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  1. #1
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    Health Benefits of J'can Foods



    Jackfruit is a huge fruit with a very distinct smell. Though it may not be the most striking fruit on the outside, it is, however, very sweet on the inside.

    Jackfruit (artocarpus heterophyllus) is also known as jaca, jak-fruit, or jak. It was first called by the Portuguese 'jaca fruit' thus the present name (jackfruit). However, in Malaysia and the Philippines, the fruit is called "nangka". And in Thailand it is called "khanun". The fruit was first introduced to Jamaica in 1782 after one of the plants was captured from a French ship destined for Martinique by Lord Rodney's fleet.

    Medicinal uses
    1. In general, fresh jackfruit seeds are considered to be high in starch, low in calcium and iron and good sources of vitamins B1 and B2.
    2. The Chinese consider jackfruit pulp and seeds, nutritious, and useful in overcoming the influence of alcohol on the system.
    3. The ash of jackfruit leaves, burned with corn and coconut shells, is used alone or mixed with coconut oil to heal ulcers.
    4. Mixed with vinegar, the latex promotes healing of abscesses, snakebites and glandular swellings.
    5. The root is a remedy for skin diseases and asthma. An extract of the root is taken in cases of fever and diarrhoea.
    6. Heated leaves are placed on wounds. The wood has a sedative property; its pith is said to produce an abortion.

  2. #2
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    Re: Health Benefits of J'can Foods



    Cassava or Yucca (also known as manioc and is used to make tapioca) can help prevent heart disease, reduce the risk of cancer, prevent cataracts, and help keep skin smooth. While cassava is not well known in the US it is the world's number two vegetable crop, after potatoes. Cassava is uniquely laden with iron plus vitamin C which you need to help your body to absorb iron. It is also a good source of magnesium which helps to protect your heart, bones, arteries and blood pressure. A half cup of cooked cassava contains 13 percent of the Recommended Daily Allowance (RDA) for women and 30 percent for men. And because it also contains 35 percent of the daily value of vitamin C, the iron in cassava is much easier to absorb.

  3. #3
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    Re: Health Benefits of J'can Foods



    You could say that Callaloo, a leafy vegetable, plays a role in the Jamaican diet that is similar to the role Spinach plays in the American diet. But that would understate the importance of callaloo in the Jamaican diet. And those who have had both agree callaloo has more going for it than spinach. Steamed callaloo is often served with breakfast, lunch and dinner. It is cooked with codfish and used in soups. And it is used increasingly in non-traditional Jamaican dishes such as quiche and omelets etc.

    Callaloo is rich in nutrients including : iron and other minerals, vitamin C, flavonoids and other phytochemicals, calcium, and vitamin A. Callaloo has over four times the calcium, over two times the iron, and over two times the vitamin A compared to broccoli and other vegetables.

    Admittedly, broccoli, cauliflower and Brussels sprouts, like other vegetables will provide vitamin C, minerals, flavonoids and other phytochemicals but they are no match for our local callaloo (amaranth) in terms of calcium, iron or vitamin A. Callaloo has more than four times the calcium, two or more times the iron with more than twice the vitamin A as the American vegetables.

  4. #4
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    Re: Health Benefits of J'can Foods



    Forget what you have heard about this main staple of the Jamaican diet. Coconut oil is, "rich in lauric acid, "which new research shows raises good type HDL cholesterol, lowering heart disease risk, Lauric acid is also anti-inflammatory, anti-bacterial and antiviral, says lipid researcher Mary Enig, Ph.D., which also may help fight heart disease."

    Cranberry juice has become very popular because of its benefits to bladder health. But have you thought that similar benefits could be had from coconut water at less than half the calories and with appreciably more potassium? A glass of cranberry juice will provide 150 to 200 calories while the same glass of coconut water contains only 50 calories while giving 400 mg potassium compared to the 60 mg for cranberry juice.

