Thursday, December 18, 2008



Roselle (Hibiscus sabdariffa Linn.) is a tropical plant widely cultivated in Thailand. Roselle produces red edible calyxes which primarily can be used for making brilliant red color jam, jelly preserve juice. Since early 1970s, Roselle has recieved great considerable attention as a potential source of natural food colorant, pharmaceuticals and cosmetics. Currently roselle is also claimed as a Thai traditional medecine for kidney stones and can be used as antibacterial and antifungal substances.

Roselle, contains one of the highest content of Vitamin C - estimated at 280mg every 100gm of dried calyx of roselle. It's not only vitamin C, it also contains other essential vitamins such as Vitamin D, B1 & B2.

Other than the usual vitamins, it contains nearly 486mg of Calcium, substantial amount of Magnesium, Beta-Carotene, OMEGA-3, Essential Amines, and lots of other useful phyto-resources.

It is thought that the antioxidant chemicals, such as flavonoids, polyphenolics and anthocyanins, contained in the flower play a large role in preventing the oxidation of low density lipoproteins (the “bad cholesterol”). This oxidation is what contributes to atherosclerosis, the build up of a waxy plaque on the walls of arteries.

Sunday, December 7, 2008

Coconut Oil virgin coconut oil is a stable, healthy saturated fat that is naturally free from trans-fatty acids. It contains medium-chain fatty acids, especially lauric acid.

Dr.Mary Enig a Ph.D. nutritionist, biochemist and one of the world's leading authorities on fats and oils states "Approximately 50% of the fatty acids in coconut fat are lauric acid. Lauric acid is a medium chain fatty acid, which has the additional beneficial function of being formed into monolaurin in the human or animal body. Monolaurin is the antiviral, antibacterial, and antiprotozoal monoglyceride used by the human or animal to destroy lipid coated viruses such as HIV, herpes, cytomegalovirus, influenza, various pathogenic bacteria including listeria monocytogenes and heliobacter pylori, and protozoa such as giardia lamblia. Some studies have also shown some antimicrobial effects of the free lauric acid."

What is Lauric acid?

The difference between coconut oil and other medium chain triglyceride oils is coconut oil contains a particular fatty acid called laurate (lauric acid), while commercial medium chain triglyceride oil preparations don't.

Lauric acid is a medium chain fatty acid which is found abundant* in coconut oil. Of which lauric acid is one unique composition of human breast milk. Human breast milk fat includes the fatty acids, lauric acid and capric acid. Lauric acid in breast milk plays a vital role to immune-compromised individuals, protect a baby's intestines from bacterial, protozoal, viral, and fungal infections.

A study in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition published in 1998 reveals that lactating mothers who eat coconut oil and coconut products, increased lauric acid and capric acid levels in their breast milk significantly. Generally lactating women milk fat will have 3% lauric acid and 1% capric acid if their diet does not contain lauric acid. But if a lactating woman eat foods rich in lauric acid, the amount of lauric acid in her breast milk increases substantially to levels three times the original level and nearly double the amount of capric acid.

Extra Virgin coconut oil and Weight loss

The effects of virgin coconut oil to promote weight loss have clearly been revealed by many researchers. Virgin coconut oil can promote weight loss because

  • the healthy medium chain fatty acids of virgin coconut oil do not circulate in blood circulation like other fats, because they are not packed into lipoproteins but the virgin coconut oil will be through directly to the liver where they are immediately converted into energy, not stored as body fat, just like carbohydrates. Therefore, our body can use the fat in virgin coconut oil as energy.
  • Thermogenic efefcts by medium chain fatty acids in coconut oil speed up the body's metabolism burning more calories and promoting weight loss.

MC Gill University researchers based in Canada discovered that consuming virgin coconut oil alone can make you lose up to 36 pounds per year. Substitution other vegetables oil with virgin coconut oil and include it in your daily food intake.

Other health benefits of virgin coocnut oil on weight loss :

  • Reduces the number of fat cells, and amount of fats stored
  • Reducing obesity. Obesity is caused by eating too much long-chain fatty acids (vegetable oil), while medium-chain fatty acids (as in coconut oil) reverse this condition.
  • Speeds up metabolism after meals. Rapidly oxidized or burned by the liver - as fast as pure glucose
  • Results in steady weight loss for obese individuals, and weight maintenance for healthy people
  • Helps maintain already healthy levels of cholesterol and thermogenesis
  • Improves athletic endurance exercise performance
  • Great for low carbohydrate diets
  • Can be used in place of butter. Enjoy in cooking, frying, baking or in smoothies

Extra Virgin coconut oil and antioxidants

Extra virgin coconut oil is another potent antioxidant. Extra virgin coocnut oil is very rich in natural vitamin E because the coconut fresh meat is produced through cold process. Vitamin E was not lost in the heat. Vitamin E in virgin coconut oil is in tocotrienols form which is very much more potent in their anti-oxidation and anti-cancer effects than tocopherols form. Tocopherols is another form of vitamin E family and tocopherols are widely used in many cosmetics skin care.

