foot’s natural shape and structure. The toe bar allows the toes to grip and flex, stimulating circulation, exercising the legs, and helping to maintain balance. The deep heel cup keeps the foot’s natural padding under the heel to provide stability.
As a result of these factors, the correct bones bear the weight of the body to keep the spine and legs in perfect alignment.

There are many health benefits related to certain types of shoes. These benefits can be enjoyed through a pair of Birkenstock shoes. For years, these shoes have been considered trendy offerings; they are unique shoes that offer the most health benefits than any other shoe on Planet Earth.

These benefits help people who have existing problems with pain. If you are currently dealing with pain, your shoe choice is important, it doesn’t matter, what type of pain you are suffering, some issues are more challenging than others. Some shoes work to help reduce painful conditions, whereas other shoes are more of a preventative tool. Many wearers of Birkenstock consider these shoes to assist with both, reducing pain and preventing pain. Below we discuss two of the most significant health benefits of Birkenstock shoes:

Relieves Heal Pain

Plantar Fasciitis is a painful inflammatory condition of the foot and is common amongst people with very flat feet or very high arches. The condition often results in a heel spur on the calcaneus, in which case it is the underlying condition, and not the spur itself, which produces the pain. Plantar Fasciitis pain usually is felt on the underside of the heel, and is often most intense with the first steps of the day. You’re more likely to get the condition if you’re a woman, if you’re overweight, or if you have a job that requires a lot of walking or standing on hard surfaces. Slipping your feet into a pair of Birkenstock sandals will provide superb arch support and take the stress off of the plantar fascia (the thick connective tissue which supports the arch).

Improves Posture and Reduces Back Pain

Correct posture is a must to reduce back pain, foot and leg discomfort. Good posture can also make a person look slimmer and fitter. From a medical standpoint, good posture is a key to distributing gravity’s effects on the body and its weight-bearing joints. This creates a more efficient way of moving and minimizes fatigue when standing. Poor posture causes the body to be less resistant to stresses and strains, and in the long term can create permanent health defects. Shoes play a huge role in posture!

To promote better posture it is necessary to ensure that a person stands and walks with the weight better distributed across the entire foot. Birkenstock shoes are designed with the ball slightly higher than usual which forces more weight onto the heel. This will create better overall weight distribution and proper walking conditions, encouraging better posture which in turn will reduce and prevent back aches.

Birkenstock offers people many different styles of shoes to choose from and can be found in many trendy colours. You will be able to choose shoes that are perfect for work or for casual occasions. People who wear Birkenstock shoes enjoy the diversity of products – there are a variety of shoes for men, women and children to choose from. If you are concerned about your posture or the health of your feet, contact Natural Shoes today. Birkenstocks are an investment that will keep your feet happy and body pain-free for years to come.

10 Proven Health Benefits of Turmeric and Curcumin

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Turmeric may be the most effective nutritional supplement in existence.

Many high quality studies show that it has major benefits for your body and brain.

Here are the top 10 evidence-based health benefits of turmeric.

1. Turmeric Contains Bioactive Compounds With Powerful Medicinal Properties

Turmeric is the spice that gives curry its yellow color.

It has been used in India for thousands of years as a spice and medicinal herb.

Recently, science has started to back up what the Indians have known for a long time… it really does contain compounds with medicinal properties (1).

These compounds are called curcuminoids, the most important of which is curcumin.

Curcumin is the main active ingredient in turmeric. It has powerful anti-inflammatory effects and is a very strong antioxidant.

However, the curcumin content of turmeric is not that high… it’s around 3%, by weight (2).

Most of the studies on this herb are using turmeric extracts that contain mostly curcumin itself, with dosages usually exceeding 1 gram per day. It would be very difficult to reach these levels just using the turmeric spice in your foods.

Therefore, if you want to experience the full effects, then you need to take an extractthat contains significant amounts of curcumin.

Unfortunately, curcumin is poorly absorbed into the bloodstream. It helps to consume black pepper with it, which contains piperine… a natural substance that enhances the absorption of curcumin by 2000% (3).

I personally prefer to swallow a few whole peppercorns along with my curcumin supplement, in order to enhance absorption.

Curcumin is also fat soluble, so it may be a good idea to take it with a fatty meal.

Bottom Line: Turmeric is high in curcumin, a substance with powerful anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties. Most studies used turmeric extracts that are standardized to include large amounts of curcumin.

2. Curcumin is a Natural Anti-Inflammatory Compound

Turmeric in Wooden Bowl

Inflammation is incredibly important.

It helps the body fight foreign invaders and also has a role in repairing damage.

Without inflammation, pathogens like bacteria could easily take over our bodies and kill us.

Although acute (short-term) inflammation is beneficial, it can become a major problem when it is chronic (long-term) and inappropriately deployed against the body’s own tissues.

It is now believed that chronic, low-level inflammation plays a major role in almost every chronic, Western disease. This includes heart disease, cancer, metabolic syndrome, Alzheimer’s and various degenerative conditions (456).

Therefore, anything that can help fight chronic inflammation is of potential importance in preventing and even treating these diseases.

It turns out that curcumin is strongly anti-inflammatory, it is so powerful that it matches the effectiveness of some anti-inflammatory drugs (7).

Curcumin actually targets multiple steps in the inflammatory pathway, at the molecular level.

Curcumin blocks NF-kB, a molecule that travels into the nuclei of cells and turns on genes related to inflammation. NF-kB is believed to play a major role in many chronic diseases (89).

Without getting into the gory details (inflammation is extremely complicated), the key takeaway here is that curcumin is a bioactive substance that fights inflammation at the molecular level (101112).

In several studies, its potency has compared favorably to anti-inflammatory pharmaceutical drugs… except without the side effects (1314).

Bottom Line: Chronic inflammation is known to be a contributor to many common Western diseases. Curcumin can inhibit many molecules known to play major roles in inflammation.

3. Turmeric Dramatically Increases The Antioxidant Capacity of The Body

Turmeric in Bowl and Spoon

Oxidative damage is believed to be one of the mechanisms behind ageing and many diseases.

It involves free radicals, highly reactive molecules with unpaired electrons.

Free radicals tend to react with important organic substances, such as fatty acids,proteins or DNA.

The main reason antioxidants are so beneficial, is that they protect our bodies from free radicals.

Curcumin happens to be a potent antioxidant that can neutralize free radicals due to its chemical structure (1516).

But curcumin also boosts the activity of the body’s own antioxidant enzymes (1718,19).

In that way, curcumin delivers a one-two punch against free radicals. It blocks them directly, then stimulates the body’s own antioxidant mechanisms.

Bottom Line: Curcumin has powerful antioxidant effects. It neutralizes free radicals on its own, then stimulates the body’s own antioxidant enzymes.

