Posts tagged blueberries

3 Secret Weapons Against Stress, Inflammation, and Insomnia by Shelli Stein

3 Secret Weapons Against Stress, Inflammation, and Insomnia by Shelli Stein

You probably already know that inflammation, stress, and lack of sleep aren’t good for you. You may not know, however, that these things have a huge impact on your cells.

More specifically, they all affect the length of your telomeres—which can actually affect the length of your life.

What are Telomeres?

In 2000, a young doctor asked molecular biologist Dr. Elizabeth Blackburn a rather simple question: Does length matter?

Dr. Blackburn’s research, which focused on the role that DNA tips—called telomeres—play in the ability to replicate, eventually earned her a Nobel Prize.

But no one had connected this process to stressful and important life events.

Today, though, the science is clear: Shorter telomeres are associated with dead and dying cells. Short telomeres also suggest a person is susceptible to age-related diseases and even early mortality.

So let’s take a look at what we can do to keep our telomeres LONG so we live a long and healthy life!

What Shortens Telomeres?

Taking care of our telomeres means first understanding what outside factors affect them. These factors are simpler than you might think.

But we should also understand a bit more about what they do.
Telomeres protect the useful, programmed parts of our DNA—which, in turn, affect when our cells divide, or make new cells.

Every time a cell divides, it must make a full copy of its DNA. To do this, the DNA unwinds into smaller, easier-to-copy units called chromosomes. However, when each chromosome is copied, the process cuts off some of the end pieces.

Think of telomeres as those plastic tips on shoelaces that prevent the laces from unraveling. With each cycle, a little bit of telomere DNA gets lost, but the important coding DNA is protected.

Cell division is a natural cause of telomere shortening that we can’t control. We can, however, manage some everyday stressors that shorten our telomeres faster than usual.

Which outside factors affect telomeres the most? Keeping clear of the top three stressors listed below will not only improve your telomere length, but also your overall health.

Top Three Stressors
Inflammation
Stress
Lack of sleep

1. Inflammation is triggered by your body’s defense system fighting off anything it believes is hurting you. This includes germs, chemicals, and radiation.
In a study funded by the National Institute of Health in 2010, chronic inflammation had a significant correlation with shortened telomere length. It was the first large-scale study to show evidence that telomere length can relate to increased amounts of inflammation.

In past articles, I have recommended fighting unwanted inflammation with a healthy diet. I think that’s the easiest and most direct approach to keep systemic inflammation in check.

2. That stress can wreak havoc on your body should come as no surprise. But did you know that psychological stress also boosts inflammation and can speed up the cell-division process?
In a large German study, people with post-traumatic stress disorder had telomeres that were much shorter than those without the disorder. Some studies have also been done on childhood trauma and indicate this sort of stress also shortens your telomeres. This backs up my belief that it is never too soon to start taking care of your stress levels.

3. Sleep is an often-overlooked factor in our overall health. Sleep can help alleviate stress by reducing the production of stress hormones. Sleep also relaxes your blood vessels, which helps your heart, and reduces inflammation.
Several scientists have studied telomere length in people who sleep for different lengths of time. In one recent study done by the University College of London and Cardiff Metropolitan University, telomeres appeared to be shorter in people getting less than five hours of sleep per night compared with those sleeping seven or more hours per night.

These studies do not show us, though, whether less sleep led to shorter telomeres or if shorter telomeres led to insomnia. What we do know is that poor-quality sleep can produce chemicals that lead to inflammation, which is one of the main culprits in shortening telomeres.

While there are many other stressors that shorten telomeres (more than we have room to discuss here), we also have three simple ways to protect and even lengthen your telomeres.

Top Three Protectors
Antioxidants
Exercise
Vitamin D

1. Antioxidants are a class of chemicals known for fighting cancer and other ailments. Antioxidants also help blood vessels expand and regulate the flow of blood. Vitamin C is one type of antioxidant. Other antioxidants include vitamin E, beta-carotene, and selenium.

