The Blue or Peruvian Potato: History and Nutritional Value.
The blue or purple potato, botanical name Solanum andigenum, is one of many potato varieties that originate from the Andean valleys of Peru, and in particular the region surrounding Lake Titicaca. Potatoes have been cultivated in Peru and Bolivia for over 6000 years. They were a major food source for the Inca people and still are for the local population. In the 16th century Spanish sailors stocked their ships with potatoes for the long voyage back to Spain, principally because they realized that the potato cured scurvy. Sir Walter Raleigh introduced the potato to England in 1586, where it flourished in the country’s cold climate.
In the 17th century the potato became unpopular because many people believed it caused leprosy and other illnesses. Aside from Ireland, the potato was considered unfit for human consumption in Europe, only to be used as hog feed. The French government was so concerned that it banned the cultivation of potatoes in 1748. By the late 17th century bread, which had been a staple food, had became a rare commodity. The French agronomist Antoine-Auguste Parmentier, who had pioneered studies in nutritional chemistry, was given the task of relieving the bread shortage by popularizing the potato. He created a number of dishes using pureed and mashed potatoes, along with butter, seasonings and other vegetables, which helped make the potato unrecognizable. Many of the potato dishes he created such as potage parmentier, still bear his name.
In 1845 tragedy struck Ireland, which had come to rely on the potato as its principle crop, when a parasite infestation devastated crops and caused wide spread famine. Many left the emerald isle in a mass exodus to the United States. Many Irish immigrants must have carried potatoes with them to the new world because soon after the cultivation of potatoes spread across North America.
The potato is a perennial plant that is part of the Solanaceae family or deadly nightshade. There are over 3000 varieties of potato with only about 100 varieties being edible. So early claims that the potato made people ill would have held some truth if toxic varieties had been imported to Europe.
The vast majority of potato varieties have white flesh, although there are many blue or purple fleshed varieties. Most of them are cultivated in the cooler Andean climates of South America, from Chile to Argentina. One particular waxy variety is cultivated in Finland, and is known as the blue Congo potato. The Congo is served at state banquets and is considered a delicacy in that country. In the USA a variety called the purple creamer has a sweet taste and flaky texture. Other varieties include the 'all blue', a larger potato, good for roasting or baking; the blue cloud with its attractive blue and white streaks; the lavender, so called for its color; and the Peruvian purple fingerling, which has brown-purple skin and purple rings through its white flesh. Purple or blue fleshed potatoes tend to be less waxy and are sweeter than white fleshed potatoes. They can be cooked any way although boiling them for too long will diminish their blue color.
Nutritional Value: The potato is extremely nutritious. It contains B complex vitamins, in particular vitamin B6. Potatoes are a good source of vitamin C, although they tend to lose their vitamin C content over time. Six months in storage can reduce the potato’s vitamin C content by half. They contain the minerals magnesium, potassium, niacin, iron and also folic acid and pantothenic acid. Potatoes are fat free and low calorie, however the potato's calorific content increases with cooking. One hundred grams of deep fried potatoes contain 540 calories as compared with the same amount of boiled potatoes at 89 calories; raw potatoes have 78 calories per 100 grams.
Blue or purple varieties have an additional benefit in that they contain more and higher levels of flavonoids. Flavonoids are compounds which are found in the color pigments of fruits and vegetables. They provide us with antioxidant protection against chronic disease. In one study the University of Oslo in Norway found blue potatoes to have more than double the level of antioxidant rich flavonoids than either white fleshed or sweet potatoes. One of the many flavonoids found in blue or purple colored potatoes are anthocyanins. The interest and research into anthocyanins has been growing in recent years. They are anti-inflammatory, antimicrobial and anti-cancer. They also help neutralize damaging free radicals and may reduce the risk of heart disease. Although blue potatoes are a good source of anthocyanins, the most abundant source of anthocyanins in the western diet is strawberries, blueberries, grapes and red wine.
Malunggay (Moringa Oliefera) is one of most common and popular backyard plants in many areas of Philippines, India and Africa; malunggay is the term used for moringa oliefera in the Philippines. These 3 countries have tropical climates which are suitable for cultivating Malunggay trees. In fact, malunggay or moringa is also known as “The Miracle Tree” because of its numerous benefits such as it contains about 90 essential nutrients, 46 antioxidants and 8 amino acids.
