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Health Benefits of Guava Fruit


Guava

Guavas are low in calories and fats but contain several vital vitamins, minerals, and antioxidant poly-phenolic and flavonoid compounds that play a pivotal role in prevention of cancers, anti-aging and boosting the immune system. The fruit is very rich source of soluble dietary fibre, which makes it a good bulk laxative. The fibre content helps protect the colon mucous membrane by decreasing exposure time to toxins as well as binding to cancer-causing chemicals in the colon.

Guava fruit is an excellent source of antioxidant Vitamin C. 100 g fresh fruit provides 228 mg of this vitamin, more than three times the DRI (daily-recommended intake). Outer thick rind contains exceptionally higher levels of Vitamin C than central pulp. Scientific studies shown that regular consumption of fruits rich in Vitamin C helps the body develop resistance against infectious agents and scavenge cancer causing harmful free radicals from the body. Further, the vitamin is required for collagen synthesis within the body. Collagen is the main structural protein in the human body required for maintaining the integrity of blood vessels, skin, organs, and bones.

The fruit is a very good source of Vitamin A, and flavonoids like beta-carotene, lycopene, lutein and cryptoxanthin. The compounds are known to have antioxidant properties and are essential for optimum health. Further, Vitamin A is also required for maintaining healthy mucus membranes and skin. Consumption of natural fruits rich in carotene is known to protect from lung and oral cavity cancers. 100 g of pink guava fruit provides 5204 µg of lycopene, nearly twice the amount that in tomatoes. (100 g tomato contains 2573 µg of lycopene). Studies suggest that lycopene in pink guavas prevents skin damage from UV rays and offers protection from prostate cancer.

Fresh fruit is a very rich source of potassium. It contains more potassium than other fruits like banana weight per weight. Potassium is an important component of cell and body fluids that helps controlling heart rate and blood pressure.

Further, the fruit is also a moderate source of B complex vitamins such as pantothenic acid, niacin, vitamin B6 (pyridoxine), Vitamin E and K, as well as minerals like magnesium, copper, and manganese. Manganese is used by the body as a co-factor for the antioxidant enzyme, superoxide dismutase. Copper is required for the production of red blood cells.


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Health Benefits of Dates


Dates

Dates are free from cholesterol, contain very low levels of fat and are low in calories. Dates are rich in several vitamins and minerals. These include Vitamin B1, B2, B3 and B5 along with Vitamin A and C. These delicious fruits also contain oil, calcium, sulfur, iron, potassium, phosphorous, manganese, copper and magnesium, which are all beneficial for health. Some health specialists have further gone on to state that eating one date per day is necessary for a balanced and healthy diet. Dates are also a rich source of protein and contain various types of amino acids. Dates contain insoluble and soluble fibres, which helps the digestive system. Dates are very good energy boosters as they contain natural sugars such as glucose, sucrose and fructose. Dates also have fluorine that slows down the process of tooth decay

Bone Health and Strength
The significant amount of minerals found in dates make it a super food for strengthening bones and fighting off painful diseases like osteoporosis. Dates contain selenium, manganese, copper and magnesium, all of which are integral to healthy bone development and strength, particularly as people begin to age and their bones gradually weaken.

Constipation
Dates are often categorised as a laxative food. This is why dates are so frequently eaten by people suffering from constipation. Dates have high levels of soluble fibre, which is essential in promoting healthy bowel movements and the comfortable passage of food through the intestinal tract, which can relieve symptoms of constipation.

Intestinal Disorders
The nicotine content in dates is thought to be beneficial for curing many kinds of intestinal disorders. Continuous intake of dates helps to inhibit growth of the pathological organism, which therefore help stimulate the growth of friendly bacteria in the intestines. In terms of digestive issues, dates contain those insoluble and soluble fibres, as well as many beneficial amino acids which can stimulate the digestion of food and make it more efficient, meaning that more nutrients will be absorbed by the digestive tract and enter your body for proper usage.

Anemia
Dates have a high mineral content, which is beneficial for many different health conditions, but their impressive levels of iron make them a perfect dietary supplement for people suffering from anemia. The high level of iron balances out the inherent lack of iron in anemic patients, increasing energy and strength while decreasing feelings of fatigue and sluggishness.

