April 4, 2016

Mangoes are known as the best tasting fruit out there. If you have the opportunity to try mango do not pass it up. This creamy yet sweet smelling fruit that will leave your mouth watering does a lot for our bodies and we don't even know that!

What if I told you that you could loose weight by eating this fruit or even fight cancer would you eat it any cost? Mae Chan holds degrees in both physiology and nutritional sciences. She is also a blogger and technology enthusiast with a passion for disseminating information about health. author of health impacts talks about eating mangoes for our health it can aid in fighting cancer, alkalize the body, weight loss, regulate diabetes, help digestion, clean your skin, and make the perfect snack.

Here are 17 Reason's to eat Mangoes!

1. Fights cancer
Antioxidants like quercetin, isoquercitrin, astragalin, fisetin, gallic acid and methylgallat present in mango protect the body against colon, breast, leukemia and prostate cancers.

2. Keeps cholesterol in check
Mango has high level of vitamin C, pectin and fibres that help to lower serum cholesterol levels. Fresh mango is a rich source of potassium, which is an important component of cell and body fluids that helps to control heart rate and blood pressure.

3. Skin cleanser
Mangoes help you unclog your pores and add freshness to the face. Mangoes are applicable to any skin type. They help clear clogged pores that cause acne. Just slice a mango into thin pieces and keep them on your face for 10 to 15 minutes and then take bath or wash your face and see the results.

4. Alkalizes the body
According to natural health school.com, mango is rich in tartaric acid, malic acid and traces of citric acid that primarily help in maintaining the alkali reserve of the body.

5. Weight loss
Mango has a lot of vitamins and nutrients that help the body feel fuller. Also, the fibrous fruit boosts the digestive function of the body by burning additional calories, helping in weight loss.

6. Regulates diabetes
Not only the fruit but the leaves of mangoes are healthy too. For people suffering from diabetes, just boil 5-6 mango leaves in a vessel, soak it through night and drink the filtered decoction in the morning. This is helps in regulating your insulin levels.

Mango has a low glycemic index (41-60) so going a little overboard will not increase your sugar levels.

7. Aphrodisiac
Mango has aphrodisiac qualities and is also called the ‘love fruit’. Mangoes increase the virility in men. Vitamin E, which is abundantly present in mangoes, helps to regulate sex hormones and boosts sex drive.

8. Eye care
Did you know that mango is rich in vitamin A. One cup of sliced mangoes equals 25% intake of your daily need of vitamin A. Mangoes help in promoting good eye sight, fights dry eyes and also prevent night blindness.

9. Helps in digestion
Mango contains enzymes that help in breaking down protein. The fibrous nature of mango helps in digestion and elimination. It is is rich in pre-biotic dietary fibre, vitamins and minerals.

10. Heat stroke
When the sun is bogging you down this summer, just chop of a mango in a juicer; add a little water and a tbsp of sugar free or honey. This juice will instantly cool you down and prevent heat stroke.

11. Strengthens your immune
The deadly combination of vitamin C, vitamin A and 25 different kinds of carotenoids keep your immune system healthy.

12. Body scrub
Make a paste of mashed mango, honey and milk and use as a body scrub, you will feel that your skin is tender and smooth.

13. Aids concentration and memory
Studying for exams? This fruit is rich in glutamine acid– an important protein for concentration and memory. Feed mangoes to children who find it difficult to concentrate on studies.

14. High iron for women
Mango is rich in iron, hence it is a great natural solution for people suffering from anemia. Menopausal and pregnant women can indulge in mangoes as this will increase their iron levels and calcium at the same time.

15. Reduces Kidney Stones 
In Chinese medicine, mangoes are considered sweet and sour with a cooling energy also capable of reducing the risk of kidney stone formation.

16. Perfect Snack
Instead of snacking on unhealthy chips and cookies, why not feast on slices of mangoes instead. They are perhaps one of the tastiest dehydrated fruits of all.

17. Stomach Tonic 
Before going to bed put some 10 or 15 mango leaves in warm water and close it with lid. The next day morning filter the water and drink it in empty stomach. Do this regularly.

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April 4, 2016

Turmeric is related to the ginger family it is a bright orange color and is used a lot in Indian cuisine and is now recognized as a Super Food.



This tropical plant is not only used for cooking. It is used for ceremonies and dyes all over the world. Did you know that the curry powder blend gets its color from turmeric? Yup it does....

Heather Suhr author of The Raw Food World talks about treating Rheumatoid Arthritis with the Natural Healing of Turmeric!