There are many health benefits of malunggay juice in fact all the parts of the moringa tree can be utilized for most health purposes. The leaves are rich in Vitamins A, B, C, D and E which have their own important roles in maintaining our body's health. Moringa leaves are more nutritious because it has more vitamins compared to oranges, milk and carrots. The leaves and flowers are the most utilized parts of the malunggay tree because these are the purest parts for health. Malunggay leaves are mostly also used in cooking and herbal medicines in fact it has been used for decades.
Indian old tradition of medicines also considers the benefits of moringa or maluggay as effective treatments for more than 300 diseases that a human can have. This is also the main reason why the nutrients of moringa leaves are given to African babies to fight malnutrition since malnutrition starts during childhood. Also, athletes have been benefitting from these nutrients for decades because it effectively provides both physical and mental energy to make them go for the gold. Although malunggay or moringa is not a popular plant to many, seniors never for its benefits to the improvement of their memory and effective prevention for alzheimer's disease.
Nutritional Facts of Malunggay Juice
- 7 times more vitamin C than oranges
- 4 times more vitamin A than carrots
- 4 times calcium and 2 times protein than milk
- 3 times potassium than bananas
- 13 different species
Health Benefits of Malunggay Juice
Best Solution for Malnutrition
Malunggay juice is one of the healthiest plants which can be grown from the backyard of people living in tropical areas with tropical climate. In fact, this is one of the best and cheapest remedies for early malnutrition among newborn babies especially in African countries. The rich essential nutrients of malunggay juice are what make it undoubtedly a best remedy for prevention of malnutrition. Malunggay juice is very rich in Vitamins A, B, C, D, E, calcium, iron and protein. These are all essential for maintaining the body's capability to work well and feel better.
Effective Prevention of Bacteria and Fungi
Based on the research or study of Department of Biochemistry at Indian Institute of Science in Bangalore, malunggay has been found to contain pterygospermin. This compound acts as antibacterial and antifungal agents thus preventing the severity of bacteria and fungi related diseases. The bacteria and fungi fighting properties of malunggay leaves are actually some of the best health benefits of malunggay juice.
Fights Cancer Related Diseases
Many scientific and medical studies have proved that malunggay juice is very effective in reducing the formation of tumor in some areas of the body because of its Benzyl Isothiocyanate which is known for both treatment and prevention of cancer diseases. Some of the cancers that could be prevented and treated are skin and prostate cancer.
Prevents Rheumatism, Arthritis and Joint Pains
The essential nutrients present in malunggay juice are also proven effective in preventing rheumatism, arthritis and other joint pains. These benefits are the health benefits of malunggay juice that should not be disregarded since many people are suffering from joint problems. In fact, Filipino scientists from the Department of Science and Technology of the Philippines have discovered the anti inflammatory properties of malunggay leaves. This is a very good diet to include by elderly people who have been suffering for joint pains for years.
Enhances Reproductive Health
The aphrodisiac action from the essential properties of malunggay juice significantly improves the reproductive health especially men. This is a very good and healthy juice for couples trying to enhance their marriage relationship.
Essential Nutrients of Malunggay Juice
- Vitamin A - prevents eye, skin, heart, diarrhea
- Vitamin C - fights cough, colds, fever and flu
- Calcium - for strong bones, teeth and prevent bone diseases
- Vitamin D - prevents or reduces cancer
- Potassium - healthy brain
- Protein - for muscle development
Those are the above mentioned health benefits of malunggay juice from its leaves. Until today, the other essential benefits of this miracle plant are still being discovered by many scientists. The most important part is from reading the content of this article we have already understood the importance of this plant to our health.
Coconut trees are very useful because they have various parts which can be utilized for various purposes. This article provides useful information about the parts of coconut tree and its uses. In fact, its fruit alone has many uses in the field medicine and cosmetics. There have been numerous studies which proved that it is truly a "tree of life". There are many products which can be utilized using this tree. These products can be used for various purposes like commercial, domestic, and industrial.
Coconut tree belongs to the palm family called the family of Arecaceae. There are actually 2 types of this tree of life, these are the tall and dwarf. This is usually found on tropical areas or countries around the world like Philippines, India, Hawaii, and other. All the parts of coconut tree are all useful.
The roots of coconut are commonly used in beverages and medicine. These roots are used for dye, tooth brush, and mouth wash. It can also be used in treating diarrhea, dysentery, and other digestive problems.
