Tuesday, October 31, 2006

Eating naturally bears fruit in fighting disease

Cranberries combat bacteria and walnuts protect arteries: your food has hidden benefits

The Government’s recommended dose of vegetables and fruits is five helpings a day. This not only sounds disgustingly boring, but often is. But it needn’t be. The average British cook’s mind turns to cabbages, Brussels sprouts, spinach, broccoli and the ubiquitous but useless lettuce. Not dishes that are likely to persuade children to keep away from the school railings to collect food parcels. Tomatoes, dates, dried apricots, figs, bananas, broad beans, peas and carrots add a bit of colour and taste.
One of the ponds at Kew Gardens is now covered with a carpet of bright red cranberries from Massachusetts. They are waiting to be harvested and made into sauce to accompany partridge, pheasant or a turkey, following the advice of the indigenous American Indians who taught their new neighbours to serve cranberry with the game that they ate at the first Thanksgiving dinner.

Cranberry juice is not only rich in vitamin C and other antioxidants but also has antimicrobial powers that inhibit the growth of bacteria on the bladder wall by reducing their adherence to it. It also lessens the number of mouth and gut infections.

Cranberry juice to prevent bladder infections should contain at least 25 per cent cranberry and be taken every eight hours. Blueberries and pomegranate juice are just as delicious, antioxidant-rich and health giving.

Men who eat walnuts as they sip their evening drink may not know that walnuts, like Viagra, reach parts that other foods and medicines don’t. Walnuts contain the amino acid arginine and arginine, like Viagra, causes the release of nitric oxide in the arterial walls.

Source - Times

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