    For those concerned about the sodium content of coconut water, be assured that a single glass will provide only 60 mg sodium compared to the 700 mg in a V8 canned vegetable juice. Also, coconut water has no fat. The fat of the coconut resides in the jelly and will thus be found in coconut milk, but there is no cholesterol since the coconut is of plant origin and cholesterol is found, only in foods of animal origin. This means that butter will have cholesterol but coconut milk, like the vegetable margarines, is free of cholesterol. Moreover, the traditional way of cooking with coconut milk for flavour is better that using margarine which is often substituted in porridge, rice and peas and soups. A tablespoon of coconut milk has only 38 calories and 4 g fat compared to 111 calories in the same amount of margarine and 11.5 g fat. Also, the fat of coconut is healthier for the body than margarine fats.

  5. #5
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    Re: Health Benefits of J'can Foods



    Plantains can help lower blood pressure, prevent and treat ulcers, prevent constipation, decrease the risk of hear disease. While plantains look like large bananas they are as different as apples and oranges. Unlike bananas, plantains need to be cooked before they are eaten. Plantains also pack different nutrients. Ounce for ounce, plantains contain more potassium than bananas. That means a plateful of plantains will reduce high blood pressure. One cup of cooked plantains contain 716 milligrams of or 20 percent of the daily value of potassium. And potassium is well established as a key mineral for heart disease prevention. Studies show people whose diets are low in potassium are at higher risk for high blood pressure, heart attacks, and strokes. A cup of cooked plantains provide about 49 milligrams of magnesium, or more than 12 percent of the daily value. Magnesium is another mineral that can help lower blood pressure, especially among people who are sensitive to sodium. Therefore, next time you are at your favorite Jamaican eatery, load up on those plantains. (Source: The Doctors Book of Food Remedies, 1998 Rodale Inc.)

    Nutritional Value: Plantain is relatively high in calories at 125 per cup. It is an excellent source of potassium, a good source of vitamin C, contains no cholesterol and is low in sodium. One cup cooked plantain yields a trace of fat, 2.3 g dietary fiber, 465 mg potassium, 26 mcg folate, 10.9 mg vitamin C, 909 IU vitamin A, 32 mg magnesium, and 31.1 g carbohydrates.

  6. #6
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    Re: Health Benefits of J'can Foods



    Who has not heard the adage, 'An apple a day keeps the doctor away?' This is probably because the American apple has fibre to facilitate gut health and rid the body of waste. But do you know that one guava fruit has four times the amount of fibre, slightly more potassium and 19 times the amount of vitamin C as an American apple? In comparison to a whole bunch of grapes, one guava has 25 times more vitamin C, four times more fibre and about the same potassium.

    Nutritive Values
    (per 100g edible portion)
    Energy 51.0k cal
    Protein 0.9g
    Fat .3g
    Carbohydrates 11.2g
    Calcium 10.0mg
    Phosphorus 28.0mg
    Iron 1.4mg
    Thiamine 30.0ug
    Riboflavin 30.0ug
    Vit. C 212.0mg




    Likewise, it would take 15 American apples to supply the vitamin C content of only one West Indian cherry.

  7. #7
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    Re: Health Benefits of J'can Foods

    I knew callalloo was extremely good for you and one of the better dark green vegetables(which they always say are extremely good for the body). I recall I was having bone pain(b/c of some meds I was taking-silly me- and I ate callalloo after not having it for some time and I swear the bone pain went away. Thats why livign where I live now I have to buy from grace or other places online to make sure i have some.[ QUOTE ]


    You could say that Callaloo, a leafy vegetable, plays a role in the Jamaican diet that is similar to the role Spinach plays in the American diet. But that would understate the importance of callaloo in the Jamaican diet. And those who have had both agree callaloo has more going for it than spinach. Steamed callaloo is often served with breakfast, lunch and dinner. It is cooked with codfish and used in soups. And it is used increasingly in non-traditional Jamaican dishes such as quiche and omelets etc.

    Callaloo is rich in nutrients including : iron and other minerals, vitamin C, flavonoids and other phytochemicals, calcium, and vitamin A. Callaloo has over four times the calcium, over two times the iron, and over two times the vitamin A compared to broccoli and other vegetables.

    Admittedly, broccoli, cauliflower and Brussels sprouts, like other vegetables will provide vitamin C, minerals, flavonoids and other phytochemicals but they are no match for our local callaloo (amaranth) in terms of calcium, iron or vitamin A. Callaloo has more than four times the calcium, two or more times the iron with more than twice the vitamin A as the American vegetables.

