NATURES BEAUTY - LILY

Easter is upon us, and no flower is more associated with the celebration of Jesus Christ’s resurrection than the lily. Traditional lore says white lilies emerged where drops of Christ’s sweat fell to the earth in his final hours on the cross. The ancient Greeks believed lilies came from the breast milk of Hera, the queen of the gods. In Roman mythology, Venus, the goddess of beauty, was jealous of the flower’s white loveliness. A European legend says if you approach an expectant mother holding a lily….

….FULL ARTICLE

NATURES BEAUTY - SQUASH

Is squash a vegetable or a fruit? You would probably call a zucchini squash a vegetable, but you would most likely call a pumpkin a fruit. The definitive answer, from a botanical view, is squash are fruits because they contain the seeds of the plant.  Squash are some of the oldest cultivated crops on earth, believed to have originated in Mexico and Central America more than 10,000 years ago. The word squash comes from the Narragansett Native American word askutasquash, which means…..

….FULL ARTICLE

NATURES BEAUTY - CINNAMON

One of the best-loved spices of cooks and food lovers alike is cinnamon. Made from the inner bark of the Cinnamomum tree, cinnamon has been around since the days of ancient Egypt, where it was used to embalm mummies. The tree is native to the Caribbean, South America and Southeast Asia. Indonesia and China produce three-quarters of the world’s supply of cinnamon today.

….FULL ARTICLE

Use the buttons below to scroll through more great articles from our Natures Beauty Column

MORE ARTICLES

Be Sociable, Share!

Share on Facebook Share on Twitter Share on Delicious Share on Digg Share on Google Bookmarks Share on LinkedIn Share on LiveJournal Share on Newsvine Share on Reddit Share on Stumble Upon Share on Tumblr

MORE NATURES BEAUTY ARTICLES

CONTACT INFORMATION

© Health & Wellness Magazine - All rights reserved | Designed and Maintained by PurplePatch Innovations

MORE FROM ROCKPOINT PUBLISHING

HEALTH & WELLNESS MAGAZINE

HOME | FEATURE ARTICLES | COLUMNS | DIGITAL ISSUES | CALENDAR | RACE RUNNING CALENDAR | ABOUT | CONTACT

subscribe to Health & Wellness

NATURES BEAUTY - APRICOT

Remember the scene in “The Wizard of Oz,” where the Cowardly Lion, awaiting his turn before Oz the Great and Powerful, sings a song about courage and asks, “Who put the ‘ape’ in ‘apricot’?”


Well, thankfully, no one did. Who would eat it then? Instead we have a juicy fruit that has been around since ancient times and is enjoyed either fresh or dried. You can also indulge in apricot brandy or jam. The word “apricot” comes from a term meaning “early ripening.” Apricots are related to peaches and nectarines. This fruit is a drupe; it has a centrally located single pit or stone surrounded by edible flesh.


There is some dispute about whether the apricot originated from Armenia, China or India. It’s said Alexander the Great introduced the apricot to Greece. The Greeks called them “golden eggs of the sun.” English settlers who came to the New World in the 17th century brought the apricot to the colonies. Almost the entire U.S. commercial production of apricots is in California, whose climate suits them well. These trees came from seedlings carried to the West Coast by Spanish missionaries. Blending apricots with plums produces a hybrid called a plumcot, a pluot, an aprium or an apriplum.


Apricots have been used medicinally through the ages. Apricot seeds were used against tumors as early as A.D. 502, and in England in the

1800s, apricot oil was also used to cure tumors, as well as ulcers. Apricots were once considered to be an aphrodisiac. Apricot kernels are a component in traditional Chinese medicine. Back in the early 1990s, there was much excitement over a substance in apricots called laetril. It was touted as a miracle possibility for curing cancer. But in 2011, researchers said the claim that laetrile had beneficial effects for cancer patients was not supported by sound clinical data. There have been reports of serious adverse effects from cyanide poisoning after laetrile use. Cyanogenic glycosides are found in high concentration in apricot seeds.


You should nevertheless nosh on apricots once in a while. They contain many good-for-you, potent plant antioxidants, some of which are hard to get from other foods. These include polyphenols, which have been linked to the reduction of heart disease, and carotenoids and xanthophylls, nutrients that purportedly protect eyesight from damage related to aging. (Regularly consuming fruit – three or more servings a day – is associated with a lessened risk of vision loss with aging.) Apricots are a healthy source of vitamin A, which is good for vision, and vitamin C, which helps the body resist infectious agents and scavenges harmful free radicals. A single apricot will provide you with four to five grams of catechins,

anti-inflammatory phytonutrients that can inhibit the activity of an enzyme called cyclooxygenase-2 (COX-2), which causes inflammation. Apricots are a good source of dietary fiber, boosting digestive health. Half of that fiber is soluble and that helps control blood cholesterol levels. Apricots contain the minerals potassium, iron, zinc, calcium and manganese. Go ape for apricots!

TANYA TYLER

Tanya Tyler is the Editor of Health & Wellness Magazine

more articles by Tanya Tyler