Allergies
One of the most interesting facets of dates is the presence of sulphur in them. This is not a very common element to find in foods, but it does have a worthwhile amount of health benefit, including the reduction of allergic reactions and seasonal allergies. According to a study done in 2002, organic sulphur compounds can have a positive impact on the amount of suffering people experience from SAR (Seasonal Allergic Rhinitis). Dates are a great way to somewhat stem the effects of those seasonal allergies through its contributions of sulphur to the diet.

Weight Gain
Dates should be included as part of a healthy diet. They consist of sugar, proteins and many essential vitamins. If dates are consumed with cucumber paste, you can also keep your weight at a normal, balanced level, rather than over-slimming. One kilogram of dates contains almost 3,000 calories, and the calories in dates are sufficient to meet the daily requirements for a human body. Of course, that does not mean you should just eats dates throughout the day. If your are thin and slim and want to increase your weight, or if your are trying build your muscles or increase mass size, or your have become weak due to a serious medical problem – you need to eat dates.

Energy Booster
Dates are high in natural sugars like glucose, fructose and sucrose. Therefore, they are a perfect snack for an immediate burst of energy. Many people around the world use dates for a quick afternoon snack when they are feeling lethargic or sluggish.

Nervous System Health
The vitamins present in dates make it an ideal boost to nervous system health and functionality. Potassium is one of the prime ingredients in promoting a healthy and responsive nervous system, and it also improves the speed and alertness of brain activity. Therefore, dates are a wonderful food source for people as they begin to age and their nervous system becomes sluggish or unsupported, as well as for people who want to keep their mind sharp.

Healthy Heart
Dates are quite helpful in keeping your heart healthy. When they are soaked for the night, crushed in the morning and then consumed, they have shown to have a positive effect on weak hearts. Dates are also a rich source of potassium, which studies have shown to reduce the risk of stroke and other heart related diseases. Furthermore, they are suggested as a healthy and delicious way to reduce the levels of LDL cholesterol¬ in the body, which is a major contributing factor for heart attacks, heart disease and stroke. Therefore, when taken twice a week, dates can seriously improve the overall health of the heart.

Sexual Weakness
Studies have shown that dates are even beneficial for increasing sexual stamina. Soak a handful of dates in fresh goat’s milk over night, and then grind them in the same milk with a mixture of cardamom powder and honey. This mixture becomes a very useful tonic for increasing sexual endurance and reducing sterility caused by various sexual disorders. The science behind this phenomenon is largely due to traditional usage which stimulated formal research. In 2006, Bahmanpour studied the effects of date palms and their oil on sexual functioning and found that the high levels of estradiol and flavonoid components of dates are what increase sperm count and motility, as well as promoting increased testes size and weight. So, if you are looking for a masculine boost, eat some dates, because they are a great natural aphrodisiac.

Night Blindness
The benefits of dates are extensive, and are commonly employed to fight off various conditions affecting the ear, nose, and throat. When the leaves of the date palm are ground into a paste and rubbed on and around the eyes, or when dates are ingested orally, it has been shown to reduce the frequency of night blindness, and this solution is commonly used in rural areas where dates grow as an alternative medicine.

Intoxication
Dates are commonly used as a remedy for alcoholic intoxication. Dates provide quick relief and have a sobering effect in case you feel as though have consumed an uncomfortable amount of alcohol. They can also be used the following morning to prevent severe hangovers. Again, they should be rubbed and soaked overnight for the best results.

Diarrhea
Ripe dates contain potassium, which is known as an effective way of controlling diarrhea. They are also easy to digest, which further helps alleviate the unpredictable nature of chronic diarrhea. The soluble fibre in dates can also help relieve diarrhea, by providing bulk to the bowel movements and promoting normal, healthy functioning of the excretory system.

Abdominal Cancer
Research has pointed towards dates being a legitimate way to reduce the risk and impact of abdominal cancer. They work as a useful tonic for all age groups, and in some cases, they work better than traditional medicines, and are natural, so they don’t have any negative side effects on the human body. They can be quickly and easily digested for a quick boost of energy.

