As the summer heat wilts your skin, your smile, and your appetite, focus on cool fruit and vegetable snacks. My favorite summer skin refresher is the cucumber. The more I learn about cucumbers there more astounded I am by all of its magical properties. Who knew?!
Cucumbers, scientifically known as Cucumis sativus, belong to the same botanical family as melons (including watermelon and cantaloupe) and squashes (including summer squash, winter squash, zucchini and pumpkin). I became addicted to them thanks to the innovative cooking of the Serbian grandmother of my child. At every meal grandma serves a cucumber salad. Sometimes the cucumbers are chopped and mixed with plain yogurt, dill, lemon juice and olive oil and sometimes with mint and feta.
Cucumbers are an excellent palate cleanser and refresh the mouth and breath. (They are also a fantastic flirtation-starter for those of you who like to send a suggestive message to the opposite sex in the vegetable aisle of the store… Though some men may wilt when faced with the more intimidating specimens of Cucumis sativus, a little fondling of the impressive cucumber may rev your engines…And who knows what could happen then?)
But why are they so magical?? Here are 30 reasons:
Most women think that cranberries are useful only for helping eradicate or prevent UTI infections. But the health benefits of cranberries are far more wide-ranging and even a tad surprising.
Cranberry (Vaccinium macrocarpon) is a small round red colored fruit which is native to America. It typically grows in bogs. If you’ve ever been in Nantucket you may have seen its extensive bogs. Nantucket is home to some of the largest contiguous cranberry bogs in the world where cranberries have been grown since 1857. American cranberry is one of the only three species of fruit native to North America. The other species are blueberry and bilberry. Cranberry gets its name from “crane-berry” because its stem and flower resemble the head, neck, and beak of a crane.
Cranberries are high in vitamin C and fiber and only 45 calories per cup. In disease-fighting antioxidants, cranberries outrank nearly every fruit and vegetable–including strawberries, spinach, broccoli, red grapes, apples, raspberries, and cherries. They have strong antibacterial effects in the body and eating cranberries prevents viruses and bacteria from attaching itself to the body. Something else to think about before sleeping with someone you don’t know well! (While women often drink unsweetened cranberry juice to treat an infection, there’s no hard evidence that works.) The National Institutes of Health (NIH) is funding research on the cranberry’s effects on heart disease, yeast infections and other conditions, and other researchers are investigating its potential against cancer, stroke and viral infections.
One cup of whole cranberries has 8,983 total antioxidant capacity. Only blueberries can top that: Wild varieties have 13,427; cultivated blueberries have 9,019. Continue reading
I had to convince myself to get into green tea because I was so obsessed with coffee. Now, while coffee does have some benefits (antioxidants, protects against some mental disorders and boosts well-being and functionality) – it is extremely acidifying to the body and thereby, accelerates aging and creates a ripe environment for the proliferation of sickness. I was not won over by the taste of the green tea that comes in the traditional little tea satchels.
The game-changer for me was discovering Matcha green tea. It comes in powder format and is an unusually brilliant extra-terrestrial green color. It has true ass-kicking wake-up power and the taste is stronger than tea bags. When mixed with a bit of milk (or almond or coconut milk) and whisked to a fine froth is becomes an extraordinary concoction that needs to be tried to be understood. Continue reading
Ah sleep. It eludes me – often. From late night party hang-overs and early am work to the late night dinner or even later chirps from the baby’s room – I never get enough. I used to pop a xanex and conk out but since turning unemployed, hippie, homemaker my life (and my ‘prescriptive connections’) have changed.
Studies as cited in the Journal of the National Cancer Institute have shown that if you don’t have enough melatonin, a woman’s chance of getting breast cancer or a man’s chance of getting prostate cancer increase significantly. They have also found that melatonin is the number one anti-cancer hormone produced in the body and acts as a powerful antioxidant.
But what is melatonin and why is it so important to anti-aging? Continue reading