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Lemons: Health Benefits, Cleaning and Storing

Dewax and Cleaning Lemons – Fruit and Vegetable Wash

Lemons are often coated with wax to keep the peel fresh and glossy. This wax is considered safe to eat, but if you need to zest the lemon, you may still wish to de-wax it before proceeding.

1 Combine vinegar and water. Pour three parts water and one part white distilled vinegar in a spray bottle. Close the bottle, then shake well to combine.
A commercial fruit and vegetable wash could be used instead of a homemade one.
Another possible fruit and vegetable wash can be made by mixing 1 Tbsp (15 ml) fresh lemon juice, 1 Tbsp (15 ml), and 1 cup (250 ml) lukewarm water. Mix these ingredients together in a spray bottle.

2 Spray the solution onto the lemons. Thoroughly douse all sides of the peel of each lemon with the vinegar cleaning solution.
Allow the solution to sit on the lemons for two to five minutes before continuing. The acidity of the cleansing solution needs several minutes to weaken and dissolve the wax.

3 Scrub the lemons under running water. Scrub the lemon peels with a vegetable brush under cool, running water, applying gentle yet firm pressure.
The temperature of the water is not as significant for this method since no heat was used previously, but lukewarm to cool water is still recommended since it is the least likely to alter the internal temperature of the lemon.
Avoid using brushes or sponges that were previously used in soapy water.
Each lemon only needs to be scrubbed briefly.

4 Rinse under cool water. After you finish scrubbing the lemons, rinse each one under the running water to remove any remaining wax residue.
If you see any wax debris, you can use your fingers to lightly brush it off while rinsing the fruit. Do not use the brush during this step, however.

5 Dry well. Quickly dry the lemons by wiping off any water using clean paper towels.
If desired, you can let the lemons air dry instead of drying them with paper towel.

  • For best results, use the lemons immediately after de-waxing them. Without their protective wax, lemons can spoil faster.
  • Do not store dewaxed lemons that are still wet. Make sure that the peels are completely dry to prevent possible issues with premature spoilage.
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Storing Lemons

How to Keep Lemons Fresh For up to 3 Months

This tip for storing lemons is so easy. According to Food.com, if you refrigerate lemons in a bowl of water, they will keep for up to three months! It sounds insane, but I’d be willing to give it a try. And if you want to extend the life of a lemon even further, freeze the zest and the juice separately.

ANNA MONETTE ROBERTS      November 29, 2017   

lemon juice

 

Is Drinking Lemon Juice Good for You?

Drinking lemon juice benefits your health, which is why many traditional systems of medicine recommend drinking lemon juice daily. Lemons contain vitamins, minerals and other natural compounds that boost your immune system and even fight cancer. They aid in digestion and mineral absorption, may give you more energy and protect your kidneys and urinary health. Drink fresh squeezed lemon juice, diluted in water, regularly to reap the most benefits.

Good for Your Body’s Defense System
One medium-sized lemon contains 40 percent of your daily requirement of vitamin C, which is an antioxidant. Antioxidants counteract free-radical damage that occurs during food digestion and exposure to radiation and smoke. Protecting yourself from free radicals by drinking lemon juice regularly can help slow the aging process and might aid in the protection against chronic diseases. Eating more vitamin C when you have a cold might even shorten it or lessen the severity of your symptoms.

Helps Weight Loss and Boosts Energy
Although there’s no “miracle pill” for weight loss, drinking lemon juice could help in your efforts. In an interview with the “Daily Mail,” the author of “The Lemon Juice Diet,” Theresa Cheung, explained that by improving digestion, lemon helps regulate your metabolism. When digestion is poor, your body can’t absorb nutrients it requires to utilize fat. Improving your digestion also helps you eliminate toxins, which improves your energy levels. In a study published in the “Journal of Clinical Biochemistry and Nutrition” in 2008, obesity was induced in rats through their diet, which was then supplemented with lemon polyphenols, compounds thought to affect fat metabolism. After 12 weeks, the rats lost weight and body fat and had reduced concentrations of fat in their blood as a result of the lemon polyphenols.

