TopVeg – growing veg,fruit&herbs

February 6, 2012

Sea Buckthorn Berries

Filed under: fruit — Tags: , , , — TopVeg @ 10:58 pm

Sea Buckthorn berries ( Latin name – Hippophae rhamnoides ) are another super food.



The bright orange edible berries, often called Seaberries, are:

  • rich in vitamin C
  • high in antioxidants
  • known for healing, if rubbed on wounds
  • very bitter


Sea Buckthorn grows on poor soil, in harsh coastal environments and only the female plants carry berries.

Sea Buckthorn berries are popular amongst hunter- gatherers who make drinks and jams from them.

November 4, 2011

White Fruit & Veg lower risk of Stroke

Filed under: fruit — Tags: , , , — TopVeg @ 9:42 pm


Consumption of White Fruits and Vegetables Is Associated With Lower Risk of Stroke.


A study by Oude Griep et al, published in the September issue of Stroke, examined the association of fruit and vegetable intake categorized according to the color of the edible portion with 10-year incidence of stroke.  They found that higher intakes of white fruit & veg protect against stroke; while coloured fruit & veg do not. 



Apples and pears are better sources of potassium.  The study found that each 25 gram/day increase in consumption of white fruit and veg was associated with a 9% lower risk of stroke.


November 2, 2011

Cherry Juice Improves Sleep

Filed under: fruit — Tags: , , — TopVeg @ 9:36 pm

Drinking tart cherry juice concentrate significantly improves sleep according to the latest research from Northumbria University

Their sleep research department has found that Montmorency cherry juice improves both the quality and the duration of sleep.  Dr Ellis, a member of the research team,  said: “…. the melatonin contained in tart cherry juice is sufficient to elicit a healthy sleep response.”



Sour cherries are:

  • grown in North America
  • used for cherry pies, jams, and juice
  • too tart to eat raw
  • smaller, more globular & softer fleshed than sweet cherries

The Montmorency cherry is a variety of sour cherry (Prunus cerasus). It was the The Montmorency cherry that was shown in the latest research to have a beneficial effect on sleep.

October 6, 2011

Broccoli reduces risk of prostrate cancer

Filed under: brassicas — Tags: , , — TopVeg @ 10:14 pm


This week shops in the UK are introducing a new variety of broccoli, Beneforte, which reduces the risk of prostrate cancer in men.



It has long been known that glucoraphanin in broccoli lowers the rates of cancer. In 1983 a wild Italian broccoli variety was found to contain higher levels of glucoraphanin. The John Innes Centre in Norwich have bred this new variety, Beneforte, which contains two to three times the level of glucoraphanin than standard broccoli. 

The Norfolk and Norwich University Hospital have worked with the Institute of Food Research to show that men who ate a broccoli-rich diet experienced changes in the activity of genes associated with tumour survival and growth.

Broccoli also lowers rates of heart disease and some other forms of cancer. It also boosts the body’s antioxidant enzyme levels.

Men who eat broccoli-rich diets have a reduced risk of aggressive prostate cancer – the most common non-skin cancer for males in western countries.

May 15, 2011

Vegetable Gardening in Wellness week

Filed under: Uncategorized — Tags: , — TopVeg @ 1:52 pm

Vegetable gardening is the perfect activity for Wellness week which started on May 11th..

Vegetable gardening helps to make you feel fitter, healthier, and happier.

December 31, 2010

Gardening For Your Health by Mollie Jolin

Filed under: Uncategorized — Tags: , — TopVeg @ 2:04 pm

Gardening For Your Health is a guest post by Mollie Jolin

With winter in full swing in much of the US, many gardeners and green-thumbs are itching to get back outside and engage in the hobby they hold so dear. Moreover, did you know that gardening has amazing health benefits other than the nutrition provided by the food you grow? It’s true! According to multiple online schools for nutrition, gardening can help you live a longer, fuller life through the health benefits it provides.

1.) Exercise
While many fitness buffs may express disdain at this claim, it is a fact: gardening is great exercise.
According to the University of Virginia, gardening is on par with other moderate forms of exercise such as biking, walking, or even lightly jogging. And while it depends on which task you are engaged in, the exercise provided by gardening can burn up to 500 calories per hour.

Gardening works all the major muscle groups, and a great deal of stretching is usually involved: lifting heavy bags of mulch, shoveling, and pushing a wheelbarrow provide effects similar to weight training while reaching for tall branches and weeds provide stretching that is on par with Pilates. In addition, there is minimal stress and jarring on the body while gardening, unlike jogging or aerobics which tend to cause stress on your legs and buttocks due to the impact involved in them. In all, strength, endurance, and flexibility are all improved by gardening. It is recommended that you garden for between 30 and 45 minutes to get the full workout associated with gardening.

2.)  Disease Prevention
Gardening is a spectacular activity to prevent diseases and chronic health conditions. The exercise associated with gardening is listed by the AMA in the prevention of heart disease, obesity, and osteoporosis. Research by the University of Iowa has shown that gardening for 30 minutes a day will help increase flexibility, strengthen joints, lower blood pressure, and reduce the risk of adult-onset diabetes. The fresh air breathed while gardening can reduce respiratory inflammation and allergens associated with recycled air. Based on these facts, it’s a very unwise decision to not be gardening!

