September 29, 2009

Health Benefits of Longan

longan, fruits and health, dailyfruits.blogspot.comLongan also known as "dragon's eye" (because of an ovoid, white eye shaped mark on the pit). The longan is China's gift to Southeast Asia, where it was brought by Chinese emigrants hundred of years ago. The evergreen longan tree has heavily foliaged branches with leathery leaves which have a glossy surface and underneath are covered with minute hair. The flowers are pale yellow and hairy. The juicy pulp, which is easily separated from its shell, is white and translucent. Embedded in it is a large, shiny jet black seed. The fruit has a juicy and sweet taste.
  • Scientific Name: Dimocarpus longan
  • Origin: Southern China, Myanmar
  • Tree height: 10-20 m
  • Fruit diameter: 1-3 cm
  • Season: fruits twice a year (end of dry season and late summer)
  • Varieties: Numerous, many longan varieties follow a fruiting cycle whereby a good crop year is followed by 1-2 or more bad years.
Longan is frequently eaten fresh or from the can in which it floats in its own juice, the longan can also be cooked with delicious results. In general, the fruit is considered tastier than the lychee but it is not as juicy. Longan is sometimes used instead of lychees or cherries in fruit salads, sweet and sour dishes and as garnish for cocktail drinks. The Javanese and the Chinese dry the fruit and then use it as a tea drink.

Names of Longan in different countries:
  • English: longan, lungan, dragon eye
  • Spanish: long├ín, longana
  • French: longanier, oeil de dragon
  • Indonesia, Malaysia: leng-keng
  • Burma: kyet mouk
  • Cambodia: mien
  • Laos: lam nhai, nam nhai
  • Thailand: lamyai pa
  • Vietnam: nhan
Nutrient Value: per 100 g

  • Vitamin A 28 IU
  • Vitamin B10.04 mg
  • Vitamin B2 0.07 mg
  • Niacin 0.6 mg
  • Vitamin C 6-8 mg
  • Protein 1 g
  • Calcium 2-10 mg
  • Phosphorous 6-42 mg
  • Iron 0.3-1.2 mg
  • Carbohydrate16-25 g
  • Fat 0.1-0.5 g

Health / Medicinal Benefits:

  • Longan is used as remedy for stomach ache, insomnia, amnesia, and dropsy.
  • The fruit is said to invigorate the heart and spleen, nourish the blood and have a calming effect on the nervous system.
  • A spoonful of longan tonic made of equal quantities of longan flesh and sugar simmered in water till it is reduced to a syrup consistency is recommended twice a day.
  • A decoction of the dried flesh is taken as a tonic and treatment for insomnia and neurasthenic neurosis.
  • In Vietnam, the "eye" of the longan seed is pressed against snakebite in the belief that it will absorb the venom.
  • The seeds are administered to counteract heavy sweating, the pulverized kernel, which contains saponin, tannin and fat, serves as a styptic (substance that draws together or constricts body tissues and is effective in stopping the flow of blood or other secretions).
Other Uses

  • The seeds contain saponin that is used like soapberries for shampooing the hair.
  • The seeds and the rind are burned for fuel.
  • The wood is used for posts, agricultural implements, furniture and construction. (hubpages.com)

September 27, 2009

Loganberry

loganberry, fruits and health, dailyfruits.blogspot.comLoganberry, a trailing plant of the rose family, closely related to the blackberry. It was first discovered in the garden of J. H. Logan, of Santa Cruz, California, in 1881. The loganberry produces large purplish-red, tart berries. The berries are marketed fresh, frozen, and canned, and are used to make jam, preserves, and juice.

The loganberry grows best in cool, moist climates. It is propagated by layering inserting the tip of a stem, or cane, into the soil, where the cane then sends down roots and forms a new plant. The plants are trained on wires parallel to the ground.

The loganberry is a hybrid of several species of the genus Rubus of the family Rosaceae. (http://science.howstuffworks.com/fruits/loganberry-info.htm)

Loganberry contain vitamin C, K, folate and dietary mineral copper. Rich in fiber. Maintains good health and involves in weight loss. (http://www.mynutritionandhealth.com/Fruits.asp)

September 25, 2009

Lingonberry

lingonberry, fruits and health, dailyfruits.blogspot.comThe Lingonberry, or dry ground Cranberry, is a common wild fruit species found in our northern forests. It is closely related to the bog cranberry, which is the cranberry that is widely used in North America and Europe for holidays and special occasions.Traditionally, northern people around the world have made extensive use of the Lingonberry. People from Northern Europe, Canada, as well as Alaska consider this fruit to be an important diet staple. Historical references suggest that many European explorers, and Native people considered Lingonberries one of the most important edible wild fruits.

The Lingonberry has many common names: Norway calls it "Tyttebaer"; Sweden refers to it as "Lingon"; Finland calls it "Puolukka"; and in parts of Alaska and Canada it is known as the "Rock Cranberry" or "Mountain Cranberry". Some have compared the Lingonberry to the commercially grown Cranberry; but, the Lingonberry has a distinct, very intense flavor like no other berry.

