Are Cherries Good For You? Health Benefits of Cherries

Color plays a notable role in how we choose our food. It’s often the first detail we notice while we shop for fresh produce or look at the food on a plate. Research suggests the color red is not only eye-catching but also triggers appetite.

One fruit that is popular because of its color, sweetness, and juiciness is cherry. Not only are they luscious to eat, but it also turns out there are many health benefits to eating a handful of cherries.

How many calories are in cherries? Are cherries good for us? What are the health benefits of cherries? Here’s a look at the various aspects of this fantastic fruit, including:

1. Cherries Nutrition Facts

2. Health Benefits Of Cherries

3. Types Of Cherries

4. Are Cherries Good For You?

5. Precautions

6. Recommendation

The cherry is a fruit of the genus Prunus and is a fleshy drupe (stone fruit). There are two types of cherries: the species obtained from the Prunus avium (sweet cherry) and those derived from the Prunus cerasus (sour cherry).

It is thought that sweet cherries originated in a region between the Black and the Caspian Seas and migrated from Europe along with the colonists in the 1600’s.

Cherries got their name from the Turkish town of Cerasus, and Turkey remains the world’s largest cherry-producing region.

We often overlook these little red wonders because we associate them with decadent desserts and sweet cocktail garnishes.

Let’s look at the nutritional value of cherries.

Cherries Nutrition Facts

The USDA provides the following nutrition information for one cup (138 g) of raw cherries with pits. ((<https://fdc.nal.usda.gov/fdc-app.html#/food-details/171719/nutrients>))

Calories

There are about 87 calories in one cup of cherries, which is low but can add up if you eat too many. Sour cherries are much lower in calories and higher in vitamin C and beta-carotene than sweet cherries.

To know more about how calories make a difference, read :

https://fabulousbody.com/calories-in-calories-out-cico-does-it-matter/

Carbohydrates

One cherry cup provides 22 g of carbs, most of them from natural sugars, and 3 g of fiber. Fresh cherries are considered low glycemic food. ((<https://www.health.qld.gov.au/__data/assets/pdf_file/0026/143567/paeds_gi.pdf>))

To know more about carbohydrates, read:

https://fabulousbody.com/good-carbs-vs-bad-carbs-complete-list/

Fats

Cherries are very low in fat, with about 1 g to 2 g of fat per cup.


Protein

There is 1.5 g of protein in one cup of fresh cherries.

Vitamins and Minerals

Cherries are a good source of vitamin C, potassium, calcium, magnesium, iron, and folate.

Health Benefits Of Cherries

High In Antioxidants

Cherries are nutrient-dense. They are rich in antioxidants like anthocyanins, quercetin, hydroxycinnamates, carotenoids, and melatonin. These are natural chemicals that help the body deal with day-to-day damage from pollution, inflammation, smoking, exercise, and radiation.

A few studies show that both sweet and tart cherries may help reduce this damage. One study linked drinking tart cherry juice for two weeks with less oxidative damage. ((<https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/20944519/>))

May Reduce Inflammation

Cherries are one of the best natural anti-inflammatory foods. Among a group of studies investigating the impact of cherries or cherry products on inflammation markers, eleven studies showed a decrease in these markers. ((<https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/16549461/ >)), ((<https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5872786/))

A study published in the Journal of the International Society of Sports Nutrition evaluated cherries’ ability to reduce muscle damage and pain during strenuous exercise. ((<https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/12771324/>))

May Help Treat Gout

Gout is a painful, arthritic condition mainly afflicting the big toe. The big toe becomes stiff, inflamed, and sore due to excess uric acid, which leads to crystals forming in joints.

The high uric acid levels are called hyperuricemia, and the pain comes from the body’s natural anti-inflammatory response to the crystals. High uric acid levels can lead to more severe health issues, such as diabetes, kidney disease, and heart disease.

A study published in Arthritis and Rheumatism evaluated 633 individuals with gout treated with cherry extract over two days. The cherry treatment was associated with a 35% lower risk of gout attacks.

When patients were given allopurinol (a medication prescribed for gout and kidney stones) along with cherry juice, the risk of gout attacks was 75% lower.

According to research conducted at Boston University, gout patients who ate three servings of cherries over two days (along with their regular medication) were up to 75% less likely to have a gout attack than those who didn’t eat the fruit. ((<https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/23023818/>)), ((<https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3510330/>))

Improved Sleep Quality

Tart cherry juice is a sleep aid, as cherries are rich in four compounds that regulate sleep: melatonin, tryptophan, potassium, and serotonin. Melatonin is a natural hormone produced by the pineal gland in the brain. It is known to regulate the sleep/wake cycle and control the internal body clock. Cherries are one of the best natural sources of melatonin. ((<https://www.naturalmedicinejournal.com/journal/2012-05/cherry-juice-supplies-melatonin-and-improves-sleep>))

A 2018 study on the health benefits of cherries and a study published in the European Journal of Nutrition suggested a positive correlation between cherry consumption and better sleeping patterns. ((<https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3133468/>)), ((<https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/22038497/))

Overall Health

Cherries are also rich in quercetin, a natural flavonoid associated with potent antioxidant and health properties. Quercetin helps counterbalance the DNA damage caused by free radicals and may help protect and delay heart disease and treat certain cancers, including breast, colon, prostate, and lung. The research suggested that eating 45 cherries daily for 28 days lowered several harmful inflammation markers. ((<https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/20944519/>))

The anthocyanins in sweet cherries may help prevent heart disease by reducing inflammation and promoting healthy arterial function. One American Heart Association study even tied higher anthocyanin intake to a lower risk of heart attacks in young and middle-aged women. ((<https://www.ahajournals.org/doi/full/10.1161/CIRCULATIONAHA.112.122408 >)), ((<https://translational-medicine.biomedcentral.com/articles/10.1186/s12967-016-1076-5))

Cherries provide a decent amount of potassium. We have enough evidence to suggest that foods rich in potassium may help control blood pressure and reduce hypertension and stroke risk.

Potential Workout Buddy

Some studies say tart cherry juice may help combat muscle damage from exercise. One study showed that when marathon runners drank tart cherry juice for a few days pre-and post-race, they experienced less post-race pain. ((<https://jissn.biomedcentral.com/articles/10.1186/1550-2783-7-17>))

Another study suggested that when runners drank tart cherry juice twice a day for a week before a long race, they had less pain from running. The drink may have eased muscle damage and pain from the challenging exercise. ((<https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/20459662/>))

Types Of Cherries

Though there are 1,000 cherries in existence, only a handful are available in stores for consumption. Depending on the variety and size of cherries, the flavor can vary but usually falls into one of two categories: sweet or tart (sour).

The majority of sweet cherries are consumed fresh, with the remaining 20- 25% brined, canned, frozen, dried, or juiced. In contrast, 97% of tart cherries are processed primarily for cooking and baking.

Sour Cherries

Montmorency: These are the best-known sour cherries. Their tart flavor makes them less than ideal for snacking but perfect for canning, freezing, pie filling or sauce. 

Sweet Cherries

Bing: These are the best-known variety of sweet cherries. They are large, firm, round, extra-sweet and juicy with purple-red flesh and deep red skin. Bing cherries are available from the end of May until early August.

Lambert: This variety is the second most famous kind of sweet cherry. They are smaller in size than Bing and are heart-shaped. They are dark red, have a rich flavor and are great to eat fresh or use in baking, as they maintain their texture when cooked. Lamberts are available from May until the end of August.

Rainer: This variety is sweet with yellow or pinkish skin. It is milder and sweeter than Bing. However, they grow in limited quantities. Cooking these cherries destroys their gorgeous color, so it’s best to enjoy them fresh.

Royal Ann: This variety has a blush-yellow skin and is often canned or made into maraschino cherries, which are artificially sweetened, heavily preserved, and artificially colored bright red.

Cherries can be embraced in a wide variety of dishes, from cocktails and appetizers to side dishes and desserts. Add juicy cherries to your salads, incorporate them into whole-grain dishes, make a BBQ sauce with them or use them in a mocktail to keep you refreshed.

Are Cherries Good For You?

Yes, cherry lovers can indulge to their heart’s content during the summer season. Cherries are a healthy addition to the diet.

A study by Immunity and Disease Prevention Research concluded that cherries have nutrients that may help slow cancer progression, aging, neurological diseases, cardiovascular disease, and inflammatory conditions. They may also aid in the detoxification of foreign substances. ((<https://www.ars.usda.gov/research/publications/publication/?seqNo115=287986>))

Cherries have the lowest glycemic index (22- 20) and glycemic load (6- 3) of all fruits. And we know that not only do lower glycemic snacks not spike blood sugar, but they also help you get full faster and stay full longer.

Please read article on Glycemic Index for more information:

https://fabulousbody.com/what-is-glycemic-index-food-list-with-glycemic-index/

Precautions

Be sure to thoroughly wash cherries before eating them to remove any pesticides or residue.

Cherry pits contain a chemical called amygdalin. Although you shouldn’t worry if you accidentally swallow one pit, watch out for crushed cherry pits because an excess of amygdalin can cause cyanide poisoning. ((<https://www.sciencedirect.com/topics/biochemistry-genetics-and-molecular-biology/amygdalin>))

Cherry allergies can sometimes occur, and symptoms may include hives, swelling, vomiting, tightness in the chest and throat, and shortness of breath.

If you have trouble digesting cherries, speak with a dietitian or GI doctor for individual recommendations.

Recommendation

A handful of fresh sweet cherries in the summertime at their peak are a natural gourmet delight.

And in case you want to harness the antioxidant power of cherries regularly, cherry juice concentrate with no added sugars can add a super-nutritious, all-natural kick to your morning smoothie.

Store cherries unwashed and uncovered in your refrigerator for up to a week. Rinse them with water before eating, and do not eat the pits.

Making cherries and cherry products a staple of your diet is a small shift that may translate into long-term health benefits.

What do you think about the article? Have any questions? Let me know in the comments below!

Radish Nutrition | What is Radish Good For?

Are you a vegetable lover? I adore vegetables. My boys say I must have been a goat in my last birth. Jokes apart, one of the vegetables I am very fond of is radish. 

