Monday, 15 July 2019

Medicinal Fruits and Their Uses

Medicinal Fruits and Their Uses

Medicinal Fruits


Health Benefits of Acai Berry


Acai Berry

Identification of Acai Berry

Small, dark purple fruit of the South American açaí palm known for its antioxidant properties due to constituents such as polyphenols.Available as a pure juice but typically sold mixed with other juices as a juice blend, pureed, or in dehydrated, powdered form.

Benefits of Acai Berry

1. In laboratory testing, açaí juice inhibited low-density lipoprotein (LDL) oxidation and exerted an antioxidant potency greater than cranberry juice but less than pomegranate juice.

2. Açaí pulp reduced hypercholesterolemia in animal models.

3. In healthy human volunteers (n = 12), açaí berry juice and pulp significantly increased plasma antioxidant capacity measured 12 and 24 hours after consumption, but it did not affect several other markers of antioxidant activity, such as urine antioxidant capacity. 

4.  A small, open-label study of healthy overweight adults (n = 10) found that consuming 100 g (approximately ½ a cup) of açaí pulp for one month reduced mean plasma fasting insulin levels, total cholesterol, and post-prandial plasma glucose. 

5. Açaí berry is an excellent source of vitamin A and a good source of vitamin C and potassium.

Precautions of Acai berry Fruits

Presumed safe when consumed in normal dietary quantities by nonallergic individuals.

Alfalfa (Medicago Sativa)

Alfalfa

Identification of Alfafa

A legume that yields seeds which are made into a tea and used medicinally, and sprouts that are eaten fresh, stir-fried, and juiced. The major bioactive components of M. Sativa include saponins, flavonoids, phytoestrogens, coumarins, alkaloids, amino acids, phytosterols, vitamins, digestive enzymes, and terpenes. M. Sativa has a history of use in nervous and digestive system disorders and is an ancient plant whose name derives from the words “father of all foods.” 

Benefits of Alfalfa

1.M. Sativa has exhibited neuroprotective, hypolipemic, antioxidant, antiulcer, antimicrobial, and estrogenic properties in vitro. 

2. A small clinical trial of hypercholesterolemic subjects (n = 15) eating 40 g of alfalfa seeds three times daily with meals for 8 weeks reduced the elevated total and LDL cholesterol.

3.aponins in alfalfa seeds decreased intestinal absorption of cholesterol by promoting fecal excretion of bile in animal studies. 

Safety

Alfalfa herb and seed are GRAS (Generally Recognized as Safe) by the FDA; however, alfalfa seeds and sprouts have the potential for bacterial contamination and should be avoided by children, older adults, and immune-compromised individuals. Chronic ingestion of alfalfa seeds has been associated with increasing the symptoms of autoimmune diseases. Furthermore, the long-term safety of alfalfa seeds has not been adequately studied and, therefore, are not recommended. Alfalfa constituents may exert estrogenic effects and therefore may be unsafe during pregnancy and lactation when used in amounts greater than those found in foods.  When the alfalfa herb is prepared and used as a tea as described above, it is presumed to be safe for use by adults.

Allium vegetable health benefits

Allium vegetable

Definition

Bulbous culinary herbs of the Alliaceae family that include approximately 500 species, such as onions (Allium cepa), shallots (Allium ascalonicum) garlic (Allium sativum), green onions (Allium macrostemon), leeks (Allium porrum), scallions (Allium Tartaricum), chives (Allium schoenoprasum) and others. Their pungent flavor and odor, whether eaten fresh or cooked, are due to organosulfur compounds, such as allyl derivatives, which are also thought to be largely responsible for allium health attributes; and they are also a source of quercetin, a flavonoid. Allium vegetables have been used for medicinal purposes throughout recorded history to increase longevity, stamina, and strength, and as an antiparasitic agent, antiseptic, antimicrobic, antipyretic, and analgesic. 

Benefits of Allium vegetables

Allyl derivatives inhibited carcinogenesis in the stomach, esophagus, colon, mammary gland, and lungs of experimental animals and improved immune function reduced blood glucose and conferred radioprotection and protection against microbial infection. A population-based, case-control study (n = 238 case subjects with confirmed prostate cancer and 471 control subjects), found that men who consumed the highest amount of allium vegetables (>10.0 g/day which is approximately 1 tablespoon ) had a statistically significant lower risk of prostate cancer than those who consumed the lowest amount of allium vegetables daily. Allium vegetable intake of > or = 1 portion per week compared with low or no consumption was associated with a reduced risk of myocardial infarction (MI) in a
case-control study (n = 760 patients with the first episode of non-fatal acute MI and 682 controls). High allium vegetable consumption was associ- ated with a reduced risk of gastric cancer in a meta-analysis of 19 casecontrol and two cohort studies (n = 543,220). In a multicenter case-control study, a comparison of dietary data from 454 endometrial cancer cases and 908 controls found “a moderate protective role of allium vegetables on the risk of endometrial cancer.” A large prospective population-based cohort study (n = 1,226 older women) followed subjects free of atherosclerotic vascular disease (ASVD) and diabetes for 15 years and found that 6.2 g/day allium vegetable intake (approximately = to 1 ½ teaspoon) was strongly associated with a lower risk of ASVD mortality and inversely associated with ischemic heart disease mortality and ischemic cerebrovascular disease mortality. 

