June 28, 2007

Research Reveals New Melon Health Benefits

Watermelon has always been a good source of vitamins A and C, and provides potassium and fiber. But now consumers have even more reasons to enjoy a sweet slice of the tasty fruit.

Findings from USDA scientists indicate that watermelon contains high levels of lycopene an antioxidant that may help the body fight cancer and prevent disease. Found only in select fruits and vegetables, lycopene is very effective at trapping cancer-promoting agents called free-oxygen radicals.

A study conducted by Harvard University researchers found that men who ate lycopene-rich diets of tomatoes and tomato products had a much lower risk of developing certain cancers, especially prostrate cancer.

A cup and a half of watermelon contains about 14 or 15 milligrams of lycopene, a higher level of this antioxidant than is contained in many other fresh fruits or vegetables, according to USDA research by plant physiologist Dr. Penelope Perkins-Veazie. Lycopene is found only in red watermelon varieties. In fact, it gives watermelon its red color and in some cases, the redder the watermelon, the more lycopene it contains.

“We think there are a lot of potential uses for watermelon that haven’t been explored yet,” said Perkins-Veazie. “Watermelon can be a functional food one that may help prevent certain diseases.”

On this National Watermelon Promotion Board sponsored research project, Perkins-Veazie is working with a team of scientists from the USDA-ARS, Oklahoma State University and Texas A&M University at the South Central Agricultural Research Lab in Lane, Okla.

“We have always known that watermelon offers a number of benefits,” said William Watson, executive director of the NWPB. “But as lycopene continues to emerge as a possible important, effective agent in disease prevention, we saw an opportunity to explore other health benefits our product could offer.”

In addition to lycopene, watermelon offers a host of other health benefits. It is fat-free, yet delivers 100 percent on the critical energy component found in functional foods.

“We’re pulling out all the stops on this year’s national publicity campaign so we can reach consumers with this exciting news,” said Heidi McIntyre, NWPB director of marketing.

June 24, 2007

Grape Seed Antioxidant Dietary Vitamin Supplements

Grape seed health nutrition benefits evidence. Scientists have studied grape seed for the following health problems:

Natural Antioxidants

Studies have found grape seed to be one of the best antioxidant, which may help prevent or relieve symptoms of certain conditions, such as vision problems associated with diabetes and wound healing. The safety of long-term use of grape seed is unknown, and more studies are needed to provide definitive answers.

Cardiovascular Heart Health

Studies suggest grape seed may help improve blood circulation, prevent atherosclerosis (clogging of the arteries), lower blood pressure and improve blood cholesterol levels. Some research shows that consumption of grape seed and grape skin in combination, such as in red wine, grape juice or a commercially available vitamin supplement products, may be more beneficial than grape seed alone. Further research is needed.

Retinopathy and High Blood Pressure

Several small studies suggest that grape seed may slow the progression of retinopathy (damage to the retina caused by diabetes or high blood pressure). Further research is needed in this area.

Swelling after surgery or after an injury

Some studies suggest that taking grape seed may decrease swelling that occurs after surgery or after an injury. Further research is needed in this area.

Sun Exposure protection

A small study of healthy female volunteers suggests that Seresis, a pill containing grape seed extract in combination with other ingredients, may help to reduce the severity of a sunburn. Seresis contains carotenoids (beta-carotene and lycopene), vitamins C and E, selenium and proanthocyanidines, the proposed active ingredient in grape seed extract. Further research is needed to confirm these results.

Other Antioxidant Scientic Studies and Research

Grape seed has been studied for the treatment of pancreatitis, cancer, varicose veins, attention deficit hyperactivity disorder and premenstrual syndrome. There is some evidence that a commercial form of grape seed called Activin may help reduce the inflammatory response in patients with systemic sclerosis. There are no clear answers in these areas, and more research is needed.

Unproven but Repoted Uses

Grape seed has been suggested for many other uses, based on tradition or on scientific theories. However, these uses have not been thoroughly studied in humans, and there is limited scientific evidence about safety or effectiveness. Some of these suggested uses are for conditions that are potentially serious and even life-threatening. You should consult a health care provider before using grape seed for any unproven use.
  • Anti-Aging
  • AIDS
  • Alzheimer's disease
  • Antiviral
  • Arthritis
  • Asthma
  • Astringent
  • Bleeding
  • Bruising
  • Cellulite
  • Cholera
  • Chronic fatigue syndrome
  • Connective tissue disorders
  • Constipation
  • Corneal ulcers
  • Cough
  • Degenerative diseases of the eye
  • Dental cavities
  • Diabetic neuropathy
  • Diarrhea
  • Enzyme function
  • Excessive weight loss
  • Eye infection
  • Eye irritation
  • Genetic mutations
  • Glaucoma
  • Hay fever Hemorrhoids
  • HIV
  • Immune system boosting
  • Impaired night vision
  • Improved insulin sensitivity
  • Increased urination
  • Inflammation
  • Intestinal dysfunction
  • Kidney protection
  • Liver cirrhosis
  • Liver protection
  • Macular degeneration
  • Menstrual cramps
  • Nausea
  • Parkinson's disease
  • Protection against toxins (such as chemotherapeutic agents)
  • Psoriasis
  • Respiratory tract infection prevention
  • Scurvy
  • Seasonal allergies
  • Shock
  • Skin care aging
  • Skin irritation
  • Smallpox
  • Sore throat
  • Stomach and intestinal ulcers
  • Telangiectasia (broken capillaries showing on the skin)

Potential Grape Seed Dangers and Side Effects

Allergies

Individuals allergic to grapes should not take grape seed. There are at least two published cases of allergic reaction to the active compounds found in grape seed.