Here I will tell you about radish nutrition, health benefits, what radishes are good for, and many more:

1. Radish Nutrition

2. What is Radish Good For

3. How to eat Radish

4. Radish For Weight Loss

5. Radish Benefits

6. Varieties Of Radish

7. Precautions

8. Conclusion

After reading this, I am positive you all will either rush to the grocery store to buy radishes or start growing them in pots or gardens.

Radish (Raphanus sativus) is a root vegetable in the mustard family (Brassicaceae) like kale, cabbage and broccoli.

The radish is probably native to Southeast Asia or Central Asia. It was used for food and medicinal purposes by the ancient Greeks and Romans.

Radishes have a crunchy flesh and almost spicy, peppery taste. They vary in shape from short and round to long and narrow.

Radishes have different skin colors, including red, black, white, yellow, pink, and purple, but their flesh is invariably white.

The flowers, fruit, leaves, and seeds of the radish plant are used widely for their potent medicinal properties.

Radishes are not expensive and don’t require much cleaning or prepping, and one can quickly eat them raw.

Radishes are easy to grow, offer a quick harvest (sometimes in as short as 30 days), help keep garden pests away and tend to crowd out weeds.

The white radish is very popular in India. It is known as muli in Hindi, mullangi in Tamil and Telugu, moolangi in Kannada, moola in Bengali, and muli in Marathi(different languages spoken in India)

Radish Nutrition

According to the USDA, radish contains B vitamins (thiamin, niacin, riboflavin, folate, and vitamin B6), vitamin C, vitamin A and vitamin K. It also provides the minerals iron, magnesium, phosphorus, and zinc. ((<https://fdc.nal.usda.gov/fdc-app.html#/food-details/169276/nutrients>))

Radishes are a good source of many antioxidants and phytochemicals like beta carotene, lutein, glucosinolate and isothiocyanate.

To know more about phytochemicals, read:

https://fabulousbody.com/phytonutrients-definition-phytonutrients-foods-and-chart/

What Is Radish Good For?

If you’re not familiar with them, you may wonder what radish is good for. Radishes are packed with vitamins and minerals without many carbs or calories. They are healthy vegetables to add in moderation to any diet.

They are:

Low in Carbohydrates

Radishes are a non-starchy, low-carb vegetable. One cup of sliced radishes will provide only 4 g of carbs, half of which are dietary fiber.

For this reason, they can easily be a part of a diabetic diet. The fiber and water in radishes may also help increase satiety.

Non-acidic

Radishes are not acidic, and they’re trumpeted as a heartburn-relieving food in various cultures. 

They contain glucosinolates(also referred to as mustard oil), which might soothe the stomach and lower stomach acid production. ((<https://www.sciencedirect.com/topics/medicine-and-dentistry/radish>))

Helps With Detox

Radishes may help the liver, one of our detox organs, stay healthy by assisting in bile and bilirubin production. They may also help remove excess bilirubin from the blood and prevent liver infections or ulcers. ((<https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4658983/>))

Provides Antioxidants

Antioxidants are beneficial as they can help repair oxidative stress caused by free radicals in the body. This stress can contribute to inflammation, obesity and other health concerns.

Research suggests that antioxidant compounds in radishes provide anti-diabetic power and reduce the risk of CVD. ((<https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/abs/pii/S1756464615002224>))

How to eat Radish

Radishes are not considered a superfood, but if we compare their ORAC value to fresh kale, they are both around 1,700. The ORAC (Oxygen Radical Absorbance Capacity) value is a method developed by scientists at the National Institute of Health and Aging (NIH) to measure different foods’ antioxidant capacity. ((<https://www.phytochemicals.info/list-orac-values.php>))

To get the most nutrition from radishes, it is best to eat their bright-colored skin, as that is where most of the antioxidants are located.

Not only are radishes healthy, but they also add a spicy flavor and crunchy texture to food. Radishes make an excellent addition to a mixed salad along with other raw vegetables.

But this is not the only way to eat radishes. There are several other ways, including:

Baked

One can bake or sauté radishes with garlic, herbs, and cheese for a delicious and healthy dinner option along with meats.

Sandwiches

One can add thinly sliced radishes to any regular vegetable or chicken sandwich.

Pickled Radishes

One may use pickled radishes along with Chinese cabbage in kimchi (a famous traditional Korean appetizer of salted and fermented vegetables) to increase the nutritional value.

Salads

The texture, taste and crunchiness of radishes can add variety to plant and animal-based salads.

Indian Bread

Radishes can be grated and used as a stuffing in regular Indian bread (known as parathas) along with other herbs and spices.

Grilled

Round radish slices can be grilled with extra virgin olive oil or coconut oil and served as a side dish with beef, chicken, pork, or fish steak.

Creamy Yogurt

The peppery flavor of grated or thinly sliced radishes goes very well with creamy yogurt and works well as a delicious dip with fish or chicken. (Indians may call it raita.)

Healthy Snack

You can also make a great healthy snack of sliced, roasted watermelon and radishes with any dip of your choice. The zinginess of radishes goes brilliantly with the sour and creamy feta cheese dip.

Radish For Weight Loss

Are radishes good for weight loss? Here are a few of the measures that will help us decide:

  1. Low digestible carbohydrate
  2. Low on the glycemic index (15)
  3. High in water content (100 g of radish contain 95.27 g of water)
  4. High in insoluble fiber (roughage)

Aside from being low carb with little effect on blood sugar levels, the fiber and water in radishes help to regulate bowel movements and increase metabolic efficiency. Hence radishes are an excellent dietary option for those who are determined to lose or control weight. ((<https://www.myfooddata.com/articles/vegetables-high-in-water.php>))

Radish Benefits

May Reduce Risk of Diabetes

Radishes contain chemical compounds like glucosinolate and isothiocyanate that may help regulate blood sugar levels. 

Radishes also contain coenzyme Q10, an antioxidant that may prevent the development of type 2 diabetes. ((<https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5622774/.>))

Anti-fungal and Anti-microbial Properties

Radish is widely used in traditional medicine in various cultures to treat several diseases and disorders associated with microbial infections. The antibacterial activity of the different plant parts is mainly attributed to several isothiocyanates (ITC) compounds. ((<https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5066007/ >)), ((<https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/19182965/>))

May Help In Cancer Prevention

A study conducted in 2010 found that radish root extract contained several types of isothiocyanates that may eliminate cancer-causing substances and prevent tumor development. ((<https://link.springer.com/article/10.1007%2Fs11130-010-0178-0>))

Radishes have certain antioxidants and flavonoids that are strong collaborators in the fight against the production of cancer cells. ((<https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/24231071/>))

Better Cardiovascular Health

Radishes are rich in antioxidants and minerals like calcium and potassium. Together, these nutrients help lower high blood pressure and reduce the risk of heart disease. Radish is also a good source of natural nitrates that improve blood flow. ((<https://academic.oup.com/advances/article/2/1/1/4591636>))

Radish roots are considered suitable for patients suffering from liver trouble, gallbladder ailments, hemorrhoids (piles), jaundice, and an enlarged spleen. ((<https://www.sciencedirect.com/topics/medicine-and-dentistry/radish>))

Varieties Of Radish

Several varieties of radishes are available year-round. They vary in size, taste, and color but share nutritional value. The most available and common ones are:

Round radish– These are the ones that pop into our minds when we think of radishes. The most available variety is red, but they also come in white, pink, and purple shades. 

Black or Spanish radishes– These have a genuinely black exterior that covers a snowy white flesh.

Chinese white radishes or daikon radishes– This variety is the most commonly available and widely known large radish. 

French breakfast radishes– These are slightly extended versions of round radishes.

Watermelon radish– They are named for their obvious resemblance to the watermelon fruit; they have a pretty reddish-pink interior and green skin.

Korean radish or Mu- This variety of white radish has a firm and crunchy texture. Korean radishes are generally shorter, stouter, and sturdier than daikon and have a pale green shade halfway down from the top. They also have a more robust flavor, denser flesh, and softer leaves.

Precautions

Excessive consumption of radish should be avoided, as there may be few side effects.

Gastric irritation can occur due to sulfur compounds present in radish that may irritate the stomach mucosa.

An allergic reaction may arise, which usually begins at the fingertips. People allergic or sensitive to radishes may experience rhinitis (inflammation of the mucous membrane of the nose), contact dermatitis, or allergic asthma.

Interference with hormone production in the thyroid can occur after consuming significant amounts of radishes if one has an iodine deficiency.

Conclusion

Radishes are packed with vitamins and minerals without many carbs or calories. They are a healthy vegetable, and adding them to your daily diet will give you a nutritional boost and lend a zesty and spicy flavor to many recipes.

So, feel free to embrace radishes and add them to your diet in the most fun and unique ways possible.

What do you think about the article? Have any questions? Let me know in the comments below!

Peach Nutrition| Peach Benefits

“An apple is an excellent thing, until you have tried a peach.”

                                                             — George du Maurier

With their sunset look of red and orange tint, sweet aroma, and gorgeous appearance, Peaches surely catch our curiosity lying next to apples in farmer markets.

You’ll be glad to discover that they aren’t just delicious with deadly looks; they are actually with a ton of good-for-you nutrients and with several health benefits, too.

Here, in this article, we will look at the health benefits of peaches that come with every bite to the delicious and creative ways you can eat them. We will cover;

1. Peach Nutrition

2. Peach Vs. Apricot

3. How To Eat Peaches

4. Peach Benefits

5. Varieties of Peaches

6. Precautions

7. Conclusion

Peach (Prunus persica), a fruit tree of the rose family (Rosaceae), is a deciduous tree native to the region of Northwest China. ((<https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4660870/>))

The specific name persica is based on its widespread farming in Persia (today it’s referred to as Iran) and later harvested in Europe.

It is a part of the genus Prunus, which includes cherry, apricot, almond, and plum in the rose family.

Peach meaning in Hindi is ‘Aadu’ and, as a noun, also means attractive person.

A fun fact about peaches is that they do not ripen (become sweeter) once picked; they soften (due to enzymes and bacterial action). Peaches get their flavor from their variety, not their color.

Peach Nutrition

Peaches are rich in many vitamins, minerals, water and fiber.((<https://fdc.nal.usda.gov/fdc-app.html#/food-details/1102677/nutrients>))

How To Eat Peaches

Raw

Eat the peach-like apple. Slice or dice and add them for their juicy sweetness to summer salads

Breakfast

Peach slices are a great addition to hot or cold cereals, pancakes, waffles, yogurt, and cottage cheese.