    [/ QUOTE ]

  8. #8
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    Re: Health Benefits of J'can Foods



    Yams are a good source of vitamin B6. Vitamin B6 is needed by the body to break down a substance called homocysteine, which can directly damage blood vessel walls. Individuals who suffer a heart attack despite having normal or even low cholesterol levels are often found to have high levels of homocysteine. Since high homocysteine levels are signficantly associated with increased risk of heart attack and stroke, having a good supply of vitamin B6 on hand makes a great deal of sense. High intakes of vitamin B6 have also been shown to reduce the risk of heart disease.

    Yams are a good source of potassium, a mineral that helps to control blood pressure. Since many people not only do not eat enough fruits and vegetables, but also consume high amounts of sodium as salt is frequently added to processed foods, they may be deficient in potassium. Low intake of potassium-rich foods, especially when coupled with a high intake of sodium, can lead to hypertension. In the Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension (DASH) study, one group ate servings of fruits and vegetables in place of snacks and sweets, and also ate low-fat dairy food. This diet delivered more potassium, magnesium and calcium. Another group ate a "usual" diet low in fruits and vegetables with a fat content like that found in the average American Diet. After eight weeks, the group that ate the enhanced diet lowered their blood pressure by an average of 5.5 points (systolic) over 3.0 points (diastolic). Dioscorin, a storage protein contained in yam, may also be of benefit to certain individuals with hypertension. Preliminary research suggests that dioscorin can inhibit angiotensin converting enzyme, which would therefore lead to increased kidney blood flow and reduced blood pressure.

    A Second Look at Yam, Diosgenin, and Menopausal Symptoms
    Many consumers have found products in the marketplace that promote wild yam or wild yam extracts as substances that can help provide a natural alternative to hormonal replacement in women who have reached the age of menopause. Many of these products are provided in the form of creams that can be topically applied. Even though the food itself is not usually promoted by natural products companies, these yam-containing products have sparked interest in the relationship between yam and menopause. Yams do contain some unique substances called steroidal saponins, and among these substances are chemicals called diosgenins. Because of similiarities between some forms diosgenin and progesterone, questions were initially raised about the ability of our body to convert diosgenin into progesterone, but research has shown that the answer here is clearly no. Diosgenin does, however, have an impact on hormonal patterns in studies involving animals, and may be helpful in lowering risk of osteoporosis, although we don't as yet have any human studies in this area.

    Wild yam also has some history of traditional use in herbal medicine, especially Chinese herbal medicine, as a botanical that can affect organ system function. While the focus here has been on kidney function, wild yam (or Chinese yam) has also been used to support the female endocrine system. For example, there has been traditional use of this root in conjunction with lactation. We've only seen one high-quality, peer-reviewed research study in which women were actually given wild yam (in the form of a topical cream) to determine the impact of this plant on menopausal symptoms. Although this research showed some very limited benefits from the wild yam cream - and no side effects - none of the symptom changes were statistically significant. In summary, we'd say that there's no research evidence to support the claim that yam has special benefits when it comes to menopause, but that more research is needed in this area because there is a clear connection between yam, diosgenin, and endocrine function that is not yet understood.

    We'd also like to add some information about yam and vitamin B6. Vitamin B6 has been an especially popular supplement with respect to premenstrual syndrome (PMS) in women, especially in conjunction with the depression that can be triggered by PMS. Some companies have also advocated the use of this vitamin for menopausal symptoms. One cup of baked cubed yam contains 24% of the Daily Value for B6, and we rank yam as a "good" source of vitamin B6 for this reason. In research studies, however, the dose of vitamin B6 required for help with PMS depression is about 50-100 milligrams - many, many times the Daily Value level of 2.0 milligrams. So if you're a woman, even though yam might be a food well-worth including in your meal plan in conjunction with PSM, the amount of vitamin B6 that you'd be getting from this food would be insufficient (by itself) to reach the therapeutic level shown to be helpful in research studies.

