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September, 2013

The New Pharmacy in Town
By Mark Mulcahy

Health benefits of Melissa's Organic Fruits and Vegetables.

As we look through the beautiful array of Melissa’s Organic Fruits and Veggies in our produce departments, it brings to mind thoughts of wonderful meals, mouthwatering flavors and seasonal favorites that are tied to our fondest memories.

Melissa’s Organic Bell Peppers

Occasionally, we remember that Melissa’s Organic Bell Peppers have more vitamin C than oranges, and we buy a few extra when they are on sale. But have you ever considered your produce department as a culinary pharmacy that provides the ingredients to not only help make you healthier on a daily basis, but to be a partner in your long term wellness plan, as well? No? Well - consider these amazing facts, and you may never look at your produce department the same again.

Asparagus

Asparagus has anti-inflammatory properties, aids in digestive support, and is a great source of glutathione. Glutathione is a superstar among antioxidants, and asparagus contains more glutathione than any other vegetable or fruit.

Avocados

Avocados - we love them for their smooth, creamy texture and rich nutty flavor, but we should also love them for their anti-cancer properties and cholesterol reduction abilities. Avocados contain monounsaturated fats that are heart-healthy and proven to help lower LDL (bad) cholesterol and boost HDL (good) cholesterol. In addition, avocados have been shown to destroy cancerous and precancerous cells.

Basil is famous for making just about everything taste better, from tomatoes to cheese sandwiches. But basil also has antibacterial and anti-inflammatory properties, and it supports liver health. Its volatile oils have also been shown to slow the growth of disease-causing bacteria such as staphylococcus, including drug-resistant strains.

Blueberries

Blueberries: The anthocyanins responsible for blueberry’s deep color are associated with improving memory and possibly lowering depression.

Organic Garlic

Garlic: Packed with antioxidants, our immune system could benefit given a constant boost of powerful garlic in daily recipes. Several types of cancer have been shown to have their tumors reduced when treated with garlic.

Kale

Kale: Like all cruciferous vegetables, kale has numerous health benefits. For example, it provides more than ten times the recommended daily intake of vitamin K, a key regulator of inflammation .This super green is also known to have anticancer and anti-inflammatory properties, and aids in cholesterol reduction.

Mint can decrease appetite, and peppermint has been shown to soothe the tummy by decreasing gas and relaxing stomach muscles.

Pomegranate

Pomegranate has antioxidant levels so high that Russian physicians used it to reduce the effects of radiation exposure following the nuclear disaster at Chernobyl.

 Sweet Potatoes

Sweet Potatoes are high in vitamin B6, which helps reduce the chemical homocysteine in our bodies. Homocysteine has been linked with degenerative diseases and heart attacks. Thyme is antibacterial and antimicrobial, containing volatile oils that excel at decontaminating foods. They have been shown to help neutralize many common pathogens, including strains of E. coli and staph that can cause serious illness.

Walnuts

Walnuts are a great source of omega-3s (just 1/4 cup provides nearly 100 percent of the recommended daily intake), offer tremendous heart health benefits, and are shown to reduce inflammation, bad cholesterol (LDL), and bone loss. And of course there’s the old adage - an apple a day keeps the doctor away.

 Melissa's Organic Apples

Melissa's Organic Apples contain Vitamin C, which boosts immunity, which helps maintain overall health. They also are a great source of soluble fiber, which lowers both blood pressure and glucose levels. It can also lower the levels of LDL, or "bad" cholesterol in the body. Perhaps Hippocrates was on to something when he said “Let food be thy medicine and medicine be thy food.” And I might add, let Melissa’s be your organic produce (medicine) provider.