Grill

Fire them up on a grill with your favorite meat or kebabs or turned into sassy salsas and sauces.

Smoothies

Peel and pit peaches and drink them up in smoothies.

Bake/Broil/Saute

For a delicious snack or side dish, warm some peach slices using one of these cooking methods and pair them with meats and fish in savory peach recipes. They can be churned into ice cream and sorbet and baked into pies, cakes, muffins.

Peach Benefits

Peaches are very low in calories with no saturated fats, packed with numerous health-promoting compounds, minerals, and vitamins. A few of the health benefits of peaches are;

Good for Digestion

A cup of diced peaches contains 2.52 g of fiber, half of which is soluble fiber, while the other half is insoluble.

Fiber also enables the movement of processed and unprocessed food particles through the gut, reducing bowel activity’s constipation and smooth functioning. ((<https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/23326148/>))

High-fiber foods may also protect us from other health issues like diabetes, heart disease, and colorectal cancer ((<https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3257631/>))

Read to learn more about Fiber

https://fabulousbody.com/what-is-fiber-health-benefits-food-sources-and-daily-requirements/

May Reduce Cancer Risk

Research published by the USDA suggests peaches are rich in phenolic and carotenoid compounds, which possess anti-tumor and anti-cancer properties. ((<https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/12576693/>))

Another research published by the Journal of Cellular Biochemistry reveals that it also helps fight various cancers such as lung cancer, breast cancer, and colon cancer. ((<http://ar.iiarjournals.org/content/28/4B/2067.short>)), ((<https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/abs/10.1002/jcb.240590830>))

Studies have supported that peaches exert beneficial effects in inhibiting breast cancer cells’ growth without influencing the normal cells, not like chemotherapy, which may negatively affect healthy cells. ((<https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/19530711/>)), ((<https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/06/100602111145.htm>))

May Improve Eyesight

An antioxidant called beta-carotene gives peaches their pretty golden-orange color. When we eat it, our body turns it into vitamin A, key for healthy vision. An investigative study has suggested that the carotenoids, lutein, and zeaxanthin present in peaches might positively affect the human eye and skin. ((<https://www.macular.org/lutein>)), ((<https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/19168000/>))

May improve Immune System

Fresh peaches are a modest source of antioxidants, vitamin C, and zinc required for resistance against infections and a healthy immune system. They also assist in the building of connective tissues inside the human body. ((<https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/16373990/>))

May Improve Heart Health

Researchers have suggested that the phenolic compounds present in the clingstone peel and pulp peaches may help maintain lower LDL levels (bad) and improve HDL (good) cholesterol. They may also reduce the risk of developing diseases related to the heart and maintaining optimal cardiovascular health. ((<https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/10691607/>)), ((<https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/25801980/>)), ((<http://ucce.ucdavis.edu/files/datastore/234-2457.pdf>))

Peaches are hydrating, as over 85% of fresh Peach is water, and since it is high in fiber, it can be more filling. When one eats them, it takes longer to feel hungry again and may be beneficial for weight loss.

Varieties of Peaches

More than 300 varieties of peaches are present worldwide that are for commercial cultivation. They can be classified as clingstone, freestone, or semi-freestone / semi-clingstone, depending on how the fruit’s flesh clings to the pit.

Stones/ Pits

Freestone– As its name suggests, the stone is easily removed from this variety, making it the right choice for eating fresh. They may be more sizeable than clingstones, with a denser, less juicy texture, but still sweet. They are perfect for home canning, freezing, and baking purposes.

Semi-freestone– This is a newer hybrid type of clingstone and freestone. It is suitable for general purposes, both fresh and canned. 

Clingstone– It is named because the flesh clings stubbornly to the stone or pit. The flesh is yellow, with a bright red tinge closest to the pit. They have a soft surface, are juicier and sweeter, and perfect for desserts, jellies, jams, and preserving. Although clingstones are tasty to be eaten fresh, they are seldom found in the local market. 

Peach Flesh Color

Yellow– Most peaches have a yellow outer flesh that ranges from a light yellow to an orange-yellow or even streaked with red.

White– White fleshed peaches are usually a variant of the Asian variety. The flavors are the same, although many people say they taste sweeter. 

Other Peach Types

Donut Peaches– A relatively new peaches group has flatter or saucer-shaped, more like a doughnut with a small clingstone pit. 

Nectarines– These are a genetically modified version of peaches that produce skin without the fuzz. Essentially, that is the only difference. But are regarded commercially as different fruits.

Peach Vs. Apricot

Peaches and apricots are two popular summertime stone fruits with fuzzy skin, similar coloring, and sweet fleshy inside.

They are both part of the same Prunus family, a genus classified by a hard shell surrounding its seed in the fruit’s center. That hard shell and kernel are referred to as stone, so they are commonly called stone fruits.

Though they’re similar in color and shape, they have their unique characteristics; not only do they have a distinct flavor, and more importantly, they have different water content.

Differences are due to :

Size– One apricot (35 grams) is approximately 1/4 the size of a small peach (130 grams)

Taste– Peaches have higher sugar and water contents than apricots, making them taste sweeter. When ripe and fresh, apricots are both sweet and tart, while peaches are generally just sweet.

Nutrition– Peaches provide higher nutrients in a single serving, including potassium, vitamin C, and beta carotene. Apricots also contain similar nutrients but in lesser amounts.

No matter which stone fruit we choose to eat, one can’t go wrong with any of them.

To know more about apricots, read the article below.

https://fabulousbody.com/apricot-health-benefits-apricot-meaning-in-hindi-apricot-nutrition-facts/

Precautions

Some adults and children can develop an allergy to stone fruits, including peaches. The allergy may be especially true for people with birch pollen allergies because the protein in birch pollen is similar to peach protein. Common peach allergy symptoms may include an itchy mouth or throat or swelling of the lips, mouth, tongue, or throat. ((<https://acaai.org/allergies/types/food-allergies/types-food-allergy/oral-allergy-syndrome>)), ((<https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6082810/>))
Peach skin likely contains more pesticides than the flesh, so wash peaches well with water, peel them before eating them, or choose certified organic ones.

Conclusion

Peaches are a Chinese symbol of longevity and immortality. However, they may not be superfoods but are a natural wonder that can boost and improve our heart health, skin, nerves, bones, and teeth.

Peaches are in season during the summer. Include them when they are freshest and have the most flavor and nutritional value.

It is best to choose peaches with tight and fuzzy skin and preferably an intermediary snack in moderation.

What do you think about the article? Have any questions? Let me know in the comments below!

Pomegranate Nutrition Facts and Health Benefits

“Pomegranate seeds are the diamonds in a bowl.” ~ Saurav Jaiswal.

When our friends or relatives are sick, it’s traditional for many people to bring them a basket of fruit.

In India, pomegranate is often included in the basket as it has enormous healing potency.

Pomegranate is very nutritious. It has more powerful antioxidants than most fruits.

It belongs to the Lythraceae family.

Consisting of more than 100 plant compounds, pomegranate may effectively help lower the risk of major diseases.((<https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4007340/>)) And it has been used as a medicine for a long year.

Let’s learn what pomegranate is good for.

In this article, we will review:

  1. Pomegranate Nutrition Facts
  2. Health Benefits of Pomegranate
  3. How to Add Pomegranate to Your Diet
  4. Pomegranate Safety Concerns
  5. Conclusion and My Recommendation

Pomegranate Nutrition Facts

To know your daily quota of each nutrient, you may check this:

https://health.gov/our-work/food-nutrition/2015-2020-dietary-guidelines/guidelines/appendix-7/

Pomegranate’s glycemic index is low, which means it does not significantly elevate blood sugar.

Generally, I believe in eating whole fruits rather than juice alone because juice does not contain fiber and may give you a blood sugar spike.

But when it comes to pomegranate, the juice is not a problem as its glycemic index is still low. You lose approximately 11.3 g of fiber that you’d get from eating the whole fruit, though.

Pomegranate and its juice may be safe for diabetes patients; still, it would be better to consult your doctor before consuming pomegranate if you have diabetes.

Related:

What is Glycemic Index | Food List With Glycemic Index

Health Benefits of Pomegranate

Pomegranate May Help Fight Certain Cancers

Prostate cancer is common in men.

Studies show that pomegranate extract may slow cancer cell growth and trigger cancer cell death. ((<https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/23320197/>)), ((<https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/23359482/>))

PSA (prostate-specific antigen) is a blood test to screen for prostate cancer.

The risk of death increases when a patient’s PSA levels rise at a faster rate.

A human study found that consuming 8 ounces (237 ml) of pomegranate juice a day slowed PSA doubling time from 15 months to 54 months. ((<https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/16818701/>))

Breast cancer is an issue for many women.

Pomegranate extracts may prevent reproduction of breast cancer cells or even kill them. ((<https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/23359482/>)), ((<https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/21861726/>)), ((<https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/16379557/>))

Pomegranate May Lower Blood Pressure

High blood pressure is a primary risk factor for heart disease and strokes.

We know high blood pressure is a common problem.

Gone are the days when high blood pressure was only a problem for older adults; today, our young guns face it too.

Research reveals that pomegranate consumption may lower blood pressure, mainly systolic. ((<https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/21457902/>)), ((<https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/24575134/>))

We need to balance our life with the right habits, including healthy eating.

We should focus on foods that nourish us and prevent common health enemies like high blood pressure.

Pomegranate May Reduce Heart Disease Risk

Like high blood pressure, heart disease is a significant issue worldwide.

To prevent the risk of heart disease, physicians strongly recommend modifying their lifestyle and eating healthy foods like pomegranate.

LDL, the bad cholesterol, is a substantial determinant of heart disease.

It causes a fatty build-up in the arteries, which causes blockage and may eventually lead to a heart attack or, worst, heart failure.

In a study, diabetes patients with hyperlipidemia who consumed pomegranate juice had a significant reduction in LDL.((<https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/17048194/>))

Pomegranate is also known to prevent LDL and HDL cholesterol from oxidation, protecting from atherosclerosis. ((< https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3678830/>))

Antioxidant Potential

The red color of pomegranate comes from polyphenols. These plant compounds are powerful antioxidants.

