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Department of Health in the Philippines
Scientific Research on Medicinal Herbs
Lagundi Studies

Scientific name: Vitex Negundo

Lagundi is a shrub that grows in the Philippines.  It is one of the ten herbal medicines endorsed by the Philippine Department of Health as an effective herbal medicine with proven therapeutic value.  Lagundi has been clinically tested to be effective in the treatment of colds, flu, bronchial asthma, chronic bronchitis and pharyngitis.  Studies have shown that Lagundi can prevent the body’s production of leukotienes which are released during an asthma attack.  Lagundi contains Chrysoplenol D – a substance with anti-histamine properties and muscle relaxant.

Plant Description: The Lagundi plant can grow up to five meters tall.  It has a single woody stem. Lagundi distinctive feature are the pointed leaves with five leaflets set like a hand.

Benefits:
•    Relief of asthma and pharyngitis
•    Relief of rheumatism, dyspepsia, boils diarrhea (roots)
•    Treatment of chough, colds, fever and flu and other bronchopulmonary disorders
•    Alleviate symptoms of Chicken Pox
•    Removal of worms and boils

Hepatoprotective effect of Vitex negundo against carbon tetrachloride-induced liver damage

http://www.perfectlynaturalherbs.com/slagundi.html

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Lagundi
Uses
Folkloric
Leaf decoction for fever, headache, toothache, cough, asthma.
(1) For fever and toothaches, boil 6 tbsp of the chopped leaves in 2 glasses of water for 15 minutes; strain and cool. Divide the decoction in 3 parts and take one part every 3-4 hours. Also, bruised leaves may be applied to forehead.
(2) For asthma and cough: Take 1/4 of the decoction three times a day.
Pounded leaves applies on the forehead and temples for headaches.
(3) Aromatic bath or sponge bathing: Boil 4 handfuls of leaves in a pot of water for 5 minutes; use the lukewarm decoction for sponge bathing.
(4) Wounds and ulcers: Use infusion of leaves as wash.
• In Ayurveda and Unani, leaves and seeds used for rheumatism and joint inflammation. Decoction of leaves taken as a diuretic.
Recent Use
Lagundi has been proven to be an effective analgesic and antitussive (prepared as a pleasant tasting cough syrup) and has been considered as a replacement for dextromethorphan in the public health system.
New Application
Studies have shown benefit through reduction of coughing and relaxation of the bronchial smooth muscles. Being promoted by the Department of Health (DOH) for cough and asthma. One of a few herbs recently registered with the Bureau of Foods and Drugs (BFAD) as medicines.

Studies
Anti-Venom: Snake venom neutralization by Indian medicinal plants (Vitex negundo and Emblica officinalis) root extracts: A methanolic extract study of VN showed it possesses potent snake venom neutralizing capacity and suggests further investigation.
Anti-Inflammatory: Vitex negundo Linn (VN) leaf extract as an adjuvant therapy to standard anti-inflammatory drugs: VN significantly potentiated antiinflammatory activity of phenylbutazone and ibuprofen in albino rats.
Anti-Inflammatory Activity: Anti-inflammatory Activity and Mechanism of Action of Vitex negundo Linn: Study suggests VN possess anti-imflammatory activity against acute and sub-acute inflammation probably due to prostaglandin inhibition and reduction of oxidative stress.
Antibacterial: Essential oil composition and antibacterial studies of Vitex negundo linn. extracts: : Study showed the essential oils and extracts to have antibacterial activity. Ethyl acetate and ethanol extracts showed prominent antibacterial activity against all tested strains.
Antifungal: (1) New antifungal flavonoid glycoside from Vitex negundo: Study found a new isolated flavone glycoside and a known compound to have significant antifungal activity against Tricophyton mentagrophytes and Cryptococcus neoformans. (2) Ethanol extract of fruit seeds showed significant activity against Fusarium solani and moderate response against Microsporum canis with no effect against C albicans.
Larvicidal: Differential larvicidal efficacy of four species of Vitex against Culex quinquefasciatus larvae: The methanolic extracts of all Vitex species showed varying levels of larvicidal activity.
Anthelmintic: Study of ethanolic extracts of Moringa oleifera and Vitex negundo on anthelmintic activity against Indian earthworm Pheritima posthuma showed both to have dose dependent activity, with Moringa oleifera showing more activity.

Preparation
How to make lagundi syrup

• Clean fresh lagundfi leaves and chop.
• In 4 glasses of water, boil 4 tablespoons of minced lagundi leaves for 50 minutes.
• Strain the liquid extract and add 1 part honey to 4 parts extracts.
• Boil in an earthen pot or enamel-lined saucepan for 15 minutes until the desired viscosity is attained; cool.
• Pour the syrup in clear amber-colored bottles.

http://www.stuartxchange.org/Lagundi.html

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By David Morgan – Wed Sep 23, 2:16 PM PDT

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – A diet high in a form of sugar found in sweetened soft drinks and junk food raises blood pressure among men, according to research likely to mean more bad news for beverage companies and restaurant chains.

One of two studies released on Wednesday provided the first evidence that fructose helps raise blood pressure. It also found that the drug allopurinol, used to treat gout, can alleviate the effect by reducing uric acid levels in the body.

The second study, which measured fructose intake in mice, suggested that people who consume junk foods and sweetened soft drinks at night could gain weight faster than those who don’t.

“These results suggest that excessive fructose intake may have a role in the worldwide epidemic of obesity and diabetes,” said Dr. Richard Johnson of the University of Colorado-Denver, who studied the link between blood pressure and men.

The findings provide the latest evidence of ties between sugar-rich diets and health problems that have prompted some experts to call for a tax on sugary soft drinks.

Fructose accounts for about half the sugar molecules in table sugar and in high-fructose corn syrup, the sweetener used in many packaged foods.

Johnson and colleagues at the Mateo Orfila Hospital in Spain studied 74 men given 200 grams of fructose per day on top of their regular diet. That amount is well above a daily intake of 50 grams to 70 grams of fructose consumed by most American adults.

Half the men were also given allopurinol.

After two weeks, the men who received only the fructose registered increases of six millimeters in systolic blood pressure — the top reading — and about three millimeters in diastolic or the bottom reading, the researchers told an American Heart Association meeting in Chicago.

REVERSIBLE EFFECT

Most of their blood pressure readings returned to normal levels after two months.

The men who did not get allopurinol also were twice as likely to develop metabolic syndrome, measured by risk factors such as too much abdominal fat, high blood pressure and poor cholesterol readings.

By contrast, those given allopurinol and fructose had significantly lower uric acid levels, and virtually no increase in systolic blood pressure or higher risk of metabolic syndrome.

