Posts Tagged strawberries
Wednesday, July 25, 2012
By: John Phillip
[NaturalNews] Flavonoids from many fruits have been associated with potent anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties to help prevent a host of diseases ranging from cardiovascular ailments and metabolic disorders to dementia and cognitive decline. Increased antioxidant activity promoted by consumption of strawberries is essential to halt damage to metabolically active organs such as the heart and brain, and when consumed as part of a regular dietary regimen can prevent cellular damage associated with chronic disease and early death.
Researchers from the University of Warwick in the UK have been studying the beneficial effects of strawberries on our cardiovascular health, particularly with regard to how they prevent the development of heart disease and diabetes. A study team led by Dr. Paul Thornalley has found that extracts from strawberries positively activate a protein in our bodies called ‘Nrf2′ which is shown to increase antioxidant and other protective activities. The protein decreases total blood lipids and levels of oxidized cholesterol, two elements known to promote cardiovascular disease.
Strawberries influence the expression of digestive genes to improve cholesterol absorption
Prior research has shown how consumption of strawberries can counter post-meal blood glucose surges and improve dangerous levels of oxidized LDL cholesterol, thereby decreasing the risk of diabetes and heart disease. This is the first time that strawberry extracts have been demonstrated to positively stimulate proteins that offer us protection against disease.
Dr. Thornalley commented “We’ve discovered the science behind how strawberries work to increase our built-in defenses to keep cells, organs and blood vessels healthy and which can reduce the risk of developing cardiovascular problems such as heart disease and diabetes.” Strawberries and other members of the berry family modify our blood cholesterol profile with an effect similar to that seen with a high fiber diet, where cholesterol is absorbed in the intestines before it can be processed by the liver.
Strawberries accomplish this effect by down-regulating the impact of genes in the digestive tract that influence cholesterol absorption. The berries can also impact how the liver processes cholesterol, the degree of damaging oxidation and re-absorption of cholesterol for use by the trillions of cells throughout the body. As with most other natural foods that are shown to influence the expression of individual genes, only small quantities (one to two servings of strawberries, several days a week) of the super fruit are needed to provide positive health benefits that may help prevent a host of chronic illnesses.
Sources for this article include:
by: Kelsey Coy
July 24, 2012
For the eighth year in a row, the Environmental Watch Group (EWG) has published an updated ‘shopper’s guide’ based on a comprehensive analysis of government pesticide testing data of 45 different fruit and vegetables. The guide includes the ‘dirty dozen:’ the twelve foods most commonly contaminated with pesticides, as well as the ‘clean fifteen:’ the fifteen least contaminated foods. This year the dirty dozen also includes a ‘plus’ category, warning about two foods containing particularly concerning organophospates, insecticides that are known reproductive and neurotoxins. The use of organophosphates have been significantly reduced in the past decade, but is yet to be banned, and this year, a number of crops still tested positive. The journal Environmental Health Perspectives contains 25 articles published in the past week analyzing and discussing the dangers or organophosphates in our food supply.
Also new this year, researchers investigated the pesticide content of 190 samples of baby food, with rather alarming results.
As the EWG simply and frankly reminds us, ‘Pesticides are toxic by design. They are created expressly to kill living organisms — insects, plants, and fungi that are considered “pests.” Many pesticides pose health dangers to people. These risks have been established by independent research scientists and physicians across the world.” The U.S. and international government agencies have linked pesticides to health problems spanning brain and nervous system toxicity, cancer, hormonal disruption and skin, eye and lung irritation. However, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), under pressure from The American Crop Protection Association, largely representative of the pesticide industry, has failed to apply adequate protective measures in regulating our food supply. One might well ask whether it is wiser to protect a country’s crops or its population.
The Dirty Dozen
Without further ado, the dirty dozen:
- Sweet bell peppers
- Nectarines (imported)
- Blueberries (domestic)
Plus 2 more to add to the dirty dozen:
- Green beans
- Kale/Collard Greens
Going into a little more detail for the dirty dozen, 100 percent of imported nectarines tested positive for pesticides, as well as 98% of apples and 96% of plums. Grapes had 15 pesticides in a single sample, while blueberries and strawberries each had 13. As an entire category, grape samples contained 64 different pesticides; bell peppers had 88 different residues, cucumbers 81 and lettuce 78.
The Clean Fifteen
And the clean fifteen:
- Sweet corn
- Sweet peas
- Cantaloupe (domestic)
- Sweet Potatoes
Highlights of the clean fifteen include pineapples, in which fewer than 10% of samples contained pesticides, mangoes and kiwis, both of which were completely free of pesticides more than 75% of the time, and watermelon and domestic cantaloupe over 60% of the time. Among vegetables, no samples of sweet corn and onions had more than one pesticide and more than 90% of cabbage, asparagus, sweet peas, eggplant and sweet potato samples contained no more than one pesticide.
One additional concern to consider: sweet corn, although it may contain less pesticide residues, is quite commonly genetically modified in the U.S. While genetically modified organisms (GMO) are banned or significantly restricted in Australia, Japan and throughout the European Union, the industry is still at large in the U.S., and no labeling is required by the federal government. For this reason, it is recommended that sweet corn consumption also be limited to organic.