Pomegranate has three times more antioxidant activity than red wine and green tea, according to one study. ((<https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/11052704/>))

The antioxidant properties of pomegranate may help prevent cell damage and reduce inflammation, both of which can trigger chronic diseases such as heart disease, cancer, and diabetes.

One 12-week study in people with type 2 diabetes correlated drinking 1.1 cups (250 ml) of pomegranate juice per day with significantly reduced inflammation. ((<https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/24949028/>))

May Boost Skin Health

Pomegranate benefits for skin are many. Its vitamin C content is very high.

Many of us know how vital vitamin C is for our skin. Most skin products contain it.

Vitamin C aids in collagen synthesis.

Collagen is a protein essential for optimum skin well-being. Its benefits include wrinkle reduction, increase in elasticity, and wound healing.

May Aid Memory Retention

Studies found that pomegranate supplementation may protect against memory dysfunction post-surgery, especially post open-heart surgery.((<https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3789410/>))

Another study showed a similar result when 28 adults with memory issues who consumed 8 ounces (237 ml) of pomegranate juice per day showed excellent verbal and visual memory improvement. ((<https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/23970941/>))

How to Add Pomegranate to Your Diet

Pomegranate is very easy to add to dishes. Here are some ways you can try:

  • Eat them fresh for breakfast or as snacks.
  • Mix them in green or fruit salad.
  • Grind them into smoothies or juice them.
  • Add them to mocktails.
  • Make them a part of a sandwich.
  • Sprinkle pomegranate arils in yogurt or oatmeal (arils are the tiny red ones inside, you may eat the crunchy white-fiber-rich seeds, too).

Pomegranate Safety Concerns

Although pomegranate is safe for most of us, there are concerns for some people, including:

  • Allergy: Those who are allergic to pomegranate may experience itching, swelling, runny nose, and difficulty breathing.
  • Drug interactions: Pomegranate may interact with some drugs, including cholesterol medications, calcium channel blockers, antiarrhythmics, statins, immunosuppressants, and protease inhibitors.
  • Low Blood pressure: Pomegranate may reduce blood pressure, so individuals whose blood pressure is already low may need to avoid it. This may also be an issue after surgery.

Remember, the ideas in this article are not a substitute for medical advice. If you have health concerns, it’s best to talk to your doctor before adding any food to your diet.

Conclusion and My Recommendation

I am sure you agree pomegranate is a gem of a fruit. I mean, look at how nutrient-dense this fruit is.

No surprise that it was used medicinally in ancient times. Even today, it can contribute considerably to our well-being.

Pomegranate has countless benefits; a few I have mentioned are heart disease prevention, protection from certain cancers, skin health, memory retention, and lowered blood pressure.

Containing a large number of plant compounds having antioxidant properties, pomegranate may ward off chronic diseases.

If you don’t have contraindicated conditions, eat this incredible fruit, which I believe is one of the best fruits in the world.

So, from now on, you don’t have to go to a jewelry shop for diamonds. Just go to the nearest fruit vendor and ask for pomegranate.

What do you think of this article? Have any questions? Let me know in the comments below!

Health Benefits and Nutritional Value of Broccoli

Broccoli is an edible green plant, botanically known as Brassica oleracea italica. It is a part of the cruciferous vegetable family, including kale, cauliflower, brussels sprouts, bok choy, cabbage, collard greens, and turnips.

This article will discuss broccoli’s nutritional value, health benefits, and how to eat broccoli.

1. Broccoli Nutritional Value

2. Health Benefits Of Broccoli

3. How To Eat Broccoli

4. Broccoli Vs. Cauliflower

5. What Is Broccoli Good For?

6. Safety

7. Conclusion

Broccoli originated in Italy, where it was cultivated from wild cabbage. The Italian name for broccoli is broccolo, meaning flowering top of a cabbage. 

Broccoli Nutritional Value

Nutritional value of one cup of raw broccoli. ((<https://fdc.nal.usda.gov/fdc-app.html#/food-details/170379/nutrients>))

approximate values*

What Is Broccoli Good For?

Broccoli is probably one of the first plant-based foods that come to mind when you think about healthy eating. But people either love it or hate it.

Here are a few things broccoli is good for:

High Fiber

Fiber is the indigestible part of carbohydrates that may help reduce cholesterol, promote good bowel health, regulate blood sugar, and assist in weight loss. Fiber-rich foods help us feel full longer after eating.

The 2- 3 grams of fiber in a cup of raw broccoli supports a robust digestive system and feeds beneficial bacteria in the gut, boosting immunity. The same quantity of broccoli also contains over 80 ml (3oz) of water. ((<https://www.stmichaelshospital.com/pdf/programs/hemodialysis/fluid-content-of-foods.pdf>))

The fiber and water combination boost feelings of fullness and supports healthy weight management. And the fiber also helps keep blood sugar and insulin-regulated for steady energy. ((<https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/29378044/>))

This article on fiber can help explain its role in our health.

https://fabulousbody.com/what-is-fiber-health-benefits-food-sources-and-daily-requirements/

Low Glycemic Index

About one cup of raw, chopped broccoli contains only 31 calories, 6 grams of carbohydrates, and 1.5 g of sugar. The glycemic index (GI) for broccoli is 15- 20. 

The glycemic index is a general estimate of how food affects blood sugar levels. Broccoli is a low GI food, which means it has a minimal effect on blood sugar levels. ((<https://www.nhrmc.org/~/media/testupload/files/low-gylcemic-meal-planning.pdf?la=en>))

Broccoli is a popular addition to meals for those looking to lose weight while staying healthy.

Read this article on the glycemic index to understand more about this term.

https://fabulousbody.com/what-is-glycemic-index-food-list-with-glycemic-index/

Rich In Vitamins And Minerals

Broccoli is bursting with vitamins and minerals.

Vitamin C

It is an excellent source of immune-boosting vitamin C, providing over 81 mg per cup, or about 135% of your daily needs. Vitamin C is an antioxidant essential for immune function and skin health.

Vitamin K1

Broccoli contains a high amount of vitamin K1, which is vital for blood clotting and may promote bone health. One cup of broccoli provides 116% of your daily recommended intake.

Vitamin B9 (folate)

It is needed for healthy tissue growth and cell function and is very important for pregnant women.

Potassium 

Potassium is an essential mineral beneficial for keeping blood pressure in control and preventing heart diseases.

Manganese

Manganese is a trace element found in high amounts in whole grains, legumes, fruits, and vegetables, including broccoli.

Iron

Iron is an essential mineral that performs many crucial functions in our body, such as oxygen transport in red blood cells.

Packed With Antioxidants And Plant Compounds

Broccoli is also packed with antioxidants and phytochemicals responsible for the color, smell, and flavor of most fruits and vegetables.

Read this article for information on Plant compounds.

https://fabulousbody.com/phytonutrients-definition-phytonutrients-foods-and-chart/

Sulforaphane– Sulforaphane is a naturally occurring, abundant and extensively studied compound in cruciferous vegetables like broccoli, cabbage, and kale. It’s activated when vegetables are chopped or chewed and more available in raw broccoli than cooked.

Sulforaphane is linked with various health benefits and may protect against cancer, heart disease, and diabetes. ((<https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/19519500/>))

Carotenoids– Broccoli contains lutein, zeaxanthin, and beta carotene, which all contribute to eye health.

Kaempferol– An antioxidant with many health benefits, this compound may protect against heart disease, cancer, inflammation, and allergies.

Quercetin– This antioxidant has numerous benefits, including lowering blood pressure in people with hypertension. ((<https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4103733>))

Health Benefits Of Broccoli

May Reduce the Risk of Cancer

No food or superfood can prevent cancer, but there is evidence that eating a healthy diet can reduce the risk.

Antioxidants can help find and counterbalance free radicals that cause cell damage. According to the National Cancer Institute, free radicals are unstable byproducts of metabolism that may lead to cancer. ((<https://www.cancer.gov/about-cancer/causes-prevention/risk/diet/cruciferous-vegetables-fact-sheet#r2.>))

Sulforaphane, a sulfur-containing compound readily available in broccoli, is an antioxidant. Indole-3-carbinol is another. Research suggests these compounds may have powerful antitumor properties. ((<https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5989150/>)), ((<https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2814317/>))

Dr. Emily Ho of The Linus Pauling Institute at Oregon State University suggests that with more studies, sulforaphane and other dietary compounds may be added to traditional cancer therapy.

These compounds might either prevent cancer, slow its progression, treat it, or stop its recurrence.((<https://lpi.oregonstate.edu/feature-story/early-stage-breast-cancer-slowed>))

Many other studies have hinted that the bioactive components in cruciferous vegetables like broccoli, cauliflower, and kale may have beneficial effects on biomarkers of
breast cancer, prostate cancer, gastric cancer, colorectal cancer, and bladder cancer. ((<https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/22877795/>)), ((<https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/22121852/>)), ((<https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/23679348/>)), ((<https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/23211939/>)), ((<https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/22391648/>))

May Protect the Heart

Heart disease is a leading cause of death in both men and women globally. Based on the available evidence, the optimal dietary pattern to reduce CVD suggests consuming whole grains, fruits and vegetables, legumes, nuts, fish, poultry, and moderate amounts of dairy and heart-healthy vegetable oil. This kind of diet may reduce CVD risk by about a third. ((<https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4597475/>))

Cruciferous vegetables, including broccoli, may protect the heart by reducing arterial damage that leads to hardening of the arteries, often a precursor to heart attack and heart disease. ((<https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/abs/pii/S027153170800064X?via%3Dihub https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/21593509/>))

A 2018 population study suggested that older women whose diets were rich in cruciferous vegetables had a lower risk of atherosclerosis, a disease in which plaque builds up inside arteries and can result in a heart attack.

