Guest Post: 10 Health Benefits Of Tomato Juice

Tomatoes are incredibly good for you

Health experts consider raw tomato juice as a super food because it contains Vitamin A, Vitamin K and B vitamins as well as minerals including iron, phosphorus, and magnesium. Thus, consuming tomato juice daily gives you the opportunity to reap all the health benefits that all those vitamins and minerals have to offer.

  1. Reduces the risks of developing cancer

    Aside from the vitamins and minerals, tomato juice also contains high levels of antioxidants that fight and helps prevent cancer formation. According to studies, the lycopene content of tomato can fight different types of cancer like lung cancer, colon cancer, pancreatic cancer, and breast cancer.

  2. Promotes cardiovascular and heart health

    Tomato juice contains high amounts of vitamin B6, potassium, and folate that can lower the homocysteine level. Homocysteine is a compound that can damage the blood vessels and eventually causes heart disease. By integrating tomato juice in your diet, the blockages in the blood vessels will be reduced because of its fiber content.

  3. Strengthens the teeth and bones

    The vitamin C and K present in tomato juice help to make the teeth and bones strong just like calcium. Vitamin K is essential for bone health and the protein osteocalcin depends on vitamin K that plays significant role in preserving the calcium inside the bones.

  4. Improves the immune system

    Consuming tomato juice regularly can boost the immune system because of the vitamin A, C and copper content. It makes your body defenses strong, thus helping to prevent diseases from developing.

  5. Aids in weight loss

    Tomatoes are low in sodium but high in fiber. The fiber makes you feel full and satiated, thus avoids binge eating. Likewise, the water content of tomatoes keeps you hydrated; that’s why hunger is prevented. Consuming a glass of tomato juice prior to eating a meal makes you eat less. Therefore, if you want to lose weight you should include tomato juice in your diet.

  6. Eliminates free radicals

    Tomato juice helps to detoxify your body and flush out free radicals because tomato juice contains natural sulfur and chlorine that helps the kidneys and liver to function properly. Likewise, the sulfur protects the two organs from infections. Once the free radicals are removed, you will feel younger and more energetic.

  7. Healthier skin and hair

    The vitamin K present in tomato juice makes the hair stronger, shinier, and healthier. If you have dandruff or itchy scalp, you can apply the tomato juice into your hair and scalp after shampooing just like a conditioner.

    Likewise, studies showed that regular intake of tomato juice improves skin health, reducing acne formation and dark spots. It also protects the skin cells from damage caused by UV rays and other environmental elements. It prevents tanning and discoloration as well as regulating the production of sebum.

  8. Improves digestion and bowel movement

    Tomatoes are rich in fiber that plays important role in proper digestion and bowel movement. It also supports a healthy liver and prevents constipation. People who are experiencing irregular bowel movement should consider drinking tomato juice regularly.

  9. Helps you see better

    Vitamin A is essential for better eye sight. It helps the retinas to process visual information and send them to the brain. There are thousands of international units of vitamin A present in tomatoes to prevent eye diseases like blindness.

  10. Prevents high cholesterol level

    If you want to regulate your cholesterol level, the best thing to do is to consume tomato juice. The fiber content breaks down the bad cholesterol or LDL in your body. Likewise, the Vitamin B3 or niacin stabilizes the cholesterol.

To enjoy the health benefits of tomato juice listed above, you should make your own tomato juice at home rather than buying tomato juice in supermarkets. There’s no need to worry about drinking tomato juice regularly because it does not pose side effects. However, if your uric acid level us high, avoid tomato juice as it can aggravate the condition.

About the author

Mounota Rahman is a dietitian and writing regularly at HealthyNaturalDiet.com. She believes that food has healing powers and eating good food is the best way to lose weight. Mounota would like to share her knowledge and experience with the world. When she is not working, she loves to cook healthy food, watch movies, travel, workout, and read Bengali literature.


