Tag Archives: Center for Food Safety

Top 10 Foods Your Body Needs

What do a guava, cabbage and a weed have in common? They’re all foods you should be eating. Here’s why you should add the following 10 fruits, vegetables and plants to your diet.

FRUITS

1. Guava is a slightly pear-shaped tropical fruit known for its sweet, acidic flavor and yellow or pink color. It contains such cancer-fighting agents as lycopene, known for warding off prostate cancer. And with 688 mg of potassium and 9 grams of fiber, this fruit is a must for anyone’s diet.

CLICK TO SEE GUAVA

2.Goji Berry   resemble raisins, taste sweet and sour, and are red in color. Eating them can help protect the liver, improve sexual function and increase circulation. They also have the highest Oxygen Radical Absorbance Capacity (ORAC) rating (a method of measuring antioxidant levels in food) of any fruit, according to researchers at Tufts University.

CLICK TO SEE Goji Berry

3. Dried plums,
also known as prunes, are somewhat infamous for their high fiber content. However, don’t forget that they also include high amounts of neochlorogenic and chlorogenic acids which fight the “superoxide anion radical,” known to cause structural damage to cells, one of the primary causes of cancer.

CLICK TO SEE Rich in Antioxidants Dried Plums

4. Pomegranate juice has been consumed for decades in the Middle East as a popular juice beverage; now it’s becoming popular in the United States. Just 4 oz. a day provides 50 percent of your daily vitamin C needs.

CLICK TO SEE Pomegranate Juice as Good as Viagra

VEGETABLES

5. Cabbage is a leafy, green vegetable. Its benefits: a healthy supply of nutrients including sulforaphane, a chemical which increases your body’s production of enzymes that combat cell-damaging free radicals and reduce the risk of cancer.

CLICK TO SEE cabbage

6. Beets are a root known
for their dark red coloring and are surprisingly sweet for a vegetable. It is one of the best sources of both folate and betaine, which help to lower your blood levels of homocysteine. That’s good news because homocysteine can damage arteries and increase the risk of heart disease.

CLICK TO SEE Beetroot

7. Swiss chard is a slightly bitter and salty vegetable. It contains huge amounts of lutein and zeaxanthin, plant chemicals known as carotenoids that protect the retinas from age-related damage.

CLICK TO SEE Swiss chard

PLANTS


8. Purslane
is a broad-leaved weed. It features the highest amount of heart-healthy omega-3 fats of any edible plant and has 10 to 20 times more melatonin than any other fruit or vegetable.

CLICK TO SEE Purslane

9. Cinnamon is a common spice most of us think of when we make cake or cookies – but don’t overlook a pinch or two on your oatmeal or in your coffee. Cinnamon’s health benefits include controlling your blood sugar and lowering triglycerides and LDL (bad) cholesterol. Active ingredients include methylhydroxychalcone polymers, which increase your cells’ ability to metabolize up to 20 times.

CLICK TO SEE cinnamon

10. Pumpkin seeds are too-frequently tossed away during the traditional October pumpkin carving. That’s a mistake, because just 1 ounce contains 150 mg of magnesium. Pumpkin seeds are also high in zinc and phytosterols, shown to lower cholesterol and defend against cancer.

CLICK TO SEE  PUMPKIN SEEDS

Medicinal Properties: Catarrh, demulcent, diuretic and anthelmintic.
Uses in Folklore: Pumpkin seeds have been a popular folk remedy for expelling worms and treating urinary complaints. Recent research has shown that pumpkin seeds have anti-tumor properties, in particular, for treating an enlarged prostate. Pumpkin contains the active components resin, fatty oils, proteins, glycoside curcurbitin, vitamins and minerals

Sources: http://www.toyourhealth.com/mpacms/tyh/article.php?id=1030

Enhanced by Zemanta

Try To Avoid Non Organic Fruits & Vegetables

The ”Dirty Dozen” Fruits and Vegetables Containing the Most Pesticides

The Environmental Working Group (EWG) has produced a new wallet-size Shoppers’ Guide listing the 12 fruits and vegetables that are the most contaminated with pesticides (the “Dirty Dozen”), as well as those that generally contain the lowest amount of pesticides (the “Cleanest 12”).

The information is based on nearly 43,000 tests conducted by the USDA and FDA.

The last EWG Guide was issued in 2003, and there have been several revisions to the list. Carrots have been removed from the most contaminated list, but lettuce has been added.

Likewise, cauliflower is no longer listed as one of the cleanest vegetables, but cabbage is now one of those “clean” 12.