Eating foods rich in antioxidants can help preserve your telomeres and improve your health in other ways as well. A 2008 study published in the International Journal of Cancer discovered that women with low antioxidant intake had shorter telomeres and an increased risk of breast cancer.

Getting plenty of antioxidants in your diet is simple. Some antioxidant-rich foods include chocolate (the darker, the better), blueberries, red wine, tomatoes, and broccoli. I’m sure you have some of your own favorite antioxidant-rich foods, as well.

2. The top recommendation on my annual list of ways to improve your health is movement. (See here.) Regular exercise reduces stress, releases endorphins, improves brain function, and improves cardiovascular health. And it turns out, exercise also lengthens telomeres!
Last year, scientists from the University of California, San Francisco tested the relationship between exercise (along with other lifestyle changes) and telomere length. Participants who walked at a moderate pace for 30 minutes a day for six days each week lengthened their telomeres about 10%. Participants also improved their diet, reduced stress, and increased social support.
Please notice that participants did not need overly strenuous exercise to improve their health. Even yoga and gardening can count toward your daily movement requirements.

3. The next telomere enhancer on my list might surprise you, or maybe not. The sunshine vitamin, vitamin D, is associated with telomere length. Vitamin D inhibits cell proliferation (how fast your cells grow and divide).

A 2007 study published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition found a positive association between high vitamin D concentrations and longer telomeres. Although the study shows a correlation and not a direct cause and effect, we know vitamin D reduces cell division in white blood cells (the cells used in most telomere studies), so it may have a direct role in preserving telomeres.

The best way to get vitamin D is from the sun. Do what I do and go for a walk every day to get natural sunlight. People who live in areas that don’t get much sun in the winter can become deficient in vitamin D. In those cases, dietary supplements may be necessary.

How Long Are My Telomeres?

Measuring telomeres is a complicated process. Companies like SpectraCell and Life Length will charge a few thousand dollars for the test and require about five milliliters of blood. That’s about one teaspoon.

Tests like these are still relatively new, so their precision and usefulness in diagnostics are still being evaluated. If you are interested in getting your telomeres checked, talk to your doctor or go online to read more.

Here’s the bottom line, though: Research on the importance of telomere length keeps increasing. The good news is we now have scientific evidence showing how we can preserve and lengthen our telomeres. Reduce your stress, get plenty of sleep, exercise, and eat plenty of antioxidant-rich foods like leafy green vegetables and berries.

Follow the suggestions I’ve outlined here, and you’ll find yourself on your way to improving the quality of your life by increasing the length of your telomeres.

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Superfruits for Healthy Living by Herbal Papaya

Superfruits for Healthy Living by Herbal Papaya
http://www.herbalpapaya.com

The top 7 Superfruits to include in your diet for the best daily health benefits

You may have heard the term “Superfruit” thrown around a lot in the health industry in recent years, but what does it actually mean?

Superfruit is a marketing term that first started being used by food & beverage companies in 2005. This isn’t a FDA or USDA approved term by any means, and the labeling is completely up to the product manufacturer, but that doesn’t mean it still can’t be used appropriately.

How we define a Superfruit is through picking out the best of the best in the fruit family, and discovering which ones provide the most overall health benefits and nutrients to the human body. That, in our mind, is the true essence of a Superfruit and what the term was initially intended for.

Many people have their own idea of what a Superfruit entails, but these are our 7 picks for the best fruits to choose for your diet to give your body a boost in antioxidants, fiber, vitamins, minerals, and other important nutrients for daily health.

Açaí Berries

Açaí Berries have so much hype as a Superfruit because of their high levels of antioxidants that steamroll most of the other fruits on offer at the local supermarket. However, because it’s from Brazil, it’s not always easy to find fresh. A great alternative is finding Açaí powder to put into smoothies and drinks for that extra boost in the morning.

Pomegranates

The fruit that packs some of the highest antioxidants, pomegranates are best fresh during September and February. With around 600 seeds, this fruit has been shown to contain almost more than 3x the amount of total antioxidants in green tea and red wine. This is one of the best Superfruits you could include in your diet.

