Category Archives: Nutrition

9 Most Fabulous Health Benefits of Pomegranates

What Are Pomegranates?

Just in case you’re hearing about pomegranates for the first time: Pomegranates are the orange-sized fruits with a firm ruby-red outer skin and sweet arils – a red gelatinous flesh containing lots of seeds. Despite the many beliefs, the pomegranate seeds are edible and absolutely healthy. In fact, each part of pomegranate has health benefits – even the skin is used in dietary supplements as it’s an excellent source of the polyphenols, including prodelphinidins, catechins, and condensed tannins.

The History of Pomegranates

Originally grown as decorations, pomegranates are native to a region from modern Iran to the northern part of India and have been cultivated throughout the South Asia, Middle East, and Mediterranean region for thousands of years. Pomegranates are mentioned in the Book of Exodus, Babylonian texts, and the Homeric Hymns, and are believed to have been found in the Garden of Eden.

Pomegranates were known in early Bronze Age and a dry pomegranate was found in the tomb of Thoth, one of the Ancient Egyptian deities, making us think that pomegranates were more popular during the ancient times than they are now.

The ancient Spanish city of Granada was renamed after pomegranate during the Moorish period but despite all the efforts to introduce the fruit to the different countries, including England, pomegranate kept staying a hidden gem that nobody noticed.

Nowadays, Greek and Turkish cultures see the pomegranate seeds as symbols of prosperity and good fortune, and other cultures are still trying to discover this miracle fruit.

Pomegranate Nutrition Facts

Pomegranates belong to a superfood category, which means they are plentiful in nutrients that can protect every aspect of your health.They’re fortified with protein, fiber, omega-6 fatty acids, copper, calcium, selenium, magnesium, iron, zinc, potassium, phosphorus, and vitamins C, K, B6 and E. Pomegranates are also a small source of riboflavin, thiamin, niacin, folate, and choline. Flavonoids found in both pomegranate fruit and its outer skin contribute to a better whole body health. Pomegranates are low in sodium, saturated fat, and cholesterol as well as have a relatively low glycemic index, which means they don’t cause a significant spike in blood sugar. 100 grams of fresh pomegranate contains:

• 83 calories
• 13.7g of sugar
• 4.0g of dietary fiber (16% of recommended daily intake)
• 18.7g of carbs (6% of RDI)
• 1.7g of protein (3% of RDI)
• 10.2mg of vitamin C (17% of RDI)
• 0.6mg of vitamin E (3% of RDI)
• 16.4mcg of vitamin K (21% of RDI)
• 0.1mg of vitamin B6 (4% of RDI)
• 0.1mg of thiamin (4% of RDI)
• 38.0mcg of folate (10% of RDI)
• 7.6mg of choline
• 0.1mg of riboflavin (3% of RDI)
• 236mg of potassium (7% of RDI)
• 10mg of calcium (1% of RDI)
• 12mg of magnesium (3% of RDI)
• 0.4mg of zinc (2% of RDI)
• 36mg of phosphorus (4% of RDI)
• 0.1mg of manganese (6% of RDI)
• 0.3mg of iron (2% of RDI)
• 0.2mg of copper (8% of RDI)

9 Best Health Benefits of Pomegranates

The science never stays still and it keeps exploring new superfoods day by day. Luckily, many researchers around the world have paid attention to pomegranates and what they have already found surprised even them. It turns out, pomegranates can promote not only better health, but also a longer life. Pomegranate juice, in particular, has been proven to control blood sugar, improve heart health and fight overall body inflammation. Have a look at the 10 best health benefits of pomegranates researchers have found:

1. Promote heart and artery health

A large number of studies and experiments have been conducted to explore the heart-healthy benefits of pomegranates. A study done by the Rambam Medical Center, in Israel showed that drinking a pomegranate juice regularly helps to reduce the amount of plaque, lower high blood pressure and prevent inflammation and oxidation. The study was conducted with 10 patients who had been drinking a pomegranate juice for 1 and 3 years.

Another study done by the National Nutrition and Food Technology Research Institute, in Iran, that involved 22 diabetic patients, found that a fresh pomegranate juice can help to reduce the cholesterol level. The patients had been drinking the juice for 8 weeks.