This benefit may be due to the antioxidant properties of sulforaphane in cruciferous vegetables. ((<https://www.ahajournals.org/doi/10.1161/JAHA.117.008391>))

One 2017 study suggested that people who consume more dietary fiber may have a lower risk of CVD. Broccoli is a good source of fiber, antioxidants, and potassium; all of these may help prevent CVD. ((<https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5731843/>))

A study by Nutrition Research linked regular consumption of steamed broccoli with lower cardiovascular disease risk due to reduced total cholesterol levels. ((<https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/abs/pii/S027153170800064X?via%3Dihub>))

May Improve Total Health

Studies suggest that eating broccoli may lower blood sugar and improve diabetic control, which may be due to broccoli’s low glycemic index, antioxidant and fiber content. ((<https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/08/080825210332.htm>))

Some of the nutrients and bioactive compounds like kaempferol and sulforaphane in broccoli may support healthy brain tissue and nervous system function. ((<https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4103733/>))

An article in Reuters suggested tender baby broccoli plants, known as broccoli sprouts, are an increasingly popular health food as their extracts have shown promise in treating or preventing a common stomach bug linked to gastritis, ulcers and even stomach cancer. ((<https://uk.reuters.com/article/us-bacteria-brocolli/baby-broccoli-may-help-prevent-stomach-cancer-study-idUKTRE5351BT20090406.>))

How To Eat Broccoli

First, try to procure broccoli from a farmers market, and select broccoli with closely packed, firm, dark green florets. Avoid sloppy broccoli pieces turning yellow or wilting.

Some people prefer to eat only broccoli florets, but the leaves and stems are also edible. The stalk contains the most fiber, while broccoli leaves are the highest in cell-protecting antioxidants, vitamins E and K, and calcium.

Do not wash broccoli until you’re ready to prepare it, as wet broccoli can develop mold and become limp. Unwashed, it will stay fresh for at least a week in the fridge wrapped in loose paper.

Boiling broccoli florets for 5 minutes can lead to a 20- 30% loss of nutrients, and boiling for 10 minutes results in a 40- 50% loss, so avoid boiling it. ((<https://warwick.ac.uk/newsandevents/pressreleases/research_says_boiling https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2722699/>))

There are many ways to eat broccoli.

Raw

One of the many ways to enjoy broccoli is raw dipped in hummus, seasoned tahini, or guacamole. It can also be finely chopped or shredded and added to salads or slaw. It can blend raw or frozen into smoothies as well.

Steamed

One should steam it to retain the most nutrients, then drizzle with extra virgin olive, coconut oil-based pesto, or a savory walnut butter sauce.

Roasted or Sautéed

Lightly sauté broccoli and add it to many dishes, including stir-fries, soups, stews, and more.

Made into a sauce

Broccoli can be finely chopped or pureed to make homemade pesto, jus or dressing.

Incorporating more of this wonder vegetable into your diet is a smart way to upgrade your nutrient intake.

Broccoli Vs. Cauliflower

Broccoli and cauliflower belong to the same Brassica species and have several similarities in nutritional content and probable health advantages.

They have a few differences and offer varying amounts of specific vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants.

However, both vegetables bring a valuable and nutritious addition to a healthy, well-rounded diet.

Please read my article on cauliflower to learn more

https://fabulousbody.com/cauliflower-nutrition-facts-what-is-cauliflower-good-for/

Similarities

Broccoli and cauliflower have almost the same carbohydrate amounts and are both low in calories and high in fiber, making them first-class choices for weight loss and better digestion.

Both have folate, fiber, and potassium, plant compounds that help with cancer prevention, weight loss, lower cholesterol levels, and gut health.

Differences

While they are both nutritious vegetables, broccoli has a higher vitamin K and C content than cauliflower. Broccoli is specifically known to be good for eye health.

Broccoli also provides more minerals and fiber and contains vitamin A, which isn’t in cauliflower.

Nutritional facts of broccoli and cauliflower

approximate values*

Broccoflower

Broccoflower, or green cauliflower, is a new vegetable resulting from cross-pollination between cauliflower and broccoli.

There are a few broccoflower types. The most common type looks like white cauliflower but is lime green with spiked florets.

Broccoflower boasts similar nutritional qualities to cauliflower and broccoli while having more vitamin C than oranges and more vitamin A than broccoli. ((<https://cals.arizona.edu/fps/sites/cals.arizona.edu.fps/files/cotw/Broccoflower.pdf>))

Safety

Generally, there are no side effects of consuming broccoli for hypothyroid patients.

One would have to consume an excessive and unrealistic amount of any cruciferous vegetables to interfere with iodine hormone production in the thyroid. However, it is always better to consult your doctor before binging on it.

Many vegetables contain traces of pesticides, but broccoli appears on the Environmental Working Group’s 2020 list of 15 “clean” vegetables, which means the risk of contamination is low. Nevertheless, we should wash all vegetables well. ((<https://www.ewg.org/foodnews/summary.php>))

Conclusion

I think the best tip to stay healthy and happy is to eat a well-balanced diet, engage in moderate physical activity, and enjoy each day with gratitude.

Broccoli is one of the most nutritious vegetables, and when cooked properly, it can be a delicious and economical addition to any well-balanced diet.

What do you think of this article? Have any questions? Let me know in the comments below!

What is a Persimmon? | Persimmon Health Benefits

Fruits are gifts of nature. Not only are they vastly nutritious, but they are also delightful in taste.

Another fruit on the list is persimmon. So, what is a persimmon?

Persimmon is a fruit with a truckload of nutrients. Having a honey-like flavor, its taste is wow.

The fruit originated in China, but the Japanese variety is more popular.

Persimmon is usually not considered a berry, but morphologically, it is.

Depending on the species and variety, persimmon’s color varies from light yellow-orange to dark red-orange.

Hachiya and Fuyu are the most popular varieties of persimmon.

The heart-shaped Hachiya is high in plant compounds called tannins, which is why it tastes bitter when eaten unripe.

Tannins are a type of astringent (a chemical that shrinks body tissues).

Fuyu, shaped like a tomato, also contains tannins, however, Fuyu persimmons are non-astringent.

We can also eat Fuyu persimmons partially unripe.

Persimmon belongs to the genus Diospyros.

The nutrients in persimmon are immensely healthy.

In this article, we are going to review:

  1. Persimmon Nutrition Facts
  2. Persimmon Health Benefits
  3. How to Eat Persimmon
  4. Persimmon Safety Concerns
  5. Conclusion and My Recommendation

Persimmon Nutrition Facts

To know your daily quota of each nutrient, you may check this((<https://health.gov/our-work/food-nutrition/2015-2020-dietary-guidelines/guidelines/appendix-7/>)) link.

Persimmon Health Benefits

Excellent Source of Strong Antioxidants

Persimmon stands as a rich source of antioxidants such as flavonoids and beta-carotene.

Antioxidants help deactivate free radicals, highly unstable molecules that damage cells and may cause chronic diseases.

Research indicates that a diet rich in flavonoids may reduce the risk of several chronic diseases, including cancer, cardiovascular disease (CVD) and neurodegenerative disorders.((<https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/25272572/>))

Beta-carotene belongs to the group of carotenoid antioxidants. It is responsible for the orange color of fruits, including permission.

A study of around 38,000 healthy individuals concluded that diets high in beta-carotene are associated with reduced risk of type 2 diabetes.((<https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/25716098/>))

Moreover, beta-carotene may also lower risk of lung cancer, colorectal cancer, and heart disease, according to another investigation.((<https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4886629/>))

High in Fiber

Heart disease is a global threat.

The question is, do we have control over it?

The answer is yes. A few modifications in lifestyle, including your diet, may significantly reduce your risk of developing heart disease.

There are several risk factors related to heart disease.

One of them is overconsumption of LDL cholesterol and underconsumption of dietary fiber.((<https://www.cambridge.org/core/services/aop-cambridge-core/content/view/S0007114516003445>)) ((<https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/16407729/>))

Foods like persimmon contain a lot of fiber. Fiber can help reduce cholesterol levels by helping your body excrete excess cholesterol.((<https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/23171573/>))

Fiber is also known to aid gut health. It helps make bowel movements smooth.

Good gut bacteria feed on fiber.

Moreover, fiber helps regulate blood sugar spikes after a meal, reducing type 2 diabetes risk.

Eating foods like persimmon also give you a feeling of fullness, helping you avoid overeating.

Healthy Vision

Persimmon contains a massive amount of vitamin A, which is essential for optimal eye health.

Studies show vitamin A is crucial to the formation of pigments responsible for absorbing light. ((< https://scholarcommons.sc.edu/cgi/viewcontent.cgi?article=1098&context=jscas>)) It also helps maintain the proper structure of the retina.

The beta-carotene in persimmon gets converted into vitamin A in the human body.

So, you can imagine how healthy persimmon may be for your eyes.

We already know persimmon has a store of powerful antioxidants. Such antioxidants are lutein and zeaxanthin.

Lutein and zeaxanthin may lessen risk of eye diseases, including age-related macular degeneration, which causes vision loss.((<https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4838793/>)) ((<https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/26447482/>)).

Brain Health

Fisetin is a plant compound found in persimmon that is associated with many health benefits.

Studies suggest fistein may reduce the impact of age-related neurological diseases, especially those associated with cognitive deficits such as Alzheimer’s disease.((<https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5527824/>))

How to Eat Persimmon

Here are a few ways you can enjoy persimmon in your daily diet:

  • Thoroughly wash and eat it fresh.
  • Dice into yogurt, oatmeal or salads.
  • Use in smoothies.
  • Add to a mocktail.
  • Dry or bake, then drizzle honey on them.
  • Make them an ingredient in granola or muesli.

Persimmon Safety Concerns

Allergy: Allergy from persimmon is rare but possible. Typical symptoms include hives, vomiting, dizziness, and difficulty breathing.

Stomach Issues or Surgery: If you have stomach issues or have had stomach surgery, it is better to avoid persimmon, especially the unripe astringent ones.

Effect of Unripe Astringent Persimmons: Unripe astringent persimmons contain a high level of tannins, which might make your mouth dry and numb for a while.

Intestinal Stones and Digestion: Unripe astringent persimmons can also make food particles stick together, leading to intestinal stones and even slow digestion.

The message here is to eat astringent persimmons when they are entirely ripe. You can eat non-astringent varieties when they are not fully ripe.

Now you know why earlier, I hinted at eating the ripe version of Hachiya persimmon!

Here is a list of some astringent and non-astringent types of persimmon:

Astringent types:

  • Hachiya
  • Saijo
  • Chocolate
  • Great Wall
  • Tanenashi
  • Giombo
  • Ormond
  • Maru
  • Tipo

Non-astringent types:

  • Fuyu
  • Giant fuyu
  • Jiro
  • Ichi-ki-kei-jiro
  • Dan gam
  • Hana fuyu
  • Maekawa jiro

Remember, the ideas in this article are not a substitution for medical advice. If you have health concerns, it’s best to talk to your doctor before adding any food to your diet.