Cherries

This unsuspecting tart summer fruit has an important antioxidant in them called anthocyanin. This antioxidant helps to reduce inflammation, and triglyceride and cholesterol levels in the body. Cherries have also been known to boost metabolism for that extra health benefit that kicks it into Superfruit power.

Apples

The old adage that has stuck with us since childhood is actually true! “An apple a day keeps the doctor away.” Apples fall into the quercetin family, which is one of the best antioxidants for anti-inflammatory action in the body. On top of this, they’re also a great source of fiber.

Blueberries

The best Superfruit to boost your brain power and memory, blueberries pack in quite the health punch for their small size. The key is the high flavonoid levels in blueberries, which have been linked to sharper brain functioning and cognitive prowess as you age. They’re also high in manganese which is a great tool for better metabolism.

Tomatoes

Although some people may still think of tomatoes as vegetables, they’re actually a fruit! And a very healthy one at that! Tomatoes contain lycopene, which is a rare and powerful antioxidant hardly ever found in other fruits (except papaya, which has it too!). They are also incredibly high in vitamin C, potassium, and fiber. And as an added bonus, they’re very low in calories.

Papayas

You must know already how much we love papaya, and all the health benefits attached to this wonderful fruit. We could not leave it off the list! Papayas are known for antioxidants vitamins A, C, and E, and beta-carotenes. They help to boost immunity for those nasty winter colds and support healthy digestion. The seeds of the papaya even help to detoxify your liver!

This list just skims the surface of some of our favorite Superfruits, but there are quite a few others that could also be included, such as grapes, cranberries, avocados, goji berries, kiwi fruit, grapefruit, cantaloupe, pineapple, bananas, oranges, dragonfruit, blackberries, lychee, raspberries, and even pumpkins!

We enjoy choosing our favorites depending on what’s in season and what specific health benefits we’re after.

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Health Benefits for Various Foods and How to Pick Your Fruits

 

Health Benefits for Various Foods and How to Pick Your Fruits

Cabbage

1. Cabbage is very low in fat and calories. 100 g of leaves provide just 25 calories.

2. The vegetable is filled with phyto-chemicals like thiocyanates, indole-3-carbinol, lutein, zea-xanthin, sulforaphane, and isothiocyanates. These are powerful antioxidants and known to help protect against breast, colon, and prostate cancers and help reduce bad cholesterol levels in the blood

3. It is also rich in essential vitamins such as pantothenic acid (vitamin B-5), pyridoxine (vitamin B-6) and thiamin (vitamin B-1).

Cranberries:
– contains vitamin C, bioflavonoids, ellagic acid (anti-cancer compound) and fiber
– prevents scurvy
– beneficial for kidneys, bladder and skin
– has anti-cancer, anti-fungal, anti-viral, broncho and vasodilating properties

Pumpkin Seeds:
– rich in amino acids, zinc, and iron
– 29% protein, rich in omega 3 fatty acids, b-complex vitamins and calcium
– has anti-inflammatory properties which supports a healthy functioning prostate

Sesame Seeds:
– 50% oil and 25-35% protein
– contains vitamin E, calcium, iron and sesamin, a lignan that is a powerful anti-oxidant and can inhibit cholesterol production
– strengthens kidneys, liver, bones, hair, nails and teeth

Poppy Seeds:
– contain protein, calcium and zinc
– calming and anti-inflammatory

Flax Seeds:
– rich plant source of omega 3 & 6 essential fatty acids (good fats that lower LDL cholesterol), vitamins A, B and E
– high in phytoestrogenic lignans that can help relieve symptoms of menopause, such as hot flashes
– good source of zinc, magnesium, potassium, fiber and protein
– promotes strong bones, nail, teeth and skin
– useful for colon problems and inflammation
– improves digestion

Sunflower Seeds:
– rich plant source of vitamin E (an anti-oxidant) and zinc (for immune system and protecting the prostate)
– high in protein, b-complex vitamins and linoleic acid (helpful in reducing cholesterol and preventing heart disease), low in carbohydrates
– tonic for the eyes: decreases light sensitivity and prevents eye degeneration