Decreases Cancer Risks
Lemons contain 22 different compounds that have been found to fight cancer cells. A study published in “Food & Function” in 2013 discovered that limonoids found in lemons stymie the growth of cancer cells that depend on estrogen for growth and those that don’t. It concluded that consuming lemon may reduce your risk of breast cancer. In a case-control study published in “Cancer Causes and Control” in 2010, researchers found that consuming citrus in general decreased the risk of throat, pharyngeal, colorectal and stomach cancer.

Helps Keep Your Kidney and Urinary Tract Clean
Drinking lemon juice consistently could help dissolve calcium deposits, kidney stones and gallstones while possibly preventing their occurrence. In a study published in “BMC Urology” in 2007, kidney stones were induced in rats via a solution of ethylene glycol and ammonium chloride. While the toxic solution was administered, three groups of rats were given equal amounts of lemon juice, at various concentrations: 100 percent, 75 percent and 50 percent. The control group was given water instead, and another group was given nothing but the toxic solution. In the rats given lemon juice at 75 percent and 100 percent concentrations, the growth of the kidney stones was blocked, whereas those given no lemon juice at all had large calcium oxalate crystal deposits throughout their kidneys.

BY  KAREN MCCARTHY  AUG. 14, 2017
 
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Lemons and Limes Feature Phytonutrients with Antioxidant and Antibiotic Effects

Like many fruits and vegetables, lemons and limes contain unique flavonoid compounds that have antioxidant and anti-cancer properties. Of special interest in limes have been flavonoids called flavonol glycosides, including many kaempferol-related molecules. While these flavonoids have been shown to stop cell division in many cancer cell lines, they are perhaps most interesting for their antibiotic effects. In several villages in West Africa where cholera epidemics had occurred, the inclusion of lime juice during the main meal of the day was determined to have been protective against the contraction of cholera. (Cholera is a disease triggered by activity of the bacteria called Vibrio cholera). Researchers quickly began to experiment with the addition of lime juice to the sauce eaten with rice, and in this role, lime juice was also found to have a strong protective effect against cholera.

Several other fascinating research studies on the healing properties of lemons and limes have shown that cell cycles—including the decision a cell makes about whether to divide (called mitosis) or die (apoptosis—are altered by lime juice, as are the activities of special immune cells called monocytes.

In addition to their unique phytonutrient properties, lemons and limes are an excellent source of vitamin C, one of the most important antioxidants in nature. Vitamin C is one of the main antioxidants found in food and the primary water-soluble antioxidant in the body. Vitamin C travels through the body neutralizing any free radicals with which it comes into contact in the aqueous environments in the body both inside and outside cells. Free radicals can interact with the healthy cells of the body, damaging them and their membranes, and also cause a lot of inflammation, or painful swelling, in the body. This is one of the reasons that vitamin C has been shown to be helpful for reducing some of the symptoms of osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis.

Since free radicals can damage blood vessels and can change cholesterol to make it more likely to build up in artery walls, vitamin C can be helpful for preventing the development and progression of atherosclerosis and diabetic heart disease.

Vitamin C is also vital to the function of a strong immune system. The immune system’s main goal is to protect you from illness, so a little extra vitamin C may be useful in conditions like colds, flus, and recurrent ear infections.

Owing to the multitude of vitamin C’s health benefits, it is not surprising that research has shown that consumption of vegetables and fruits high in this nutrient is associated with a reduced risk of death from all causes including heart disease, stroke and cancer.

source: www.whfoods.com

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Should we be buying organic lemons?

On a budget?
Buying non-organic lemons should be ok,
as they are currently not among the dirty dozen.
Concerned for the environment or GMOs?
Organic farming is better for the environment,
since some pesticides can contaminate local groundwater
and are made with fossil fuels.

 

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This Beverage Reversed Normal Age-Related Memory Loss in Three Months

Drinking this could reduce your brain age twenty years in just three months.