An analysis by the EWG estimated that consumers could reduce their exposure to pesticides by almost 90 percent merely by avoiding foods on their “Dirty Dozen” list. A few members of that list include:

Peaches
Apples
Sweet bell peppers
Celery
Strawberries
Spinach
Conversely, the “Cleanest 12,” according to the EWG, only expose you to less than two pesticides per day, a huge difference from the 15 pesticides per day you’d be exposed to with the fruits and vegetables on the “Dirty Dozen” list. Among the cleanest fruits and vegetables you can buy at your grocery store:

Onions
Avocado
Pineapple
Asparagus
Broccoli

To stay away from pesticides that do great harm to your health, you are to download the EWG’s complete listings of the best and worst whole foods at their Web site : www.foodnews.org Remember that the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) considers 60 percent of herbicides, 90 percent of fungicides and 30 percent of insecticides to be carcinogenic.

Pesticides can have many negative influences on health, including neurotoxicity, disruption of the endocrine system, carcinogenicity and immune system suppression. Pesticide exposure may also affect male reproductive function and has been linked to miscarriages in women.

That’s just part of the reason why you should always be on the lookout for organically grown fruits and vegetables. Where traditional farmers apply chemical fertilizers to the soil to grow their crops, organic farmers feed and build soil with natural fertilizer.

Traditional farmers use insecticides to get rid of insects and disease, while organic farmers use natural methods such as insect predators and barriers for this purpose. Traditional farmers control weed growth by applying synthetic herbicides, but organic farmers use crop rotation, tillage, hand weeding, cover crops and mulches to control weeds.

The result is that organically grown food is not tainted with chemical residues, which can be harmful to humans.

The major problem most people have with organic food is the expense.

However, if you plan wisely, eating organically is actually quite affordable. A diet based on whole organic foods does not have to be cost-prohibitive for the average family or single consumer.

However, if the choice is between fresh conventional vegetables and wilted organic ones, It is recommend you choose the conventional vegetables; old and wilted vegetables lose many of the vital micronutrients that make them so healthy.

If you do buy conventional vegetables, It is certainly recommend that you go with the ones on the “Cleanest 12” list.

Help Taken From:Dr.Mercola’s web page

Alfalfa

Botanical Name : Medicago sativa
Family:Fabaceae
Genus: Medicago
Species:M. sativa
Kingdom: Plantae
Order:Fabales

Synonyms:  Purple Medicle. Cultivated Lucern.

Common Names :Alfalfa, Medicago sativa, Lucerne

Habitat :Alfalfa is native to western Asia and the eastern Mediterranean region

Description:
Alfalfa is a perennial flowering plant in the pea family Fabaceae cultivated as an important forage crop in many countries around the world. The Spanish-Arabic (according to wiktionary and the DRAE) name alfalfa is widely used, particularly in North America and Australia. But in the UK, South Africa and New Zealand, the more commonly used name is lucerne. It superficially resembles clover, with clusters of small purple flowers followed by fruits spiralled in 2 to 3 turns containing 10-20 seeds. Alfalfa is native to a warmer temperate climate such as that of Iran (where it is thought to have originated). It has been cultivated as livestock fodder since at least the era of the ancient Greeks and Romans.
CLICK & SEE

 Alfalfa sprouts have become a popular food. Alfalfa herbal supplements primarily use the dried leaves of the plant. The heat-treated seeds of the plant have also been used.Alfalfa has been used in connection with the high cholesterol, menopause and poor appetite.

Sunshine, regular watering are the necessary conditions for the growth of this 1 to 3 feet tall herb which is not picky about the soil and is cultivated in many parts of the world..

First discovered by the Arabs, who dubbed this valuable plant the “father of all foods”, the leaves of the alfalfa plant are rich in minerals including calcium, magnesium, potassium, and carotene to support the heart and normal cellular division. English herbalist John Gerard recommended alfalfa for upset stomachs. Noted biologist and author Frank Bouer discovered that the leaves of this remarkable legume contain eight essential amino acids. Alfalfa is suggested to be a good cleanser and a natural diuretic. This versatile herb is also a folk remedy for joint stress, and is reputed to be an excellent appetite stimulant and overall tonic. Unfortunately, most westerners regard alfalfa as cattle fodder and therefore rarely take advantage of the beneficial properties of this common plant.

click to see the picture…>.....(0)....(1).………..(2).………..(3)………..(4).

Many years ago, traditional Chinese physicians used young alfalfa leaves to treat disorders of the digestive tract. Similarly, the Ayurvedic physicians of India prescribed the leaves and flowering tops for poor digestion. Alfalfa was also considered therapeutic for water retention and arthritis. North American Indians recommended alfalfa to treat jaundice and to encourage blood clotting.