For the second study, researchers in Ohio studied mice given fructose water to drink. Some had unrestricted access, while others received it during the day or at night.

“The first thing we noticed was that the mice on restricted access rushed to their drinking bottles to load up on the sweetened beverage, similar to teenagers who drink too many soft drinks,” said Mariana Morris of Wright State University in Dayton, Ohio.

The mice that drank fructose water during their regular daylight sleeping hours gained more weight and had higher stress hormone levels than the other mice.

“This model may be similar to the human condition of night time bingeing of fructose-laden foods and beverages,” Morris said.

The American Heart Association says women should eat no more than 100 calories of added processed sugar per day, or six teaspoons (25 grams), while most men should keep it to just 150 calories or nine teaspoons (37.5 grams). On average Americans consume 22 teaspoons (90 grams) or 355 calories of added sugar each day.

(Editing by Maggie Fox and Xavier Briand)

http://health.yahoo.com/news/reuters/us_heart_fructose.html

By Dennis Thompson
HealthDay Reporter by Dennis Thompson
healthday Reporter
– 1 hr 7 mins ago

LIFE-US-FOOD-DININGSUNDAY, Oct. 18 (HealthDay News) — Just about every month — if not every week — a new study emerges touting the health benefits to be gained from a daily glass of wine or a pint of dark beer.

The benefits related to cardiovascular health have become well-known. A study released in mid-July, for instance, found that moderate alcohol consumption reduces the risk of cardiovascular disease in women by increasing the amount of “good” cholesterol in the bloodstream and reducing blood sugar levels.

But other studies have linked a daily drink, most often wine, to reduced risk of dementia, bone loss and physical disabilities related to old age. Wine also has been found to increase life expectancy and provide potential protection against some forms of cancer, including esophageal cancer and lymphoma.

But don’t invest in that case of Pinot noir just yet.

Experts with the American Cancer Society and the American Heart Association say that though these studies do show some benefits to moderate drinking, the health risks from alcohol consumption far outweigh the potential rewards.

Drinking any alcohol at all is known to increase your risk for contracting a number of types of cancer, said Susan Gapstur, vice president of epidemiology for the American Cancer Society. These include cancers of the mouth, pharynx, larynx, esophagus, liver, colon/rectum and breast.

“At the end of the day, if you are at very high risk for cancer, you might want to limit your alcohol consumption even further,” Gapstur said. “It’s a lifestyle modification you can make, and we don’t have as many lifestyle modifications for preventing cancer as we do for coronary heart disease.”

There also are other health risks from moderate drinking, including liver damage and accidents caused by impaired reflexes, said Dr. Jennifer Mieres, director of nuclear cardiology at the New York University School of Medicine and an American Heart Association spokeswoman.

The health benefits from drinking generally are related to the antioxidants and anti-inflammatories found in red wines and dark beers, Mieres said, but those substances can be found in a number of different fruits and vegetables.

“When it comes to disease prevention, you’re better off changing your diet to include fruits and vegetables and get your antioxidants and anti-inflammatories from natural sources,” she said.

For example, people can get resveratrol — the antioxidant found in red wine that’s believed to provide most of the drink’s health benefits — from drinking grape juice just as well as from drinking wine, Mieres said.

“For people that don’t drink, not drinking is important,” Mieres said. “You can get the same benefits of drinking from leading a heart-healthy lifestyle. To me, it’s not worth the risk to start drinking. But for people who enjoy a glass of red wine or enjoy drinking, the key is to stick to the definition of moderation,” she said.

Moderate drinking is defined as one drink a day for women and two drinks a day for men. What counts as one drink are:

  • 12 ounces of regular beer or wine cooler
  • 8 ounces of malt liquor
  • 5 ounces of wine
  • 1.5 ounces of 80-proof distilled spirits or liquor

Drinking anything more than that on a daily basis is known to lead to a host of health problems that can reduce your life expectancy, Mieres and Gapstur said.

“I think the take-home message is, if you don’t drink, don’t start to help protect yourself from coronary heart disease because there are so many other things you can do,” Gapstur said. “If you already drink, you might want to limit your consumption.”

Though the studies touting the positive health effects of alcohol are scientifically accurate, they also appear to play into people’s desires for quick fixes to complex problems, Mieres said.

“To prevent heart disease, 50 percent of the work has to come from you,” she said. “Prevention is a big piece, and you have to be accountable. You have to make lifestyle changes, and that’s very tough to do. People look for easy ways to get heart-healthy benefits, and drinking is an easy way to do that. It’s a known human tendency: Let’s find an easy way out that doesn’t involve a lot of thought or work.”

More information

The Harvard School of Public Health has more on alcohol and your health.

http://news.yahoo.com/s/hsn/20091018/hl_hsn/drinkingyourwaytohealthperhapsnot;_ylt=At5TWSS1DDMfBANfazC1wrWs0NUE;_ylu=X3oDMTJ2NmliN2VsBGFzc2V0A2hzbi8yMDA5MTAxOC9kcmlua2luZ3lvdXJ3YXl0b2hlYWx0aHBlcmhhcHNub3QEcG9zAzQEc2VjA3luX21vc3RfcG9wdWxhcgRzbGsDZHJpbmtpbmd5b3Vy

fruit_saladWe all love fruits, those healthy natural deposits of vitamins, water, nutrients and other useful elements. I personally love oranges and cherries the most, and I can gladly eat 3-4 pounds of apples a day. In many cultures, it is traditional to eat fresh fruits for a dessert after meals. However, not many people are aware about the fact that eating fruits at the end of lunches or dinners can be quite harmful. Specialists suggest being careful on this point and following some easy rules, which can help us to rip maximum benefits from eating fruit.

1. Do not eat fruits after meals. It usually takes about 20 minutes for fruits to digest and move to the small intestine where further absorption of the nutrients occurs. However, when we eat fruits after other meals, especially the ones with a high content of proteins or starch which usually take much longer to digest, the fruits get blocked in our stomach and start fermenting or even getting rotten. In such case, no positive nutritional effects will be received. Instead, the meals will not be digested completely, the fruits will get broken right in our stomach and our digestive system will be affected and upset.

2. Do not eat fruits together with other meals. The same effect will take place in the stomach, when the fruits are mixed with other meals. Toxic effects of rotten fruits in your stomach can cause great discomfort and even serious diseases. For example, eating kiwis, cherries or berries together with meat, potatoes or other foods containing lots of proteins, starch and fats, can cause various problems with digestion, colitis, diarrhea, and even pains in liver.

3. Make a habit of eating fruits on an empty stomach. This habit will bring more good to your health. Your stomach and digestive system will not have to use additional mechanisms to balance the process of digestion. It is also very good to eat fruits after doing physical exercises or any sort of outdoor activities.