In another study 13 men aged 39-68 who suffered from high blood pressure drank 5 ounces of pomegranate juice and after 6 hours, their overall high blood pressure was decreased by 7%. Plus, the experiment showed that pomegranate juice consumption improves artery function.

The researchers from the Preventive Medicine Research Institute in California conducted a big study that involved the patients with ischemic coronary heart disease. The patients were given 8 ounces of pomegranate juice a day for 3 months. As a result, the blood flow was improved and the blood pressure was decreased. The conclusion is, regular pomegranate juice consumption may better stress-induced myocardial ischemia in people who suffer from heart disease.

2. Fight chronic inflammation

Pomegranates have been shown to decrease inflammatory activity in colon cancer and breast cancer cells – that’s all thanks to the punicalagins found in the fruit. Pomegranate juice can also help to prevent and treat chronic inflammation, which mostly leads to serious diseases, including type 2 diabetes, heart disease, Alzheimer’s disease, and cancer.

3. Protect the skin against killer sun-induced damage

Pomegranates boast the powerful antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties that promote the skin health as well. A study done by the University of Wisconsin, Madison, found that pomegranate fruit can help to protect your skin against harmful sun-induced damage and keep it younger longer due to its anti-aging properties.

4. Lower the arthritis risk

There are many various types of arthritis, but most of them have one thing in common – they cause a serious inflammation in the joints that lead to unbearable pain and a number of other dangerous health issues. As I mentioned above, pomegranates have excellent anti-inflammatory properties thus eating them regularly may help treat arthritis and relieve joint pain.

The two researches also showed that pomegranates’ anti-inflammatory properties can also be beneficial to people with osteoarthritis.

5. Reduce the prostate and breast cancer risks

The two most common cancer types that are highly dangerous to men and women. Pomegranates have been proven to contain the compounds that slow down the cancer cell reproduction and even stimulate apoptosis in cancer cells. A 2013 study conducted by the Duke University Medical Center, in Durham,found that giving men who suffered from prostate pomegranate extract tablets before surgery that involved a removal of cancerous tissue from the prostate can reduce the amount of tissue that must be removed. While these are not the end results and more studies are going to be conducted, men can certainly benefit from consuming pomegranates.

A number of other studies, and found that pomegranate extract restrains the breast cancer cell reproduction and may kill some of them. Although more experiments are needed in this field, we can confidently say that incorporating pomegranates is worth the candle.

6. Boost brain health

Pomegranates are high in the polyphenols, which have potent brain-boosting properties. A team of international researchers from the University of Huddersfield found that pomegranate contains a natural polyphenol compound that can prevent inflammation in certain brain cells, thus help to slow down or prevent Alzheimer’s development.

Another research involved elderly people with memory complaints, including age-associated ones. They were asked to drink pomegranate juice for 4 weeks. After those 4 weeks, they showed the significantly improved markers of visual and verbal memory.

7. Combat fungal and bacterial infectious

Pomegranates have anti-microbial activities that have been reported to kill fungal and bacterial infectious and antifungal properties ( https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/20930339 ), making it one of the most effective fruits to consume when trying to fight the harmful body bacteria. Regular pomegranate consumption can also prevent conditions such as denture stomatitis, periodontitis, and gingivitis.

8. Help women giving birth

A study conducted by the researchers from the Heidelberg University in Germany revealed that pomegranates contain special substances that strengthen the muscles in the reproductive system,helping pregnant women in labor.

Another research from the University of Liverpool found the same benefit of pomegranates, which make them one of the healthiest foods pregnant women should be consuming more.

9. Promote the liver health and fight Hepatitis C Chinese researchers revealed that flavonoids and polyphenols, the powerful antioxidant components found in pomegranates, help to protect the liver from damage.

Another study shows that regular pomegranate consumption can significantly reduce the risk of developing Hepatitis C, which leads to a serious damage to the liver, brain, kidneys, bones, joints, blood vessels, and pancreas.

Spirulina Health Benefits

Complete healthy nutrition is becoming a major concern for many of us. One of the reasons being the soil which is depleted of minerals due to over-farming and replenishing our soils with only limited number of minerals. The other reason is our lifestyle where we intend to compromise our health for time and taste. This leads to nutritional deficiency and may lead to health issues, some of them, chronic ones.

I am writing this article so that you can fulfill your nutritional needs with ease using this healthy option and are much suited to our modern lifestyles. I wanted to let you know about spirulina.

