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Tag: folate

Health Benefits of Asparagus

nutrition and diseaseASPARAGUS is a great source of beta-carotene, vitamins B, C and E, potassium, zinc and iodine. It is also high in folate, the vitamin which helps prevent neural birth defects.

Roast Asparagus with Sesame Seeds

  • 2½ lb asparagus, trimmed
  • 2 tbsp olive oil (or melted butter)
  • 2 tbsp shallots
  • 2 tbsp sesame seeds, lightly toasted
  • 1 lemon
  • salt to taste

Preheat oven to 400°F. Mix the olive oil and asparagus in an ovenproof baking dish and toss asparagus to completely coat with oil. Roast for around 8 minutes, shaking the dish every couple of minutes. Add the shallots and sesame seeds, shake the dish again and bake for another minute or two.  Transfer asparagus to heated serving bowl and squeeze lemon juice all over. Season to taste with salt.

Asparagus has long been considered an aphrodisiac, possibly due to its phallic shape, but also because according to traditional Indian medicine, it increases circulation in the genito-urinary system. Chinese traditionalists believe the roots increase compassion and love, so they save the best ones for their friends and family, while in India it is used to cool fever, increase the production of mother’s milk and reduce the symptoms of menstrual cramping.

The Health Benefits of Avocado

benefits of avocadoAVOCADOS are rich in folate, vitamin B6 and betacarotene. They also contain monounsaturated fat, which is a good type of fat, so you don’t need to worry about eating them. The health benefits of avocado are endless…

Calorie-wise they average around 300 calories, or 150 for half, so with a salad and slice of whole bread. you have a nice healthy lunch that should keep you going throughout the afternoon.

Rich in potassium, vitamins B and E as well as high in fibre, avocados may help protect against lung cancer and rheumatoid arthritis. They also contain good amounts of fibre, around 11g to 17g per fruit.

Although officially classed as a fruit, avocados are generally treated as a salad vegetable. They are high in fat, however most of this is the heart-friendly monounsaturated variety, or more specifically, oleic acid, an omega-9 fat also found in olive oil. Monounsaturated fat has also been linked to a reduced risk of cancer and diabetes. Those who have difficulty in digesting fats are usually fine with avocados.

An excellent source of vitamin E, avocados are also high in beta-sitosterol, a natural substance which helps lower blood cholesterol levels and protect the prostrate. Vitamin E also helps prevent the oxidation of LDL, or bad cholesterol, and is important for healthy skin. This vitamin has also been shown to help boost fertility in men by protecting the sperm cell membranes from damage by free radicals and increasing sperm motility. For this reason avocados have been traditionally used for erectile dysfunction. Other uses include: constipation, nervousness and insomnia.

The Health Benefits of Avocado include Vitamin B6

the health benefits of avocadoAvocados also contain lutein, a carotenoid with natural antioxidant properties that help keep eyes healthy and also contribute to a healthy skin. One small avocado contains half the recommended daily allowance of vitamin B6 which is essential to the central nervous system function. Low levels of B6 have been linked to depression and chronic fatigue. Anyone taking the contraceptive pill, or antibiotics, would be wise to add avocado to their diet as both these drugs increase the body’s need for vitamin B6.

Avocados are High in Fibre

They are also a good source of fibre – around 11 to 17g per fruit. Rich in potassium with two to three times that of bananas, avocados also contain good amounts of folate, vitamin A as well as beta carotene and beta-cryptoxanthin.

Eating Avocados Reduces Lung Cancer Risk

Foods high in beta-cryptoxanthin protect cells from the damaging effects of free radicals and provide a good source of vitamin A. This carotenoid may also reduce the risk of lung cancer according to a study published in Cancer Epidemiology Biomarkers and Prevention. The 2004 study found beta-cryptoxanthin reduced lung cancer risk by more than 30 percent in those with diets providing the highest amounts. Studies have also shown beta-cryptoxanthin providing a 41 percent reduction in the risk of developing rheumatoid arthritis.

How to Reap the Health Benefits of Avocado

Avocado is excellent in salads, as a garnish, sandwich-filler or, of course, as guacamole. The small knobbly Haas varieties seem to have a nicer flavour than their smooth Fuerte cousins.

Portrait2If you would like to know more about how you can eat more healthily and feel so much better, book an online consultation with me today… 

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