    Blood Sugar and Weight Control
    Yams' complex carbohydrates and fiber deliver the goods gradually, slowing the rate at which their sugars are released and absorbed into the bloodstream. In addition, because they're rich in fiber, yams fill you up without filling out your hips and waistline. And one more benefit, yams are a good source of manganese, a trace mineral that helps with carbohydrate metabolism and is a cofactor in a number of enzymes important in energy production and antioxidant defenses. You've just got to hand it to Mother Nature; when She brings forth a food, She makes sure it integrates everything needed to contribute to your health and vitality.
    Show me your papers.

  9. #9
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    Re: Health Benefits of J'can Foods



    Creamy, rich, and sweet, bananas are a favorite food for everyone from infants to elders. Sports enthusiasts appreciate the potassium-power delivered by this high energy fruit.

    Cardiovascular Protection from Potassium and Fiber
    Bananas are one of our best sources of potassium, an esssential mineral for maintaining normal blood pressure and heart function. Since the average banana contains a whopping 467 mg of potassium and only 1 mg of sodium, a banana a day may help to prevent high blood pressure and protect against atherosclerosis. The effectiveness of potassium-rich foods such as bananas in lowering blood pressure has been demonstrated by a number of studies. For example, researchers tracked over 40,000 American male health professionals over four years to determine the effects of diet on blood pressure. Men who ate diets higher in potassium-rich foods, as well as foods high in magnesium and cereal fiber, had a substantially reduced risk of stroke.

    A study published in the September 8, 2003 edition of the Archives of Internal Medicine also confirms that eating high fiber foods, such as bananas, helps prevent heart disease. Almost 10,000 American adults participated in this study and were followed for 19 years, during which time 1,843 cases of coronary heart disease (CHD) and 3,762 cases of cardiovascular disease (CVD) were diagnosed. People eating the most fiber, 21 grams per day, had 12% less CHD and 11% less CVD compared to those eating the least, 5 grams daily. Those eating the most water-soluble dietary fiber fared even better with a 15% reduction in risk of CHD and a 10% risk reduction in CVD.

    In addition to these cardiovascular benefits, the potassium found in bananas may also help to promote bone health. Potassium may counteract the increased urinary calcium loss caused by the high-salt diets typical of most Americans, thus helping to prevent bones from thinning out at a fast rate.

    Soothing Protection from Ulcers
    Bananas have long been recognized for their antacid effects that protect against stomach ulcers and ulcer damage. In one study, a simple mixture of banana and milk significantly suppressed acid secretion. In an animal study, researchers found that fresh bananas protected the animals' stomachs from wounds.

    Bananas work their protective magic in two ways: First, substances in bananas help activate the cells that compose the stomach lining, so they produce a thicker protective mucus barrier against stomach acids. Second, other compounds in bananas called protease inhibitors help eliminate bacteria in the stomach that have been pinpointed as a primary cause of stomach ulcers.

    Improving Elimination
    Bananas are a smart move if you suffer from elimination problems. A bout of diarrhea can quickly deplete your body of important electrolytes. Bananas can replenish your stores of potassium, one of the most important electrolytes, which helps regulate heart function as well as fluid balance. In addition, bananas contain pectin, a soluble fiber (called a hydrocolloid) that can help normalize movement through the digestive tract and ease constipation. Bananas also contain resistant starch, but this amount varies depending on their degree of ripeness. In their lesser ripe stages, bananas score as low as 30 on the glycemic index (below 50 would be considered low). In their riper stages, this number usually rises to a moderate level in the 60's. All of the above features help place banana in a more favorable digestive light than might otherwise be expected for a sugary fruit.


    Protect Your Eyesight
    Your mother may have told you carrots would keep your eyes bright as a child, but as an adult, it looks like fruit is even more important for keeping your sight. Data reported in a study published in the June 2004 issue of the Archives of Opthamology indicates that eating 3 or more servings of fruit per day may lower your risk of age-related macular degeneration (ARMD), the primary cause of vision loss in older adults, by 36%, compared to persons who consume less than 1.5 servings of fruit daily.

    In this study, which involved 77,562 women and 40,866 men, researchers evaluated the effect of study participants' consumption of fruits; vegetables; the antioxidant vitamins A, C, and E; and carotenoids on the development of early ARMD or neovascular ARM, a more severe form of the illness associated with vision loss. Food intake information was collected periodically for up to 18 years for women and 12 years for men.

