Pick of the Month

“Locally Raw” says it all! I eat all my produce RAW. However it does not mean I never toss them it into soups, a stir fry, sauces or casseroles;

So here is a plethora of facts on some of the heavy hitters we will be offering this season. More will be added as we progress down the nutrient dense path to autumn.

Eat Healthy, Eat Raw, Eat Local and Eat Seasonal. Be a real part of your ecosystem, as we were meant to be.

JUNE

KALE

Kale-Redbor-450x500 Cavolo-nero-kale1 Vates curly_kale05g

Antioxidant Rich  -  Anti-Inflammatory  -  Cancer Prevention

Kale is a cruciferous vegetable and is one of the oldest vegetables. It’s known history is before Greece and Roman Times and most likely further back in Africa.

Types of Kale The most commonly found types are:

  • Curly Kale:  This is the most common type of kale in North America and is found in      practically every supermarket.
  • Black Dinosaur/ Tuscan  Kale:  This is the most popular kale in Italy. It is somewhat more tender than  curly kale and it’s more orderly leaves are easier to work with.
  • Red Kale:  This frilly, red veined variety is less common than curly and black and, like black, is more tender and easier to manage than curly kale.

Storage: Loosely wrapped Kale will keep in the refrigerator for a few days, but will gradually lose its vitamin content.

Prep: Wash just before use. Kale is float washed as you would spinach because the textures tend to hold grit and mud. The stems are usually discarded because they are very tough. Fold the two sides against each other and the stem will be easy to cut away.

Cooking: Kale, particularly curly kale, takes a fair amount of cooking, a reason why it often appears in soups.  Slow cooking, below 117 degrees, for longer periods of time will soften the leaves and still maintain a large percentage of nutrients. Cooking any food over 117 degrees destroys almost all C and B vitamins and enzymes which are beneficial for complete digestion. Amino acids change, proteins change properties and suddenly that healthy concoction you prepared turns into something that your body does not recognized and cannot use.  This is a major reason why many people get ill, or fail to re despite having a health conscious pallet and good nutritional intent.  ALL the benefits you ever read regarding “healthy food” applies only if you eat it RAW.  With a few exceptions…like tomatoes.

Health & Nutrition: Kale is considered the highest of all vegetables for nutrition per calorie. Kale is very high in Beta Carotene, Vitamin K, Vitamin C, Lutein, and Zeaxanthin, and fairly high in Potassium, Phosphorus, Magnesium and Calcium.

When kale is chopped or chewed, enzymes produce Sulforaphane which is considered a potent anti-cancer substance, which also helps with diabetes and is antimicrobial. It is also thought to help inhibit heart inflammation.

Persons taking warfarin or other anti-coagulants are cautioned against eating kale due to its high vitamin K content.

The best thing about this vegetable however is it is full of nutrients rich in antioxidant power and disease preventing phytonutrients.

Kale nutrient sources are many and varied • Vitamin K (Very high %DV over a 1000%) • High in carotenoids (antioxidant) • Vitamin A (190 %DV) • Vitamin E & C (antioxidants) (Vitamin C 80% DV) • Vitamin B-1, B-2, B-3,and Folate • Manganese, copper, calcium. potassium, iron, magnesium and phosphorus • Omega 3 fatty acids • Protein ( 7% of DV) • Tryptophan

Health Benefits • Lessens occurrence of cancers (100’s of studies done worldwide) • Antioxidants destroy free radicals • High in glucosinolates. (anti-carcinogens) • Excellent known cell detoxifier • Lowers cataract risk • Promotes lung health • Protects against arthritis • Slows loss of mental function.

Study Briefs • Rutgers study shows lower risk of colon cancer • Various studies show reduced cancer risk with consumption of cruciferous vegetables • Nurses study showed eating fruit and vegetables containing kaempferol rich food like kale gave a 40% reduced ovarian cancer risk. Also present in green tea, onions, broccoli, spinach, leeks and blueberries) • Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research shows men who eat 28 servings of vegetables a week reduce prostate cancer risk by 35% but those consuming 3 or more servings of cruciferous vegetables reduce risk by 44% • Netherlands Cohort those eating the most vegetables had a 25% lower risk of colorectal cancers, but those eating the most cruciferous vegetables did almost twice as well with a 49% drop in their colorectal cancer risk. • In Singapore a city known for high pollution showed eating cruciferous vegetables found non-smokers reduced their lung cancer risk by 30%. Smokers reduced their risk by a whooping 69%.

These studies and evidence go on and on because there is very heavy scientific interest in this type of vegetable in cancer research. It again seems to be a very good idea to eat cruciferous vegetables every week.

KALE RECIPES

I prefer vegetables raw but sometimes I take the time to add variety. Below are are a couple of healthy ways to use kale.

1.) RAW KALE CHIPS. These crispy little bites of raw kale nutrition are a big hit with young kids. We serve them frequently at our house and there never seems to be enough. The kale will shrink quite a bit, so make more than you think you need. If your oven can be set on a warming temperature, around 100°F, then you can also make raw kale chips in the oven. Otherwise you’ll need a dehydrator for this recipe.

