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Dragon fruit
Also known as the Dragon Fruit, the Pitaya is a stunningly beautiful fruit with an intense colour and shape, magnificent flowers and a delicious taste. The fruit, apart from being refreshing and tasty, contains a lot of water and minerals with many different nutrition ingredients. It tastes light sweet and it’s good for liver, laxative, supplementing fiber and very suitable for diet.

Besides, dragon fruit is also good for person who has a high blood pressure. According to popular experience, obese person who has eaten dragon fruit regularly can reduce his/her weight naturally and have a beautiful balanced body but it does not influence on his/her health. Moreover, eating this fruit can stop and reduce diabetes. Hence, dragon fruit is a favorite fruit of many people especially Asian customers.

Benefits of eating the Dragon Fruit

1. Enhance the body metabolism (Protein)
2. Improve digestion (Fiber)

3. Reduce Fat (Fiber)

4. Improve memory (Carotene)

5. Maintain the health of the eyes (Carotene)

6. Strengthen bones and teeth development (Calcium)
7. Tissue development (Phosphorus)

8. Help to metabolise carbohydrates and produce energy (Vitamin B1)

9. Improve appetite (Vitamin B2)

10. Moisturise and smoothen skin and decrease bad cholesterol level (Vitamin B3)

11. Improves the immune system and promotes healing of cuts and bruises (Vitamin C)

USEFUL TIPS:

How to Select and Store
They should be full-colored and free of moldy spots. Dragon Fruit should be refrigerated, unwashed, for up to 5 days. Serve chilled.

Dragon Fruit Salad recipe
Dragon fruit salad
Ingredients needed :

1 package of ready to use pre-made sugar cookie dough
8 ounces cream cheese

1/2 cup powdered sugar

1 tablespoon lemon juice

3 dragon fruit, peeled and sliced

3 kiwi, peeled and sliced

1 cup strawberries, hulled and cut in half

1/4 cup apricot glaze

Directions
Rolled out cookie dough into a 12 inch round.

Bake 10-12 minutes or until lightly browned.

Allow to cool completely.

Meanwhile, prepare fruit by washing and slicing it into 1/4 inch slices.

Cream together the cream cheese, powdered sugar and lemon juice.

When the crust is cool, top with the cream cheese mixture.

Lay fruit in a circle on top of the cream cheese mixture.

Spread apricot glaze over fruit.

Chill until ready to serve.

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Tea ‘healthier’ drink than water
Drinking three or more cups of tea a day is as good for you as drinking plenty of water and may even have extra health benefits, say researchers.

The work in the European Journal of Clinical Nutrition dispels the common belief that tea dehydrates.

Tea not only rehydrates as well as water does, but it can also protect against heart disease and some cancers,UK nutritionists found.

Experts believe flavonoids are the key ingredient in tea that promote health.

Healthy cuppa
These polyphenol antioxidants are found in many foods and plants, including tea leaves, and have been shown to help prevent cell damage.

Public health nutritionist Dr Carrie Ruxton, and colleagues at Kings College London, looked at published studies on the health effects of tea consumption.

They found clear evidence that drinking three to four cups of tea a day can cut the chances of having a heart attack.

Some studies suggested tea consumption protected against cancer, although this effect was less clear-cut.

Other health benefits seen included protection against tooth plaque and potentially tooth decay, plus bone strengthening.

Dr Ruxton said: “Drinking tea is actually better for you than drinking water. Water is essentially replacing fluid. Tea replaces fluids and contains antioxidants so it’s got two things going for it.”

Rehydrating
She said it was an urban myth that tea is dehydrating.

“Studies on caffeine have found very high doses dehydrate and everyone assumes that caffeine-containing beverages dehydrate.

But even if you had a really, really strong cup of tea or coffee, which is quite hard to make, you would still have a net gain of fluid.

“Also, a cup of tea contains fluoride, which is good for the teeth,” she added.

There was no evidence that tea consumption was harmful to health.

However, research suggests that tea can impair the body’s ability to absorb iron from food, meaning people at risk of anaemia should avoid drinking tea around mealtimes.

Dr Ruxton’s team found average tea consumption was just under three cups per day.

She said the increasing popularity of soft drinks meant many people were not drinking as much tea as before.

“Tea drinking is most common in older people, the 40 plus age range.

In older people, tea sometimes made up about 70% of fluid intake so it is a really important contributor,” she said.