Composition

Lingonberries are rich source of fibers, sugar, vitamin A,vitamin C and magnesium. Lingonberries also consist of large amount of flavonoids and lignans. Lignans and flavonoids are believed to be anti-cancer. Lingonberries are also rich in benzoic acid, thus, they are often used as antimicrobial agents in food preparations. [http://www.arctic-flavours.fi/english/puolukkaen.htm, http://www.arctic-flavours.fi/english/more.htm May 16, 2005]

Lingonberries can be used fresh or frozen, incorporated into sauces, syrups, jellies, fillings, as well as drinks. Lingonberries have a one of a kind taste, that puts them in a class by themselves, and will complement any meal.

September 23, 2009

Lime Fruit


The lime is a small tree, crooked and prickly, only reaching as a rule a height of 8 feet. The leaves are ovateoblong, and the stalk is not winged like that of the orange and lemon tree. The flowers are small and white and the fruit about half the size of a lemon, with a smoother, thinner rind, having a greenish tinge in its yellow. In Jamaica it is often planted for fences.

Botanical: Citrus acida (ROXB.)

Family: N.O. Rutaceae

Synonyms : Citrus acris. Limettae Fructus.

Parts Used : The juice, the fruit.

Habitat : West Indies, especially Montserrat. A native of Asia.

In London nurseries several varieties are found, the principal ones being the Chinese spreading, the West Indian, the Common, the broad-leaved and the weeping.

The juice is principally used in the manufacture of citric acid, and for medicinal purposes is often used indiscriminately with that of the lemon, although its flavour is not so popular.

Oil of Limes is used for flavouring purposes, especially in mineral waters and artificial lime-juice cordials, consisting of sweetened solutions of tartaric acid.

Constituents

The National Formulary IV of America has defined and standardized Lime Juice as follows: the expressed juice of the ripe fruit of Citrus medica acida, containing in each one hundred mils not less than 5 gm. nor more than 10 gm. of total acids, calculated as crystallized citric acid (H3C6H5O7 plus H2O: 210.08). It is clear or slightly turbid, pale yellow or greenish-yellow, with the characteristic odour and taste of limes. Specific gravity 1.025 to 1.040 at 25 degrees C.

It must be free from sulphuric acid, and may contain 0.04 gm. of SO2 in each 100 mils, but no other preservatives nor artificial colours.

The rind contains a volatile oil including the terpene limonene and citral.

Medicinal Action and Uses

Antiscorbutic. Used in dyspepsia with glycerine of pepsin.

Dosage

Of 40 per cent glycerite of pepsin and 60 per cent. Lime juice, 2 fluid drachms.

Other Species

C. Limetta, grown in Italy, yields an oil resembling oil of Bergamot, called Italian Limette oil. It contains 26 per cent ling acetate. After standing it forms the yellow deposit limettin. It differs from the distilled West Indian oil of Limes. (botanical.com)

September 5, 2009

Almond Health Benefits

Almond (Prunus dulcis), are native to the Middle East, its fruit is actually not a nut, but a drupe consisting of the outer skin covered with hard shell. Almonds are usually sold in the form of still shelled or also with shells that have been released.

Although almonds are from the Middle East, but now many countries a lot of it is grown, including the United States, Spain, Syriac, Italy, Iran, Morocco, Turkey, and China.

Almonds can be consumed directly, and also with processed. Sliced ​​almonds can be added to ice cream, chocolate, or cake. Almonds can also be made into "almond milk", especially designed for people who have lactose intolerance and also vegetarians.

Almonds contain 49% oil, which is composed of 62% omega-9 fatty acids, 24% omega-6 fatty acid, palmitic acid and 6%. Amigdalae oleum, is a kind of oil obtained from almonds, which is classified as glyceryl oleate. This oil has a mild aroma and taste of nuts, alcohol insoluble, but readily soluble in chloroform or ether.

In relation to health , almonds contain 26% carbohydrate (12% dietary fiber, 6.3% glucose, and 0.7% starch). Also almonds are rich in vitamin E, which is 24 mg per 100 grams.

Almonds, Nuts Rich Benefits:
  • Almonds also have a lot of unsaturated fatty acid content, which can lower LDL cholesterol. Other nutrients found in almonds are vitamin B, vitamin C, calcium, iron, magnesium, phosphorus, potassium, and zinc.
  • Almond claimed to have the benefit of accelerating the movement of food in the colon, and preventing colon cancer.
  • Several recent studies linking the almonds with a decrease in LDL cholesterol.
  • Almond also has anti-inflammatory / inflammation, strengthen the immune system and protects the liver.
  • But for some people, almonds can lead to allergies whose symptoms vary from local symptoms (eg contact urticaria) to systemic symptoms (eg, angioedema, urticaria, or also in abdominal discomfort / respiratory tract).
References:
  1. White, G. Vitamin E and Minerals: Nutrition from Nuts. AllAboutVision.com.
  2. Davis PA, Iwahashi CK (April 2001). "Whole almonds and almond fractions Reduced aberrant crypt foci in a rat model of colon carcinogenesis". Cancer Lett. 165 (1): 27-33.
  3. Spiller GA, Jenkins DA, Bosello O, Gates JE, Cragen LN, Bruce B (June 1998). "Nuts and plasma lipids: an almond-based diet lowers LDL-C while preserving HDL-C". J Am Coll Nutr 17 (3): 285-90.
  4. Puri, Har Sharnjit Singh (2002). "Almond (Prunus amygdalus)". Rasayana: Ayurvedic Herbs for Longevity and Rejuvenation (Traditional Herbal Medicines for Modern Times, 2). Boca Raton: CRC. pp. 59-63