Prep Time: 5 minutes

Dehydrator Time: 2 hours

Total Time: 2 hours, 5 minutes

Yield: 4 servings

Ingredients:

  • 1 large bunch leaf kale
  • 1/2 teaspoon sea salt
  • 1 tablespoon cold-pressed olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons nutritional yeast
  • Organic garlic or onion powder or cayenne pepper (OPTIONAL)

Preparation:

Tear small pieces of kale off of the stems and lay them out on mesh dehydrator sheets (or baking trays if you are using an oven). Sprinkle raw kale with 1/4 teaspoon of sea salt and place in the dehydrator.

For the first hour, dehydrate at 115°F, then turn the trays around and lower the temperature to 100°F.

Check them in another hour and either remove or keep dehydrating to your desired crispiness.

Place dehydrated kale chips in a bowl and sprinkle with the oil, nutritional yeast, remaining sea salt to taste, and any optional spice (garlic powder, etc.). Gently toss the kale (a sensitive operation but you’ll get used to it) and serve your raw kale chips immediately!

You can stop dehydrating your kale when they are at your desired crispiness. Around our house we let it go until they make a loud crunching sound in your mouth, that seems to be how you get children to gobble them up. Enjoy your healthy raw kale chips! They’re delicious!

NOTE: Some people place the fresh pieces of kale on a cookie sheet, drizzle with olive oil, sea salt and spices then bake them until crisp and crunchy (about 115 degrees). The idea is to dehydrate the leaf not to cook it.

2.)  GREEN SMOOTHIES are a huge hit in the raw food scene. Raw kale contains large quantities of anti-oxidants and other anti-cancer nutrients as well as beaucoup chlorophyll, manganese, calcium, and B-vitamins. This simple green smoothie recipe with raw kale can be made even simpler by adjusting to whatever  greenery you have on hand. The parsley and cilantro add their  distinctive flavors while the mint reminds you of a favorite dessert. With great taste and immense nutritive value, this raw food green smoothie is a win-win scenario for everyone!

Prep Time: 15 minutes

Total Time: 15 minutes

Yield: 4 cups

Ingredients:

  • 2 cups sliced banana
  • 2 cups freshly squeezed orange or grapefruit juice
  • 1 1/2 cups tightly packed black dinosaur or red leaf kale
  • 1/4 cup lightly packed parsley
  • 1/4 cup lightly packed cilantro
  • 1/4 cup lightly packed mint leaves

Preparation:

Blend all of the ingredients together for 10 to 20 seconds or until the greens have completely blended in. Serve immediately or chill in the refrigerator until ready to serve.

A green smoothie with kale is one of the most  nutrient-rich foods on the planet. You’ll be buzzing with energy after downing this for breakfast, so have a great day!

 

JULY  (Two Powerhouses)

BEETS

red beetsBeet-Greensyellow beets

Different cultivars exist; red, orange-yellow and white verities. The unique crimson-red color of red beet is due to betalain pigments, such as betaninand betacyanin. Yellow varieties are rich in ß-xanthinpigment. Both root and top leaves of beet are used for consumption.Because of the health benefits packed into this little powerhouse of a vegetable (the entire plant is edible),  it is easily the Pick-of-the-Month for July!Eaten raw (shredded in salads) or juiced you get the biggest nutrient bang for the buck. Cut the greens of and saute in olive oil and fresh garlic as a side dish or add other goodies and serve over angel hair pasta or wild rice. I am not a big promoter of cooking the health out vegetables but you can boil or bake your beets as well. Some even put shredded beets in their soups. I like to make coleslaw and add shredded carrots and beets, served cold.  Yumm!Here are the reasons to add beets to your organic diet:

Health benefits of beets

  • Garden beet is very low in calories (provide only 45 kcal/100 g), and contain zero cholesterol and small amount of fat. Its nutrition benefits come particularly from fiber, vitamins, minerals, and unique plant derived anti-oxidants.
  • The root is rich source of phytochemical compound, glycine betaine. Betaine has the property of lowering homocysteine levels within the blood. Homocysteine, one of highly toxic metabolite, promotes platelet clot as well as atherosclerotic-plaque formation, which, otherwise, can be harmful to blood vessels. High levels of homocysteine in the blood results in the development of coronary heart disease (CHD), stroke and peripheral vascular diseases.  Red beets also contain beta-carotene, a precursor molecule to vitamin A that boosts eye health.
  • Raw beets are an excellent source of folates. It contains about 109 µg/100 g of this vitamin (Provides 27% of RDA). However, extensive cooking may significantly deplete its level in food. Folates are necessary for DNA synthesis within the cells. When given during peri-conception period folates can prevent neural tube defects in the baby.
  • Fresh tubers contain small amounts of vitamin-C; however, its top greens are rather excellent sources of this vitamin. 100 g of beet greens provide 30 mg or 50% of RDA. Vitamin C is one of the powerful natural antioxidants, which helps the human body scavenge deleterious free radicals one of the reasons for cancer development.
  • Additionally, the top greens are an excellent source of carotenoids, flavonoid anti-oxidants, and vitamin A; contain these compounds several times more than that of in the roots. Vitamin A is required maintaining healthy mucus membranes and skin and is essential for vision. Consumption of natural vegetables rich in flavonoids helps to protect from lung and oral cavity cancers.
  • The root is also rich source of B-complex vitamins such as niacin (B-3), pantothenic acid (B-5), pyridoxine (B-6) and minerals such as iron, manganese, copper, and magnesium, zinc, and selenium.  Red beets also contain high  levels of manganese and other nutrients like  calcium and thiamin.
  • Further, the root indeed has very good levels of potassium. 100 g fresh root has 325 mg of potassium or 7% of daily requirements. Potassium lowers heart rate and regulates metabolism inside the cells by countering detrimental effects of sodium.

