5 Excellent Reasons to Enjoy Peaches
The grocery store produce section overflows with peaches, plums, and nectarines - stone fruits - during the
summer. As it is prudent to enjoy fruits and vegetables when they are in season, before fall arrives, be sure
to relish ripe peaches, not only because their juicy, saccharine taste intoxicates the palate but also because
these fruits offer wide-ranging health benefits.
1. Contain Carotenoids
Peaches, like nectarines and plums, contain carotenoids. Among these fruits, yellow-flesh peaches, as opposed to white-flesh peaches and yellow- and white-flesh nectarines, boast the second highest carotenoid content after plums. Carotenoids give fruits and vegetables their red, orange, and yellow hues and act as antioxidants, which eliminate free radicals in the body that can cause premature aging, cancer, Parkinson’s disease and other conditions. Some research also shows that carotenoids reduce cardiovascular disease risk.
2. Lower Cancer Risk
A study in the American Journal of Epidemiology revealed that the consumption of peaches is substantially inversely associated with lung cancer risk, specifically among men.
Moreover, eating two servings of peaches per week was associated with a lower risk of estrogen-receptor breast cancer, according to a recent study published in Breast Cancer Research and Treatment.
3. Abound in Vitamin C
Peaches boast high vitamin C levels. In fact, among stone fruits, yellow-flesh peaches and plums contain the most vitamin C. This indispensable vitamin helps synthesize various neurotransmitters and collagen, which is an important component of connective tissue and as such plays a significant role in wound healing. Additionally, vitamin C supports protein metabolism and acts as an antioxidant. It even helps to regenerate other antioxidants as vitamin E.
4. Contain Polyphenols
Polyphenols are phyto or plant chemicals that though unnecessary for sustaining life possess disease-fighting properties. Peaches contain a type of polyphenol called flavonoids. Researchers assert that consuming flavonoids helps decrease the risk of various chronic diseases as cancer, cardiovascular disease, and neurodegenerative conditions.
5. Exhibit Anti-obesity, Anti-diabetic, and Anti-inflammatory Properties
Researchers at Texas A&M University discovered that stone fruits contain a unique combination of various phytochemicals that work synergistically to fight against obesity, diabetes, and inflammation.
With peaches' health-promoting properties top-of-mind, buy some during your next grocery store shopping trip. These fuzzy, fun fruits will surely bolster your health, keeping you vital all summer long!
Boost Your Immune System, Prevent Osteoporosis, and More with Lemons
Lemons not only add zest to poultry dishes and salads, but also bolster your health and are particularly beneficial for the elderly.
Lemons contain various enriching vitamins and nutrients that make these fruits an important part of a healthy diet. High in the antioxidant vitamin C, lemons boost the immune system and help eradicate free radicals that breed chronic conditions as cancer. Moreover, clinical trials demonstrate that lemons help increase insulin sensitivity, are anti-inflammatory, and lower lipids (i.e. fats and cholesterol) in the blood.
While a lemon possesses wholesome and disease-fighting attributes making it a nourishing food for all, the fruit’s ability to specifically help facilitate normotension (normal blood pressure) and prevent bone loss makes it particularly beneficial for the elderly, who are more susceptible to hypertension and osteoporosis. Recent research in the Journal of Nutrition and Metabolism reports that lemons have a blood-pressure lowering effect. According to the study, lemon ingestion and systolic blood pressure are negatively correlated; so, increased lemon consumption helps decrease blood pressure. Additionally, lemons contain phytochemicals called carotenoids, which are plant pigments and act as antioxidants. Research cited in the publication Plos One shows that carotenoids protect against bone loss in post-menopausal women, helping to thwart osteoporosis.
Therefore, whether you are approaching your sunset years or still relishing adolescents, lemons can strengthen your constitution so that your body remains strong and resists disease at all ages.