Millet:
– high in protein, iron, B vitamins, copper, silicon and chromium
– beneficial for spleen, pancreas and stomach
– easily digested and very alkaline for the body
– helps balance blood sugar levels and overcome candida infection
– has a calming and centering effect

Chia Seeds

Chia seeds have become a nutritious value to a healthy diet due to its high dietary fiber, omega-3 fatty acids, and other nutritional values. These seeds are high in antioxidants which promotes healthy skin and anti- aging properties. Chia seeds also help regulate high cholesterol levels and high blood pressure which promotes a healthy heart! Its also been proven to help people who suffer from diabetes due to its high alpha-linolenic acid & fiber. This super seed can help with weight loss with its protein value and its ability to make you feel fuller longer. To add this super seed to your diet you can use it in your smoothies, yogurt , chia pudding, and acai bowls.
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GUAVA

Contains one of the highest vitamin C content among produce.
It is rich in fiber, beneficial in a wide range of disease prevention including diabetes by slowing down the absorption of sugar in the body.

Contains Vitamin A, best known for preserving and improving eyesight.
Has Potassium which works as an important factor in regulating blood pressure.
Guava also supplies a good amount of folate in the body. Folate is a must-have nutrient for a healthy pregnancy.

Guava can be consumed in many different ways. You can either eat it as a fruit by rinsing & peeling off the skin or you can blend it and have it as a juice. But I think everyone’s favorite is to have it as a dessert or pastry.
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CARAMBOLA/STAR FRUIT

Carambola fruit is one of very low calorie exotic fruits.The fruit along with its waxy peel provides a good amount of dietary fiber and contains good quantities of vitamin-C. Due to its fiber content , it prevent the absorption of bad cholesterol in the gut.

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AVOCADO

Avocados are among the healthiest natural ingredients on the planet. Contrary to the belief that avocados are fattening, they provide many health benefits. Avocado has monounsaturated fats also known as “healthy fats”. Because of the monounsaturated fats it reduces levels of bad cholesterol in your blood and lowers your risk of stroke and heart disease. They also have a good source of protein (4 grams) and 11 grams of fiber which is almost half of the daily recommended intake.

Avocados also have multiple skin benefits. Avocados are filled with vitamin A which cleanses off any dead skin cells and offers enough protection against harsh environmental factors. It also eliminates wrinkles giving your skin a natural and youthful glow.
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WATERMELON

What’s a more refreshing fruit to eat during the hottest time of year then watermelon? Not only is it delicious but its one of the healthiest fruits. Studies have shown that at increasing consumption of watermelon decreases the risk of obesity and overall mortality, diabetes, heart disease and promotes a healthy complexion and hair, increased energy, overall lower weight.


Turmeric

Turmeric which originates from India is a herb used for food or its medicinal values. This herb is added to their main herb “curry” and turmeric is what gives it that bright yellow color. Turmeric helps lower your risk of heart disease, prevents cancer, alzheimer’s disease, and arthritis. You can add turmeric to your hummus, rice, chicken, and you can even have it as a tea!

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Spirulina
Spirulina is grown in Hawaii among other exotic locations in Mexico and Africa. This super food comes in powder base and can be added to any beverage. Spirulina can prevent cancer, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, and can lower the chance of a stroke. If your trying to speed up weight loss, spirulina can help with this journey.
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The Benefits of Bell Pepper

Bell peppers are low in calories! So, even if you eat one full cup of them, you get just about 45 calories. Bonus: that one cup will give you more than your daily quota of Vitamin A and C!
They contain plenty of vitamin C, which powers up your immune system and keeps skin youthful. The highest amount of Vitamin C in a bell pepper is concentrated in the red variety.

Red bell peppers contain several phytochemicals and carotenoids, particularly beta-carotene, which lavish you with antioxidant and anti-inflammatory benefits.

If cooked for a short period on low heat, bell peppers retain most of their sweet, almost fruity flavor and flavonoid content, which is a powerful nutrient.