As Heather has said that a report in the Phytotheraphy Research revealed that curcumin in high bioavailable form have been shown to be more effective than any rheumatoid drug which also included reducing the tenderness and swelling of the joints, plus patients reported a higher rate of improvement altogether.

Curcumin is known to treat everything from skin and stomach problems to infection and inflammations. Research has also shown to help reduce Alzheimer's

No wonder it's considered the SUPER FOOD all over the world!


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April 4, 2016

In the 1800s Johnny Appleseed used fruit trees to discover gravity. What can they do for you in 2015?

 Organic Fruit Benefits

Having a fruit tree right in your backyard will provide you with your own supply of fresh organic fruit. Organic foods are up to 50% higher in antioxidants which can reduce the risk of cancer and heart disease. They are also lower in toxins and pesticides than regular food, and richer in vitamins and minerals including iron and zinc.

The only downside is that organic fruit seems to spoil faster than the produce we buy from the normal supermarket (although having it in our backyard it much cheaper than having to buy it). But that only seems like a downside until you learn why. Most fruits in the supermarket are irradiated. This kills bacteria and extends the life of the food. Irradiation methods actually use radioactive substances or high energy electrons or x-rays. That certainly doesn’t sound appetizing to me.

Research from Newcastle University suggests that with all these benefits taken into consideration, choosing organic fruit over regular fruit may be the equivalent of adding up two servings of fruit to your daily diet.

Make Money

It’s pretty obvious that being able to run to the backyard to get your fruit is cheaper (and easier) than going to the grocery store, but that’s not the only way your very own fruit tree can make you money.

A fruit tree can add value to your home. It adds value because in addition to providing fruit, the tree flowers during the spring adding ornamental value. It can also help with privacy, something many home buyers are looking for. It can be a barrier to busy roads, unsightly views, or anything else that needs to be blocked. Instead of that ugly fence the neighbor put up, your mango tree looks beautiful all year round!

If you’re not moving any time soon, your fruit tree can cut your energy costs considerably. If placed properly, a tree can cut summer air-conditioning costs by up to 15%. Also, it can provide partial shade for plants and grass nearby. This will cut down on watering costs.

Environmental Benefits

Since we’ve reduced the amount of energy required for cooling our house, we have also reduced the amount of carbon dioxide and other emissions from power plants.

The burning of fossil fuels is considered to be a major cause of global warming. Carbon dioxide is one of these fossil fuels. You can easily do your part by planting a fruit tree. The tree actually needs carbon dioxide to survive. They essentially clean the air by absorbing the carbon dioxide and releasing fresh oxygen back into the air.

Trees can also help prevent erosion and runoff if placed on or near hills. They can also reduce runoff because they break the rainfall. The water flows down the trunk and into the soil. This in turn prevents the storm water from carrying pollutants into the ocean.

And of course the fruit tree can provide a new habitat for birds and bees. The fruit it yields will also feed birds and wildlife.

Health Benefits

We know the fruit is healthier than regular store bought fruit. But what about health benefits of having the tree itself?

Trees can shield children from ultra-violet rays. With the amount of time children spend outside, preventing skin cancer is an important consideration. Children with ADHD even exhibit less symptoms when consistently exposed to nature.

Also, studies have shown that patients heal faster when they can see trees outside their window. Imagine if there was a beautiful fruit tree in your backyard! And don’t forget, the improved air quality is important for everyone’s respiratory health. Something to consider if you or someone in your family suffers from seasonal allergies or asthma.

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April 4, 2016


Bananas arID-10031534e rich in Vitamin A, Vitamin B, and Vitamin E. They can be used as an anti-aging agent. Use freshly mashed banana for your next facial. It contains fiber, minerals, magnesium, and potassium. These all help our blood circulate properly and boost our immune system.


Lemons are high in Vitamin C and have natural bleaching properties. They are a good cleanser and can be used to lighten skin blemishes, acne scars, spots, and skin tone. Mix one glass of warm water with a dash of lemon juice and one teaspoon of honey. Or, add a bit of lemon juice to your salad. Another bonus, this also fights cellulite.


Oranges are alsID-100112121o rich in Vitamin C and can improve skin texture. They can remove blemishes and naturally slow down the aging process. Try it out by drying orange peels, crushing them into a powder, and storing them in an airtight container. Use this powder as a natural scrub 1-2 times a week.


Avocados are full of biotin and can help to prevent dry skin and brittle hair as well as weak nails. Apply avocado topically to your face, hair, or nails for hydration.