The best time for eating fruits:

  • in the morning, 20-30 minutes before having breakfast;
  • in the afternoon, 3-4 hours after lunch
  • before the bedtime, 3-4 hours after having dinner.

Author Info: Hi! My name is Carla and I am a 5th year medical student at HYMS. I am interested in alternative medicine and I have done months researching the topic of herbal medicine. Besides, I like interviewing people and learning more about their experiences with one or another type of herbal treatments. I am willing to contribute to this site with my knowledge, and I would be happy to help you out to the best of my ability with any specific questions or problems related to alternative medicine.

http://guide2herbalremedies.com/fruits-rules/

KablingGubat

Parts utilized
Leaves.

Chemical constituents and properties
Leaves contain a high percentage of potassium salts (0.7 gm in 100 grams of fresh leaves.
From dried leaves, a small amount of volatile oil and a bitter alkaloid, orthosiphonin.
Considered anti-allergic, anti-inflammatory, anti-bacterial and hypoglycemic.

Uses
Folkloric
Decoction of leaves used for kidney and bladder problems and other afflictions of the urinary tract.
Also used for its diuretic effect.
Poultice of leaves or chewed leaves stuffed onto painful tooth.
Others
Java Tea is derived from Orthosiphon aristatus, touted for its diuretic action, kidney flushing benefits for kidney and bladder stones.

Studies
Antihypertensive: Antihypertensive actions of methylripariochromene A from Orthosiphon aristatus, an indonesian traditional medicinal plant : Methylripariochromene A (MRC), isolated from the leaves of OA showed blood pressure lowering effect and a vasodilating action, decrease cardiac output and diuretic action. It supports the traditional use of the plant for hypertension treatment.
Na+,K+-ATPase Inhibition: In the study of ten Thai indigenous medicinal plants, O aristatus showed high potent inhibitory activity .
Three Indonesian medicinal plants were studied for their biologically active constituents. Three benzochromenes and four isopimarane-type diterpenes isolated from the leaves of Orthoshiphon aristatus were shown to exhibit inhibitory effects on
smooth muscle contractions caused by several stimulants
Diuretic: O. stamineus extract exhibited dose-dependent diuretic activity with a significantly increased excretion of K. There was also slight increase of BUN, creatinine and blood glucose levels, although statistically significant when compared to control , the levels were considered within normal range. Although less potent than furosemide and HCTZ, care should be taken in its consumption because of alterations in kidney parameters.
Nephrolitihiasis Study : In a randomized control trial of Orthosiphon versus placebo, no statistically significant difference was found.
Hepatoprotective : A study on the methanol extract of leaves of Orthosiphon staminues against paracetamol-induced hepatotoxicity showed treatment with OS extract brought back the alterered biochemical markers in a dose-dependent manner suggesting hepatoprotective activity.
Diuretic / Hypouricemic : A study on the methanol extract of OS showed significantly increased excretion of sodium and potassium excretion in a pattern comparable to hydrochlorothiazide. It also showed reduced serum urate level in hyperuricemic rats. Study provides evidence towards a diuretic and hypouricemic effect in rats.

Toxicity Study
Chronic Toxicity Test : A study on the chronic toxicity of water extract of Orthosiphon aristatus on Wistar rats showed that high doses of the extract caused a reduction of serum sodium levels in all extract-treated groups and increase alklaine phosphatase level and incidence of hydrocalyx in male rats, therefore advising that the prolonged use of OA should be avoided.

http://www.stuartxchange.org/KablingGubat.html

aphrodisiacsNowadays, there are hundreds of effective medicines and supplements created to boost our sexual desire and improve our sexual life. However, herbal medicine offers much safer and healthier natural solutions for everyone who is looking for some new approaches to sexual satisfaction. Aphrodisiac herbs and plants such as Ginseng, Damiana, Tongkat Ali, Goat Weed and many more, have been used for centuries in folk medicines of many cultures throughout the world. But, actually, you do not need to seek exotic stuffs, expensive supplements or imported natural products of arguable quality. Let’s take a look at our garden and see, what we have there to assist us in boosting our sexual activity:

  • Spinach. It is a very powerful antioxidant which can help both men and women to reach new heights in their sexual life. Spinach contains lots of useful elements and vitamins, it speeds up protein digestion and improves fat metabolism. This way, spinach stimulates weight loss.
  • Garlic. Garlic is one of the oldest known aphrodisiacs which was widely used by our ancestors in Ancient Greece and Ancient Egypt. Aphrodite and her maidens believed that eating several cloves of garlic (washed out first in water and then in olive oil) can help women fall in love and enhance sexual power of men.
  • Fennel (Foeniculum vulgare). This is one more natural aphrodisiac known so well by our ancient ancestors. Fennel was an ingredient of the most powerful love portions, as well as many modern time’s stimulants (like absinthe). Moreover, in some cultures there’s a belief that a glass of beer mixed with cut fennel is a matchless drink for those men who want to impress their lovers.
  • Horseradish (Cochlearia armoracia or Armoracia rusticana). This plant is a known spice, a relative of mustard and wasabi. It is among the best natural stimulants which can speed up blood circulation and stimulate the function of nerve system. In order to receive good effects, you can eat a vegetable salad with some cut horseradish root before leaving for a promising date.
  • Celery. This natural remedy has very strong properties to stimulate our sexual desire and restore our sexual vitality. These properties of celery were used in Ancient Rome. Celery root was a part of wedding ceremony in the Empire, and green leaves of celery plant were used as an element of marital bed decoration for a newly married couple.
  • Carrot. Recuperative properties of carrot were discussed centuries ago in the writings of Avicenna. In our folk medicine, carrots were used to improve blood circulation of the women who lost their sexual desire. Carrot juice was the best treatment both for women and men to be stronger in bed.
  • Onions. Onions were used as a stimulant in Ancient Egypt. Pliny the Eldest, a philosopher from Ancient Rome, praised therapeutic and stimulant properties of red onions (the Tropea red), and in the Renaissance period it was prohibited to eat onions in monasteries and religious houses. Therefore, onions should be the most favorite foods of modern sex-bombs. Besides, onions have excellent rejuvenating and anti-cancerous properties.