Although conspicuously absent from many classic textbooks on herbal medicine, alfalfa did find a home in the texts of the Eclectic physicians (19th-century physicians in the United States who used herbal therapies) as a tonic for indigestion, dyspepsia, anemia, loss of appetite, and poor assimilation of nutrients. These physicians also recommended the alfalfa plant to stimulate lactation in nursing mothers, and the seeds were made into a poultice for the treatment of boils and insect bites.

Religious importance:
It is believed that if this herb is kept in a container and placed outside home it prevents the house from poverty and hunger. Scattering the ashes of burned alfalfa protects property.

Active constituents:
While the medicinal benefits of alfalfa are poorly understood, the constituents in alfalfa have been extensively studied. The leaves contain approximately 23% saponins. Animal studies suggest that these constituents block absorption of cholesterol and prevent the formation of atherosclerotic plaques. One small human trial found that 120 grams per day of heat-treated alfalfa seeds for eight weeks led to a modest reduction in cholesterol. However, consuming the large amounts of alfalfa seeds (80–120 grams per day) needed to supply high amounts of these saponins may potentially cause damage to red blood cells in the body. Herbalists also claim that alfalfa may be helpful for people with diabetes. But while high amounts of a water extract of the leaves led to increased insulin release in animal studies, there is no evidence that alfalfa would be useful for the treatment of diabetes in humans.

Alfalfa leaves also contain flavones, isoflavones, sterols, and coumarin derivatives. The isoflavones are thought to be responsible for the estrogen-like effects seen in animal studies. Although this has not been confirmed with human trials, alfalfa is sometimes used to treat menopause symptoms.

Alfalfa contains protein and vitamin A, vitamin B1, vitamin B6, vitamin C, vitamin E, and vitamin K. Nutrient analysis demonstrates the presence of calcium, potassium, iron, and zinc.

 Cultivation:   
Alfalfa is a very versatile plant that can adapt to a wide range of climatic conditions from cold temperate to warm sub-tropical. It succeeds on a wide variety of soils, but thrives best on a rich, friable, well-drained loamy soil with loose topsoil supplied with lime. It does not tolerate waterlogging and fails to grow on acid soils. Grows well on light soils[206]. The plant has a deep taproot and, once establishd, tolerates drought and extremely dry conditions. Prefers a neutral fertile soil but succeeds in relatively poor soils so long as the appropriate Rhizobium bacteria is present.  A good bee plant and a food plant for many caterpillars. Alfalfa is a very deep rooting plant, bringing up nutrients from deep in the soil and making them available for other plants with shallower root systems. It is a good companion plant for growing near fruit trees and grape vines so long as it is in a reasonably sunny position, but it does not grow well with onions or other members of the Allium genus. Growing alfalfa encourages the growth of dandelions. Alfalfa has long been cultivated for its edible seed, which can be sprouted and eaten in salads. It is also grown as a green manure and soil restorer. There are many named varieties. Botanists divide the species into a number of sub-species – these are briefly described below:- M. sativa caerulea (Less. ex Ledeb.)Schmalh. This sub-species is likely to be of value in breeding programmes for giving cold tolerance, drought resistance and salt tolerance to alfalfa. M. sativa falcata (L.)Arcang. This sub-species is likely to be of value in breeding programmes for giving cold tolerance, drought and disease resistance plus salt and water-logging tolerance to alfalfa. M. sativa sativa. The commonly cultivated form of alfalfa. M. sativa varia (Martyn.)Arcang. This sub-species is likely to be of value in breeding programmes for giving cold tolerance, drought resistance and high yields to alfalfa. This species has a symbiotic relationship with certain soil bacteria, these bacteria form nodules on the roots and fix atmospheric nitrogen. Some of this nitrogen is utilized by the growing plant but some can also be used by other plants growing nearby.

Propagation:                                            
Pre-soak the seed for 12 hours in warm water and then sow in spring in situ. The seed can also be sown in situ in autumn. Seed can be obtained that has been inoculated with Rhizobium bacteria, enabling the plant to succeed in soils where the bacteria is not already present.

