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 - POMELO

The scientific name of the pomelo (also pummelo, pommel or pumelo) is Citrus maxima or Citrus grandis – literally, big citrus. And indeed it is the largest citrus fruit in its particular family. The average pomelo weighs 2 to 4 pounds, but they can grow to be up to 25 pounds. Pomelo was known at one point as the “shaddock,” named after the Captain Shaddock who introduced the fruit to Barbados. It is known in Hawaii as jabong. Other names for pomelo include Bali lemon and Chinese grapefruit.


The pomelo, which is native to Southeast Asia, is the ancestor of the grapefruit. But it does not have the bitter taste common to grapefruit; in fact, it is sweeter. One variety of pomelo is sweet with white flesh, while another tastes sour and has pink flesh. Pomelo has many versatile uses. It is often used in salads. Its juice is mixed with pineapple and made into a refresh- ing pink beverage. People in Thailand give fresh pomelo a sprinkle of coarse salt and a hit of chili powder.


Pomelo has several vitamins, minerals and antioxidants that make it a healthy addition to your diet. Like many other citrus fruits, it is a great source of vitamin C – it contains several days’ worth of it. It also has potassium, which is important for handling high blood pressure. It is rich in soluble fiber, which helps prevent constipation and aids digestion. Its fruit fiber has been associated with improved bone density and gut health. Though it’s big, it only contains around 230 calories, and the

fiber will make you feel full for longer, so you don’t eat as much and take in fewer calories. Another feature of the pomelo is the presence of antioxidants, which can help prevent and reverse cellular damage caused by free radicals. These compounds cause health problems and chronic disease when they build high levels in your body. Pomelo’s antioxidants provide anti-aging effects and hearty-health properties. Pomelo, like its close kin grapefruit, is good for weight maintenance. According to Organic Facts, pomelo contains a fat-burning enzyme called carnitine palmitoyl-transferase.


According to Healthline, one study in rats found supplementing their diet with concentrated pomelo extract reduced triglyceride levels by up to 21 percent, total cholesterol by up to 6 percent and LDL (bad) cholesterol by up to 41 percent. Another study investigated pomelo’s antibacterial and antifungal properties, and a third study in mice found pomelo peel extract suppressed the growth of cancer tumors and killed cancer cells. In addition, naringenin — one of the main antioxidants found in pomelo — has been shown to kill prostate and pancreatic cancer cells, as well as slow the spread of lung cancer in test-tube studies (Research in humans is ongoing.)

If you are taking prescription drugs such as an antihypertensive, an anticoagulant or a statin for high cholesterol, you should avoid eating pomelo. It can interfere with the metabolism of statins. Other than heeding those precautions, pomelo could make a big and healthy difference in your diet.


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TANYA TYLER





Tanya Tyler is the Editor of Health & Wellness Magazine