10 Proven Health Benefits of Turmeric and Curcumin

Young Indian Woman Holding SpicesTurmeric may be the most effective nutritional supplement in existence.

Many high quality studies show that it has major benefits for your body and brain.

Here are the top 10 evidence-based health benefits of turmeric.

1. Turmeric Contains Bioactive Compounds With Powerful Medicinal Properties

Turmeric is the spice that gives curry its yellow color.

It has been used in India for thousands of years as a spice and medicinal herb.

Recently, science has started to back up what the Indians have known for a long time… it really does contain compounds with medicinal properties (1).

These compounds are called curcuminoids, the most important of which is curcumin.

Curcumin is the main active ingredient in turmeric. It has powerful anti-inflammatory effects and is a very strong antioxidant.

However, the curcumin content of turmeric is not that high… it’s around 3%, by weight (2).

Most of the studies on this herb are using turmeric extracts that contain mostly curcumin itself, with dosages usually exceeding 1 gram per day. It would be very difficult to reach these levels just using the turmeric spice in your foods.

Therefore, if you want to experience the full effects, then you need to take an extractthat contains significant amounts of curcumin.

Unfortunately, curcumin is poorly absorbed into the bloodstream. It helps to consume black pepper with it, which contains piperine… a natural substance that enhances the absorption of curcumin by 2000% (3).

I personally prefer to swallow a few whole peppercorns along with my curcumin supplement, in order to enhance absorption.

Curcumin is also fat soluble, so it may be a good idea to take it with a fatty meal.

Bottom Line: Turmeric is high in curcumin, a substance with powerful anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties. Most studies used turmeric extracts that are standardized to include large amounts of curcumin.

2. Curcumin is a Natural Anti-Inflammatory Compound

Turmeric in Wooden Bowl

Inflammation is incredibly important.

It helps the body fight foreign invaders and also has a role in repairing damage.

Without inflammation, pathogens like bacteria could easily take over our bodies and kill us.

Although acute (short-term) inflammation is beneficial, it can become a major problem when it is chronic (long-term) and inappropriately deployed against the body’s own tissues.

It is now believed that chronic, low-level inflammation plays a major role in almost every chronic, Western disease. This includes heart disease, cancer, metabolic syndrome, Alzheimer’s and various degenerative conditions (456).

Therefore, anything that can help fight chronic inflammation is of potential importance in preventing and even treating these diseases.

It turns out that curcumin is strongly anti-inflammatory, it is so powerful that it matches the effectiveness of some anti-inflammatory drugs (7).

Curcumin actually targets multiple steps in the inflammatory pathway, at the molecular level.

Curcumin blocks NF-kB, a molecule that travels into the nuclei of cells and turns on genes related to inflammation. NF-kB is believed to play a major role in many chronic diseases (89).

Without getting into the gory details (inflammation is extremely complicated), the key takeaway here is that curcumin is a bioactive substance that fights inflammation at the molecular level (101112).

In several studies, its potency has compared favorably to anti-inflammatory pharmaceutical drugs… except without the side effects (1314).

Bottom Line: Chronic inflammation is known to be a contributor to many common Western diseases. Curcumin can inhibit many molecules known to play major roles in inflammation.

3. Turmeric Dramatically Increases The Antioxidant Capacity of The Body

Turmeric in Bowl and Spoon

Oxidative damage is believed to be one of the mechanisms behind ageing and many diseases.

It involves free radicals, highly reactive molecules with unpaired electrons.

Free radicals tend to react with important organic substances, such as fatty acids,proteins or DNA.

The main reason antioxidants are so beneficial, is that they protect our bodies from free radicals.

Curcumin happens to be a potent antioxidant that can neutralize free radicals due to its chemical structure (1516).

But curcumin also boosts the activity of the body’s own antioxidant enzymes (1718,19).

In that way, curcumin delivers a one-two punch against free radicals. It blocks them directly, then stimulates the body’s own antioxidant mechanisms.

Bottom Line: Curcumin has powerful antioxidant effects. It neutralizes free radicals on its own, then stimulates the body’s own antioxidant enzymes.

4. Curcumin Boosts Brain-Derived Neurotrophic Factor, Linked to Improved Brain Function and a Lower Risk of Brain Diseases

Okra nutrition facts

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Okra, also known as “lady finger”, is one of the popular nutritious vegetables of North-Eastern Africa origin. They usually gathered while the pods are green, tender, and at immature stage. The plant is cultivated throughout the tropical and warm temperate regions around the world for their fibrous fruits or “pods.” It grows best in well-drained and manure rich soil.

Botanically, okra is a perennial flowering plant belongs to the Malvaceae (mallows) family, and named scientifically as Abelmoschus esculentus.

The okra plant bears numerous dark green colored pods measuring about 5-15 cm in length. It takes about 45-60 days to get ready-to-harvest fruits. Internally, the pods feature small, round, mucilaginous white colored seeds arranged in vertical rows. The pods are handpicked while just short of reaching maturity and eaten as a vegetable.

Health benefits of Okra

  • The pods are among the very low calorie vegetables. They provide just 30 calories per 100 g, besides containing no saturated fats or cholesterol. Nonetheless, they are rich sources of dietary fiber, minerals, and vitamins; often recommended by nutritionists in cholesterol controlling and weight reduction programs.
  • The pods are one of the rich sources of mucilage substance that help in smooth peristalsis of digested food through the gut and ease constipation condition.
  • The pods contain healthy amounts of vitamin A, and flavonoid anti-oxidants such as beta-carotene, xanthin and lutein. It is one of the vegetables with highest levels of these anti-oxidants. These compounds are known to have antioxidant properties and are essential for vision. Vitamin A is also required for maintaining healthy mucus membranes and skin. Consumption of natural vegetables and fruits rich in flavonoids helps to protect from lung and oral cavity cancers.
  • Fresh pods are the good source of folates; provide about 22% of RDA per 100 g. Consumption of foods rich in folates, especially during the pre-conception period helps decrease the incidence of neural tube defects in the offspring.
  • The gumbo pods are also an excellent source of anti-oxidant vitamin, vitamin-C, providing about 36% of daily-recommended levels. Research suggests that consumption of foods rich in vitamin-C helps the body develop immunity against infectious agents, reduce episodes of cold and cough and protect the body from harmful free radicals.
  • The veggies are rich in B-complex group of vitamins like niacin, vitamin B-6 (pyridoxine), thiamin and pantothenic acid. The pods also contain good amounts of vitamin K.  Vitamin K is a co-factor for blood clotting enzymes and is required for strengthening of bones.
  • The pods are an also good source of many important minerals such as iron, calcium, manganese and magnesium.

