Lime (Citrus aurantifolia)
Lime contains antioxidants and phytochemicals, such as flavonoids and limonene, that make up around 28% of lime essential oil and have been closely studied. Research shows
that limonene increases liver enzymes that can eliminate toxic chemicals in the body.
Lime juice can regulate cell division, cell death, and boost white blood cell activity.
Research showed a lime extract has anti-hypertensive activity, helping to counter high
blood pressure. Studies suggest that lime essential oil may also contribute to weight loss
and have anti-bacterial effects.
Kumquat (Citrus japonica)
Kumquat, the smallest of citrus fruits, is rich in nutrients, including a range of vitamins,
calcium, iron and folate. A 100-gram serving of kumquat fulfills 73% of the daily vitamin C requirement, helping to prevent cell damage from free radicals.
Kumquat’s potassium helps to maintain blood pressure levels and fluid balance in the
body. Its peel is a good source of liminoids, phytochemicals shown to stop and reverse
tumor progression. Kumquat is helpful for obesity, high blood pressure, indigestion,
respiration congestion and other conditions.
Peach (Prunus persica)
Peach is as sweet for health as it is for your taste buds.Its phytochemicals include betacarotene, lutein and zeaxanthin. It can help to simulate digestive juices, regulate the
bowels, eliminate toxins and contribute to weight loss. When ripened, peach is useful for
helping stomach ailments as it soothes stomach walls and removes toxins accumulated in
the gastrointestinal system.
Strawberry (Fragaria vesca)
A 100-gram serving of strawberry provides 98% of vitamin C needed daily. Researchers
consider strawberry a great commonly-consumed antioxidant source, that is also rich in
vitamin B-complex, calcium, phosphorus, manganese and potassium.
One cup of strawberries can help to lower blood sugar increase
caused by sugar intake. Studies suggest that strawberry’s polyphenols may help regulate
blood sugar response.
Strawberry may also contain anti-inflammatory compounds. Research shows that diets including strawberry can slow aging, even delaying or overturning age-related degenerative conditions.
Jasmine (Jasminum officinale)
Iridoid glycosides in jasmine stimulate the release of gastrin in the digestive system,
which promotes secretion of bile and other digestive chemicals. Aucubin, an iridoid
glycoside, has shown anti-aging, antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, neuroprotective and
Oleuropein, a secoiridoid glycoside in jasmine, demonstrates powerful antioxidant,
anti-inflammatory, anti-tumor, anti-microbial, anti-viral and anti-aging properties. It also
defends against plaque formation in arteries.
Cinnamon (Cinnamomum cassia)
Cinnamon is rich in healthful nutrients like vitamin K, iron and calcium. Its abundant store of manganese superoxide dismutase, a powerful antioxidant enzyme, neutralizes free radicals linked to aging and chronic conditions.
Controlling inflammation could be the key to a healthy old age. Cinnamon contains
proanthocyanidins, a group of flavonoids with strong antioxidant properties. They inhibit
an enzyme that speeds up production of prostaglandins, which promote inflammation.
2-Hydroxycinnamaldehyde in cinnamon decreases inflammation by inhibiting nitric oxide production.
Japanese researchers discovered that cinnamon AX, a polysaccharide, has remarkable immune system boosting activity.
Coniferaldehyde and eugenol are compounds in cinnamon that may help fight clot formation. Cinnamic acid in cinnamon promotes growth of new blood vessels in vivo and in vitro.
Peppermint (Mentha piperita)
Rich in powerful antioxidants such as eriocitrin and vitamins A and C, peppermint helps scavenge free radicals and support the health of the immune system. Its abundance of dietary fiber contributes to a healthy heart and digestive system.
Menthol gives peppermint its cooling sensation by stimulating nerves that sense cold. It also briefly inhibits nerves that react to pain. This partly explains peppermint’s popularity for headaches, muscle aches, breathing difficulties, cough and the common cold.
Peppermint aids digestion by calming the muscles of the stomach and improving the flow of bile, which the body uses to digest fats, allowing food to pass through the stomach more quickly. Peppermint also soothes an upset stomach by relaxing the muscles that allow digestive gas to pass. Researchers have shown that peppermint activates an anti-pain channel in the colon to soothe inflammatory pain in the gastrointestinal tract.
Foods that help us live longer, healthier, happier lives are all around us. Just take a trip down your grocery’s fruit aisle and spice and herb section to give your immune system a healthy boost with wholesome plant foods!