By Gary, on March 11th, 2013
If “I” is for Iodine and “J” is for Jicama then
“K” is for Kohlrabi and even more …
Health benefits of Kohlrabi (Knol-khol)
- Mildly sweet, succulent kohlrabi is notably rich in vitamins and dietary fiber; however, it has only 27 calories per 100 g, a negligible amount of fat, and zero cholesterol.
- Fresh kohlrabi stem is rich source of vitamin-C; provide 62 mg per 100 g weight that is about 102% of RDA. Vitamin C (ascorbic acid) is a water-soluble vitamin and powerful anti-oxidant. It helps the body maintain healthy connective tissue, teeth, and gum. Its anti-oxidant property helps the human body protect from diseases and cancers by scavenging harmful free radicals from the body.
- Kohlrabi, like other members of the Brassica family, contains health-promoting phytochemicals such as isothiocyanates, sulforaphane, and indole-3-carbinol that are supposed to protect against prostate and colon cancers.
- It especially contains good amounts of many B-complex groups of vitamins such as niacin, vitamin B-6 (pyridoxine), thiamin, pantothenic acid, etc., that acts as co-factors to enzymes during various metabolism inside the body.
- Knol-khol notably has good levels of minerals; copper, calcium, potassium, manganese, iron, and phosphorus are especially available in the stem. Potassium is an important component of cell and body fluids that helps controlling heart rate and blood pressure by countering effects of sodium. Manganese is used by the body as a co-factor for the antioxidant enzyme, superoxide dismutase.
- In addition, its creamy color flesh contains small amounts of vitamin A and carotenes.
- Kohlrabi leaves or tops, like turnip greens, are also very nutritious greens abundant in carotenes, vitamin A, vitamin K, minerals, and B-complex group of vitamins.
Kohlrabi may contain goitrogens, plant-based compounds found in cruciferous vegetable like cauliflower, broccoli, etc., may cause swelling of thyroid gland and should be avoided in individuals with thyroid dysfunction. However, Knol-khol may be eaten freely in healthy person.
“K” is for Vitamin K and even more …
Health Benefits of Vitamin K
Vitamin K is an umbrella term encompassing a group of chemically related fat-soluble compounds known as naphthoquinones. This group includes vitamins K, K1, K2, and K3. Vitamin K1 (phytonadione) is the natural form of vitamin K; it is found in plants and is the primary source of vitamin K that humans obtain through foods.
Vitamin K is an essential nutrient necessary for responding to injuries – it regulates normal blood clotting. In addition, by assisting the transport of calcium throughout the body, Vitamin K may also be helpful for bone health: it may reduce bone loss, and decrease risk of bone fractures. It also may help to prevent calcification of arteries and other soft tissue.
While rare, a deficiency in vitamin K can lead to defective blood clotting, increased bleeding and osteoporosis. Symptoms include easy bruising, gastrointestinal bleeding, excessive menstrual bleeding and blood in the urine. Those most at risk for a vitamin K deficiency include people with chronic malnutrition, those with alcohol dependency, and anyone with health conditions that limit absorption of dietary vitamins.
Adults and children who eat a balanced diet that include the foods listed below will obtain enough vitamin K, and do not need supplementation. People who may benefit from supplemental vitamin K are babies (who usually get a shot of vitamin K at birth) and those with digestive diseases.
In an effort to prevent “hemorrhagic disease of newborn,” also known as vitamin K deficiency bleeding or VKDB, a vitamin K1 injection may be given to newborns and young infants. Otherwise, food sources should fill any daily needs.
How do you get enough Vitamin K from foods?
Vitamin K is abundant in green tea, leafy greens, such as Swiss chard, kale, parsley and spinach, broccoli and cauliflower, Brussels sprouts, liver, soybean oil and wheat bran. Fermented dairy, including yogurt, cheeses, and fermented soy including miso and natto, provide K2, which is especially helpful in increasing bone density and reducing the risk of fractures. Those with osteoporosis or osteopenia should consider supplementing 50 to 100 mcg (micrograms) of K2, and eat foods rich in vitamin K.
While no known toxicity is associated with vitamin K, high doses may cause numbness or tingling in the extremities.
People taking prescription anticoagulants, which intentionally interfere with the role of vitamin K, need to monitor their dietary intake of vitamin K containing foods closely, and should never take supplemental vitamin K.