The sulfur content in bell peppers makes them play a protective role in certain types of cancers.
The bell pepper is a good source of Vitamin E, which is known to play a key role in keeping skin and hair looking youthful.

Bell peppers also contain vitamin B6, which is essential for the health of the nervous system and helps renew cells.

Certain enzymes in bell peppers, such as lutein, protect the eyes from cataracts and macular degeneration later in life.
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Health Benefits of Papaya

The papaya fruit is very low in calories (just 39 calories/100 g) and contains no cholesterol; however, it is a rich source of phyto-nutrients, minerals, and vitamins.

Papayas contain soft, easily digestible flesh with a good amount of soluble dietary fiber that helps to have normal bowel movements.

Fresh, ripe papaya is one of the fruits with the highest vitamin-C content (provides 61.8 mg or about 103% of DRI, more than that of in oranges, or lemons). Research studies have shown that vitamin C has many important functions like free radicals scavenging, immune booster, and anti-inflammatory actions.

Fresh papaya also contains a good amount of potassium (257 mg per 100 g) and calcium. Potassium is an important component of cell and body fluids and helps controlling heart rate and blood pressure countering effects of sodium.
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Health Benefits of Dragon Fruit

Prevention of High Blood Pressure & Heart Diseases
Great Source of Antioxidants & Good for Detox
Delays Aging of Skin Cells
Rich in Immunity Boosting Vitamins & Minerals
Managing Blood Sugar Levels
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Health Benefits-This dried fruit comes from China which has been used over there for more than 2,000 years for its medicinal values. Goji berries have high levels of antioxidants & nutrients. It improves immune function and fights cancer(vitamin A and vitamin C). It also promotes healthy skin and helps prevent skin cancer with a pigment found in goji berries called beta-carotene. Goji berries help with the prevention of vision loss due to age , stabilizes blood sugar, and detoxify your liver. To start off your day right, you can add goji berries to your breakfast since its proven to improve overall mood and energy levels.

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Longan Fruit

Closely allied to the lychee, the longan has been referred to as the ‘little brother of the lychee’. Longan is slightly smaller than lychee, and with a dull brown skin which is smoother than that of the lychee. The fruit taste is similar, and the value of longan on the market is due to the fact that its season follows that of the lychee, extending the period when this type of fruit is available. The fruit is sweet, juicy and succulent. Apart from being eaten fresh, is also often used in Asian soups, snacks, desserts, and sweet-and-sour foods.

Health Benefits of Longan Fruit

1. Great source of vitamin C
Just one half cup provides 80% of your daily vitamin C requirements. Iron absorption depends on vitamin C and combining longan fruit with meat increases your iron levels. Vitamin C also plays a vital role in immunity.
2. Antioxidants
Antioxidants are our first line of defense against free radicals. These substances cause damage and generate inflammation throughout the body. Longan fruit is rich in antioxidants and can protect against heart disease, chronic inflammation and may even help prevent some cancers.
3. Better skin
Traditional Chinese medicine has known the beauty benefits of the longan fruit for thousands of years. This magic fruit adds luster, shine and suppleness to the skin.
4. Heart health
Chinese herbalists tout the direct nourishing effect of longan on the heart. Add this fruit to improve your cardiovascular system.
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Health benefits of Grapefruit

The powerful nutrient combination of fiber, potassium, lycopene, vitamin C and choline in grapefruit all help to maintain a strong heart.
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Health benefits of Passion Fruit

Delicious, passion fruit is rich source of antioxidants, minerals, vitamins, and fiber. 100 g fruit contains about 97 calories.
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Moringa
On your journey to a healthier lifestyle, moringa which comes from a plant (can be found in India, Nepal, or Pakistan)has come to light as a new super food! It has powerful anti-inflammatory properties and high in antioxidants. This super food also has high vitamins A, C , and E. Due to the antioxidants found in this plant, it helps support brain health and cognitive function. Moringa comes as a powder base and can be added to any kind of drink and even soup!