Health Benefits of Orange Juice

Health Benefits of Orange Juice

Orange juice remains the most commonly consumed fruit juice in America. Though it is on many breakfast tables, the benefits of orange juice remain poorly understood, says a study published by the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Economic Research Service. It is, however, a healthy drink for several reasons.

Provides Vitamin C

Drinking at least two glasses of orange juice per day increases the vitamin C concentration within the body by 40 to 64 percent, according to the said study published in the September 2003 “The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition.” Vitamin C, an essential vitamin that cannot be synthesized by the human body, is an important antioxidant, a substance that protects the body against the harmful effects of free radicals, the molecules that may cause tissue damage and early aging.

Protects Against Inflammation

The intake of glucose and high-fat meals induces the development of inflammatory reactions within the body. Inflammatory reactions lead to the development of increased insulin resistance, a common cause of Type 2 diabetes and atherosclerosis, the hardening of blood vessel walls due to fat deposition. As mentioned in a study published in the April 2010 “The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition,” the intake of orange juice, together with a high-carbohydrate, high-fat meal, prevents the occurrence of inflammation within the body, making it a good preventive measure against the development of insulin resistance and atherosclerosis.

Improves Diastolic Blood Pressure

Regular orange juice consumption may improve diastolic blood pressure, suggests a study published by “The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition” in January 2011. According to this study, orange juice contains hesperidin, a healthy water-soluble plant pigment. Hesperidin serves to improve the activity of small blood vessels, blood pressure and decrease the cardiovascular risk biomarkers in susceptible patients.

Decreases Bad Cholesterol Levels

Regular orange juice consumption may decrease low-density lipoprotein cholesterol levels in patients with high cholesterol, suggests a study published in the October 2010 issue of the “Nutrition Research.” However, the mechanism behind this blood cholesterol level improvement is still unclear. Further studies and clinical trials are necessary to further establish this fact.

Dates nutrition facts

What nutrients are there in dates? A lot indeed! Here are sweet, delicious fruits from the tropical oasis, brimming with much-needed minerals and energy to help you stay fit and healthy.

Botanically; they are the fruits grow on the palm tree belonging to the family of Arecaceae in the genus:Phoenix and scientifically named as Phoenix dactylifera. The tree is believed to originate in the lands on the banks of Nile and Euphrates Rivers of ancient Egypt and Mesopotamia. Date palm is now grown extensively for its edible fruits under warmer climates across all the continents.

The date fruit is a “drupe” in which outer fleshy part (exocarp and mesocarp) surrounds a shell (the pit or stone) of hardened endocarp with a seed inside. The fruit is oval to cylindrical in shape, 3–7 cms long, and 2–3 cms diameter, and when ripe, range from bright red to depending on the variety.

There are many varieties of date palm cultivated. ‘Amir Hajj’, ‘Saidy’, ‘Khadrawy’ and ‘Medjool’ is some of the important varieties that are popular for their superior quality.

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Health benefits of dates

  • Wonderfully delicious, dates are one of the most popular fruits packed with an impressive list of essential nutrients, vitamins, and minerals that are required for normal growth, development and overall well-being.
  • Fresh dates compose of soft, easily digestible flesh and simple sugars like fructose and dextrose. When eaten, they replenish energy and revitalize the body instantly. For these qualities, they are being used to break the fast during Ramadan month since ancient times.
  • The fruit is rich in dietary fiber, which prevents LDL cholesterol absorption in the gut. Additionally, the fiber works as a bulk laxative. It, thus, helps to protect the colon mucous membrane by decreasing exposure time and as well as binding to cancer-causing chemicals in the colon.
  • They contain health benefiting flavonoid polyphenolic antioxidants known as tannins. Tannins are known to possess anti-infective, anti-inflammatory, and anti-hemorrhagic (prevent easy bleeding tendencies) properties.
  • They are moderate sources of vitamin-A (contains 149 IU per 100 g), which is known to have antioxidant properties and essential for vision. Additionally, it is also required maintaining healthy mucus membranes and skin. Consumption of natural fruits rich in vitamin A is known to help to protect from lung and oral cavity cancers.
  • They compose antioxidant flavonoids such as ß-carotene, lutein, and zea-xanthin. These antioxidants found to have the ability to protect cells and other structures in the body from harmful effects of oxygen-free radicals. Thus, eating dates found to offer some protection from colon, prostate, breast, endometrial, lung, and pancreatic cancers.
  • Zea-xanthin is an important dietary carotenoid that selectively absorbed into the retinal macula lutea, where it thought to provide antioxidant and protective light-filtering functions. It thus offers protection against age-related macular degeneration, especially in elderly populations.
  • Dates are an excellent source of iron, contains 0.90 mg/100 g of fruits (about 11% of RDI). Iron, being a component of hemoglobin inside the red blood cells, determines the oxygen-carrying capacity of the blood.
  • Further, they are very good in potassium. 100 g contains 696 mg or 16% of daily-recommended levels of this electrolyte. Potassium is an important component of cell and body fluids that help controlling heart rate and blood pressure. They, thus, offers protection against stroke and coronary heart diseases.
  • They are also rich in minerals like calcium, manganesecopper, and magnesium. Calcium is an important mineral that is an essential constituent of bone and teeth, and required by the body for muscle contraction, blood clotting, and nerve impulse conduction. Manganese is used by the body as a co-factor for the antioxidant enzyme, superoxide dismutase. Copper is required for the production of red blood cells. Magnesium is essential for bone growth.
  • Further, the fruit has adequate levels of B-complex group of vitamins as well as vitamin K. It contains very good amounts of pyridoxine (vitamin B-6), niacin, pantothenic acid, and riboflavin. These vitamins are acting as cofactors help body metabolize carbohydrates, protein, and fats. Vitamin K is essential for many coagulant factors in the blood as well as in bone metabolism.
  •  

Health Benefits of Coconut Oil

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The health benefits of coconut oil include hair care, skin care, stress relief, cholesterol level maintenance, weight loss, boosted immune system, proper digestion and regulated metabolism. It also provides relief from kidney problems, heart diseases, high blood pressure, diabetes, HIV, and cancer, while helping to improve dental quality and bone strength. These benefits of oil can be attributed to the presence of lauric acid, capric acid and caprylic acid, and their respective properties, such as antimicrobial, antioxidant, anti-fungal, antibacterial and soothing qualities.

Coconut oil is used extensively in tropical countries especially India, Sri Lanka, Thailand, Philippines etc., which have a good production of coconut oil. At one time, the oil was also popular in western countries like the United States and Canada, but there was a strong propaganda campaign in the 1970s spread by the corn oil and soy oil industry against coconut oil. Coconut oil was considered harmful for the human body due to its high saturated fat content until the last decade (2000s) when people began to question the claims of the propaganda. Next, let’s look into some more details of how coconut oil works in our body.