Considerations

Similar to how B-complex vitamins can turn your urine color flourescent yellow-green harmlessly,  about 10 to 14 percent of people experience a condition  called beeturia, a reddening of the urine after eating beets. Beeturia is harmless however it occurs more often in people who are iron deficient or who have trouble absorbing iron  properly. If you experience beeturia, you should check with your doctor about  checking your iron levels. However, some people without iron problems do  experience beeturia as well, so this is not a definitive sign of an iron deficiency problem.

AND

BLUEBERRIES

handful-of-blueberries8796967960606  b lueberries

In terms of U.S. fruit consumption, blueberries rank only second to strawberries in popularity of berries. Blueberries are not only popular, but also repeatedly ranked in the U.S. diet as having one of the highest antioxidant capacities among all fruits, vegetables, spices and seasonings. Antioxidants are essential to optimizing health by helping to combat the free radicals that can damage cellular structures as well as DNA. We recommend enjoying raw blueberries — rather than relying upon blueberries incorporated into baked desserts — because, like other fruits, raw blueberries provide you with the best flavor and the greatest nutritional benefits.

As one of the few fruits native to North America, blueberries have been enjoyed by Native Americans for hundreds of years. They have also enjoyed great popularity around the world in cuisines from Asia to the Mediterranean. For more on the Healthiest Way of Preparing Blueberries, see below.

What’s New and Beneficial About Blueberries

  • After many years of research on blueberry antioxidants and their potential benefits for the nervous system and for brain health, there is exciting new evidence that blueberries can improve memory. In a study involving older adults (with an average age of 76 years), 12 weeks of daily blueberry consumption was enough to improve scores on two different tests of cognitive function including memory. While participants in the study consumed blueberries in the form of juice, three-quarters of a pound of blueberries were used to make each cup of juice. As participants consumed between 2 to 2-1/2 cups each day, the participants actually received a very plentiful amount of berries. The authors of this study were encouraged by the results and suggested that blueberries might turn out to be beneficial not only for improvement of memory, but for slowing down or postponing the onset of other cognitive problems frequently associated with aging.
  • New studies make it clear that we can freeze blueberries without doing damage to their delicate anthocyanin antioxidants. There’s no question about the delicate nature of many antioxidant nutrients found in blueberries. These antioxidants include many different types of anthocyanins, the colorful pigments that give many foods their wonderful shades of blue, purple, and red. After freezing blueberries at temperatures of 0°F (-17°C) or lower for periods of time between 3-6 months, researchers have discovered no significant lowering of overall antioxidant capacity or anthocyanin concentrations. Anthocyanins studied have included malvidins, delphinidins, pelargonidins, cyanidins, and peonidins. These findings are great news for anyone who grows, buys, or picks fresh berries in season and wants to enjoy them year round. They are also great news for anyone who has restricted access to fresh blueberries but can find them in the freezer section of the market.
  • Berries in general are considered low in terms of their glycemic index (GI). GI is a common way of identifying the potential impact of a food on our blood sugar level once we’ve consumed and digested that food. In general, foods with a GI of 50 or below are considered “low” in terms of their glycemic index value. When compared to other berries, blueberries are not particularly low in terms of their GI. Studies show the GI for blueberries as falling somewhere in the range of 40-53, with berries like blackberries, raspberries, and strawberries repeatedly scoring closer to 30 than to 40. However, a recent study that included blueberries as a low-GI fruit has found that blueberries, along with other berries, clearly have a favorable impact on blood sugar regulation in persons already diagnosed with type 2 diabetes. Participants in the study who consumed at last 3 servings of low-GI fruits per day (including blueberries) saw significant improvement in their regulation of blood sugar over a three-month period of time. (Their blood levels of glycosylated hemoglobin, or HgA1C were used as the standard of measurement in this study.) It’s great to see blueberries providing these clear health benefits for blood sugar regulation!
  • If you want to maximize your antioxidant benefits from blueberries, go organic! A recent study has directly compared the total antioxidant capacity of organically grown versus non-organically grown highbush blueberries (Vaccinium corymbosum L., var. Bluecrop) and found some very impressive results for the organically grown berries. Organically grown blueberries turned out to have significantly higher concentrations of total phenol antioxidants and total anthocyanin antioxidants than conventionally grown blueberries, as well as significantly higher total antioxidant capacity. Numerous specific antioxidant anthocyanins were measured in the study, including delphinidins, malvidins, and petunidins. The antioxidant flavonoid quercetin was also measured.

