Prunes

Prunes contain antioxidant phytonutrients called neochlorogenic and chlorogenic acid. They also contain beta carotene another antioxidant. Antioxidants are necessary in eliminating free radicals that would otherwise cause a lot of damage to our cells and cell membranes.

They are a rich source of potassium. Potassium is an essential mineral for maintaining normal blood pressure and heart function.

They are a good source of dietary fiber which is necessary for healthy bowel movements. This fiber also helps normalize blood sugar levels by slowing the rate at which food leaves the stomach and by delaying the absorption of glucose (the form in which sugar is transported in the blood) following a meal.

In addition this fiber helps to lower cholesterol by binding to bile acids and removing them from the body via the feces. Bile acids are compounds used to digest fat that are manufactured by the liver from cholesterol.

Lastly, the insoluble fiber provided by prunes feed friendly bacteria in the digestive tract, which helps to maintain larger populations of friendly bacteria. In addition to producing the helpful short-chain fatty acids described above, friendly bacteria play an important protective role by crowding out pathogenic (disease-causing) bacteria and preventing them from surviving in the intestinal tract.

Anthia Koullouros
BHSC ND DH DBM MATMS NLC1
Naturopath Homoeopath Herbalist
Nutrition & Organic Lifestyle Educator

Walnuts

When Dr. Steven Pratt introduced the concept of Super Foods in his 2004 best-selling book, “SuperFoods Rx”, he explained the concept like this: “Some foods are better than others for your health.”
Walnuts are also known for their high antioxidant activity.
Antioxidants help offset the effects of oxidation, a process that is constantly occurring in the body. The human body is equipped to deal with a certain level of oxidation. Naturally occurring antioxidant enzymes work to protect our cells and our DNA from oxidative damage. Oxidative stress occurs when the body’s natural defenses can’t keep up with oxidative damage. Daily events like breathing, eating, being exposed to cigarette smoke or pollution, and over-exposure to sunlight can all create oxidative stress. Some researchers believe that oxidative stress may contribute to cancer risk. One way to possible combat oxidative stress is to eat more antioxidant-rich foods, like walnuts.

A 2002 study conducted in Norway showed that walnuts rank second only to rose hips in their antioxidant content. The researchers examined a wide variety of plant-based foods, including fruits, vegetables, cereals, nuts, and seeds. Sunflower seeds were shown to have 25% of the activity of walnuts while other nuts (almonds, cashews, hazelnuts and peanuts) exhibited less than 4% of the activity.

Walnuts contain a number of substances that may contribute to their overall antioxidant activity, including melatonin, ellagic acid, gamma-tocopherol, carotenoids, and polyphenolic compounds.

Honey

Honey contains a treasure chest of hidden nutritional and medicinal value for centuries. The sweet golden liquid from the beehive is a popular kitchen staple loaded with antibacterial and antifungal properties that has been used since the early days of Egyptian tombs.

Honey’s scientific super powers contribute to its vastly touted health benefits for the whole body. The healthy natural sweetener offers many nutritional benefits depending on its variety. Raw honey is the unpasteurized version of commonly used honey and only differs in its filtration, which helps extend its shelf life. A tablespoon of raw honey contains 64 calories, is fat-free, cholesterol-free, and sodium-free, says the National Honey Board. Its composition is roughly 80 percent carbohydrates, 18 percent water, and two percent vitamins, minerals, and amino acids.

Consume honey responsibly and reap the numerous health benefits of this liquid gold.

Honey is an excellent source of all-natural energy at just 17 grams of carbohydrates per tablespoon. This natural unprocessed sugar — fructose and glucose — directly enter the bloodstream and can deliver a quick boost of energy. The rise in blood sugar acts as a short-term energy source for your workout, especially in longer endurance exercises.

The sweet nectar is loaded in antioxidants that may help prevent cellular damage and loss within the brain.

Dr. Matthew Brennecke

Certified naturopathic doctor