Medicinal Uses:

The whole herb is used medicinally to help stop bleeding to benefit the kidneys and as a general tonic.   It is a good laxative and a natural diuretic.  It is a folk remedy for arthritis and is reputed to be an excellent appetite stimulant.  Alfalfa possesses extremely high nutritional value.  An excellent source of vitamins A and D, alfalfa leaf is used in the infants’ cereal pablum.  Also rich in vitamin K, alfalfa leaf has been used in medicine to encourage blood clotting.  Alfalfa also lowers blood cholesterol.  Other recommended uses for alfalfa are for asthma and hayfever.  It has also been found to retard the development of streptozotocin diabetes in mice.    It is a traditional European and Russian tea for wasting diseases and is used in some German clinics as a dietary aid in Celiac Disease, together with traditional treatment and diet.  A safe and appropriate tea for pregnancy, along with raspberry leaves; also good to drink when sulfa or antibiotic drugs are taken.

Benefits of alfalfa include:

Excellent source of nutritive properties

Minerals

Chlorophyll

Vitamins

Thyroid support

Blood purifier

A host of phytonutrients

Alfalfa is useful in the support of urinary tract health including kidney, bladder and prostate and detoxifies the body, especially the liver. Alfalfa has estrogenic properties and therefore helps support the female cycle.

It is used for treating anemia, fatigue, kidneys, peptic ulcers, pituitary problems, and for building general health, retaining water in the body, relieving urinary and bowel problems. This herb is effective for the treatment of narcotic and alcohol addiction.

Alfalfa acts as a blood purifier and has helped many arthritis sufferers. The action as a detoxifier and blood purifier has been found to be beneficial for a variety of illnesses, including liver disorders, breath odor, infections, disorders of the bones and joints and skin ailments.

Alfalfa is a good laxative and natural diuretic that promotes urine flow and is often used to treat urinary tract infections and eliminate excess retained water.

Alfalfa has an alkalizing effect on the body. It is a great source of mineral supplements that are all alkaline, which has a neutralizing effect on the intestinal tract, thereby easing digestive problems, such as upset stomach, gastritis and indigestion.

Alfalfa contains a high calcium and magnesium content, and studies have shown that migraines may be prevented and/or reduced when these two minerals are combined. All the minerals are in a balanced form, which also promotes absorption.

Herbalists have long used Alfalfa Leaf to treat ulcers, as the bioflavonoids found in Alfalfa reduce inflammation of the stomach lining and build capillary strength, while Alfalfa’s vitamin A helps to maintain the stomach’s overall health. The herb’s enzymes aid in food assimulation. During the Han Dynasty (200 A.D.), Alfalfa was used to treat ulcers and continues in Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) to strengthen the digestive tract and stimulate the appetite.

Alfalfa is said to lower cholesterol and prevent the formation of atherosclerotic plaques (by blocking cholesterol’s absorption into the body from the intestines), balance blood sugar (especially when taken with manganese) and promote pituitary gland function.

Alfalfa is an immune-system stimulant that promotes normal blood clotting; and the vitamin K content helps treat bleeding gums and nosebleed, but does not interfere with normal circulation. The bioflavonoids found in Alfalfa are believed to build capillary strength.

Alfalfa contains phytoestrogens, and the herb has had some estrogenic activity in women whose own sex hormone production has declined; thus Alfalfa has helped many women with the discomforts of menopausal symptoms, particularly hot flashes. The phytoestrogens appear to reduce the risk of estrogen-linked disease, including serious breast problems). The Vitamin K2 found in Alfalfa may also partially prevent bone loss caused by estrogen deficiency.

Dried alfalfa leaf is available as a bulk herb, and in tablets or capsules. It is also available in liquid extracts. No therapeutic amount of alfalfa has been established for humans. Some herbalists recommend 5001,000 mg of the dried leaf per day or 12 ml of tincture three times per day.

Use of the dried leaves of alfalfa in the amounts listed above is usually safe. There have been isolated reports of people who are allergic to alfalfa.

Contraindications:
Alfalfa should not be taken by those who have autoimmune problems (lupus, etc.), nor should it be taken by pregnant women. Ingestion of very large amounts (the equivalent of several servings)

of the seed and/or sprouts or supplements has been linked to the onset of systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE), the autoimmune illness characterized by inflamed joints and a risk of damage to kidneys and other organs. The chemical responsible for this effect is believed to be canavanine. Those taking prescription anticoagulants such as Coumadin, etc., should avoid this herb.

We can learn little more about Alflfa from this page.

Disclaimer:
The information presented herein is intended for educational purposes only. Individual results may vary, and before using any supplements, it is always advisable to consult with your own health care provider.

Resources:

http://groups.msn.com http://www.herbalextractsplus.com/alfalfa-leaf.cfm?gclid=CLGiro2w24cCFQ9OWAodujVXBw

http://www.pfaf.org/user/plant.aspx?LatinName=Medicago+sativa

http://www.ayurveda-herbal-remedy.com/herbal-encyclopedia/index.html

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Alfalfa