Turmeric health benefits: a treasure chest of healing

Turmeric is related to ginger

Turmeric is related to ginger

Originally published on Herbal Medicine from Your Garden

Strictly speaking, turmeric is a spice rather than a herb, as is ginger which is in the same family. However, when it comes to its value as a remedy, turmeric is a star, and I’ve therefore given it honorary herbal status!

Turmeric is also known as haldi and has also been called Indian saffron (though it is not related to any other plant that bears the name saffron), because it gives a yellow color to food, and is/was used as a cheap saffron alternative. The latin name is Curcuma longa (sometimes Curcuma domestica).

Turmeric requires a temperature of 20-30º C to do well, and to be kept moist, which is a difficult thing to achieve unless you live in the tropics. However, it is possible to grow it in pots. Plants are available from specialist nurseries or you can plant a few fresh rhizomes obtained from an Asian grocer.

Choose rhizomes that look juicy (as ones that are dried out probably won’t grow) with a bud on one side. Plant them in a tray with the bud facing upwards in very gritty compost (mix horticultural or undyed aquarium grit with ordinary potting compost), just covered. Water and put inside a plastic bag out of direct sunlight, preferably with bottom heat. They need a minimum temperature of 20 degrees, as already stated.

Once shoots emerge, you can remove the bag, but make sure you keep the temperature up and the compost moist. At around 6″ (15cm) you can pot them on into individual pots (as rhizomes grow, you will probably need to pot on to allow room for them to develop). Put them on a tray full of pebbles or shingle, and keep the tray topped up with water (but not high enough so that the pot is sitting in it), to keep the atmosphere around the plant moist. Make sure the compost in the pot doesn’t dry out completely between waterings.

Although I’ve given instructions for growing, it’s not really practical to convert the resulting crop into the turmeric powder we are familiar with, because it’s a long process involving boiling them for several hours, drying them in an oven, and then grinding to a powder. Turmeric is cheap enough (especially in Asian stores) to make all this effort seem a bit of a waste – although do be careful that what you’re buying isn’t too cheap, as there have been cases of cheap (and sometimes dangerous) fillers being substituted for some of the yellow powder that is sold. The leaves can be used in Indonesian cooking, in particular beef rendang, the plant and the flowers are attractive, and it’s unusual enough to provoke comments from visitors, so you may agree with me that it’s probably worth growing just as an ornamental.

As you no doubt know, turmeric powder is used extensively in Asian cooking and also apparently to make tea in Okinawa! It’s also used by food processors in the West to color many food products where you would not expect to find it, from cheese, butter and margarine to salad dressings, mustard and chicken broth, amongst other things.

Turning to its medicinal value, there are a couple of contra-indications. Do not use in medicinal amounts if you have gallstones or any gallbladder or bile duct disorder. Turmeric is also not suitable for use as a herbal remedy during pregnancy, although it’s safe enough in the levels found in food.

Apparently, taking turmeric in combination with black pepper (more correctly piperine, which is a component of black pepper) increases its effects 20-fold, so if you’re making a meal which includes turmeric, adding 20g of black pepper (or long pepper, Piper retrofractum, a close relative) would turn it into a remedy!

Turmeric has a long history of medicinal use across Asia. In China, it is prescribed as an anti-depressant, but mostly its uses relate to its antibacterial, antiviral, anti-inflammatory, blood sugar regulating, glucose metabolism stimulating, cholesterol-lowering and liver detox/tonic effects. It is effective in reducing the pain of rheumatoid arthritis – more so than many proprietary anti-inflammatory drugs – and also has a reputation for preventing metastasis in a variety of cancers, including breast cancer and prostate cancer, preventing the growth of new blood vessels in tumors, and preventing melanoma from increasing. Though it seems incredible, it has also been found to be a natural anti-venom effective for bites of the King Cobra. Finally, research seems to indicate that it can both put off and possibly repair damage caused by Alzheimer’s disease. And this is just a quick overview. It’s truly a treasure chest of healing in a single spice.

