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By Michelle Schoffro Cook, Care2

Have you been wondering “what’s all the fuss about green tea?” Now you can stop wondering and start drinking … green tea, that is. This flavorful beverage offers many health benefits to anyone who drinks it regularly. Green tea contains a potent plant nutrient known as epigallocatechin gallate, or EGCG, for short. But don’t fret, you don’t have to keep track of its chemical name to reap the health benefits.

Here are nine reasons to start drinking green tea or continue drinking it if you’re already hooked.

1. Green tea is a superb fat fighter. Its active ingredient, EGCG, increases the rate at which fat is burned in your body.

2. It targets belly fat. Research at Tufts University indicates that EGCG in green tea, like other catechins, activate fat-burning genes in the abdomen to speed weight loss by 77 percent.

3. Green tea keeps energy stable by balancing blood sugar levels. EGCG improves insulin use in the body to prevent blood sugar spikes and crashes that can result in fatigue, irritability, and cravings for unhealthy foods.

4. Research shows it may be helpful against lung cancer. In an April 2010 study published in Cancer Prevention Research, EGCG was found to suppress lung cancer cell growth.

5. Green tea may halt colorectal cancer. In numerous other studies, EGCG appears to inhibit colorectal cancers.

6. In research, it appears to cause prostate cancer cells to commit suicide. A March 2010 study in Cancer Science indicated that EGCG aids the body by causing prostate cancer cells to commit suicide.

7. Green tea may prevent skin damage and wrinkling. EGCG appears to be 200 times more powerful than vitamin E at destroying skin-damaging free radicals. Free radicals react with healthy cells in the body, causing damage, so lessening their numbers may help reduce wrinkling and other signs of aging.

8. It contains a potent antioxidant that kills free radicals. Because it is a potent antioxidant green tea can positively impact a lot more than skin cells. Free radicals are increasingly linked to many serious chronic illnesses like arthritis, diabetes, and cancer.

9. Green tea tastes good. If you’re not wild about the flavor, try a few different kinds. Try it iced or hot. Add some of the natural herb stevia to sweeten it if you want a sweeter drink. I wasn’t crazy about green tea the first few times I tried it, but now I love it with a fresh squeeze of lemon and a few drops of stevia over ice — et voila! Green tea lemonade. Mmmmm.

Reap the rewards
Add one or two teaspoons of green tea leaves to a cup of boiling water, preferably in a tea strainer. Let steep for five minutes. Pour over ice if you prefer a cold beverage. Most experts recommend three cups daily. And, don’t worry, green tea contains a lot less caffeine than coffee or black tea.

Copyright Michelle Schoffro Cook. Adapted with permission from The Life Force Diet. Michelle Schoffro Cook, RNCP, ROHP, DAc, DNM, is a best-selling and six-time book author and doctor of natural medicine.


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

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:

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



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

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

See also:


According to the World’s Healthiest Foods, grapefruit is a powerhouse of nutrition and an excellent source of vitamin C, dietary fiber, vitamin A, potassium, folate, vitamin B5, and phytochemicals such as liminoids and lycopene:

  • Vitamin C helps to support the immune system and fight free radical damage.
  • Lycopene, a carotenoid phytonutrient, appears to have anti-tumor activity.
  • Limonoids inhibit tumor formation by promoting the formation of a detoxifying enzyme.
  • Pectin is a form of soluble fiber that has been shown in animal studies to slow the progression of atherosclerosis.

In addition, studies have revealed that eating grapefruit or drinking grapefruit juice, reduces the risk of kidney stones, protects against lung and colon cancer, significantly increases the production and activity of liver enzymes responsible for eliminating toxins from the body, and helps repair damaged DNA in human prostate cancer cells.

N.B. If you know the source, just inform the owner of the site for purpose of reference.


Free radicals cause cell damage – at the DNA level – which can result in:

  • inflammation
  • aging
  • cancer and
  • autoimmune disorders.