Side Effects

Many experts consider grape seed to be safe, with few reports of side effects. The most common complaints include dry, itchy scalp; headache; dizziness and nausea. In theory, grape seed may increase the risk of bleeding. You may need to stop taking grape seed before some surgeries; discuss this with your health care provider.

Pregnancy And Breast-Feeding

Grape seed use during pregnancy and breast-feeding has not been studied and cannot be recommended.

Interactions

Interactions with drugs, supplements and other herbs have not been thoroughly studied. The interactions listed below have been reported in scientific publications. If you are taking prescription drugs, speak with your health care provider or pharmacist before using herbs or dietary supplements.

Interactions With Drugs

In theory, grape seed may increase the risk of bleeding when used with anticoagulants (blood thinners) or antiplatelet drugs. Examples include warfarin (Coumadin), heparin and clopidogrel (Plavix). Some pain relievers may also increase the risk of bleeding if used with grape seed. Examples include aspirin, ibuprofen (Motrin, Advil) and naproxen (Naprosyn, Aleve, Anaprox). Grape seed may interact with prescription drugs, such as angiotensin-converting enzyme inhibitors, methotrexate, allopurinol and cholesterol-lowering drugs. There is evidence that grape seed may interfere with the way the liver breaks down certain drugs. As a result, grape seed may cause the levels of drugs in the body to be too high, leading to serious side effects. If you are taking prescription drugs, ask your health care provider for advice before you take grape seed.

Interactions With Herbs And Dietary Supplements In theory, grape seed may increase the risk of bleeding when also taken with other products that are believed to increase the risk of bleeding. Examples include Ginkgo biloba and garlic (Allium sativum). In theory, grape seed may excessively lower cholesterol levels in the blood if also taken with herbs and supplements that lower cholesterol levels, such as red yeast. Grape seed may also increase the blood levels of herbs processed by the liver, such as chasteberry (Vitex agnus-castus). There is some evidence that grape seed may enhance the effectiveness of vitamin C and vitamin E.

Grape Seed Vitamin Supplement Dosage

The doses listed below are based on scientific research, publications or traditional use. Because most herbs and supplements have not been thoroughly studied or monitored, safety and effectiveness may not be proven. Brands may be made differently, with variable ingredients even within the same brand. Combination products often contain small amounts of each ingredient and may not be effective. Grape seed extract may be standardized to contain 40 percent to 80 percent proanthocyanidins or 95 percent polyphenols per dose.

June 22, 2007

The Orange Benefits

The Orange Benefits - Juicy and sweet and renowned for its concentration of vitamin C, oranges make the perfect snack and add a special tang to many recipes; it is no wonder that they are one of the most popular fruits in the world. Oranges are generally available from winter through summer with seasonal variations depending on the variety.

The Orange Benefits


Oranges are round citrus fruits with finely-textured skins that are, of course, orange in color just like their pulpy flesh; the skin can vary in thickness from very thin to very thick. Oranges usually range from approximately two to three inches in diameter.

Oranges' Healing Phytonutrients

In recent research studies, the healing properties of oranges have been associated with a wide variety of phytonutrient compounds. These phytonutrients include citrus flavanones (types of flavonoids that include the molecules hesperetin and naringenin), anthocyanins, hydroxycinnamic acids, and a variety of polyphenols. When these phytonutrients are studied in combination with oranges' vitamin C, the significant antioxidant properties of this fruit are understandable.

But it is yet another flavanone in oranges, the herperidin molecule, which has been singled out in phytonutrient research on oranges. Arguably, the most important flavanone in oranges, herperidin has been shown to lower high blood pressure as well as cholesterol in animal studies, and to have strong anti-inflammatory properties. Importantly, most of this phytonutrient is found in the peel and inner white pulp of the orange, rather than in its liquid orange center, so this beneficial compound is too often removed by the processing of oranges into juice.


A Healthy Dose of Vitamin C for Antioxidant Protection and Immune Support

You may already know that oranges are an excellent source of vitamin C-just one orange supplies 116.2% of the daily value for vitamin C-but do you know just how important vitamin C and oranges are for good health? Vitamin C is the primary water-soluble antioxidant in the body, disarming free radicals and preventing damage in the aqueous environment both inside and outside cells. Inside cells, a potential result of free radical damage to DNA is cancer. Especially in areas of the body where cellular turnover is especially rapid, such as the digestive system, preventing DNA mutations translates into preventing cancer. This is why a good intake of vitamin C is associated with a reduced risk of colon cancer.

