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The Health Benefits of Strawberry

The Health Benefits of Strawberries

The health benefits of strawberry include eye care, proper brain function, and relief from high blood pressure, arthritis, gout and heart diseases.

We know that all fruits, particularly berries and those with exotic colors are rich in anti oxidants. Strawberries are no exceptions. In addition to anti oxidants, they have many other nutrients and can be efficiently used to prevent many diseases.

Let us see what they are. The health benefits of strawberry include the following:

  • Eye Care: The primary reasons for almost all the problems of eyes are free radicals and deficiency of certain nutrients. With the growing age and lack of these protective nutrients, the harmful oxidants or free radicals cast heavy damage on our eyes, such as drying up of eyes, degeneration of optical nerves, Macular degeneration, vision defects and make them prone to infections too. The anti oxidants such as vitamin-C, Flavonoids, Phenolic Phytochemicals and Elagic Acid, present in strawberries can help avoid this situation to a great extent. One more factor is ocular pressure, i.e. the pressure of the eyes. Any disturbance in it is also harmful for the eyes. Here too, strawberries are helpful as they contain potassium, which help maintain right pressure.
  • Arthritis and Gout: The degeneration of muscles and tissues, drying up of the fluid which help mobility of the joints and accumulation of toxic substances and acids (such as uric acid) in the body are some of the ill effects of free radicals present in our body, which are primarily responsible for Arthritis and Gout. Strawberries, with their team of anti oxidants and detoxifiers, can effectively help push away such health hazards forever. It is a famous saying in India that a serving of any fruit a day will remove the rust from the joints. It is very true for strawberries.
  • Cancer: Vitamin-C, Folate and Anthocyanin, Quercetin and Kaempferol (few of the many Flavonoids in strawberries which possess excellent anti oxidant and anti carcinogenic properties) together form an excellent team to fight cancer and tumor. A daily intake of strawberries is seen to have remarkably brought down the growth of cancerous cells.
  • Brain Function: It is a very common observation that old people tend to lose their memory and control over their activities, limbs etc. This is because of aging of their brain and the nervous system. Actually, the free radicals, the agents very much responsible for aging, have a very adverse effect on these systems. Due to them, the brain tissues start degenerating and the nerves get weaker. Strawberries can help you out. The vitamin-C and the phytochemicals in them neutralize the effect of these oxidants and also rejuvenate the system. One more thing, strawberries are rich in iodine too, which is very helpful for proper functioning of the brain and nervous system.
  • High Blood Pressure: Strawberries are very good in potassium and magnesium content, both of which are very effective in lowering high blood pressure caused by sodium.
  • Heart Diseases: High fiber, Folate, no fats and high anti oxidants such as vitamin-C and those phytochemicals (Flavonoids) together form an ideal cardiac health pack, as they effectively reduce cholesterol. Some of the members of the vitamin-B family present in strawberries also strengthen the cardiac muscles and help better functioning of the heart.
  • Other Benefits: Folate is known to protect from birth-defects. Vitamin-C effectively prevents from infections and cold. The phytonutrients also have anti inflammatory properties. Wait! I forgot to tell you about the best benefit. The strawberry preserve tastes just awesome.

This article was contributed by Aparup Mukherjee.

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Akilah M. El, N.D. is a Naturopathic Doctor and certified Master Herbalist with a private practice in Atlanta Georgia and Berlin Germany. Join Dr Akilah El on Facebook and Twitter

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New Scientific Study Shows that Sunlight Can Prevent Skin Cancer

Sunlight Prevents Skin Cancer

Since the 1980s, physicians and cancer groups have regularly warned the public against the potential health dangers of direct sunlight on skin. As a result, many people have stayed out of the sunlight completely, covered their limbs even in warm weather or slathered themselves with UV protection products, all in the interest of lowering their risk of melanomas.

However, more recent findings indicate that this kind of nearly vampiric avoidance of the sun may not benefit your cancer odds after all.

A 2009 study by a group of Leeds University researchers found that higher levels of Vitamin D were linked to improved skin cancer survival odds. Other studies have found that Vitamin D has a connection to a strong immune response in the body. In fact, Vitamin D may hasten the death of tumor cells.

Unfortunately, most people have low levels of Vitamin D, leaving them at higher risk for a host of diseases including breast cancer, prostate cancer, bowel cancer, cervical cancer, rickets and osteoporosis.