3.)  Mental Health
One’s garden provides a place of relaxation and peace; an oasis of tranquility in the midst of a world gone mad. Gardeners are more in concert with nature and the natural flow of life than those who do not garden, allowing them to restore a sense of peace and well-being many people envy. Gardening provides for an outlet of self-expression, requiring the gardener to use their creativity and knowledge to create a truly breathtaking landscape to be admired by neighbors and peers for years to come. The sense of accomplishment associated with the creation and upkeep of a garden can soothe even the most frazzled mental state. Plus, the endorphins released as a result of the exercise needed for gardening helps to alleviate stress and promote a good mood. All in all, gardeners tend to be hopeful, optimistic people who look forward to the next season and accept imperfections while being flexible enough to adapt to changing circumstances.

As the snow falls outside and the temperatures encourage us to remain in our cocoons for the winter, it is a great time to start planning your gardening project for the spring. If you have never taken to gardening in the past, give it another shot! The benefits listed above should provide you with more than enough motivation to develop your green thumb.

Bio: Mollie Jolin loves to write and shares her passion working for In her free time she loves to garden and take long walks outside.

December 17, 2010

Pesticides essential for our health

Filed under: Uncategorized — Tags: , , — TopVeg @ 5:58 pm

A report just published by the Crop Protection Association concludes that pesticides are essential for our health.

“The Value of Crop Protection – an assessment of the full benefits for the food chain and living standards” was written by Sean Rickard of Cranfield University.  He finds that without crop protection products:

  • yields would fall by half
  • food prices would rise by 40%
  • food would be less affordable
  • fruit & vegetables would increase in price
  • health and nutrition would decline

There are other knock on effects.  For example:

  • it is not possible to maintain satisfactory turf on sports-fields without pesticides.  But we need to encourage people to use sports fields for the good of their health.
  • the enjoyment of a well-kept garden will be lost – & gardening is a healthy pursuit!

 The report was discussed at the Chatham House conference Making Food Security Work  in London on 6 December, and shows that pesticides are essential for our health.

October 23, 2010

Purple Majesty Potatoes

Filed under: potato — Tags: , , — TopVeg @ 8:05 pm

Purple Majesty Potatoes contain up to ten times more health-giving anti-oxidants than conventional white potatoes.

Characteristics of Purple Majesty Potatoes:

  • purple flesh
  • satiny purple skin
  • high in anthocyanins, an antioxidant
  • oblong tubers – good for chips
  • resistant to most viruses, susceptible to blackleg & dry rot
  • medium to late season potato
  • good for short-term storage only
  • high yielding

Purple Majesty Potatoes are fun to eat as they are purple even when cooked!

May 12, 2010

Fruity Friday, 14 May 2010

Filed under: fruit — Tags: , — TopVeg @ 7:07 am

Fruity Friday, 14 May 2010, is a campaign by World Cancer Research Fund to encourage children to eat more fruit and vegetables to reduce the risk of cancer in later life.



Fruit contains many compounds that are beneficial to  health by protecting body cells  from damage that can lead to cancer.

The kitchen garden can provide portions of fruit & veg

One adult portion is equivalent to:

  • 1 whole apple
  • 2 whole plums
  • A handful of berries
  • handful of cherry tomatoes
  • 3 tablespoons of cooked carrots
  • 3 tablespoons of cooked peas
  • 3 tablespoons of cooked sweetcorn
  • 4 tablespoons of green veg, like cabbage
  • cereal bowl of salad

Fruity Friday, 14 May 2010, is an annual awareness and fundraising campaign by World Cancer Research Fund (WCRF UK), to increase public awareness of the links between diet, nutrition and cancer prevention, and to raise valuable funds for cancer research and education programmes of cancer prevention.

May 9, 2010

Beetroot juice effects blood pressure & stamina

Filed under: root veg — Tags: , , — TopVeg @ 12:44 pm

In the last few years it has been shown that Beetroot juice effects blood pressure & stamina.



In 1998 Two Swedish scientists (Weitzberg and Lundberg) found that natural nitrates (NO3) in the diet (such as those found in beetroot, spinach and lettuce) are broken down during digestion to produce nitric oxide in the blood stream.
Nitric Oxide is important because it:
- regulates blood pressure;
- controls blood flow to certain organs;
- enhances stamina by improving oxygen use;
- fights infection;
- is a signal molecule in the nervous system.

Beetroot juice is particularly high in natural dietary nitrates

Professor Amrita Ahluwalia of the William Harvey Research Institute, published a paper in March 2008 in the American Heart Association’s journal showing that oral nitrate (taken through drinking beetroot juice) reduces high blood pressure.

Professor Andrew Jones, of Exeter University, published a paper in August 2009 explaining that dietary nitrate supplementation reduces the O2 cost of low intensity exercise and enhances tolerance to high intensity exercise in humans (Journal of Applied Physiology).



Dietary nitrate has such a beneficiary impact on sporting stamina that Beet It are supplying beetroot juice for trials with UK Athletics, swimming, rowing, cycling teams and even the entire England rugby union team.

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