The tocotrienols vitamin E in virgin coconut oil is 40-60 times more potent antioxidation than tocopherols.

Extra Virgin Coconut Oil on Health benefits
  • Reduces liver's production of LDL "bad" cholesterol
  • Has no effect on production of HDL "good" cholesterol
  • Reduces circulating triglycerides and free fatty acids FFAs
  • Reduces intra-cellular lipids in muscle tissue, reducing insulin resistance
  • Fights many bacterial infections, including H.Pylori which is the cause of most ulcers.
  • Fights many viral infections
  • Improves NIDDM (type 2 diabetes) glycemic metabolism, by increasing insulin sensitivity and insulin controlled glucose disposal
  • Help reduce blood pressure
  • Accelerates or catalyzes burning and oxidation of other oils by the liver

Saturday, November 29, 2008

Mango mango originated in Southeast Asia where it has been grown for over 4,000 years. Over the years mango groves have spread to many parts of the tropical and sub-tropical world, where the climate allows the mango to grow best. Mango trees are evergreens that will grow to 60 feet tall. The mango tree will fruit 4 to 6 years after planting. Mango trees require hot, dry periods to set and produce a good crop. Most of the mangos sold in the United States are imported from Mexico, Haiti, the Caribbean and South America. Today there are over 1,000 different varieties of mangos throughout the world.
Vitamin Content: Mango is rich in Vitamin C and Vitamin A. Vitamin C content is more in raw mango as compared to that in ripe mango. It also has traces of Vitamin E, Vitamin B and Vitamin K.

The dulcet, juicy insides of the mango pack a nutritional punch. Its characteristic orange color is a clue to its storehouse of beta carotene (Vitamin A). Ripe mangos hold the highest levels of beta carotene, while green mangos are higher in Vitamin C. These antioxidant carotenoids are known for their protective power against certain cancers. Mangos also supply ample potassium, making them ideal for hypertensive patients or anyone looking to replenish energy after physical activity.

Mangoes are high in antioxidants, low in carbohydrates (although they are about 15% sugar – but good sugar!) and like other yellow/orange fruit such as pumpkin and carrot, they are an excellent source of beta-carotene (Vitamin A). They also contain Vitamin E and selenium which help protect against heart disease and cancer. You can obtain 40% of your daily fibre intake from a mango.

We all know the importance of fiber in our diets. If you are eating your mango-a-day, irregularity is not a problem for you and so we’ll spare the gruesome details regarding constipation, piles and spastic colon. Research has shown that dietary fiber has a protective effect against degenerative diseases, especially with regards to the heart; may help prevent certain types of cancer, as well as lowering blood cholesterol levels.

The nutritional value of mango makes it good for weight gain, eye disorders, hair loss, heat stroke, prickly heat, diabetes, bacterial , sinusitis, piles, indigestion, constipation, morning sickness, diarrhea, dysentery, scurvy, spleen enlargement, liver disorders, menstrual disorders, leucorrhea, and vaginitis.

Mango, being high in calories and carbohydrates, is good for those who are trying to gain weight. The phenolic compound found in mangoes has been found to have powerful antioxidant and anticancer properties. Being high in iron, mango is said to be very good for pregnant women as well as for people suffering from anemia. Mango is believed to be effective in relieving clogged pores of the skin.

Mangoes are a good source of vitamins and minerals essential for the human body. It is an affordable and seasonal fruit. In India mangoes are grown widely in the southern belt. ‘Alphonso’ variety of mango which is exported world wide is cultivated in ‘Ratnagiri’ in the southern part of India. Mangoes can be eaten both raw and ripe. Raw mangoes have a sharp sour taste, while the ripe mangoes are juicy and sweet to eat. The fragrance of ripe mangoes tingles ones taste buds.

Saturday, November 22, 2008


Anyone who eats the lychee fruit immediately falls in love with it. But if the fact that lychee is so delicious doesn't not convince you to try it, maybe hearing some of the health benefits of lychee will make you give this tropical fruit a second look.

Two studies done conclude that the lychee fruit prevents the growth of cancer cells. Lychee contains flavonoids in its pulp which prove very effective against breast cancer in particular. The Zhejiang Gonshang University and the West China Hospital at Sichuan University in China conducted the studies. So this little fruit that resembles a strawberry can help to protect your body against cancer.