Papayas are rich in anID-100290783tioxidants and they are a source of an enzyme called papain. They can clear up skin impurities and remove dead skin cells. Use the inside of the papaya to exfoliate your face. Rub your face gently for about one minute. Blend the papaya, add 2 tablespoons of either honey or yogurt, and use the mixture as a mask. Rinse off after 20 minutes and follow up with a moisturizer.


Apples have a high level of antioxidants and Vitamin C which also work aID-10010749s an anti-aging agent while also preventing cell and tissue damage. This can minimize wrinkles and fine lines on your face. Eating an apple every day will certainly help your skin. In addition, you can apply an apple juice and honey mixture to your face. Wait for it to dry and then wash it off. This works well as a hydrating mask.


Yet anID-10092876other fruit rich in antioxidants, papayas can help speed healing and aid the skin in creating more collagen. This is important to keep your skin looking taut. Apply pomegranate to your face and see the difference.

Amla or Indian GooseberriesID-100161207

Amla is full of Vitamin A and like pomegranates, helps to increase collagen production. The best way to eat and use amla is to drink its juice form on an empty stomach in the early morning.


My personal favID-10034939orite, strawberries, contain malic acid. This makes strawberries a natural whitening agent. And they too have antioxidants which lead to a healthy glow. Eat a serving of strawberries, or mash them up and add yogurt or honey to form a paste. Apply it to your face for 15 minutes.

Images courtesy of: 1-Stoonn, 2-Sommai, 3 & 7-adamr, 4-anat_tikker, 5-satit-srihin, 6-m_bartosh, 8-Iamnee, 9-Ambro at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

April 4, 2016

The akee, found in Jamaica, is a relative of the lychee tree. Akee is a tropical evergreen tree that usually grows about 30 feet tall. Its leaves have a leathery texture and white flowers. The akee fruit is shaped like a pear and is bright red to yellow-orange. When it is ripe it splits open to reveal three large black seeds. Surrounding these seeds is soft, creamy white or yellow flesh.

The actual fruit of the akee is not edible. It is only the fleshy arils surrounding the seeds that are edible. The rest of the fruit, including the seeds, are poisonous. Be sure to pick the fruit only after it has opened naturally and when it is fresh. Immature and overripe akee are poisonous also.

In the past 70 years, many studies have been conducted to determine what makes the akee so toxic. It has been determined that the unripe arils contain a toxic property that is dispelled once the fruit opens and is exposed to light. Even when fully ripe, the arils still possess 1/12 of the toxins of an unripe akee. Symptoms of akee poisoning include vomiting without diarrhea followed by drowsiness, convulsions, coma, and sometimes death. However treatment with sugar solutions has been found helpful because of the poison’s hypoglycemic effects.

That is not to say you should steer completely clear of the akee. The part you do eat, the arils, are soft and delicate. They taste similar to scrambled eggs. Akee is truly a symbol of Jamaican culture. Salt Cod and Akee is the national dish of Jamaica. The salt cod is sautéed with akee, pork fat, onions, peppers, tomatoes, and herbs, and garnished with crisp bacon and fresh tomatoes.

Image courtesy of http://www.jamaicatravelforum.com/ackee-in-jamaica

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April 4, 2016

We all know fruit is healthy for you. We’ve heard it since we were kids. But with our crazy schedules, we don’t always have the time to eat healthy. Grabbing something quickly is sometimes the only option. So here’s how you can work some quick healthy fruit into your crazy schedule.

 At breakfast:

  1. Try stirring in some berries, either fresh or frozen, into yogurt, cereal, or oatmeal. It only takes a few seconds more and is a serving of fruit right at the beginning of the day. You can also try stirring in dried fruit or banana slices.
  2. Add blueberries or strawberries to your pancakes.
  3. Drink 100% orange or grapefruit juice.
  4. Just grab a fruit! If you don’t have time for a full breakfast, grabbing a whole piece of fruit is a quick substitute. Grab an apple, banana, or orange, and eat it on the way.

For Snacks:

  1. Keep fruit handy for a quick snack. Have a bowl of fresh fruit on the counter at home or on your desk.
  2. Carry dried fruit in your purse or car for those times when you just don’t have time for anything else. ¼ cup of dried fruit is equal to ½ of other fruits. Some fruits that are commonly available dried are apricots, apples, pineapples, bananas, cherries, figs, dates, cranberries, blueberries, prunes, and raisins.
  3. Pack pre-cut fruit into snack size bags. Keep them in the fridge for easy access.
  4. Purchase individual containers of fruits such as applesauce, peaches, or pineapple.