Cocoa flavanoids — like those contained in a cup of cocoa — can reverse age-related memory loss in older adults, a new study finds.

This is the first direct evidence that an important component of memory decline that comes with age can be improved with a simple dietary change.

Typically, normal age-related memory declines are noticeable to people in their fifties and sixties: things like forgetting where the keys are or having trouble recalling a name or word.

These changes are much less severe than those which typically occur as a result of devastating dementias like Alzheimer’s disease.

The study, published in Nature Neuroscience, found a high-flavanol diet could restore aspects of older people’s memory back to that of a typical 30- or 40-year-old (Brickman et al., 2014).

The changes were clearly visible in brain scans, as Dr. Adam M. Brickman, the study’s lead author explained:

“When we imaged our research subjects’ brains, we found noticeable improvements in the function of the dentate gyrus in those who consumed the high-cocoa-flavanol drink.”

The image below shows the dentate gyrus in green (this is part of the hippocampus).

Previous research has shown that it is changes in this area of the brain that are associated with normal age-related memory loss.

dentate_gyrus

Participants in the study were 37 healthy people aged between 50 and 69.

They were randomised into two groups, one of which was given a high-flavanol diet (900mg of flavanols per day) and the other given a low-flavanol diet (10mg per day).

At the end of the three-month period of the study, participants on the high-flavanoid diet showed improvements on memory tests.

Professor Scott A. Small, one of the study’s authors, explained the results:

“If a participant had the memory of a typical 60-year-old at the beginning of the study, after three months that person on average had the memory of a typical 30- or 40-year-old.”

Flavanols are also found in tea leaves, and certain fruits and vegetables, although the exact amounts and forms vary widely.

The researchers cautioned that people should not eat more chocolate as the critical flavanoids are not present at the required levels — the dietary supplement used in the study was specially formulated.

Naturally, this is only a small trial, but the results are promising and the researchers are planning a larger study.

source: PsyBlog


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3 Tasty Foods That Protect The Brain From Ageing

Some foods can keep your brain young.

Blackberries, blueberries and strawberries all reduce cognitive decline related to age, research finds.

All three fruits contain high levels of flavonoids.

Flavonoids are powerful antioxidants that can also help reduce inflammation in the brain and body.

The research was carried out on data from 121,700 women, who were followed up over decades.

Dr Elizabeth Devore, the study’s first author, said:

“As the U.S. population ages, understanding the health issues facing this group becomes increasingly important.
Our study examined whether greater intake of berries could slow rates of cognitive decline.”

The results showed that high berry intake was linked to a delay in cognitive ageing equivalent to 2.5 years.

In other words: berries made their brains work as though they were 2.5 years younger.

Dr Devore said:

“We provide the first epidemiologic evidence that berries may slow progression of cognitive decline in elderly women.
Our findings have significant public health implications as increasing berry intake is a fairly simple dietary modification to test cognition protection in older adults.”

Berries are also one of the central components in the ‘MIND’ diet, which is linked to a reduced risk of Alzheimer’s disease.

Blueberries in particular seem to have a powerful effect on the brain.

One recent study looked at the effects of concentrated blueberry juice:

“Concentrated blueberry juice improves cognitive function in older people, new research finds.
Those who drank the juice also had better blood flow and activation in their brains as well as improvements to working memory.
The boost to brain power is likely down to the flavonoids in blueberries.”

Strawberries also have other research backing up their protective effects, as do walnuts.

The study was published in the journal Annals of Neurology (Devore et al., 2012).

source: PsyBlog


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Natural Ways to Boost Testosterone

Add Zing to Your Meals

Onions and garlic are your allies in the kitchen and in the bedroom. They help you make more and better sperm. Both raise levels of a hormone that triggers your body to make testosterone. And both have high levels of natural plant chemical called flavonoids, which safeguard your li’l swimmers against damage.

Pile on the Protein

Lean beef, chicken, fish, and eggs are some of your options. Tofu, nuts, and seeds have protein, too. Try to get about 5 to 6 ounces per day, although the ideal amount for you depends on your age, sex, and how active you are. When you don’t eat enough of these foods, your body makes more of a substance that binds with testosterone, leaving you with less T available to do its job.