Free radical damage to other cellular structures and other molecules can result in painful inflammation, as the body tries to clear out the damaged parts. Vitamin C, which prevents the free radical damage that triggers the inflammatory cascade, is thus also associated with reduced severity of inflammatory conditions, such as asthma, osteoarthritis, and rheumatoid arthritis.

Free radicals also oxidize cholesterol. Only after being oxidized does cholesterol stick to the artery walls, building up in plaques that may eventually grow large enough to impede or fully block blood flow, or rupture to cause a heart attack or stroke. Since vitamin C can neutralize free radicals, it can help prevent the oxidation of cholesterol. Vitamin C, which is also vital for the proper function of a healthy immune system, is good for preventing colds and may be helpful in preventing recurrent ear infections.

A Glass of Orange Juice More Protective than Vitamin C Alone

Consuming vitamin C supplements does not provide the same protective benefits as drinking a glass of orange juice, shows research by Italian researchers in the Division of Human Nutrition at the University of Milan, Italy (Guarnieri S, Riso P, et al., British Journal of Nutrition).

Seven healthy test subjects were given each of three drinks, two weeks apart: blood-orange juice containing 150 milligrams of vitamin C, fortified water containing 150 milligrams of vitamin C, and a sugar and water solution containing no vitamin C. Blood samples were collected immediately before the drink was consumed, then every hour for 8 hours, and finally 24 hours after consumption of each drink.

Blood samples were exposed to hydrogen peroxide, and free radical damage to DNA was evaluated at 3 and 24 hours. Only when orange juice was consumed was any protective effect seen. After drinking orange juice, DNA damage was 18% less after 3 hours, and 16% less after 24 hours. No protection against DNA damage was seen after consumption of the vitamin C fortified drink or the sugar drink. While another study, which looked at much larger quantities of vitamin C, did show a protective effect from the vitamin alone, this research indicates that not only is the protection afforded by fruit more complex, but smaller amounts of nutrients like vitamin C are all that are needed for benefit.

Said lead researcher, Serena Guarnieri, "It appears that vitamin C is not the only chemical responsible for antioxidant protection." In oranges, vitamin C is part of a matrix involving many beneficial phytochemicals (for example, cyanidin-3-glucoside, flavanones and carotenoids).. "But how they are interacting is still anyone's guess," she added. Fortunately, we don't have to wait until scientists figure this out to receive oranges' DNA-protective benefits.

Practical Tip: For the best DNA protection, skip the vitamin C-fortified bottled drinks and enjoy a glass of real (preferably organic as organic foods have been shown to contain higher amounts of phytonutrients), freshly squeezed orange juice - or simply eat an orange!

Owing to the multitude of vitamin C's health benefits, it is not surprising that research has shown that consumption of vegetables and fruits high in this nutrient is associated with a reduced risk of death from all causes including heart disease, stroke and cancer.

Protection against Cardiovascular Disease

A 248-page report, "The Health Benefits of Citrus Fruits," released December 2003 by Australian research group, CSIRO (The Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research), reviews 48 studies that show a diet high in citrus fruit provides a statistically significant protective effect against some types of cancer, plus another 21 studies showing a non-significant trend towards protection.

Citrus appears to offer the most significant protection against esophageal, oro-phayngeal/laryngeal (mouth, larynx and pharynx), and stomach cancers. For these cancers, studies showed risk reductions of 40 - 50%.

The World Health Organization's recent draft report, "Diet, Nutrition and the Prevention of Chronic Disease," concludes that a diet that features citrus fruits also offers protection against cardiovascular disease due to citrus fruits' folate, which is necessary for lowering levels of the cardiovascular risk factor, homocysteine; their, potassium, which helps lower blood pressure, protecting against stroke and cardiac arrhythmias; and the vitamin C, carotenoids and flavonoids found in citrus fruits, all of which have been identified as having protective cardiovascular effects.

One large US study reviewed in the CSIRO report showed that one extra serving of fruit and vegetables a day reduced the risk of stroke by 4%, and this increased by 5-6 times for citrus fruits, reaching a 19% reduction of risk for stroke from consuming one extra serving of citrus fruit a day.

The CSIRO Report also includes evidence of positive effects associated with citrus consumption in studies for arthritis, asthma, Alzheimer's disease and cognitive impairment, Parkinson's disease, macular degeneration, diabetes, gallstones, multiple sclerosis, cholera, gingivitis, optimal lung function, cataracts, ulcerative colitis and Crohn's disease.

Finally, the CSIRO Report notes that as low fat, nutrient-rich foods with a low glycemic index, citrus fruits are protective against overweight and obesity, conditions which increase the risk of heart disease, certain cancers, diabetes, high blood pressure and stroke, and add to symptoms of other conditions like arthritis.

An orange has over 170 different phytonutrients and more than 60 flavonoids, many of which have been shown to have antiinflammatory, anti-tumour and blood clot inhibiting properties, as well as strong antioxidant effects.