For Lunch/Dinner:

  1. Add fruit to a tossed salad. Try orange sections or grapes.
  2. A touch of lemon juice on seafood is another way to get a taste of fruit.

 For Dessert:

  1. If you’re eating ice cream or frozen yogurt ad ½ of fresh peaches, mangos, or berries to squeeze in another serving of fruit.
  2. Try baked apples, pears, or a fruit salad.

Images courtesy of zole4 at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

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April 4, 2016

That’s right. A breadfruit. It’s native to Tahiti and was introduced to Jamaica in 1793 by Captain Bligh. So why are the Jamaicans keeping all these great fruits to themselves? Granted, the breadfruit is tropical and can’t be grown in the majority of the US, but we could at least know about it, right?

The breadfruit is a large green fruit, usually around 10 breadfruitinches in diameter. It has a pebbly green skin and flesh with a potato like texture. Breadfruit is picked and eaten before it ripens. Most varieties can cause severe stomach upset if eaten raw. A common practice is to boil them twice and throw the water away to avoid any issues from the fruit. However, they can be used in place of any of your starchy vegetables, rice, or pasta. And breadfruit is pretty versatile. It can be cooked and served in a number of ways. It’s not uncommon for it to turn up in preserves or beverages.

But why call it a breadfruit? It tastes doughy like bread, but has more moisture. There are both seeded and seedless varieties. The seedless breadfruit is low in protein, but the seeds are considerably higher and therefore of more value as food.

The breadfruit tree can grow up to 85 feet tall. These trees require temperatures between 60° to 100°F, annual rainfall of 80-100 inches, and relative humidity of 70-80%. This is the main reasBreadfruit treeon why we rarely see breadfruit in the US. Generally the rind of the fruit is green at first, then turning a yellowish-green, yellow or yellow-brown when ripe, although there is one variety that is lavender. When it is green the fruit is hard with a white, starchy and fibrous interior. When the fruit is fully ripe, it becomes somewhat soft with a cream or yellow, pasty interior. It also has a slightly sweet fragrance.

Small drops of latex appear on the surface of the fruit when it is mature. Similar to a banana or plantain, the breadfruit can be eaten ripe as a fruit or under ripe as a vegetable. Soft or overripe breadfruit is used to make chips. These are currently being manufactured in Trinidad and Barbados. In some areas, such as Jamaica, Puerto Rico, and the South Pacific, fallen male flower spikes are boiled, peeled, and then eaten as vegetables. They can also be candied by recooking them in syrup and then rolled in powdered sugar and sundried.

Dried breadfruit has been made into flour. It is being explored as to whether it is a viable option to substitute breadfruit in part for wheat flour in bread making. The combination of the two proves more nutritious than wheat flour alone. Breadfruit flour is richer in lysine and other amino acids than wheat flour. In Jamaica, breadfruit flour is boiled and sweetened and then eaten as porridge.

Breadfruit has some other uses as well. Its leaves are commonly eaten by livestock such as cattle, goats, horses, and pigs. The latex, after being boiled with coconut oil, is used for caulking boats. It can also be mixed with colored earth and used as a paint for boats. The wood of the tree is light in weight but strong, elastic, and resistant to termites. Therefore, it makes it a good wood to be used in construction and for furniture. It is also quite in demand for surfboards. Traditional Hawaiian drums are even made out of breadfruit trunks.

Perhaps most interestingly, the breadfruit also has a number of medicinal uses. In some areas, such as Trinidad and the Bahamas, the breadfruit leaves are believed to lower blood pressure. Some also say they can relieve asthma. Leaves can be crushed and applied to the tongue as a treatment for thrush. So did we really just get rid of beta-blockers, inhalers, and the need for antibiotics to cure thrush because of a fruit? Seems a lot easier, doesn’t it?

The leaf juice is even employed as ear-drops and skin infections can be treated with ashes of burned leaves. A powder of the roasted leaves is used as a remedy for an enlarged spleen. So a powder from a fruit or risk a surgery? Hardly seems like choice to me. Some even say that the leaves can be used as a remedy for headaches. And if you’re like me and you get chronic headaches and migraines, you’d try just about anything to help them. Toasted flowers are rubbed on the gums near an aching tooth. This sounds so easy! The latex is used on skin diseases and is bandaged on the spine to relieve sciatica. And finally, diluted latex is taken internally to overcome diarrhea.

