20 Amazing Health Benefits of Tomatoes 0

Just one serving a day of tomato-based foods can have an incredibly beneficial effect on your health. Not only can they reduce heart disease, but they could potentially prevent and reverse dozens of diseases if eaten daily. This is one fruit you don’t want to leave out of your diet.

1. REDUCE HEART DISEASE

According to Tufts and Boston University researchers, the highest average intakes of lycopene were linked to almost a 30% reduction in the incidence of cardiovascular disease and coronary heart disease, respectively, according to findings published in the British Journal of Nutrition.

2. VITAMIN AND MINERAL RICH

They provide the body with a tremendous amount of natural vitamins and minerals such as vitamin A, vitamin K, vitamins B1, B3, B5, B6, B7, excellent vitamin C, folate, iron, potassium, magnesium, chromium, choline, zinc, and phosphorus.

3. TOMATOES CAN REDUCE DAMAGE BY SMOKING INCLUDING SECOND HAND SMOKE

Tomatoes can reduce the amount of damage done to your body by smoking cigarettes or inhaling second hand smoke. Tomatoes contain coumaric acid and chlorogenic acid that work to protect the body from carcinogens that are produced from cigarette smoke.

4. THEY NATURALLY ENHANCE FLAVOR

Tomatoes can enhance the flavor of almost any cooked dish. Whole tomatoes, chopped tomatoes and tomato sauce freeze well for future use in cooked dishes. Cooking tomatoes — such as in spaghetti sauce — makes the fruit heart-healthier and boosts its cancer-fighting ability. All this, despite a loss of vitamin C during the cooking process, substantially raises the levels of  beneficial phytochemicals. Research demonstrates that heat processing actually enhanced the nutritional value of tomatoes by increasing the lycopene content.

5. DENSE IN PHYTONUTRIENTS

In terms of phytonutrients, few vegetables compare with tomatoes. They contain flavonones, flavonols, hydroxycinnamic acids, carotenoids, glycosides and even fatty acid derivatives. Better antioxidant protection has also been shown using broad measurements of oxidative stress in different body systems including neurodegenerative diseases.

6. ORGANIC TOMATOES ARE KING

Tomatoes grown by organic methods contain more phenolic compounds than those grown using commercial standards, but be sure of your source as many organic tomatoes imported from Mexico contained residues of pesticides exceeding allowable limits.

7. IMPROVES DIGESTION AND PREVENTS CONSTIPATION

They help to improve the functioning of the digestive system and the liver, and the prevention of constipation, especially when mixed with spinach juice.

8. REDUCES DANGERS OF STATIN DRUGS

Recent evidence shows that just two ounces of tomato paste or a pint of juice a day could be enough to help many patients avoid dangerous statins, the class of drugs commonly prescribed for these conditions, which can lead to heart problems.

9. PREVENT KIDNEY AND GALL BLADDER STONES

They work as a disinfectant to protect the body from diarrhea and prevents the appearance of kidney stones and gall bladder stones in the long term. They also dramatically reduce the incidence of lower urinary tract symptoms.

10. HEALTHY HAIR

Drinking tomato juice constantly improves the appearance and texture of hair, and since it is rich in vitamin k, it helps to strengthen the tufts of hair and increase its luster as well as the revitalization of growth.

11. SKIN HEALTH

Rich tomato components fight acne and prevent damage to skin cells. Studies have indicated that drinking two cups of tomato juice a day helps to improve the overall appearance of the skin in a short period of time.

12. BONE HEALTH

Tomatoes help maintain healthy bones strengthened by enhancing the ratio of calcium in the body. Interestingly, the connection of tomato intake to bone health involves the rich supply of antioxidant in tomatoes.

13. STRENGTHENS IMMUNE SYSTEM

Daily consumption of tomatoes is working to increase the proportion of vitamin C in the blood, which inhibits the levels of stress hormones and strengthens the immune system. So drinking tomato juice helps ease tension and stress.

14. REDUCE BLOOD CLOT RISKS

Tomato juice helps to reduce the risk of blood clots. The excessive clumping together of platelet cells can cause problems for our bloodstream in terms of blockage and unwanted clotting, and prevention of this excessive clumping is important for maintaining heart health. Numerous phytonutrients in tomatoes have been shown to help prevent excessive clumping of our platelet cells.