How do they cause this damage? Free radicals are the result of normal chemical reactions in the body called oxidation which then leaves the body with thousands of unbalanced electrons.

These unstable electrons can then cause damage to our cells and especially the macula where there is a lot of oxidation.

According to Dr. Lylas Mock, Visual Rehabilitation and Research Center of Michigan.

“Almost every single one of the risk factors we have for macular degeneration can be linked to free radicals.”

The dangers of oxidative stress on the macula was also reported by this article in Pub Med.

“Oxidized phospholipids in the macula increase with age and in eyes with age-related macular degeneration.

There is good evidence that oxidative stress is involved in the pathogenesis of age-related macular degeneration (AMD).

It is likely that controlling oxidation of phospholipids may be a potential treatment for AMD.”

Benefits of Antioxidant

eyeanatomysmallKeeping our free radicals in balance is extremely critical in the prevention of macular degeneration , in fighting disease in general, and in the aging battle.

What are the benefits of antioxidants to macular degeneration? Antioxidants supply the missing electron that is needed to balance the free radical so that the cell is neutralized and now unable to cause damage and injury to healthy cells and tissue.

The 2005 study in the Netherlands sought to evaluate whether antioxidants that are present in normal foods could play a role in preventing age-related macular degeneration (AMD).

Those who had an above-average intake of

  • Beta Carotene,
  • Vitamin C,
  • Vitamin E and
  • Zinc

had a 35 percent reduced risk of AMD.

Experience the Benefits of Antioxidants through Food

vegetablesbasket2We can get plenty of antioxidants through our diet. However not all foods contain the same concentration of antioxidants. It is important to know the foods high in antioxidants. Not only are berries high in antioxidants but so are beans, nuts, and vegetables.

Benefits of an Antioxidant Health Supplement

Antioxidant supplementation is supported by research.

Read the findings from Investigative Ophthalmology and Visual Science 2007:

“Our findings support the suggestion that supplementation with antioxidants, vitamins, and minerals may reduce the risk of development of AMD.

Taken together with the results of recent studies demonstrating that macrophage depletion reduced CNV formation in an animal model, our findings suggest that suppressing macrophage accumulation by controlling the macrophage responses to oxidative lipoproteins or suppressing phospholipid oxidation may be treatments for AMD.”

Antioxidants and Cancer, Heart Disease and Aging

Benefits of antioxidants is also realized by the National Cancer Institute.

Here is the definition from the National Cancer Institute:

“A substance that protects cells from the damage caused by free radicals (unstable molecules made by the process of oxidation during normal metabolism). Free radicals may play a part in

  • cancer,
  • heart disease,
  • stroke, and
  • other diseases of aging.

Antioxidants include beta-carotene, lycopene, vitamins A, C, and E, and other natural and manufactured substances.”

TheAmerican Institute for Cancer Research 1997 Report Food, Nutrition and the Prevention of Cancer: A Global Perspective states,

“Evidence of dietary protection against cancer is strongest and most consistent for diets high in vegetables and fruits.”

Antioxidants for Better Health

Every day your body is attacked by chemical compounds, toxins, and harmful substances called “free radicals.” Find out how herbal and vitamin antioxidants can help you cleanse your body of harmful substances and provide you the ability to live a longer and healthier life.

Natural Antioxidant Supplements and Vitamins

The human body derives its energy from the utilization of nutrients and oxygen as fuel. It also utilizes oxygen to help the immune system destroy foreign substances and combat disease. The byproducts of this and other metabolic processes can lead to the development of molecular agents that react with body tissues in a process called oxidation. While this process is a natural consequence of the energy generation system, its byproducts called free radicals can damage healthy cells. Antioxidants work in several ways: First, they may reduce the energy of the free radical. Second, they may stop the free radical from forming in the first place. And finally antioxidants interrupt the oxidizing chain reaction to minimize the damage caused by free radicals.

