#HeartyTuesday: ORANGE

The change you expect to see when you adopt the use of home remedies or fruits and foods to cure diseases do not happen speedily; it takes some time, much effort and discipline. However, it eventually happens, and it comes with no strings attached.

It is the last Hearty Tuesday in this series and the secret Hearty magician for the day is ORANGE.

Oranges have got loads of benefits, and they are so easy to squeeze into our everyday meal. They are full of potassium, an electrolyte mineral, which helps the heart to function properly. When potassium levels get too low, one may develop abnormal heart rhythm known as arrhythmia.

Oranges are naturally rich in folate, or folic acid, a vitamin of the B group. One role of folate is to process the amino acid homocysteine in the body. When folate is lacking, homocysteine is not broken down, piles up in our blood vessels and becomes toxic, even in small amounts. The accumulation of high levels of homocysteine in the blood may cause a heart attack even among people who have adequate cholesterol levels.

One orange contains about 3 grams of fiber: 60% is soluble fiber and 40% insoluble. Both types are essential for health, but soluble fiber is the one that lowers cholesterol. Pectin, the soluble fiber that's found mainly in the skin around each orange section and in the peel, helps trap and eliminate cholesterol from the body. Try to eat a little of the white part of the orange peel; it contains half of the fruit's pectin supply.

The flavanone hesperidin has been shown to lower high blood pressure and cholesterol as well as to have strong anti-inflammatory properties. This component is found in the peel and inner white pulp of the orange. To reap the full benefits of oranges, grate a tablespoon of the peel and use it to flavor tea, salads, yogurt, soups, and cereals.

Give your body a green treat today.

Follow @thegreenfoodshop on Instagram for more recipes and tips.



#HeartTuesday: BERRY

Our Tuesdays are for pampering the heart to make it feel good and green. Even if not for anything else, let’s keep the heart healthy enough to withstand all these heartbreaks. For this hearty Tuesday, the magician for the day is BERRY.

According to a study published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, eating a cup full of mixed berries for eight weeks can be associated with increased levels of HDL cholesterol and lowered blood pressure.

Berries contain Polyphenols, a broad class of heart promoting plant compound that includes anthocyanin and ellagic acid.

Polyphenols may increase the level of nitric oxide, a molecule that produced some heart-healthy effects. One of these includes helping to relax the blood vessels, which subsequently results in lowered blood pressure.

Berries do not only satisfy the mouth, but they also satisfy the heart.

Give your body a green treat today.

Follow @thegreenfoodshop on Instagram for more recipes and tips.

Olubunmi Ayodele

#HeartyTuesday: TOMATO

Its Hearty Tuesday is here again, and I must say the magician of the day is one of a kind. It’s TOMATO. Now who would have thought Tomatoes could do the magic of strengthening the Heart?

 I mean, a lot of us must have thought all it could do was give food the exciting that makes one want to dive into the pot. Really, a tomato has got truckloads of nutrients and fun in it.

Tomatoes are a rich source of Vitamin C and A. They also contain Potassium, Fibre and are equally high in Lycopene, which works with other vitamins and minerals to aid disease prevention.

Intake of tomatoes has long been linked to heart health. Fresh tomatoes and tomato extracts have been shown to help lower total cholesterol, LDL cholesterol, and triglycerides. Also, tomato extracts have been proved to help prevent unwanted clumping together (aggregation) of platelet cells in the blood - a factor that is especially important in lowering risk of heart problems like atherosclerosis.

In a recent South American study of 26 vegetables, tomatoes and green beans came out best in their anti-aggregation properties. But only recently are researchers beginning to identify some of the most unusual phytonutrients in tomatoes that help provide us with these heart-protective benefits.

One of these phytonutrients is a glycoside called esculentoside A; another is flavonoid called Chalco- naringenin; and yet another is a fatty-acid type molecule called 9-oxo-octadecadienoic acid.

As our knowledge of unique tomato phytonutrients expands, we are likely to learn more about the unique role played by tomatoes in support of heart health. Tomatoes are also likely to rise further and further toward the top of the list of heart-healthy foods.

 Cooking may increase the health benefits of tomatoes so don’t be afraid to pass it under a little heat. Cooking Tomatoes may reduce the Vitamin C content but Lycopene is made more available, and the antioxidant activity is left undiminished.

Give your body a green treat today.

Follow @thegreenfoodshop on Instagram for more recipes and tips.

Olubunmi Ayodele