Author Info: Hi! My name is Carla and I am a 5th year medical student at HYMS. I am interested in alternative medicine and I have done months researching the topic of herbal medicine. Besides, I like interviewing people and learning more about their experiences with one or another type of herbal treatments. I am willing to contribute to this site with my knowledge, and I would be happy to help you out to the best of my ability with any specific questions or problems related to alternative medicine.

http://guide2herbalremedies.com/top-7-aphrodisiacs-garden/

Unfortunately, our Mother Nature gave us no knowledge about possible foods or herbal remedies, which can reverse the process of aging. But the good news is: there are foods and natural products which can slow down unwanted and damaging processes in our body, including hair and skin changes (hair loss, loss of skin elasticity, wrinkles and brown spots on the skin, etc.), behavioral and mental changes, decrease of vision and hearing, and so on.

oatmeal1. Oatmeal. Oatmeal (as well as beans and barley) is one of the most important anti aging foods. Oatmeal can provide us with the energy we need for our daily activities. Besides, this food has a combination of key nutrients, vitamins, minerals, as well as potent antioxidants that can slow down aging processes. Finally, all these useful elements containing in oatmeal can be easily absorbed without adding a lot of calories. Oatmeal is a perfect dietary food, which can be a great breakfast idea for everyone!

green-tea12. Green Tea. A known source of powerful antioxidants, green tea is definitely the best and the most useful beverage which can slow down aging processes. Undoubtedly, no other beverage can have more of positive effects on your body system functions and especially your skin quality than a high quality green tea. You can drink green tea hot or cold, but remember that, in order to maximize therapeutic effects of this natural remedy, it is essential to drink this beverage with positive emotions and with a great pleasure!

water3. Water. Everyone, who wants to remain young and healthy for many years, should remember that drinking 2-2.5 liters of water every day is crucial for being in good health and physical shape. That excludes the water we receive from fruit, veggies, meals, juices and so on. Water is a principal anti aging element since dehydration affects our skin to the greatest extent. A lack of water causes toxins and harmful chemicals collecting in skin cells, resulting in formation of wrinkles and flaccidity.

carrot4. Carrot. Carrots are a type of anti aging foods which can effectively erase numerous damaging effects of aging. A perfect source of Vitamin E and Beta carotene, carrots can provide us with excellent skin benefits, including moisturizing, sun protection and reviving. Add carrots to your soups, vegetable salads or other vegetable meals. Another great idea for breakfast is to add some fresh shredded carrot to your morning oatmeal!

apples5. Apples. Apples found a place among the most effective anti aging foods for their excellent detoxifying and cleansing properties. Add apples to your daily diet and they will assist your body in removing all harmful toxins and unwanted chemical elements. As a result, your skin will look perfect and smooth, and your fresh complexion is guaranteed! In addition, regular consumption of apples is linked to age-related memory improvement, lower risks of cancer and improved overall health.

Author Info: Hi! My name is Carla and I am a 5th year medical student at HYMS. I am interested in alternative medicine and I have done months researching the topic of herbal medicine. Besides, I like interviewing people and learning more about their experiences with one or another type of herbal treatments. I am willing to contribute to this site with my knowledge, and I would be happy to help you out to the best of my ability with any specific questions or problems related to alternative medicine.

http://guide2herbalremedies.com/anti-aging-foods/

cherries

The Cherry Research Committee is seeking proposals for new cherry research studies. Submit your proposal and learn more at www.cherryresearch.com.

Cherries are not only good for you, but they’re also on trend as a homegrown “Super Fruit.” According to recent data, more than 9 out of 10 Americans want to know where their food comes from, nearly 80 percent say they’re purchasing “locally produced” products, and the majority is defining “local” as grown in America.1,2 And cherries deliver.

A growing body of science reveals tart cherries, enjoyed as either dried, frozen cherries or cherry juice, have among the highest levels of disease-fighting antioxidants, when compared to other fruits. They also contain other important nutrients such as beta carotene (19 times more than blueberries or strawberries) vitamin C, potassium, magnesium, iron, fiber and folate.

Emerging evidence links cherries to many important health benefits – from helping to ease the pain of arthritis and gout, to reducing risk factors for heart disease, diabetes and certain cancers. Cherries also contain melatonin, which has been found to help regulate the body’s natural sleep patterns, aid with jet lag, prevent memory loss and delay the aging process.

A recent study from the University of Michigan reveals new evidence linking cherries to heart health benefits. The study found that a cherry-enriched diet lowered total weight, body fat (especially the important “belly” fat), inflammation and cholesterol-all risk factors associated with heart disease. According to the American Heart Association, being overweight or obese, in particular when the weight is concentrated in the middle, is a major risk factor for heart disease. As nearly two out of three Americans are overweight, emerging studies like this are important in examining the role diet may play in disease management and prevention.

Click on Cardiovascular/Heart Health for more information on the role cherries may play in reducing inflammation and risk factors associated with heart disease.

While there’s no established guideline yet on how many cherries it takes to reap the benefits, experts suggest that 1-2 servings of cherries daily can help provide some of the health benefits identified in the research. Single serving size examples include:
• 1/2 cup dried
• 1 cup frozen
• 1 cup juice
• 1 ounce (or 2 Tbsp) juice concentrate

For additional information on serving sizes and tips to meet daily requirements for fruits and vegetables, visit: www.5aday.gov/what/index.html

1: Survey conducted by IRI Data, 2008
2: Survey conducted by The Hartman Group, 2008

http://www.choosecherries.com/health/main.aspx

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cherries2

Health Benefits of Cherries :

a. Cherries red pigment is called anthocyanins, this pigment has been shown to reduce pain and inflammation.

b. Cherry Anthocyanins are also a powerful antioxidant.

c. Cherries help stimulate the secretion of digestive juices and of the urine and are effective cleansers of the liver and kidneys.

d. Eating large quantities of cherries, from one half pound and up daily, has been found to bring relief to patients with gout, a disease that is characterized by an excess of uric acid in the blood and attacks of arthritis.

e. Cherry also contain a high level of melatonin, is a substance that is important in the immune system function. Study shown that people who experience heart attack have low melatonin levels.

f. May help prevent cancer in organs and glands with epithelial tissue due to its high Vitamin A content.

g. Cherries is also helpful in the following cases ; Anemia, Colds (runny nose), Obesity, Cramps, Intestinal worm, High blood Pressure, Rheumatism, Asthma

Nutritive Values : Per 100 gm.