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Health Benefits of Mango

Mango fruit is rich in pre-biotic dietary fiber, vitamins, minerals, and poly-phenolic flavonoid antioxidant compounds.Mango fruit is an excellent source of Vitamin-A and flavonoids like beta-carotene, alpha-carotene, and beta-cryptoxanthin.It is also a very good source of vitamin-B6 (pyridoxine), vitamin-C and vitamin-E. Additionally, mango peel is also rich in phytonutrients, such as the pigment antioxidants like carotenoids and polyphenols.
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Health Benefits of Lychee

The incredibly delicious juicy lychee calls on the arrival of summer. Besides lychee being sweet and nutritious these berries bring a cooling effect on the human body to beat the scorching summer heat. Research studies suggest that
oligonol, a low molecular weight polyphenol, is found abundantly in lychee fruit. Oligonol is thought to have anti-oxidant and anti-influenza virus actions. In addition, it helps improve blood flow to organs, reduce weight, and protect skin from harmful UV rays. Litchi, like citrus fruits, which is an excellent source of vitamin C .Further, it is a very good source of B-complex vitamins such as thiamin, niacin, and folates.
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5 Uses For LEMONS

1. High Blood Pressure
Lemon contains potassium which controls high blood pressure and reduces the effect of nausea and dizziness.

2. Mental Health
Lemon water can also prep up your mood and relieve you from depression and stress. Long distance walkers and world travelers as well as explorers look upon the lemon as a Godsend. When fatigue begins, a lemon is sucked through a hole in the top. Quick acting medicine it is, giving almost unbelievable refreshments.

3. Respiratory Problems
Lemon water can reduce phlegm; and can also help you breathe properly and aids a person suffering with asthma.

4. Treating Arthritis and Rheumatism
Lemon is a diuretic – assists in the production of urine which helps you to reduce inflammation by flushing out toxins and bacteria while also giving you relief from arthritis and rheumatism.

5. Prevents Kidney Stones
Regular consumption of the refreshing drink – or even lemon juice mixed with water – may increase the production of urinary citrate, a chemical in the urine that prevents the formation of crystals that may build up into kidney stones.
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FROZEN LEMON THERAPY

Many professionals such as nutritionists are using or consuming whole lemons; where nothing is wasted.

How can you use the whole lemon evenly?

Simple, Wash the lemon and place in the freezer. Once the lemon is frozen, use your grater on the lemon (no need to peel) and sprinkle over your food.

Sprinkle in your drinks, wines, salads, ice cream, soups, pasta, pasta sauce, rice, and sushi.

Most people think lemons only contain lemon juice and vitamin C.

It is well known that lemon peels contain vitamins 5-10 times more than lemon juice itself. And yes, this is what you’ve been missing. But from now on, when you follow this simple method for freezing the whole lemon and sprinkle over your dishes, you can eat all the nutrients.

Lemon peels rejuvenate your health eliminating toxic elements from the body. Lemon (Citrus) is a miraculous product that helps kill cancer cells.

You can eat the fruit in different ways: the pulp, beverages, prepared ice cream, cakes, etc. It’s credited with many virtues, but the most interesting is the effect it produces on cysts and tumors

It is also considered as an antimicrobial spectrum against bacterial infections and fungi, effective against internal parasites and worms,and regulates blood pressure. It is an extraordinary alkalizing regulates the pH of the blood for optimum health.

Lemons have long been considered the most versatile of the citrus family, except that the tart pulp is too sour for most people to eat raw. Lemon juice has long been heralded as a tonic throughout the world; it is used as a gargle for sore throats, a lotion of sunburn, a cure for hiccups, and a popular home remedy for numerous ailments, particularly colds, coughs, and sore throats.

Lemon is a loosening and cleansing agent. Its potassium strengthens and energizes the heart, its oxygen builds vitality, its hydrogen activates the sensory nervous system, its calcium strengthens and builds the lungs, its phosphorus knits the bones, its sodium encourages tissue building, its magnesium acts as a blood alkalizer, its iron builds the red corpuscles, and its silicon aids the thyroid for deeper breathing. Lemons, along with the rest of the citrus family, work as strong solvents in the body, stimulating the liver and gallbladder, and stirring up any inactive acids and latent toxic settlements that cannot be eliminated any other way.