How is lauric acid used by our body?

The human body converts lauric acid into monolaurin, which is supposedly helpful in dealing with viruses and bacteria that cause diseases such as herpes, influenza, cytomegalovirus, and even HIV. It also helps in fighting harmful bacteria such as listeria monocytogenes and helicobacter pylori, and harmful protozoa such as giardia lamblia.

As a result of these various health benefits of coconut oil, although its exact mechanism of action was unknown, it has been extensively used in Ayurveda, the traditional Indian medicinal system. The Coconut Research Centerhas compiled a list of potential benefits of coconut oil in both traditional and modern medicine.

Before we move on to the benefits of coconut oil in detail, we should first understand its composition.

Composition of Coconut Oil:

More than ninety percent of coconut oil consists of saturated fats (Don’t panic! It’s not as bad as it sounds, read to the end of this review and your opinion may change), along with traces of few unsaturated fatty acids, such as monounsaturated fatty acids and polyunsaturated fatty acids. Virgin coconut oil is no different from this.

Saturated fatty acids: Most of them are medium chain triglycerides, which are supposed to assimilate well in the body’s systems. Lauric acid is the chief contributor, representing more than forty percent of the total, followed by capric acid, caprylic acid, myristic acid and palmitic.

Polyunsaturated fatty acids: Linoleic acid.

Monounsaturated fatty acids: Oleic acid.

Poly-phenols: Coconut contains Gallic acid, which is also known as phenolic acid. These polyphenols are responsible for the fragrance and the taste of coconut oil and Virgin Coconut Oil is rich in these polyphenols.

Certain derivatives of fatty acid like betaines, ethanolamide, ethoxylates, fatty esters, fatty polysorbates, monoglycerides and polyol esters.

Fatty chlorides, fatty alcohol sulphate and fatty alcohol ether sulphate, all of which are derivatives of fatty alcohols.

Vitamin-E, vitamin K and minerals such as iron.

CoconutHealth Benefits of Coconut Oil

Hair care:

Coconut oil is one of the best natural nutrients for your hair. It helps in healthy growth of hair and gives your hair a shiny quality. It is also highly effective in reducing protein losswhich can lead to various unattractive or unhealthy qualities in your hair.

Coconut oil is extensively used in the Indian sub-continent for hair care. Most of the people in those countries apply coconut oil on their hair every day after bathing or showering. It is an excellent conditioner and helps the re-growth process of damaged hair. It also provides the essential proteins required for nourishing and healing damaged hair. Research studies indicate that coconut oil provides better protection to hair from damage caused by hygral fatigue.

By regularly massaging your head with coconut oil, you can ensure that your scalp is free of dandruff, even if your scalp is chronically dry. It also helps in keeping your hair and scalp free from lice and lice eggs.

Coconut oil is therefore used as hair care oil and is used in manufacturing various conditioners and dandruff relief creams. Coconut oil is normally applied topically for hair care.

Heart diseases

There is a misconception spread among many people that coconut oil is not good for heart health. This is because it contains a large quantity of saturated fats. In reality, coconut oil is beneficial for the heart. It contains about 50% lauric acid, which helps in actively preventing various heart problems like high cholesterol levels and high blood pressure. The saturated fats present in coconut oil are not harmful as you commonly find in vegetable oils. Coconut oil does not lead to increase in LDL levels, and it reduces the incidence of injury and damage to arteries and therefore helps in preventing atherosclerosis.

Skin care

Coconut oil is an excellent massage oil for the skin as well. It acts as an effective moisturizer on all types of skin, including dry skin. The benefit of coconut oil on the skin is comparable to that of mineral oil. Fortunately, unlike mineral oil, there is no chance of having any adverse side effects on the skin from the application of coconut oil. Coconut oil therefore is a safe solution for preventing dryness and flaking of skin. It also delays the appearance of wrinkles and sagging of skin which normally accompany aging. Coconut oil also helps in treating various skin problems including psoriasis, dermatitis,eczema and other skin infections. For that exact reason, coconut oil forms the base ingredient of various body care products like soaps, lotions, and creams that are used for skin care. Coconut oil also helps in preventing premature aging and degenerative diseases due to its well-known antioxidant properties.

Weight loss

Coconut oil is very useful for weight loss. It contains short and medium-chain fatty acids that help in taking off excessive weight. It is also easy to digest and it helps in healthy functioning of the thyroid and endocrine system. Further, it increases the body’s metabolic rate by removing stress on the pancreas, thereby burning more energy and helping obese and overweight people lose the weight. Hence, people living in tropical coastal areas, who use coconut oil every day as their primary cooking oil, are normally not fat, obese or overweight.

Immunity

Coconut oil is also good for the immune system. It strengthens the immune system because it contains antimicrobial lipids, lauric acid, capric acid and caprylic acid which have antifungal, antibacterial and antiviral properties. The human body converts lauric acid into monolaurin which research has supported as an effective way to deal with viruses and bacteria that cause diseases like herpes, influenza, cytomegalovirus, and even HIV. Coconut oil helps in fighting harmful bacteria like listeria monocytogenes and helicobacter pylori, and harmful protozoa such as giardia lamblia.

CoconutDigestion

Internal functions of coconut oil occur primarily due to it being used as cooking oil. Coconut oil helps to improve the digestive system and thus prevents various stomach and digestion-related problems including Irritable Bowel Syndrome. The saturated fats present in coconut oil have antimicrobial properties and help in dealing with various bacteria, fungi, and parasites that can cause indigestion. Coconut oil also helps in the absorption of other nutrients such as vitamins, minerals and amino acids.

Candida

Coconut has been shown to prevent and even cure candida. It provides relief from the inflammation caused by candida, both externally and internally. Its high moisture retaining capacity keeps the skin from cracking or peeling off. Further, unlike other pharmaceutical treatments for candida, the effects of coconut oil is gradual and not drastic or sudden, which gives the patient an appropriate amount of time to get used to the withdrawal symptoms or Herxheimer Reactions (the name given to the symptoms accompanying body’s rejection of toxins generated during elimination of these fungi). But, in the treatment of this condition, people should systematically and gradually increase their dosages of coconut oil and shouldn’t initially start with a large quantity.

Candida, also known as Systemic Candidiasis, is a tragic disease caused from excessive and uncontrolled growth of yeast called Candida Albicans in the stomach. This yeast is more or less present in everyone’s stomach, but it doesn’t manifest any adverse effects since its growth is controlled by the beneficial bacteria which also resides in our stomach. There are many reasons for this uncontrolled growth of yeast. For example, if other destructive bacteria or the use of antibiotics which ultimately end up in eliminating these bacteria, there can be an imbalance of bacteria and a problem like Candida can develop. Also, bleaching or washing of your stomach with medicines or excessive use of chemical laxatives or ingestion of poisonous material can cause the yeast or fungi to start growing very fast and can lead to Candida.