Claire Williamson of the British Nutrition Foundation said: “Studies in the laboratory have shown potential health benefits.

“The evidence in humans is not as strong and more studies need to be done.

But there are definite potential health benefits from the polyphenols in terms of reducing the risk of diseases such as heart disease and cancers.

“In terms of fluid intake, we recommend 1.5-2 litres per day and that can include tea. Tea is not dehydrating. It is a healthy drink.”

The Tea Council provided funding for the work.

Dr Ruxton stressed that the work was independent.

BBC Health 24 August 2006 http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/health/5281046.stm

Top 10 Health Benefits of Drinking Tea
by Lynn Grieger, RD, CD, CDE

There are lots of reasons why I enjoy a hot cup of tea: I love the aroma of various flavors of tea; holding onto a hot tea mug warms my hands on a cold winter morning; sipping tea in front of the fireplace is a great way to relax. And those are just the feel-good reasons. If you’re not drinking tea yet, read up on these 10 ways tea does your body good and then see if you’re ready to change your Starbucks order!

1. Tea contains antioxidants. Like the Rust-Oleum paint that keeps your outdoor furniture from rusting, tea’s antioxidants protect your body from the ravages of aging and the effects of pollution.

2. Tea has less caffeine than coffee. Coffee usually has two to three times the caffeine of tea (unless you’re a fan of Morning Thunder, which combines caffeine with mate, an herb that acts like caffeine in our body). An eight-ounce cup of coffee contains around 135 mg caffeine; tea contains only 30 to 40 mg per cup. If drinking coffee gives you the jitters, causes indigestion or headaches or interferes with sleep — switch to tea.

3. Tea may reduce your risk of heart attack and stroke. Unwanted blood clots formed from cholesterol and blood platelets cause heart attack and stroke. Drinking tea may help keep your arteries smooth and clog-free, the same way a drain keeps your bathroom pipes clear. A 5.6-year study from the Netherlands found a 70 percent lower risk of fatal heart attack in people who drank at least two to three cups of black tea daily compared to non-tea drinkers.  

4. Tea protects your bones. It’s not just the milk added to tea that builds strong bones. One study that compared tea drinkers with non-drinkers, found that people who drank tea for 10 or more years had the strongest bones, even after adjusting for age, body weight, exercise, smoking and other risk factors. The authors suggest that this may be the work of tea’s many beneficial phytochemicals.

5. Tea gives you a sweet smile. One look at the grimy grin of Austin Powers and you may not think drinking tea is good for your teeth, but think again. It’s the sugar added to it that’s likely to blame for England’s bad dental record. Tea itself actually contains fluoride and tannins that may keep plaque at bay. So add unsweetened tea drinking to your daily dental routine of brushing and flossing for healthier teeth and gums.

6. Tea bolsters your immune defenses. Drinking tea may help your body’s immune system fight off infection. When 21 volunteers drank either five cups of tea or coffee each day for four weeks, researchers saw higher immune system activity in the blood of the tea drinkers.

7. Tea protects against cancer. Thank the polyphenols, the antioxidants found in tea, once again for their cancer-fighting effects. While the overall research is inconclusive, there are enough studies that show the potential protective effects of drinking tea to make adding tea to your list of daily beverages. 

8. Tea helps keep you hydrated. Caffeinated beverages, including tea, used to be on the list of beverages that didn’t contribute to our daily fluid needs. Since caffeine is a diuretic and makes us pee more, the thought was that caffeinated beverages couldn’t contribute to our overall fluid requirement. However, recent research has shown that the caffeine really doesn’t matter — tea and other caffeinated beverages definitely contribute to our fluid needs. The only time the caffeine becomes a problem as far as fluid is concerned is when you drink more than five or six cups of a caffeinated beverage at one time. 

9. Tea is calorie-free. Tea doesn’t have any calories, unless you add sweetener or milk.Consuming even 250 fewer calories per day can result in losing one pound per week. If you’re looking for a satisfying, calorie-free beverage, tea is a top choice.

10. Tea increases your metabolism. Lots of people complain about a slow metabolic rate and their inability to lose weight. Green tea has been shown to actually increase metabolic rate so that you can burn 70 to 80 additional calories by drinking just five cups of green tea per day. Over a year’s time you could lose eight pounds just by drinking green tea. Of course, taking a 15-minute walk every day will also burn calories.

http://health.ivillage.com/eating/0,,7kq79l90,00.html