Conclusion and My Recommendation

Are persimmons good for you?

Good? They are great!

An overlooked fruit, persimmon is highly nutritious. It provides excellent health benefits.

Antioxidants in the fruit help reduce the risk of certain chronic diseases.

An immense amount of vitamin A in persimmon gives eyes a healthy boost.

Persimmon may help tackle heart issues, as their fiber helps reduce LDL cholesterol.

Fiber also supports gut health and gives a sense of satiety.

Some studies show the promising effect of the fruit on brain health.

Therefore, if eaten in moderation, persimmon can be an excellent part of a healthy diet.

What do you think of this article? Have any questions? Let me know in the comments below!

Is Hot Chocolate Good For You? Health Benefits of Cocoa

What is it about a mug of hot chocolate in winter that brought a warm smile to my face? Or the happy feeling I got when my parents awarded me a bar of chocolate as a treat?

Hot chocolate warmed me up on a cold day with the ultra-luxurious, thick, silky, creamy taste of chocolate.

Chocolate has been rumored to be a love potion for centuries, and no wonder that apart from being a children’s beverage, hot chocolate has been a favorite of dictators, warriors, and travelers for centuries.

This article will explain the difference between hot chocolate and cocoa, describe how to make hot chocolate, and tell you all about cocoa’s health benefits.

1.The Difference Between Cacao and Cocoa

2. Nutritional Facts 

3. Health Benefits Of Cocoa

4. How to make Hot Chocolate

5. Is Hot Chocolate Good For You?

6. Precautions

7. Conclusion

Theobroma cacao is the scientific Latin name for the cacao trees native to the Americas’ deep tropical region.

Generally, cocoa trees are planted next to tall trees to protect them from direct sunlight. The soil can influence the flavors of the cocoa beans.

The Difference Between Cacao and Cocoa

Many of us don’t know the difference between cocoa and cacao.

Cacao is the bean, and cocoa are the roasted beans.

Chocolates are made from cocoa seeds. Bitter chocolate is produced by roasting and pressing cocoa seeds between hot rollers.

Cocoa powder is produced by squeezing cocoa butter (fat) from bitter chocolate and powdering the residue.

White chocolate does not contain any cocoa solids and is made from cocoa butter, milk solids, and sugar. In contrast, sweet chocolate is produced by adding sugar and essence to cocoa butter.

Commercially produced chocolates and cocoa products may not be rich in beneficial flavanols, as over-processing can destroy flavanols. ((<https://bmcchem.biomedcentral.com/articles/10.1186/1752-153X-5-53>)), ((<https://ifst.onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/abs/10.1111/j.1365-2621.2011.02670.x>))

Nutrition Facts

There is a difference in the nutrition provided by one oz (28g) unsweetened Cocoa Powder, 70% dark chocolate and hot chocolate. Let’s have a look: ((<https://nutritiondata.self.com/facts/sweets/5471/2 >))

Health Benefits Of Cocoa

Cocoa powder is beneficial, especially if it is at least 70% cocoa. Here are some of the health benefits of cocoa.

Heart Health

Polyphenols are phytonutrients, the compounds naturally found in plant foods, that provide various health benefits.

Among the foods rich in polyphenols, dark chocolate or cocoa beans are of particular interest, as cocoa is a rich source of polyphenols.

Regularly consuming polyphenols is thought to boost digestion and brain health and protect against heart disease, type 2 diabetes, and even certain cancers. ((<https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6160559/>))

Research indicates that eating dark chocolate or cocoa products for 2- 8 weeks may lower the top (systolic) blood pressure readings by four mm Hg. The bottom number (diastolic blood pressure) may be reduced by two mmHg in people with high blood pressure. ((<https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/28439881/>))

A few other clinical interventional studies demonstrated a positive effect of flavanol-rich cocoa or chocolate intake on the reduction and improvement of the blood pressure along with improved glucose and lipid profiles. ((<https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5539137/.>))

Several epidemiological studies (which identify risk factors for disease and targets for preventive healthcare) suggest a strong correlation between daily cocoa intake and better cardiovascular health measures. ((<https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/28824916/>))

To learn more about phytonutrients, read the article below.

https://fabulousbody.com/phytonutrients-definition-phytonutrients-foods-and-chart/

Improved Cognitive Health

Cerebral ischemia is a condition in which a blockage in an artery restricts oxygen-rich blood delivery to the brain, resulting in brain tissue damage. The state is accompanied by a cognitive decline.

A study on healthy subjects aged 59- 83 years suggested that flavonoid-rich cocoa (FRC) intake may directly increase blood flow to the brain of healthy older adults.

The research data suggests a promising role for regular consumption of flavanol-rich cocoa in treating ischemic cerebrovascular syndromes, including dementia and stroke. ((<https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2518374/>))

May Improve Mental Health

Cocoa powder and chocolate contain reasonable amounts of antioxidants and flavonoids, most abundantly in the form of epicatechin, which may positively affect mood and emotional stress. ((<https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S1756464612001405>)) , ((<https://www.nature.com/articles/tp2014135>))

The antioxidants in cocoa appear to positively affect blood flow to the brain, oxygen levels, and nerve function, as measured by testing electrical activity in the brain after subjects consumed cocoa drinks. ((<https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/22775434/>))

A study hinted that a more frequent intake of chocolate by pregnant women might reduce stress and improve the mood of the babies. ((<https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/14757265/>))

Another study suggested that drinking polyphenol-rich cocoa improved calmness, psychological well-being, and overall health among senior men. ((<https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2518374/>))

Stronger Immune System

One ounce (28 g) of cocoa powder contains iron (about 22% of the daily value), zinc (13%), and selenium (6%). These minerals, along with the polyphenols in cocoa, help the body function and boost the immune system. ((<https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3671179/>))

How to Make Hot Chocolate

Hot chocolate is just what it sounds like: hot chocolate, or what many call “drinking chocolate.” It is made from chopped bits of chocolate melted slowly and painstakingly, then blended with milk, cream, or water. In comparison, hot cocoa is made from cocoa powder.

Commercially available hot chocolate may have additional sugar and calories and we need to watch our calorie intake from hot chocolate.

To understand more about calorie intake:

Related :

https://fabulousbody.com/calories-in-calories-out-cico-does-it-matter/

It is always better to make hot chocolate at home from scratch rather than buying ready-made products. A straightforward recipe is to mix good quality cocoa and sugar (the less, the better) with a pinch of salt in a pan.

Add boiling water to the pan and let it simmer on low heat for two minutes. Watch that it doesn’t burn. Stir in three cups of milk and heat until it’s hot, but do not boil! Please remove it from heat and add the essence of your choice.

You can add extra flavors to hot chocolate. The latest exciting trend is to add cayenne pepper!

Is Hot Chocolate Good For You?

As high-end chocolate sales have increased over the past few years, restaurants have gone back to hot chocolate’s roots with premium drinks infused with spices.

Chocolate is commonly associated with weight gain. Dieters and obese individuals sometimes fear chocolate and feel guilty eating or drinking it.

But cocoa contains exceptionally high quantities of phenolic phytochemicals known as flavanols. Cocoa itself is low in fat and sugar. The calories in cocoa are packed with healthy compounds. ((<https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4285439/>))

Studies suggest cocoa helps regulate fat and carbohydrate metabolism, and cocoa’s pleasant aroma may increase satiety and reduce appetite. ((<https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/24000103/>))

Although eating chocolate is perceived as indulgent and fattening because of its calories, randomized trials have found no increase in weight after prolonged consumption of small amounts of cocoa. ((<https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/18510961/>)), ((<https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/18504447/>))

Given the potential beneficial effects of cocoa on conditions frequently associated with obesity and the negligible risk of weight gain related to moderate chocolate intake, average chocolate consumption appears to have a favorable risk/benefit profile for obese individuals. ((<https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4696435/>))

Additionally, a weight-loss study using low-carbohydrate diets discovered that a group given 42 grams of 81% cocoa chocolate a day lost weight faster than the regular diet group. ((<https://www.researchgate.net/publication/276892317_Chocolate_with_high_Cocoa_content_as_a_weight-loss_accelerator>))

Note that lower quality chocolates may have added butterfat, vegetable oils, artificial colors and artificial flavors.

Choosing dark chocolate and eating modest quantities may offer the most significant health benefits. It appears that cocoa-rich products may help facilitate weight loss or maintenance, but further studies must confirm this.

Precautions

Eating cocoa is mostly safe, but do keep in mind that cocoa contains caffeine. Consuming large amounts of caffeine may cause side effects such as nervousness, increased urination, sleeplessness, and a faster heartbeat.

And for the same reason, consuming cocoa in large amounts during pregnancy or lactation should be avoided or done with a physician’s knowledge.

Cocoa products need to be stored in a cool, dry area (65- 70 F) in a tightly sealed container. Do not refrigerate. The chocolates may “bloom,” producing a whitish-grey coating caused by sugar rising to the surface due to excess moisture. Bloom does not affect the flavor but does not look appealing.

Conclusion

By itself, cocoa doesn’t contain much sugar or fat. Most commercial chocolate products, however, have added sugars and fats.

Intake of appropriate amounts of flavanol-rich cocoa-derived products (60 – 70% cocoa) may benefit both cardiovascular function and mental well-being.

We can all enjoy drinking sweet, homemade hot chocolate on cold days and dark chocolate in small quantities without any guilt. And If eating chocolate makes you happy, go for it once in a while.

What do you think of this article? Have any questions? Let me know in the comments below!

Spinach Nutrition Facts and Health Benefits

“I’m strong to the finich ’cause I eats me spinach.” ~ Popeye

How could I not agree with Popeye? Spinach does have health benefits that may lower our chances of needing a pill.

Originating in Persia, the green leafy vegetable spinach is from the amaranth family. It is a relative of beetroots and quinoa.

It is a low-calorie, high-nutrient food with many health benefits.

But what does spinach have to offer us? Let’s explore to find out.

In this article, we are going to review:

  1. Spinach Nutrition Facts
  2. Spinach Health Benefits
  3. Spinach vs. Kale
  4. Spinach for Weight Loss
  5. How to Eat Spinach
  6. Spinach Safety Concerns
  7. Conclusion and My Recommendation

Spinach Nutrition Facts

Spinach Nutrition Facts

To know your daily quota of each nutrient, you may check this((<https://health.gov/our-work/food-nutrition/2015-2020-dietary-guidelines/guidelines/appendix-7/>)) link.