Phytonutrients, specifically, the class of polyphenols, are high in citrus with oranges containing 84mg Gallic Acid equivalents/100mg. The polyphenols so abundant in oranges have been shown to have a wide range of antioxidant, anti-viral, anti-allergenic, anti-inflammatory, anti-proliferative and anti-carcinogenic effects. Although most of the research has centered on citrus polyphenols' possible role in cancer and heart disease, more recently, scientists have begun to look at their role in brain functions such as learning and memory.

An increasing number of studies have also shown a greater absorption of the nutrients in citrus when taken not as singly as supplements, but when consumed within the fruit in which they naturally appear along with all the other biologically active phytonutrients that citrus fruits contain. The Health Benefits of Citrus Fruits," released December 2003 by Australian research group, CSIRO (The Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organization. If you would like to read more, click CSIRO.

Long-Acting Liminoids in Citrus Add to Their Ability to Promote Optimal Health

In animal studies and laboratory tests with human cells, compounds in citrus fruits, including oranges, called limonoids have been shown to help fight cancers of the mouth, skin, lung, breast, stomach and colon. Now, scientists from the US Agricultural Research Service have shown that our bodies can readily absorb and utilize a very long-acting limonoid called limonin that is present is citrus fruits in about the same amount as vitamin C.

In citrus fruits, limonin is present in the form of limonin glucoside, in which limonin is attached to a sugar (glucose) molecule. Our bodies easily digest this compound, cleaving off the sugar and releasing limonin.

In the ARS study, 16 volunteers were given a dose of limonin glucoside in amounts ranging from those that would be found in from 1 to 7 glasses of orange juice. Blood tests showed that limonin was present in the plasma of all except one of the subjects, with concentrations highest within 6 hours after consumption. Traces of limonin were still present in 5 of the volunteers 24 hours after consumption!

Limonin's bioavailability and persistence may help explain why citrus limonoids are potent anti-carcinogens that may continuously prevent cancerous cells from proliferating. Other natural anti-carcinogens are available for much less time; for example, the phenols in green tea and chocolate remain active in the body for just 4 to 6 hours.

Possible Cholesterol-Lowering Benefits

The ARS team is now investigating the potential cholesterol-lowering effects of limonin. Lab tests indicate that human liver cells produce less apo B when exposed to limonin. Apo B is a structural protein that is part of the LDL cholesterol molecule and is needed for LDL production, transport and binding, so higher levels of apo B translate to higher levels of LDL cholesterol.

Compounds in Orange Peel May Lower Cholesterol as Effectively as Statin Drugs

A class of compounds found in citrus fruit peels called polymethoxylated flavones (PMFs) have the potential to lower cholesterol more effectively than some prescription drugs, and without side effects, according to a study by U.S. and Canadian researchers that was published in the Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry.

In this study, when laboratory animals with diet-induced high cholesterol were given the same diet containing 1% PMFs (mainly tangeretin), their blood levels of total cholesterol, VLDL and LDL (bad cholesterol) were reduced by 19-27 and 32-40% respectively. Comparable reductions were also seen when the animals were given diets containing a 3% mixture of two other citrus flavonones, hesperidin and naringin.

Treatment with PMFs did not appear to have any effect on levels of beneficial HDL cholesterol, and no negative side effects were seen in the animals fed the PMF-containing diets.

Although a variety of citrus fruits contain PMFs, the most common PMFs, tangeretin and nobiletin, are found in the peels of tangerines and oranges. Juices of these fruits also contain PMFs, but in much smaller amounts. In fact, you'd have to drink about 20 glasses of juice each day to receive an amount of PMFs comparable in humans to that given to the animals. However, grating a tablespoon or so of the peel from a well-scrubbed organic tangerine or orange each day and using it to flavor tea, salads, salad dressings, yogurt, soups, or hot oatmeal, buckwheat or rice may be a practical way of achieving some cholesterol-lowering benefits. The researchers are currently exploring the mechanism of action by which PMFs lower cholesterol. Based on early results in cell and animal studies, they suspect that PMFs work like statin drugs, by inhibiting the synthesis of cholesterol and triglycerides inside the liver.

A Very Good Source of Fiber

Oranges' health benefits continue with their fiber; a single orange provides 12.5% of the daily value for fiber, which has been shown to reduce high cholesterol levels thus helping to prevent atherosclerosis. Fiber can also help out by keeping blood sugar levels under control, which may help explain why oranges can be a very healthy snack for people with diabetes. In addition, the natural fruit sugar in oranges, fructose, can help to keep blood sugar levels from rising too high after eating. The fiber in oranges can grab cancer-causing chemicals and keep them away from cells of the colon, providing yet another line of protection from colon cancer. And the fiber in oranges may be helpful for reducing the uncomfortable constipation or diarrhea in those suffering from irritable bowel syndrome.

In addition to oranges' phytonutrients, vitamin C and fiber, they are a good source of thiamin, folate, vitamin A (in the form of beta-carotene), potassium and calcium.