Vitamin K supplementation during pregnancy (beyond normal dietary intake) may increase the risk of jaundice in newborns. Vitamin K ingested by breastfeeding mothers is generally considered safe.
High doses of aspirin and quinine may increase vitamin K requirements; antacids may decrease absorption of vitamin K, and vitamin K may decrease the blood thinning effects of several herbs including alfalfa, American ginseng, anise, celery, chamomile, horse chestnut and red clover.
“K” is for Kale and even more …
Health benefits of Kale (borecole)
- Kale is a very versatile and nutritious green leafy vegetable. It is a widely popular vegetable since ancient Greek and Roman times for its low fat, no cholesterol but health benefiting anti-oxidant properties.
- Kale, like other members of the Brassica family, contains health-promoting phytochemicals, sulforaphane and indole-3-carbinol that appear to protect against prostate and colon cancers.
- Di-indolyl-methane (DIM), a metabolite of indole-3-carbinol is an effective immune modulator, anti-bacterial and anti-viral agent through its action of potentiating “Interferon-Gamma” receptors.
- Borecole is very rich source of ß-carotene, lutein and zea-xanthin. These flavonoids have strong anti-oxidant and anti-cancer activities. Beta-carotene is converted to vitamin A in the body.
- Zea-xanthin, an important dietary carotenoid, is selectively absorbed into the retinal macula lutea in the eyes where it is thought to provide antioxidant and protective light-filtering functions. Thus, it helps prevent retinal detachment and offer protection against “age-related macular degeneration related macular degeneration disease” (ARMD) in the elderly.
- It is very rich in vitamin A, 100 g leaves provide 512% of RDA. Vitamin A is required for maintaining healthy mucus membranes and skin and is essential for vision. Foods rich in this vitamin are known to offer protection against lung and oral cavity cancers.
- It is one of the excellent vegetable sources for vitamin-K; 100 g provides about 700% of recommended intake. Vitamin K has potential role bone health by promoting osteotrophic (bone formation and strengthening) activity. Adequate vitamin-K levels in the diet help limiting neuronal damage in the brain; thus, has established role in the treatment of patients suffering from Alzheimer’s disease.
- 100 g of fresh leaves contain 120 mg or 200% of daily-recommended levels of vitamin C. Scottish curly leaf variety yet has more of this vitamin, 130 mg/100g. Vitamin C is a powerful antioxidant, which helps the body develop resistance against infectious agents and scavenge harmful oxygen-free radicals.
- This leafy vegetable is notably good in many B-complex groups of vitamins such as niacin, vitamin B-6 (pyridoxine), thiamin, pantothenic acid, etc., that are essential for substrate metabolism in the body.
- It is also rich source of minerals like copper, calcium, sodium, potassium, iron, manganese, and phosphorus. Potassium is an important component of cell and body fluids that helps controlling heart rate and blood pressure by countering effects of sodium. Manganese is used by the body as a co-factor for the antioxidant enzyme, superoxide dismutase. Iron is required for cellular oxidation and red blood cell formation.
Kale provides rich nutrition ingredients that offer protection from vitamin A deficiency, osteoporosis, iron-deficiency anemia, and believed to protect from cardiovascular diseases and colon and prostate cancers.
Because of its high vitamin K content, patients taking anti-coagulants such as warfarin are encouraged to avoid kale since it increases the vitamin K concentration in the blood, which is what the drugs are attempting to lower. This effectively raises the dose of the drug and causes toxicity.
Its leaves contain 0.2 g/100 g of oxalic acid, a value far less than some other comparable greens such as spinach (0.97 g/100) and purslane (1.31 g/100 g). It may be used; however, with caution, even in individuals with known oxalate urinary tract stones. Adequate intake of water is advised to maintain normal urine output.
“K” is for Kombucha and even more …
Health benefits of Kombucha
Kombucha is made from tea and sugar fermented by a pancake-shaped yeast-and-bacteria culture. Also called mushroom tea, it is served chilled. The beverage contains acetic and other organic acids, B vitamins, amino acids, polyphenols, enzymes, probiotics and traces of ethyl alcohol, depending on brewing time and conditions.
Cleanliness is important when making kombucha at home; liquid from the previous batch helps maintain acidity and prevent contamination. Liver toxicity and deaths have been associated with kombucha. Although no benefits have been proven, the drink is widely regarded as a traditional health remedy.