From Erectile Dysfunction to Cataracts, Disease Is Thwarted with Melons
A melon fruit salad is a stereotypical summer treat. Ripe, refreshing, juicy melons provide the hydration necessary to endure the sweltering summer heat waves and the nourishment required to stay healthy and have fun!
Watermelon is not your typical melon. Like tomatoes, watermelon contains lycopene, which is a carotenoid. Carotenoids are yellow, orange, and red pigments that are synthesized by plants and act as antioxidants. Lycopene gives watermelon its vibrant red hue. Some studies indicate that lycopene reduces the risk of prostate cancer. Research in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition and the publication Medical Hypotheses also reveals that the risks of lung and stomach cancer are lowered by lycopene consumption. The plant colorant also fights cardiovascular disease. The journal Experimental Biology and Medicine indicates that the antioxidant lowers LDL and inhibits the activity of an enzyme integral to cholesterol production. Accordingly, it is no surprise that a large European study concluded that lycopene helps prevent heart attacks. However, enjoying watermelon this summer will also facilitate your health in another, very surprising way. Consuming watermelon similarly affects the body as taking Viagra! Watermelon contains the amino acid citrulline, which the body converts to arginine, another amino acid. Arginine is a precursor to nitric oxide, a vasodilator or blood vessel-widening agent that enhances blood flow. Due to these chemical relationships, citrulline not only helps treat chest pain, atherosclerosis, heart failure and disease, and high blood pressure, but also helps remedy erectile dysfunction. Like Viagra, watermelon’s amino acids help increase blood flow to male genitalia. This is just another great reason to enjoy this delicious fruit!
Cantaloupe and honeydew also help fight disease and are nutritious! Like watermelon, cantaloupe and honeydew contain upwards of 90% water, making these melons excellent cleansing agents and good for the digestive system. Moreover, potassium-rich, cantaloupe and honeydew are cardioprotective, helping to regulate blood pressure. These melons also contain the antioxidant vitamin C, which facilitates wellness in various ways, from helping to eradicate colds to improving skin health. Plus, these melons abound in vitamin A, which promotes supple skin as well and healthy eyes. Cantaloupe also contains the carotenoids lutein and zeaxanthin, both of which studies show help prevent age-induced macular degeneration (eye condition that causes vision loss) and cataracts.
So, be sure to enjoy melons before the fall arrives, as these summer fruits will soon vanish. To facilitate proper digestion, eat melons alone and wait 30 minutes to 1 hour before consuming anything else.
This summer season, get healthy and excited with melons!
Protect Your Heart with Oranges
Heart disease is the #1 killer in the US. And Dr. Arthur Agatston, cardiologist and author of The South Beach Wake-Up Call, asserts that this condition is entirely preventable. Dr. Walter Willett, chair of nutrition at the Harvard School of Public Health, makes an even more impressive claim, stating emphatically that diet is much more important than drugs for heart health. Drugs only reduce your risk of heart disease by about 25%, whereas diet lowers your risk of developing this fatal condition by a whopping 70%.
Following a predominantly plant-based diet is imperative for heart health. Still, certain foods are particularly helpful in thwarting this disease, such as oranges. The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition reported that oranges increase HDL or “good cholesterol” and decrease the ratio of LDL, or “bad cholesterol,” to HDL. These results coincide with another study published by the journal indicating that oranges reduce blood pressure, as they provide the body with potassium to offset sodium. More impressive, research shows that citrus pectin neutralizes a protein called galectin-3. This protein causes heart tissue scarring that leads to congestive heart failure, which is challenging to treat with drugs. So, why not eat oranges?
Bolster your heart health with juicy, sweet oranges!
What Can Apple Cider Vinegar Do for You?
Apple cider vinegar is often touted as possessing the ability to treat numerous ills. However, scientific research is largely lacking to support claims that it can, for instance, facilitate weight loss or that it contains numerous vitamins. Evidence for both is largely nil; nevertheless, the USDA does report that apple cider vinegar contains some potassium, which helps regulate blood pressure. So, adding vinegar to a heart-smart diet could have some potential benefits if you suffer from hypertension.