Prevent Kidney Stones

Want to reduce your risk of calcium oxalate kidney stones? Drink orange juice. A study published in the British Journal of Nutrition found that when women drank ½ to 1 litre of orange, grapefruit or apple juice daily, their urinary pH value and citric acid excretion increased, significantly dropping their risk of forming calcium oxalate stones.

Help Prevent Ulcers and Reduce Risk for Stomach Cancer

An orange a day may help keep ulcers away, according to a study published in the Journal of the American College of Nutrition. In this study, researchers evaluated data from over 6,000 adults enrolled in the Third National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey. Study participants with the highest blood levels of vitamin C had a 25% lower incidence of infection with Helicobacter pylori (H. pylori), the bacterium responsible for causing peptic ulcers and in turn, an increased risk for stomach cancer. Researchers are uncertain whether H. pylori lowers blood levels of vitamin C or if high blood levels of vitamin C help protect against infection-either way, eating an orange or drinking a glass of orange juice each day may help prevent gastric ulcers. Lead researcher in this study, Dr. Joel A. Simon at the San Francisco VA Medical Center, urges people who have tested positive for H. pylori to increase their consumption of vitamin C-rich foods since this may help them combat H. pylori infection.

Protect Respiratory Health

Consuming foods rich in beta-cryptoxanthin, an orange-red carotenoid found in highest amounts in oranges, corn, pumpkin, papaya, red bell peppers, tangerines, and peaches, may significantly lower one's risk of developing lung cancer. A study published in the September 2003 issue of Cancer Epidemiology, Biomarkers and Prevention reviewed dietary and lifestyle data collected from over 60,000 adults in Shanghai, China. Those eating the most crytpoxanthin-rich foods showed a 27% reduction in lung cancer risk. When current smokers were evaluated, those who were also in the group consuming the most cryptoxanthin-rich foods were found to have a 37% lower risk of lung cancer compared to smokers who ate the least of these health-protective foods.

Protection Against Rheumatoid Arthritis

New research published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition adds to the evidence that enjoying a daily glass of freshly squeezed orange juice can significantly lower your risk of developing rheumatoid arthritis.

Data collected by the European Prospective Investigation of Cancer Incidence (EPIC)-Norfolk study, a population-based, prospective study of over 25,000 subjects, showed that study participants with the highest daily intake of the carotenoids, zeaxanthin and Â-cryptoxanthin, had a much lower risk of developing rheumatoid arthritis compared to individuals consuming the least of these beneficial phytonutrients. Those whose intake of zeaxanthin was highest were 52% less likely to develop rheumatoid arthritis, while those with the highest intake of cryptoxanthin had a 49% reduction in risk. Pretty dramatic benefits for doing something as simple as enjoying a glass of freshly squeezed orange juice each day! (whfoods.org)

How An Orange A Day Can Help Ward Off Stroke And Cancer

orange fruits, dailyfruits.blogspot.com
How An Orange A Day Can Help Ward Off Stroke And Cancer - Why is an orange good for you? Everyone knows about the high vitamin C content and the natural fibre. But oranges (and other orange fruits) also contain folic acid, beta-carotene, potassium, selenium, antioxidants, and plenty of phytochemicals, the bioactive compounds in plant foods that help nutrients boost the immune system. Orange fruits also have a low glycemic index, which make them excellent nutrition for diabetics.

How An Orange A Day Can Help Ward Off Stroke And Cancer

Knowing this, the Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation (CSIRO) of Australia conducted an extensive review of 48 international studies of orange fruits. Among the conclusions revealed by the combined data:

* Those with the highest intake of orange fruits reduced their risk of stomach, mouth, oesophageal, and larynx cancers by as much as 40 to 50 percent

* One additional serving of orange fruit each day (beyond the recommended five servings of fresh fruits and vegetables) may reduce the risk of stroke by nearly 20 percent

* The combined studies (including the World Health Organisation's recent draft report on "Diet, Nutrition and the Prevention of Chronic Disease") reveal "convincing evidence" that cardiovascular diseases, diabetes, and obesity may be reduced with daily oranges fruit intake.

Commenting on the dramatic reduction of some cancer risks, CSIRO researcher Katrine Baghurst told Reuters news service that the inhibition of tumour growth and the normalising of tumour cells is most likely the result of the high antioxidant content of orange fruits.

Again: Not news, and no surprise really. But this new evidence serves as an irrefutable reminder of just how important it is for our diets to include as many fresh whole foods as possible - especially orange.

The powerhouse

Orange fruits - and oranges in particular - deliver two highly favourable aspects of nutrition, which I've told you about in previous e-Alerts this year: flavinoids and water-soluble fibre.

Flavinoid is a substance that gives fruits and vegetables their colour. It also performs a beneficial double duty as both antioxidant and anti-inflammatory. (thehealthierlife.co.uk)

June 20, 2007

Apples Really Are Good For You!

apple, apple health benefits, dailyfruits.blogspot.comApples Really Are Good For You! - Eating fresh apples is always good for you, but to get the full nutritional benefits associated with eating apples you should eat at least one fresh apple every day. The average U.S. consumer eats about 19 pounds of fresh apples a year — about one apple per week. Ongoing consumer attitude tracking in nine major markets across the United States has shown that Washington apples remain number one as far as consumers are concerned. According to a one report, 56 percent of those surveyed named Washington as the brand they look for when buying apples.


