I was talking to someone about healthy fruits, so I thought we would look at a couple.
First is the grapefruit. Or in my case, unsweetened pink grapefruit juice bought in cans and poured into a plastic container. It has a host of salubrious features. It assists the digestive system, reduces arterial deposits, strengthens the elasticity of the arteries, has been shown to halt cancer cells from spreading in breast-cancer patients, prevents common colds, reduces cholesterol, reduces fever, helps promote sleep and alleviates insomnia, reduces water retention in pregnant women, protects against stomach and pancreatic cancers and aids in weight-loss efforts. Despite all of these pluses, there is a caution: Its high levels of flavonoid will reject synthetic man-made drugs, creating a risk of toxic poisonings. If not under medications, it should still only be consumed in moderation.
Next up is our favorite from “The Departed” — cranberries. It too is rich in Vitamin A and better than grapefruit in Vitamins C and E.
Its positive contributions are it aids in anti-aging, prevents and treats some of the anemia, prevents the formation of atherosclerosis plaques (cardiovascular disease), controls and combats different types of diarrhea, reduces digestive disorders, enhances blood flow to the retina, prevents kidney stones, promotes a healthy intestinal flora, strengthens the walls of the veins and capillaries, topically aids in reducing skin conditions and prevents urinary tract infections (which is what “The Departed” was referencing). The cautions for this fruit are by having very low levels of oxalate, it is not suitable for individuals with a history of calcium oxalate, containing kidney stones, and most commercial cranberry juices are sold with added sugar and additives, which may result in not having the positive desired effects listed above.
Next up is the pomegranate. They are a good source of Vitamins B and C, calcium and phosphorus.
Not only does the juice significantly reduce blood vessel damage, it has been found to reverse the progression of hardening arteries. It is beneficial to women after their monthly loss of blood, kills worms in the anus that cause itching (as a powder), assists in anti-aging, reduces wheezing in young children with asthma, reduces cancers, remedies and soothes pain associated with severe diarrhea, strengthens immune systems, helps increase appetites, reduces morning nausea and reduces the soreness and redness in the throat.
Like grapefruit, the caution here is to consult your doctor if taking medications as it may affect the metabolism.
And finally we have the apricot. In Vietnam C-rations, the poor apricot had no value except to me it seemed — I could get several cans of apricots for one can of peaches. It is high in Vitamins A and C, riboflavin, niacin and several minerals. It helps prevent heart disease and cancer. It aids in the production of hemoglobin, which assists sufferers of anemia, acts as a gentle laxative, aids in digestion, maintains and improves eyesight (particularly when dried), cools down fevers and, topically, helps create a cool, soothing feeling for people suffering from scabies, sunburn, eczema and skin itchiness.
The cautions are it could create an adverse reaction in people who suffer from asthma and people with kidney stones should consume modest amounts.
So there you have it. All are extremely healthy for you ,particularly if you are healthy. All have cautions which must be taken into account.
Although I am taking some medications, I still consume a glass of pink grapefruit juice every morning; unlike most things, I do adhere to the moderation theory in this.
Bill Smith is director of the Robeson County Health Department.