On the contrary, many studies do exist demonstrating that apple cider vinegar is an excellent food for those who are insulin resistant and diabetic. A study in the journal Diabetes Care reports that apple cider vinegar improves insulin sensitivity in insulin-resistant individuals and in those suffering from type II diabetes. According to the research, study participants consumed less than 1 ounce of apple cider vinegar following a high carbohydrate meal. The insulin-resistant and diabetic subjects experienced a 34% and 19% lift in insulin sensitivity respectively. Moreover, among the insulin-resistant study participants, the vinegar significantly reduced spikes in insulin and glucose following the meal.
Diabetes is a chronic disease that can be eradicated through salubrious eating habits and regular exercise. Apple cider vinegar alone will not cure this condition; still, adding vinegar to a wholesome diet will definitely lead to health improvements.
Curb Your Desire for Sweets and Improve Your Health Profile with Cherries
Cherries are the perfect summer fruit. Chilled cherries are an excellent treat to pack in the cooler for an excursion to the beach, and an ideal light dessert to relish on a sweltering summer day. Moreover, these saccharine fruits are as healthful as they are tasty.
Cherries’ salubrious benefits abound. The fruits contain plant colorants called anthocyanins, which act as antioxidants and possess anti-inflammatory properties. To understand antioxidants, you must explore free radicals. Free-radicals produce cellular mutations and damage the immune system. Consequently they act as causal factors for numerous maladies as heart disease, arthritis, cancer, diabetes, cystic fibrosis, and Parkinson’s disease, to name a few. They even facilitate aging! Antioxidants are the caped crusaders in this battle for health and wellness. They neutralize free radicals, expunging their harmful potential. Human studies indicate that eating cherries increases antioxidant activity in the blood. Free radicals, take that! Additionally, cherries lower various markers of inflammation that are risk factors for cardiovascular disease, such as C reactive protein and nitric oxide. C reactive protein is produced by the liver, and it increases when there is inflammation in the body. Nitric oxide acts as a pro-inflammatory mediator in the body. A study published in The Journal of Nutrition reveals that consuming cherries decreases C reactive protein and nitric oxide levels in the body, meaning that these fruits possess anti-inflammatory properties. Moreover, research indicates that cherries frustrate the spread of cancer cells and stimulate cancer cell self-destruction without damaging healthy cells.
While these delightful fruits are in season, enjoy cherries to the fullest and fend off disease!
Blueberries: A Low-calorie, Low-sugar, Disease-fighting Sensation
Blueberries are a hot topic, and for good reason! The journal Anti-cancer Agents in Medicinal Chemistry reported that blueberries are anticancer fruits! The purplish-blue berries prevent the production of proinflammatory molecules in the body, thwart oxidative stress and the resultant DNA damage, inhibit cancer cell proliferation, and promote cancer cell death. This is largely due to the berries' anthocyanins, which give these fruits their color and are powerful antioxidants. Moreover, The Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry published research revealing that blueberries enhance neurocognitive function in elderly individuals with a heightened risk of dementia. Additionally, blueberries are an excellent, low-sugar fruit option, providing rich flavor without hefty calories!
Satisfy your taste buds and avoid sickness with blueberries!
Nature's Dessert and Natural Prescription: Mango
Enjoy sugary-sweet chunks of mango after dinner and you won't desire ice cream. Oh, and the hearty, meaty, orange flesh makes this wholesome treat that much more satisfying! But most importantly, mango will help you achieve optimal health. Pharmacognosy Review provides research indicating that the fruit and different parts of the mango tree have antidiabetic, antioxidant, anticancerous, antiviral, hypotensive, and anti-inflammatory properties. Juicy, saccharine, rich, and nutritious, mango is a guilt-free pleasure!