 

Health benefits of blueberries

Consuming fruits and vegetables of all kinds has long been associated with a reduced risk of many lifestyle-related health conditions. Many studies have suggested that increasing consumption of plant foods like blueberries decreases the risk of obesity, diabetes, heart disease and overall mortality while promoting a healthy complexion and hair, increased energy, and overall lower weight.

Maintaining healthy bones

The iron, phosphorous, calcium, magnesium, manganese, zinc and vitamin K in blueberries all contribute to building and maintaining bone structure and strength.

Iron and zinc play crucial roles in maintaining the strength and elasticity of bones and joints.2 Low intakes of vitamin K have been associated with a higher risk for bone fracture, while adequate vitamin K intakes improve calcium absorption and may reduce calcium loss.5

Lowering blood pressure

Maintaining a low sodium intake is essential to lowering blood pressure. Blueberries are naturally free of sodium and contain potassium, calcium, and magnesium, all of which have been found to decrease blood pressure naturally.3

Managing diabetes

Studies have shown that type 1 diabetics who consume high-fiber diets have lower blood glucose levels and type 2 diabetics may have improved blood sugar, lipids and insulin levels. One cup of blueberries contributes 3.6 grams of fiber.

The Dietary Guidelines for Americans recommends 21-25 grams of fiber per day for women and 30-38 grams per day for men.

Warding off heart disease

The blueberry’s fiber, potassium, folate, vitamin C, vitamin B6 and phytonutrient content, coupled with its lack of cholesterol, all support heart health. The fiber in blueberries helps lower the total amount of cholesterol in the blood and decrease the risk of heart disease.

Vitamin B6 and folate prevent the buildup of a compound known as homocysteine. When excessive amounts of homocysteine accumulate in the body, it can damage blood vessels and lead to heart problems.

According to a recent study from the Harvard School of Public Health and the University of East Anglia, regular consumption of anthocyanins can reduce the risk of heart attack by 32% in young and middle-aged women. The study, which was led by nutrition professor Aedin Cassidy, PhD, MSc, BSc, found that women who consumed at least three servings of blueberries or strawberries, showed the best results.4

Preventing cancer

Vitamin C, vitamin A, and various phytonutrients in blueberries function as powerful antioxidants that help protect cells against free radical damage. They inhibit tumor growth, decrease inflammation in the body and help ward off or slow several types of cancer, including esophageal, lung, mouth, pharynx, endometrial, pancreatic, prostate and colon.1

Blueberries also contain folate, which plays a role in DNA synthesis and repair, thus preventing the formation of cancer cells from mutations in the DNA.1

Improving mental health

Population-based studies have shown that consumption of blueberries can reduce the risk of cognitive decline as well as Parkinson’s disease – a neurodegenerative disorder resulting from cell death in parts of the brain.5

Studies have also revealed that in addition to reducing the risk of cognitive damage, blueberries can also improve short-term memory loss and motor coordination.4

Healthy digestion

Because of their fiber content, blueberries help to prevent constipation and promote regularity for a healthy digestive tract.

Weight loss and satiety

Dietary fiber is commonly recognized as an important factor in weight loss and weight management by functioning as a “bulking agent” in the digestive system. High fiber foods increase satiety and reduce appetite, making you feel fuller for longer and thereby lowering your overall calorie intake.

Fighting wrinkles

Collagen, the skin’s support system, relies on vitamin C as an essential nutrient that works in our bodies as an antioxidant to help prevent damage caused by the sun, pollution and smoke. Vitamin C also promotes collagen’s ability to smooth wrinkles and improve overall skin texture. Just one cup of blueberries provides 24% of your daily need for vitamin C.

AUGUST

ONIONS

If you weren’t eating onions before, you will, after reading this!

Nutritional Highlights

Onions are a very good source of vitamin C, B6, biotin, chromium, calcium and dietary fibre. In addition, they contain good amounts of folic acid and vitamin B1 and K.

A 100 gram serving provides 44 calories, mostly as complex carbohydrate, with 1.4 grams of fibre.

Like garlic, onions also have the enzyme alliinase, which is released when an onion is cut or crushed and it causes your eyes to water.

They also contain flavonoids, which are pigments that give vegetables their colour. These compounds act as antioxidants, have a  direct antitumor effect and have immune-enhancing properties.

Onions contain a large amount of sulfur and are especially good for the liver. As a sulfur food, they mix best with proteins, as they stimulate the action of the amino acids to the brain and nervous system.

Onions, Rich Source of Quercitin

quercitin in onion skin

The onion is the richest dietary source of quercitin, a potent antioxidant flavonoid (also in shallots, yellow and red onions only but  not in white onions), which is found on and near the skin and is particularly linked to the health benefits of onions.

Quercitin has been shown to thin the blood, lower cholesterol,  raise good-type HDL cholesterol, ward off blood clots, fight asthma, chronic bronchitis, hay  fever, diabetes, atherosclerosis and infections and is specifically linked to inhibiting human  stomach cancer.

It’s also an anti-inflammatory, antibiotic, antiviral, thought to have diverse anti-cancer powers. Quercitin is also a sedative. So far,  there is no better food source of quercitin than onion skins.

You don’t need to eat loads of onions to achieve these effects. In fact, studies show that you can reap the health benefits of onions by eating just one medium onion, raw or cooked, a day.