Go Fish

Fatty kinds like salmon, tuna, and mackerel are rich with vitamin D. It’s a natural testosterone booster because it plays a crucial role in hormone production.

More Magnesium

This mineral blocks a protein from binding with testosterone. The result? More of the usable man-stuff floating around in your blood. Spinach is packed with magnesium. Almonds, cashews, and peanuts are good sources, too.

Order Oysters

There’s a reason why these mollusks are known for being great for fertility. They have almost five times your recommended daily dose of zinc. This mineral helps your body make testosterone. You can also get it in beef and beans. And it’s often added to breakfast cereal.

Bonus: Zinc boosts your immune system.

pomegranate-juice

 

Pick Pomegranate

Start your day with a glass of this ancient seedy fruit’s juice instead of OJ. It lowers levels of stress hormones, such as cortisol, which helps raise levels of sex hormones including testosterone. And it can lower your blood pressure and put you in a better mood!

Diet Down

A Mediterranean-style diet can help keep your weight in check and protect you from insulin resistance, which is related to lower T levels. And when your testosterone is low, your fat levels go up, which can lead to your body not using insulin well. You can break this cycle.

Trade saturated fats for healthier ones such as olive oil, avocado, and nuts. Choose lean meats and whole grains. Eat lots of veggies and fruits.

Back Off the Beer

It takes only 5 days of regular drinking for your testosterone level to drop. Alcohol may throw off many parts of your body’s hormone system. Heavy drinkers can have shrunken testes, thin chest and beard hair, and higher levels of the female hormone estrogen.

Use Glass, Not Plastic

Be careful about what you store your leftovers in. Bisphenol-A (BPA) is a chemical found in some plastics, cans, and other food packaging. It can mess with your hormone-making process. After 6 months, men who worked around BPA every day had lower testosterone levels than men who didn’t.

Build Your Strength

Focus your workouts on your muscles. Hit the weight room at the gym, or get a trainer to help you with a routine on the exercise machines. Cardio has its benefits, but it doesn’t boost your testosterone like strength training can.

Be careful to not overdo it. Too much exercise can take your T level in the other direction.

Get Enough ZZZs

Your body turns up the testosterone when you fall asleep. The levels peak when you start dreaming and stay there until you wake up. But daytime testosterone levels can drop up to 15% when you get only 5 hours of sleep. Aim for 7 or 8 hours every night, even if it means a shift in your schedule or a limit to your late-night plans.

source: www.webmd.com


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Flavonoids in Fruits and Veggies May Help Fight Weight Gain With Age

BY LISA RAPAPORT   Thu Feb 25, 2016

(Reuters Health) – Eating lots of fruits and vegetables rich in flavonoid molecules might help adults minimize weight gain as they age, a recent study suggests.

Most plants contain different flavonoids in varying concentrations. Some scientists believe these naturally occurring compounds have antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties that could help explain some of the health benefits associated with diets rich in fruits and vegetables.

“We found that increased intake of fruits like apples, berries and grapes was associated with less weight gain and these are high sources of some types of flavonoids,” said lead study author Monica Bertoia of Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health in Boston.

Not all types of flavonoids, however, were linked to reduced weight gain once researchers accounted for how much fiber people ate, Bertoia added by email.

“The goal of this research is to determine which fruits and vegetables may be best for weight maintenance in order to refine dietary guidelines that currently recommend eating more fruits and vegetables but don’t clearly specify which fruits and vegetables are better than others for the prevention of obesity,” Bertoia said.

To examine the connection between flavonoids and weight, Bertoia and colleagues analyzed survey data on about 124,000 U.S. health professionals collected between 1986 and 2011.

They excluded people with chronic diseases and individuals who were obese at the start of the surveys, and also temporarily dropped data on women when they were pregnant.

Participants reported their weight every two years and completed dietary questionnaires every four years.