15. INCREASES FAT BURNING CAPACITY

Tomatoes stimulate the production of the amino acid carnitine which has been shown in research to speed the body’s fat-burning capacity by over 30 percent.

16. PROTECTS VISION AND DEGENERATIVE EYE DISEASE

Because tomatoes are a rich source of the phytonutrients beta carotene, lutein, and zeaxanthin, they can help improve vision and protect your eyes from degeneration.

17. PREVENTS STROKE

New research in the journal Harvard Health Letter  found that diets rich in tomatoes can help prevent stroke. The scientists chalk up the results to tomatoes’ rich lycopene content.

18. RESTORES BIOCHEMICAL BALANCE IN DIABETICS

According to new research in the journal Cell Biochemistry and Biophysics, scientists created diabetic conditions in animals and fed some lycopene while others were fed their typical diet free of lycopene. The biochemistry of animals fed lycopene returned to normal while the others stayed at diabetic levels. This study shows promise that lycopene (found in tomatoes) can help restore biochemical balance in diabetics.

19. REDUCES PROSTATE CANCER RISK

Tomatoes are rich in natural fiber which maintains the health of the colon as it reduces the risk of prostate cancer which affects 1 in 8 men. One key tomato nutrient that has received special focus in prostate cancer prevention is alpha-tomatine. Alpha-tomatine is a saponin phytonutrient and it’s shown the ability to alter metabolic activity in developing prostate cancer cells. It’s also been shown to trigger programmed cell death (apoptosis) in prostate cancer cells that have already been fully formed. Research on alpha-tomatine has also been conducted for non-small cell lung cancer, with similar findings.

20. REDUCES BREAST CANCER RISK

Breast cancer can also be reduced with tomatoes. Exciting research in the Journal of the National Cancer Institute shows that higher amounts of carotenoids including alpha-carotene, beta-carotene, lutein, zeaxanthin, lycopene, and total carotenoids may have a reduced risk of breast cancer.

Tips for Preparing Tomatoes

Before serving, wash tomatoes under cool running water and pat dry.

If your recipe requires seeded tomatoes, cut the fruit in half horizontally and gently squeeze out the seeds and the juice. However, we encourage you to think about the recipe and consider whether the tomato could be incorporated with seeds intact. There are simply too many valuable nutrients in the seeds that you would not want to lose unnecessarily.

When cooking tomatoes, we recommend avoidance of aluminum cookware since the high acid content of the tomatoes may interact with the metal in the cookware. As a result, there may be migration of aluminum into the food, which may not only impart an unpleasant taste, but more importantly, may have a potentially unwanted impact on your health.

Whenever possible, try to develop recipes that make use of the whole tomato. We’ve seen research showing higher lycopene content in whole tomato products. For example, when the skins of tomatoes are included in the making of the tomato paste, the lycopene and beta-carotene content of the paste is significant higher according to research studies.

By Dr. Marianna Pochelli
PreventDisease.com

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Ketogenic Diet, Benefits and Side Effects 0

“Ketogenic” is a term for a low-carb diet (like the Atkins diet). The idea is for you to get more calories from protein and fat and less from carbohydrates. You cut back most on the carbs that are easy to digest, like sugar, soda, pastries, and white bread.

How It Works

When you eat less than 50 grams of carbs a day, your body eventually runs out of fuel (blood sugar) it can use quickly. This typically takes 3 to 4 days. Then you’ll start to break down protein and fat for energy, which can make you lose weight. This is called ketosis. It’s important to note that the ketogenic diet is a short term diet that’s focussed on weight loss rather than the pursuit of health benefits.

Who Uses It?

People use a ketogenic diet most often to lose weight, but it can help manage certain medical conditions, like epilepsy, too. It also may help people with heart disease, certain brain diseases, and even acne, but there needs to be more research in those areas. Talk with your doctor first to find out if it’s safe for you to try a ketogenic diet, especially if you have type 1 diabetes.

Weight Loss

A ketogenic diet may help you lose more weight in the first 3 to 6 months than some other diets. This may be because it takes more calories to change fat into energy than it does to change carbs into energy. It’s also possible that a high-fat, high-protein diet satisfies you more, so you eat less, but that hasn’t been proved yet.