I’m a skeptic myself, so until I try these I’m not sure I believe them either. But even if only half of them worked, wouldn’t it be amazing?

Images courtesy of Jamaican-Recipes.com & CC-BY-SA-3.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0/)], via Wikimedia Commons

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April 4, 2016

There are plenty of us out there who don’t like fruit. Or at least, not enough to eat it regularly. But we really need to start thinking about eating healthy. And here’s some ideas for those of us who are a little pickier than others. I myself am the pickiest eater I’ve ever met, and even I have found a few fruits I like. But it did take some searching.

Go for convenience. Try buying pre-cut fruit or individual serving packages. They’re easier to grab on the go. When you do this, steer clear of fruits with added sugars. If you’re choking down the fruit you may as well make it worth it, right?

Get the kids involved. Most kids will resist eating fruit. But you can make them part of the process and hopefully encourage them to eat some fruit. Take them shopping with you. Offer them a choice of fruits and let them decide which one they’d like. You can also decorate their plates with fruit slices. Even try making a smiley face with sliced banana eyes, a raisin nose, and an orange slice for a mouth! And if they’re really against fruit, cut up some berries and use it as a topping on ice cream or frozen yogurt.

Learn what to buy. Be sure to buy fresh fruits when they’re in season. This is when they’re usually less expensive and at their peak flavor. Also stock up on dried, frozen, and canned fruits (in water or 100% juice rather than syrup) so there’s always a supply in your pantry. While fruit juices are beneficial, whole or cut-up fruit is more nutritious.

TIP: Vary your fruit choices. Fruits have different nutrient content. Bananas are high in potassium while pomegranates are high in antioxidants. Make many fruits a part of your diet to benefit from their healthy qualities.

Make substitutions. Swap out your afternoon soda for ½ a cup of 100% juice. It’ll get you an extra serving of fruit. And if you’re really dependent on your caffeine, start by adding the fruit juice rather than just substituting. And those times you hear “Mom, I’m hungry” is a perfect opportunity to offer your kids raisins or other types of dried fruit instead of candies. Also pack a juice box in your child’s lunch instead of soda.

Eat more colors. This is an easy way to remember to eat healthy. Fruits are colorful, so just remind yourself and your kids to add color to their diet. Red can be apples or strawberries. Orange is rather obvious! Yellow could be lemons, bananas, or apples. Green is apples again as well as grapes and avocadoes. Blueberries come next. Purple grapes and raspberries round out the rainbow. This is just the beginning of adding color. Papayas, pomegranates, grapefruit, melons, pineapples, pears, and other berries are great options as well.

Add a fruit tree in the back yard. Okay, maybe we're biased, but how can you resist fresh fruit right at your fingertips?

Watch out for How to Get Picky Eaters to Eat Fruit Part 2 coming on Monday!

Image courtesy of Camille Wellard at http://www.makoodle.com/rainbow-fruit-tray/

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April 4, 2016

Guava Cheese Turnovers (Guava Pastelillos)

Total Time:
55 min
20 min
15 min
20 min
Yield:8 servings Level: Easy

1 (1-pound) package frozen puff pastry, thawed
1 tablespoon granulated sugar
1 (8-ounce) package cream cheese, cut into 8 equal pieces
8 (1 by 1-inch) squares guava paste (about 4 ounces)
1 egg, beaten with 1 teaspoon water
1/4 cup confectioners' sugar
1 teaspoon milk
1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract

Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.

Sprinkle the sugar on your work surface to prevent the dough from sticking. Roll out each sheet of puff pastry to an 8 by 8-inch square. Using a pizza cutter or sharp knife, cut each sheet into 4 squares.

Make the turnovers: Set a pastry square in front of you with 1 of the corners pointing toward you. Place 1 piece of cream cheese diagonally over the center of the bottom of the square. Top with a piece of guava paste. Brush the edges of the square with beaten egg. Fold the upper half of the square over the filling to make a neat triangle. Crimp the edges with a fork. Repeat with the remaining turnovers, placing them on a parchment paper-lined baking sheet as you go.

Bake for 20 minutes or until golden brown and puffy.

While the turnovers are baking, mix the confectioners' sugar with the milk and vanilla, stirring to dissolve any lumps. Set aside.

Cool the turnovers on a rack for 10 to 15 minutes, then drizzle the glaze over them. Serve warm or at room temperature.

Recipe courtesy Daisy Martinez via Food Network

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April 4, 2016

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