Food Profiles

Cayenne Pepper: The Fiery Hot Chili That Relieves Pain

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The cayenne pepper is the hot chili pepper of the Capsicum annuum plant, which is native to northern South America and southern North America. A nightshade fruit that is related to the bell pepper, jalapeno, and paprika, cayenne peppers are often dried and ground into a powder then used to prepare spicy meals. Many cultures also like to add them to cakes, chocolates, and even beverages. Despite their various uses in the kitchen, however, cayenne…

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Coconut Oil: The World’s Greatest Source of Saturated Fat

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Most of us are aware that the natural health world is packed with different and often conflicting beliefs. Take coffee, for example. For every ten researchers who proclaim that coffee is an antioxidant-rich superdrink that can guard us from Alzheimer’s disease, you’ll find another ten who state, with equal conviction, that giving up coffee is a requisite for superior adrenal and mental health. Raw food, red wine, sugar alcohols and fasting seem to be similarly…

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Garlic: A Major Source of Disease-Fighting Allicin

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The humble garlic, which is closely related to the onion, is one of the earliest documented plants used by humans for treating disease and maintaining health. Egyptian medical texts, for instance, prescribed garlic for parasites, malaise, circulatory problems and abnormal growths. The Greek physician, Hippocrates, recommended garlic for pulmonary conditions, sores and cancer. Garlic was also held in high esteem by the medical practitioners of ancient India, Rome, Assyria and China. Clearly, this is a…

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Walnuts: The Perfect Food for Our Brains

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Walnuts are the large, single-seeded fruits of the walnut tree. Though different species of walnut exist, the English walnut, which originated in Persia, remains the most popular species. In fact, virtually all of today’s commercially-produced walnuts are either English walnuts or hybrids thereof. Other species of walnut, such as the black walnut, are seldom cultivated due to their comparatively tough shells and poor hulling qualities. Walnuts are highly nutritious, and their health benefits have been…

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Potatoes: Far More Than Just Starches and Carbs

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Regular white potatoes are one of the most controversial vegetables from a health perspective. Like many nightshade vegetables such as tomatoes, eggplants, and peppers, potatoes are often associated with adverse reactions and can be difficult to find in high-quality form. That they’re the main ingredient in countless junk food products, such as French fries, doesn’t exactly bolster their public reputation either. In reality, however, organic potatoes grown in good soil and prepared properly (i.e. boiled…

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