  • Vitamin A : 620 I.U.
  • Vitamin B : Thiamine .05 mg.;
  • Riboflavin : .06 mg.;
  • Niacin : .4 mg.
  • Vitamin C : 8 mg.
  • Calcium : 18 mg.
  • Iron : .4 mg.
  • Phosphorus : 20 mg.
  • Fat : .5 gm.
  • Carbohydrates : 14.8 gm.
  • Protein : .5 gm.
  • Calories : 61

http://hubpages.com/hub/Health_Benefits_of_Cherries

Health benefits of Cherries:

There are a number of health benefits associated with the cherry fruit. Among the many wellness promoting attributes of the fruit, the main ones include:

  • Cherry is being researched upon extensively in the human battle against cancer. Research, so far, reveals that consumption of the fruit is especially beneficial in fighting organ cancers.
  • The anti-oxidants in cherries clean up free radicals, or the unstable molecules responsible for cell damage in the human body. This is believed to slow down the aging process.
  • Research reveals that the anthocyanin red pigment in cherries helps to reduce inflammation and pain.
  • The cherry fruit is also credited with reduced risk of heart disease and diabetes, on consumption. Research reveals that people who include the fruit as it is or in supplement form in the daily diet display lower blood cholesterol and triglycerides.
  • A daily cupful has the ability to address and relieve the discomfort associated with arthritis, and gout.
  • The cherry fruit is low in fat and high in water content. Regular consumption helps to boost energy levels and modify metabolism for effective weight loss. It is also being used as a natural cure for Fibromyalgia Syndrome and certain physiological problems.
  • High potassium content in cherries controls water retention and aids in the treatment of autoimmune neuro-degenerative ailments and connective tissue diseases.
  • Cherries are easily available fresh, juiced and canned. Rich servings of the fruit ensures a daily intake of essential iron, potassium, magnesium, iron, fiber and folate.
  • Probably the most important and benefiting attribute of the fruit is its newly discovered ability to help in the weight loss process. The cherry fruit is low in fat and high in water content. Regular consumption helps to boost energy levels and modify metabolism for effective weight loss. The fruit is being tapped for potential fat burn and blood pressure regulation.

By Gaynor Borade
Published: 4/15/2009

http://www.buzzle.com/articles/health-benefits-of-cherries.html

See also:

http://www.buzzle.com/articles/health-benefits-of-cherries.html
http://healthmad.com/nutrition/health-benefits-of-cherries/
http://www.wisegeek.com/what-are-the-health-benefits-of-cherries.htm
http://guide2herbalremedies.com/health-benefits-cherry-juice/
http://www.edubook.com/health-benefits-of-cherry-juice/3820/

oatThe ancient Romans regarded oats as a weed fit only for horses and Barbarians. Scottish settlers introduced oats to the US in the 1600’s, and today Russia is the largest producer of oats. A mere 5% of the oats grown worldwide is used for human consumption, and is most commonly used as feed for horses.


Different stages of processing oats:

Oat groats

This is the whole oat grain, with only the outer hull removed. Oat groats are extremely nutritious, but they need to be soaked and cooked a long time. Oat groats are usually processed into one of the other forms below.

Steel-cut oats

Produced by running groats through steel cutters, chopping the groats into smaller pieces and creating a chewy texture. Steel-cut oats still contain the whole grain and oat bran, and are also very nutritious.

Rolled oats or old-fashioned oats

Steaming groats and then flattening them with a roller make rolled oats.

Quick-cooking oats

Steaming and flattening steel-cut oats make quick-cooking oats.

Instant oatmeal

Produced by rolling more thinly and steaming longer or partially cooking the oats. Instant oatmeal will also have salt, sugar, and in some cases artificial sweeteners added to it.

The more processed the oats are, the less nutritious.

Health Benefits of Oats

  • Minerals
    Oats are a good source of magnesium, selenium, manganese and phosphorous.
  • Dietary Fiber
    Oats are also a good source of vitamin B1 and dietary fiber.
  • Protein
    The protein in oats is almost equivalent to the quality of soy protein, and combined with the dietary fiber, makes it the ideal food to start the day with.
  • Cholesterol
    Oats has become popular as healthy food due to its dietary fiber being high in beta-glucan, which helps to lower cholesterol. In individuals with high cholesterol levels, consumption of the equivalent of 3gr of soluble oat fiber per day lowers cholesterol by 8 – 23 percent. A reduction in serum cholesterol levels decreases the risk of developing heart disease.
  • Diabetes
    A study of adults with type 2 diabetes who consumed foods high in oat fiber, experienced a much lower rise in blood sugar than other participants who ate rice or bread. The beta-glucan in oats increases the viscosity of the contents of the stomach, thereby slowing down digestion and prolonging the absorption of carbohydrates into the bloodstream.
  • Heart Disease
    A study at Harvard School of Public Health, Boston, supported previous reports that a diet rich in whole grains such as oats is beneficial in the prevention of coronary heart disease.
  • Weight Loss
    In another study at Harvard School of Public Health, Boston, it was determined that consumption of whole grains may contribute to favorable metabolic alterations that may reduce long-term weight gain.
  • Atherosclerosis
    Avenanthramides are phenolic antioxidants, which are present in oats, and have the potential to reduce plaque build in the artery walls, and may contribute to the prevention of atherosclerosis (hardening of the arteries)
Nutrient Values of Oats per 100g

Calories
389kcal
Energy Value
1628kj
Total Fat
06.90g
Carbohydrates
66.27g
Sugars
g
Dietary Fiber
10.6g
Protein
16.89g
Sodium
2mg
Zinc
3.97mg
Potassium
429mg
Iron
4.72mg
Magnesium
177mg
Copper
0.626mg
Calcium
54mg
Vitamin C
0.0mg
Vitamin E
mg
Vit. B3 (Niacin)
0.961mg
Vitamin B6
0.119mg
Vit. B1 (Thiamin)
0.763mg
Vit. B2 (Riboflavin)
0.139mg

http://www.elements4health.com/oats.html

Health Benefits

Lower Cholesterol Levels

A steaming bowl of fresh cooked oatmeal is the perfect way to start off your day, especially if you are trying to prevent or are currently dealing with heart disease or diabetes. Oats, oat bran, and oatmeal contain a specific type of fiber known as beta-glucan. Since 1963, study after study has proven the beneficial effects of this special fiber on cholesterol levels. Studies show that in individuals with high cholesterol (above 220 mg/dl), consuming just 3 grams of soluble oat fiber per day (an amount found in one bowl of oatmeal) typically lowers total cholesterol by 8-23%. This is highly significant since each 1% drop in serum cholesterol translates to a 2% decrease in the risk of developing heart disease. High cholesterol levels correlate with the build up of plaques in blood vessel walls. If these plaques become damaged or simply grow too large, they can rupture, blocking a blood vessel and causing a heart attack, stroke, or blood clots elsewhere in the body. Lowering high cholesterol levels can therefore significantly reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease and stroke.

A study published in the Archives of Internal Medicine confirms that eating high fiber foods, such as oats, helps prevent heart disease. Almost 10,000 American adults participated in this study and were followed for 19 years. People eating the most fiber, 21 grams per day, had 12% less coronary heart disease (CHD) and 11% less cardiovascular disease (CVD) compared to those eating the least, 5 grams daily. Those eating the most water-soluble dietary fiber fared even better with a 15% reduction in risk of CHD and a 10% risk reduction in CVD.

