Did you know tomatoes are a fruit?

Did you know tomatoes are a fruit? It’s true, even though the U.S. Supreme Court declared the tomato a vegetable in 1893. And this red fruit also provides plenty of health benefits.

    Anti-oxidant: Tomatoes contain a lot of vitamins A and C, mostly because of beta-carotene, and these vitamins act as an anti-oxidant, working to neutralize dangerous free radicals in the blood stream. These dangerous free radicals can cause cell damage. And keep in mind, the more red the tomato, the more beta-carotene it contains. Also, remember that cooking destroys much of vitamin C, so stick with raw tomatoes for these benefits.

    Diabetes: Tomatoes also have plenty of the mineral chromium, which helps diabetics to keep their blood sugar level under control.

    Smoking: No, tomatoes can’t help you stop smoking, but what they can do is to help reduce the damage smoking does to your body. Tomatoes contain chlorogenic acid and coumaric acid, which help to fight against some of the carcinogens brought about by cigarette smoke.

    Vision: Because of all that vitamin A, tomatoes are also an excellent food to help improve your vision. This also means tomatoes can help your eyes be better about night blindness.

    Heart troubles: Due to potassium and vitamin B, tomatoes help to lower blood pressure and to lower high cholesterol levels. This, in turn, could help prevent strokes, heart attack and other potentially life-threatening heart problems.

    Skin care: Because of high amounts of lycopene, a substance found in many of the more expensive over-the-counter facial cleansers, tomatoes are great for skin care. The best way to use tomatoes for skin care is to peel a bunch of them, eight to twelve, then lay back and place the tomato skins on your face (or other skin areas). Make sure the inside of the tomato skins are against your skin, and let this sit for at least 10 minutes. Then wash off. Your face will be cleaner and more shiny, though it also might be a little red from the tomatoes. Don’t worry, that red on your face will wear away.

    Hair: Remember all that vitamin A in tomatoes? Well, it’s good for keeping your hair strong and shiny, and its also good for your eyes, teeth, skin and bones.

    Cancer: Various studies have shown that because of all that lycopene in tomatoes, the red fruit helps to lessen the chances of prostate cancer in men, and also reduces the chance of stomach cancer and colorectal cancer. Lycopene is considered somewhat of a natural miracle anti-oxidant that may help to stop the growth of cancer cells. And, interestingly enough, cooked tomatoes produce more lycopene than do raw tomatoes, so enjoy that tomato soup!

    Bones: Tomatoes have a fair amount of vitamin K and calcium, both of which help to strengthen and possibly repair in minor ways bones and bone tissue.

    Kidney stones and gallstones: Eating tomatoes without the seeds has been shown in some studies to lessen the risk of gallstones and kidney stones.

 

Raghda Sawas

 

 

 

10 Big differences between Men's and Women's brain

The differences between women and men are not only well-documented, but frequently at the heart of jokes, anecdotes, and good-natured (and not so good-natured) ribbing. Experts have discovered that there are actually differences in the way women’s and men’s brains are structured and in the way they react to events and stimuli.

1- Human relationships. Women tend to communicate more effectively than men, focusing on how to create a solution that works for the group, talking through issues, and utilizes non-verbal cues such as tone, emotion, and empathy whereas men tend to be more task-oriented, less talkative, and more isolated.

2- Left brain vs. both hemispheres. Men tend to process better in the left hemisphere of the brain while women tend to process equally well between the two hemispheres. This difference explains why men are generally stronger with left-brain activities and approach problem-solving from a task-oriented perspective while women typically solve problems more creatively and are more aware of feelings while communicating.

 3- Mathematical abilities. An area of the brain called the inferior-parietal lobule (IPL) is typically significantly larger in men, especially on the left side, than in women. This section of the brain is thought to control mental mathematical ability, and probably explains why men frequently perform higher in mathematical tasks than do women. Interestingly, this is the same area of Einstein’s brain that was discovered to be abnormally large.

4- Reaction to stress. Men tend to have a "fight or flight" response to stress situations while women seem to approach these situations with a "tend and befriend" strategy.

5- Language. Two sections of the brain responsible for language were found to be larger in women than in men, indicating one reason that women typically excel in language-based subjects and in language-associated thinking. Additionally, men typically only process language in their dominant hemisphere, whereas women process language in both hemispheres. This difference offers a bit of protection in case of a stroke. Women may be able to recover more fully from a stroke affecting the language areas in the brain while men may not have this same advantage.

6- Emotions. Women typically have a larger deep limbic system than men, which allows them to be more in touch with their feelings and better able to express them, which promotes bonding with others.

7- Brain size. Typically, men’s brains are 11-12% bigger than women’s brains. This size difference has absolutely nothing to do with intelligence, but is explained by the difference in physical size between men and women. Men need more neurons to control their greater muscle mass and larger body size, thus generally have a larger brain.

