Cherries are especially useful for treating gout. Gout is a kind of arthritis linked to an unusually high amount of uric acid in the bloodstream. Uric acid is made in the liver and sometimes too much uric acid is made. Needlelike crystals form as uric acid levels increase, and these crystals build up in the joints over time, resulting in the pain and inflammation typical of gout.
Bing cherries have antioxidant as well as anti-inflammatory properties, in particular a compound known as cyanidin, which has been found to inhibit the activity of the enzyme involved in the making of uric acid. Research has revealed that eating the equivalent of a pound of fresh cherries each day is highly effective for lowering uric acid levels.
One study demonstrated that healthy people who ate Bing cherries for 28 days had reduced inflammation markers and they stayed low for days despite discontinuation of cherry consumption.
Another study has also shown that eating cherries may lower risk of gout attacks. Gout sufferers consuming cherries for a 2 day period had a 35 % reduced risk of gout attacks when compared with those not eating cherries. The risk of gout flare continued decreasing with the increase of cherry intake, up to 3 servings over 2 days. It was found that additional cherry intake did not provide any extra benefit.
Montmorency tart cherries have been found to contain substantial amounts of the hormone melatonin which has an effect on the sleep process. Although some other foods also have melatonin, the quantity is too low to be effective, but, according to research, Montmorency cherries have 0.1 to 0.3 milligram of melatonin a serving. At this dosage melatonin has been proven to be an efficient sleep inducer.
Two of the anthocyanidins present in cherries, quercetin and isoquerxitrin, have been found to prevent the growth of colon cancer. Tart cherries contain the natural compound perillyl alcohol, which seems to be very effective in reducing the incidence of all kinds of cancer. Perillyl alcohol has tested well for treating advanced prostate, breast and ovary cancers. Research suggests that substances in tart cherries can reduce the formation of the carcinogenic chemicals (HCAAs) that develop from the charring of meat.
Cherries are a natural pain reliever. Researchers have found that anthocyanidins from cherries have the ability to block both COX-1 and COX-2, enzymes considered to cause pain. Of all the fruits which were tested, cherries had the highest amounts of key anthocyanidins. The COX-inhibitory activities of the anthocyanidins in cherries were even found to be comparable to those of naproxen and ibuprofen. One study revealed that men who had tart cherry juice after weight training exercises experienced less muscle pain as well as less strength loss.
Research shows that eating Bing cherries could decrease certain blood markers of heart disease. Quercetin found in cherries may help to prevent heart disease.
Cherries are a very good source of vitamins C and A. They are a good source of copper, calcium, iron, potassium and manganese.
Fortunately for strawberry lovers, one serving of berries offers 85 mg of vitamin C or 160% of the Recommended Daily Value.
Every day, research confirms that strawberries are an important part of a healthy diet. Eating just one serving of strawberries, or about eight of these sweet fruits per day, may help improve heart health, lower the risk of developing some cancers and lower blood pressure.
facts found on Driscoll’s
The heart-healthy and anti-cancer power of organic strawberries comes from their phytonutrient content while the potassium in strawberries helps maintain normal blood pressure. Research also shows that individuals who eat strawberries on a regular basis have higher blood levels of folate, vitamin C and phytonutrients, and a higher intake of fiber than those who don’t eat strawberries. So, it appears that including strawberries in your diet might just help you achieve and maintain a lowered risk of developing certain diseases.
Peppers Burn Off Fat
Both hot and sweet peppers may enhance weight- loss efforts. Research has shown that capsaicin—the substance that gives hot red peppers (or chilies) their kick, and boosts our metabolism—keeps immature fat cells from developing into full-fledged ones. And a study presented in April found that a compound in some sweet peppers (called CH-19 Sweet), which resembles capsaicin, provides similar positive metabolic effects—minus the burning mouth and lips. According to readers digest BY: MARGARET NEARING
Peppers add a flavourful kick to your meal, plus they’re loaded with vitamins and disease-fighting properties. Check out these health benefits of peppers
Another benefit of capsaicin: A study in the British Journal of Nutrition showed that adding hot chilis to daily meals may protect against the buildup of cholesterol in the blood compared with eating a bland diet. (The hotter the chili, the more capsaicin.)
Keep arthritis at bay
Half a cup (125 mL) of chopped red or yellow sweet peppers has almost double your daily needs of vitamin C (green ones also contain lots). That’s a crucial nutrient: Researchers at the University of Manchester in England found that study participants who were in the lowest category of vitamin C intake had more than a three-fold increased risk of inflammatory arthritis compared to those with the highest intake.
Lower your risk of breast cancer
Toss a sliced red pepper into a salad for about a third of your daily carotenoid needs. Research reported in the International Journal of Cancer in 2009 found that premenopausal women who ate two or more servings of foods rich in carotenoids each day reduced their risk of breast cancer by 17 percent. Why? Carotenoids can interfere with estrogen’s signalling ability.
Love your heart and prevent stroke
Whether you like them hot or sweet, peppers contain lots of B vitamins. One cup (250 mL) of chopped banana pepper has 36 percent of your daily vitamin B6 and 10 percent of folate(also a B vitamin); red peppers contain 35 and seven percent, respectively; and yellow peppers, 20 and 10 percent. A Japanese study published this year looked at more than 35,000 women, age 40 to 79 years, who had completed a food-frequency questionnaire. Researchers found that the higher the dietary intakes of both folate and B6, the lower the risk of death from stroke, coronary heart disease and total cardiovascular disease for women.
Sprinkle Cinnamon On Your Breakfast
I read this article in a magazine today, Shape. People who added about
a teaspoon of cinnamon to hot cereal had significantly lower, healthier
blood sugar for two hours after eating than those who didn’t eat the spice.
There’s evidence that cinnamon prompts cells to absorb more glucose
from blood and use it for energy. Stir one to two teaspoons a day into your
smoothie, protein shake, or oatmeal and a half teaspoon into yogurt or coffee.
8 Foods For Weight Loss
5. Leafy Greens
30 Day Plank Challenge BY 30 DAY FITNESS Take up this 30-day plank challenge this month and tone up and boost your core muscles to the max.
The plank challenge is our most popular 30-day fitness challenge and has been taken by over 800,000 people over the past 12 months, so why not give it a go for yourself.
The 30-day plank challenge only has 1 exercise which you have to do each day, and the time spent doing the exercise slowly increases day by day to help you build up your core body muscle strength gradually, ensuring you are able to complete the final day of the challenge easily.
You only have to do the amount of time shown on the 30-day plank challenge chart once per day, however if you are feeling brave then you can repeat each days challenge as many times as you like – however remember by day 30 it will be very hard to do multiple times