Jicama or Pachyrihizus erosus, an edible root bearing a resemblance to turnips, is a member of the Fabaceae family. A native of Mexico, its other names include yam bean, Mexican potato, or Mexican turnip. All parts of the plant that are above the ground, including flowers, seeds, pods, vine and […]
Although it goes by the name of Jerusalem artichoke, it has absolutely no connection with Jerusalem nor does it have any relation to the true artichoke! It is actually more closely related to the sunflower. According to one school of thought, the word Jerusalem is derived from the Italian word […]
French beans, green beans, string beans and snap beans, are actually different names of the same bean scientifically known as Phaseolus vulgaris. The beans are made up of a green pod with tiny seeds inside and range in size from four to six inches. The pod and the seeds inside […]
Other than Antarctica, grapes are grown on every continent of the world. Grapes (Vitis vinifera) are actually classified as berries. They come in round or oval shapes and have juicy semi-transparent flesh inside. They grow in clusters ranging from six to three hundred fruits with most common varieties being green, […]
Citrus paradise, or better known as the grapefruit, grows on a subtropical citrus tree belonging to the Rutaceae family. It is available today in a number of varieties distinguished by the colour of the fruit’s pulp, which can range from red, white, to hues of pink. The colouration is a […]
For many people the word ‘ginger’ brings to mind redheads with above average sexual drives, and exceptional fighting abilities. There is, however, another type of ‘ginger’ that people have been familiar with for a millennia. The herb is mentioned in the Koran, the Muslim holy book, indicating that the Arabs […]
According to folk medicine, garlic has the potential to fix everything from the common cold to the plague. While many of the old sayings are doubtful, prevailing scientific theories and research support numerous others. The main compounds that lend garlic its medicinal value are allicin and diallyl sulphides. The sulfur […]
Figs are a small, sweet and somewhat pear shaped fruit that grows on most of the over 1,000 Ficus tree species. Figs come in a range of varieties, sizes and colours. The raw fruit is consumed fresh from the tree and is considered to be very healthy however it may […]
Cultivated all over the globe now, Fennel (Foeniculum Vulgare) is originally a native of the Mediterranean. It belongs to the Umbellifereae family and is a close relative of dill, carrots, coriander and parsley. Fennel is a perennial herb that has a whitish, pale green bulb, with overlaying stalks extending out […]
What most people think of as a nuisance and a hideous weed is such a well respected plant that it sits on the U.S National Formulatory, as well as the Pharmcopeias of Poland, Hungary, Soviet Union and Switzerland. It is also one of the top six herbs in the Chinese […]
Cucumis sativus, more commonly known as cucumber, is a member of the gourd (cucurbitaceae) family, which also includes gourds, melons and squashes. Another name for cucumbers is gherkins, which actually alludes to cucumbers in their pickled form. Currently, it is the world’s fourth most commonly cultivated crop, after onions, tomatoes […]
Cranberry is a ruby-red coloured, tart berry that typically grows in the acid bogs. The plant is a low creeping evergreen shrub or vine that can measure up to two metres (7 ft.) in length and approximately five to twenty centimeters (2 – 8 inches) high. The slim, wire like […]
Coriandrum sativum or cilantro belongs to the Apiaceae family and is a fast-developing, sweet-smelling herb that grows in cooler temperatures. Coriander actually describes the entire herbal plant inclusive of the stems, leaves, seeds and roots. In reality it is actually two treats in one, the leaves are known as cilantro […]
The French word “celeri,” is derived from its Greek version and in turn it gives rise to the English language word “celery”. Celery is a biennial plant belonging to the same family as parsley, caraway, carrots and fennel. It typically grows in bundles of stalks that range from twelve to […]
“A cauliflower is nothing but a cabbage with a college education.” –Mark Twain Introduction to Cauliflower Regardless of the name, it is a vegetable and not a flower, belonging to the Brassica Oleraces species in the family of Brassicaceae. It is closely related to broccoli, cabbage, Brussels sprouts, and kale, […]
The cultivated orange carrots we eat today look very different to the coloured wild carrots which were red, white, black or purple. These were bred by the Dutch in the Middle Ages by crossing red and yellow varieties.
Carrots are known for their eye health benefits. Beta-carotene is converted in the body to vitamin A, and pigments needed for night vision.
Carrots also contain compounds that help fight cancer, and phytochemicals that help reduce the risk of heart disease.
Carrots also have anti-viral and anti-bacterial properties to help out your immune system and can be applied shredded to external wounds to help prevent infection.
Munching on raw carrots can help maintain healthy teeth and gums, by increasing alkaline saliva production, stimulate gums and help reduce plaque.
These melons are actually a member of the same family as cucumbers, squash and pumpkins. Cantaloupes are thought to have existed in biblical times as long ago as 2400 B.C., and some Egyptian paintings even depict melons.
Cantaloupes are rich sources of beta-carotene, which the body converts to vitamin A for good eye health. One cup of cantaloupe can provide your daily requirements for vitamin A.
Cantaloupes are also good sources of potassium, myoinositol (good for anxiety and insomnia) and digestive enzymes.
Cantaloupes may even help suppress nicotine withdrawal, offering a good natural support for those trying to give up smoking (as well as replacing the vitamin A that smoking exhausts).
In the same family as cauliflower, Brussels sprouts and Kale, cabbage comes in a few common varieties, like white, red and Savoy.
In Roman times, vinegar soaked cabbage was used before drinking too much alcohol as a hangover prevention therapy. Cabbage was also used as a food source for soldiers, as well as a wrapping for their wounds to reduce infection.
Cabbage is a good source of several vitamins including K and C, but also supplies good dietary fibre and glucosinolates compounds (which have anti-cancer properties). It also contains essential minerals like manganese, iron, potassium and magnesium.
A number of antioxidants are also present, making cabbage a very healthy addition to your diet.
Documented evidence show Brussels sprouts were found in the location of modern day Brussels (in Belgium) as far back as the 13th century, and that is where it gets its name from.
Sprouts have cholesterol lowering properties but are also a rich source of glucosinolates which have anti-cancer properties.
Sprouts also contain anti-viral and anti-bacterial properties as well as antioxidants, vitamins C, A, B6, thiamine, folate, niacin, riboflavin, E and K. Sprouts also supply us with generous supplies of minerals, like potassium, manganese and iron.
Blueberries are known for their high antioxidant content, and as we all should know, antioxidants help protect our cells from damage from free radicals that can lead to cancer and other disease.