Spinach Health Benefits

Nitrates

High blood pressure is one of the main risk factors for heart disease.

Research shows that nitrates, which are natural compounds in spinach, are effective in lowering blood pressure.((<https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/18250365/>))

In fact, there are studies specifically on the ability of spinach to reduce blood pressure.((<https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/22019438/>)) ((<https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/15080624/>))

Do you remember watching Popeye finishing strong after eating spinach?

We believed in him during childhood, but once we grew up, it didn’t seem realistic, right?

Let us call him “Sir Popeye” here, as science agrees with him.

Studies conclude that nitrates in spinach can boost physical performance, in particular during high-intensity endurance training.((<https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/17635415/>))

The reason may be that nitrates enhance the efficiency of mitochondria. Mitochondria are the energy-producing parts of cells.((<https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/21284982/>)) ((<https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/21071588/>)) ((<https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/23370859/>))

Oxidative Stress Protection

Spinach may help fight chronic diseases. Here is how:

Free radicals are unstable molecules that produce oxidative stress. They are linked to chronic diseases such as heart disease, cancer, diabetes, and Alzheimer’s.

Air pollutants, cigarettes, alcohol, fried foods, and pesticides can contain free radical-generating substances.((<https://hopes.stanford.edu/about-free-radical-damage/>))

Continuous exposure to these substances can be lethal.

Spinach contains antioxidants, which may neutralize or reduce the effects of oxidative stress, preventing various chronic diseases.((<https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/21384253/>)) ((<https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/12111045/>))

Cancer Prevention

MGDG (monogalactosyl diacylglycerol) and SQDG (sulfoquinovosyl diacylglycerol) are cancer-preventing components present in spinach.

One study found that these components may help inhibit tumor growth in the human cervix.((<https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/17439396/>)) ((<https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/B9780123746283000268>))

Regular consumption of spinach is linked to reduced risk of prostate and breast cancer, studies suggest.((<https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/17652276>)) ((<https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/9367061/>))

Healthy Vision

Lutein and zeaxanthin are compounds known to promote eye health.

Numerous studies suggest these compounds protect us from potential damage to the retina caused by sunlight.((<https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/19168000/>))

Macular degeneration and cataracts are leading causes of blindness.

There is evidence that lutein and zeaxanthin may prevent these issues and even reverse existing damage.((<https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/7933422/>)) ((<https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/16936087/>)) ((<https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/25515572/>))

Spinach vs. Kale

An exciting battle here. Both spinach and kale are green, leafy, nutrient-dense vegetables.

Let’s find out which has the upper hand.

Spinach vs. Kale

In terms of taste, kale has a bitter taste while the taste of spinach is not that strong.

When it come to texture, kale is chewier, while spinach is smooth and cooks quicker than kale.

Those who have thyroid-related issues should avoid kale as it contains goitrin, a compound that may interrupt thyroid function.

Spinach also contains goitrin but not as much as cruciferous veggies like kale.

However, spinach has oxalates, which might inhibit calcium absorption and can also cause kidney stones.((<https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4525130/>))

Boiling spinach can lessen the dietary oxalate composition by 87% though.((<https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/15826055/>))

Related:

What are Cruciferous Vegetables? | Cruciferous Vegetables Benefits

Spinach for Weight Loss

When it comes to weight loss, you need to consume less than your maintenance calories.

You can calculate your maintenance calories using the TDEE calculator.

You can achieve a calorie deficit by eating healthy foods in the right quantity and doing physical activities.

Some foods are suited to support your journey. Spinach is one such food.

So how can spinach be weight loss friendly?

Calories: Spinach surprises us by offering a massive amount of nutrients for just seven calories per cup (25 g).

Therefore, it could be an excellent replacement for sugar-laden foods.

If you plan to go on a 500 calorie deficit a day, you would eventually burn 3500 calories a week, meaning you would shed around one pound in a week.

The daily calorie deficit is not that much. You can easily achieve it by diet and exercise.

This is an ideal way to lose weight healthily.

I have given you a rough idea of how things work when you are on a weight loss journey. Foods like spinach could make the job easier. So, choose smartly.

Having a bowl of spinach soup instead of junk is a healthy way to lose weight.

Fiber: Fiber gives you a feeling of fullness, and spinach is full of fiber. Thus, it can prevent cravings to eat extra.

Related:

TDEE Definition: Total Daily Energy Expenditure

What is Fiber? Health Benefits, Food Sources, and Daily Requirements

How to Eat Spinach

Here are a few ways you can enjoy spinach:

  • Make spinach puree.
  • Stir fry it.
  • Add it to pasta.
  • Blend it into soup.
  • Sprinkle it into green or fruit salad.
  • Mix in smoothies.
  • Enjoy steamed spinach in a sandwich.

Spinach Safety Concerns

Typically, spinach is very healthy. But under the following conditions, it may not be a safe option:

  • Medications: Spinach is rich in vitamin K, which is known for its blood clotting properties. This may interfere with blood thinner medicines.
  • Kidney Stones: Spinach may promote kidney stones under certain circumstances. So, those who are at risk of developing kidney stones should limit spinach intake.

Remember, the ideas in this article are not a substitution for medical advice. If you have health concerns, it’s best to talk to your doctor before adding any food to your diet.

Conclusion and My Recommendation

Filled with innumerable nutrients; spinach is a superfood indeed.

It is true spinach cannot give you a forearm like Popeye’s, but what it offers you is an abundance of impressive health benefits.

A few I have mentioned are lowered blood pressure, enhanced physical performance, eye health, cancer prevention, and protection against oxidative stress.

Spinach could also be a food for weight loss, as it is low in calories and has a high fiber content.

You can effortlessly cook and add it to your diet.

So now do you agree with Popeye about spinach? He is a smart guy, no?

You can be too, once you start choosing superfoods like spinach for a healthy lifestyle.

However, one thing I would not recommend learning from Popeye is smoking.

As we discussed, smoking can cause oxidative stress in the body.

What do you think of this article? Have any questions? Let me know in the comments below!


Bell Pepper Nutrition and Health Benefits

You might not need a vitamin C supplement if you have a few bell peppers in your refrigerator.

Today we will learn:

  1. Are Bell Peppers Fruits?
  2. Types of Bell Peppers
  3. Bell Pepper Nutrition Facts
  4. Health Benefits of Bell Peppers
  5. Are Bell Peppers Good for Fat Loss?

This is an interesting one. Let’s get started:

Bell peppers, also called sweet peppers or capsicum, are known for their brightly colored appearance and distinct flavor, which is rather sweet and tangy despite their name being pepper.

Belonging to the Capsicum annuum group, these bell-shaped delicacies are often thought of as vegetables, but are they vegetables, or are bell pepper fruits? What are the health benefits of bell peppers? Where did they come from? We will learn the answers to these questions today.

Peppers originated in Mexico, Central America and South America. Christopher Columbus and Spanish explorers brought them to Europe. From there, they were brought to Africa and Asia, with many types of bell peppers existing today.  ((<https://dpi.wi.gov/sites/default/files/imce/school-nutrition/pdf/fact-sheet-bell-pepper.pdf>))

With time, different cultures added bell peppers to their culinary portfolio, making bell peppers part of their heritage in terms of cuisine. Some examples include Moroccan rice pilaf or Indian stuffed shimla mirch (the Hindi name for bell peppers).

Indian stuffed bell peppers

Are Bell Peppers Fruits?

Bell peppers are indeed fruits. They grow as a flower and form into a bulbous shape, which by structure, formation and function is the spreading of seeds from the ovary of a flowering plant. This classifies them as a fruit.

Types of Bell Peppers

Bell peppers are most commonly red, green or yellow, though some are orange, and there are mini peppers as well. Other varieties of bell peppers are colors including brown, white, lavender, and even dark purple.

The main three colors occur when green bell peppers ripened further and turn red, which some believe to be the most nutritious color of the lot. Yellow bell peppers are somewhere between red and green.

Bell Pepper Nutrition Facts

Low Glycemic Index

Bell peppers have a low glycemic index rating of 32.((<https://foodstruct.com/food/bell-pepper>))

A low rating on the index means that eating this delicious fruit will give your taste buds the tingle you expect but will not flood your bloodstream with sugar.

High in Vitamin C and Other Antioxidants

Bell peppers are among the richest sources of vitamin C, a water-soluble vitamin also known as ascorbic acid. A medium red bell pepper contains around 95.68 mg of vitamin C.  Most adults only require 75 – 90 mg per day.((<https://health.gov/our-work/food-nutrition/2015-2020-dietary-guidelines/guidelines/appendix-7/>))

Low Net Carbs

For all weight watchers who have decided to go low carb, 100 g of bell pepper can contain up to 1.7 g of fiber with just 2.9 g of net carbs. More reason to enjoy this fruit!

Vitamin K

A 100 g serving of bell peppers can have around 7.10 µg of Vitamin K, approximately 6 – 9 % of our daily requirement.

Bell peppers have other compounds and vitamins to help us. Other health benefits come from nutrients like thiamin (vitamin B1), niacin (vitamin B3), folate, magnesium, and potassium. Read on to find out more.

Based on a 2000 calories diet ((<https://nutritiondata.self.com/facts/vegetables-and-vegetable-products/2536/2>))

Health Benefits of Bell Peppers

Supports Collagen Synthesis

As mentioned above, a medium bell pepper alone can provide over 90 g of vitamin C. The vitamin C in bell peppers helps synthesize collagen, the most common protein found in the body. Collagen is present in bones, ligaments, tendons, and skin.

Helps With Absorption of Iron

The vitamin C in bell peppers can also enhance the absorption of iron.((<https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/24425716/>)), ((<https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/29099763/>))

Fights Oxidative Stress

Bell peppers have a good amount of antioxidants, which may help fight heart disease, prevent cancer, protect against liver disease and combat oxidative stress and inflammation.((<https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/26234792/>)), ((<https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/26540040/>))

Bell peppers also contains a flavonoid called quercetin. Another fighter in the battle to protect our body, quercetin has been known to reduce pain and inflammation and control blood pressure.((<https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/28146071/>))

Does Not Contain Capsaicin

Unlike other peppers, bell peppers do not contain capsaicin, the compound that makes other peppers spicy hot. While capsaicin has benefits, a lot of people, especially those with a hypersensitive bladder or high blood pressure, cannot tolerate capsaicin.

