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….

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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…..

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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.

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NATURES BEAUTY - ARONIA BERRY

because they contain higher doses of quinic acid, which has been proven to help prevent urinary tract infections. Aronia berries can help treat stomach problems such as gastric ulcers and diarrhea. They help keep blood pressure at a normal level. They help the body produce good cholesterol and can help you fight the battle of the bulge by preventing the body from storing fat around the abdomen. Packed with fiber, aronia berries may improve bowel health. And last but not least, aronia berries fight bacteria and viruses and boost the immune system – just what you need at this time of year when cold and flu are rampant. Wow! Who knew so many benefits could come from one small berry!


Aronia berry is native to eastern North America. If you happen upon an aronia berry bush while hiking, you can eat the berries right off the bush. Aronia berries are used in wine, tea, salsa, jams, juices and ice cream. They got the moniker of chokeberry because of their astringency. They are most frequently either red or black, so the purples are a hybrid. Aronia is generally available in juice, extract and powder form at health food stores. While there is still much research to be carried out about aronia berry and its benefits, it is currently ranked as one of the top eight in the “super fruits” category. It just may be the berry bandwagon you want to hop on.



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TANYA TYLER

Tanya Tyler is the Editor of Health & Wellness Magazine

more articles by Tanya Tyler

While wandering around a street festival last fall, I came upon a booth where the vendor was extolling the taste and virtues of the aronia berry. Intrigued, I drew near to take a sample and see what the fuss was about. The cookies were tasty, sweet but not overly so. I wanted to learn more about aronia berries, so I checked out my usual sources, as well as some new ones.


I learned from www.superberries.com that aronia berries are also known as chokeberries (not to be confused with chokecherries). They are a powerful antioxidant, according to this Web site. (Antioxidants, of course, protect the body’s cells from the damaging effects of oxidation.) Heal With Food agrees, calling the aronia berry “an antioxidant superstar” with the highest antioxidant capacity among berries and other fruits. The Midwest Aronia Association calls it “the superfruit of superfruits.” Because they are high in anthocyanin, which gives them their purple- black color, aronia berries may be able to protect cells from oxidative damage caused by free radicals. They also have high levels of proanthocyanidins, which may help improve circulation. They are low in sugar and contain numerous beneficial minerals and vitamins.


Aronia berry has been found to improve the function of the respiratory and digestive systems and protect heart cells from cell membrane damage and the liver from chemical damage. Eating aronia berries will not increase your blood sugar levels if you have diabetes, and some studies show they actually can lower those levels. Aronia berries also help promote urinary tract health, even more so than cranberries,