Detoxify Your Body with Onions

Onions contain a variety of organic sulfur compounds that provide health benefits.

Sulfur-containing amino acids are found in onions as well as garlic and eggs.

These specific amino acids are called methionine and cystine and, among other things, they are very good at detoxifying your body from heavy metals.

In fact, they are able to latch on to mercury, cadmium and lead and escort them out of the body.

Vitamin C, also contained in onions, is excellent at  detoxifying the body and is effective in removing lead, arsenic and  cadmium. So increasing consumption of onions can help the body to get  rid of these harmful metals.

Onions and the Heart

To help keep your blood free of clots, and make the most of the health benefits of onions, eat them both raw and cooked.

Prescribing onions for heart patients is hardly  routine among cardiologists. But Harvard’s Dr. Victor Gurewich advises  all his patients with coronary heart disease to eat onions daily.

Here are some of the things that onions can do for your heart:

  • Boost beneficial HDL cholesterol
  • Thin the blood
  • Retard blood clotting
  • Lower total blood cholesterol
  • Lower triglycerides
  • Lower blood pressure

 

(Read more about the health benefits of onions for your heart)

Cancer Prevention

different types of onions

One way the antioxidants in onions can protect you against cancer is  by reducing the DNA damage in cells caused by free radicals, studies  reveal.

All onions and onion relatives (garlic, leeks, chives and scallions, or spring onions) are rich in organosulfur compounds  shown to help prevent cancer in lab animals.

In fact, an onion extract was found to destroy tumor cells in test tubes and to arrest tumor growth when tumor cells were  implanted in rats.

The onion extract was shown to be unusually nontoxic, since a  dose as  high as forty times that of the dose required to kill the tumor cells had no adverse effect on the host.

In addition, shallots have been shown to exhibit significant activity against leukemia in mice.

Other Health Benefits of Onions

Onions have also been shown to have a significant blood sugar-lowering action, even comparable to some prescription drugs.

The active compound that seems to be responsible for lowering glucose works by competing with insulin for breakdown sites  in the liver, thereby increasing the life span of insulin.

Onions have historically been used to treat asthma, too. Its action in asthma is due to its ability to inhibit the  production of compounds that cause the bronchial muscle to spasm and to relax bronchial  muscle.

Onions have potent antibacterial activity, destroying many disease-causing pathogens, including E. coli and salmonella.

Quick Serving Suggestions:

roasted onions

The liberal use of onions and other bulbs of the same family, such as garlic, leeks and shallots, seems a particularly good idea considering  their healing effects on the major degenerative diseases so common  today, such as atherosclerosis, diabetes and cancer.

So try to enjoy the health benefits of onions as much as you can and to include them in your diet in every possible way.

Here are some quick serving ideas:

  • Onions can be eaten on their own steamed, boiled or roasted.
  • Sautéed chopped onions can be added to almost any vegetable dish to enhance its nutritional content and  taste.
  • For an instant vegetarian chilli, heat together 1 medium chopped sautéed onion, with 12-oz/350 g. can of  kidney beans, 12 oz/350 g. of chunky tomato sauce, and 2 tablespoons of olive oil, and season to taste with chili  powder.
  • Chop 1 red onion, 2 medium tomatoes, 2 avocados and 1 jalapeno and combine together for an all-in-one guacamole salsa dip.
  • Place chunks of onion or small pearl onions on a skewer, either alone or with other vegetables, coat lightly with olive  oil, and grill for approximately 10 minutes.

 

I hope you enjoyed reading about the health benefits of onions and you make room for onions in your every day meals.

As you’ve seen, you don’t need to eat a lot, but any amount will be extremely beneficial to your health.

{from Foods-Healing-Power.com}

 

SEPTEMBER

The days still feel like August and the nights have begun to alternate from warm to cool. However, the Goldenrod is in full bloom and the Blackberries are all picked…September is here and after 110 days of challenged growth, the Heirlooms are maturing!   We know they are without equal in taste and burst with color inside and out but let’s see why they are  such an amazing  fruit. Yes…  a wonderful versital fruit without equal.

TOMATOES

 Whether you pronounce it “tomato or “tomäto,” there’s no question that tomatoes are a legitimate superfood. Packed with antioxidants, dietary fiber and vitamins, tomatoes are one food that should be on every health-conscious person’s eating plan. From reducing prostate cancer risk to helping you shed excess pounds, tomatoes have a number of important health benefits.

Prostate Cancer

All colorful vegetables and fruits contain antioxidants — special compounds that prevent cancerous cells from forming. Tomatoes are rich in a unique antioxidant known as lycopene. Lycopene in tomatoes greatly reduces the risk of developing prostate cancer, reports the January 2002 “Journal of the National Cancer Institute.” Regular consumption of tomatoes and tomato products such as pasta sauce was associated with a 15 percent reduction in prostate cancer risk.

Weight Control

Tomatoes and other fresh vegetables are naturally low-calorie choices that can assist in weight loss. Tomatoes are also rich in dietary fiber. Dietary fiber can help keep appetite under wraps while dieting. Consider adding tomatoes to low-calorie foods such as chili, salad and grilled mixed vegetables.

