Nature’s Nutritional Gifts
Mother Nature provides us an abundance of health benefits in the gifts of fruit. These health benefits of fruit can aid in preventing disease and in many cases also cure them. In this article we will only touch on a handful of tropical fruits grown here at Upachaya that we use to feed our guests. However, do your own research and find out just how nutritional your favorite fruits are and what health benefits they provide.
There are more mangoes eaten in the world than any other fruit. They are the biological relative to cashews and pistachios and there are over 1,000 different varieties. Here at Upachaya we have two different varieties, both providing lovely fruit and an abundance of health benefits.
Health Benefits of Mangoes
* Filled with antioxidants found to protect against colon, breast, leukemia, and prostate cancers.
* Lowers cholesterol due to high levels of fiber, pectin and Vitamin C.
* Clears skin – internally and externally. Clears clogged pores and eliminate pimples.
* Rich in Vitamin A which promotes good eyesight.
* Tartaric acid, malic acid and a trace of citric acid help to bring the body to an alkaline state.
* Mango leaves help normalize insulin levels which in turn aids in treatment of Diabetes.
* Vitamin E in Mangoes can help improve your sex life.
* Fiber in the mangoes aid in digestion and elimination. The enzymes aid in breaking down protein.
* The juice of green mangoes with a bit of water and sweetener help cool the body down and prevent harm from heat stroke.
* Vitamin C and Vitamin A plus the 25 different carotenoids in Mango help boost the immune system.
Diabetes – Boil leaves of mango tree and soak in water over night. In morning, filter tea and drink. This will help normalize insulin levels.
Extract a large pit or seed from green mango. You can eat this raw, or cooked. This is an Ayurvedic remedy that will provide you more energy and strength.
Externally – blend a mango and apply as a face mask. Add 2 tablespoons of oatmeal and 2 tablespoons of almonds in a blender or food processor. Pulse until it is ground fine. Add 1/2 cup of mango and add just a tad bit of water to make it a thick consistency for the facial mask. Spread on face, leave for 10 minutes and wash off with tepid water.
If you have a latex allergy, you may also have a reaction with mangoes. Mango peel and sap contain urushiol, a chemical also found in poison ivy and poison sumac which can cause allergic reaction.
Papaya is an excellent source of Vitamins A, C and E, as well as calcium, iron, riboflavin, thiamine, niacin, and antioxdants. The enzymes of papacin and chymopapain help with digestion. As we age our body produces fewer digestive enzymes which are essential to process proteins. Proteins when not digested properly can cause an overgrowth of bad bacteria in the gastrointestinal system. By eating this fruit right after a meal, it can prevent bloating, and chronic indigestion. It can also lower inflammation in the body, alleviate pain and edema caused by sports injuries, and relieve severity of rheumatoid arthritis and osteoarthritis.
Health Benefits of Papaya
* Strengthens immune system by replenishing good bacteria in the intestinal system.
* Papain can also destroy intestinal parasites.
* An application of leaf and bark extract can alleviate gum aches and toothaches.
* The antioxidants on Papaya are beneficial in preventing atherosclerosis, strokes, heart attacks and diabetic heart disease.
* The enzymes increase the quality of proteins in the body.
* Encourages renewal of muscle tissue.
* Supports the cardiovascular system as well as the digestive system.
* Salve or ointments made from papaya peel are good for aiding in the healing of skin wounds.
* Lowers the risk of emphysema in smokers and passive smokers.
* Add papaya to your daily diet and it may help stop hair from thinning.
Papaya Leaf Juice can increase the platelet levels which aids in treatment of Dengue. Use leaves that are not too old, or too young. Crush with a pestle. Squeeze the juice and drink approximately 10 ml 2 times a day.
If suffering from amoebas, parasites, or food poisoning, swallow a small handful of papaya seeds. Swallow them whole, do not chew. They will help eliminate whatever is in your system.
Hydrating skin mask. Mash papaya and mix with honey. Apply to face and leave on for about 15 minutes. Rinse with cool water.
All natural body scrub. Mash raw papaya, honey, spa salt and olive oil and rub all over body. This will help to exfoliate and make your skin glow.
Coconuts are considered one of the most treasured foods of all time. They are anti-bacterial, anti-fungal, anti-parasitic, and anti-viral. During WWII blood plasma was scarce and so they used coconut water as a replacement as it is nearly identical to human blood.
Health Benefits of Coconut
* Helps prevent obesity by providing an immediate source of energy, has fewer calories, and speeds metabolism.
* Improves heart health.
* The high dietary fiber content (61%) rivals other fiber sources such as psyllium, wheat bran, and oat bran. The non-digestible carbohydrate (insoluble) fiber contains no calories and has no adverse affect on blood sugar.
* This is a low glycemic index food which slows down the release of glucose, therefore requiring less insulin.
* Reduces sweet cravings and improves insulin secretion and utilization of blood glucose.
* Improves digestion by providing and supporting absorption of other nutrients including vitamins, minerals, and amino acids.
* Improves the body’s ability to absorb calcium and magnesium and may prevent osteoporosis.
* Increases thyroid function and boosts metabolism which helps to shed unwanted pounds.
* Reduces appearance of age spots, wrinkles and varicose veins by stimulating new cell growth.
Oil pulling with coconut oil can help detoxify your body, brighten your teeth, and prevent cavities and gum disease.
Coconut oil is an excellent hair conditioner for those suffering from dry and brittle hair. Hair damaged by coloring, the sun, or by chlorinated pools could benefit from a deep coconut oil conditioner. Add coconut oil directly to the hair and massage into scalp. Wrap head in a towel, or plastic bag for 20 minutes. Then rinse out.
Guanabana contains many nutrients and antioxidants that offer extraordinary health benefits. Although the rind is quite bitter, the fruit’s flesh is soft, smooth, and sweet, and provides healthy carbohydrates as its major nutrient. It contains a high amount of Vitamin C and several B Vitamins such as thiamin and niacin, along with a high amount of alkaline forming calcium, which is important for bone health.
Guanabana contains a number of compounds that may prevent or slow the growth of cancer. A study published in 1976 by the National Cancer Institute states that the leaves and stem of this tree are vastly efficient in eliminating cancer cells in the human body. In fact, it is 10,000 times more effective than chemotherapy particularly for prostate, colon, pancreatic, and lung cancer.
Health Benefits of Guanabana
* Kills parasites inside our body.
* Fights free radicals which can help significantly in eliminating cancer from the body.
* The insoluble and soluble fiber in guanabana adds bulk and aids in elimination.
* Finely mashed leaf of the guanabana added with water applied to boils will help decrease their size and ultimately aid in curing.
* The use of the leaf decoction will also eliminate bed bugs, head lice and nits.
One last note, when eating fruit, it is best eaten first thing in the morning approximately 30 minutes before eating anything else. Fruit used different digestive enzymes than other foods, and if fruit is eaten after other foods, it may sit on top of everything else and begin to decompose prior to enzymes breaking down the foods and benefiting from the nutrients. Papaya is the only exception.