Based on what people said they ate, researchers used U.S. Department of Agriculture data on flavonoid content in specific foods to determine how much of these compounds participants consumed.

Across all the studies, half of the participants consumed at least 224 milligrams to 247 milligrams of flavonoids a day.

fruit & vegatables

Over each four year period, people gained an average of 2.2 to 4.4 pounds.

But people with higher than average flavonoid consumption tended to gain slightly less weight, researchers report in The BMJ.

The difference amounted to about one-tenth to three-fifths of a pound over four years for each standard deviation above the average amount of flavonoid consumption.

For example, consuming 7 milligrams more flavonols – a subtype of flavonoids found in tea and onions – than average each day was associated with gaining roughly one-sixth of a pound less weight over four years.

To measure the impact of all flavonoids, researchers adjusted for a wide variety of factors that can influence weight including age, gender, exercise, smoking, alcohol, caffeine, sleep and sedentary television time. They also accounted for other things people consumed, such as juices, fried foods, whole versus refined grains, full-fat versus low-fat dairy, sodas, processed versus non-processed meats, trans fats and seafood.

After adjusting for fiber consumption, which may influence weight gain by decreasing how much fat people absorb, only three types of flavonoids were associated with reduced weight gain in the study – anthocyanins, which came mainly from blueberries and strawberries in participants’ daily diets; flavonols and flavonoid polymers, which came mostly from tea and apples.

Other limitations of the study include its reliance on survey participants to accurately report what they ate and how much they weighed, the researchers note. Food questionnaires used in the surveys also may not have captured every dietary source of flavonoids.

Still, the findings suggest that choosing high flavonoid fruits and vegetables such as apples, pears, berries and peppers may help with weight control, the authors conclude.

It’s also possible, however, that people who eat more fruits and vegetables may have an easier time with weight management because they consume a healthier diet and eat fewer calories, noted Samantha Heller, a registered dietician and exercise physiologist affiliated with New York University Langone Medical Center in New York City.

“When we frontload our diet with plant based foods such as berries and peppers, we crowd out less healthy options like French fries and burgers,” Heller, who wasn’t involved in the study, said by email. “It could also be that these people are more health conscious than others.”

SOURCE: bit.ly/1ORjhga     The BMJ, online January 28, 2016.     Reuters


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The Dried Fruit That Could Prevent and Reverse Bone Mass Loss

by Shubhra Krishan       Follow Shubhra at @eskrishan

Think prunes and the first word that pops into the mind is probably something along the lines of “digestion.” For centuries, grandmas have encouraged us to eat prunes for keeping things smooth and regular. Besides, this dried and wrinkled avatar of plums is quite delicious, too.

But their ability to strengthen bones should make you reach out for prunes more often.

A research study conducted at the Florida State University in Tallahassee studied the effect of eating prunes on postmenopausal women. It found that women who ate prunes every day for a year did not suffer loss of bone mass in the spine and forearm. The key ingredients that make prunes so effective in preserving bone health are phenolic and flavonoid compounds, both known to improve bone mass. Prunes are also a rich source of boron, potassium and Vitamin K, each of which is beneficial for bones.

prunes

Fifty-eight postmenopausal women not on hormone replacement therapy (HRT) were randomly assigned to consume either 100 g dried plums or 75 g dried apples daily for 3 months. Both dried fruit regimens provided similar amounts of calories, fat, carbohydrate, and fiber. Serum and urinary biochemical markers of bone status were assessed before and after treatment.

The result? Women who consumed dried plums significantly increased the bone mineral density of ulna and spine in comparison with dried apple.

The results of this study suggest that prunes could go beyond preventing bone loss–they could, in fact, reverse loss of bone mass as well. Arjmandi BH, who led the research, points out that “Loss of bone volume accompanied by loss of trabecular connectivity is generally believed to be an irreversible process, but our observations suggest that dried plum improves trabecular microstructure of tibia after losses have already occurred may exert positive effects on bone in postmenopausal women.”

Not looking to eat prunes every day? Other foods that are great for bone health include leafy greens, seeds, nuts and beans.


