Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Health Benefits of Watermelon

Watermelon is a popular fruit here in the Philippines, especially when summer, there’s no other summer fruit like the thirst quenching watermelon. Watermelon is said to be the summer fruit because it is on its best quality when harvested during the summer season.
Watermelons can be round, oblong, or even square, as seen in Japan, they have the square watermelons. These square watermelons are not genetically modified. The Japanese figured out how to grow a square watermelon. The technique is very simple; they insert the watermelons into square glass cases or square wood cases while the fruit is still growing on the vine, so when the watermelon is ready to harvest it’s on a square shape. There are also watermelons that have yellow flesh. I think the yellow flesh is much crunchier than the red-flesh watermelon.

Health Benefits of Watermelon

Watermelon is said to help quench the inflammation that contributes to conditions like colon cancer, asthma, diabetes, and arthritis. The health benefits of watermelon are really great. No matter how it is sliced, it is packed with some of the most important antioxidants found in nature.

It is an excellent source of vitamin C and a very good source of vitamin A. A cup of watermelon provides 24.3% of the daily value for vitamin C, and, through its beta-carotene, 11.1% of the DV for vitamin A. Watermelons are packed with some of the most important antioxidants in nature.

Watermelon is also a very concentrated source of the carotenoid, lycopene. Well known for being abundant in tomatoes and particularly well absorbed from cooked tomato products containing a little fat such as olive oil, lycopene is also present in high amounts in watermelon and mangoes. The antioxidant function of lycopene-its ability to help protect cells and other structures in the body from oxygen damage-has been linked in human research to prevention of heart disease. Protection of DNA (our genetic material) inside of white blood cells has also been shown to be an antioxidant role of lycopene.

Watermelon is rich in the B vitamins necessary for energy production. Our food ranking system also qualified watermelon as a very good source of vitamin B6 and a good source of vitamin B1, magnesium, and potassium. Part of this high ranking was due to the higher nutrient richness of watermelon. Because this food has higher water content and lower calorie content than many other fruits (a whole cup of watermelon contains only 48 calories), it delivers more nutrients per calorie-an outstanding health benefit!

One more reason to enjoy watermelon before summer ends: this sweet, crunchy, cooling fruit is exceptionally high in citrulline, an amino acid our bodies use to make another amino acid, arginine, which is used in the urea cycle to remove ammonia from the body, and by the cells lining our blood vessels to make nitric oxide. Nitric oxide not only relaxes blood vessels, lowering high blood pressure, it is the compound whose production is enhanced by Viagra to prevent erectile dysfunction. Arginine has been shown to improve insulin sensitivity in obese type 2 diabetic patients with insulin resistance.

Sunday, June 14, 2009

Health Benefits of Yerba Buena

Yerba Beuna is a herb from the mint family. Its scientific name is Clinopodium Douglasii from the kingdom Plantae and takes the form of mat-forming perennial with elongated leaves and in summer, it bears small whitish or purplish flowers.

In Spanish speaking countries, the term “yerba buena” refers to the particular local species of mint. The term has been and is currently used to cover a number of aromatic mint relatives of the Clinopodium. The word Yerba Buena is Spanish for "good herb" and was the former name of the California city of San Francisco. All plants so named have medicinal properties and some have culinary value as teas or seasonings.

Yerba Buena has been known as a medicinal plant worldwide. Yerba Buena has been consumed for centuries as tea and herbal medicine as a pain reliever (analgesic). Today, this folk medicine's efficacy has been validated by scientific research. In the Philippines, Yerba Buena is one of the 10 herbs endorsed by the Department of Health (DOH) as an effective alternative medicine for aches and pains.

As an herbal medicine, a decoction (boil leaves then strain) of Yerba Buena is effective for minor ailments such as headaches, toothaches and joint pains. It can also relive stomach aches due to gas buildup and indigestion. The fresh and dried leaves can both be used for the decoction. And because Yerba Buena belongs to the mint family, soaking fresh leaves in a glass of water (30 to 45 minutes) makes for a good mouth wash for a clean, fresh smelling breath.

Benefits & Treatment of :
• Arthritis
• Head aches
• Tooth aches
• Mouth wash
• Relief of intestinal gas
• Stomach aches
• Indigestion
• Drink as tea for general good health.

Monday, June 08, 2009

Banaba Health Benefits and Side Effects

Banaba herb has been known as an herbal medicine in the Philippines. It is also known as Queen’s flower and Crepe Myrtle in India. Banaba has been used to cure diabetes in Ayurvedic medicine for a long time in India. In the Philippines, it is widely used as an herbal medicine to control blood sugar level and treatment for diabetes.

Recent studies, medical research, and laboratory tests showed that the active ingredient of this herbal plant is the corosolic acid which is a potent compound that has insulin like effect that lowers glucose in the body. Corosolic acid also showed some improvements on controlling the blood sugar of type 2 diabetics. Aside from this benefit, banaba contains high concentrations of dietary fiber and minerals such as zinc and magnesium, fights obesity, helps regulate blood pressure, aids digestive system, ease urination and it is also good for the kidneys.

At this point it is difficult to predict the blood sugar response to a banaba supplement and it is difficult to know what dosage works best and how often to take a banaba supplement or how it interacts with other supplements used for blood sugar control. There have been no findings of any negative effects when taking banaba extract, however, caution is advised against taking banaba with any diabetic drug or any other drug. It is also not known how a banaba supplement would interact with oral medicines used in diabetes and how it would interact with insulin. If you are a type II diabetic, discuss with your doctor regarding the use of a banaba supplement to see if this herbal supplement is appropriate for your particular condition.