Citrus Fruits

Citrus fruits include grapefruits, lemons, limes, and oranges. Citrus fruits are high in vitamin C , and are a good sources of folate and potassium. Citrus flavonoids are also antioxidants that can neutralize free radicals and may prot

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How to pick your fruits

Blackberries

Look for plump, uniformly dark berries during their growing season of May through August. Blackberries are high in anthocyanin, a phytochemical that is believed to help reduce the risk of cancer and also may prevent urinary tract infections.

Blueberries

Choose blueberries that are uniformly dark blue—reddish ones are unripe and will be sour. They’re at their peak in July. Nutritionists call blueberries a “superfood” because they’re rich in antioxidants and phytoflavinoids, nutrients that are anti-inflammatories and can help reduce the risk of cancer and heart disease. They’re also high in potassium and vitamin C.

Cantaloupe

At its best June through August, cantaloupe is at its ripest when it is a creamy yellow color, heavy for its size, and very fragrant. Cantaloupes are high in vision-protecting antioxidants and Vitamin A.

Cherries

When they’re at their peak in July and August, look for large, firm, glossy cherries, with their stems intact. Cherries are low in calories but high in vitamin C and fiber.

Honeydew Melons

Pick honeydew melons that have pale, yellow-green rinds and are heavy for their size. You’ll find them at their peak in the late summer. Honeydews are high in vitamins C and B6, as well as folate and potassium.

Peaches

Ripe peaches will be yellow, with a reddish blush where they were touched by sunlight while on the tree, and will have a slight “give” when squeezed. They also will have a strong peachy fragrance when they’re ripe. You’ll find the best peaches from mid-May until August. Peaches are a good source of vitamins C and A, and they’re high in fiber and potassium.

Plums

Look for plums that are slightly soft, but with taut, unwrinkled skin. The chalky white “bloom” is a good sign—it means the plums haven’t been overhandled. The plum-growing season is long—from May to October—with different types peaking at different points of the summer, so be sure to taste all of the varieties throughout the season. Plums are rich in Vitamins C, A and B2, and are a good source of potassium and fiber.

Strawberries

One of the first fruits to ripen in the late spring and early summer, the tastiest, ripest strawberries will be fragrant, firm and uniformly red, with a bright green cap. High in polyphenols (an antioxidant), strawberries are also rich in vitamin C—one serving (about 8 berries) will give you more vitamin C than an orange.

Health Benefits of eating delicious strawberries

Strawberries boost immunity
Strawberries improve eye health
Strawberries help fight cancer
Strawberries keep wrinkles at ease.
Strawberries fight bad cholesterol
Strawberries reduce inflammation
Strawberries regulate blood pressure
Strawberries boost fiber
Strawberries aid in weight management
Strawberries promote pre-natal health

Watermelon

A ripe watermelon should sound hollow when you thump the rind and should be heavy for its size. Another sign of a ripe watermelon is that the “belly spot,” or the part where it rested on the ground, is cream-colored or yellowish, rather than white. Domestically grown watermelons can be found from May through October. Like tomatoes, watermelons are rich in lycopene, which some studies show might prevent some types of cancers.
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Thyroid Issues and Radishes – from Rhio http://hookedonraw.com

Recently, I was trying to understand the conflicting information on foods that are termed to be goitrogenic, meaning they suppress the activity of the thyroid gland. In this category are the cruciferous vegetables such as kale, collards, broccoli, cauliflower, cabbage, bok choy, arugula, Brussels sprouts, turnip, rutabaga, maca, mustard greens, mustard seeds, radish, and more. These are some of the most outstanding and nourishing foods on the planet, with cancer suppressing properties, as well as inhibitory activity against viruses, some fungi and various bacteria.

Raphanin is the main sulfur component in radishes. And it seems that raphanin has an affinity for the thyroid gland and is an adaptogen. Raphanin has the ability to regulate the gland, so whether the gland is underproducing or overproducing hormones, it brings it back to the normal range. Wow! Kind of like a thinking plant.