Symptoms of candida: The symptoms of Candida include infection in the genitals, urinary tract and bladder, stomach & intestines, ear, nose and throat, itchy and dry skin, inflammations in internal organs and skin, patching & peeling off of skin (particularly in scalp), digestive and excretory disorders and problems with your hair and nails.

This disease is very common in Europe and America, possibly due to the cold and moist climate and general food preparation, storage, and comsumption habits. In these places, a large portion of their food is comprised of food stuffs which, in some way or the other, are processed with yeast or fermented. For example, these cultures heavily rely on foods like bread, other baked items, cheese and above all, wine and other alcoholic drinks. These things also assist growth of Candida Albicans in the body. The various fatty acids found in the coconut oil are beneficial in counteracting the effects of these habits and can be used to treat Candida.

Capric acid is a medium chain fatty acid (a Saturated Fat) present in coconut oil has antimicrobial, antiviral and antifungal properties. This is the same fatty acid present in breast milk and it protects the baby from bacterial, viral and fungal infections. In the body, it reacts with certain enzymes secreted by other bacteria, which subsequently convert it into a powerful antimicrobial agent, monocaprin. In the systematic use coconut oil as a treatment for Candida, the capric acid has also been found very effective in killing the yeast.

Caprylic acid, caproic acid, myristic acid and lauric acid are all found in coconut oil and have antimicrobial and antifungal properties which aid in the elimination of candida albicans. Lauric acid is a saturated fat and a medium chain fatty acid that forms a compound called monolaurin when it reacts with enzymes. This monolaurin is a potent germ and fungus killer.

Healing and infections

When applied to infected areas, coconut oil forms a chemical layer that protects the infected body part from external dust, air, fungi, bacteria and viruses. Coconut oil is highly effective on bruises because it speeds up the healing process of damaged tissues.

Infections: Coconut oil is very effective against a variety of infections due to its antifungal, antiviral, and antibacterial properties. According to the Coconut Research Center, coconut oil kills the viruses that cause influenza, measles, hepatitis, herpes, SARS, and other serious health risks. It also kills bacteria that cause ulcers, throat infections, urinary tract infections, pneumonia, and gonorrhoea. Finally, coconut oil is also effective in the elimination of fungi and yeast that cause ringworm, athlete’s foot, thrush, and diaper rash.

Other

Coconut oil is strongly recommended for a number of other benefits that are explained below. Using coconut oils has been shown to mildly help the following:

Liver: The presence of medium chain triglycerides and fatty acids helps in preventing liver diseases because those substances are easily converted into energy when they reach the liver, thus reducing the work load of the liver and also preventing accumulation of fat.

Kidney: Coconut oil helps in preventing kidney and gall bladder diseases. It also helps to dissolve kidney stones.

Pancreatitis: Coconut oil is also believed to be useful in treating pancreatitis.

Stress relief: Coconut oil is very soothing and hence it helps in removing stress. Applying coconut oil to the head, followed by a gentle massage, helps to eliminate mental fatigue.

Diabetes: Coconut oil helps in controlling blood sugar, and improves the secretion of insulin. It also promotes the effective utilization of blood glucose, thereby preventing and treating diabetes.

Bones: As mentioned earlier, coconut oil improves the ability of our body to absorb important minerals. These include calcium and magnesium which are necessary for the development of bones. Thus, coconut oil is very useful to women who are prone to osteoporosis after middle age.

Dental care: Calcium is an important component of our teeth. Since coconut oil facilitates absorption ofcalcium by the body, it helps in developing strong teeth. Coconut oil also stops tooth decay.

HIV and cancer: It is believed that coconut oil plays an instrumental role in reducing a person’s viral susceptibility for HIV and cancer patients. Preliminary research has shown an indication of this effect of coconut oil on reducing the viral load of HIV patients (Reference).

Finally, coconut oil is often used by athletes, body builders and by those who are dieting. The reason behind this being that coconut oil contains less calories than other oils, its fat content is easily converted into energy, and it does not lead to accumulation of fat in the heart and arteries. Coconut oil helps boost energy and endurance, and generally enhances the performance of athletes.

Coconut oil and Alzheimer’s disease: The research conducted by Dr. Newport states that coconut oil is useful in treating Alzheimer’s disease. Apart from this there is no scientific evidence or traditional knowledge of coconut oil being used for treating Alzheimer’s. In fact, it is not traditionally thought that coconut oil helps in boosting the function of the brain in any form.

Why is coconut oil solid?: Unlike most other oils, coconut oil has a high melting point – about 24 to 25 degrees Celsius or 76-78 Fahrenheit. Therefore it is solid at room temperature and melts only when the temperature rises considerably. Hence, if you buy a bottle of coconut oil and find it solid, don’t immediately assume that there is some problem with it. Coconut oil is often in this form, and obviously, don’t keep it in your refrigerator.

How to use coconut oil?: If you are using coconut oil for topical purposes, especially hair care, just melt the oil (if it is solid) by keeping the bottle in the sun or soaking it in warm water. You can also take some coconut oil out and put it in a small bowl and heat the bowl over a flame (don’t use a microwave). Then, take the oil on your palm and apply it to your hair. If you want to use it for internal consumption, simply replace butter or vegetable oils with coconut oil in your recipes. Remember, you don’t need to completely switch to coconut oil, because then you will lose the other benefits of more traditional oils and dairy products.

Can I use coconut oil for cooking?: Yes, in most of the tropical coastal regions, people use coconut oil for cooking.

I don’t like the taste of coconut oil. What should I do?: Try using coconut oil in a variety of different recipes. However, if you get nauseated after eating coconut oil, don’t force yourself to eat it. As can happen with any food item, your body may be allergic to coconut oil and it is best not to consume it.

Varieties of Coconut Oil

There are primarily 6 varieties of coconut oil that you will find on the market. These are pure coconut oil, refined coconut oil, organic coconut oil, virgin coconut oil, organic virgin coconut oil and extra virgin coconut oil.

Pure Coconut Oil: This oil is our most well-known old friend. It is extracted from dried coconut kernels, which are also called copra. It is crude, unrefined and without any additives. It is mainly extracted by compression of copra in a mill, either driven by bullocks or by power. However, the variety extracted by bullock driven oil mills is preferred. Pure coconut oil has multiple uses such as edible oil, massaging oil, hair oil, cosmetic usage, as well as medicinal and industrial use.

Refined Coconut Oil: This is sometimes also called the RBD coconut oil, which is an abbreviated form for refined, bleached & deodorized coconut oil. As the name suggests, this type is obtained by mechanically and chemically refining, bleaching and deodorizing the crude coconut oil, to make it thin, colorless, odorless and without any type of particle (such as proteins) suspended in it. What we then get is only pure saturated fats.