Unique Oat Antioxidants Reduce Risk of Cardiovascular Disease

Oats, via their high fiber content, are already known to help remove cholesterol from the digestive system that would otherwise end up in the bloodstream. Now, the latest research suggests they may have another cardio-protective mechanism.

Antioxidant compounds unique to oats, called avenanthramides, help prevent free radicals from damaging LDL cholesterol, thus reducing the risk of cardiovascular disease, suggests a study conducted at Tufts University and published in The Journal of Nutrition.

In this study, laboratory animals were fed saline containing 0.25 grams of phenol-rich oat bran, after which blood samples were taken at intervals from 20 to 120 minutes. After 40 minutes, blood concentrations of avenanthramides had peaked, showing these compounds were bioavailable (able to be absorbed).

Next, the researchers tested the antioxidant ability of avenanthramides to protect LDL cholesterol against oxidation (free radical damage) induced by copper. Not only did the avenanthramides increase the amount of time before LDL became oxidized, but when vitamin C was added, the oat phenols interacted synergistically with the vitamin, extending the time during which LDL was protected from 137 to 216 minutes.

In another study also conducted at Tufts and published in Atherosclerosis, researchers exposed human arterial wall cells to purified avenenthramides from oats for 24 hours, and found that these oat phenols significantly suppressed the production of several types of molecules involved in the attachment of monocytes (immune cells in the bloodstream) to the arterial wall-the first step in the development of atherosclerosis.

Oat avenanthamides suppressed production of ICAM-1 (intracellular adhesion molecule-1) and VCAM-1 (vascular adhesion molecule-1), E-selectin, and the secretion of pro-inflammatory cytokines KL-6, chemokines IL-8 and protein MCP-1 (monocyte chemoattractant protein). Our advice: Cut an orange (which is rich in vitamin C) in quarters or pour yourself a glass of orange juice to enjoy along with your oatmeal. If you prefer some other grain for your breakfast cereal, top it with a heaping spoonful of oat bran.

Prevent Heart Failure with a Whole Grains Breakfast

Heart failure is the leading cause of hospitalization among the elderly in the United States. Success of drug treatment is only partial (ACE inhibitors and beta-blockers are typically used; no evidence has found statins safe or effective for heart failure), and its prognosis remains poor. Follow up of 2445 discharged hospital patients with heart failure revealed that 37.3% died during the first year, and 78.5% died within 5 years. Arch Intern Med. 2007 Mar 12;167(5):490-6.;Eur Heart J. 2006 Mar;27(6):641-3.

Since consumption of whole grain products and dietary fiber has been shown to reduce the risk of high blood pressure and heart attack, Harvard researchers decided to look at the effects of cereal consumption on heart failure risk and followed 21,376 participants in the Physicians Health Study over a period of 19.6 years. After adjusting for confounding factors (age, smoking, alcohol consumption, vegetable consumption, use of vitamins, exercise, and history of heart disease), they found that men who simply enjoyed a daily morning bowl of whole grain (but not refined) cereal had a 29% lower risk of heart failure. Arch Intern Med. 2007 Oct 22;167(19):2080-5. Isn’t your heart worth protecting, especially when the prescription-a morning bowl of hearty whole grains-is so delicious? For quick, easy, heart-healthy, whole grain recipes, click The World’s Healthiest Foods, and look at the “How to Enjoy” section in any of our grain profiles.

Significant Cardiovascular Benefits for Postmenopausal Women

Eating a serving of whole grains, such as oats, at least 6 times each week is an especially good idea for postmenopausal women with high cholesterol, high blood pressure or other signs of cardiovascular disease (CVD).

A 3-year prospective study of over 200 postmenopausal women with CVD, published in the American Heart Journal, shows that those eating at least 6 servings of whole grains each week experienced both:

  • Slowed progression of atherosclerosis, the build-up of plaque that narrows the vessels through which blood flows, and
  • Less progression in stenosis, the narrowing of the diameter of arterial passageways.

The women’s intake of fiber from fruits, vegetables and refined grains was not associated with a lessening in CVD progression.

Enhance Immune Response to Infection

In laboratory studies reported in Surgery, beta-glucan significantly enhanced the human immune system’s response to bacterial infection. Beta-glucan not only helps neutrophils (the most abundant type of non-specific immune cell) navigate to the site of an infection more quickly, it also enhances their ability to eliminate the bacteria they find there.

According to study leader Jonathan Reichner of the Department of Surgery at Rhode Island Hospital and Brown University, priming neutrophils with beta-glucan helps these immune defenders quickly locate the bacterial mother lode within infected tissue. And this more rapid response to infection results in faster microbial clearance and healing. Since our non-specific immune defenses are the body’s first strike forces against invading pathogens, starting your day with a bowl of oatmeal may boost your immune response in addition to your morning energy levels.

Stabilize Blood Sugar

Studies also show that beta-glucan has beneficial effects in diabetes as well. Type 2 diabetes patients given foods high in this type of oat fiber or given oatmeal or oat bran rich foods experienced much lower rises in blood sugar compared to those who were given white rice or bread. Starting out your day with a blood sugar stabilizing food such as oats may make it easier to keep blood sugar levels under control the rest of the day, especially when the rest of your day is also supported with nourishing fiber-rich foods.

Oats and Other Whole Grains Substantially Lower Type 2 Diabetes Risk

Oats and other whole grains are a rich source of magnesium, a mineral that acts as a co-factor for more than 300 enzymes, including enzymes involved in the body’s use of glucose and insulin secretion.

The FDA permits foods that contain at least 51% whole grains by weight (and are also low in fat, saturated fat, and cholesterol) to display a health claim stating consumption is linked to lower risk of heart disease and certain cancers. Now, research suggests regular consumption of whole grains also reduces risk of type 2 diabetes. (van Dam RM, Hu FB, Diabetes Care).

In this 8-year trial, involving 41,186 particpants of the Black Women’s Health Study, research data confirmed inverse associations between magnesium, calcium and major food sources in relation to type 2 diabetes that had already been reported in predominantly white populations.

Risk of type 2 diabetes was 31% lower in black women who frequently ate whole grains compared to those eating the least of these magnesium-rich foods. When the women’s dietary intake of magnesium intake was considered by itself, a beneficial, but lesser-19%-reduction in risk of type 2 diabetes was found, indicating that whole grains offer special benefits in promoting healthy blood sugar control. Daily consumption of low-fat dairy foods was also helpful, lowering risk of type 2 diabetes by 13%. Enjoy a hearty breakfast and get the benefits of both oats and dairy by serving hot oatmeal, spiced with cinnamon, and topped with handful of walnuts and low-fat milk.