 8- Pain. Men and women perceive pain differently. In studies, women require more morphine than men to reach the same level of pain reduction. Women are also more likely to vocalize their pain and to seek treatment for their pain than are men.

9- Spatial ability. Men typically have stronger spatial abilities, or being able to mentally represent a shape and its dynamics, whereas women typically struggle in this area. Medical experts have discovered that women have a thicker parietal region of the brain, which hinders the ability to mentally rotate objects–an aspect of spatial ability.

10- Susceptibility to disorders. Because of the way men and women use the two hemispheres of the brain differently, there are some disorders that men and women are susceptible to in different ways. Men are more apt to have dyslexia or other language problems.

Maher Taki

 

Garlic,a microbe killer

  There's no doubt that garlic destroys bacteria. The compound in garlic that acts as an antibiotic is allicin, which is formed when garlic is crushed.

If the aroma - hence allicin - is destroyed, as in cooking, garlic is no longer a microbe killer, although the health benefits of garlic don't stop there, it can perform other therapeutic functions.

Tests even have found raw garlic more powerful than penicillin and tetracycline.

Literally hundreds of studies confirm garlic broad-spectrum antibiotic activity against a long list of microbes, including botulism, tuberculosis, diarrhea, Candida infections, staph, dysentery and typhoid.

According to one count, seventy-two separate infectious agents are defeated by garlic.

A researcher said: "Garlic has the broadest spectrum of any antimicrobial substances we know of. It's antibacterial, antifungal, antiphrastic, antiprotozoan and antiviral."

Garlic Boosts Immunity

Dr Abdullah and his colleagues at the Akbar Clinic and Research Center in Panama City, Florida, found that both raw garlic and a garlic extract called Kyolic dramatically increased the powers of the immune system's natural killer cells - the first line of defence against infectious disease and perhaps cancer.

The killer cells derived from the blood of those eating garlic or taking the garlic extract were mixed with cancer cells and were able to destroyed from 140 to 160 percent more cancer cells than did killer cells from non-garlic eaters.

Dr Abdullah believes that the health benefits of garlic extend beyond treating infections and cancer, but can also affect AIDS, in which immune function fails. Garlic, he says, might rev up immune defenses in AIDS patients; it also may directly combat the many fungal-type infections AIDS patients fall prey to.

Heart Food

Garlic is one of the best foods you can have for heart disease.

It lowers blood cholesterol and creates other blood changes protective against heart disease - such as thinning the blood and preventing embolism (internal blood clots).

In one study, the blood clot-dissolving system (fibrinolytic activity) persistently rose in healthy people by 130% and in heart patients by 83% during a three months' period. It became sluggish after the garlic treatment ended.

The health benefits of garlic go beyond lowering 'bad' LDL cholesterol, it also lowers triglycerides (another type of fat in the blood) and raises 'good' HDL cholesterol.

Perhaps garlic's better well known accomplishment is its ability to lower high blood pressure. It's been used in China for centuries for that purpose and the Japanese government officially recognizes garlic as a blood-pressure depressor.

Garlic and the Lungs

Dr Irwin Ziment, a pulmonary specialist at the University od California, Los Angeles, regularly prescribes garlic as a decongestant and expectorant for common colds and as a 'mucus regualator' for chronic bronchitis.

How does garlic work as an expectorant? The pungent property of garlic irritates the stomach, which then signals the brain through the vagus nerve to stimulate bronchial glands to release a flood of watery fluid.

The same reflex turns on glands that also cause the nose and eyes to water and in the lungs they release fluids that then thin the mucus, enabling the ordinary lung mechanisms to expel it.

Regular doses of garlic, as well as other pungent spices - such as hot peppers, black pepper, ginger, mustard, turmeric - help keep susceptible persons from developing debilitating chronic bronchitis, can treat clods, sinusitis and asthma, and keeps mucus moving normally through the lungs.

 

The Incredible Health Benefits of Onions

The health benefits of onions have been known for over 5000 years and they've been used to cure virtually everything under the sun.

In the last few years much research has gone into the health benefits of onions, and guesses what?

Studies after studies have confirmed that onions indeed possess many active compounds that have been proven beneficial for all sorts of health problem.

Onions are a very good source of vitamin C, B6, biotin, chromium, calcium and dietary fibre. In addition, they contain good amounts of folic acid and vitamin B1 and K.

A 100 gram serving provides 44 calories, mostly as complex carbohydrate, with 1.4 grams of fibre.

Like garlic, onions also have the enzyme alliinase, which is released when an onion is cut or crushed and it causes your eyes to water.

They also contain flavonoids, which are pigments that give vegetables their colour. These compounds act as antioxidants, have a direct antitumor effect and have immune-enhancing properties.