Spirulina is an edible blue green algae that has been used as food for thousands of years for the high nutrition it provides. It was a part of some ancient civilizations that enjoyed its health benefits. I wanted to highlight some of the important nutrition facts that spirulina provides so that you too can benefit form it.

Spirulina Health Benefits

1. Spirulina is easy to digest – Spirulina cell wall does not have cellulose which cannot be digested by our digestive system. Instead, spirulina cell wall is made up of mucopolysaccharides which are easily broken down and this makes the nutrients in the spirulina highly bio-available which makes these nutrients quickly absorbed in our body.

2. Spirulina provides antioxidants – Spirulina provides antioxidants like Phycocyanin and phycocyanobilin. Both are very powerful antioxidants that fight free radical that cause damage to our cells. Free radicals are known to speed up aging process and cause chronic disease like cancer. The phycocyanobilin is known to protect kidneys from damage due to diabetes.

3. Spirulina provides protein – Spirulina contains about 60% protein by weight which very higher than meat and chicken. Protein is required for many bio-chemical reactions within our body and are need to repair, regenerate and maintain our tissues. Scientist believe that Phycocyanin is a very powerful compound and has beneficial effect on the functions of our heart and brain.

4. Spirulina provides vitamins and minerals – Spirulina provides vitamin B12 which is needed by our nerves to be healthy. It also provides Gamma Linolenic Acid (GLA) which an important fatty acid that help protect from eczema and psoriasis.

The above mentioned benefits are some of the important health benefits that spirulina has to offer to your body. In addition to this, spirulina is available in capsule and powder form which is easy to consume and requires no preparation time. So my suggestion is you start consuming spirulina and fill in your nutritional gap.

How To Reduce Bloating Naturally

We’ve all dealt with belly bloating at some point or another, and for a majority — bloating is a symptom that you deal with regularly. Finding the cause of the constant bloating is most certainly of high priority, so that you may stop the bloating for good, but in the meantime, here are a few of my favourite natural ways to kick the belly bloat.

Lemon Water. Drinking water with fresh lemon and a dash of cayenne pepper is my favourite de-bloating tonic. To add some extra de-bloating properties, adding some fresh ginger to your tonic would improve your efforts. Ginger is one of the best things you can use for this. Ginger eases nausea and has anti-spasmodic properties. Enjoying this tonic each morning is a great way to start your day and jumpstart your digestion. You could also be experiencing belly bloat due to indigestion or gastrointestinal distress. The cayenne pepper in your tonic stimulates digestion, eases gas, and can relieve pressure and cramping.

Chew Your Food. A key cause of bloating is poor digestion, which can be a result of not chewing your food thoroughly. When you chew your food well, it assists your body in digesting the food you’re consuming more easily. Aim to chew each bite 15-20 times to allow your body to receive properly broken down food to make digestion easier on your body.

Don’t Chug Water With Meals (if you have a sensitive stomach). There is a lot of conflicting information out there about drinking water right before you eat and that it’s beneficial. But drinking large amounts of water with a meal can dilute digestive juices and lead to indigestion and bloating. It’s ideal to have a drink about 20-30 minutes prior to eating to prepare the stomach and then stick with only small sips of water throughout the meal if needed. You may need to experiment with this one and see what works for you. You may find that drinking lots of water during a meal doesn’t affect you, so continue to search for another possible culprit for the bloating.

Include Bitter Foods. Adding more bitter foods to your diet will help stimulate bile and enzyme flow to aid in the break down of food and the absorption of nutrients. Some great bitter foods to add are: mustard greens, arugula, dandelion greens, collard greens, kale, nettles and watercress.

Reduce Stress. When we are stressed we are in the fight or flight mode as it’s called. This mode has no time for digestion and reduces our ability to digest food properly which can lead to indigestion and bloating. Make sure you are sitting and relaxed while eating and not rushing.

What’s on your plate is always of top priority when it comes to healthy digestion. Eating fresh, whole foods helps your body run optimally and keeps the digestive system running as it should. Bloating is something we can’t eradicate entirely, but using healthy habits on a daily basis will help you combat bloating and feel more healthy overall. In addition to your food choices and eating habits, exercising on a regular basis helps maintain a healthy digestive system that reduces bloating.