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>> Saturday, July 5, 2008

Today I had a papaya strawberry coconut smoothie (thanks hubby!). Ever have one of these? They’re super good if you haven’t. Besides being yummy I wondered what the health benefits were. For some of you this may be common knowledge but for me I have a habit to just eat food without giving it much thought as to its health properties; I just know something to be healthy but don’t know why so today I decided to go to summer school for the day and here’s what I learned.

Papaya is rich in antioxidants and minerals, which together help promote health of the cardiovascular system and provide protection against colon cancer. Here’s a list of other goodies it provides:

· Vitamin C
· Flavonoids (plant nutrients, “they biologically trigger the production of natural enzymes that fight disease”)
B-vitamins (there are 8 water-soluble B vitamins that have important roles in cell metabolism)
Folate (helps produce and maintain new cells and ladies take note: it’s especially vital in infancy and pregnancy)
Pantothenic acid (aka vitamin B5, used to break down carbs, proteins and fats in our bodies for energy)
· Magnesium
· Fiber
· Papain (digestive enzyme which also helps to treat allergies, injuries, etc., similar to bromelain found in pineapple)

Strawberries are another fruit rich in antioxidants and potential cancer-preventing effects, such as vitamin C. They also contain high levels of phytonutrients and antioxidants, which fight those rebellious free radicals (cell damagers). This is taken from

Organically grown strawberry extracts emerged as significantly more effective in inhibiting colon cancer and breast cancer cell proliferation than extracts from their conventionally grown counterparts.

Organic strawberries are important! I believe that a major reason organic strawberries are BETTER than conventional strawberries is because they are one of the worst fruits containing (i.e. covered in/that absorb) the most pesticides and herbicides and whatever other –icides not good for you. Thirty-eight to be exact. Here’s a
link to check out. I also have it in my sidebar labeled as Food Guide. It’s a handy reference to read before hitting the produce section or print a copy to keep handy in your purse or wallet.

The strawberries goodies list:

· Vitamin C (a lot!)
Vitamin K
· Manganese
· Folate
· Potassium
Riboflavin (aka vitamin B2)
Vitamin B5 (aka pantothenic acid)
Vitamin B6 (needed for the nervous and immune systems to function efficiently)
· Magnesium

Now, for the coconut. My beloved coocoonut. Where to begin. For starters, did you know that the coconut is classified as a
drupe and not a nut? And the fresh water found inside is great for replenishing electrolytes after a workout or other strenuous activity. Actually, it’s one of the highest sources of electrolytes. Here’s some info on the water itself, borrowed from

· Coconut Water is More Nutritious than whole milk - Less fat and NO cholesterol!
· Coconut Water is More Healthy than Orange Juice - Much lower calories
· Coconut Water is Better than processed baby milk- It contains lauric acid, which is present in human mother's milk
· Coconut water is naturally sterile -- Water permeates though the filtering husk!
· Coconut water is a universal donor—It’s identical to human blood plasma
· Coconut Water is a Natural Isotonic Beverage - The same level we have in our blood.
· Coconut water has saved lives in 3rd world countries thru Coconut IV.

"Coconut water is the very stuff of Nature, biologically Pure, full of Natural Sugars, Salts, and Vitamins to ward off fatigue... and is the next wave of energy drinks BUT natural!", according to Mortin Satin, Chief of the United Nation's Food & Agriculture Organization.

· Coconut water contains more potassium (at about 294 mg) than most sports drinks (117 mg) and most energy drinks.
· Coconut water has less sodium (25mg) where sports drinks have around 41mg and energy drinks have about 200 mg!
· Coconut water has 5mg of Natural Sugars where sports and energy drinks range from 10-25mg of Altered Sugars.
· Coconut water is very high in
Chloride at 118mg, compared to sports drinks at about 39mg.

Data is based on a 100ml drink.

And from Dr. Mercola:

Coconuts: Young versus Mature

There are several different ways to enjoy fresh coconuts, which can be young or mature. Young coconuts have either a green shell or a white "husk" if the outer shell has been removed while mature coconuts are the more familiar-looking brown, hairy variety. The nutrients and physical characteristics change as a coconut matures. Young coconuts have more ‘water’ and soft, gel-like meat, and mature coconuts have firm meat and less ‘water.’ The nutrient values per 100-gram (edible) portion vary significantly as you can see in the chart below.

Click here to see the chart as I wasn't able to paste it here without it working right nor could I figure out how to save it as an image. ???

I found the differences between young and mature to be interesting!

Other health bennies:

Lauric Acid (antimicrobial, antiviral, antibacterial, anti- etc.)
· Lowers cholesterol
· Low in fat
· Reduces risk of heart disease
· Great for skin
· Improves digestive disorders
· Increases metabolism

So basically my fairly basic smoothie was far from basic. I just consumed some incredible tasting ingredients with health properties that are nothing short of amazing. And what I provided here was just an overview. Each fruit and nut (or I should say "drupe") is blessed with even more healthy properties not listed here.

Class dismissed.

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