Saturday, November 24, 2012

Strange But True Facts About Fruits, Vegetables and Healthy Foods

What are the best foods for you? What are some which aren't as good for you as you think? You might be surprised at some of the foods which we think are nutritious, but really aren't so good to include in your diet, at least not in the most popular forms!

The Best:

Asparagus is high in glutathione, an important anticarcinogen
It also contains rutin, which protects small blood vessels from rupturing and may protect against radiation
Asparagus is a good source of vitamins A, C and E, B-complex vitamins, potassium and zinc
Avocados are rich in monounsaturated fat, which is easily burned for energy.
An avocado has more than twice as much potassium as a banana.
For a delicious, creamy salad dressing, mix together avocado and fresh carrot juice.
Broccoli contains twice the vitamin C of an orange
It has almost as much calcium as whole milk--and the calcium is better absorbed
It contains selenium, a mineral that has been found to have anti-cancer and anti-viral properties
Broccoli is a modest source of vitamin A and alpha-tocopherol vitamin E
It also has antioxidant properties

 Celery is the best vegetable source of naturally occurring sodium.
It is high in potassium.
The high water content in celery makes it ideal for vegetable juicing.
As an easy way to reduce grains in your diet, spread peanut butter on celery rather than bread.
Cilantro may be useful to treat urinary tract infections
Both the leaves and seeds aid digestion, relieve intestinal gas, pain and distention
They also treat nausea, soothe inflammation, rheumatic pain, headaches, coughs and mental stress
Cilantro is a member of the carrot family

Chicory contains insulin, which helps diabetics regulate their blood sugar levels
Chicory is closely related to lettuce and dandelion but is a member of the sunflower family
It may be cleansing to the liver and gallbladder
Chicory is beneficial for digestion, the circulatory system and the blood
Chicory leaves are a good source of calcium, vitamin A and potassium

Dandelion greens are high in vitamin A in the form of antioxidant carotenoid and vitamin C
They also contain calcium and potassium
Dandelion root contains inulin, which lowers blood sugar in diabetics
Dandelion is beneficial to digestion and is an antiviral that may be useful in the treatment of AIDS and herpes
It may also be useful in treating jaundice, cirrhosis, edema due to high blood pressure, gout, eczema and acne
Dandelion is also used to treat and prevent breast and lung tumors and premenstrual bloating

Fennel contains the antioxidant flavonoid quercetin
This herb is anti-carcinogenic and can be useful for cancer patients undergoing chemotherapy or radiation
Fennel can be useful for indigestion and spasms of the digestive tract
It also helps expel phlegm from the lungs

Green Beans contain vitamin A, B-complex vitamins, calcium and potassium
Green beans are diuretic and may be used to treat diabetes
A fresh bean should snap crisply and feels velvety to the touch

Kale eases lung congestion and is beneficial to the stomach, liver and immune system
It contains lutein and zeaxanthin, which protect the eyes from macular degeneration
It also contains indole-3-carbinol, which may protect against colon cancer
Kale is an excellent source of calcium, iron, vitamins A and C, and chlorophyll
Leafy Greens in general, in fact, are great for you! (although beware fast food salads which can be loaded with cheese, processed meat, etc)

Mustard greens are an excellent anticancer vegetable
They may also be beneficial for colds, arthritis or depression
Onions are an excellent antioxidant, and they contain anti-allergy, antiviral and antihistamine properties.
Sulfur compounds in onions help to detoxify the body.
Onions aid in cellular repair.
Onions are a rich source of quercetin, a potent antioxidant.
To obtain the maximum nutritional benefits, onions should be eaten raw or lightly steamed
Parsley is useful as a digestive aid
It helps to purify the blood and stimulate the bowels
Parsley is an anticarcinogen
It contains three times as much vitamin C as oranges, and twice as much iron as spinach
Parsley contains vitamin A and is a good source of copper and manganese
Pumpkin seeds are high in zinc, which is good for the prostate and building the immune system.
They also contain fatty acids that kill parasites.
Raw pumpkin seeds contain essential fatty acids and beneficial proteins.
For maximum nutritional benefits, seeds should be eaten raw
Radishes have antibacterial and anti-fungal properties
They are a member of the cabbage family
Radishes contain vitamin C, potassium and other trace minerals
Tomatoes are rich in lycopene, flavonoids and other phytochemicals with anticarcinogenic properties
Tomatoes are an excellent source of vitamin C (the vitamin C is most concentrated in the
jelly-like substance that surrounds the seeds)
They also contain vitamin A and B-complex vitamins, potassium and phosphorus
A tomato grown in a hothouse has half the vitamin C content as a vine-ripened tomato

 Watermelon is a heavyweight in the nutrient department. A standard serving (about 2 cups) has one-third of a day’s vitamins A and C, a nice shot of potassium, and a healthy dose of lycopene for only 80 fat-free, salt-free calories.

Zucchini and other summer squash varieties contain vitamins A and C
They also contain potassium and calcium

Maybe Not As Healthy As You Think:

 Bananas are high in sugar, so they should not be eaten if you have blood sugar problems.
Don’t eat bananas on an empty stomach; combining them with a bit of protein will help to normalize the insulin response caused by the sugar in the banana.
Green-tipped bananas are better for your health than over-ripe bananas.
You don’t need to eat bananas for the potassium. (Although it is present in bananas, potassium is the predominant nutrient among most all fruits and vegetables.)

Dried Fruit  has tons of added sugar and sulfur to keep it preserved longer. Since the fruit is dried, it has at least 3 times more calories per volume than its fresh counterpart. A bag of banana chips has three times as many calories as a banana and 20% more fat.

Fruit Cocktail (1 cup)   may be around 110 calories, but has 26 grams of sugar. That's as much sugar as you would need for an entire day!

Most Granola Bars have about the same amount of fat and calories as a Snickers candy bar! As you might imagine, the ones which are worst for you, taste the best! So be careful!

Peanut Butter which is non-organic can be high in pesticides and fungus and contain aflatoxin, a potent carcinogenic mold.

Peanuts contain aflatoxin, a carcinogenic, which may explain why peanut farmers have been found
to have disproportionately high rates of cancer.
Peanuts are high in fungus and, often, pesticides.
They do not contain any omega-3, which can contribute to distorting your omega-6:omega-3 ratio.

 Potatoes are pure starch and have almost no nutritional value. Add in bacon bits, sour cream, butter, etc and they quickly become one of the worst possible things you could eat.

Rice  is a processed grain that is converted into sugar as soon as you eat it.
Sweet potatoes are an excellent source of carotenoid antioxidants and  contain calcium, are high in vitamins A and C and contain thiamine
Sweet potatoes are also high in sugar and therefore should be used sparingly

Trail Mix  is packed with salted nuts, sugar covered raisins and even M&M’s, even a small handful can contain 300+ calories. Trail mix is a quick energy snack to people on the trail who need those extra calories to burn, but not a good option for healthful snacking. In your everyday life you don’t need that ton of sugar and salt.

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