“It’s common for the general public to have low levels of vitamin D in many countries,” said Professor Julia Newton Bishop of the Leeds Institute of Molecular Medicine and author of the Leeds study. “Melanoma patients tend to avoid the sun as sunburn is known to increase the risk of melanoma. We use sunshine to make vitamin D in the skin, so melanoma patients’ levels of vitamin D may be especially low.”

Bishop also noted that people can get more Vitamin D through dietary sources such as fatty fish. She points out that balance is key, as extremely high levels of Vitamin D can have a negative effect on health.

The mainstream media continues to run stories every summer warning people against the sun even two years after the Leeds study. While hours of sunbathing may be risky behavior for your long-term health, receiving a moderate amount of sunlight while out gardening or walking is actually as good for you as eating a low-fat diet and engaging in regular exercise. In fact, laying off the sunscreen may help you not only absorb sunshine into your skin to help fight tumors, but also helps you avoid the chemicals in most commercial sun blocking products. Some studies have indicated that these chemicals can actually generate harmful free radicals in the body.

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Akilah M. El, N.D. is a Naturopathic Doctor and board-certified Master Herbalist with a private practice in Atlanta Georgia and Berlin Germany. Join Dr Akilah El on Facebook and Twitter

 

For More Health Tips Like This Check Out Our Health Tips Page

The Healing Effects of Cherries

The Benefits of Cherries

Health Benefits of Cherries

Cherries like many other fruits are packed with antioxidants that fight free radicals in the body and may help prevent cancer and heart disease, as well as slow the aging process. Perhaps you’ve heard about the controversy between the FDA and the cherry industry and wondered what the fuss was about. Are cherries not as healthy to eat as you thought they were? Should you stop eating cherries? The answer is no.

The controversy is over certain health claims made by the cherry industry and those who sell products containing or made from cherries such as pills, capsules, and juice—and not the health benefits of cherries. While numerous scientific studies have demonstrated the health benefits of cherries, the FDA says that makers of products containing cherries cannot claim that their products prevent, treat, or cure a specific disease such as gout or cancer. The FDA says that these types of claims imply that cherries are “drugs” that cure a disease—without the backing of controlled double-blind clinical trials.

For the general population however, the bottom line is that there’s no reason not to eat cherries. There are two types of cherries, sweet and tart or sour cherries. The most popular type of sweet cherry is the Bing cherry, which is sold fresh in the grocery store. Tart or sour cherries are canned and used in pies, dried into fruit snacks, and made into juice concentrate. Like most other fruits, cherries are fat-free, low in calories and sodium, and high in certain minerals and vitamins such as potassium, Vitamin C, and B-complex vitamins.

Most of the scientific research has centered on the health benefits of tart cherries. Sweet and tart cherries contain pigments called anthocyanins, antioxidants that give cherries their dark red color. Tart cherries are among the top fruits as far as antioxidant levels go. Tart cherry juice and dried tart cherries are even higher in antioxidants than blueberries and more powerful than Vitamin E. Anthocyanins have powerful anti-inflammatory properties and according to the American Chemical Society, eating 20 tart cherries (or drinking the equivalent in juice concentrate) a day could provide the same pain relief that aspirin or ibuprofen do.

Researchers in Texas recently discovered that tart cherries contain high levels of melatonin; an antioxidant and substance produced naturally by the body that is thought to help slow the aging process as well as fight jetlag and regulate sleep. Eating tart cherries, particularly Montmorency tart cherries, can actually increase the levels of melatonin in the body.

Although many of the studies concerning cherries are preliminary and require additional research, the health benefits of eating cherries, both tart and sweet, and drinking cherry juice concentrate are indeed many. Cherries are a potential source of treatment for diabetes achieved by lowering blood sugar levels, may help prevent colon cancer, significantly reduce pain due to muscle damage, provide relief from the pain of gout and arthritis, and lower LDL (low-density lipoprotein) cholesterol, a contributing factor in heart disease and strokes.

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Akilah M. El, N.D. is a Naturopathic Doctor and board-certified Master Herbalist with a private practice in Atlanta Georgia and Berlin Germany. Join Dr Akilah El on Facebook and Twitter

For More Health Tips Like This Check Out Our Health Tips Page