    While, surprisingly, intakes of vegetables, antioxidant vitamins and carotenoids were not strongly related to incidence of either form of ARM, fruit intake was definitely protective against the severe form of this vision-destroying disease. Three servings of fruit may sound like a lot to eat each day, but by simply tossing a banana into your morning smoothie or slicing it over your cereal, topping off a cup of yogurt or green salad with a half cup of berries, and snacking on an apple, plum, nectarine or pear, you've reached this goal.


    Build Better Bones with Bananas
    Build better bones by eating bananas? Yes, enjoying bananas frequently as part of your healthy way of eating can help improve your body's ability to absorb calcium via several mechanisms.

    Bananas are an exceptionally rich source of fructooligosaccharide, a compound called a prebiotic because it nourishes probiotic (friendly) bacteria in the colon. These beneficial bacteria produce vitamins and digestive enzymes that improve our ability to absorb nutrients, plus compounds that protect us against unfriendly microorganisms. When fructooligosaccharides are fermented by these friendly bacteria, not only do numbers of probiotic bacteria increase, but so does the body's ability to absorb calcium. In addition, gastrointestinal transit time is lessened, decreasing the risk of colon cancer.

    Green bananas contain indigestible (to humans) short chain fatty acids (SCFAs) that are a favorite food of the cells that make up the lining of the intestines. When these cells are well-nourished and healthy, the body's ability to absorb nutrients such as calcium can increase dramatically.

    Research published in the March 2004 issue of Digestive Diseases and Sciences underscores just how much bananas can improve nutrient absorption. In this study, 57 male babies (5-12 months) with persistent diarrhea of at least 14 days duration were given a week's treatment with a rice-based diet containing either green banana, apple pectin or the rice diet alone. Treatment with both green banana and apple pectin resulted in a 50% reduction in stool weights, indicating that the babies were absorbing significantly more nutrients.

    Also, to check how well their intestines were able to absorb nutrients, the babies were given a drink containing lactulose and mannitol. Lactulose is a compound that should be absorbed, while mannitol is one that should not be. When the intestines are too permeable, a condition clinicians call "leaky gut," too little lactulose and too much mannitol are absorbed. After just one week of being given the green banana-rice diet, the babies' were absorbing much more lactulose and little mannitol, showing that their intestines were now functioning properly. Some banana cultivars are also rich in provitamin A carotenoids, which have been shown to protect against chronic disease, including certain cancers, cardiovascular disease, and diabetes. How to identify which bananas contain the most carotenoids? Check the color of their edible flesh. Bananas whose flesh is more golden contain the most carotenoids.


    Reduce Kidney Cancer Risk
    About 190,000 cases of kidney cancer are diagnosed each year. Risk factors include smoking, high blood pressure, obesity, exposure to toxic chemicals such as asbestos and cadmium, and a high intake of fruit juices.

    Research published in the January 2005 issue of the International Journal of Cancer suggests that regular consumption of whole fruits and vegetables, especially bananas, is highly protective. The results of this large population based prospective study (13.4 years) of 61,000 women aged 40-76, show that women eating more than 75 servings of fruits and vegetables per month cut their risk of kidney cancer 40%. Among the fruits, bananas were especially protective. Women eating bananas four to six times a week halved their risk of developing the disease compared to those who did not eat this fruit.,

    Salads, eaten at least once a day, were associated with a 40% decreased risk. Among vegetables, frequent consumption of root vegetables and white cabbage offered the most protection, providing a 50-65% decrease in risk. The conclusion drawn by the researchers: frequent consumption of fruits and vegetables, especially bananas, cabbage and root vegetables, may reduce risk of kidney cancer. Why these foods? Bananas and many root vegetables contain especially high amounts of antioxidant phenolic compounds. Cabbage is rich in sulfur compounds necessary for efficient and effective detoxification of potential carcinogens.

  10. #10
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    Re: Health Benefits of J'can Foods

    Callaloo - That what I am having for lunch today - callaloo cooked this morning with onions, tomatoe, and seasoned with scotch bonnet pepper, black pepper and some addobo seasoning. No rice, no meat just a big bowl of ilelaloo.
    Never regret getting old as it a privilege denied to many - Anonymous

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