Update

A woman with myeloma who had not responded well to conventional treatment reached a point where there was little left that could be done. She started treating herself with 5-8g (5.000-8.000mg) a day of turmeric and the myeloma went into remission. It is still under control. Source

Chronic low level inflammation is a major component of almost all Western chronic diseases. This may be why turmeric, a very potent anti-inflammatory with few side effects, is beneficial for so many conditions. Turmeric is the subject of numerous research studies, which find that it is almost a miracle spice, effective for many conditions including Crohn’s disease, ulcerative colitis, cystic fibrosis, breast cancer, prostate cancer, lung cancer, colon cancer and Alzheimer’s disease. It has even been shown to help regenerate the liver.

Drink a teaspoon of turmeric mixed with a cup of yogurt, milk or fruit juice to treat indigestion and bloating, to normalize blood glucose and reduce insulin resistance in diabetics and to strengthen the immune system. Add a quarter teaspoon of ground black pepper to combat colds and respiratory infections.

A condition called Hidradenitis suppurativa or Acne inversa, a very unsightly type of acne, has responded well (even in patients who have suffered from the condition for many years) to a dose of 1 teaspoon of turmeric mixed with 60ml (1/4 US cup, 2 fl oz) warm water, taken three times a day. To treat any of the other conditions given, try starting off with a dose about half as strong as this, increasing if necessary. However, if you or your patient are suffering from a serious illness, do not neglect to take and follow medical advice as well.

Cuts, burns and bruises can be treated with a paste made by mixing turmeric powder with water and applying on a bandage to the affected area (or without a bandage, if this is feasible – however, turmeric will stain any fabric it comes into contact with permanently, so the bandage is probably a useful precaution).

I offer various turmeric products in my online shop.

I doubt you will be growing turmeric at home for medicinal use, however, if you do wish to, it should be grown organically to ensure that its properties are not masked or completely eliminated by the presence of foreign chemicals. To find out more about growing organic herbs visit the Gardenzone.


Holy Basil (Tulsi) health benefits: raises your spirits, immunities and appetites

Originally published on Herbal Medicine from Your Garden

Holy basil is sacred to Hindus

Holy basil is sacred to Hindus

Holy or sacred basil, otherwise known as tulsi or tulasi, Ocimum tenuiflorum or Ocimum sanctum, is a sacred herb in the Hindu faith, the story being that a peasant girl fell in love with Krishna and was cursed by his consort, turning her into a tulasi plant. There are holy days on which tulasi is the central focus, and some Hindus will not use it even for medicine, out of reverence, although the majority do.

There seems to be some confusion between this herb and Thai basil, which is a variety of sweet basil, Ocimum basilicum, and is used in cooking. The difference, according to Wikipedia, is that Thai basil smells strongly of liquorice or aniseed, tastes slightly of liquorice or mint, and is hairless, while holy basil has hairy leaves and a warmer, spicy fragrance and tastes similar to cloves. So if you see a herb offered for sale as holy basil which does not have hairy leaves, by all means buy it for use in Thai cooking, but not for medical use. You will also have to be quite careful if buying seeds, choosing a specialist herb seed supplier which lists both types, if at all possible.

Holy basil is related to sweet basil but not to wild basil or basil thyme.

Holy basil is an antioxidant and boosts the immune system. It’s also been shown to be helpful for diabetics, because it lowers blood sugar levels, and it also lowers levels of cholesterol in the blood, which may explain its Ayurvedic use as a treatment for heart disease. It is used as a tonic to raise the spirits and increase sexual appetite, to treat colds, flu, headaches and digestive disorders, as well as rheumatism and arthritis. For these purposes, the herb can either be included in food, or used in a standard infusion. Add 1 cup of boiling water to 3-4 teaspoonfuls of chopped fresh herb, or 1-2 teaspoonfuls of dried. Allow to stand for around 10 minutes, strain and use. It can be sipped over the course of an hour or so, if preferred.

The same infusion can be used cold as a wash for skin infections and fungal conditions.

I offer a wide range of tulsi teas in my online shop.

In common with all herbs used for medicinal purposes, it’s important that Holy basil is grown organically, so that it is not adulterated by noxious chemicals. To find out more about growing organic holy basil, visit the Gardenzone.