Although dates carry tremendous nutritional values, great care should be taken in their selection because their surface is very sticky, which often attracts various impurities. Therefore, you should only consume dates that are processed and packaged properly. Also, make sure to wash them thoroughly before you eat them, as this will help remove the impurities present on the surface. The best thing is that it does not have any side effect on the body and is completely natural as well as it works better than medicine.


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Coconut Water And Its Benefits


Coconut water
Coconuts are one of the richest sources of electrolytes, chlorides, potassium and magnesium with some amount of sugar, sodium and protein. Coconut water has the highest concentration of electrolytes than anything else found in nature. This makes it an excellent source of hydration. The potassium content benefits blood pressure and heart function. Coconut water is also found to have dietary fiber, manganese, calcium, riboflavin and vitamin C. Some research has shown coconuts to have cytokinins which have significant anti aging, anti carcinogenic and anti thrombotic effects.

The water of fresh green coconuts is actually fat free and has zero cholesterol and some studies even go as far as to say that it increases the HDL levels in the body. It is low in fat though rich in vitamins and the potassium level is twice the amount found in bananas. Drinking coconut water helps a person to lose weight as it is low in fat and it keeps a person feeling full and reduces food cravings. It is a storehouse of important nutrients, B-complex vitamins like riboflavin, niacin, thiamin and pyridoxine, and folates. It has anti-viral and anti-bacterial properties. These help when a person has flu or herpes, both of which are due to viral infections.

Many athletes may want to consider adding coconut water to their post-workout nutrition regime. On a macronutrient level 1 cup of coconut water contains 46 calories, 2 grams of protein, 9 grams of carbs and 1 gram of fat, but the micronutrients give this beverage its health power. It also boasts 252 milligrams of sodium, 600 milligrams of potassium, 60 milligrams of magnesium and 58 milligrams of calcium. Sodium and potassium are critical electrolytes that must be replaced after workouts. Coconut water appears to be more of an effective post-workout recovery drink than Gatorade and other sports drinks.

Coconut water
A study published in the Journal of Physiology Anthropology and Applied Human Science reported subjects consumed coconut water after working out in a heated room and achieving a state of dehydration. The coconut water rehydrated them just as well as a carbohydrate-electrolyte beverage, but was easier to drink and caused no stomach upset. Because it contains fewer calories than sports beverages, try mixing your post-workout protein(s) with coconut water to improve recovery.

Coconut water is generally recommended during pregnancy as it helps in constipation, heart burn and slow digestion. The lauric acid present in coconut water has anti-fungal, anti-bacterial and anti-viral properties, which boost the body’s immune system.

Tender coconut water is very beneficial to a person with kidney stones due to its minerals, potassium and magnesium content. This water also acts as a diuretic as it increases the flow and production of urine. Most urologists recommend coconut water every alternate day as it can reduce the size of kidney stones and even help eliminate them.

Also coconut water is wonderful for the skin. When coconut water is applied to affected skin areas with acne, spots, wrinkles, stretch marks, cellulite and eczema and left overnight for two to three weeks, it clears up the skin and gives you a youthful-looking smooth skin. It can be applied to hands and nails for its smoothening and repairing properties.


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Free Radicals


The unstable atoms or molecules known as free radicals are produced by the body as a consequence of its normal metabolism, and as part of its natural defence against disease. Sometimes, however, the body over-produces free radicals which may cause serious damage to delicate cellular structures, resulting in inflammation and also the oxidation of blood cholesterol which is then deposited on arterial walls. This situation can be worsened by smoking, a high intake of pesticides, smog, over-exposure to ultraviolet light and even intensive exercise.

Free radicals contain at least one unpaired electron (or negative charge), making them highly reactive. As soon as they are produced, they search for molecules with which they can react, this reaction is called oxidation. Free radicals can oxidise, and so damage DNA and cell membranes, opening the way for cancers and diseases to develop. They are linked to the appearance of brown patches on the skin of elderly people. But although free radicals have been associated with aging, cancer, atherosclerosis, high blood pressure, osteoarthritis and immune deficiency, their role in the development of these conditions is still being researched.