Works in Favor of the Gut and Heart

Bell peppers are not just delicious, they also contain a good amount of fiber. Fiber has been known to not only improve heart health, but it also acts as food for our gut bacteria, which is of the source of most of our immunity. It is a good idea to feed gut bacteria.

Some studies also show that fiber can help prevent certain types of cancer. That’s a big plus for the red, green and yellow bells.((<https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5731843/>)), ((<https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/9895396/>))

Various studies suggest that a lack of dietary fiber can be devastating to the body, leading to issues like constipation—and you definitely do not want that. 🙂

Are Bell Peppers Good for Fat Loss?

Considering that bell peppers are low in calories and contain fiber, vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, and other nutrients, they are can curb hunger and add flavor to a diet, making food more palatable and pleasing for the eyes.

There is no shortage of recipes for the bell peppers. One can have them raw in salads, bake them, sauté them, stuff them, or even make sauces or chutneys with them.

They can be eaten stuffed, peeled, roasted, or as pizza toppings.

Bell peppers offer immense benefits, so it makes sense to put a few in your fridge and consume them in various forms throughout the week.

Remember, though, that organic produce is generally better than genetically modified crops.

So, reach out to your local farmer’s market or the organic section of your supermarket and treat yourself to these colorful bells of goodness.

Tomatoes Nutrition Facts | Health Benefits Of Tomatoes

“Knowledge is knowing that tomato is a fruit; wisdom is not putting it in a fruit salad. ” Miles Kington

Tomatoes add sweetness and acidity to any savory dish. But why are they never added to a fruit salad?

Are tomatoes fruits or vegetables? Very genuine questions and I always wondered but never looked deeply into it until now.

Read on to find out if a tomato is a fruit or vegetable, and its nutritional facts:

1. Is Tomato A Fruit Or A Vegetable?

2. Tomato Nutrition Facts

3. Health Benefits Of Tomatoes

4. Types Of Tomatoes

5. Possible Risks

6. Conclusion

The tomato is the edible red berry of the plant Solanum Lycopersicum, commonly known as the tomato plant. 

The species originated in western South America and Central America and is now one of the most common commercial crops, grown widely in temperate climates worldwide. 

Anyone with a kitchen garden has a tomato plant.

Is Tomato A Fruit Or A Vegetable?

The botanical classification of fruits and vegetables is based on the structure and function of the edible part of the plant.

The word fruit comes from the Latin fructus or frui, meaning to enjoy, and according to Merriam-Webster, a fruit is “the usually edible reproductive body of a seed plant.” 

The tomato plant is a seed plant; it bears seeds, and the part we eat is an edible reproductive body. The plant reproduces with the seeds inside the tomato. ((<https://www.merriam-webster.com/words-at-play/fruit-vs-vegetable>))

The word vegetable comes from the Latin word vegetabilis, which means growing (as in plants) and is any plant or “vegetable matter.” The term vegetable usually refers to the fresh edible portions — roots, stems, leaves, flowers, fruit, or seeds — of certain herbaceous plants.

Scientifically speaking, a tomato is a fruit.

When it comes to cooking, fruits and vegetables are categorized differently. In the culinary world, it’s done based on flavors.

Culinarily speaking, a vegetable usually has a chewier texture, tastes blander and often requires cooking when used in dishes like stews, soups or stir-fries.

On the other hand, the fruit has a soft texture and tends to be either sweet or tart and is often enjoyed raw or in desserts or jams.

So in the culinary world, a tomato is a vegetable.

The USDA lists tomatoes as vegetables. ((<https://www.choosemyplate.gov/tomato-raw-do-not-use>))

Tomato Nutrition Facts

Tomatoes are nutrient-dense; one cup of chopped or sliced raw tomatoes contains:

Health Benefits Of Tomatoes

May Protect Against Cancer

Tomatoes are an excellent source of vitamin C and other antioxidants, including alpha-lipoic acid, lycopene, choline, folic acid, beta-carotene, and lutein. These compounds can help prevent the formation of free radicals that are known to cause cancer. ((<https://www.cancer.gov/about-cancer/causes-prevention/risk/diet/antioxidants-fact-sheet>))

Recent public health studies suggest a potential benefit of beta carotene and lycopene (the compound that gives tomatoes their color) in lowering the risk of prostate cancer, particularly the more lethal forms. Five studies show a 30% to 40% reduction in risk associated with tomato or lycopene consumption. ((<https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/10050865/>)), ((<https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/15949687/>)), ((<https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/12424325/>))

Helps Protect Skin

The benefits of tomatoes for skin are attributed to three high-powered antioxidants: carotenoids, vitamin E, and vitamin C.

Harsh ultraviolet rays can lead to wrinkles, sagging skin, blemishes, and other adverse effects.

Studies have found that dietary carotenoids in tomatoes may reduce UV damage to the skin, lowering the risk to the skin from sunburn and ultraviolet (UV) light-induced erythema. ((<https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5506060/>)), ((<https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/16465309/>)), ((<https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/15830922/>)), ((<https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/11340098/>))

This does not mean we can stop taking care of our skin in the sun if we eat tomatoes but that tomatoes may provide added protection.

Improves Heart Health

The fiber, potassium, vitamin C, lycopene, and choline in tomatoes all support heart health. ((<https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/22158914/>)), ((<https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/23045517/>))

A cup of tomato contains 426 mg of potassium and 9 mg of sodium. Increased potassium intake and decreased sodium intake are associated with a reduced risk of cardiovascular disease. ((<https://www.heart.org/en/health-topics/high-blood-pressure/changes-you-can-make-to-manage-high-blood-pressure/how>)), ((<potashttps://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/16569044/>))

Potassium may also protect muscles against damage, improve bone mineral density, and reduce kidney stone formation. ((<https://ods.od.nih.gov/factsheets/Potassium-HealthProfessional/#h7>))

Tomatoes are one of the crucial ingredients in a healthy Mediterranean diet. Many recent studies have found that people who regularly consume the Mediterranean diet may have lower death rates from heart disease and cancer. ((<https://www.cardiosmart.org/news/2018/7/study-confirms-the-heart-health-benefits-of-a-mediterranean-diet>))

Research from the Harvard School of Public Health, which followed more than 39,000 women for seven years, found an association between consumption of tomato-based and cardiovascular benefits. ((<https://www.health.harvard.edu/heart-health/why-the-mediterranean-diet-is-so-good-for-your-heart#:~:text=A%20study%20published%20this%20February,a%20regular%20low%2Dfat%20diet.>))

Total Health Benefits

Tomatoes are often described as a laxative fruit as they have high water, fiber, and naringenin (a natural flavonoid) content. ((<https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5752176/>))

Studies suggest that people with a proper dietary intake of the carotenoids lutein and zeaxanthin (present in tomatoes) have a 35% lower risk of getting neovascular AMD. ((<https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3972926/>)), ((<https://www.aoa.org/healthy-eyes/caring-for-your-eyes/diet-and-nutrition?sso=y>)), ((<https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5715512/>))

Types of Tomatoes

Tomatoes aren’t always red. With about 10,000 varieties worldwide, they can be yellow, green, pink, purple, black and even white! Tomatoes are incredibly versatile and are great for grilling, roasting, sautéing and even eating raw as healthy snacks.

Grape Tomatoes

From crisp and crunchy to sweet and tangy, grape tomatoes come in diverse flavors and colors. They have thick skin and do very well roasted in an oven with Italian cuisine.

Cherry Tomatoes

Cherry tomatoes are the most adorable and versatile tomatoes. They are available in red, orange, yellow and purple. They are sweet and tangy and can be eaten raw in salads, grilled, sautéed, or sundried.

Red Beefsteak Tomatoes

Called “the king of tomatoes” and “salsa tomatoes,” red beefsteak tomatoes are large and meaty with lots of juice, making them ideal to use as a base for fresh sauces and dips. They can even hold their own as a patty substitute!

Roma Tomatoes

Roma tomatoes are typical Italian tomatoes, flavorful, with a tangy, garden-fresh taste. They are ideal for making a delicious stew, sauce, or tomato paste. 

Cocktail Tomatoes

Cocktail tomatoes are versatile and have a sweet and fruity aftertaste. They go well with any meal. They have very soft skin and a meaty texture, making them one of the best tomatoes for creating delicate sauces, BBQ, or adding to meats and veggies.

Heirloom Tomatoes

Heirloom tomatoes are available in a wide range of sizes and vibrant colors. They are flavorful, making them one of the best tomatoes for gourmet sandwiches and salads, grilling as a side dish, or even eating raw with a drizzle of extra virgin olive oil and a dash of rock salt. 

Tomatoes On The Vine

As the name suggests, they are left on the vine until fully ripened to get the maximum nutrients. Sweet and juicy, they can make delicious tomato soup or bring a bright and refreshing flavor to sauces, jams, and salads. 

Green Beefsteak Tomatoes

These are not unripe tomatoes but are green with a unique flavor that is tart and tangy. Green beefsteak tomatoes bring an exciting twist to sandwiches, salsa, dips, sauces, desserts and pies.

Be sure to store fresh tomatoes at room temperature. Refrigeration causes tomatoes to lose their flavor.

Possible Risks

The Environmental Working Group (EWG) compiles a list of fruits and vegetables with the highest pesticide residue levels every year. These foods are known as the Dirty Dozen.

For 2020, tomatoes are number 9; the EWG suggests people buy organic tomatoes if possible to minimize pesticide exposure. ((<.https://www.ewg.org/foodnews/summary.php>))

High potassium foods such as tomatoes should be consumed in moderation when taking beta-blockers (a type of medication commonly prescribed for heart disease).

Conclusion

In Ohio, USA, they love tomatoes so much that tomato juice is the official state drink. On the other side of the world, La Tomatina is an annual tomato festival in Spain, where people throw 150,000 tomatoes at each other for fun. Funny and strange, and I wonder why?

Including vine-ripened, locally grown tomatoes in vibrant colors in the daily diet is a great thing. In case good fresh tomatoes aren’t available, canned tomatoes are a good substitute.

What do you think of this article? Have any questions? Let me know in the comments below!