Another health benefit of the lychee fruit is that it is a great source of vitamin C, a vitamin that the body does not produce naturally. Vitamin C helps the body to fight heart disease and cancer, Vitamin C is good for our bones, skin and tissue, and therefore is a very important vitamin to our overall good health.

Through the high content Vitamin C content of the lychee fruit, the fruit benefits those suffering from colds, fevers and sore throats. Lychee also helps the body to digest food properly for the best nutrition and an added boost of health.

Lychee, the Chinese believe, also has the ability to relieve pain and shrink swollen glands. People in China treat these symptoms with the lychee fruit using ancient Chinese medicines and they attest to its powers even though there are currently no studies out there that give scientific weight to this argument.

Along with these health benefits lychee also contains phosphorous, calcium, magnesium and protein. Though the lychee fruit is native to Asia, the popularity and reputation of the fruit as a healthful fruit has contributed to the commercial growth of lychee trees in California and Florida. Lychee can be found in Asian supermarkets in cans or dried or they are found in jellies, jams, marmalades or sauces in Asian cuisine.


Eat papayas in Playa del Carmen

Various fruits and vegetables are known to provide the body with many health benefits. Papaya is a fruit which is not thought of as a healthy fruit camparison to other obvious healthy fruits such as, blueberries, strawberries. However, papaya can provide the body with numerous health benefits.

Papaya Provides Vitamins and Nutrients

One of the main reasons that papayas are so healthy is because they provide the body with various vitamins and nutrients. Some of the different vitamins and nutrients which papayas are a good source of include Vitamin C, Vitamin B, potassium and fiber. Due to the high amount of vitamins and nutrients that papayas contain, your immune system will be boosted if you frequently eat papaya.

Papaya Helps with the Digestive Process

If you have digestive problems, you may want to consider eating papayas. The reason is because they contain an enzyme called papain, which is known to help with the digestive process. It can prevent you from becoming constipated and may also help end diarrhea. A little known fact about papain is that it has also been used as a way to treat stings from bees and jellyfish. If there is nothing besides papaya available in the house, it may provide you with relief.

Papaya Can Prevent or Relieve Nausea

If you often experience nausea, whether it is because you have morning sickness or you get sick when you are traveling, you may want to consider adding papaya to your diet. Papaya is known to prevent this type of nausea or provide you with relief once you already have it. To experience the best relief or prevention, consider drinking pineapple juice with your papaya, as both are known to be very effective.

Papaya Provides the Body With Lung Protection

The reason that papaya provides the body with lung protection is because it contains Vitamin A. When a person experiences lung cancer or other lung conditions, they often have a deficiency of Vitamin A. If you are worried about getting lung cancer due to secondhand smoke or working conditions, then you really may want to consider adding papaya to your daily diet.

These are just a few of the various health benefits that papaya can provide the body with. There are many people who believe that papaya will also help protect the heart from disease and the body from developing various forms of cancer. If you do not already eat papaya, it is one of the many fruits that you may want to consider adding to your regular diet.

Wednesday, November 19, 2008


Guava fruits can vary in shape from round, ovoid to the pear shape. They can be from 2 to 4 inches long. There are many varieties of guavas and they differ in flavour. The seeds are numerous but edible in the good varieties.

A guava tastes best when it is just ripe. The flesh is sweet, soft and creamy. The flesh is usually white but can be pink, yellow or red. The rind is edible. A ripe guava has a sweet, musky odour. The flavour is a like a cross between a strawberry and a lemon. In shape it resembles an apple or a pear and is sometimes referred to as the poor man's apple.

The guava is native to the the tropics. Its generic name is derived from the Greek word “psidion”, which is the name of the pomegranate.

The place of origin of the guava is unknown but it is believed to be somewhere in the region that extends from southern Mexico to Central America and the West Indies. Spanish and Portugese colonizers carried it to the East Indies. It is widely grown in Asia, Africa, Egypt and Mexico.

Guavas are low in cholesterol and Sodium, low on saturated fats, high in dietary fiber, Vitamin C, Vitamin A, Folate, Potassium, Copper and Manganese. Guavas also have a high level of lycopene (which helps prevent certain cancers) and are believed to reduce LDL or bad cholesterol.

One guava (medium size) has approximately 45 calories. It has a high concentration of Vitamin C in the skin. This reduces as fruit ripens and turns from green to yellow.

Guavas contain compounds that help to control blood pressure, lower cholesterol, battle diabetes and fight cancer.

