On Rosh Hashana we wish each other a sweet, happy and of course healthy
new year. Nothing says healthy more than those symbolic New Year foods:
apples, honey and pomegranates.
Most of us are aware that apples
are loaded with essential vitamins, have heard that honey boosts our
immunity, and have read somewhere that pomegranate juice is chock full
of antioxidants. However, when it comes to these three foods, the list
of health benefits goes on and on. Here is a closer look at why eating
apples, pomegranates, and honey 365 days of the year will truly help us
achieve a healthy, and happy New Year.
Apple of my eye
all heard the saying that an apple a day keeps the doctor away. Apart
from being a cute and catchy phrase, this saying is completely true, as
an apple a day does in fact keep many disease and ailments at bay.
with nutrients A to Z - particularly antioxidants and fiber - apples
(as part of a healthy diet) have been linked with reducing the risk of
cardiovascular disease and cancer. It’s true that many fruits and
vegetables - particularly blueberries, broccoli and cabbage - have been
linked with reducing the risk of certain cancers. However, very few
foods have been shown to fight off lung cancer, except for apples.
Researchers believe this is due to the high levels of the flavonoids
quercetin and naringin in apples. But make sure not to peal your apples
as the majority of the flavonoids are found in the skin.
that wasn’t impressive enough, the level of quercetin in apples
suppresses histamine production in the body, thereby preventing allergy
symptoms from occurring. In addition to fighting off allergy symptoms,
apples have also been linked with reducing asthma in children. A study
found that those who consumed two or more apples a week reduced their
risk of an asthma attack by nearly 33 percent.
still remain puzzled by the apple-asthma connection, they believe that
it has to be associated with the fruit’s specific antioxidant and
Apples are without a doubt one of
the healthiest foods, and even fruits, you can eat. So don’t be shy to
snag a few extra slices at the Rosh Hashana meal, and don’t forget to
make this fruit part of your daily ritual.
Packing a pomegranate punch
are a slightly odd fruit. Instead of eating the fruit part, as is done
with an apple, we go straight for the hundreds of tiny seeds found
inside. So what is so special about these seeds? Apart from being
extremely low in calories and high in Vitamins C and K, they are loaded
with fiber. There has been a lot of chatter about fiber lately, and how a
diet rich in fiber foods, such as pomegranate seeds, (when part of a
healthy diet) may aid in weight management.
However, that’s not
all, and clinical studies have found that pomegranate seeds and juice
may reduce the risk of developing heart disease, heart attacks and
strokes. This is due to the tiny seeds’ ability to thin blood, increase
blood flow to the heart, lower the level of systolic blood pressure,
reduce the formation of plaque on the arterial wall and lower LDL (bad)
If that wasn’t enough, pomegranate seeds and
juice may also help us maintain a youthful glow. Rich in antioxidants,
specifically ellagic acid (also found abundantly in raspberries),
pomegranate seeds and juice may help to prevent collagen destruction
which leads to the appearance of wrinkles and fine lines. Moreover,
apart from helping to keep that youthful glow, pomegranate juice and
seeds may also help to protect the skin from permanent sun damage,
including the development of dark spots and even skin cancer.
Sweet for my sweet, honey for my health
most common, well known, and impressive, benefit of honey is that it
boosts our immune system. However, honey is more than just a happy
helper – it is an impressive fighter, and actually helps to rid the body
of harmful bacteria. Whenever the throat feels a little sore, one of
the first instincts is to curl up with a hot mug of tea filled with
lemon and honey. In addition to soothing that achy throat, honey will
actually help to treat it. Thanks to its antibacterial properties, honey
will help to kill the bacteria that cause the throat to hurt and the
rest of the body to ache.
The health properties of honey also
extend upwards from the throat to treat sinusitis. One of the most
common causes of headaches amongst adults, sinusitis occurs when mucous
membranes in the sinus cavities become inflamed, causing a stuffy nose,
difficulty breathing, and moderate to intense head and facial pain. So
how can a teaspoon of honey help? Two studies recently found that manuka
honey from New Zealand and sidr honey from Yemen were effective in
killing the bacteria responsible for sinus infections, and even worked
better than antibiotics.
Like pomegranates and apples, the list
of honey’s health benefits go on and on. However, there is one
particular benefit that will prove most useful to some following the
Rosh Hashana dinner and celebrations. A UK study found that honey helps
the body break down alcohol into harmless by-products, rather than a
toxic substance that causes those painful post drinking headaches –
making it one of the best hangover cures. So if you are planning to
indulge in the red wine during the festive meal, make sure to keep
dipping those apples and halla in the honey.