Antioxidant Benefits

In addition to its fiber benefits, oats are also a very good source of selenium. A necessary cofactor of the important antioxidant, glutathione peroxidase, selenium works with vitamin E in numerous vital antioxidant systems throughout the body. These powerful antioxidant actions make selenium helpful in decreasing asthma symptoms and in the prevention of heart disease. In addition, selenium is involved in DNA repair and is associated with a reduced risk for cancer, especially colon cancer.

Fiber from Whole Grains and Fruit Protective against Breast Cancer

When researchers looked at how much fiber 35,972 participants in the UK Women’s Cohort Study ate, they found a diet rich in fiber from whole grains, such as oats, and fruit offered significant protection against breast cancer for pre-menopausal women. (Cade JE, Burley VJ, et al., International Journal of Epidemiology).

Pre-menopausal women eating the most fiber (>30 grams daily) more than halved their risk of developing breast cancer, enjoying a 52% lower risk of breast cancer compared to women whose diets supplied the least fiber (<20 grams/day).

Fiber supplied by whole grains offered the most protection. Pre-menopausal women eating the most whole grain fiber (at least 13 g/day) had a 41% reduced risk of breast cancer, compared to those with the lowest whole grain fiber intake (4 g or less per day).

Fiber from fruit was also protective. Pre-menopausal women whose diets supplied the most fiber from fruit (at least 6 g/day) had a 29% reduced risk of breast cancer, compared to those with the lowest fruit fiber intake (2 g or less per day).

Cereal and Fruit Fiber Protective against Postmenopausal Breast Cancer

Results of a prospective study involving 51,823 postmenopausal women for an average of 8.3 years showed a 34% reduction in breast cancer risk for those consuming the most fruit fiber compared to those consuming the least. In addition, in the subgroup of women who had ever used hormone replacement, those consuming the most fiber, especially cereal fiber, had a 50% reduction in their risk of breast cancer compared to those consuming the least. Int J Cancer. 2008 Jan 15;122(2):403-12.

Fruits richest in fiber include apples, dates, figs, pears and prunes. When choosing a high fiber cereal, look for whole grain cereals as they supply the most bran (a mere 1/3rd cup of bran contains about 14 grams of fiber). A cup of oatmeal delivers 15% of the RDI for fiber. Start out your day with a bowl of hot oatmeal or if you prefer cold cereal, oatmeal granola, and you’ll be well on your way to meeting your daily RDI for fiber.

Whole Grains and Fish Highly Protective against Childhood Asthma

According to the American Lung Association, almost 20 million Americans suffer from asthma, which is reported to be responsible for over 14 million lost school days in children, and an annual economic cost of more than $16.1 billion.

Increasing consumption of whole grains and fish could reduce the risk of childhood asthma by about 50%, suggests the International Study on Allergy and Asthma in Childhood (Tabak C, Wijga AH, Thorax).

The researchers, from the Dutch National Institute of Public Health and the Environment, Utrecht University, University Medical Center Groningen, used food frequency questionnaires completed by the parents of 598 Dutch children aged 8-13 years. They assessed the children’s consumption of a range of foods including fish, fruits, vegetables, dairy and whole grain products. Data on asthma and wheezing were also assessed using medical tests as well as questionnaires.

While no association between asthma and intake of fruits, vegetables, and dairy products was found (a result at odds with other studies that have supported a link between antioxidant intake, particularly vitamins C and E, and asthma), the children’s intake of both whole grains and fish was significantly linked to incidence of wheezing and current asthma.

In children with a low intake of fish and whole grains, the prevalence of wheezing was almost 20%, but was only 4.2% in children with a high intake of both foods. Low intake of fish and whole grains also correlated with a much higher incidence of current asthma (16.7%). compared to only a 2.8% incidence of current asthma among children with a high intake of both foods.

After adjusting results for possible confounding factors, such as the educational level of the mother, and total energy intake, high intakes of whole grains and fish were found to be associated with a 54 and 66% reduction in the probability of being asthmatic, respectively.

The probability of having asthma with bronchial hyperresponsiveness (BHR), defined as having an increased sensitivity to factors that cause narrowing of the airways, was reduced by 72 and 88% when children had a high-intake of whole grains and fish, respectively. Lead researcher, CoraTabak commented, “The rise in the prevalence of asthma in western societies may be related to changed dietary habits.” We agree. The Standard American Diet is sorely deficient in the numerous anti-inflammatory compounds found in fish and whole grains, notably, the omega-3 fats supplied by cold water fish and the magnesium and vitamin E provided by whole grains. One caution: wheat may need to be avoided as it is a common food allergen associated with asthma.

Health-Promoting Activity Equal to or Even Higher than that of Vegetables and Fruits

Research reported at the American Institute for Cancer Research (AICR) International Conference on Food, Nutrition and Cancer, by Rui Hai Liu, M.D., Ph.D., and his colleagues at Cornell University shows that whole grains, such as oats, contain many powerful phytonutrients whose activity has gone unrecognized because research methods have overlooked them.

Despite the fact that for years researchers have been measuring the antioxidant power of a wide array of phytonutrients, they have typically measured only the “free” forms of these substances, which dissolve quickly and are immediately absorbed into the bloodstream. They have not looked at the “bound” forms, which are attached to the walls of plant cells and must be released by intestinal bacteria during digestion before they can be absorbed.

Phenolics, powerful antioxidants that work in multiple ways to prevent disease, are one major class of phytonutrients that have been widely studied. Included in this broad category are such compounds as quercetin, curcumin, ellagic acid, catechins, and many others that appear frequently in the health news.

When Dr. Liu and his colleagues measured the relative amounts of phenolics, and whether they were present in bound or free form, in common fruits and vegetables like apples, red grapes, broccoli and spinach, they found that phenolics in the “free” form averaged 76% of the total number of phenolics in these foods. In whole grains, however, “free” phenolics accounted for less than 1% of the total, while the remaining 99% were in “bound” form.

In his presentation, Dr. Liu explained that because researchers have examined whole grains with the same process used to measure antioxidants in vegetables and fruits-looking for their content of “free” phenolics”-the amount and activity of antioxidants in whole grains has been vastly underestimated.

Despite the differences in fruits’, vegetables’ and whole grains’ content of “free” and “bound” phenolics, the total antioxidant activity in all three types of whole foods is similar, according to Dr. Liu’s research. His team measured the antioxidant activity of various foods, assigning each a rating based on a formula (micromoles of vitamin C equivalent per gram). Broccoli and spinach measured 80 and 81, respectively; apple and banana measured 98 and 65; and of the whole grains tested, corn measured 181, whole wheat 77, oats 75, and brown rice 56.