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What is a Flavonoid?

These star ingredients in fruits and veggies are potent disease fighters.

By: Jennifer Nelson     Tue, Nov 06, 2012

Flavonoids are plant-based compounds with powerful antioxidant properties found in many fruits and vegetables like blueberries and grapes. They serve a variety of functions such as protecting blood vessel walls in people who have heart disease or diabetes, alleviating allergies, protecting brain health against dementia and even preventing some cancers.

Flavonoids or bioflavonoids — another word for the same compounds — have medicinal properties that include the ability to defend against cancer, viruses, not to mention anti-microbial, antihistamine and anti-inflammatory characteristics.

Where to find the flavonoids?

“The best ones are blueberries, chocolate and green tea,” says Dr. Laurie Steelsmith, a naturopathic physician and author of “Great Sex, Naturally: Every Woman’s Guide to Enhancing Her Sexuality Through the Secrets of Natural Medicine.”

“Blueberry and pomegranate open blood vessels and help circulation, which helps with everything from diabetes to heart disease and even improves libido.”

Blueberries: Blueberries are loaded with antioxidants that can help support blood vessel walls and play a role in protecting the brain from oxidative stress, which is important in treating the early stages of Alzheimer’s disease and many other conditions. Blueberries also contain a compound known as D-mannose, which can help prevent urinary tract infections by interfering with the ability of bacteria to adhere to the walls in the urethra and bladder. On top of all that, the tannins found in blueberries can help reduce inflammation in the stomach and intestines.

 Tea

Green tea: Another flavonoid favorite is green tea, which contains compounds called polyphenols (wine has them too) that have potent antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, and anti-cancer properties. “Green tea may help women who have abnormal Pap smears due to human papilloma virus (HPV), help prevent breast and ovarian cancer, and have potential benefits for weight management,” says Steelsmith. Studies show compounds in green tea (namely caffeine, theanine, and catechin) may help increase metabolism, which in turn helps you drop pounds.

Chocolate: Flavanols are the main type of flavonoid found in cocoa and chocolate. Along with antioxidant properties, flavanols have other potential benefits to vascular health, such as lowering blood pressure, improving blood flow to the brain and heart, and making blood platelets less sticky and able to clot. But that’s not a license to overindulge in the sweet confection. One ounce of dark chocolate a day will do. Plus, these plant chemicals aren’t only found in chocolate. You can find them in cranberries, apples, peanuts and onions, which are especially good for allergies.

Bilberry: Another noteworthy herbal star full of flavonoids is bilberry (part of the vitamin C complex). Studies show these flavonoids can help strengthen blood vessel walls and can help prevent eye disorders such as diabetic retinopathy. Cherries and blackberries also are good sources.

Vegetables: The USDA Flavonoid Database lists the flavonoid content of 58 veggies. Among those with the highest marks: Broccoli, kale, yellow, red and spring onions, hot peppers, rutabaga, spinach and water cress. Interestingly, mushrooms have no detectable flavonoids, so you can skip the fungi when looking for the richest antioxidant veggie sources.

What’s the ideal way to consume flavonoids?

The best way to get your fill of flavonoids is by eating loads of fresh fruit and vegetables daily. Steelsmith recommends four servings of fruit and five servings of veggies. The more deeply hued the fruit or veggie, the richer the flavonoid content. Women should only consume one glass of wine daily, while men can have two; meanwhile, chocolate should be limited to a one-ounce portion, but you can drink unlimited green tea unless you are caffeine-sensitive.

If you have a specific condition, you might try a flavonoid supplement, but dosages vary widely and may be higher than what you’d receive from a healthy, balanced diet. Researchers have yet to determine exactly what levels of flavonoids are optimally beneficial, or even whether flavonoids are harmful at high doses. As with all supplements, flavonoid supplements are not regulated by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA).

The most positive thing you can do for both your overall health and to treat specific conditions is to eat more fruits and vegetables that contain a wide variety of antioxidant-rich flavonoids, adding chocolate, wine and tea in moderation.

source: www.mnn.com