Cancer

Insulin is a hormone that lets your body use or store sugar as fuel. Ketogenic diets make you burn through this fuel quickly, so you don’t need to store it. This means your body needs — and makes — less insulin. Those lower levels may help protect you against some kinds of cancer or even slow the growth of cancer cells. More research is needed on this, though.

Heart Disease

It seems strange that a diet that calls for more fat can raise “good” cholesterol and lower “bad” cholesterol, but ketogenic diets are linked to just that. It may be because the lower levels of insulin that result from these diets can stop your body from making more cholesterol. That means you’re less likely to have high blood pressure, hardened arteries, heart failure, and other heart conditions. It’s unclear, however; how long these effects last.

Acne

Carbohydrates have been linked to this skin condition, so cutting down on them may help. And the drop in insulin that a ketogenic diet can trigger may also help stop acne breakouts. (Insulin can cause your body to make other hormones that bring on outbreaks.) Still, more research is needed to determine exactly how much effect, if any, the diet actually has on acne.

Diabetes

Low-carb diets seem to help keep your blood sugar lower and more predictable than other diets. But when your body burns fat for energy, it makes compounds called ketones. If you have diabetes, particularly type 1, too many ketones in your blood can make you sick. So it’s very important to work with your doctor on any changes in your diet.

Epilepsy

Ketogenic diets have helped control seizures caused by this condition since the 1920s. But again, it’s important to work with your doctor to figure out what’s right for you or your child.

Other Nervous System Disorders

These affect your brain and spine, as well as the nerves that link them together. Epilepsy is one, but others may be helped by a ketogenic diet as well, including Alzheimer’s disease, Parkinson’s disease, and sleep disorders. Scientists aren’t sure why, but it may be that the ketones your body makes when it breaks down fat for energy help protect your brain cells from damage.

Polycystic Ovary Syndrome

This is when a woman’s ovaries get larger than they should be and small fluid-filled sacs form around the eggs. High levels of insulin can cause it. Ketogenic diets, which lower both the amount of insulin you make and the amount you need, may help treat it, along with other lifestyle changes, like exercise and weight loss.

Exercise

A ketogenic diet may help endurance athletes — runners and cyclists, for example — when they train. Over time, it helps your muscle-to-fat ratio and raises the amount of oxygen your body is able to use when it’s working hard. But while it might help in training, it may not work as well as other diets for peak performance.

Side Effects

The more common ones aren’t usually serious: You might have constipation, mild low blood sugar, or indigestion. Much less often, low-carb diets can lead to kidney stones or high levels of acid in your body (acidosis). Other side effects can include the “keto flu,” which may include headache, weakness, and irritability; bad breath; and fatugue.

Diet With Care

When your body burns its stores of fat, it can be hard on your kidneys. And starting a ketogenic diet — or going back to a normal diet afterward — can be tricky if you’re obese because of other health issues you’re likely to have, like diabetes, a heart condition, or high blood pressure. If you have any of these conditions, make diet changes slowly and only with the guidance of your doctor.

 

6 Health Benefits of Atadwe (Tiger Nuts) 0

Tiger nuts, also known as chufa, yellow nutsedge or earth almonds, are not actually nuts, but rather edible tubers.

Tiger nuts were one of the first plants cultivated in Egypt and traditionally used as both food and medicine.

They’re rich in a variety of nutrients and have been linked to several health benefits — ranging from better digestion to a reduced risk of heart disease.

Here are 6 emerging health benefits of tiger nuts.

Tiger Nuts

1. Rich in Nutrients

Tiger nuts contain a variety of nutrients and beneficial plant compounds.

Their specific nutrient content depends on the type. There are three main varieties of tiger nuts: black, brown and yellow.

On average, one ounce (28 grams) provides (1):

  • Calories: 103–121
  • Fiber: 2–7 grams
  • Carbs: 9 grams
  • Protein: 1 gram
  • Fat: 7–9 grams
  • Vitamin E: 278% of the daily value (DV)
  • Iron: 13–40% of the DV
  • Phosphorus: 9–11% of the DV
  • Vitamin C: 2–8% of the DV
  • Magnesium: 7% of the DV
  • Zinc: 5–7% of the DV
  • Potassium: 3–5% of the DV
  • Calcium: 1% of the DV

Tiger nuts are also a rich source of antioxidants, which are beneficial compounds that protect your body against aging and diseases like cancer and heart disease (2Trusted Source3Trusted Source).