Immunity

Vitamin C is an important part of a healthy immune system. Adults require 75 mg of vitamin C per day to optimize their immune system and overall health, the Office of Dietary Supplements reports. A single 1-cup serving of chopped tomatoes contains more than 25 g of vitamin C, the U.S. Department of Agriculture states.

Heart Disease

Vegetables are an important part of a heart-healthy diet because they help reduce cholesterol and keep blood sugars in a healthy range. The May 2007 “Singapore Medical Journal” reports that the antioxidants in tomatoes are especially good at stopping the damage to heart arteries that precedes plaque formation. The authors add that cooking tomatoes releases more of the antioxidants for the body to take in than raw tomatoes.

Osteoporosis

Osteoporosis is a common medical condition in older people that results in a significantly increased risk of bone fracture and disability. In addition to eating a calcium and vitamin D-rich diet, tomatoes may aid in strong bones, November 2010′s “American Journal of Lifestyle Medicine” states. Lycopene and other antioxidants in tomatoes may shield bones from the damage that can contribute to low bone mass.

References

In-Depth Nutritional Profile

In addition to the nutrients highlighted in the ratings chart, an  in-depth nutritional profile for Tomatoes is also available. This profile includes information on a full array of nutrients, including carbohydrates, sugar, soluble and insoluble fiber, sodium, vitamins, minerals, fatty acids, amino acids and more.

Introduction to World’s Healthiest Food Rating System Chart

In order to better help you identify foods that feature a high concentration of nutrients for the calories they contain, here is a Food Rating System Chart. This system highlights the foods that are especially rich in particular nutrients. The following chart shows the nutrients for which this food is either an excellent, very good, or good source (below the chart you will find a table that explains these qualifications). If a nutrient is not listed in the chart, it does not necessarily mean that the food doesn’t contain it.  It simply means that the nutrient is not provided in a sufficient amount or concentration to meet The Worlds Healthiest Food rating criteria. To read this chart accurately, you’ll need to glance up in the top left corner where you will find the name of the food and the serving size used to calculate the food’s nutrient composition. This serving size will tell you how much of the food you need to eat to obtain the amount of nutrients found in the chart. Now, returning to the chart itself, you can look next to the nutrient name in order to find the nutrient amount it offers, the percent Daily Value (DV%) that this amount represents, the nutrient density that was calculated for this food and nutrient, and the rating was established in the rating system. For most of the nutrient ratings, the government standards for food labeling that are found in the U.S. Food and Drug Administration’s “Reference Values for Nutrition Labeling.” are used.

Tomatoes 1.00 cup raw 180.00 grams 32.40 calories
Nutrient Amount DV (%) Nutrient Density World’s Healthiest Foods Rating
vitamin C 22.86 mg 38.1 21.2 excellent
vitamin A 1499.40 IU 30.0 16.7 excellent
vitamin K 14.22 mcg 17.8 9.9 excellent
potassium 426.60 mg 12.2 6.8 very good
molybdenum 9.00 mcg 12.0 6.7 very good
manganese 0.21 mg 10.5 5.8 very good
fiber 2.16 g 8.6 4.8 very good
vitamin B6 0.14 mg 7.0 3.9 very good
folate 27.00 mcg 6.8 3.8 very good
copper 0.11 mg 5.5 3.1 good
vitamin B3 1.07 mg 5.3 3.0 good
magnesium 19.80 mg 5.0 2.8 good
vitamin E 0.97 mg 4.8 2.7 good
vitamin B1 0.07 mg 4.7 2.6 good
phosphorus 43.20 mg 4.3 2.4 good
protein 1.58 g 3.2 1.8 good
tryptophan 0.01 g 3.1 1.7 good
choline 12.06 mg 2.8 1.6 good
iron 0.49 mg 2.7 1.5 good
World’s Healthiest Foods Rating Rule
excellent DV>=75% OR Density>=7.6 AND DV>=10%
very good DV>=50% OR Density>=3.4 AND DV>=5%
good DV>=25% OR Density>=1.5 AND DV>=2.5%

In-depth nutrient analysis:

Tomatoes (Note: “–” indicates data is unavailable)
amount 1.00 cup raw
total weight 180.00 g
BASIC MACRONUTRIENTS AND CALORIES
nutrient amount %DV
Protein 1.58 g     3.16
Carbohydrates 7.06 g     2.35
Fat – total 0.36 g     0.55
Dietary Fiber 2.16 g     8.64
Calories 32.40     1.80
MACRONUTRIENT AND CALORIE DETAIL
nutrient amount %DV
Carbohydrate:
Total Sugars 4.73 g
Monosaccharides 4.72 g
Disaccharides 0.00 g
Soluble Fiber – g
Insoluble Fiber – g
Other Carbohydrates 0.16 g
Fat:
Monounsaturated Fat 0.06 g     0.25
Polyunsaturated Fat 0.15 g     0.62
Saturated Fat 0.05 g     0.25
Trans Fat 0.00 g
Calories from Fat 3.24
Calories from Saturated Fat 0.45
Cholesterol 0.00 mg     0.00
Water 170.10 g
MICRONUTRIENTS
nutrient amount %DV
Vitamins
Water-Soluble Vitamins
B-Complex Vitamins
Vitamin B1 0.07 mg     4.67
Vitamin B2 0.03 mg     1.76
Vitamin B3 (Niacin Equivalents) 1.24 mg
Vitamin B6 0.14 mg     7.00
Vitamin B12 0.00 mcg     0.00
Biotin 7.20 mcg     2.40
Choline 12.06 mg     2.84
Folate 27.00 mcg     6.75
Pantothenic Acid 0.16 mg     1.60
Vitamin C 22.86 mg    38.10
Fat-Soluble Vitamins
Vitamin A (Retinoids and Carotenoids)
Vitamin A IU 1499.40 IU    29.99
Vitamin A RAE 74.97 RAE
Retinol RE 0.00 RE
Carotenoid RE 149.94 RE     2.00
Beta-Carotene 808.20 mcg
Lutein and Zeaxanthin 221.40 mcg
Lycopene 4631.40 mcg
Vitamin D
Vitamin D IU 0.00 IU     0.00
Vitamin D mcg 0.00 mcg
Vitamin E
Vitamin E Alpha-Tocopherol Equivalents 0.97 mg     4.85
Vitamin E IU – IU
Vitamin E mg – mg
Vitamin K 14.22 mcg    17.77
Minerals
nutrient amount %DV
Boron – mcg
Calcium 18.00 mg     1.80
Chloride – mg
Chromium 1.26 mcg     1.05
Copper 0.11 mg     5.50
Fluoride 0.00 mg     0.00
Iodine – mcg
Iron 0.49 mg     2.72
Magnesium 19.80 mg     4.95
Manganese 0.21 mg    10.50
Molybdenum 9.00 mcg    12.00
Phosphorus 43.20 mg     4.32
Potassium 426.60 mg    12.19
Selenium 0.00 mcg     0.00
Sodium 9.00 mg     0.38
Zinc 0.31 mg     2.07
INDIVIDUAL FATTY ACIDS
nutrient amount %DV
Omega-3 Fatty Acids 0.01 g     0.42
Omega-6 Fatty Acids 0.14 g
Monounsaturated Fats
14:1 Myristoleic 0.00 g
15:1 Pentadecenoic 0.00 g
16:1 Palmitol 0.00 g
17:1 Heptadecenoic 0.00 g
18:1 Oleic 0.05 g
20:1 Eicosenoic 0.00 g
22:1 Erucic 0.00 g
24:1 Nervonic 0.00 g
Polyunsaturated Fatty Acids
18:2 Linoleic 0.14 g
18:3 Linolenic 0.01 g
18:4 Stearidonic 0.00 g
20:3 Eicosatrienoic 0.00 g
20:4 Arachidonic 0.00 g
20:5 Eicosapentaenoic (EPA) 0.00 g
22:5 Docosapentaenoic(DPA) 0.00 g
22:6 Docosahexaenoic (DHA) 0.00 g
Saturated Fatty Acids
4:0 Butyric 0.00 g
6:0 Caproic 0.00 g
8:0 Caprylic 0.00 g
10:0 Capric 0.00 g
12:0 Lauric 0.00 g
14:0 Myristic 0.00 g
15:0 Pentadecanoic 0.00 g
16:0 Palmitic 0.04 g
17:0 Margaric 0.00 g
18:0 Stearic 0.01 g
20:0 Arachidic 0.00 g
22:0 Behenate 0.00 g
24:0 Lignoceric 0.00 g
INDIVIDUAL AMINO ACIDS
nutrient amount %DV
Alanine 0.05 g
Arginine 0.04 g
Aspartate 0.24 g
Cystine 0.02 g     4.88
Glutamate 0.75 g
Glycine 0.03 g
Histidine 0.02 g     1.55
Isoleucine 0.03 g     2.61
Leucine 0.04 g     1.58
Lysine 0.05 g     2.13
Methionine 0.01 g     1.35
Phenylalanine 0.12 g    10.08
Proline 0.03 g
Serine 0.05 g
Threonine 0.05 g     4.03
Tryptophan 0.01 g     3.12
Tyrosine 0.02 g     2.06
Valine 0.03 g     2.04
OTHER COMPONENTS
nutrient amount %DV
Ash – g
Organic Acids (Total) – mg
Acetic Acid – mg
Citric Acid – mg
Lactic Acid – mg
Malic Acid – mg
Taurine – mg
Sugar Alcohols (Total) – g
Glycerol – g
Inositol – g
Mannitol – g
Sorbitol – g
Xylitol – g
Artificial Sweeteners (Total) – mg
Aspartame – mg
Saccharin – mg
Alcohol 0.00 g
Caffeine 0.00 mg

Note:

The nutrient profiles provided in this website are derived from Food Processor for Windows, Version 7.60, by ESHA Research in Salem, Oregon, USA. Of the 21,629 food records contained in the ESHA foods database, most of them – including those of the World’s Healthiest Foods – lacked information for specific nutrients. The designation “–” was chosen to represent those nutrients for which there was no measurement included in the ESHA foods database.

 

AUGUST

ONIONS

If you weren’t eating onions before, you will, after reading this!

Nutritional Highlights

Onions are a very good source of vitamin C, B6, biotin, chromium, calcium and dietary fibre. In addition, they contain good amounts of folic acid and vitamin B1 and K.