Virgin Coconut Oil: Virgin coconut oil is derived from the milk obtained from fresh coconut meat, and not from copra, by processes like fermentation, centrifugal separation and enzyme action. Care is taken to use no or as little heat as possible in the extraction of this oil. Produced in this way, the oil tastes and smells the best and is laden with antioxidants and medium chain fatty acids. It also has remarkable anti-microbial properties. This is one of the most respected and trusted varieties of coconut oil.

Organic Coconut Oil: The coconut oil that has been extracted from coconuts obtained from coconut palms raised only on organic manure and no synthetic fertilizers or insecticides. The production of organic coconut oil is also completed without involving any chemical in its extraction or processing. This is another well-respected variety of coconut oil. Organic coconut oil forms an integral part of a number of organic cosmetic products such as organic soaps, organic skin creams and lotions, organic snacks and thousands of other similar products. Some of the organic programs and authorities that certify organic coconut oil include Global Organic Textile Standards (GOTS), USDA National Organic Program (NOP), European Organic Regulations (EU 2092/91), Export Certificates for Japan (JAS Equivalent), Indian National Programme for Organic Production (NPOP), Quebec Organic Reference Standard (CAAQ), Bio Suisse Standards, IOFAM Basic Standards, ECOCERT.

Organic Virgin Coconut Oil: This type of oil is basically virgin coconut oil produced from the organic coconuts, in an organic way. This is perhaps the best and purest form of coconut oil one can imagine, but it is rare.

Extra Virgin Coconut Oil: Among all the varieties of coconut oil, this is the most challenged and controversial variety, as its very existence is doubtful and the name hardly makes any sense. Furthermore, there are no set standards for virginity of coconut oil. Moreover, reputed firms and governmental bodies are still hesitant to say anything on the matter, nor are they selling it. Basically, further research is definitely required.

The properties of coconut oil do not differ much with their varieties and remain more or less the same. So, think well and make a wise decision before you decide to purchase one of the varieties.

Coconut Oil as a Carrier Oil: Coconut oil can be very efficient as carrier oil. Carrier oils hold a place of high importance in Aromatherapy, Ayurveda, Chinese Medicine and all other systems of treatment that involve massaging. Carrier oils are those oils which easily penetrate or absorb into the skin and thus facilitate seepage or absorption of other oils (such as essential oils) and herbal extracts through the skin when mixed into it. Coconut oil is easily absorbed through the skin’s pores and thus is used as a carrier oil. Furthermore, being one of the most stable oils, it doesn’t go rancid, nor does it let the other oils, herbal extracts, or medicines spoil inside of it. Due to its anti-fungal and anti-microbial property coconut oil keeps the oils, herbal extracts and medicines that are mixed in it protected from microbial or fungal interactions. It also does not alter the properties of the oils and herbs mixed within it. Coconut oil is expensive in several countries; however, in tropical countries its cost is low enough to make it affordable as a carrier oil.

Coconut oil extraction

Cold pressing is one of the preferred methods for the extraction of coconut oil.The quality of coconut oil depends a lot on the method of its extraction. Basically, there are two main methods of extraction of coconut oil. The first is cold pressing of copra (dried coconut kernels) and the second is boiling of fresh coconut milk. Since boiling or heating destroys many nutrients and valuable components, coconut oil obtained this way is not considered as good as that obtained by cold pressing, since cold pressing retains much of oil’s goodness. Machine pressing and bullock/manual pressing are two methods of cold pressing.

Machine pressing: In this cold pressing is done with the help of an electrically or diesel-engine driven oil mill. Most of cold pressed oil used in the world is obtained this way.

Bullock/manual pressing: The oil obtained this way has a better taste and fragrance and is more expensive since the production is smaller, it consumes more time and energy, and wastage is higher. In short, it has a higher price, lower availability and better quality.

Buying Coconut Oil

First of all, you need to decide why you need coconut oil and where you are going to use it. Your choice should be based on your need, like whether you want it for edible purposes or as a carrier oil to be used in aromatherapy, for massaging, for weight loss, or for medicinal purposes. As mentioned earlier, there are different varieties for different purposes. Their properties do not differ much, unless they are mixed with some base or additives that do not contain 100% coconut oil. Below is a list of such purposes and the type of coconut oil to buy.

Purpose————–Preferable Type to Buy

Cooking————–Refined Coconut Oil

Weight Loss———Virgin Coconut Oil

As a Carrier Oil—–Virgin Coconut Oil, Fractionated Coconut Oil

Good Health———Virgin Coconut Oil, Organic Coconut Oil

Massaging———–Pure Coconut Oil, Refined Coconut Oil

Hair——————–Pure Coconut Oil, Refined Coconut Oil

Medicinal uses—–Virgin Coconut Oil, Virgin Organic Coconut Oil

Furthermore, before you buy coconut oil, you should keep in mind that for edible and therapeutic uses, refined coconut oil is the best as it is hygienic and clean. Unrefined coconut oil is good for external applications like hair care and skin care.

Where to buy from?: Except some of the special varieties, such as virgin coconut oil and organic coconut oil, other varieties like pure coconut oil and refined coconut oil are easily available in most grocery stores, especially in tropical countries. For special varieties, you may need to search in larger department stores or drug stores. Things may be a little different in countries which do not produce coconut oil, like the US, Canada, and most of Europe. You will need to visit big grocers in these countries to find different varieties of coconut oil. You can also get coconut oil easily at grocery stores in localities which have higher populations of people from India, Thailand, Sri Lanka, Philippines, and coastal Africa. Obviously, you can order it online as well and have it delivered wherever you live.

Which brand to buy?: It is not a problem if someone in your village extracts coconut oil (quite normal in Philippines, Thailand, Burma, coastal India, Sri Lanka etc.) and you know that person well or see him/her expelling the oil. But when you are buying coconut oil in packs, go for the reliable and reputable brands. Read the contents carefully and check the manufacturing date (although coconut oil has a long shelf life, fresher is still better).

How much to pay? This is a really difficult question to answer. The price of coconut oil depends on many factors such as its availability (cheaper where it is produced and more costly in other places, and it is even more expensive when ordered via phone, Internet etc.). The price is also effected by demand, variety (the refined one costs the least, followed by the fractionated, the virgin, the organic and the organic virgin coconut oils), brand, and quantity (buying in bulk costs a little less).

How much to buy? Buy only as much you can consume in few months, because despite the fact that coconut oil does not go rancid for a long time, it is not wise to store it unnecessarily. You will get better results with fresh coconut oil.