Research shows that germinating tiger nuts prior to eating them increases their antioxidant content (4Trusted Source).

That said, tiger nuts also contain antinutrients, such as phytates, oxalates, saponins and tannins, which can reduce nutrient absorption in your gut.

Germinating or roasting the tubers prior to eating reduces their antinutrient levels, making it easier for your body to absorb and use the many nutrients they contain (5).

2. May Improve Digestion

Tiger nuts may promote a healthy digestion in various ways.

For starters, they are high in insoluble fiber, which passes through your gut without being digested. Insoluble fiber adds bulk to your stools and helps food move through your gut easily, reducing the likelihood of constipation (16Trusted Source).

Tiger nuts are also presumed to contain resistant starch, a type of fiber that can feed the friendly bacteria in your gut, helping your digestion run smoothly (7).

Moreover, tiger nuts may contain enzymes, such as catalases, lipases and amylases, which help break down foods in your gut, relieving gas, indigestion and diarrhea (7).

Keep in mind that the high fiber content of tiger nuts may initially cause unpleasant gas or bloating. Those interested in trying them should increase their portions gradually.

3. May Reduce Blood Sugar Levels

Tiger nuts may help keep your blood sugar levels in check.

Animal studies show that tiger nut extract may help reduce blood sugar levels. This may, in large part, be due to the high fiber content of the tubers which may slow down the absorption of sugar in the gut (5).

Tiger nuts are also rich in the amino acid arginine, which may increase insulin production and sensitivity, both of which are important for blood sugar control (8Trusted Source9Trusted Source10Trusted Source).

Moreover, test-tube studies show that tiger nut extract may inhibit the action of carb-digesting enzymes in your gut.

As a result, less sugar may be absorbed from your gut in a way similar to the action of some blood-sugar-lowering diabetic medications. This is thought to potentially lower blood sugar levels, though more research in humans is needed (11Trusted Source).

4. May Improve Heart Health

Tiger nuts may also be good for the health of your heart.

That’s partly because of the high amount of monounsaturated fats they contain, which give them a fat profile similar to that of heart-healthy olive oil (1213Trusted Source14Trusted Source).

Diets rich in monounsaturated fats are linked to lower levels of “bad” LDL cholesterol and higher levels of “good” HDL cholesterol. They are also associated with a lower risk of heart attack, stroke and death from heart disease (15Trusted Source16Trusted Source).

What’s more, tiger nuts are rich in the amino acid arginine. Arginine can promote heart health because your body can use it to make nitric oxide, a compound that helps arteries and veins dilate, hence lowering blood pressure (17Trusted Source18Trusted Source).

Research also links tiger nuts to better blood circulation and a lower likelihood of blood clots — both of which can reduce your risk of heart disease (7).

5. May Boost Your Immune System and Help Fight Infections

Tiger nuts may contribute to a stronger immune system.

In one test-tube study, tiger nut extracts were tested against several types of bacteria that can infect humans. The extract was effective against E. coliStaphylococcus and Salmonella bacteria (19Trusted Source).

Another cell study found similar results. The researchers added that tiger nut extracts might also be effective at fighting antibiotic-resistant bacterial infections (20Trusted Source).

However, more studies are needed before strong conclusions can be drawn.

6. May Act as an Aphrodisiac

Tiger nuts have a history of being used to boost libido.

They’re used as aphrodisiacs in Ayurvedic medicine. In addition, men in Nigeria have used tiger nuts for generations to treat erectile dysfunction, increase sperm count and boost libido.

That said, few studies have investigated these supposed aphrodisiac properties.

One mouse study showed that tiger nuts helped preserve testicular weight and sperm production following heavy metal poisoning (21).

In a rat study, eating large amounts of tiger nuts for 30 days increased testosterone levels, boosted sexual activity and reduced intermission time between mating sessions (22Trusted Source).

However, there are no studies on using tiger nuts as an aphrodisiac in humans, so more research is needed before any conclusions can be made.

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