Dr. Liu’s findings may help explain why studies have shown that populations eating diets high in fiber-rich whole grains consistently have lower risk for colon cancer, yet short-term clinical trials that have focused on fiber alone in lowering colon cancer risk, often to the point of giving subjects isolated fiber supplements, yield inconsistent results. The explanation is most likely that these studies have not taken into account the interactive effects of all the nutrients in whole grains-not just their fiber, but also their many phytonutrients.

As far as whole grains are concerned, Dr. Liu believes that the key to their powerful cancer-fighting potential is precisely their wholeness. A grain of whole wheat consists of three parts-its endosperm (starch), bran and germ. When wheat-or any whole grain-is refined, its bran and germ are removed. Although these two parts make up only 15-17% of the grain’s weight, they contain 83% of its phenolics. Dr. Liu says his recent findings on the antioxidant content of whole grains reinforce the message that a variety of foods should be eaten good health. “Different plant foods have different phytochemicals,” he said. “These substances go to different organs, tissues and cells, where they perform different functions. What your body needs to ward off disease is this synergistic effect – this teamwork – that is produced by eating a wide variety of plant foods, including whole grains.”

Lignans Protect against Heart Disease

One type of phytochemical especially abundant in whole grains including oats are plant lignans, which are converted by friendly flora in our intestines into mammalian lignans, including one called enterolactone that is thought to protect against breast and other hormone-dependent cancers as well as heart disease. In addition to whole grains, nuts, seeds and berries are rich sources of plant lignans, and vegetables, fruits, and beverages such as coffee, tea and wine also contain some. When blood levels of enterolactone were measured in over 800 postmenopausal women in a Danish study published in the Journal of Nutrition, women eating the most whole grains were found to have significantly higher blood levels of this protective lignan. Women who ate more cabbage and leafy vegetables also had higher enterolactone levels.

A Well-tolerated Wheat Alternative for Children and Adults with Celiac Disease

Although treatment of celiac disease has been thought to require lifelong avoidance of the protein gluten, which is found in wheat, rye, barley and oats, recent studies of adults have shown that oats, despite the small amount of gluten they contain, are well-tolerated. Now, a double blind, multi-center study involving 8 clinics treating 116 children newly diagnosed celiac disease suggests oats are a good grain choice for children with celiac disease as well. The children were randomly assigned to receive either the standard gluten-free diet (no wheat, barley, rye or oats) or a gluten-free diet with some wheat-free oat products. At the end of the study, which ran for a year, all the children were doing well, and in both groups, the mucosal lining of the small bowel (which is damaged by wheat gluten in celiac disease) had healed and the immune system (which is excessively reactive in celiac patients) had returned to normal.

Meta-analysis Explains Whole Grains’ Health Benefits

In many studies, eating whole grains, such as oats, has been linked to protection against atherosclerosis, ischemic stroke, diabetes, insulin resistance, obesity, and premature death. A new study and accompanying editorial, published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition explains the likely reasons behind these findings and recommends at least 3 servings of whole grains should be eaten daily.

Whole grains are excellent sources of fiber. In this meta-analysis of 7 studies including more than 150,000 persons, those whose diets provided the highest dietary fiber intake had a 29% lower risk of cardiovascular disease compared to those with the lowest fiber intake.

But it’s not just fiber’s ability to serve as a bulking agent that is responsible for its beneficial effects as a component of whole grains. Wheat bran, for example, which constitutes 15% of most whole-grain wheat kernels but is virtually non-existent in refined wheat flour, is rich in minerals, antioxidants, lignans, and other phytonutrients-as well as in fiber.

In addition to the matrix of nutrients in their dietary fibers, the whole-grain arsenal includes a wide variety of additional nutrients and phytonutrients that reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease. Compounds in whole grains that have cholesterol-lowering effects include polyunsaturated fatty acids, oligosaccharides, plant sterols and stanols, and saponins.

Whole grains are also important dietary sources of water-soluble, fat-soluble, and insoluble antioxidants. The long list of cereal antioxidants includes vitamin E, tocotrieonols, selenium, phenolic acids, and phytic acid. These multifunctional antioxidants come in immediate-release to slow-release forms and thus are available throughout the gastrointestinal tract over a long period after being consumed.

The high antioxidant capacity of wheat bran, for example, is 20-fold that of refined wheat flour (endosperm). Although the role of antioxidant supplements in protecting against cardiovascular disease has been questioned, prospective population studies consistently suggest that when consumed in whole foods, antioxidants are associated with significant protection against cardiovascular disease. Because free radical damage to cholesterol appears to contribute significantly to the development of atherosclerosis, the broad range of antioxidant activities from the phytonutrients abundant in whole-grains is thought to play a strong role in their cardio-protective effects.

Like soybeans, whole grains are good sources of phytoestrogens, plant compounds that may affect blood cholesterol levels, blood vessel elasticity, bone metabolism, and many other cellular metabolic processes.

Whole grains are rich sources of lignans that are converted by the human gut to enterolactone and enterodiole. In studies of Finnish men, blood levels of enterolactone have been found to have an inverse relation not just to cardiovascular-related death, but to all causes of death, which suggests that the plant lignans in whole grains may play an important role in their protective effects.

Lower insulin levels may also contribute to the protective effects of whole grains. In many persons, the risks of atherosclerotic cardiovascular disease, diabetes, and obesity are linked to insulin resistance. Higher intakes of whole grains are associated with increased sensitivity to insulin in population studies and clinical trials. Why? Because whole grains improve insulin sensitivity by lowering the glycemic index of the diet while increasing its content of fiber, magnesium, and vitamin E.

The whole kernel of truth: as part of your healthy way of eating, whole grains can significantly lower your risk of cardiovascular disease, obesity and type 2 diabetes. Enjoy at least 3 servings a day. No idea how to cook whole grains? Just look at the “How to Enjoy” section in our profiles of the whole grains, or for quick, easy, delicious recipes, click on this link to our Recipe Assistant and select oats or whichever whole grain you would like to.

http://www.whfoods.com/genpage.php?tname=foodspice&dbid=54

See  also:

http://www.eatmoreoats.com/health.html
http://www.whfoods.com/genpage.php?tname=foodspice&dbid=54
http://health.learninginfo.org/benefits-oatmeal.htm
http://food-facts.suite101.com/article.cfm/health_benefits_of_oats
http://www.scienceblog.com/cms/oatmeals-health-claims-strongly-reaffirmed-15179.html
http://www.buzzle.com/articles/health-benefits-of-oatmeal.html
http://www.nutraingredients.com/Research/Review-backs-oats-heart-health-benefits

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