WHOLE-BODY HEALTH BENEFITS

Lower blood cholesterol, improved bowel function, reduced risk of stroke, prostate cancer, type II diabetes and asthma.

The disease-fighting profile of apples provides a multitude of health benefits, including a potential decreased risk of cancer and heart disease. Several recent studies suggest apples may provide a "whole-body" health benefit.

A number of components in apples, most notably fiber and phytonutrients have been found in studies to lower blood cholesterol and improve bowel function, and may be associated with a reduced risk of ischemic heart disease, stroke, prostate cancer, type II diabetes and asthma. Preliminary research from Finland indicates diets with the highest intake of apple phytonutrients were associated with a 46 percent reduction in the incidence of lung cancer. Findings indicate that two apples a day or 12 ounces of 100% apple juice reduced the damaging effects of the “bad” LDL cholesterol.

- Interpoma 2002 Conference, Bolzano, Italy
- Dianne Hyson, Ph.D., M.S., R.D., University of California-Davis

CANCER PREVENTION

Over the past four years, apple consumption has been linked with reduced cancer risk in several studies. A 2001 Mayo Clinic study indicated that quercetin, a flavonoid abundant in apples, helps prevent the growth of prostate cancer cells. A Cornell University study indicated phytochemicals in the skin of an apple inhibited the reproduction of colon cancer cells by 43 percent. The National Cancer Institute has reported that foods containing flavonoids like those found in apples may reduce the risk of lung cancer by as much as 50 percent.

— Carcinogenesis (March, 2001)
— Nature (June, 2000)
— Journal of the National Cancer Institute (January, 2000)

HEALTHY LUNGS

Two recent British studies indicated that eating apples can improve lung health. A study of Welsh men indicated that people who ate at least five apples per week experience better lung function. Researchers at the University of Nottingham reported that those who ate five apples per week also had a lower risk for respiratory disease. In the Netherlands at the University of Groningen, apples were singled out as a fruit that could cut smokers’ risk of COPD (chronic obstructive pulmonary disease) in half. Scientists believe antioxidants found in apples may ward off disease by countering oxygen’s damaging effects on the body.

— American Thoracic Society Meeting (May, 2001)
—Thorax (January, 2000)

HEART DISEASE & STROKE PREVENTION

A Finnish study published in 1996 showed that people who eat a diet rich in flavonoids have a lower incidence of heart disease. Other studies indicate that flavonoids may help prevent strokes.

—The British Medical Journal (1996)

WEIGHT LOSS

Apples are a delicious source of dietary fiber, and dietary fiber helps aid digestion and promotes weight loss. A medium apple contains about five grams of fiber, more than most cereals. Also, apples contain almost zero fat and cholesterol, so they are a delicious snack and dessert food that’s good for you.

UC-DAVIS: APPLES ARE HEART-HEALTHY

Researchers at the University of California-Davis recently reported that apples and apple juice may help protect arteries from harmful plaque build-up. In the first study conducted in humans, adults who added two apples, or 12 ounces of 100% apple juice, to their daily diet demonstrated a significant slowing of the cholesterol oxidation process that leads to plaque build-up - thereby giving the body more time to rid itself of cholesterol before it can cause harm.

AGE-RELATED MEMORY IMPROVEMENT LINKED WITH CONSUMPTION OF APPLE PRODUCTS

New Study Finds Consuming Apple Juice Associated With Brain Health In Older Animals

LOWELL, MASS. (January 19, 2006) – “An apple a day” now has new meaning for those who want to maintain mental dexterity as they age. New research from the University of Massachusetts Lowell suggests that consuming apple juice may protect against cell damage that contributes to age-related memory loss, even in test animals that were not prone to developing Alzheimer’s disease and other dementias.

“This new study suggests that eating and drinking apples and apple juice, in conjunction with a balanced diet, can protect the brain from the effects of oxidative stress – and that we should eat such antioxidant-rich foods,” notes lead researcher Thomas B. Shea, Ph.D ., director of the University of Massachusetts Lowell’s Center for Cellular Neurobiology and Neurodegeneration Research, whose study was just published in the latest issue of the Journal of Alzheimer’s Disease. Although more research is needed, Shea is excited about these brain health findings, which are encouraging for all individuals who are interested in staying mentally sharp as they age.

Using a well-established animal protocol, Shea and his research colleagues assessed whether consumption of apple juice was protective against oxidative brain damage in aging mice, damage that can lead to memory loss. “These newer findings show that there is something in apples and apple juice that protects brain cells in normal aging, much like the protection we previously saw against Alzheimer-like symptoms,” says Shea.