Bioactive Dose

Small amounts of allium vegetables, ranging from 6.2 g/day (approximately 1 ½ teaspoon) to 10 g/day (approximately 1 tablespoon) have been associated with decreased risk of atherosclerotic vascular disease and prostate cancer risk, respectively.

Safety

Presumed safe when consumed in normal dietary quantities by nonallergic individuals.

Allspice berries(Pimenta Dioica)

Allspice berries

Identification Allspice Berries

Dried fruit of a Caribbean tree that is ground into a reddish-brown powder and consumed as a spice. Allspice is used in Caribbean cooking as jerk seasoning; in Indian chutneys, biryani, and meat and poultry dishes; in Middle Eastern cooking; and is a component of pumpkin pie spice. Pimenta dioica contains numerous phytochemicals including phenolics, vanillin, eugenol, and terpenoids. In traditional medicine, allspice has been used to treat hypertension, inflammation, pain, diarrhea, fever, cold, pneumonia, and bacterial infection. 

Scientific Findings

Laboratory studies have shown allspice to have antioxidant properties. A review of allspice found its glycosides and polyphenols exerted antibacterial, hypotensive, anti-neuralgic, and analgesic properties in laboratory studies; in addition, in vitro and in vivo studies showed it to have anti-prostate-cancer and anti-breast-cancer properties, as well as to exhibit “selective antiproliferative and anti-tumor properties on human cancer cells and their animal models.”

Safety

Presumed safe when consumed in normal dietary quantities by nonallergic individuals.

Almond(Prunus Dulcis)

Almond

Definition

Tree nut, also known as sweet almond, that is typically eaten roasted and in candy and baked products, pureed as almond butter, and made into milk. Almonds are a source of protein, alpha-tocopherol, manganese, magnesium, copper, phosphorus, and riboflavin, in addition to fiber, phytosterols, and polyphenolic compounds, such as proanthocyanidins and lignans. Almond fat is mostly monounsaturated; approximately 50% of an almond’s weight is fat. Per 8 oz, almond milk supplies 450 mg of calcium and 3.75 µg (150 IU) of vitamin D compared to cow’s milk that supplies 276 mg of calcium and 3 µg (124 IU) of vitamin D.

Almond: Health Benefits and Nutrition

When consumed as part of a low saturated fat diet, low cholesterol diet, 2.5–3.5 oz (70–100 g) of almonds reduced total cholesterol by 4–11% and LDL by 7–12%, according to the results of five small human studies, two of which also found a 1.7% to 3.5% increase in HDL cholesterol. Conversely, a 22-week randomized, controlled crossover-design trial of coronary artery disease patients (n = 145) found that the addition of almonds to a cholesterol-lowering diet regimen did not significantly impact vascular function, lipid profile, or systematic inflammation. Despite nuts’ general reputation of being high-calorie, two randomized, controlled trials (RCTs) found that a low-calorie diet which included almonds did not increase body weight. In one of the studies (n = 123), overweight and obese individuals were randomly assigned to consume either an almond-supplemented low-calorie diet or a nut-free low-calorie diet. At 18 months, both groups experienced clinically significant and comparable weight loss. In the second study (n = 65), subjects were randomized to a liquid formula-based weight-loss diet supplemented with almonds, or a liquid formula-based weight-loss diet supplemented with complex carbohydrates. At 24 weeks, greater reductions in weight were seen in the almond-supplemented group. Both studies found improvements in blood lipids in almond-supplemented groups compared to control groups. 36,37 In a third, non-placebo-controlled study (n = 20), healthy women added almonds to their diet for 10 weeks, followed by a 3-week washout period, followed by their usual diet without almonds for another 10 weeks. The study found that “10 weeks of daily almond consumption did not cause a change in body weight,” which was attributed to “compensation for the energy contained in the almonds through reduced food intake from other sources.

Bioactive Dose

Scientific evidence suggests but does not prove, that eating 1.5 oz per day of most nuts, such as almonds, as part of a diet low in saturated fat and cholesterol may reduce the risk of heart disease. 

Safety

Presumed safe when consumed in normal dietary quantities by nonallergic individuals.

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