Storage: After you buy coconut oil, the next question should relate to storage. In colder countries, coconut oil comes in good, broad containers. However, if you get it in a pack (tetra-pack or plastic pouch), after opening the pack, be sure to keep the oil in containers with tight lid and broad mouth so that you can scoop it out with a spoon if it solidifies. Keeping it sealed or lidded is necessary because there are other admirers of coconut oil (ants, cockroaches, other insects and rodents just love it!).

Hope this will be of some help to you. Got any suggestions? Your comments are welcome! You may also share this information with your friends. Thanks!

Health Benefits of Aloe Vera Juice

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Many people already know the many benefits associated with using aloe vera. Not as many people are aware of the health benefits associated with consuming aloe vera juice.

All of the nutrients in aloe vera juice are perfectly balanced in a way that is ideal for the body in terms of healing and repair. Although it is not a miracle cure, it contains enough nutrition to significantly help with healing the body, as well as provide other benefits.

Health Benefits of Aloe Vera Juice

1. Detox

Aloe vera juice can be a great natural option for detoxing. Because of the way we live including stress, pollution and junk food, we need to occasionally cleanse our systems. Aloe vera juice is an ideal way to do this because it contains many trace elements, vitamins and minerals that can help the body deal with daily stresses and strains.

2. Digestion Promotion

A healthy digestion system is necessary to ensure that we are able to absorb all of the nutrients found in our food. In addition to its natural detoxifying abilities, aloe vera juice can increase protein absorption and improve bowel regularity. It can also reduce the quantity of unfriendly yeast and bacteria found in our gut. It can also soothe and reduce digestive problems such as heartburn.

3. Immunity Boost

Aloe vera juice contains many antioxidants which fight the free radicals found in our bodies. Free radicals are unstable compounds that are a side-effect of metabolism and contribute the process of aging as well as cause various ailments. Therefore when you drink aloe vera juice on a regular basis, your body will have the antioxidants it needs to fight these free radicals and boost your immune system.

4. Anti-inflammation

This juice has 12 different substances which are able to reduce and prevent inflammation, all without the risk of side-effects. It can even help with swollen, stiff or painful joints.

5. Healthy Skin

Aloe vera juice can help repair your collagen and elastin, giving you healthy skin. Our skin replaces itself each 28 days or so and when we have nutritional building blocks from aloe vera, our skin is able to use these nutrients each day to help fight aging. It can also help sooth minor skin irritations, scrapes, cuts and burns.

6. Weight Loss and Energy Regulation

When we drink aloe vera juice, the body can naturally cleanse its digestive system. Because our diets have many parts that can lead to exhaustion or fatigue, having aloe vera regularly can fight this. That means that aloe vera juice will give you a better feeling of well-being, help you keep a body weight that is healthy and increase energy levels.

7. Vitamin and Mineral Powerhouse

Every day our body needs to ingest several vitamin and minerals and aloe vera juice contains a great deal of these. It includes vitamin A, vitamin B1, vitamin B2, vitamin B6, vitamin B12, vitamin C, vitamin E, niacin and folic acid. In addition to these, it also contains chromium, magnesium, manganese, zinc, copper, potassium, iron, sodium, calcium and others.

8. Amino Acid Supply

Our body needs 20 different amino acids in order to build protein and it is not able to produce 8 of them itself. Because aloe vera juice contains 7 of these essential amino acids and 19 amino acids in total, it is able to easily fulfill your body’s daily needs.

9. Dental Health

Aloe vera juice can also help your gums and mouth. It not only provides natural anti-microbial and anti-bacterial actions but it also contains several vitamins and minerals that promote cell healing and growth. Because of this you will find some tooth gels that contain pure aloe vera, especially to help with mouth ulcers and bleeding gums.

10. Alkalization of the Body

Disease is not able to happen in environments that are alkaline. In general, people will consume foods that are mostly acidic but the ideal is the 80/20 rule which says you should consume 80% of alkaline forming foods and 20% of acidic ones. Because aloe vera juice is one of the alkaline forming foods, it can help alkalize the body and balance out the acidity in our diets.

11. Cardiovascular Health

Some research has shown that when doctors inject aloe vera extract into the blood, it drastically multiplies the diffusion abilities of red blood cells as well as the oxygen transportation. It contains nutrients that can regulate blood pressure, improve blood oxidation and circulation, lower cholesterol and make blood less sticky.

Precautions and Side Effects of Aloe Vera Juice

1. Recommended Dosage

In her book “Herbal Medicines” Joanne Barnes recommends that children over age 10 and adults have aloe vera juice three times each day in a dose of between 50 and 200 milligrams. She does point out that using it as a laxative is not recommended for over two weeks.

2. Risks of Diarrhea

Because aloe vera juice contains anthraquinones, it can increase your risk of having diarrhea if you consume large quantities. This diarrhea can be severe and include dehydration, stomach cramps and pain.

3. Electrolyte Imbalance

Because of the stimulant laxatives that can be found in aloe vera juice, there may be an electrolyte imbalance or dehydration if you take the juice frequently. This decrease in potassium levels can lead to irregular heartbeats and weakness.

4. Interactions with Drugs

Aloe vera juice can interact negatively with medications, both over-the-counter and prescription especially stimulant laxatives, anti-diabetes drubs, diuretic drugs and sevoflurane (which is used for anesthesia).

5. Precaution for Pregnancy and Breastfeeding

During pregnancy, you should limit your consumption of aloe vera juice due to its purgative and irritant properties. It should not be consumed while breastfeeding as it can cause severe diarrhea for the baby.

Pistachio nutrition facts

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Wonderfully delicious pistachio nuts have been revered as the symbol of wellness and robust health since ancient times. The nuts are enriched with many health-benefiting nutrients that are essential for optimum health.

Pistachio nuts are dry fruits of species of trees belonging in the Anacardiaceae family, of the genus: Pistacia. The plant is a medium sized broad, bushy, dioecious, deciduous tree, believed to be originating in the mountain ranges of West-Asian region. Several cultivars exist; however, the most popular variety grown for the commercial purpose is the kerman.

 

Pistachios grow well under hot, dry climates with cool winters. They are currently being cultivated in large scale in the orchards in the USA, Iran, Syria, Turkey, and China. After plantation, it takes approximately eight to ten years until it produces its first major crop. Once established, it keeps bearing fruits for centuries.

The fruit, in fact, is a drupe (a fruit with a large, central located single seed), and the seed kernel is actually the edible portion. Each season, the tree bears heavy clusters of fruits, which appear somewhat like that of a grape bunch. Exteriorly, the mature fruit features off white colored, hard, shell with splits apart exposing yellow-light green colored oblong kernel, which measures about 1 inch in length and 1/2 inch in diameter.