In the old Soviet Union they have used red and black radishes as accepted medical treatment for hypothyroidism. Some other things that can be done to mitigate radiation in the body are:

a) Ingesting kelp or other seaweeds for adequate iodine. It seems that the key to whether cruciferous vegetables will suppress the thyroid depends on whether the thyroid is adequately supplied with iodine. If you are low in iodine or deficient, then, it seems that the cruciferous vegetables have a negative effect. That’s the hypothesis anyway.

b) Chlorella has radiation protective effects, as evidenced by various studies.

c) Keeping an adequate supply of electrons in the body. There is a product invented by Patrick Flanagan called Mega Hydrate which does just that. You take each capsule with a full glass of water. The water activates the Mega Hydrate and this keeps your body supplied with extra electrons, so when oxidation happens and your cells and molecules lose electrons, there are sufficient replacements at hand to prevent a negative cascade of cellular damage. Of course, a mostly raw/live food diet supplies anti-oxidants as well.

d) Infrared Saunas aid the detoxification process of the body, as well as reducing the radiation burden.
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Types of Squash:
http://www.realsimple.com/food-recipes/shopping-storing/food/common-types-winter-squash

5 Reasons to eat more squash

Full of Vitamins- Squash is rich in the beta carotene our bodies use
to make vitamin A (important for vision, bone growth and
reproduction).
Prevent cancer cell growth- cancer cells are blocked from
communicating and act autonomously. Studies show that cell
communication allows the transfer of growth-inhibiting signals from
normal to abnormal cells. Beta carotene found in squash can turn on a
gene that encourages this communication, helping to prevent the growth
of cancerous cells.
Control blood pressure- Getting more potassium may lower the risk of
developing high blood pressure, and decreases blood pressure in people
who already have it.
Lots of protein- Baked pumpkin seeds make a nutritious snack. One
ounce (30 g) has seven grams of protein!
Avoid cataracts- Pumpkins, also part of the squash family are rich in
the pigments lutein and zeaxanthin. Adding these two pigments to your
diet help lower your risk of cataracts.
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Malabar Spinach

Malabar Spinach

Malabar Spinach

Malabar spinach is a tropical dark leafy green plant with a sweet, juicy taste much like that of its’ English cousin. It grows well in hot, humid climates such as south Asia, India as well as in South Florida. In fact, it gets its’ name from the Malabar Coast of India. Malabar spinach prefers fertile, well-drained soil that is kept moist. Malabar spinach is a creeping vine and is best when trellised.
Malabar spinach is a rich source of vitamins and minerals. It is more nutritious than conventional (English) spinach. For example, 100 grams of Malabar spinach offers:

• 8000 IU vitamin A which is 267% of the RDA.
• 102 mg vitamin C which is 102% of the RDA.
• 140 mg vitamin B6 (folate) which is 35% of the RDA.
• 100 g manganese, 32% of the RDA.
• 1.2 mg iron which is 15% of the recommended daily allowance (RDA)
• 100 g potassium, 11% of the RDA.
• Calcium, magnesium, copper, beta carotene, antioxidants, phytonutrients, and many more!
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Cucumbers

One cup of cucumber provides 11% of vitamin K, 4% of vitamin C, magnesium, potassium and manganese and 2% of vitamin A, thiamin, riboflavin, B-6, folate, pantothenic acid, calcium, iron, phosphorus, zinc and copper needs for the day.

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Kale

Kale can contribute to a healthy daily intake of alpha-lipoid acid from a variety of fresh fruits and vegetables. Kale is packed with nutrition that puts it high on the list of the world’s healthiest foods. The fiber, potassium, vitamin C and B6 found in kale all support heart health.


Beets

Beets are high in immune-boosting vitamin C, fiber, and essential minerals like potassium (essential for healthy nerve and muscle function) and manganese (which is good for your bones, liver, kidneys, and pancreas). Beets also contain the B vitamin folate, which helps reduce the risk of birth defects.

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