However, it is generally believed that if free radicals reach and attack the DNA in the nucleus of a cell, the cell mutation which can result may cause cancer. It has also been observed that when cholesterol is oxidised by free radicals it is more damaging to the artery that ‘native’ cholesterol, so implicating free radicals in the development of heart disease.

The body has defence mechanisms against free radicals, antioxidant enzymes and nutrients in it cells serve to ‘mop up’ free radicals and render them harmless. Protective nutrients include, iron, zinc, copper, manganese and selenium (which help to make up protective antioxidant enzymes) as well as vitamin A, C and E. Other plant substances also provide protection against free radical damage; these include beta carotene and bioflavonoids.


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The New Hype Surrounded By Beetroot Juice


The cultivation of beetroot can be traced back to somewhere around 4,000 years ago. The ancient Babylonians were the first to use it for various applications. Early Greeks and Romans used the root for its medicinal properties and the leaves as vegetables. Moving ahead with time beetroot held an important place in Renaissance (14th-16th century) medicine and was often used for treating various ailments. In medieval England, beetroot juice or broth was recommended as an early digested food for the aged, weak or infirm.

The juice of raw beetroot contains a multitude of benefits. Which will be explained further on.

So what are the nutritional ingredients in beetroot juice?

–          Minerals

Beetroot juice contains magnesium, phosphorus, sodium, potassium and calcium, as well as small amounts of copper, selenium, zinc, iron and manganese.

–          Amino Acids

It contains trace amounts of amino acids (including D-amino acids [Alpha Amino Acids]) which help to build proteins to be used by the body.

–          Antioxidants

Various antioxidants (including flavonoids and carotenoids) are found in the juice. They fight and destroy free radicals in the body and help to fight premature ageing and to maintain a healthy body and mind.

–          Vitamins

Beetroots are a good source of folic acid and vitamin C. It does also contain small amounts of vitamins B1, B2, B3 and vitamin A in the form of beta-carotene.

The deep red colour comes from betacyanin, which helps prevent colon cancer. A rich supply of silica is also present which helps to utilise the calcium in the body which is also required for healthy skin, hair, nails and bones.

The Benefits

Research has shown beetroot juice to improve the respiratory system which would benefit swimmers, singers and mountaineers. Beetroot is known to boost levels of nitric oxide in the body, causing muscles to work more effectively and demand less oxygen.

A study by 12 Swedish scientists in The Journal of Respiratory Physiology and Neurobiology, was conducted on 12 healthy volunteers who were trained in breath-hold diving. In this test the 9 men and 3 women were either given a 70 millilitre shot of beetroot juice or an inactive placebo drink. They were then asked to hold their breath after having a clip placed on their nose. After drinking the beetroot, the participants were able to hold their breath for an average 4minutes and 38 seconds. After drinking the placebo they managed 4 minutes and 10 seconds. That is a difference of 11%.

Exeter University in the UK, carried out a study and concluded beetroot juice could improve your workouts. The study involved professional cyclists drinking a pint of store bought beetroot juice before riding in a simulated competition. They shaved vital seconds off their finishing times, which could be crucial in a sport where seconds often make a difference between winning and losing.  This study can be found in the journal of Medicine and Science in Sports and Exercise. An abstract of the study can be found here, http://journals.lww.com/acsm-msse/Abstract/2011/06000/Acute_Dietary_Nitrate_Supplementation_Improves.27.aspx

Another study also conducted by researchers in Exeter University, concluded that beetroot juice boosts stamina and an individual could exercise 16% longer. This is due to the nitrate the beetroot contains which reduces oxygen uptake, therefore making exercise less tiring. This study was published in the Journal of Applied Physiology. An abstract of the study can be found here, http://jap.physiology.org/content/107/4/1144.abstract

A study published in the American Heart Association Journal, Hypertension, stated that individuals who drank a glass of beetroot juice a day were found to have significantly lower blood pressure just 24 hours later.

Beetroot juice has a very strong and over powering taste. Therefore, it should always be consumed in small quantities and usually mixed with other juices, such as apple, carrot, cucumber and celery, which altogether have nutritional benefits.