The researchers evaluated adult and aged mice using a standard diet, a nutrient-deficient diet, and a nutrient-deficient diet supplemented with apple juice concentrate in drinking water. Although the adult mice tested were not affected negatively by the deficient diets, the aged mice were, which is consistent with normal aging due to oxidative neurodegeneration. The effect on cognition among the aged mice was measured through well-established maze tests, followed by an examination of brain tissue. However, the aged mice who consumed the diets supplemented with apple juice performed significantly better on the maze tests and all had less oxidative brain damage than those on the standard diet.

Supplementation by apple juice fully protected the aged mice from the oxidative stress caused by the nutrient-deficient diet. In addition, stronger mental acuity resulted when the aged mice consumed the human equivalent of 2-3 cups of apple juice or approximately 2-4 apples per day. “We believe that this effect is due to the apple’s naturally high level of antioxidants,” states Shea. Previous research with his colleagues also determined that it is not the sugar and energy content of the apple juice, but the antioxidant attributes of apple juice that are responsible for the positive effects.

This study was sponsored through an unrestricted grant by the U.S. Apple Association and the Apple Products Research and Education Council.

The research abstract can be found at

http://www.j-alz.com/issues/8/vol8-3.html.

—University of Massachusetts Lowell

US: STUDY LINKS APPLES TO REDUCED RISK OF HEART DISEASE IN WOMEN

American Heart Association new recommendations support increased fruit, vegetable consumption

Apples may prove to be a winner when it comes to reducing the risk of heart disease, says a new study of more than 34,000 women. In this study, flavonoid-rich apples were found to be one of three foods (along with red wine and pears) that decrease the risk of mortality for both coronary heart disease (CHD) and cardiovascular disease (CVD) among post-menopausal women, The findings were published in the March 2007 American Journal of Clinical Nutrition.

Women of all ages are encouraged to consume more fruit and vegetables, including apples and apple products, for heart health. However, this study focused on postmenopausal woman, a group becoming more aware of the risk for heart disease. Using a government database that assesses the flavonoid-compound content of foods, the researchers hypothesized that flavonoid intake (in general and from specific foods), might be inversely associated with mortality from CVD and CHD among the women in the study groupSubjects selected for this research analysis were postmenopausal and part of the ongoing Iowa Women's Health Study, each of which has been monitored for dietary intake and various health outcomes for nearly 20 years.

As a result of the extensive analysis that considered what the women ate, the types of cardiovascular-related diseases they experienced, and the overall flavonoid content of an extensive list of foods, the researchers concluded that consumption of apples, pears and red wine were linked with the lowest risk for mortality related to both CHD and CVD (not just one or the other).

"Flavonoids are compounds found in small quantities in numerous plant foods, including fruits and vegetables, tea, wine, nuts and seeds, and herbs and spices," say the university researchers from the University of Minnesota and the University of Oslo (Norway) Earlier research has indicated that flavonoids also have antioxidant properties that are linked to the reduction of oxidation of the bad (LDL - low density lipoprotein) cholesterol which have been linked in various ways with the development of CVD. According to the government database cited in this paper, apples contain a wide variety of flavonoid compounds.

The researchers also believe this is the first prospective study of postmenopausal women to report on the intake and impact of total and specific flavonoid subclasses. They conclude, "Dietary intakes of flavanones, anthocyanins, and certain foods rich in flavonoids were associated with reduced risk of death due to CHD, CVD and all causes."

The publication of this positive study for apples comes on the heels of updated heart disease prevention guidelines for women just released by the American Heart Association in the February 20 issue of Circulation. As part of their guidelines, AHA emphasizes that women increase their intake of fruits and vegetables to help prevent heart disease over their lifetime, not just to reduce short-term risk. Worldwide, cardiovascular disease is the largest single cause of mortality among women, accounting for one third of all deaths.

Source:
innovations-report.com
(thanks to bestapples.com)

Apple Nutrition Facts

Apple Nutrition Facts - Scientific Researchers are discovering new reasons to eat “An Apple a Day” Phytochemicals found in Apples may fight some types of cancers, help reduce cholesterol damage and promote healthy lungs.



Apple Nutrition Facts Important Terms

  • Phytochemicals: chemical compounds found in plants, fruits, and vegetables that can act as antioxidants.
  • Antioxidants: chemicals that reduce or prevent oxidation, thus preventing cell and tissue damage from free radicals in the body.
  • Phenolic Compount: a type of phytochemical.
  • Flavonoids: a class of antioxidant. Apples are packed with flavonoids.
  • Quercetin: a type of flavonoid found in apples.
  • Pectin: a soluble fiber present in most fruits and vegetables.
  • Tannins: substance found in apple juice that helps prevent urinary tract infections and may reduce heart disease. Research also suggests tannins may help prevent periodontal or gum disease.
Apples are fruits that are usually red, but there are also apples are green and yellow. Its skin was a bit mushy fruit, meat hard and have few seeds in it. Besides it feels good it turns out apples really are good for you! Apples contain vitamin C and rich in antioxidants. According to research, the efficacy of these apples can to can reduce the risk of developing cancer of the lungs, colon cancer, and prostate cancer as well as the fiber contained in apples this could stem the cardiovascular disease, weight control, and lower cholesterol. This little Apple seed is toxic because it contains amigdalin, but is not dangerous to humans.