Onions contain a large amount of sulfur and are especially good for the liver. As a sulfur food, they mix best with proteins, as they stimulate the action of the amino acids to the brain and nervous system.

Onions, Rich Source of Quercitin

The onion is the richest dietary source of quercitin, a potent antioxidant flavonoid (also in shallots, yellow and red onions only but not in white onions), which is found on and near the skin and is particularly linked to the health benefits of onions.

 

Quercitin has been shown to thin the blood, lower cholesterol, raise good-type HDL cholesterol, ward off blood clots, fight asthma, chronic bronchitis, hay fever, diabetes, atherosclerosis and infections and is specifically linked to inhibiting human stomach cancer.

It's also an anti-inflammatory, antibiotic, antiviral, thought to have diverse anti-cancer powers. Quercitin is also a sedative. So far, there is no better food source of quercitin than onion skins.

You don't need to eat loads of onions to achieve these effects. In fact, studies show that you can reap the health benefits of onions by eating just one medium onion, raw or cooked, a day.

Detoxify Your Body with Onions

Onions contain a variety of organic sulfur compounds that provide health benefits.

Sulfur-containing amino acids are found in onions as well as garlic and eggs.

These specific amino acids are called methionine and cystine and, among other things, they are very good at detoxifying your body from heavy metals.

In fact, they are able to latch on to mercury, cadmium and lead and escort them out of the body.

Vitamin C, also contained in onions, is excellent at detoxifying the body and is effective in removing lead, arsenic and cadmium. So increasing consumption of onions can help the body to get rid of these harmful metals.

Onions and the Heart

To help keep your blood free of clots, and make the most of the health benefits of onions, eat them both raw and cooked.

Prescribing onions for heart patients is hardly routine among cardiologists. But Harvard's Dr. Victor Gurewich advises all his patients with coronary heart disease to eat onions daily.

 Here are some of the things that onions can do for your heart:

 -   Boost beneficial HDL cholesterol

 -  Thin the blood

 -   Retard blood clotting

-    Lower total blood cholesterol

 -   Lower triglycerides

-    Lower blood pressure

Cancer Prevention

One way the antioxidants in onions can protect you against cancer is by reducing the DNA damage in cells caused by free radicals, studies reveal.

All onions and onion relatives (garlic, leeks, chives and scallions, or spring onions) are rich in organ sulfur compounds shown to help prevent cancer in lab animals.

In fact, an onion extract was found to destroy tumor cells in test tubes and to arrest tumor growth when tumor cells were implanted in rats.

The onion extract was shown to be unusually nontoxic, since a dose as high as forty times that of the dose required to kill the tumor cells had no adverse effect on the host.

In addition, shallots have been shown to exhibit significant activity against leukemia in mice.

Other Health Benefits of Onions

Onions have also been shown to have a significant blood sugar-lowering action, even comparable to some prescription drugs.

Onions have historically been used to treat asthma, too. Its action in asthma is due to its ability to inhibit the production of compounds that cause the bronchial muscle to spasm and to relax bronchial muscle.

Onions have potent antibacterial activity, destroying many disease-causing pathogens, including E. coli and salmonella.

 Raghda Sawas

6 Bedtime Habits that Are Ruining Your Sleep

 

 1.Going from Night Owl to Early Bird

 Who says bedtime is just for kids? Take extra care to maintain your sleep schedule, especially on the weekends. The body responds to routine. If your bedtime is sporadic- 11 pm some nights, 1 a.m. others- your mind won't be properly prepared to snooze on the weekdays.

 2. Bringing Books to Bed

 Reading before bed is a habit for many. Problem is, your body has likely adapted to that routine-it won't go to sleep until you've logged a couple chapters. Retreat to a comfy couch or window nook instead for your literary fix.

 3.Facebooking Into the Wee Hours

 The brightness of your computer screen stimulates the brain. Plus, it's difficult for your mind to stop fretting about your digital to-do list, even once you've logged off. Avoid late-night surfing and shut down your computer. Give yourself time to wind down without any electronics.

 4 Setting a Bright Alarm Clock

 The looming glare of your alarm clock can be distracting when trying to sleep. The goal is to have as dark a room as possible. Block the bright numbers with a book or consider buying a small travel clock. Your cell phone alarm may also do the trick.

5. Counting Sheep

 When you just can't fall asleep, it's useless to stay in bed. If you've been trying to fall asleep for more than 30 minutes, we suggest doing something mundane, like balancing a checkbook, reading or watching TV. An activity that demands marginal brainpower will lull your mind. Before you know it, you'll be crawling back into bed genuinely tired.

6. Exercising Late at Night

Daytime workouts will keep you invigorated for hours. That's why you don't want to exercise within three hours of hitting the sack. Intense physical activity raises your body temperature and pumps your energy level-both interrupt a calm transition into sleep.

Maher Taki