It is commonly believed that eating an orange or other citrus fruits is more beneficial to health than eating any other kind of fruit. However, one guava has 165 milligrams (mg) of vitamin C, while one orange has a mere 69mg. The guava is also an excellent source of beta carotene, lycopene, potassium and soluble fiber.

Guavas are very rich in antioxidants. Antioxidants act against the "free radicals" which damage cells and can cause cancer, diabetes and coronary disease.

Guava also control blood pressure and cholesterol. This is probably because of the high potassium content found in guavas. Potassium a mineral that is essential for electrical reactions in the body, including your heart. It also keeps the heartbeat steady, and it assists the kidneys in removing waste.

The guava's cholesterol lowering effect may be due to its soluble fiber content. The soluble fiber forms a gel that binds cholesterol and carries it out of the body.

A guava leaf decoction is taken to relieve colds and bronchitis. The roots, bark, leaves and immature fruits, because of their astringency, are commonly used to halt gastroenteritis, diarrhea, dysentery and vomiting in cholera patients.

The guava was used in ancient Chinese medicine to treat diabetes for a very long time. Recent studies have now proven that it lowers blood sugar. It may be a natural way to help prevent diabetes.

Tuesday, November 18, 2008


Mangosteen, a type of fruit that comes from a tropical evergreen tree originating in southeast Asia, has recently been getting a lot of press for its health properties. It's even been called a superfood, for its antioxidant properties and other compounds it contains.

However, some of the things said about mangosteen seem too good to be true. Is it possible for a fruit to prevent cancer, heart disease, and slow aging?

Here's some information about mangosteen, and whether or not it really is an antioxidant superfood.

What's a Superfood, Anyway?

Superfoods, or superfruits, as the mangosteen is sometimes called, are a loosely defined category of foods having a number of characteristics.

Usually, to be called a superfood, a food has to have appealing characteristics, like a good taste, attractive fragrance, and good appearance.

It also has to be rich in nutrients, high in strong antioxidants, and have a high potential for lowering the risk of many diseases.

Does mangosteen meet these criteria? Surprisingly, the answer is both yes and no.

The Benefits Are In the Peel

The portion of the mangosteen fruit that's generally considered edible is a white, fleshy aril about the size of a tangerine. It may appear segmented, and is sweet but citrusy. Some have stated that there is a flavor reminiscent of peaches associated with mangosteen fruit. In addition to these properties, mangosteen fruit is actually quite low in nutrients.

The outer rind, or exocarp of the mangosteen is another story entirely. This peel is dark reddish purple when the fruit is ripe, and soft enough to easily cut with a knife. It can be pulled away from the fruit with no problems, but tends to stain fingers and fabric. It also contains many different beneficial compounds. Among these compounds are polyphenolic acids and phytonutrients, as well as other antioxidants and useful compounds. The exocarp of the mangosteen fruit also contains a number of substances that are less pleasant, as they are intended to discourage insects from eating the fruit. These include tannins, the substances that give tea and coffee their familiar bitter undertones. In the case of the mangosteen, these substance impart an astringent taste.

It's the whole mangosteen that might be called a superfood, not just the pale but delicious fruit. This poses a problem, however, since the outer rind of the fruit imparts a bitter or tart flavor to products made from whole processed mangosteen. In many cases, other fruit juices like blueberry or cranberry are added to mangosteen juice, or sugar is used to help ameliorate the bad taste that comes from processing the beneficial but untasty rind.

What Mangosteen Compounds Can Do

The xanthones and other antioxidants in mangosteen do provide a useful benefit. In the body, oxidation by peroxides and oxygen itself can create free radicals. These free radicals can then cause reactions that cause cellular damage. This kind of damage is associated with many human diseases, from stroke and neurological conditions to some types of cancer. Consuming antioxidants reduces the number of oxidation reactions, and helps to capture free radicals, reducing cellular damage.

Research on the most famous antioxidants and phytonutrients in mangosteen – xanthones – is still limited. Scientists are currently conducting studies to find out just how beneficial these chemicals are for us, and how they work. Chances are, their research will back up what's been believed for a long time. However, at the moment, there are few specific biological studies to provide evidence for the benefits of xanthones. The other antioxidants in mangosteen exocarp are, however, more easily documented.

In the end, mangosteen looks like it may well qualify as a superfood. Its appearance is attractive, and its taste so appealing that it's been known around the world for centuries, even before the plants were easily transported from their native countries. However, the fruit alone is merely delicious. It provides no real nutritive benefits. In combination with the mangosteen rind it becomes a much more beneficial food, with the downside that the flavor is somewhat compromised. The combination of mangosteen with other foods can help to remove this difficulty, making mangosteen both delicious and good for you.