The pinnate leaves of the tree of life seem to be useless but in reality, it has different uses. The leaves when dried can be used for paper pulp and brooms. It can also be used for creating bags, shades, decors, fans, and hats. Some people in rural areas use it in covering roofs, creating fences, and kindling fires.
When the husk is soaked in salt water, its fibers are separated to produce coir. Coir is commonly used material in creating ropes, mats, and coarse clothes.
Spathe and Guinit
The spathe and guinit are useful in creating headgears like helmets and caps. It can also be used in creating handbags and bakya straps.
Flowers are useful in creating apparels. The sap of the flower can be used in creating alcohol and vinegar. Usually, the sap is boiled in order to make syrup. The syrup is processed and fermented to produce alcohol or vinegar.
Meat / Nut
One of the best parts of coconut tree and its uses is the meat. The meat or nut is a good source of protein and acts as a natural laxative. The meat has many different uses like animal feeds, flower, desiccated, milk, chips, copra, candies, latik, salad, and other sweet delicacies. The oil produced from the meat is useful in skin, hair, and facial care. This is because of its powerful anti microbial effects to the body while the milk is also useful as a natural sweetener and mostly used as an essential ingredient in many dishes.
The water inside the young fruit is the purest and most health benefiting water. It provides proper hydration of the body, natural cleansing of the kidney, and balances the electrolytes in the body.
Those are the various parts of coconut tree and its uses. It is really good to know that there are trees like the miracle tree that can be used to produce different useful products. Thanks to the tree of life, it really gives us products that we can always use.
Guyabano tree or Soursop (Anona Muricata) is a fruit bearing tree popular in the Philippines and other nearby countries. It produces a spiky, fleshy and fibrous fruit which is very effective in the cure of many health conditions. Some studies have proven its benefits in curing cancer, diabetes and other major health problems of human around the world. It is also believed to be excellent in curing internal parasites and other bacterial problems in the body. There are many Medicinal Benefits of Guyabano Leaves and Fruits.
In fact, not only the leaves are beneficial to health. The bark and fruits are all effective in curing several major diseases naturally. Most people prepare a decoction of its leaves for curing diseases. Some also eat its fruits directly or make a flavored shake. Whatever the form, the most important thing is its medicinal benefits. These are the Medicinal Benefits of Guyabano Leaves and Fruits.
Urinary Tract Infection
Guyabano fruits are rich in Vitamin C which is very effective in preventing Urinary Tract Infection. It increases the acidity of the urine thus, reducing the presence of bacteria. Vitamin C has also an essential role in boosting the body's immune system.
When it comes to digestive problems, Guyabano is also excellent in preventing constipation and other digestive conditions such as colon related diseases. For individuals who wish to lose weight in a natural way, they don't actually need to take laxatives since Guyabano is effective in relieving constipation. It is also rich in fiber which is essential for the overall health of the digestive system.
Guyabano is also rich in potassium which is effective in relieving leg cramps and rheumatism. Lack of potassium in the body can cause weakness. In fact, the potassium content of Guyabano (Soursop) is half in bananas.
One of the best Medicinal Benefits of Guyabano Leaves is the boost of the body’s energy level. For those who always feel tired or weak, Guyabano leaves or fruits are essential in boosting the body's energy. It is rich in thiamin, potassium and sugar which are all essential nutrients in boosting the body's energy. This is an organic energy which doesn't cause negative side effects to the body.
Fresh fruits and vegetables are all essential in reducing the body's bad cholesterol level. Guyabano is rich in Niacin which is essential in increasing the body's good cholesterol level. This is an essential diet to include for individuals who have a high cholesterol level in their body.
Guyabano is rich in iron which is essential in preventing blood related diseases such as anemia. Anemia is a condition of the body which characterized by lack of healthy red blood cells. Some anemic consider taking iron supplements but it is still natural to obtain it from fresh fruits and vegetables.
The leaves of Guyabano (Soursop) is also effective in curing acne, scars, inflammation and other common skin problems. The leaves need to be crushed and applied to the infected area of the skin.
Those are the Medicinal Benefits of Guyabano Leaves and Fruits. It is really important to consider natural fruits for the prevention and treatment of common diseases of the body. Natural fruits are widely available in the market at very cheap prices. Guyabano fruits partnered with fresh vegetables are perfect healthy diets to consider on a regular basis.