A 100 gram serving provides 44 calories, mostly as complex carbohydrate, with 1.4 grams of fibre.

Like garlic, onions also have the enzyme alliinase, which is released when an onion is cut or crushed and it causes your eyes to water.

They also contain flavonoids, which are pigments that give vegetables their colour. These compounds act as antioxidants, have a  direct antitumor effect and have immune-enhancing properties.

Onions contain a large amount of sulfur and are especially good for the liver. As a sulfur food, they mix best with proteins, as they stimulate the action of the amino acids to the brain and nervous system.

Onions, Rich Source of Quercitin

quercitin in onion skin

The onion is the richest dietary source of quercitin, a potent antioxidant flavonoid (also in shallots, yellow and red onions only but  not in white onions), which is found on and near the skin and is particularly linked to the health benefits of onions.

Quercitin has been shown to thin the blood, lower cholesterol,  raise good-type HDL cholesterol, ward off blood clots, fight asthma, chronic bronchitis, hay  fever, diabetes, atherosclerosis and infections and is specifically linked to inhibiting human  stomach cancer.

It’s also an anti-inflammatory, antibiotic, antiviral, thought to have diverse anti-cancer powers. Quercitin is also a sedative. So far,  there is no better food source of quercitin than onion skins.

You don’t need to eat loads of onions to achieve these effects. In fact, studies show that you can reap the health benefits of onions by eating just one medium onion, raw or cooked, a day.

Detoxify Your Body with Onions

Onions contain a variety of organic sulfur compounds that provide health benefits.

Sulfur-containing amino acids are found in onions as well as garlic and eggs.

These specific amino acids are called methionine and cystine and, among other things, they are very good at detoxifying your body from heavy metals.

In fact, they are able to latch on to mercury, cadmium and lead and escort them out of the body.

Vitamin C, also contained in onions, is excellent at  detoxifying the body and is effective in removing lead, arsenic and  cadmium. So increasing consumption of onions can help the body to get  rid of these harmful metals.

Onions and the Heart

To help keep your blood free of clots, and make the most of the health benefits of onions, eat them both raw and cooked.

Prescribing onions for heart patients is hardly  routine among cardiologists. But Harvard’s Dr. Victor Gurewich advises  all his patients with coronary heart disease to eat onions daily.

Here are some of the things that onions can do for your heart:

  • Boost beneficial HDL cholesterol
  • Thin the blood
  • Retard blood clotting
  • Lower total blood cholesterol
  • Lower triglycerides
  • Lower blood pressure

 

(Read more about the health benefits of onions for your heart)

Cancer Prevention

different types of onions

One way the antioxidants in onions can protect you against cancer is  by reducing the DNA damage in cells caused by free radicals, studies  reveal.

All onions and onion relatives (garlic, leeks, chives and scallions, or spring onions) are rich in organosulfur compounds  shown to help prevent cancer in lab animals.

In fact, an onion extract was found to destroy tumor cells in test tubes and to arrest tumor growth when tumor cells were  implanted in rats.

The onion extract was shown to be unusually nontoxic, since a  dose as  high as forty times that of the dose required to kill the tumor cells had no adverse effect on the host.

In addition, shallots have been shown to exhibit significant activity against leukemia in mice.

Other Health Benefits of Onions

Onions have also been shown to have a significant blood sugar-lowering action, even comparable to some prescription drugs.

The active compound that seems to be responsible for lowering glucose works by competing with insulin for breakdown sites  in the liver, thereby increasing the life span of insulin.

Onions have historically been used to treat asthma, too. Its action in asthma is due to its ability to inhibit the  production of compounds that cause the bronchial muscle to spasm and to relax bronchial  muscle.

Onions have potent antibacterial activity, destroying many disease-causing pathogens, including E. coli and salmonella.

Quick Serving Suggestions:

roasted onions

The liberal use of onions and other bulbs of the same family, such as garlic, leeks and shallots, seems a particularly good idea considering  their healing effects on the major degenerative diseases so common  today, such as atherosclerosis, diabetes and cancer.

So try to enjoy the health benefits of onions as much as you can and to include them in your diet in every possible way.

Here are some quick serving ideas:

  • Onions can be eaten on their own steamed, boiled or roasted.
  • Sautéed chopped onions can be added to almost any vegetable dish to enhance its nutritional content and  taste.
  • For an instant vegetarian chilli, heat together 1 medium chopped sautéed onion, with 12-oz/350 g. can of  kidney beans, 12 oz/350 g. of chunky tomato sauce, and 2 tablespoons of olive oil, and season to taste with chili  powder.
  • Chop 1 red onion, 2 medium tomatoes, 2 avocados and 1 jalapeno and combine together for an all-in-one guacamole salsa dip.
  • Place chunks of onion or small pearl onions on a skewer, either alone or with other vegetables, coat lightly with olive  oil, and grill for approximately 10 minutes.

 

I hope you enjoyed reading about the health benefits of onions and you make room for onions in your every day meals.

As you’ve seen, you don’t need to eat a lot, but any amount will be extremely beneficial to your health.

{from Foods-Healing-Power.com}

 

 

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