Fresh Fruit & Vegetables = Good Health

Fresh Fruit & Vegetables = Good Health

These are just some of the fresh fruits and vegetables we will be using for this weeks meals (1/3-8/2010).  Green, brown, red and white onions; cilantro; jalapeno and Serrano chilies; garlic; green cabbage; Roma tomatoes; celery; carrots; cucumber; red and green apple; banana; lemon and lime.  Already in the refrigerator: Romaine lettuce, cauliflower, flat-leaf parsley and broccoli.

Here are just some of the benefits that one may obtain from eating these fruits and vegetables.

Celery and Green Peppers/Chilies: Researchers at the University of Illinois have found that the plant compound, luteolin,  found in abundance in celery and green peppers can disrupt a key component of the inflammatory response in the brain.  Luteolin reduces IL-6 production in microglia by inhibiting JNK phosphorylation and activation of AP-1

Onion: Are rich in the bioflavinoids curcumin and quercetin.  This natural combination is effective in reducing oxidative stress.  Oxidative stress is known to trigger autoimmune disease development and contribute to disease flare-ups.  Studies show that onions support cardiovascular health, help prevent diabetes and atherosclerosis and reduce the risk of colon and stomach cancers.

Chilies Peppers: Frequent consumption of chilies may help fight migraine and sinus headaches; prevent sinusitis and relieve congestion; fight cancer; lower high blood pressure;  reduce inflammation; relieve Intestinal Diseases; help burn fat and lose weight; protect your heart.

Tomato: Are the best source for the antioxidant, Lycopene.  Lycopene has been shown to help protect not only against prostate, but breast, pancreatic and intestinal cancers, especially when consumed with fat-rich foods, such as avocado, olive oil or nuts (This is because carotenoids are fat-soluble, meaning they are absorbed into the body along with fats).  The lycopene in tomatoes may also provide cardiovascular benefits.  Diets rich in tomato products may significantly improve cholesterol profiles and reduce the tendency to form blood clots.

Carrot: Are by far one of the richest source of carotenoids-just one cup provides 16,679 IUs of beta-carotene and 3,432 REs (retinol equivalents), or roughly 686.3% the RDA for vitamin A.  High carotenoid intake has been linked with a 20% decrease in postmenopausal breast cancer and an up to 50% decrease in the incidence of cancers of the bladder, cervix, prostate, colon, larynx, and esophagus.  Falcarinol another active chemical in carrots promote colon health.  The development of emphysema my be reduced with a diet high in vitamin A, even in smokers.:

Apples: Are a rich source of phytochemicals (phenolics, flavonoids and carotenoids) and epidemiological studies have linked the consumption of apples with reduced risk of some cancers, cardiovascular disease, asthma, and diabetes.

Garlic: And its preparations have been widely recognized as agents for prevention and treatment of cardiovascular and other metabolic diseases, atherosclerosis, hyperlipidemia, thrombosis, hypertension and diabetes.

Broccoli: Like other cruciferous vegetables (kale, cabbage, Brussels sprouts), broccoli contains the phytonutrients sulforaphane and the indoles, which possess significant anti-cancer effects.  Broccoli also supports stomach health (anti H. pylori); supports sun-damaged skin; cardiovascular-protective; may prevent cataracts, osteoporosis (high in vitamin K), birth defects (high in folic acid) and is an immune system stimulator.

Marcus Ettinger