Many members of the medical and scientific communities believe that free radicals are major factors leading to more than sixty different health problems including aging, cancer, and atherosclerosis. Reducing exposure to free radicals and increasing intake of antioxidant nutrients has the potential to reduce the risk of health conditions caused by free radicals.

Our bodies produce several antioxidant enzymes, including superoxide dismutase (SOD), glutathione peroxidase, and catalase, that destroy many types of harmful free radicals. Supplements of these enzymes are available for oral administration. However, supplementing with the building blocks the body uses to make SOD, catalase, and glutathione peroxidase may prove to be more effective. These building block nutrients include the minerals manganese, zinc, and copper for SOD, and selenium for glutathione peroxidase.

In addition to enzymes, many vitamins and minerals such as vitamin C, vitamin E, beta-carotene, lutein, lycopene, vitamin B2, coenzyme Q10, and cysteine (an amino acid) act as natural antioxidants. Herbs, such as milk thistle, aloe vera, cascara sagrada, bilberry, turmeric (curcumin), grape seed or pine bark extracts, and ginkgo can also provide powerful antioxidant protection for the body and help inhibit many of the health problems associated with free radicals.

Consuming a wide variety of antioxidant enzymes, vitamins, minerals, and herbs is recommended as the best way to provide the body with the most complete protection against free radical damage.

There are a number of user submitted antioxidant product reviews and ratings available at

Natural Sources of Antioxidants

Natural antioxidants are most abundant in fruits and vegetables, as well as in other foods including grains, nuts, and some red meats, poultry and fish. The list below describes food sources of common antioxidants.

  • Beta-carotene can be found in many foods that are orange in color, including carrots, sweet potatoes, cantaloupe, apricots, squash, pumpkin, and mangos. Some green leafy vegetables are also rich in beta-carotene. Some of these include collard greens, spinach, and kale .
  • Lycopene is a potent antioxidant most commonly found in tomatoes, watermelon, papaya, guava, apricots, pink grapefruit, blood oranges, and other foods. It is estimated that nearly 85 percent of American dietary intake of lycopene comes from tomatoes and tomato based products.
  • Lutein, well known for its association with healthy eyes, is found in green, leafy vegetables such as spinach, collard greens, and kale.
  • Selenium is a mineral, not technically an antioxidant in its own right. However, it is an important component of most antioxidant enzymes. Plant foods like rice and wheat are the the most common dietary sources of selenium in most countries. The concentration of selenium in soil, which varies by region, determines the amount of selenium in the foods grown in that soil. Consequently, animals that eat grains or plants grown in selenium-rich soil have higher levels of selenium in their bodies. In the United States, breads and meat are typical sources of dietary selenium. Brazil nuts also contain large quantities of selenium.
  • Vitamin A is found in three main forms: retinol (Vitamin A1), 3,4-didehydroretinol (Vitamin A2), and 3-hydroxy-retinol (Vitamin A3). Foods will a lot of vitamin A include liver, carrots, sweet potatoes, egg yolks, milk and mozzarella cheese.
  • Vitamin C is a well known antioxidant that can be found in high concentrations in many fruits and vegetables. It can also be found in cereals, beef, poultry and fish products.
  • Vitamin E, also known as alpha-tocopherol, is found in many oils including wheat germ, corn, safflower and soybean oils, and is also found in mangos, nuts (almonds), broccoli and other foods.

If you’re diet doesn’t include a large amount of the food sources above we strongly suggest taking antioxidant vitamins or supplementing with a complete antioxidant complex.

Who Should Consider Antioxidant Supplements

Some people who may need to supplement their diet with antioxidants are:

  • 55+ years old
  • athletes
  • cancer patients
  • vegetarians

Vitamins and Herbs in Antioxidant Dietary Supplements

A common vitamin formula found in antioxidant dietary supplements is referred to as ACES:

  • beta carotene (provitamin A)
  • vitamin C
  • vitamin E
  • Selenium

Antioxidant-rich herbs that are often found in antioxidant dietary supplements are:

  • rosemary
  • green tea
  • grape seeds
  • jiaogulan


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