An Aid to Cancer Recovery
Kombucha tea may contain antioxidants — compounds also found in green tea, fruits and vegetables that protect cells from stress and damage. Proponents claim live probiotics in kombucha also help the immune system fight off diseases. In an interview by the “Pittsburgh Post-Gazette” dated June 6, 2007, commercial kombucha brewer G.T. Dave credits kombucha with giving his mother needed strength and vitality during her recovery from breast cancer in 1995. The experience sparked her teenage son’s interest and later his business.
Although human studies on kombucha are lacking, there is evidence for anti-cancer effects of acetic acid and vitamins. W. Yu and colleagues at the University of Texas tested an acetic acid solution with vitamin E derivative on breast cancer cells and found it aided mitochondria, the energy-powerhouses in cells, to induce the death of cancer cells. The study was published in the November 2010 issue of “Molecular Carcinogenesis.” Another article, published in “The Journal of Nutrition” in February 2000, stated probiotic cultures have been shown to inhibit the growth of precancerous lesions and tumors in animal studies of colon cancer. Probiotic cultures are friendly bacteria found in fermented foods, such as kombucha. The article was authored by L.J. Brady and colleagues at the University of Minnesota.
Nutritionist Phyllis Balch, author of “Prescription for Nutritional Healing,” states that kombucha contains Bacillus coagulans, a probiotic organism that produces lactic acid. Bacillus coagulans is used for general digestive problems, irritable bowel syndrome, and inflammatory bowel diseases such as Crohn’s disease or ulcerative colitis, Medline Plus indicates. Balch warns, however, that drinking large amounts of kombucha could produce a laxative effect; 2 to 4 ounces a day is suggested for beginners.
Kombucha is generally made from black tea, but alternatives may give the brew varying properties. Serbian researcher A.S. Velicanski and colleagues, in a study published in “Acta Periodica Technologica” in 2007, successfully produced kombucha from echinacea and peppermint tea, and they further studied the antimicrobial properties of kombucha made with lemon balm tea because of its purported antibacterial, antifungal and antispasmodic properties. Herbal teas shortened kombucha brewing from one week to three days. Lemon balm kombucha showed strong antimicrobial effects against E. coli and Salmonella bacteria, and it inhibited the growth of Staphylococcus aureus. Lemon balm kombucha did not show effects against yeasts and molds in this study. Kombucha made from lemon balm tea had higher antioxidant activity than lemon balm tea alone, probably due to vitamins added by the fermentation process.
“K” is for Kiwi and even more …
Health benefits of Kiwi
- Kiwifruit is a very rich source of soluble dietary fiber (3.8 g per 100 g of fruit OR 10% of RDA), which makes it a good bulk laxative. The fiber content helps to protect the colon mucous membrane by decreasing exposure time to toxins as well as binding to cancer-causing chemicals in the colon.
- The fruit is an excellent source of antioxidant vitamin-C; providing about 154% of the DRI (daily-recommended intake). Consumption of foods rich in vitamin-C helps the body develop resistance against infectious agents and scavenge harmful free radicals.
- Kiwi fruit contains very good levels of vitamin-A, vitamin-E, vitamin-K and flavonoid anti-oxidants such as beta-carotene, lutein and xanthin. Vitamin K has a potential role in the increase of bone mass by promoting osteotrophic activity in the bone. It also has established role in Alzheimer’s disease patients by limiting neuronal damage in the brain. Total antioxidant strength measured in terms of oxygen radical absorbance capacity (ORAC) of kiwifruit (gold, raw) is 1210 µmol TE/100 g.
- Research studies have shown that certain substances in kiwi-fruit functions as blood thinner function similar to aspirin; thus, it helps prevent clot formation inside the blood vessels and protect from stroke and heart-attack risk.
- Kiwi-fruit seeds are an excellent source of omega-3 fatty acids. Research studies show that consumption of foods rich in omega-3 fatty acids may reduce the risk of coronary heart disease, stroke, and help prevent the development of ADHD, autism, and other developmental disorders in children.
- Fresh kiwi fruit is a very rich source of heart-healthy electrolyte “potassium.” 100 g contains 312 mg or 7% of daily-recommended levels of this electrolyte. Potassium is an important component of cell and body fluids that help regulate heart rate and blood pressure by countering malefic effects of sodium.
- It also contains good amounts of minerals like manganese, iron and magnesium. Manganese is used in the body as a co-factor for the powerful antioxidant enzyme, superoxide dismutase. Magnesium is an important bone-strengthening mineral like calcium.
And Last but NOT Least:
“K” is for Kindness