In this issue
April 9, 2014

Jonathan Tobin: Why Did Kerry Lie About Israeli Blame?

Samuel G. Freedman: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Jessica Ivins: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Kim Giles: Asking for help is not weakness

Kathy Kristof and Barbara Hoch Marcus: 7 Great Growth Israeli Stocks

Matthew Mientka: How Beans, Peas, And Chickpeas Cleanse Bad Cholesterol and Lowers Risk of Heart Disease

Sabrina Bachai: 5 At-Home Treatments For Headaches

The Kosher Gourmet by Daniel Neman Have yourself a matzo ball: The secrets bubby never told you and recipes she could have never imagined

April 8, 2014

Lori Nawyn: At Your Wit's End and Back: Finding Peace

Susan B. Garland and Rachel L. Sheedy: Strategies Married Couples Can Use to Boost Benefits

David Muhlbaum: Smart Tax Deductions Non-Itemizers Can Claim

Jill Weisenberger, M.S., R.D.N., C.D.E : Before You Lose Your Mental Edge

Dana Dovey: Coffee Drinkers Rejoice! Your Cup Of Joe Can Prevent Death From Liver Disease

Chris Weller: Electric 'Thinking Cap' Puts Your Brain Power Into High Gear

The Kosher Gourmet by Marlene Parrish A gift of hazelnuts keeps giving --- for a variety of nutty recipes: Entree, side, soup, dessert

April 4, 2014

Rabbi David Gutterman: The Word for Nothing Means Everything

Charles Krauthammer: Kerry's folly, Chapter 3

Amy Peterson: A life of love: How to build lasting relationships with your children

John Ericson: Older Women: Save Your Heart, Prevent Stroke Don't Drink Diet

John Ericson: Why 50 million Americans will still have spring allergies after taking meds

Cameron Huddleston: Best and Worst Buys of April 2014

Stacy Rapacon: Great Mutual Funds for Young Investors

Sarah Boesveld: Teacher keeps promise to mail thousands of former students letters written by their past selves

The Kosher Gourmet by Sharon Thompson Anyone can make a salad, you say. But can they make a great salad? (SECRETS, TESTED TECHNIQUES + 4 RECIPES, INCLUDING DRESSINGS)

April 2, 2014

Paul Greenberg: Death and joy in the spring

Dan Barry: Should South Carolina Jews be forced to maintain this chimney built by Germans serving the Nazis?

Mayra Bitsko: Save me! An alien took over my child's personality

Frank Clayton: Get happy: 20 scientifically proven happiness activities

Susan Scutti: It's Genetic! Obesity and the 'Carb Breakdown' Gene

Lecia Bushak: Why Hand Sanitizer May Actually Harm Your Health

Stacy Rapacon: Great Funds You Can Own for $500 or Less

Cameron Huddleston: 7 Ways to Save on Home Decor

The Kosher Gourmet by Steve Petusevsky Exploring ingredients as edible-stuffed containers (TWO RECIPES + TIPS & TECHINQUES)

Jewish World Review

Cactus juice bristling with health potential

By Environmental Nutrition editors

JewishWorldReview.com | Q: Are there any health benefits in cactus juice?

A: Perhaps it's those forbidding spiny barbs, but cactus, a centuries-old staple in Latin cuisine and available in the produce section of many supermarkets, has yet to go mainstream in this country. But that may change courtesy of prickly pear cactus juice, which is gleaning attention for its potential health benefits.

The prickly pear cactus, also known as nopal cactus, is one of more than a dozen varieties in the Opuntia genus in the family Cactaceae that grow abundantly in the Mexican Sonoran Desert and southwestern U.S. They have flat fleshy pads, sold as nopales or nopalitos, that are actually cactus branches or stems with barbed spikes.


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The juice comes from the cactus "fruit," which is really the cactus flower. Known as prickly pear, paw paw, and desert fig, the red fruit resembles a small round cucumber with spines. While natives of these areas skillfully harvest, peel and juice the spiny and barbed prickly pear fruit, even novices can enjoy cactus juice as it is now available commercially.

The juice of the prickly pear cactus contains a relatively rare form of antioxidant called betalains, which also is found in beets and red Swiss chard, providing the vegetables' pink-red pigment. Chemical analyses of the fruit extracts from several varieties of prickly pear cacti show the presence of other powerful antioxidants--polyphenols, flavonoids, carotenoids and vitamin C.

In a study published in the May 2012 journal Alcohol, cells in rats were protected from damage by ethanol alcohol when given cactus fruit extract. Similarly, anti-inflammatory effects of cactus fruit juice were linked to mildly reduced symptoms of alcohol hangover in humans, according to a study in the June 2004 Archives of Internal Medicine.

Traditionally used in Mexican medicine to treat diabetes, preliminary studies show that prickly pear fruit extract may aid in lowering blood glucose, as well as cholesterol and triglycerides (Human and Experimental Toxicology, December 2011.) A study published in the January 2012 Journal of Ethnopharmacology found that the extract decreased levels of blood glucose and cholesterol in rats.

Keep in mind that the science on the benefits of cactus juice is still young, and we have much more to learn about its potential effects in areas like glucose management. However, feel free to enjoy this plant beverage as part of your healthy diet. But it's probably best not to juice the prickly pear fruit on your own.

The skins are covered in tiny spines that can be dangerous if ingested or painful if they stick you. Instead, shop the beverage aisles of health stores for bottled varieties. Just be sure prickly pear puree or juice tops the list of ingredients so that it's not diluted with undesirable additives and sweeteners.

(Reprinted with permission from Environmental Nutrition, a monthly publication of Belvoir Media Group, LLC. 800-829-5384. www.EnvironmentalNutrition.com.)

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