Health benefits of Pistachios

  • Pistachios are delicious tree nuts recognized for their wholesome nutrition principles. Together withwalnutsalmonds, and cashew, they form important source of protein, fats and minerals to otherwise dry and arid regions of Central, West and South Asian regions.
  • Pistachios are rich source of energy; 100 g of nuts contain 557 calories. In addition, they are rich in mono-unsaturated fatty acids like oleic acid and an excellent source of antioxidants. Regular consumption of pistachios in the diet helps to lower total as well as bad LDL cholesterol and increases good HDL cholesterol levels within the blood. Research studies suggest that Mediterranean diet that is rich in dietary-fiber, mono-unsaturated fatty acids, and antioxidants help to prevent coronary artery disease and strokes by favoring healthy blood lipid profile.
  • They are rich source of many phyto-chemical substances that may contribute to their overall antioxidant activity, including carotenes, vitamin E, and polyphenolic antioxidant compounds. Research studies have been suggestive of that these compounds help the human body remove toxic oxygen-free radicals and thus, protect the body from diseases, cancers, as well as infections.
  • Pistachios are an excellent source of vitamin-E, especially rich in gamma-tocopherol; contain about 23 g per100 g. vitamin E is a powerful lipid soluble antioxidant, essential for maintaining the integrity of cell membrane of mucus membranes and skin; offer protection from harmful oxygen-free radicals.
  • The nuts are packed with many important B-complex groups of vitamins such as riboflavin, niacin, thiamin, pantothenic acid, vitamin B-6, and folates.
  • These nuts are the storehouse of minerals like copper, manganese, potassium, calcium, iron, magnesium, zinc, and selenium. 100 g nuts provide 144% of daily-recommended levels of copper. Copper is an essential trace mineral that is required in neuro-transmission, metabolism, as well as red blood cell (RBC) synthesis.
  • Pistachio nut oil features flavorful, pleasant nutty aroma and has excellent emollient properties. It helps to keep skin well protected from dryness. It has also been used in cooking, and as “carrier or base oil” in traditional medicines in massage therapy, aromatherapy, in pharmaceutical, and cosmetic industry.

Just a hand full of pistachios a day provides enough recommended levels of phenolic anti-oxidants, minerals, vitamins, and protein.

The powerful health benefits of lemon balm

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(NaturalNews) Lemon balm is a member of the mint family and is considered a calming herb. This herb is also known as Melissa officinalis, and it has been used for centuries to reduce anxiety, promote sleep and improve symptoms of indigestion. Lemon balm has been researched by experts and found to offer many great health benefits

Lemon balm is native to Europe but is commonly grown all over the world. It is often grown in herb gardens to attract bees which help pollinate the rest of the garden. The plant grows up to two feet and has light yellow flowers that grow where the leaves meet the stem. The leaves are similar in shape to mint leaves and have a tart and sweet smell like lemons.

This herb has been used by the ancient Greeks and Romans to treat insect bites and stings. The leaves give off a strong tart smell that insects do not like. The insect-repellant essential oils it contains include citronella and monoterpenaldehydes citral A and B. The essential oils that are released from the leaves are also used to treat insomnia, nervousness and anxiety.

Lemon balm is rich in antioxidants:

Lemon balm is rich in caffeic acid and rosmarinic acid, which are powerful antioxidants that neutralize reactive oxygen species. It also contains eugenol, which acts like a natural anti-inflammatory that helps soothe painful conditions. These compounds offer profound antibacterial and antiviral properties and protect the lipid membrane of cells.

A 2010 study published in Toxicology and Industrial Health looked at lemon balm and its ability to reduce oxidative stress in radiology staff members who are constantly dealing with radiation-induced stress. The study showed that taking a lemon balm infusion of 1.5 grams in a 100 mL drink for 30 days had a positive effect on reducing lipid peroxidation and DNA damage. It was shown to improve intracellular antioxidant (catalase, superoxide dismutase and glutathione peroxidase) status and reduce DNA damage in these radiology staff members.

Lemon balm and immune system:

The caffeic and rosmarinic acids in lemon balm offer profound antibacterial and antiviral properties when taken in both oral and topical forms. Topical lemon balm has been shown to reduce redness and itching from infections and eczema. These acids are particularly effective against strep throat, mumps and herpes among other things.

A 2008 study published in Phytomedicine showed that lemon balm was highly effective at reducing the herpes simplex virus on the skin. Another 2008 study showed that lemon balm was highly effective at reducing viruses, gram-positive bacteria and Candida albicans. It does not have a great effect with gram-negative bacteria.

This would indicate that viruses, yeasts, streptococcus and staphylococcus would be highly sensitive to lemon balm extract. This is thought to be one of the reasons why lemon balm is so effective at helping individuals improve from chronic digestive complaints. However, gram negative bacterial infections such as E. coliSalmonella and Shigella would not be as sensitive to lemon balm.

A large German study showed that lemon balm was extremely effective at treating herpes simplex infections. In the study, which included three hospitals and one dermatology clinic, the lemon balm treated group did not have a single recurrence of the infection. Other studies have found that lemon balm reduces the healing time of both genital and oral herpes.

Proper dosages for lemon balm:

Lemon balm is most commonly used for digestive issues, insomnia, anxiety and immunity. It can be taken in the form of infused teas in the range of 1.5 to 4.5 grams of lemon balm taken two to four times daily. It can also be taken in a tincture of 2-3 mL (roughly 20 drops) three times daily. Many others choose to steep 2 to 4 tablespoons of the crushed leaf in a cup of boiling water.

You can also find lemon balm in a capsule-based formula, and the recommended dosage is 300-500 mg taken three times daily or as needed. When using a topical form, try applying it three to five times daily to maintain its powerful anti-microbial activity on the region.

Contraindications for lemon balm:

Lemon balm is not to be used in high amounts (trace amounts are ok) in pregnant women and individuals taking the thyroid medication thyroxine. Also, caution should be used when giving oral treatments to infants and children. Breastfeeding women should also avoid taking large clinical doses of lemon balm as well.

Sources for this article include:

http://www.naturalnews.com

http://www.naturalnews.com

http://science.naturalnews.com

http://science.naturalnews.com

http://umm.edu

About the author:
Dr David Jockers is a Maximized Living doctor and owns and operates Exodus Health Center in Kennesaw, Georgia where he specializes in functional nutrition, functional medicine and corrective chiropractic care to get to the underlying cause of major health problems. 

His website features great articles on natural health and incredible recipes. He is the author of the best-selling book SuperCharge Your Brain – the complete guide to radically improve your mood, memory and mindset. He has over 36,000 active followers on his social media and email newsletter and is a big influencer in the Primal Health movement. 

Dr. Jockers is also available for long distance consultations and health coaching to help you beat disease and reach your health goals. For more information got to www.drjockers.com