Among baby food, green beans and pears were especially disturbing: almost 10% of green beans contained the organophosphate methamidiphos in amounts that could easily increase risk for brain and nervous system damage in infants consuming a four-ounce serving of green beans on a regular basis. 92% of pear samples tested positive for at least one pesticide and over a quarter of samples contained five or more, including iprodione, categorized by the EPA as a probable human carcinogen, and not registered for use on pears. In fact, the presence of iprodione in pears of any kind constitutes a violation of FDA regulations and the federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act.
While there is no question that Americans need to eat more fruits and vegetables, it’s worth taking an extra step to make sure that produce is delivering the nutrition it’s supposed to, and nothing it’s not. Pause for a moment. Want some neurotoxins with that salad? I didn’t think so.
Thursday, July 19, 2012
by: Katie Brind Amour
[NaturalNews] Scientists at the University of Warwick have identified a potential preventive effect of strawberries on Type 2 Diabetes risk. Although strawberries have previously been identified as effective at battling high cholesterol and post-meal blood glucose levels, professor Paul Thornalley’s research has now demonstrated that strawberry extract actually stimulates the protein “Nrf2″ in our bodies, which activates antioxidant activity and decreases blood lipids.
Eating strawberries or strawberry extract may offer a simple, natural solution to improving cardiovascular health. Now that researchers know how strawberries stimulate this protective effect, they can focus on determining how much and which form of strawberries will work best to fight cardiovascular disease and diabetes.
Eating fruit despite diabetes
Of course, a proper diet has always been the first line of defense in preventing diabetes naturally and – coupled with maintaining a healthy body weight – is the best natural treatment for achieving safe blood glucose levels. Many diabetics focus so much on carbohydrate counting and the avoidance of sugar that they virtually eliminate fruit from their diet. Unfortunately, this habit may prevent them from benefiting from the natural disease-fighting properties of some of nature’s most delicious foods (such as strawberries).
In fact, when incorporated carefully into the diabetic diet, eating a variety of fruits can be the key to maintaining energy levels, improving memory, fighting neurodegenerative illness, safeguarding cardiovascular health, achieving healthy skin and organs, and even preventing common diabetes complications.
So why the diabetic war on fruit?
Many diabetics believe that fruit sabotages blood glucose levels and eats up large portions of their carbohydrate budget for meals. Eaten in correct serving sizes and as part of an otherwise balanced diet; however, virtually any fruit can be a regular addition to the diabetic diet. In general, diabetic and non-diabetic diets should be composed of lean protein, low-fat dairy products, whole grains, lots of vegetables, and a variety of fruit.
Serve up some strawberries with Greek yogurt and walnuts for breakfast, snack on some grapes and whole grain crackers in the afternoon, or whip up a mango salsa to serve with fish at dinner. In general, the more variety, the better. Berries, bananas, apples, and citrus all boast wonderful health benefits, and can be easily monitored for portion size and identified on glycemic index charts. After a few weeks with strawberries and other fruits in the diet, things may start looking up as your diabetes risk and health woes go down – naturally!
Sources for this article include:
Friday, March 23, 2012
By: Danna Norek
[NaturalNews] Spring time is upon us, and now is the time to get rid of excess body weight by doing a “spring cleaning” of sorts for your body. The perfect way to achieve this is to take a smoothie day once a week.
These smoothies will help your body get rid of built up toxins, improve sluggish digestion and elimination and jump start weight loss goals. They help flatten the belly, clear the skin and increase energy levels.
Smoothies require very little energy to digest and assimilate into energy. This is because the ingredients, which are whole fruits, are already pureed into easily broken down nutrients. They are also very filling due to the high fiber content and wholesome nature of the ingredients.
If you need to, you can eat a very light dinner on your smoothie day. However, it works best if you drink a smoothie for each meal the entire day. If you’d like to add more nutritional value or fiber, you can also add a green powder, wheat grass or ground flaxseed to the recipes below.
Mango Pineapple Smoothie Recipe
1 cup chopped fresh pineapple
1 cup sliced fresh mango
1/2 fresh orange, sliced with seeds removed
1/2 banana, sliced
3/4 cup plain yogurt
1 T. coconut oil
2 T. of whey powder or soy protein powder
1 t. stevia optional if additional sweetness desired
1 cup ice
Blend all of the ingredients together in a blender. Put the ice in last to avoid getting the ingredients stuck in one place. This recipe supplies fiber, beneficial enzymes from the pineapple and mango, protein from the banana and protein powder and a host of antioxidants.
Vibrant Berry Smoothie Recipe
1 cup chopped strawberries
1 cup blackberries
1 cup blueberries
1/2 fresh orange, sliced with seeds removed
1/2 sliced banana
1 cup plain yogurt
1 T. coconut oil
2 T. whey powder or soy protein powder
1 t. stevia (optional)
1 cup ice
Add all ingredients to your blender and blend. This recipe is full of antioxidants. Blueberries, blackberries and strawberries all contain anti-inflammatory properties as well which makes this an excellent recipe for those who suffer fromchronic pain.
The yogurt in both recipes adds beneficial probiotic active cultures. These help to speed sluggish elimination, reduce bloating and water retention and assist in managing weight.
Coconut oil contains beneficial fatty acids which help keep you fuller longer and add vibrance and clarity to your skin. Vitamin C is also excellent for the skin and immune system, and this is supplied in abundance in the fruits contained in both of these smoothie recipes.
After an all-smoothie day you will feel lighter, more energetic and less bloated. It is a great way to detoxify the body and give it a break from the normal foods we eat every day.