Our food can be a source of remedy too. Fruits and vegetables are our natural source of medication. They are safe, taste nicer than any drugs manufactured by man and give us better health in the long run.
It is also very difficult to find fruits that give unwanted side effect like most modern medicine. So, why have we abandoned our fruits and vegetables for something more expensive and harmful ?
Let's make our food our medicine and start learning what these normal everyday fruits can do for you.
Artichoke has been used traditionally as food and as a medicinal herb for its diuretic and digestive properties. Artichoke leaves are used by many in connection with gastrointestinal complaints stemming from bile deficiency (in the liver and gall bladder), as well as to stimulate appetite and diuresis.
The results of several clinical investigations suggested that artichoke extracts are useful when used in connection with hepato-biliary dysfunction and digestive complaints, such as sensation of fullness, loss of appetite, nausea, and abdominal pain. Some researchers have even suggested that artichoke dry extract could be safely recommended to patients with hyperlipoproteinemia and for possible prevention of vascular disease. Artichoke also has powerful antioxidant activity.
Celery (Apium graveolens)
CELERY is one of the very common & effective plant which helps in curing various health disorders which are not easily curable. The green leaves, stem and the bulbous root of celery are all extremely rich & makes celery a very important medicinal plant. There are various health benefits derived from celery and its juice. The medical quality of celery was first described by the Greeks Discorides and Pliny.
It contains balanced minerals, vitamins & nutrients & its oil has strong smell due to concentrations of plant hormones. The presence of the essential oils makes celery special. They are also found in the seeds & can be added to the juice also. These oils have a specific effect on the regulation of the nervous system, and have a great calming influence. Celery is used for its strong stimulating and beneficial effect on a weak sexual system, but as is usual with plant therapies the normally active person does not have to fear an uncontrollable upsurge.
Garlic and garlic based supplements have prevented a variety of health conditions including atherosclerosis, high blood pressure, flu, colds, coughs, bronchitis, gastrointestinal problems, and menstrual pain. Studies have shown that garlic can kill many types of bacteria, some viruses, a number of fungal infections, and in some cases even intestinal parasites. Garlic is also considered an effective antioxidant that can boost the body's immune system and may even help prevent certain cancers such as colon cancer.
Garlic is best known for its favorable effects on cardiovascular health and effective in preventing and treating high cholesterol and triglyceride levels, atherosclerosis, and respiratory infections. One study reported that Garlic was able to reduced arterial plaque formation by nearly 20 in some participlants, the benefits being most notable in women.
The primary active ingredient in garlic is alliin. Alliin is an odorless chemical that is similar in chemical structure to the sulfur-containing amino acid, cysteine. When garlic bulbs are crushed, alliin is converted into another compound called allicin which in turn produces other compounds: ajoene, allyl sulfides, and vinyldithiins. Allicin and its deratives are what give garlic its characteristic odor and many of its medicinal effects.
Though they wear coats of many colors, including purple, white and brown, bell peppers all spring from the same plant, part of the nightshade family which includes potatoes, tomatoes and eggplant. Available year round, the fruit peaks in August and September. The compound capsaicin, which puts the “hot” in hot peppers, is absent in bell peppers due to a recessive gene, rendering them sweet (except the more tart green variety, an unripe version of red peppers).
Regardless of their exterior, all bell peppers share a healthy dose of fiber, a hallmark of their characteristic crunch, which helps lower cholesterol and ward off colon cancer. They also offer a wealth of vitamin B6 and folic acid, thought to protect blood vessels from damage by reducing levels of homocysteine in the body. Plentiful A and C vitamins boost immunity and guard against a range of ailments, including heart disease, diabetes, arthritis and risks associated with smoking such as emphysema.
Tomatoes contain large amounts of vitamin C, providing 40 percent of the daily value (DV). They also contain 15 percent DV of vitamin A, 8 percent DV of potassium, and 7 percent of the recommended dietary allowance (RDA) of iron for women and 10 percent RDA for men.
The red pigment contained in tomatoes is called lycopene. This compound appears to act as an antioxidant, neutralizing free radicals that can damage cells in the body. Only recently, studies have revealed that lycopene may have twice the punch of another well-known antioxidant betacarotene. Studies conducted by Harvard researchers have discovered that men who consumed 10 servings of tomatoes a week, or the equivalent to 10 slices of pizza, can cut the risk of developing prostate cancer by a formidable 45 percent. However, its benefits are not limited to the prostate. Italian researchers have found that those who consume more that 7 servings of raw tomatoes lower the risk of developing rectal colon or stomach cancers by 60 percent. Israeli researchers have found that lycopene is a powerful inhibitor of lung, breast, and endometrial cancer cells. Research has also indicated that the lycopene in tomatoes can help older people stay active longer.
New research is beginning to indicate that tomatoes may be used to help prevent lung cancer. Two powerful compounds found in tomatoes-coumaric acid and chlorogenic acid-are thought to block the effects of nitrosamines. These are compounds that not only are formed naturally in the body, but also are the strongest carcinogen in tobacco smoke. By blocking the effects of these nitrosamines, the chances of lung cancer are reduced significantly.