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From the MD Anderson Cancer Center at the University of Texas: “Eating a healthy meal or snack every few hours refuels your body and puts you in better shape to fight off diseases like cancer,” said Mary Ellen Herndon, a wellness dietitian. “It also helps keep your blood sugar and metabolism at healthy levels.”

Ginger (Zingiber officinale) -- Also called: Nagara, Shen-jiang, Sunthi, Gan-jiang. Parts used: Root, Rhizome, Volatile Oil. Ginger is a key element in many traditional medicines; both Chinese (TCM) and Ayuvedic traditions have been using it for centuries.

Hibiscus tea is a tisane or "herbal tea" consumed both hot and cold by people around the world. The drink is an infusion made from crimson or deep magenta-coloured calyces (sepals) of the Hibiscus sabdariffa flower. It has a tart, cranberry-like flavor. The tea contains vitamin C and minerals and is used traditionally as a mild medicine.

Limes are allied to the lemon, but much smaller, and they grow year-round. They are high in vitamin C (though not as high as lemons). In cooking, lime is valued both for the acidity of its juice and the floral aroma of its zest.

Oranges are actually a type of berry (hesperidium), that rival lemons for their concentration of vitamin C. The peel of an orange has increased vitamin C and fiber, however, high concentrations of pesticides have been found in orange peels.

Bergamot Orange: the source of one of the most commonly used oils in the perfume industry. Peel waste from oil extraction contains pectins and flavonoids a potential source of natural antioxidant and anti-inflammatory phytochemicals.

The common lemon has many purposes above and beyond the culinary. The volatile oils of the skin are antibacterial, lower blood pressure, aid digestive problems and sore throats. The fragrance has been shown to improve moods.

Compounds in stone fruits could be a weapon against metabolic syndrome, in which obesity and inflammation lead to serious health issues

Acai fruit contains essential fatty acids (Omega-3 and Omega-6) plus oleic acid (Omega-9) which are good for lowering Low Density Lipoprotein (LDL) levels. Acai berries also contain high levels of calcium, vitamin e and phosporous, high concentrations of polyphenols making it a good antioxidant.

Apigenin, which can be extracted from celery, parsley and other natural sources, is effective against human breast cancer cells influenced by a certain chemical used in hormone replacement therapy.

The olive: not just the oil and drupes (fruit) have health benefits: did you know that olive leaves are used in medicinal teas?

The more omega-3 fatty acids a person took in, the lower their blood beta-amyloid levels, a protein related to Alzheimers disease and memory problems

Watercresses are members of the family Brassicaceae or cabbage family, botanically related to garden cress, mustard, wasabi, and radish. In 100g, you can receive 52% of your daily recommended vitamin C, 20% of your vitamin A, 18% of your beta-carotene, and 5767 µg of lutein and zeaxanthin (mixed).

Licorice, chosen to be the "Medicinal Plant of 2012", not only has phytochemicals (amorfrutins) that reduce blood sugar, are anti-inflammatory, and prevent fatty liver, it also helps fight the bacteria that cause tooth decay and gum disease.

5 cancer-fighting fruits and veggies that are more affordable in the spring: strawberries, pineapple, spinach, mustard greens, and broccoli -- bonus blueberries in Canada.

Men who eat flavonoid-rich foods such as berries, tea, apples and red wine significantly reduce their risk of developing Parkinson's disease, according to new research by Harvard University and the University of East Anglia.

Cocoa consists of the dried seeds of the cacao pods. The seeds are fermented to a lesser degree. To derive cocoa powder and cocoa butter, these dried seeds are ground, and the solids are set aside. Chocolate and cocoa contain a high level of flavonoids and flavanols, which may have beneficial effects on cardiovascular health.

In powdered form, cinnamon has been shown to have benefits in lowering blood sugar, improving insulin function, killing bacteria, and reducing triglyceride response. It is being studied for benefits in preventing neurodegenerative diseases, like Alzheimer's and multiple sclerosis. As an oil, it kills mosquito larvae, and repels many adult insects. In both states it is good for killing bacteria such as E coli and aflatoxins.

Cardamom (particularly Elettaria cardamomum) is a member of the ginger family (Zingiberaceae) and the third most expensive spice by weight -- outstripped only by saffron and vanilla. It is used for both culinary and medicinal purposes (carminative and anti-spasmodic).

Sunflower seeds are a good source of protein, fibre, zinc and iron, and are low in saturated fat. They're also a rich in alpha-tocopherols, which have been shown effective in reducing the risk of certain types of cancers, including bladder cancer.

Cherries contain anthocyanins, the red pigment in berries. Cherry anthocyanins have been shown to reduce pain and inflammation in rats. Anthocyanins are also potent antioxidants under active research for a variety of potential health benefits. naturalhealthcare...

Cherry Season - The Farm Chicks