(thanks to bestapples .com)

The Amazing Banana

Doctors - Home Remedy: If you want a quick fix for flagging energy levels there's no better snack than a banana. Containing three natural sugars - sucrose, fructose and glucose - combined with fiber a banana gives an instant, sustained and substantial boost of energy. Research has proven that just two bananas provide enough energy for a strenuous 90 minute workout. No wonder the banana is the number one fruit with the world's leading athletes. But energy isn't the only way a banana can help us keep fit. It can also help overcome or prevent a substantial number of illnesses and conditions making it a must to add to our daily diet.

Depression: According to a recent survey undertaken by MIND amongst people suffering from depression, many felt much better after eating a banana. This is because bananas contain tryptophan, a type of protein that the body converts into serotonin known to make you relax, improve your mood and generally make you feel happier.

PMS: Forget the pills - eat a banana. The vitamin B6 it contains regulates blood glucose levels, which can affect your mood.

Anemia: High in iron, bananas can stimulate the production of hemoglobin in the blood and so helps in cases of anemia.

Blood Pressure: This unique tropical fruit is extremely high in potassium yet low in salt making it the perfect to beat blood pressure. So much so, the US Food and Drug Administration has just allowed the banana industry to make official claims for the fruit's ability to reduce the risk of blood pressure and stroke.

Brain Power: 200 students at a Twickenham (Middlesex) school were helped through their exams this year by eating bananas at breakfast, break and lunch in a bid to boost their brain power. Research has shown that the potassium packed fruit can assist learning by making pupils more alert.

Constipation: High in fiber, including bananas in the diet can help restore normal bowel action, helping to overcome the problem without resorting to laxatives.

Hangovers: One of the quickest ways of curing a hangover is to make a banana milk shake, sweetened with honey. The banana calms the stomach and, with the help of the honey, builds up depleted blood sugar levels, while the milk soothes and re-hydrates your system.

Heart burn: Bananas have a natural antacid effect in the body so if you suffer from heart burn, try eating a banana for soothing relief.

Morning Sickness: Snacking on bananas between meals helps to keep blood sugar levels up and avoid morning sickness.

Mosquito bites: Before reaching for the insect bite cream, try rubbing the affected area with the inside of a banana skin. Many people find it amazingly successful at reducing swelling and irritation.

Nerves: Bananas are high in B vitamins that help calm the nervous system.

Overweight and at work? Studies at the Institute of Psychology in Austria found pressure at work leads to gorging on comfort food like chocolate and crisps. Looking at 5,000 hospital patients, researchers found the most obese were more likely to be in high-pressure jobs. The report concluded that, to avoid panic induced food cravings, we need to control our blood sugar levels by snacking on high carbohydrate foods every two hours to keep levels steady.

Ulcers: The banana is used as the dietary food against intestinal disorders because of its soft texture and smoothness. It is the only raw fruit that can be eaten without distress in over chronicler cases. It also neutralizes over acidity and reduces irritation by coating the lining of the stomach.

Temperature control: Many other cultures see bananas as a 'cooling' fruit that can lower both the physical and emotional temperature of expectant mothers. In Thailand, for example, pregnant women eat bananas to ensure their baby is born with a cool temperature.

Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD): Bananas can help SAD sufferers because they contain the natural mood enhancer, tryptophan.

Smoking: Bananas can also help people trying to give up smoking. The B6, B12 they contain, as well as the potassium and magnesium found in them, help the body recover from the effects of nicotine withdrawal.

Stress: Potassium is a vital mineral, which helps normalize the heartbeat, sends oxygen to the brain and regulates your body's water balance. When we are stressed, our metabolic rate rises, thereby reducing our potassium levels. These can be re-balanced with the help of a high potassium banana snack.

Strokes: According to research in 'The New England Journal of Medicine' eating bananas as part of a regular diet can cut the risk of death by strokes by as much as 40%!

Warts: Those keen on natural alternatives swear that, if you want to kill off a wart, take a piece of banana skin and place it on the wart, with the yellow side out. Carefully hold the skin in place with a plaster or surgical tape!

So you see a banana really is a natural remedy for many ills. When you compare it to an apple, it has four times the protein, twice the carbohydrate, three times the phosphorus, five times the vitamin A and iron, and twice the other vitamins and minerals. It is also rich in potassium and is one of the best value foods around.

Maybe its time to change that well known phrase so that we say, "A Banana a day keeps the doctor away."


Comment by JCT: If Marijuana and Apricot seeds are any precursor, they should be making bananas illegal real soon. Since they tout pharmaceutical benefits, they'll have to be tested as a drug before bananas can be used by the general population.

Banning Marijuana, Apricot pits, Bananas???


Added comment by I।H.: Commercial bananas are heavily loaded with insecticides and chemicals. I have noticed a mega difference in my body's reaction to organic vs regular commercially grown and treated bananas. I no longer eat the chemically grown and treated bananas that one buys in the regular food-market. With bananas, organic is definitely best. i.h. (newmediaexplorer.org)